The Weekender: American Idiot, Canada’s Bridal Show and six other items on our to-do list
1. AMERICAN IDIOT
It’s been a while since The Who’s Tommy was given the musical theatre treatment, but fans of albums-cum-musicals are in luck, because Green Day’s American Idiot is in town (although we think it’d be better if Dookie were developed into a musical). Van Hughes, Jake Epstein and Scott J. Campbell star as a trio of disaffected suburban youth “searching for meaning in a post 9-11 world,” set to a steady soundtrack of Green Day hits that includes “21 Guns,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” To Jan. 15. $62–$180. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
2. CANADA’S TOP 10 FILMS OF 2011
Every December, TIFF rounds up a panel of movie pros (filmmakers, programmers and critics) and locks them in a room until they can come up with a list of the year’s 10 best Canadian films. All right, so it may not be exactly like Twelve Angry Men, but the panel—and its list—really does exist. The New Pornographers’ Blaine Thurier, filmmaker Patricia Rozema, Toronto Star critic Peter Howell and more have selected movies like A Dangerous Method, Hobo With a Shotgun and Take This Waltz. Catch them all at this screening series, which also includes Q&As, panel discussions and a short film program. To Jan. 15. $12. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.
3. DESIGN EXCHANGE AWARDS WINNERS EXHIBITION
The Design Exchange Awards shell out accolades to the most deserving of Canadian designers in industrial design, fashion, architecture, urban design and visual communications. The best 50 projects from designers across the country are featured in this exhibit, which also includes behind-the-scenes peeks at the creative process behind each project. Where else are you going to see a sports apparatus (the kootsu skateguard) featured alongside an actual six-block promenade (the Kitchener, Ont., revitalization project by IBI Group)? To Feb. 26. $10. Design Exchange, 234 Bay St., 416-363-6121, dx.org.
4. PINKALICIOUS: THE MUSICAL
This, ahem, colourful play, which is running simultaneously in Vaughan, is right up our alley. Based on a wildly popular kid lit series, it features the appropriately named Pinkalicious, a little girl who loves pink more than anything and can’t stop eating pink cupcakes (we’ve been there). Eventually her reckless ways catch up with her (duh) and poor Pinkalicious wakes up one morning with an extremely rosy complexion. The diagnosis? Pinkititis. Life’s grand at first, but eventually Pinkalicious has to find a way to get back to her usual skin tone. Sundays only to Jan. 29. $29.50–$39.50. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington Ave., 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
5. CANADA’S BRIDAL SHOW
Since our Facebook feed just about blinded us with photographic proof of all of those holiday engagements, we’d say this particular trade show is very timely. Fashion shows happening throughout the Metro Convention Centre will showcase beautiful gowns and vendors, and experts will be on hand to dish on tips and trends for future brides and grooms. For the bride on a budget, this is the perfect place to snag lots of discounts and deals. And with any luck, there will be cake tastings. Jan. 6 to 8. $15. Metro Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., canadasbridalshow.com.
6. DANCE DANCE PARTY PARTY
This dance party is pretty awesome. Part of a North America–wide movement to provide a space for female rump shakers, it’s ladies only and booze-free. All the better to minimize distractions from the most important thing: getting your dance on. In case the Sunday afternoon start time didn’t make it clear, this isn’t your usual club excursion. The dress code runs toward whatever you’re feeling, from leg warmers and capes to fluorescents. Jan. 8. $8. Mad for Dance Studio, 263 Adelaide St. W., ddpptoronto.wordpress.com.
7. NEXT STAGE THEATRE FESTIVAL
This five-year-old indie theatre fest, an offshoot of the annual Fringe, always delivers thoughtful, provocative shows, and this year is no exception. Our top picks: LOVESEXMONEY, about a girl who decides to sell her virginity online, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend; The Washing Machine, which stars Ronica Sajnani as Isabelle, a woman who returns to her Indian homeland after a lifetime in England, determined to drag her family’s plantation into modernity; and Living With Henry, a musical that tells the story of a man living with HIV, made even more poignant by the fact that the playwright, Christopher Wilson, is HIV-positive himself. To Jan. 15. $12–$15 per play. Factory Theatre Mainspace and Studio, 125 Bathurst St., 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com/nstf.
8. CONSTRUCTING UTOPIA: BOOKS AND POSTERS FROM REVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA, 1910–1940
This exhibit takes a designer’s perspective, juxtaposing Soviet propaganda—posters decrying the czarist autocracy, promoting various literacy campaigns, and even advertising state-approved events—with rare examples of avant-garde books from the same period, both of which had lasting and important effects on the country’s visual culture and design aesthetic. To Jan. 15. $19.50. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648, ago.net.