A circus spectacle, an evening with Rupi Kaur and five other thing to see, hear and do in Toronto this week
A circus spectacle
1In Cirque du Soleil’s latest acrobatic extravaganza, Corteo, a troupe of tumblers, clowns and ringmasters come together at a funeral for Mauro, a fallen creative comrade. But their mourning quickly turns into a celebration, with performers re-enacting his most meaningful moments from a life well lived. There’s little time for sorrow in this fast-paced spectacle, which treats birth, death and everything in between as part of the same joyous continuum. Wednesday, December 12 to Sunday, December 16. $70–$194. Scotiabank Arena.
A supernatural drama
2When a mysterious supernatural crisis sweeps the planet, society is forced to move underground. From the Water, a new science fiction thriller by Will King, weaves together the remarkable stories of a mother who refuses to leave her home out of fear, a group of doctors who have discovered the secret to cloning, and a scrappy young girl who sets out to save civilization in an attempt to highlight the extremes humans will go to in the face of terrifying circumstances. Wednesday, December 12 to Sunday, December 16. $17–$32. Tarragon Extraspace.
An evening under the stars
3Last year, Montreal’s Stars released their best album yet. There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light is earnest and romantic with hints of the self-proclaimed “pop song pepper spray” that lead singers Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell are known for. It’s also more refined than their previous albums, and each track has a confidence and emotional maturity that comes from nearly two decades of songwriting. Their new music is front and centre for their North American tour, but expect to dance along to some early 2000s favourites as well. Wednesday, December 12 and Thursday, December 13. $37–$42. The Danforth Music Hall.
A 17th-century holiday celebration
4The Toronto Consort, an ensemble specializing in medieval and renaissance music, brings cornetti, sackbuts and theorbos into the orchestral instrument mix. More festive than solemn, their holiday show is an imagined recreation of a Christmas vespers service directed by the 17th-century German composer Michael Praetorius, with music emanating from the balconies, as well as the stage. Later, the audience and band join forces to sing along to some early Christmas carols. Friday, December 14 to Sunday, December 16. $15–$79. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.
An intimate evening with Rupi Kaur
5Rupi Kaur was only 22 when she became a New York Times best-selling author. Her first collection of poems, Milk and Honey, sold more than 1.4 million copies—a figure unheard of for most first-time authors, and even rarer for poets. Now, she’s become a household name for younger generations. On her Canadian tour, she’ll stop off in Toronto to read work from her second collection, The Sun and Her Flowers. Saturday, December 15. $39–$75. Sony Centre.
An evening of acrobatic theatrics
6Quebec’s 7 Fingers company draws as much on its members’ personal histories as it does on their impeccable acrobatic skills. What started in 2002 as a group of seven circus performers has grown into a sprawling ensemble of artists, whose shows have toured all over the world. Their new production, Reversible, focuses on ancestry by taking a closer look at how each performer’s family has shaped his or her identity. Stories are told through a dramatic blend of theatre, circus and vivid imagery—like the haunting scene of a young woman fighting an arranged marriage as she struggles in the billowing waves of an enormous wedding gown. Tuesday, December 11 to Sunday, January 6. $69–$79. CAA Theatre.
A musical skate party on the waterfront
7December is ice rink season, and the Harbourfront’s DJ Skate Nights are the ideal time to pull out your best Tessa and Scott impersonations. Starting this Saturday, the Natrel Rink opens for free weekly skating against the scenic backdrop of Toronto’s waterfront. Opening week features music from Latin jazz duo La Rumba Buena and special guest Juana Go-gó. Saturday, December 15. Free. Harbourfront Centre.