A night with Fran Lebowitz, Record Store Day and six other things to see, do, hear and read this week
A Fran of many words
1More than 40 years after her comic essays shot her into the spotlight, Fran Lebowitz has remained one of America’s most beloved public wits—and the absurdities of the Trump era have only increased her profile as a sharp-tongued commentator. In a rare Toronto appearance arranged by the Koffler Centre of the Arts, the modern-day Dorothy Parker will take part in a wide- ranging onstage conversation with The Current host Anna Maria Tremonti. A Q&A will follow for anyone who dares to match wits with the master. Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22. $50. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
Earth Day with Jane Goodall
2The world’s most famous primatologist returns to Toronto to mark Earth Day. Jane Goodall, who celebrated her 83rd birthday in Rosedale, will tell the story of her long career in conservation and wildlife protection, and share her insights on how activism and consumer action can create a better world. Sunday, April 22. $47–$130. University of Toronto, Convocation Hall.
A green weekend at the Gladstone
3Environmentalism and art converge at Grow Op 2018, a horticultural design festival that takes over all four floors of the Gladstone this week. More than 30 installations tackle the world’s most pressing climate issues. Plus, five days of artist talks, a clothing swap, a food fest and an Earth Day flea market. Wednesday, April 18 to Sunday, April 22. $10. Gladstone Hotel.
A vinyl lover’s Christmas
4There’s more to Record Store Day than discounts and crowds. Discover up-and-coming local artists at Sonic Boom, which has in-store performances by Sydanie, Wlmrt, Obuxum and others. Further east, Tiny Record Shop welcomes Nefe, Tallies, Maddee, Jaunt and Charlotte Cornfield. Saturday, April 21. Various locations.
A double-trouble hospital drama
5The old mistaken-identity routine gets a cultural twist in the lightning-paced, light-hearted comedy Prairie Nurse. When a pair of young Filipina nurses arrive at a hospital in small-town Saskatchewan in the late 1960s, they sow confusion among the all-white staff who can’t tell them apart—including a hunky, hockey-playing lab technician who isn’t sure which one he’s fallen for. Toronto playwright Marie Beath Badian took inspiration from her mother’s own experiences as an immigrant nurse to write this rural farce. Saturday, April 21 to Sunday, May 13. $20–$50. Factory Theatre.
A two-for-one film talk with Deepa Mehta and Alanis Obomsawin
6On April 18, National Canada Film Day brings special screenings of landmark Canadian films to theatres across the country. In Toronto, the day’s biggest highlight is a live conversation between two of the country’s most influential auteurs: Academy Award nominee Deepa Mehta and groundbreaking Indigenous documentarian Alanis Obomsawin. The duo will discuss their journeys as political, female filmmakers in the Canadian ecosystem. Wednesday, April 18. $15. Al Green Theatre.
A tumultuous teen drama
7When a nude photo of a student goes viral, it shreds her reputation and puts friendships on the line. In the hard-hitting drama Girls Like That, Toronto-born, London-based playwright Evan Placey ventures into today’s high schools to take an unflinching look at the power of social media and sexism in adolescent culture. Already an award winner in Europe, the play makes its eagerly awaited Canadian debut at the Tarragon. Tuesday, April 17 to Sunday, May 27. $30–$55. Tarragon Theatre.
A Prince double bill
8Reacquaint yourself with the towering talent of His Royal Badness at the Royal’s Prince double feature. Purple Rain features The Artist at his most iconic, but the real attraction here is a 35mm screening of Sign o’ the Times, the 1987 concert film that captures the Purple One at his peak. Saturday, April 21. $20. The Royal.