The Weekender: Ghosts, David Hockney’s Fresh Flowers and six other items on our to-do list
1. DAVID HOCKNEY’S FRESH FLOWERS
Pop artist David Hockney is back in Toronto with his latest exhibit, Fresh Flowers: Drawings on the iPhone and iPad, which showcases art made using a high-tech version of finger-painting. Hockney used the Brushes app on iPhone and iPad to create portraits, still-life drawings and landscapes—he began using the iPhone in 2008, emailing his friends paintings, which expanded to this exhibit of around 200 iPhone and iPad drawings displayed on multiple machines. Hockney will be emailing new images to each unit throughout the duration of the exhibit, so it will be like a whole new gallery show every time we attend. Oct. 8 to Jan. 1. $24. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8000, rom.on.ca.
2. HARBOURKIDS: MONSTER (FREE!)
We’re once again reminded that the summer is officially over: the last of Harbourfront’s Hot Spot fests for this year is this weekend, and this closing event promises a kid-friendly space focused on monsters. Little ones get to meet—and chase—the lead monster from the new Harbourfront play Monster Makers (opening Oct. 13), star in a monster movie of their own and build a DIY monster mask. Children prone to freak-outs may wish to stay home. Oct. 8 to 11. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
3. STEVE JAMES: DOCUMENTING DREAMS
Documentarian Steve James’ most famous film, the 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams, was the beginning of a career spent telling the stories of others. This weekend, TIFF Bell Lightbox will host a screening series that highlights four of his works: Hoop Dreams, about two high school kids in Chicago who hoped to make it into the NBA (it picked up a host of awards, including a Peabody); The Interrupters, about “violence interrupters” who intervene at gang- and drug-related standoffs, often at great risk to themselves; Reel Paradise, about what happened when indie filmmaker John Pierson moved his family to Fiji and took over a tiny movie theatre there; and Stevie, about James’s reunion with a young man he’d mentored through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Fans of the famous director can meet him, since he’ll be holding discussions on-site after various screenings. Oct. 6 to 9. $12. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.
4. EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY
Torontonians with a penchant for good music who aren’t that into Portishead can still catch a show this weekend: instrumental rockers Explosions in the Sky are hitting the stage with openers Wye Oak. Four years after releasing All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, the band is back on tour with their latest album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, entrancing audiences with their powerful post-rock sound. The concert bill is expertly curated, since Wye Oak makes the perfect preface to Explosions: dreamy folk rock to set the mood. Oct. 7. $25.50–$27. Ticketmaster, 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca.
5. HAWK WATCH FAMILY NATURE WALK (FREE!)
Consider this family-friendly event extreme bird watching: an experienced “nature interpreter” will guide you on an ornithological expedition through the savannah (no, really). Everyone from children to adults will be excited to spot raptors—birds of prey that include red-tailed and sharp-shinned hawks and turkey vultures—as they begin their annual fall migration (we hope—we don’t control the birds). Get a great view on “Hawk Hill,” the final destination of this bird-watching experience. Donations are welcomed. Oct. 8. High Park Forest School, highparknaturecentre.com.
Verdi’s 1851 tragedy returns to the COC stage with Quinn Kelsey and Lester Lynch sharing the title role. An adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Le Roi s’amuse (The King’s Fool), the story follows the Duke of Mantua (Dimitri Pittas and David Lomelí), who lives what some may call “the good life.” Sure, he’s a tad debauched and lacks any real morals, but he has a good time (which makes for great theatre). His jester, Rigoletto, aids the duke in his womanizing until his own daughter, Gilda (Ekaterina Sadovnikova and Simone Osborne), falls under his master’s spell. Naturally, all does not end well. To Oct. 22. $45–$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 416-363-8231, www.coc.ca.
7. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE LIVE TOUR
Dance fanatics young and old (and, er, the parents of those younger dance fanatics) will flock to the ACC this weekend to catch their favourite TV dance personalities shake, ball-change, krump and shimmy their way through the most popular routines of the season. We’re hoping for a repeat performance of just about any choreographed dance number that featured Sasha, especially the cool and creepy jazz routine she performed with Melanie. Oct. 9. $50.25–$60.25. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
Written in the late 1800s by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, this family drama contains no real ghosts—the play’s focus is the Alving family’s misfortunes, which on their own could certainly be considered haunting. Candid, sensational and intensely provocative, the play touches on morality and family values and includes a character suffering from inherited syphilis who is in love with his half-sister. Oct. 10 to Nov. 18. $28–$65. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., Bldg. 49, 416-866-8666,soulpepper.ca.