A new Second City revue, a gorgeous photography show and seven other things to see, do, hear and read this week
A landmark photo show
1Toronto-based artist Joshua Jensen-Nagle transforms familiar scenes into otherworldly vistas through his vivid, sun-bleached photography. He’s best known for his beach landscapes that turn distant shores into soothing expanses of teal and white. In his new exhibition, Dreams and Journeys, he brings his signature style to more politically and culturally charged territory. He perched his camera atop a 14-foot-tall tripod outside landmarks in cities like Paris (the Louvre, Notre Dame), Rome (the Pantheon), Jerusalem (Western Wall), Siena (the Siena Cathedral) and Venice (Piazza San Marco, pictured) to capture the visual beauty of the sites and their relationships with the tourists who visit them. Saturday, April 14 to Saturday, April 28. Bau-Xi Photo.
A side-splitting Second City revue
2The improv company’s 81st mainstage revue, The Best Is Yet to Come Undone, aims right for 2018’s messed-up zeitgeist. The troupe tackles Washington, microaggressions, the #MeToo movement and more with traditional Second City irreverence in this comic tour through the Trump era. Opens Monday, April 9. $27. The Second City.
A big-hearted Broadway hit
3Fun Home may be set in a funeral home, but this quirky musical is all about the joys, pains and mysteries of living. Basedon Alison Bechdel’s coming-of-age graphic memoir, Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s funny, tear-jerking 2013 show follows a young woman as she discovers her sexual identity and reconnects with her estranged, enigmatic father. A five-time Tony winner—and the very first Broadway musical to feature a lesbian protagonist—Fun Home is being produced here for Mirvish by the adventurous Musical Stage Company (Onegin, Life After). Friday, April 13 to Sunday, May 6. $39–$99. CAA Theatre.
John Cleese’s hopeless comedy
4Nearly 50 years after he co-created the most important sketch-comedy show of all time, John Cleese reinvents himself as a political comedian. The Fawlty Towers star and ex-Python sounds off on the modern world in a wide-ranging monologue ominously titled “Why There Is No Hope.” Monday, April 9. $50–$275. Roy Thomson Hall.
A symphonic switcheroo
5The COC restages Robert Lepage’s The Nightingale and Other Short Fables, which earned acclaim in 2009 for its topsy-turvy staging: the musicians are onstage, while the singers and dancers perform in a water-filled orchestra pit. The show is a Stravinsky compilation of Russian fables with no narrative through line—expect nonsense rhymes, peasant folk songs, a song cycle about cats and Southeast Asian puppetry. The Nightingale, the longest piece, is a fairy tale about a Chinese emperor saved from death by the bird’s voice, featuring the ravishingly voiced soprano Jane Archibald as the wondrous warbler. Friday, April 13 to Saturday, May 19. $35–$350. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Hot Docs’ greatest hits
6Hot Docs celebrates its 25th anniversary with screenings of five of the festival’s best flicks. The retrospective starts this week with 2001’s S.P.I.T., a classic portrait of Montreal’s Squeegee Punk subculture, followed by Trembling Before G-d, David and Me, The English Surgeon and a 10th-anniversary screening of the acclaimed rock-doc Anvil! The Story of Anvil. Screenings will include Skype and in-person Q&As (including with Anvil’s Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner). Monday, April 9 to Monday, April 23. $17. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
A theatrical marathon
7British dramatist Caryl Churchill is a bold social critic whose plays about feminism (Top Girls) and gender stereotypes (Cloud Nine) have become modern classics. Her 2012 epic, Love and Information, tackles our age of data overload and its impact on human relationships. The witty two-hour show, presented by Canadian Stage, caters to short attention spans: 57 byte-size plays performed by eight actors in more than 100 roles. Tuesday, April 10 to Sunday, April 29. $39–$69. Berkeley Street Theatre.
An off-the-wall Harlem Globetrotters outing
8The team that’s married comedy with sport for 92 years returns to Toronto. In the beloved squad’s latest tour, expect a family-friendly evening of shameless tomfoolery as the Globetrotters (spoiler alert) once again defeat their longtime rivals, the Washington Generals. Friday, April 13. $27–$115. Ricoh Coliseum.
A double-orchestra extravaganza
9Two orchestras are better than one at the TSO’s annual collaboration with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff will give a passionate interpretation of Alban Berg’s violin concerto, and musical director Kent Nagano will lead the musicians through Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7. Friday, April 13. $40.75–$154. Roy Thomson Hall.
Never Miss Another Great Event
An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the location shown in Joshua Jensen-Nagle's photograph.