The Weekender: Dan Deacon, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and six other events on our to-do list
1. ROYAL WOOD
With a name as smooth as his voice, Canadian crooner Royal Wood brings his signature debonair persona to his upbeat new album We Were Born to Glory. Wood’s wife Sarah Slean (whom we named, along with Wood, to our 2012 list of Toronto’s most stylish) provided accompanying vocals for the album’s final track “The Glory,” so with any luck, she’ll make an appearance onstage. November 10. $29.50–$39.50. Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 416-872-4255, roythomson.com.
2. ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
Alice falls down the rabbit hole again as the National Ballet of Canada remounts last year’s critically acclaimed show. The story is a mature and menacing adaptation of the classic Carroll, and even incorporates one dancer playing Lewis Carroll himself. Russian-born Elena Lobsanova makes her debut as the title character at the opening matinée, while principal Sonia Rodriguez dances the same role opening night. Greta Hodgkinson once again steps into the role of the devious Queen of Hearts. November 10 to 25. $25–$239. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595, national.ballet.ca.
3. DAN DEACON
Dan Deacon occupies a weird middle ground between high-concept academic electronic musician and all-out party rocker. Deacon prefers to set up in the middle of the audience, with his adoring fans clustered around him, dancing their faces off. He also takes audience participation past the usual hold-out-the-mic-for-people-to-sing-along trick; for this tour, he’s created a mobile app that lights up and plays sounds in sync with the live show. November 9. $16.88. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca.
4. FESTIVAL OF SMALLS (FREE!)
Face it: even though Shoppers Drug Mart has agreed to hold off on Christmas music, it’s getting to be the season of endless holiday shopping. This sale is a less stressful way of easing into it. Founded in 1993 by Lisa Diamond Katz and Shira Wood, Art Interiors endeavours to make original works of art accessible to everyone. With gift-sized pieces ranging from $55 to $250, there should be something within every holiday budget. November 10 to December 24. 446 Spadina Rd, Suite 203, 416-488-3157, artinteriors.ca.
5. LATVIAN RADIO CHOIR
Before heading off to their U.S. debut at the Lincoln Center, the internationally celebrated Latvian Radio Choir will join forces with 150 choristers chosen from universities across Canada for this epic one-time-only choral extravaganza. The program will feature Russian and Latvian classics—including Rachmaninov’s beloved Vespers—as well as two Canadian compositions. In honour of Remembrance Day, an excerpt of CBC Radio’s Afghanada will be read by actor Billy MacLellan. November 11. $20–$65. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208, soundstreams.ca.
6. THE ARSONISTS
This hysterical 1950s political satire about public and private morality stars Michael Ball as Biedermann, a businessman who can’t quite bring himself to suspect that the two hawkers who’ve weaselled their way into his attic could possibly be the arsonists who are setting fire to his town (their barrels of gasoline notwithstanding). Justin Rutledge, who collaborated with Michael Ondaatje on last year’s Divisadero, composed original songs for the production and will be performing them live with a full band. Previews run November 11 to 14; regular run until December 9. $24–$69. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
7. MARC-ANDRE HAMELIN AND THE TAKACS QUARTET
Marc-André Hamelin—with his unusually wide-ranging repertoire, fearsome intellect and superhuman technique—is the kind of pianist that other pianists go nuts for. He joins the distinguished Boulder, Colorado–based Takács Quartet this Saturday at Koerner Hall to tackle Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G Minor. The quartet will also perform works by Schubert and Britten. November 10. $45 –$65. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208, rcmusic.ca.
8. WHOLE LIFE EXPO 2012
The word “whole” evokes the notion of living a life that’s more natural and sustainable than the average person’s. The Whole Life Expo is a one-stop shop for those incorporating the label into their lifestyle, with more than 200 exhibitors showcasing everything from organic foods and supplements to personal growth programs and, um, geopathic stress eradication devices. Speakers will be presenting throughout the weekend on a variety of topics, like the use of superfoods to slow aging. November 9 to 11. $10–$15. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., 416-515-1330, wholelifeexpo.ca.