Ross Petty’s last hurrah, a Tanya Tagaq concert and nine other things to do this week
Peter Pan, Ross Petty’s final Christmas panto
Many years ago, the story goes, Ross Petty, the city’s premier panto producer, made a pact with David Letterman and Dame Edna not to let their careers linger once they stopped having fun. He’s still enjoying himself, but now that his contemporaries have called it quits, Petty is following suit. This month, he takes the Elgin stage as Captain Hook for a campy and bittersweet farewell performance of Peter Pan. To January 3. $27–$99. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., rosspetty.com.
An evening in a cheese cave
TOCA’s walls aren’t literally carved out of cheese, but there are enough stinky wheels and logs sitting on its shelves to make it seem that way. This week, the Italian restaurant kicks off its Cheese Cave Event Series with a line-up of award-winning, locally made cheeses—including the 2013 Global Cheese Awards champion, Margaret Peters’ Lankaaster—and a wine pairing for each. Guests will have the chance to try four different types of cheese (two ages of each kind) and one special blind tasting. Saturday, December 5. $45. TOCA, 181 Wellington St. W., tocarestaurant.com.
A Tanya Tagaq and Owen Pallett double bill
The king and queen of Canadian art-rock join forces for a performance presented by the Polaris Music Prize, an award both musicians have won. Tagaq, who found early fame opening for Björk, singlehandedly catapulted Inuit throat singing into the mainstream with her disarmingly intense performances. Meanwhile, masterful multi-instrumentalist Pallett, a frequent Arcade Fire collaborator and film composer (Her), creates peerless orchestral pop that toggles between unsettling and transcendental. Tuesday, December 1. $18.95–$29.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., roythomson.com.
A pastoral beer party
Calling all craft beer lovers: a dozen regional breweries will serve up some suds during this evening of alcohol appreciation at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The garden’s holiday train show will also be open for a visit—though, let’s be real, we had you at beer. Tickets include a tasting glass and five beer tokens. Thursday, December 3. $40. Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd. W., rbg.ca.
Soulpepper’s faithful adaptation of A Christmas Carol
You know the story: on Christmas Eve, three spirits visit miserly old Ebenezer Scrooge to show him the grim realities of Christmases past, present and future, and teach the virtues of charity and selflessness. Soulpepper’s adaptation of the Dickens classic has both the effortless expertise of a holiday tradition and the vigour of a premiere. Thursday, December 3 to January 3. $29–$89. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., soulpepper.ca.
A John Landis masterclass on Jason and the Argonauts
Jason and the Argonauts, Don Chaffey’s 1963 monster movie, was an elaborate fantasy film celebrated for its revolutionary use of stop-motion animation, which brought to life mythological creatures like skeleton warriors, a seven-headed hydra and a giant robot. The screening of this digital restoration includes an introduction and post-screening discussion with John Landis, director of The Blues Brothers and National Lampoon’s Animal House. Wednesday, December 2. $22.75. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.
Point and Punch, a sharp collection of editorial cartoons
For every Senate scandal and bumbling Toronto mayor, there has always been an army of cartoonists waiting with a pencil and punch line. The ROM’s collection of editorial illustrations spans from pre-Confederation to the modern era; for this exhibition, they’ve selected works from early-20th-century Canadian cartoonists John Wilson Bengough and Sam Hunter. Saturday, December 5 to September 18. $17. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, rom.on.ca.
Munsch-O-Mania, a wild kids’ theatre medley
Robert Munsch’s swift, zany books are alive with action. Accordingly, his classic titles, like The Paper Bag Princess, Love You Forever and Jonathan Cleaned Up—Then He Heard a Sound, lend themselves well to the stage. David Storch directs the George Brown Theatre troupe in a campy medley of some of the best stories by one of the best children’s authors of our time. Wednesday, December 2 to Saturday, December 12. $8–$20. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., youngcentre.ca.
Tricks, a Glenn Gould–inspired magic show
Soulpepper magician David Ben has produced shows for Penn and Teller, studied under sleight-of-hand superstar Ross Bertram and performed on his own for nearly 40 years. His latest production is a plotless mishmash of illusions that tap both traditional tools of the trade (playing cards, cups and balls, handkerchiefs) and more modern equipment (iPhones, laptops, an Apple TV). The act is inspired by Houdini, Glenn Gould and cherry blossoms in Japan. Saturday, December 5 to January 3. $25–$69. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., soulpepper.ca.
An angsty Matthew Good concert
The Burnaby-born songwriter is nothing if not consistent. Over the course of his 20-year career, Good has released 11 studio albums—four with his band, seven as a solo artist—each riddled with anarchist angst and anti-capitalist rhetoric. Chaotic Neutral, his latest record, is unflinchingly faithful to those ’90s alt-rock roots, with slow-chugging guitars and quivering vocals, like those showcased on his new single, “All You Sons and Daughters.” Thursday, December 3 to Saturday, December 5. $55. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., ticketmaster.com.
The Broadway revival of Cinderella
The 2013 Broadway revival of this Rodgers and Hammerstein musical offers a twist on the classic fairy tale. The tweaked plot has a social-justice slant and a new character intent on toppling the oppressive kingdom, but the same soaring score and exquisite costumes as its source. Broadway vet Mark Brokaw directs. Tuesday, December 1 to January 10. $35–$130. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St., mirvish.com.