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What to do in Toronto, Dec. 8-14: Japandroids, Charles Dickens' women and motorcycles

FILE PHOTO: Japandroids perfrom at Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. Saturday April 03, 2010.

Ryan Enn Hughes/The Globe and Mail


Althea Thauberger: Marat Sade Bohnice

The Vancouver multimedia artist Althea Thauberger talks about her solo exhibit, an experimental film/video installation about the staging of the 1963 play Marat/Sade. The exhibit officially opens Dec. 15, with an opening party for Power Plant's winter season.

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Dec. 14 (7 to 11 p.m.). Dec. 12, 7 p.m. $12. 231 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4949.


Michael Occhipinti & Shine On: The Universe of John Lennon

See how they fly like Lucy in the sky, see how they run: The inquiring guitarist Michael Occhipinti and vocalists such as Yvette Tollar, Denzal Sinclaire and Elizabeth Shepheard do exquisitely jazzy things to John Lennon music – goo, goo and, most importantly, g'joob. Dec. 9, 8 p.m. $20 to $25. Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., 416-588-0307.


If the Vancouver guitar-and-drum duo's Celebration Rock album doesn't make you feel 17 again, well, then, we're glad we didn't know you in high school. Dec. 11, 8 p.m. $18.50 to $22 (sold out). Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St., 1-855-985-5000.

Joel Plaskett Emergency

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The effortlessly tuneful Halifax rocker shows off his latest adventure, Scrappy Happiness, comprised of 10 tracks, each of them written and recorded in one week, over 10 weeks. Dec. 12 to 15. $25 to $30 (available at Rotate This, Soundscapes and Ticketmaster. Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., 1-855-985-5000.



A fake documentary about the evolution of happiness, created by the demented minds at Calgary's Old Trout Puppet Workshop. Goofs struggle to find joy in two time periods – the prehistoric past and the present day. To Dec. 15. $22 to $49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., 416-368-3110.


A pitch-black Irish play written in charismatic (if somewhat vulgar and hyper-vivid) verse and involving three interlocking monologues is presented strikingly, with ticket-holders seated on 200 on-stage seats. To Dec. 16. $69. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W., 416-872-1212.

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A Brimful of Asha

When an Indo-Canadian mother offers to take care of the wedding arrangements, she's not talking about flowers and reception details. Real-life mother and son Asha and Ravi Jain share the stage (and samosas) for a culture-clashing true story involving a bride-scouting trip to India. To Dec. 16. $27 to $53. Tarragon Theatre Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827.

The Story

From Theatre Columbus, a walking-theatre nativity play takes over the grounds of the Evergreen Brick Works. To Dec. 30. $12.50 to $30. 550 Bayview Ave., 416-504-7529.

Dickens' Women

Behind every great man stands 23 fictional characters who are based on real people that the great man knew in real life. This applies only to the Victorian novelist Charles Dickens, whose work is examined through a one-woman show by Miriam Margolyes, the British actress who portrays nearly two dozen ladies. Dec. 12 to 15. $20 to $40. Young Centre. 50 Tank House Lane, 416-866-8666.



By Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, an homage to the late Montreal choreographer Jean-Pierre Perreault includes dance and Tim Southam's elegant documentary Danser Perreault. To Dec. 8. 8 p.m. $25 to $35. Citadel, 304 Parliament St., 416-364-8011 or


From the darkness comes light: Drawing inspiration from the winter solstice, a five-piece program of modern dance includes moments of medieval carols, Klezmer music, choral sounds and Iroquoian ceremony. Dec. 14 (8 p.m.) and Dec. 15 (2 p.m.). $22.50 to $38. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay. W., 416-973-4000.


It's a Wonderful Toronto: The Rob Ford Holiday Spectacular!

"Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" At some point we'll find out what kind of hole our blustery mayor will leave, but in the meantime we'll make do with sketch-comedy parody, spun off holiday films such as a Jimmy Stewart-starring classic from 1946. To Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. $25 to $30. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, 16 Ryerson Ave., 416-504-7529.


Motorcycle Show Toronto

We tried to fire all our of guns at once and "explode into space," but, really, it just turned out to be one big mess. For those legitimately born to be wild, however, there is adventure to be found at the annual occasion of leather wear, chrome steads and browsing easy-riders. Dec. 8 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and Dec. 9 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). $10 to $16. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 222 Bremner Blvd., 416-585-8000.

Tales Of...

Why should Stuart McLean have all the fun? The brilliant Sandra Shamas and a crew of actors and comedians share real-life stories about the craziness of the holiday season. Dec. 10, 8 p.m. PWYC. Rustic Owl, 993 Bloor St. W., 416-466-9651.

Project X: Ugly Sweater Edition

When Grandma got run over by a reindeer, it's too bad all her sweater-based gifts didn't go with her. A bash of beer and irony celebrates deplorable trends in holiday knitwear. Dec. 13, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. $15 ($5 goes to Daily Bread Food Bank). Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St., 416-531-5833 or


A Christmas Carol

Another reason to be merry: The eloquent and melodious Michael Enright and other CBC Radio personalities read from the book of Ebenezer Scrooge and his "cold, bleak, biting" Christmas Eve. Dec. 9, 2 p.m. $10 to $12. St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, 830 Bathurst St., 416-534-4219.



Here's something that will rumple your stilt skin: The Brothers Grimm, a 45-minute children's opera which touches on tales regarding a woman with climbable hair and an imp who spins straw into gold. Dec. 8, 2 and 7:30 p.m. $15 to $25, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. W.). 416-363-8231 or

Orchestra Toronto's The Polar Express

Please, we're asking you nicely: Do not feed the oboist. A family friendly programs features kid choristers, a prodigy cellist, a narrated telling of a mysterious northbound train, and an "instrument petting zoo." Dec. 9, 3 p.m. $14 to $39. George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge St., 1-855-985-2787.

TSO: The Snowman

Is he frosty? No, not this one, not at all. An animated film adaptation of Raymond Briggs's beloved 1978 book is screened, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra handling the winter-land score. Dec. 9, 3 p.m. $20 to $65. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255.

A Merry TSO Christmas

It's hard enough to find one maid-a-milking these days, let alone eight. And lords-a-leaping? The last one we saw was Conrad Black, when the celebrity felon was sprung from a Miami correctional facility. Be that as it may, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (with the Etobicoke School of the Arts Chorus) offers The Twelve Days of Christmas and other seasonal pop. Dec. 11 (8 p.m.) and Dec. 12 (2 and 8 p.m.). $29 to $110. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255.


Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe Christmas Dec 8 and 9. Sony Centre, 1-855-872-7669 or

Good Lovelies Xmas Show Dec. 12 and 13. Hugh's Room, 416-531-6604.

Chanukah Concert Live Dec. 12. Barbara Frum Library,

Bach Christmas Oratorio Dec. 14. Koerner Hall, 416-408-0208.

Mass For Christmas Morning Dec. 14 to 16. Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, 416-964-6337.

Toronto Christmas Market To Dec. 16. Distillery District,

The Christmas Story To Dec. 23. Church of the Holy Trinity, 416-598-8979.


Hart House Winter Buffet Dec. 18 to 20. 416-978-8849.

TSO: Handel's Messiah Dec. 18 to 23. Roy Thomson Hall, 416-872-4255.

The Nutcracker Dec. 19 to Jan. 5. Four Seasons Centre, 416-345-9595.

Sing-along Messiah Dec. 23. Massey Hall, 416-872-4255.

Fleetwood Mac April 16 (on sale Dec. 17, 10 a.m.). Air Canada Centre, 1-855-985-5000.

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