The Weekender: a new AGO exhibit, the Santa Claus parade and seven other things on our to-do list
1. SANTA CLAUS PARADE (FREE!)
Before hunkering down on a camping chair, blanket or curb to eagerly await the man in red this Sunday, get into the spirit early with face painting, music and a free breakfast. Seriously, sitting in the cold for hours on end? You’ll need to keep your strength up. Nov. 21. Yonge-Dundas Square, thesantaclausparade.com.
Though they’re very different stories, we can’t help but compare Anusree Roy’s Roshni, the follow-up to her Dora Award–winning Pyaasa, to another story about Indian orphans who beg, pickpocket and yearn for a better life. Something tells us Roy’s take on the Calcutta orphan trope will be slightly more realistic than Danny Boyle’s, though. Nov. 18 to Dec. 11. $30–$35. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace, 16 Ryerson Ave., 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.ca.
3. MLS CUP FINAL
So the Toronto FC didn’t make it to the finals this year. That’s OK. Good soccer fans will still be heading down to Liberty Village for the Toronto-hosted big game (Dallas vs. Colorado). Great soccer fans will be there early for the pre-game festivities, which include a free concert by Canuck rock legend Matt Good. Nov. 21. $60.25–$200.25. BMO Field, 170 Princes Blvd., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
4. SARAH HARMER
Sarah Harmer hasn’t put out a studio album in five years. In music time, that’s like a quarter of a century, but the indie darling still rocks. This weekend’s performance is a rare chance to see her at the city’s best music venue. Nov. 20. $32.50–$42.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com.
5. MAHARAJA: THE SPLENDOUR OF INDIA’S ROYAL COURTS
In India, where people have a serious appreciation of bright colours and bling, royalty went above and beyond to impress. Visitors to the AGO’s newest exhibit will be awestruck at the hundreds of paintings, tapestries, weapons, jewellery and even a throne from the country’s maharajas on display. Bonus: visitors 25 and younger get in free, except during the holidays (Dec. 24 to Jan. 2). Nov. 20 to April 3, 2011. $22. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648, ago.net/maharaja-exhibition.
6. THE IMPRESARIO
This one-act opera, written by Mozart and sung in English, is sort of like Glee for history buffs. Like a 16th-century Rachel Berry and Mercedes Jones, two divas (Anna Bateman and Ada Balon) go song-to-song in a competition to win the favour—and backing—of a famous impresario (Ash Catherwood). Nov. 19. $20. Bread and Circus, 299 Augusta Ave., breadandcircus.ca.
7. CHEF’S CHALLENGE: THE ULTIMATE BATTLE FOR A CURE
Not just anyone can be a spectator at this fundraising foodie event. At this benefit to support research for breast and ovarian cancers at Mount Sinai, the participants—50 amateur chefs who create a three-course menu that will be judged by the likes of David Rocco, Mark McEwan and Lynn Crawford—are the top fundraisers, while the audience is made up of 450 others who raised money. Nov. 20. $2,500. The Carlu, 444 Yonge St., chefschallengeforacure.com.
8. SWEDISH CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL (FREE!)
For the Christmas-celebrating Torontonian, there’s just over a month until the big day. For some, that’s plenty of time. We, on the other hand, are list makers and procrastination avoiders. We’ll be stashing the kids at the Christmas Workshop (they’ll make Swedish crafts and bake gingerbread) and getting started on our shopping at this annual holiday fest. Nov. 20 and 21. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
9. THE EVERYTHING TO DO WITH SEX SHOW
With appearances by porn stars, Penthouse Pets of the Year and pinups, plus performances by burlesque babes of all stripes, a visit to this annual show promises to titillate and (thanks to seminars on oral sex, lap dancing and sex toys) educate the masses. Nov. 19 to 21. $25. Direct Energy Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd., toronto.everythingtodowithsex.com.