The Weeknd’s homecoming, a Warhol retrospective and eight other things to do this week
The Weeknd’s rapturous homecoming concerts
Four years ago, Scarborough crooner The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) performed his first show in front of 600 people at the Mod Club. Now, he’ll sing for 20,000 at the ACC. A lot has happened in between. He wrote a tune for the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack, dropped a bestselling album and released the song of the summer: the inescapably joyful “Can’t Feel My Face.” Tesfaye’s warbling falsetto and hooky melodies have often drawn comparisons to Michael Jackson, but rather than rely on pyrotechnics, he casts his spell with moody lighting, a quivering crown of cockatiel dreads and that lusty voice. Tuesday, November 3 and Thursday, November 5. $39.50–$125. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., ticketmaster.com.
A career-spanning Andy Warhol exhibition
This retrospective, created in collaboration with Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum, documents the pop art pioneer’s obsession with stardom. It features his childhood scrapbook and fastidiously culled collection of portraits, along with plenty of his other work: the silkscreens, Polaroids, prints and films that transformed him from a chronicler of icons into an icon in his own right. To January 24. $13. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.
An Italian meal worthy of two Michelin stars
Chef Ernesto Iaccarino, of the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Don Alfonso 1890, pairs up with with Rob Gentile and his crew at Buca for this elegant dinner, one in a six-part dinner series presented by the King Street Food Company and Consulate General of Italy. Proceeds from the six-course meal will support George Brown College’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. Thursday, November 5. $300. Buca Osteria Bar, 53 Scollard St., kingstreetfood.com.
Reel Asian, an excellent alternative film festival
In a city saturated with film festivals—TIFF, Hot Docs and Inside Out, to name just three—this 19-year-old event stands out as a beacon of excellence in alternative cinema. By digging deep into the catalogue of works created by Asian filmmakers at home and abroad, the series offers a rare diversity of genres and directors that reaches far beyond what typically trickles down to North American audiences. Thursday, November 5 to Sunday, November 15. $10–$20. Various locations, reelasian.com.
The return of the foot-stomping musical Spoon River
Soulpepper’s 2014 smash is styled as a bluegrass funeral circa 1915: the stage is a moonlit forest of bare trees and headstones, filled with ghosts and townsfolk who’ve gathered to mourn the death of a young girl. The actors twang banjos onstage, billowing between elegy and exuberance as they examine the meaning of Midwestern life. Thursday, November 5 to Sunday, November 22. $29.50–$94. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., soulpepper.ca.
A Tanya Taylor trunk sale
Tanya Taylor, the Toronto-bred designer who regularly dresses big names like Beyoncé and Michelle Obama, is back in her hometown for a pop-up. Between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, attendees can pre-order her label’s spring 2016 collection before it hits stores and browse hundreds of previous seasons’ samples at discounts of up to 70 per cent. In other words, those who can’t drop $500 on a skirt can finally snag some chic, work-appropriate prints (like this pretty two-piece look or layered fall outfit). Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7. 8 Charlotte St., Suite 3405, tanyataylor.com.
A concert with Natalie Prass, one of 2015’s best breakthrough artists
The Nashville-based musician earned her cred singing backup vocals for Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis. In January, she dropped her stunning self-titled debut, a quirky nine-track collection that veers between brassy soul, baroque pop and achy-break country. With a voice that’s as airy as Feist’s and a knack for soulful songwriting (check out “Why Don’t You Believe in Me?”), Prass is sure to end up on more than a few best-of roundups. Friday, November 6. $17.50. Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., ticketfly.com.
A three-night Simon and Garfunkel cover marathon
Every year, Toronto’s Acting Up Stage Company rounds up a stellar cast of Broadway, Stratford and TV performers and lets them loose on the canon of a legendary duo: John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Sting and The Police, James Taylor and Carole King. This season, alt-country crooner Justin Rutledge, Canadian Idol champ Melissa O’Neill and more take on the tunes of Simon and Garfunkel with a musical theatre sensibility in three consecutive concerts. Tuesday, November 3 to Thursday, November 5. $32–$100. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., actingupstage.com.
A gut-busting buffet to support The Stop
On Wednesday, you can stuff yourself silly at the 11th annual edition of What’s on the Table, where 27 of Toronto’s top restaurants and food shops—including DaiLo, Richmond Station, Mamakas Tavern and the Tempered Room—will serve a virtually bottomless supply of superb apps and beverages. All proceeds support The Stop Community Centre’s anti-hunger programming. $300. Wednesday, November 4. Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. E., thestop.ca.
Eunoia, a cleverly conceptual dance production
Each chapter of Christian Bök’s poem Eunoia contains only one vowel, and each movement of Canadian choreographer Denise Fujiwara’s NextSteps dance adaptation mimics the approach: its performers initiate action only through specific body parts (e.g., in Chapter E, the chest and feet are allowed to move, but not the torso). The result is a highly inventive and effortlessly engrossing multimedia performance. Wednesday, November 4 to Sunday, November 8. $39. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W., harbourfrontcentre.com.