The city’s best new play, an Edward Burtynsky photo show and six other things to do this week
Concord Floral, the city’s best new play
Playwright Jordan Tannahill—the Governor General’s Award–winning boy wonder—took home the outstanding new play trophy at last year’s Dora Awards for this piece, a modern reimagining of Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron (as well as Degrassi and I Know What You Did Last Summer). A cast of real teenagers carries Canadian Stage’s production, transplanting Boccaccio’s allegory of young people fleeing a plague into the suburbs. Tuesday, September 27 to Sunday, October 16. $39–$79. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., canadianstage.com.
The return of the ROM’s Friday Night Live
The ROM’s new season of swanky art parties kicks off this Friday with a Chihuly-inspired bash. Attendees can wander the sublime glass-sculpture exhibition while listening to the sounds of soul singer Sean Jones, sipping cocktails and noshing on food-truck fare from Hot Bunzz, Feed the 6, Heirloom and others. Friday, September 30. $15. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, rom.on.ca.
A pair of stunning new Edward Burtynsky photo series
The photographer flies high above the earth, teasing unexpected beauty out of tarnished industrial landscapes. His two latest efforts are no exception: Salt Pans (above) captures a region of India that’s home to more than 100,000 salt workers—an industry threatened by receding groundwater. Essential Elements, meanwhile, is a retrospective collection that contains some of the artist’s most iconic and unpublished works. Thursday, September 29 to Saturday, October 22. Nicholas Metivier Gallery, 451 King St. W., metiviergallery.com.
Toronto’s best up-and-coming opera talent
Each year the Canadian Opera Company introduces the singers who have successfully auditioned for apprenticeships in the Ensemble Studio, a hatchery for vocalists hoping for a career in the big leagues. It’s been known to happen—singers Wallis Giunta, Simone Osborne, Philippe Sly and Ambur Braid are among the more recent grads pursuing successful careers. This year’s cohort will sing their favourite arias with the passion that comes from knowing that every concert is also something of an audition. Tuesday, September 27. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., coc.ca.
An unstoppable Charles Bradley set
Charles Bradley’s bulldozer of a voice has earned him the nickname the Screamin’ Eagle of Soul. It’s all high highs and low lows, not unlike his remarkable life. In concert, he seems determined to overwhelm the audience through the sheer physical power of his presence. He’s also been known to frequently hug audience members—and by all accounts, no one hugs quite like the Screamin’ Eagle. Thursday, September 29. $29.50–$49.50. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., ticketmaster.ca.
A theatrical adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s classic Brave New World
Conveyor belts of human embryos, the bliss-inducing drug Soma, learning while sleeping—Aldous Huxley introduced countless images and ideas to the world of sci-fi with his dystopian classic Brave New World. Now, the daring, Dora-winning Litmus Theatre company is bringing the story to the post-industrial stage of Theatre Passe Muraille—the first Canadian production of the story in decades. Tuesday, September 27 to Sunday, October 16. $22–$38. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., litmustheatre.com.
Pets and Me, an adorably artistic take on the bond between kids and animals
Many a child has begged many a parent for a puppy—and this AGO Kids’ Gallery exhibition makes a strong case for why they should have one. Twenty pieces from the gallery’s collection, including works by Joyce Wieland, Pitseolak Niviaqsi and John Watson Gordon (above) to start, highlight the bond between children and pets. Kids can engage with audio tours and costumes, and create their own drawing station masterpieces. To Tuesday, November 1. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., ago.net.
A suite of triumphant river songs by Handel
Commissioned by King George I to accompany a royal outing on the Thames River, Handel’s Water Music suite remains an audience favourite some 300 years after its 1717 premiere. Expect a large orchestra with a full complement of woodwinds and brass—this is music meant to be played outdoors, where a largely string ensemble would have had trouble being heard. To Tuesday, September 27. $46–$111. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., tafelmusik.org.