The Weekender: Liza Minnelli, Día de los Muertos and six other events on our to-do list

The Weekender: Liza Minnelli, Día de los Muertos and six other events on our to-do list
La Liza, Día de los Muertos candy skulls and Sahr Ngaujah as Fela Kuti

1. LIZA MINNELLI La Liza, one of the world’s few EGOT winners (that’s Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony), takes the stage this weekend for a one-night-only roundup of the biggest hits from her decades-long career—and, with any luck, a reprise of her cover of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” from Sex and the City 2. Oct. 28. $59.50–$199.50. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255,

2. DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS AT EVERGREEN BRICK WORKS (FREE!) While this is the season for spooky, it’s not all haunted houses and black cats. Take, for example, the Day of the Dead. Closely tied to the Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, this Mexican holiday is a time for honouring loved ones who have passed away. The Brick Works incorporates traditional elements of el Día de los Muertos, like decorated altars, candy skull making, Mexican folk music and a craft workshop. Oh, and for $5 you can judge a churro competition featuring Cava’s Chris McDonald, Frida’s José Haddad and five other chefs. Oct. 29. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave.,

3. A NIGHTMARE ON LIBERTY STREET Call it trick-or-treating for grown-ups—this pub crawl raises money for Project Connect, a joint initiative of Habitat for Humanity and Softchoice that provides computers to needy families. But do-gooding aside, it’s also a chance to dress up, have a snack and libation, and dance and win prizes for your awesome Kim Kardashian costume at the official after-party. Oct. 28. $20. Liberty Village,

4. ART TORONTO 2011 At this year’s Art Toronto, Kent Monkman has an interactive maze of an exhibit called the Art Game, full of double-sided mirrors and fake doors. There’s also a series of exclusive Edward Burtynsky prints for sale and a solo show of Chuck Close works. Upwards of 100 galleries from here and abroad have contributed exhibits, not to mention the tours, installations, film screenings and solo showings. Oct. 28 to 31. $18. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, 255 Front St. W.,

5. THRILLER HALLOWEEN WORKSHOP It’s not Halloween unless you’re dressed up as a ghoulie or ghostie and doing some only-slightly-flailing choreography to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Dancers at all levels are invited to learn the moves from the iconic video. And while it might not be everyone’s definition of a perfect All Hallow’s Eve, we don’t judge how you celebrate holidays, and we’d appreciate a similar courtesy. Oct. 30. $10. Dovercourt House, 2nd Floor, 805 Dovercourt Rd.,

6. FRIGHT NIGHTS: GUILLERMO DEL TORO DOES HALLOWEEN Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro knows scary—in addition to directing his fair share of unnerving flicks (like the beautifully creepy Pan’s Labyrinth), he’s also the author of two vampire novels, The Strain and The Fall. The horror connoisseur has chosen some of his favourite scary movie picks for this screening series: The Innocents, Black Sabbath, L’arcano incantatore and two of his own films, Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone. Oct. 27 to 30. $12. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W.,

7. FELA! This high-energy show is the musical equivalent of a biopic about Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, who introduced Afrobeat music to the world at large and was a lifelong activist. Produced by Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith and directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, it was a hit with the celeb contingent in New York (The Roots’ Questlove is a fan, Spike Lee reportedly saw it eight times and everyone from Oprah to Sting has been spotted at performances). In addition to racking up hit albums, Kuti racked up hundreds of beatings and arrests for his continued defiance of the corrupt military regimes of his homeland. To Nov. 6. $35–$130. Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria St., 416-872-1212,

8. ABSOLUTELY VINTAGE CLOTHING SALE (FREE!) Vintage mavens Victoria Dinnick (Leslieville’s Gadabout), Leslie Zysman (Cabbagetown’s Eclectisaurus), dealer Angela McCool and June Troy of the Toronto Vintage Clothing and Textile Show are joining forces—and inventories—for this huge sale. Men’s and women’s clothing, jewellery, accessories, textiles and other bits and bobs from the 1890s to the 1970s are on offer. Oct. 29. Maple Cottage, 62 Laing St., 416-463-1254,

(Image: Minnelli, Joella Marano; skulls, Glen Van Etten; Ngaujah, Tristram Kenton)


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