A tattoo exhibit, an Iron Maiden gig and eight other things to do this week
The ROM’s fascinating new tattoo exhibition
Tattoos, a new ROM show, traces the 5,000-year history of body art through portraits of ink-covered faces, ancient tools and commissioned tattoos (created on artificial silicone skin) by some of the world’s top artists. Together, they provide a comprehensive timeline of the art, documenting its role as a tribal custom, a means of identification or a marker of rebellion across millennia of cultures and subcultures. Saturday, April 2 to Monday, September 5. $25. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, rom.on.ca.
An epic Iron Maiden stadium show
The heavy metal pioneers’ 2015 album, The Book of Souls, is 90 minutes long and every bit as ambitious as anything else from their 40-year career. It’s filled with chugging riffs, sweeping guitar solos and extended jams. Their live shows, as ever, are rapturous affairs, where diehard fans chant dark choruses and await the arrival of Eddie, the band’s zombie-cyborg mascot. Sunday, April 3. $49.50–$97.50. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., ticketmaster.ca.
Chimerica, a play about the search for Tank Man
The solitary figure who stared down the barrel of a tank in Tiananmen Square has become an international symbol of courage and resistance. What happened to him—and his photographer? British playwright Lucy Kirkwood imagines the life of Joe Schofield (a fictional stand-in for the journalists who photographed Tank Man), a photographer becomes obsessed with tracking down his subject after learning that he may now be living in the U.S. Thursday, March 31 to Sunday, April 17. $24–$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E., canadianstage.com.
A solo marathon with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour
The guitarist tours Canada for the first time in a decade to support his recent solo album, Rattle That Lock. It’s a humbler, quieter record than those of his heyday, but it still showcases Gilmour’s singular talents—effortless guitar licks and extended solos—in the jazzy, contemplative “The Girl in the Yellow Dress” and grooving progressions of “Today.” Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1. $70–$160. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., ticketmaster.ca.
Disgraced, a tightly wound play about cosmopolitan Islam
Amir downplays his Muslim heritage to bolster his law career; his artist wife, Emily, incorporates Islamic themes into her work. When they host another couple for a dinner party at their Upper East Side apartment, the polite conversation quickly broaches religion and politics, tightly wound tempers explode and accusations of extremism are made. The play won Pakistani-American playwright Ayad Akhtar the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2013 and sold out theatres in Chicago, London and New York with its tense, swift script. Sunday, April 3 to Sunday, April 17. $39–$89. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., mirvish.com.
A Moneyball screening with producer Rachael Horovitz
Somewhere between the dizzying stats and (literal) inside baseball of Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball, American film producer Rachael Horovitz saw the makings of a blockbuster film. She bought the rights in 2003, added a pinch of Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill and, voilà, an Oscar contender was born. At this screening, part of TIFF’s Books on Film series, Horovitz will share stories and challenges of adapting the dense, numbers-driven book into a silver-screen hit. Monday, March 28. $35. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.
A collection of photorealistic art by Nathan Birch
Birch’s acrylic landscapes could be mistaken for photographs. His diptychs depict natural British Columbian settings—Myra Falls, Strathcona Provincial Park, Chesterman Beach (above)—with startlingly convincing realism. The beauty is in the details: shadows over snow-covered fields, billowing clouds atop placid lakes and the white-crested waves of rushing waters. Prices available upon request. Saturday, April 2 to Saturday, April 23. Mira Godard Gallery, 22 Hazelton Ave., godardgallery.com.
A dark, experimental rap set from Pusha T
New York’s Pusha T (real name Terrence Thornton) rose through the ranks of rap by collaborating with other artists: performing with his brother, No Malice, as half of the hip-hop duo Clipse; swapping verses with Kanye West on the 2010 song “Runaway”; featuring Rick Ross on his tracks. Thornton’s dark, experimentally produced cuts—as featured on his highly anticipated new record, King Push—deftly detail his disillusionment with rap stardom and his days as a drug dealer. Saturday, April 2. $42.50–$60.25. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., ticketmaster.ca.
A concert from the world’s coolest organist, Cameron Carpenter
Sartorially, he’s a post-punk Liberace, complete with showy shoes and a sculptor’s approach to hairstyling. But the composer, transcriber and flamboyant performer is nonetheless a serious musician: he’s the first organist to be nominated for a solo-album Grammy. In this performance, he plays a digital instrument he designed himself: the International Touring Organ, which features five keyboards and a pedal board. Friday, April 1. $35–$75. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., rcmusic.ca.
The Death of the King, a historical courtroom drama
Fleeing Arab invaders, Yazdgird III, the last king of Persia, seeks refuge in a flour mill. After his mysterious demise, an army commander sentences an impoverished miller, his wife and his daughter to death for the king’s murder. This ancient courtroom drama by Iranian heavyweight Bahram Beyzai takes place at their trial as the family re-enacts its final interactions with the king and fights for survival. Tuesday, March 29 to Sunday, April 10. $25. The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W., theatrecentre.org.