Back-to-back Alvvays shows, The Phantom of the Opera and seven other things to do this week
An Alvvays double header
“Adult Diversion,” the opening track from the Toronto fivesome’s self-titled album, is an apt descriptor for the band’s sound. Their lo-fi garage-pop aesthetic, with its jangly hooks and sing-along lyrics about crushes and heartbreak, is captivating enough to cast aside workaday worries and speak to the lovesick teenager inside us all. Pair that nostalgia with earworms like “Archie, Marry Me” and “Party Police” and it’s no mystery why Alvvays is Toronto’s most adored indie band. Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12. $16.50–$18.50. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., ticketmaster.com.
A 14-day food crawl
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: 10 dishes at 10 restaurants over two weeks. T.O.’s Finest’s Five-Dollar Food Crawl passport takes participants on a west-end food tour full of $5 deals, including a pizza at Queen Margherita, mini chicken and waffles at the Dirty Bird, and the tater tot–topped Finest Smash Bag at Junked Food Co. Monday, December 7 to Sunday, December 20. $10 per passport. Various locations, tofinest.com.
An extra-foggy Phantom of the Opera
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 rock opera follows Christine Daaé, a 19th-century chorus girl who becomes the unwitting obsession of a deformed genius (The Voice’s Chris Mann) hiding in the tunnels of a Parisian opera house. Phantom was never known for its subtlety, but this updated production by Cameron Mackintosh promises to be even more grandiose than usual: every performance uses more than 200 kilos of dry ice to flood the stage with fog. Tuesday, December 8 to January 23. $39–$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., mirvish.com.
A boisterous Born Ruffians gig
The four-piece band’s energetic indie rock deftly straddles the line between polished precision and pure chaos—and Luke Lalonde and co. are as frenzied onstage as they are on their albums. Here, they yelp through tracks from October’s Ruff, an album ripe for a room full of sweaty spectators, and fan favourites from their beloved first album, Red, Yellow and Blue. Friday, December 12. $20. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., ticketfly.com.
City of Craft, a Christmas shopper’s paradise
If Etsy took up residence in Toronto, the result would look something like this weekend-long vendor fair. The event features booths, workshops and installations from 50 artists and independent businesses whose crafts are kitschy and cool: silkscreened posters, cheeky greeting cards, one-of-a-kind jewellery and chunky knit cowls. The venue itself is a work of art too, decked out in elaborate handmade decor. Friday, December 11 to Sunday, December 13. $2. The Theatre Centre, 115 Queen St. W., cityofcraft.com.
Hitchcock/Truffaut, a movie geek’s dream doc
In 1962, François Truffaut convinced Alfred Hitchcock to agree to a weeklong interview. Hitchcock/Truffaut, a 2015 film by film critic Kent Jones, patches together original recordings of those conversations, weaving in interviews with the modern film directors that Hitchcock influenced: Scorsese, Fincher and Linklater among them. On Monday, Toronto Star critic Geoff Pevere leads a discussion about the documentary. Monday, December 7. $13. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.
Parfumerie, an age-old rom-com
In Miklós László’s charming 1937 play, two bickering coworkers unknowingly strike up a romance through anonymous correspondence. Rom-coms like You’ve Got Mail and The Shop Around the Corner have since reimagined its cute premise, but this Soulpepper adaptation, directed by Canadian veteran Morris Panych, stays true to the source material. Thursday, December 10 to Sunday, December 27. $29.50–$89. Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E., soulpepper.ca.
A sexy and sophisticated Rhye show
Since 2013’s Woman, the L.A.-based R&B duo has kept separately busy. Canadian singer Mike Milosh released his fourth solo album, and Danish multi-instrumentalist Robin Hannibal has produced albums for other acts. But they’re better together; Milosh’s sultry countertenor complements Hannibal’s sparse, sophisticated instrumentation. In this show, they cruise through their debut, including its sonic bubble bath of a single, “Open,” and provide a glimpse of its under-wraps follow-up. Tuesday, December 8. $26.50–$32.50. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., ticketmaster.com.
A Stompin’ Tom tribute hosted by Dave Bidini
Stompin’ Tom Connors, the troubadour who wrote “The Hockey Song” and hundreds of other Canadiana hits, died nearly three years ago, and the tribute concerts have yet to show any signs of stopping. Dave Bidini emcees this third annual evening dedicated to the late country icon. Bidini’s own band, Rheostatics, will back up Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning, Barenaked Ladies’ Kevin Hearn and more than a dozen other local singer-songwriters. Proceeds from the night will support Street Soccer Canada, a network of 20 sports program run in a dozen Canadian cities. Thursday, December 10. $15. The Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., ticketfly.com.