The Weekender: Winterlicious, Come Up To My Room and six other items on our to-do list
It seems like every culinary event these days has “licious” tacked onto the end, but it’s this semi-annual fest that started it all. Back in the tourism-light days of 2003 (thank SARS, bird flu and 9/11), the city wrangled 36 restaurants into offering up super-affordable prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. It was enough to get even the city’s non-foodies to surrender to alimentary obsession every now and again—“now” being the next two weeks for Winterlicious and “again” being another two weeks in July for the summertime version. Cue the competitive reservation making, complaints about tipping and overtired kitchen staff. Check out this year’s best bets here. Jan. 27 to Feb. 9. toronto.ca/winterlicious.
2. GOYA AND GILLRAY: HUMOUR THAT BITES
Poking fun at the ruling elite is a favourite pastime for smart alecks across the world—it has been for centuries and continues unabated to this day (see exhibit A). But it hasn’t always been easy to mock our elected leaders—take Spanish painter Francisco de Goya, for example, who produced a series of satirical miniatures, Los Caprichos, only to be forced into removing them from the public eye after threats of arrest. In this AGO exhibit, Goya’s paintings are on display alongside prints by an English contemporary, James Gillray. Unlike Goya, the English enthusiastically took to Gillray’s work (they’re so snarky), so it’s interesting to note the similarities between works created in two completely different political landscapes. To April 15. $19.50. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648, ago.net.
3. COME UP TO MY ROOM
It’s a very design-oriented week in Toronto. In addition to the Interior Design Show (see number 6), it’s also time for the Gladstone’s annual alt-design exhibition, Come Up to My Room. Artists and designers—11 this year, including Gareth Bate, Wendy W. Fok, Sam Mogelonsky and Bruno Billio—get free reign to create an art installation in a room on the second floor. Also on offer: talks, 14 public space installations and the (free!) Love Design party on Saturday. Jan. 27 to 29. $10. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635, comeuptomyroom.com.
4. CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
Part drama and part musical theatre, this oft-awarded play (it’s picked up a Tony, Olivier and Obie, among other awards) follows an African-American woman working as a maid to a Jewish family in 1963 Louisiana. Set in the midst of the American civil rights movement, it’s an intensely personal exploration of race relations and human dignity. To Feb. 12. $35–$45. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., 416-368-3110, canstage.com.
5. FASHIONISTA! FASHION AS ART
Consider this the classiest fashion show ever. Models walk the runway in Toronto designer Rosemarie Umetsu’s most recent designs to a soundtrack of Ernest Chausson’s Concerto in D, Galina Ustvolskaya’s Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano and Canadian composer Alice Ping Yee Ho’s Breath of Fire, all performed by the Amici Chamber Ensemble, guest violinist Lara St. John and the Cecilia Quartet. But the collaboration goes even deeper than performance—Umetsu, who studied piano at the Royal Conservatory before making the jump to the fashion world, actually designed each piece with this performance in mind. Jan. 29. $45. Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Building, 250 Front St. W., 416-872-4255, amiciensemble.com.
6. INTERIOR DESIGN SHOW
Even if home ownership/renovation adventures are still a far-off goal, wandering through this annual home decor trade show can still be helpful. It’s a great place to get inspiration for an Oprah-style vision board, for one thing. And you might spot boldface names of the design variety (think MoCo Loco favourite Karim Rashid, who is DJing the opening night party, interior designer Brian Gluckstein or architect Piero Lissoni). Plus, there are all sorts of cool things to see, courtesy of international players like Missoni Home and Audi, and indie designers from home and abroad like Toronto’s Tahir Mahmood and Heidi Earnshaw. Jan. 26 to 29. $22. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, 255 Front St. W., interiordesignshow.com.
7. CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE: THE BEATLES
It’s unlikely the world will ever get another Beatles concert (duh), but this concert by Toronto-based collective Classic Albums Live is the next best thing. The ensemble strives to recreate albums (instead of covering them) by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and, of course, the Beatles with total precision—or, as they put it, “note for note, cut for cut.” This show covers 1965’s Rubber Soul and 1966’s Revolver. Jan. 27. $39.50–$49.50. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255, roythomson.com.
This contemporary dance experience has a big theme behind it: time. Starting with the Big Bang—a concept that has parallels in Hindu cosmology—Indo-Canadian choreographer Janak Khendry explores how life on Earth is connected to time, be it through seasons, shifts between day and night or “the end.” Based on Khendry’s 50-plus-year dance career, expect a fusion of bharatanatyam, kathak, manipuri, sattriya and modern dance styles. Jan. 26 to 28. $31.50–$38.50. Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.