1. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
L.A. rockers Anthony, Flea, Chad and Josh (who replaced original guitarist John Frusciante in 2009, when he amicably split with the guys in favour of a solo career) are in town supporting their latest album, 2011’s I’m With You. Many songs in their 30-year career have been hits, garnering six Grammy wins and 60 million albums sold—though “Under the Bridge” is probably one of the better ones. April 27 and 28. $55–$75. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca.
2. ARTS AND FASHION WEEK
Arts and Fashion Week, Toronto Fashion Week’s edgier, alternative cousin, is a four-day extravaganza of photography exhibits, live music, installations and many trips down the 100-foot runway. Now in its seventh year, events are boundary-pushing and plentiful—The Dressing Room Project features installations and video projections from 12 artists, and is always a hit among attendees. To April 28. Day pass $35, weekly pass $75. 213 Sterling Road, fashionarttoronto.ca.
3. HOT DOCS
This documentary film fest is the biggest of its kind in North America. The event includes 189 films from 51 countries, hundreds of special guests and an internationally renowned reputation. Here are some must-see picks for this weekend: The Imposter, a Sundance favourite about a young man who disappears from his home in San Antonia, Texas, only to resurface almost four years later in Spain (or does he?); Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, which follows China’s infamous artist and activist; The Frog Princes, about a troupe of developmentally challenged actors who are staging an adaptation of The Frog and the Princess; and About Face: The Supermodels, a candid look at aging in the fashion industry, with interviews from Christy Turlington, Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova and Jerry Hall. To May 6. $14.50. Various locations, hotdocs.ca.
4. ITZHAK PERLMAN
Since his debut at Carnegie Hall (when he was 18!), world-famous violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman has played on the most prestigious stages in the world, for royalty (Queen Elizabeth II) and statesmen (U.S. President Barack Obama)—he’s even credited on Grammy-winning movie soundtracks, including Schindler’s List and Memoirs of a Geisha. This weekend, he hangs out with the TSO: He’ll discuss his career with TSO music director Peter Oundjian, and the duo will perform Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins and String Orchestra; and Perlman will conduct Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. April 28. $49–$179. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255, tso.ca.
5. COBA DANCE AND DRUM-A-THON
In honour of National Dance Week, dance company COBA is hosting a day-long celebration of the boogie, with lessons in Afro-Cuban, West African, hip hop and samba dance styles, plus drumming tutorials, massage therapy and refreshments (cause you’ll be working up a sweat). April 28. Single class $5, day pass $25. COBA Studios, 2444 Bloor St. W., 416-658-3111, cobainc.com.
6. UNDERGROUND REBEL BINGO
This top-secret event is really, well, top-secret. The venue won’t be announced until the day of—that’s why registration is required—and members of the club are tight-lipped. It’s all to protect the integrity of The Underground Rebel Bingo Club, a group of hardy partiers who meet in secret to play “Rebel Bingo,” a slightly more hardcore version of your grandma’s favourite pastime, where the numbers are incidental and enthusiasm wins the game. Players must be extra-polite at all times, which includes—but is not restricted to —curtseying, saluting and quaffing drinks with pinkie finger extended. We admit it sounds weird, but it also sounds like a lot of fun. April 27. $15. Secret location, rebelbingo.com.
7. INDIE WEDDING SHOW
Wedding season is almost upon us, which is made very clear by the abundance of Pinterest accounts sharing inspirational photos from backyard weddings. In order to find some real-life inspiration, we recommend checking out the Indie Wedding Show, co-hosted by The Drake and The Wedding Co. Independent vendors will have fascinators, cake toppers, stunning invitations and beautifully arranged table settings on display—and on offer—and their calendars are going to be on-site for those eager and ready to book. April 28. $10. Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042, thedrakehotel.ca.
8. PRISONER OF TEHRAN
Marina Nemat’s memoir, Prisoner of Tehran, is a harrowing tale of survival. Covering her time as a teenage political prisoner in Evin, the notorious Iranian prison, the book details her torture, rape and forced marriage to her interrogator. Several former Iranian political prisoners dispute her version of events, saying the book is more fiction than fact. And more recently, Canada Reads judge Anne-France Goldwater was even more prosaic, calling Nemat a liar on live TV. But the controversy does little to detract from this new theatrical adaptation’s impact. Starring Humber theatre grad Bahareh Yaraghi and directed by Maja Ardal, it jumps between Nemat’s imprisonment and the more innocent days before her arrest. To April 28. $30–$35. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.ca.