Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of February 8–10

Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of February 8–10

Fran Lebowitz appears in conversation with Jian Ghomeshi this Friday at Massey Hall (Image: courtesy of Fran Lebowitz)

In this edition of The Weekender: a Chinese New Year festival, the queen of Italian-American cuisine and three more things to do in Toronto.

1. Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata
For this 90-minute song cycle, Vancouver singer-composer Veda Hille and CBC host Bill Richardson took actual Craigslist postings and set them to music. The result is alternately humorous (“Need Sarah Palin look-alike for adult film”) and poignant (the Missed Connections), as the show’s central theme slowly emerges: the desire to connect in an increasingly virtual world. $35–$47. To March 3. Factory Theatre, 416-504-9971,

2. Lidia, Live on Stage
Lidia Bastianich’s an Italian-American culinary dynamo: she’s a TV chef, a cookbook author, a restaurateur and, most recently, co-founder of the popular New York Italian grocery Eataly. She brings her unique stage show—part cooking demonstration, part food-tinged live memoir, part Q&A—to Toronto on Sunday. $114-$352. February 10. Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, 1-855-985-5000,

3. Yo La Tengo
Hoboken, New Jersey–based trio Yo La Tengo have mellowed a little over 30-plus years of making indie rock; but they’ve also become masters of a certain kind of slow-burning, fuzzed out romanticism (it helps to have a married couple at the core of the group). $25. February 9. Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St., 416-323-1251,

4. CIBC LunarFest (FREE!)
Harbourfront rings in the Chinese Year of the Snake with this weekend-long family-friendly festival. Expect a traditional lion dance, an interactive lantern maze, a musical performance by the genre smashing Chai Found Music Workshop and a tutored tasting of five different kinds of dumplings. February 8–10. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000,

5. Fran Lebowitz
This conversation between sharp-tongued New York wit Fran Lebowitz and Jian Ghomeshi was originally scheduled for early November until Hurricane Sandy intervened ($1 of each ticket sale is going to be donated to the Red Cross). Despite a decade-long writer’s block, Lebowitz remains a compelling, if intimidating, live speaker. Good luck, Jian! February 8. $17.50–$57.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255,