A warehouse Valentine’s party, a raucous indie fest and eight other things to do this week
A festival for Toronto’s next indie sensations
The Wavelength live music series helped shoot artists like Arcade Fire, Austra and Grimes to stardom by booking them when virtually no one knew their names. Find your next indie obsession at the Wavelength Festival, a breathless three-day bash that will include sets from Montreal electro-pop act (and Björk labelmates) Foxtrott, the singer-songwriter Steven Lambke of Constantines, and local garage rock outfit Soupcans (pictured here). Friday, February 12 to Sunday, February 14. $12–$39. The Garrison and Markham House City Building Lab, 1197 Dundas St. W. and 610 Markham St., wavelengthtoronto.com.
A Valentine’s dinner party in a warehouse
Party planners SummerDaze are taking over the 15,000-square-foot furniture warehouse at Dupont and Dovercourt for a candlelit Valentine’s meal. The six-course supper, which will be served on a single communal table running down the centre of the space, includes braised beef cheeks, oysters, and artichoke-pear soup (vegan options available). After the eating, California DJ collective Desert Hearts will turn the low-key dinner into an all-out dance party. Sunday, February 14. $25–$40. 950 Dupont St., facebook.com.
A play about a (not so) imaginary friend
Director Ashlie Corcoran directs the whimsical world premiere of Mustard, a dark comedy by Toronto playwright Kat Sandler. Thai has an imaginary friend named Mustard who lives under her bed, which would be entirely innocuous were she not well into her teens. Her mother, a recent divorcée and latent alcoholic, tries to convince Thai she’s a bit old for made-up pals—only to begin seeing Mustard herself. Young Wednesday, February 10 to Sunday, March 13. $55–$60. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., tarragontheatre.com.
A Stompin’ Tom birthday bash
To mark what would have been the late Stompin’ Tom Connors’ 80th birthday, his longtime backing band Whiskey Jack is teaming up with Connors’ friends, fans and contemporaries for tribute renditions of “The Hockey Song,” “Bud the Spud” and more. Former Governor General and Connors family friend Adrienne Clarkson will sing “The Marten Hartwell Story”; 2016 Juno nominee J.P. Cormier will lend a bluegrass touch to some of Tom’s tunes; and Connors’ wife, Lena, will take the stage to perform. Tuesday, February 9. $35. Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., ticketbreak.com.
A banned black comedy from Soviet Russia
In 1920s Russia, Semyon Semyonovitch is planning to kill himself—until a slew of opportunists emerge, attempting to convince him to become a martyr for their respective causes. The Suicide is a black comedy that satirizes totalitarianism, celebrity and corruption, and it has at least one notable critic: the Soviet authorities banned it and exiled its playwright, Nikolai Erdman, to Siberia. Wednesday, February 10 to Saturday, February 20. $20. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., youngcentre.ca.
Quality time with family (and beer)
At Evergreen Brick Works’ Brewers Backyard beer lovers and families (and beer-loving families) will find free skating for the kids, live musical entertainment, fire pits, food trucks and, of course, plenty of booze. Indie Alehouse, Great Lakes, Amsterdam and Henderson breweries will pour pints in exchange for tokens, available onsite. Monday, February 15. FREE. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave., brewersbackyard.com.
The Bata’s astounding Arctic footwear collection
The 40 cultures that call the vast Arctic home have spent centuries evolving the ways they fend off the inhospitable cold. Bata’s new exhibition, Art and Innovation: Traditional Arctic Footwear, showcases animal-skin boots, shoes and moccasins that highlight the ingenuity of the North’s frostbite-fighting footwear. Opens Wednesday, February 10. $14. $35–$130. Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor St. W., batashoemuseum.ca.
The TSO’s take on Dancing with the Stars
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra bills Let’s Dance! as Dancing with the Stars without the judges. Fortunately, the C-list celebs are also absent. Instead, the dancing is left to accomplished performers like swing superstars Stephen Sayer and Chandrae Roettig, tango titans Patricio Touceda and Eva Lucero, and ballroom pros Forrest Walsh and Melissa Shahin while American conductor Jeff Tyzik leads the TSO and a handful of guest vocalists through pop tunes and Broadway hits. Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 10. $29.50–$107. Roy Thompson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., tso.ca.
An ode to the accordion
The humble accordion gets a moment in the spotlight with Soundstream’s Squeezebox concert, which features veteran Canadian virtuoso Joseph Macerollo, up-and-comer Michael Bridge and celebrated Argentinean bandoneón player Héctor del Curto. Don’t expect much in the way of polkas—the program includes works by a stellar list of homegrown composers, including a world premiere by Anna Pidgorna, and works by R. Murray Schafer, Marjan Mozetich and Alexina Louie. Wednesday, February 10. $22–$67.50. Trinity–St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W., soundstreams.ca.
A taste of New York’s dance scene
In the first three installments of this annual series, Toronto Dance Theatre paired up with choreographers from Brussels, Paris and Berlin to explore how two cities’ scenes influence and interact with one another. This edition fixates on New York through works by contemporary Big Apple choreographers Jeanine Durning and Joanna Kotze, who have 40 years of experience between them. Thursday, February 11 to Saturday, February 20. $26. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester St., tdt.org.