The Weekender: A Taste of Iceland, Canada Blooms and seven other things to do this weekend

The Weekender: A Taste of Iceland, Canada Blooms and seven other things to do this weekend

Canada Blooms offers a hint of spring this weekend (Image: Deborah) 

1. STOP FOR FOOD
Some of the city’s best restaurants—Amaya, The Harbord Room, Gilead Café—are participating in this year’s Stop for Food fundraiser, which is like Winterlicious with a social conscience. Restaurants offer prix fixe menus ($35 or $50 per person) to benefit anti-poverty organization the Stop Community Food Centre. To March 31. $35–$50. Various locations, thestop.org/event/01-mar-2010.

2. A MEMORY, A MONOLOGUE, A RANT AND A PRAYER
Co-edited by Eve Ensler, this show, like her famous Vagina Monologues, is a collection of stories about womanhood. And like its predecessor, this play looks at a darker side of femininity: violence against women. A slew of local talent performs pieces by Maya Angelou, Kathy Najimy and Michael Cunningham. March 20 and 21. $23. Buddies in Bad Times Cabaret, 12 Alexander St., vdaytoronto.com.

3. A TASTE OF ICELAND
Canada may be the true north strong and free, but we’re willing to give Iceland runner-up status. Reindeer is the star of a four-course menu ($42) from the Drake’s Anthony Rose and Iceland’s Thor Arinn Eggertsson, from the award-winning Orange Restaurant. Entertainment options include free concerts by Icelandic singer-songwriter Mugison, free screenings of Country Wedding and Reykjavik Rotterdam and an art installation by Hrafnhildur Arnardottir. To March 20. Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042, thedrakehotel.ca/iceland2010.

4. AN ITALIAN OPERA SPECTACULAR
Featuring arias and duets from Verdi (Un Ballo in maschera, Simon Boccanegra), Dvorak (Song to the Moon From Rusalka) and Tchaikovsky (Eugene Onegin), this concert is a must for classical lovers. A joint effort by Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra Radvanovsky, it’s also the first show in the duo’s North American tour, which will include performances at Montreal’s Place des Arts, as well as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. March 20. $65–$148.75. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255, roythomson.com.

5. CINÉ-SAMEDI
Mark the end of March break with this kid-friendly lineup of francophone shorts about growing up. J’veux un toutou (I Want a Dog), Christopher, je t’en prie, nettoie ta chambre! (Christopher, Please Clean Up Your Room) and La danse des brutes (Bully Dance) take on the highs and lows of getting older, a troubling prospect for the under-five set. March 20. Parents $5, children free. National Film Board Mediatheque, 150 John St., 416-973-3012, onf-nfb.gc.ca.

6. SNAP! 2010

Snap!, the AIDS Committee of Toronto’s annual “photographic fundraiser,” is two parts auction (one live, one silent), one part photo competition, one part cocktail reception and the all-around best way to see and be seen and support a worthwhile cause this weekend. March 21. $90. Canada’s National Ballet School, 400 Jarvis St., 416-340-8484, snap-toronto.com.

7. THE MONSTER UNDER THE BED
This funny play with a “grass is always greener” theme follows Ben, a little boy with a lot on his plate. His mom’s in a bad mood, his dad’s in the army, his BFF Vince is now his ex-BFF, and there’s a not-so-scary monster under his bed who’s trying to convince him to switch places for a while. Recommended for kids six and up, this is the North American premiere of the Kevin Dyer–penned show. To April 1. $10–$20. Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, 165 Front St. E., 416-862-2222, lktyp.ca.

8. CANADA BLOOMS
This week’s hint at springtime’s imminent arrival comes in the form of Canada Blooms. This year’s show is in a new location—all the better to accommodate the six acres of gardens. Don’t miss the seminars, workshops and demonstrations by such gardening experts as Mark Cullen, Jeff Lowenfels and Paul Zammit. To March 21. $18. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd., 416-447-8655, canadablooms.com.

9. QUEEN: IT’S A KINDA MAGIC
Seventies glam rockers Queen won’t be at Massey Hall this weekend, but this high-energy theatrical recreation of their 1986 It’s a Kinda Magic tour is as close to the real thing as it’s possible to get without a time machine. March 19. $62.95–$72.95. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com.