The Weekender: Harlem Globetrotters, Bugs Bunny and six more distractions
1. HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS
This long-running exhibition team—they celebrate their 85th anniversary this year—may have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves (think ball-handling skills and buckets of confetti), but they play to win. And win they do; according to their records, they’ve lost only 345 of their 25,000-plus games. One can only hope their three-game stint in the city this weekend inspires the Raptors to strive for a 98 per cent success rate. April 8 and 9. $15–$195. Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
2. BUGS BUNNY AT THE SYMPHONY
These days, kids are all about Yo Gabba Gabba and The Backyardigans, but we’re betting the audience at this Looney Tunes-inspired concert will be full of nostalgic young parents introducing their kids to classical music with a little help from a wascally wabbit. April 9. $34.90–$64.90. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
3. KEEP TORONTO READING FESTIVAL (FREE!)
A month-long celebration of reading, this literature festival includes panels, readings and even a book exchange where people can swap reading material with local celebs, such as Shawn Micallef, sex columnist Sasha and Buck 65. April 1–30. Various locations, torontopubliclibrary.ca/ktr.
4. TOY WONDER (FREE!)
At some point, every child believes that their toys come to life when they sleep, which explains the appeal of this month-long exhibit that is wrapping up this weekend. Four Toronto toy designers behind some popular playthings—Spin Master, Brothers Dressler, Monster Factory, Fidoodle—give fans a peek at their favourite toys from now and yesteryear. To April 9. Design Exchange, 234 Bay St., 416-363-6121, dx.org.
5. SPROCKETS TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FOR CHILDREN
This festival may be kid-themed, but there will still be something for everyone to enjoy. This Saturday, we’re definitely making time for Soul Boy, a Kenya-Germany co-production that follows a teenage boy who’s trying to track down the witch who’s taken his father’s soul. April 5 to 17. $8.50–$12. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433, sprockets.ca.
6. ALEX CUBA
Cuban-born singer-songwriter Alex Cuba doesn’t do stereotypes. His style is more pop-based than Buena Vista Social Club, and his sound is an eclectic mix of funk, rock and soul. Cuba’s collaborations are so good (he’s worked with Ron Sexsmith, Corinne Bailey Rae and Nelly Furtado), but we’re not-so-secretly glad this show is all about Alex. April 9. $34.50. Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Building, 250 Front St. W., 416-872-4255, roythomson.com.
7. THE ANIMALS ARE PLANNING AN INTERVENTION and IMPACT
This shared dance program might have a vaguely silly name, but the themes within each dance are serious. In choreographer Lucy Rupert’s piece, which incorporates an original score by Sarah Slean, the focus is on forest-dwelling wildlife whose habitats are being destroyed. The other piece on the program, a solo work by Marc Boivin, looks at the ways in which humans communicate. April 7 to 9. $33.50. Enwave Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4600, harbourfrontcentre.com.
8. TORONTO BAKES FOR JAPAN
A grassroots event organized by local food bloggers Heena and Niya, Toronto Bakes draws inspiration from school bake sales. Pastry chefs, bakeries and regular folks are donating baked goods, and venues like Evergreen Brick Works, the Rivoli and Café Diplomatico are selling them to raise money for relief efforts in Japan. April 9 to 10. Various locations, tiffintales.com/bake-for-japan.
UPDATE: The Toy Wonder event is, in fact, free—not $10 as previously reported. Torontolife.com regrets the error.