The Weekender: International Festival of Authors, Operanation and six more items on our to do list
1. LG FASHION WEEK
Some of the city’s more fashionable citizens have been accumulating this year behind Roy Thomson Hall to check out what’ll be big next spring from the likes of Pink Tartan, Bustle, Cynthia Rowley and the eminently wearable Joe Fresh. The most high-style week of the year (or one of two, at least) wraps up on Friday with shows by David Dixon and Denis Gagnon. To October 21. Various prices. David Pecaut Square (formerly Metro Square), King St. W. between John and Simcoe streets, lgfashionweek.ca.
2. INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS
Once again it’s storytime for grownups (and very precocious children) at Harbourfront. Big-name writers like Michael Ondaatje, Miriam Toews, Johanna Skibsrud and Douglas Coupland will be taking part in panels, book signings and, most importantly, readings at this 12-day literary fest. To October 30. $10-$35. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, readings.org.
3. OPERANATION 8: A MUSE BALL
This year’s fundraising gala for the Canadian Opera Company’s COC Ensemble Studio, a training program for aspiring opera singers, is all about artistic inspiration. The tortured singer-songwriter–cum–opera composer Rufus Wainwright is the extra-special musical guest; expect his signature baroque pop sound, lots of dancing and copious references to great muses, past and present. October 21. $150. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
4. TORONTO ZOMBIE WALK (FREE!)
This five-kilometre stroll is not like other walks that take place in the city from time to time. Lycra rarely makes an appearance, for one thing, and there’s more shambling, ragged clothing and faux decomposition. Registration required. October 22. Trinity Bellwoods Park, torontozombiewalk.ca.
5. TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL
For those seeking to get in the Halloween spirit in a less participatory fashion (i.e. costumes not required), this annual shiver-inducing fest is key. Zombies appear on the lineup, naturally, with the world premiere of Marko Makilaakso’s War of the Dead. Also on offer this weekend, Father’s Day, a very, very violent tale of a vigilante on the hunt for a serial killer, and Redline, a seven-years-in-the-making anime featuring a psychotic cross-planetary death race. To October 27. Screenings $13, gala screenings $15. Toronto Underground Cinema, 186 Spadina Ave., 647-992-4335, torontoafterdark.com.
6. HOW TO SUCCEED: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO DES MCANUFF
Stratford Shakespeare Festival artistic director Des McAnuff gets the tribute show treatment with this fundraising concert for, naturally, the Des McAnuff Scholarship Awards at Ryerson’s theatre school. The show features performances of songs from McAnuff-directed hits Jesus Christ Superstar, Jersey Boys and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. October 23. $50, gala tickets $150. Koerner Hall, The Royal Conservatory, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208, rcmusic.ca.
7. LES COQUETTES PRESENT CABARET ENCHANTÉ
Most people know that the original versions of fairy tales collected by the Grimm brothers et al. aren’t quite as warm and fuzzy as the more popular retellings—blood and gore and horrible endings for innocent children were pretty common. Just keep that in mind when taking in this cabaret burlesque show from Les Coquettes. “Beloved fairy tale characters” make up the cast, but expect the darker sides of their stories to emerge. October 23 to 30. $15–$30. Revival, 783 College St., 1-877-821-7803, lescoquettes.com.
8. MICHAEL JACKSON: THE IMMORTAL WORLD TOUR
Highly anticipated and only in town for a very short run, this Michael Jackson tribute incorporates some of the King of Pop’s most well-known and loved songs and Cirque du Soleil’s terrifying acrobatics. It’s also set in the “fantastical realm” of Jackson’s “inner world” which, frankly, sounds just as scary. We can’t wait. October 21 to 23. $50–$175. Air Canada Centre, 50 Bay St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.