Grey Gardens live, a four-day art fair and 10 other things to do this week
A strange and surreal stage adaptation of Grey Gardens
The Maysles brothers’ 1976 documentary revealed the bizarre lives of a reclusive mother-daughter duo, both named Edith Beale, aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The Canadian premiere of this Tony-winning musical gives their surreal lifestyle a fittingly theatrical spin, starring stage vet Lisa Horner (Les Misérables, Road to Avonlea) as Little Edie. February 22 to March 6; previews February 19 to 21. $35–$55; previews $35–$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., canadianstage.com.
A frenzied four-day art fair
The ninth edition of the annual Artist Project features 250 Canadian and international artists representing virtually every medium: painting, drawing, collage, photography, sculpture and more. The main attraction is Crystal Kings Blazing, a 100-foot rainbow-coloured installation by local anime-style artist duo Happy Sleepy, positioned at the main entrance. We also recommend the eerily cool blacklit L.E.D.-and-mirror installations, and the Art Battle on February 19, where 16 artists will have 20 minutes to paint a winning piece. Thursday, February 18 to Sunday, February 21. $15. Better Living Centre, 195 Princes’ Blvd., theartistproject.com.
Basia Bulat’s album-release bash
The autoharpist’s fourth studio album, Good Advice, is out this month, but we’ve been excited about it since last fall, when she released “Infamous,” a single with catchy harmonies and longing lyrics about heartbreak. Bulat’s records are sophisticated and polished, with deceptively simple melodies, a wide range of instruments (she’s been known to bust out the charango), and a raspy voice that’s equal parts nimble, pretty and powerful. Friday, February 19. $15. Mod Club, 722 College St., collectiveconcerts.com.
A backwards beer pairing
The Richmond restaurant Thoroughbred tag teams with Etobicoke’s Black Oak Brewery in this “beer dinner,” in which each of the six courses are designed to complement different varieties of their award-winning brews. The menu itself is a secret, but it will include something called Chicharron Cheezies and a fun twist on chiles rellenos. Sunday, February 22. $75 (includes beer). Thoroughbred, 304 Richmond St. W., tbto.ca.
Betroffenheit, a show after the aftershocks of death
The title is one of those German words that English can’t do justice: it means shock or dismay in the face of something unexpected—in other words, what Vancouver actor Jonathon Young felt after his teenage daughter died in a fire in 2009. Young stars in this semi-autobiographical dance-theatre hybrid, which he created alongside superstar choreographer Crystal Pite, about a PTSD-stricken man struggling with the aftermath of a horrible accident. Thursday, February 18 to Sunday, February 21. $30–$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E., canadianstage.com.
An offer you can’t refuse
Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is widely considered the best movie ever made, and Italian composer Nino Rota’s orchestral score is no slouch, either. The Motion Picture Symphony Orchestra provides the soundtrack for this screening of the iconic American crime story, down to every bouncing waltz and swelling string. Saturday, February 20. $49–$99. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E., ticketmaster.ca.
Blue Rodeo’s rootsy return to Massey Hall
The Canadian alt-country rockers must have enjoyed recording their latest album, Live At Massey Hall, because they’re back at the beautiful venue for another buoyant, crowd-pleasing set. Their twangy, slow-burn sound works well on the new record, but it’s the live show that captures the chemistry of a band that’s spent more than 30 years touring together. Thursday, February 18 and Friday, February 19. $35.50–$85.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., ticketmaster.com.
A chance to sample more than 100 breeds of brew
Last month’s outdoor beer blitz at Roundhouse Park was fun, but if you prefer your suds without the subzero temperatures, Toronto’s inaugural Winter Brewfest is for you. The two-day event brings more than 100 beers from Ontario and Quebec breweries to one very big (very indoor) room. Booze, food-truck snacks and a few at-the-door tickets will be available onsite. Cash only. Friday, February 19 and Saturday February 20. $20. Enercare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd., brewfest.ca.
Young Galaxy’s stripped-down shoegaze set
The Montreal band’s dreamy indie pop is outside the mainstream yet accessible to casual listeners. Though the group has included nearly a dozen members since 2006, founding vocalists Stephen Ramsay and Catherine McCandless still spearhead the band’s efforts—and on their new album, Falsework, that means stripped-down shoegaze with an electronic bent. Wednesday, February 17. $19. Mod Club, 722 College St., ticketmaster.com.
Rhubarb, the wildest theatre fest in town
The 12-day theatre, music and dance blowout breaks boundaries and let artists run with their wildest, weirdest and most experimental ideas across all disciplines. Every evening features three or four short, dramatically diverse performances: last year’s program included an underwater ballet and an intergalactic epic done in drag. Wednesday, February 17 to Sunday, February 28. $20. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., buddiesinbadtimes.com.
Badke, a powerful Palestinian dance piece
This sprightly production reinvents the traditional Arabic folk dance dabke by merging its synchronized moves with a mélange of disparate styles: circus, hip hop and capoeira. The dozen or so performers leapfrog, cartwheel and slither through the show, an exploration of belonging in the global diaspora—fitting, given it’s a collaboration between Palestinian dancers, a Belgian ballet and a U.K.-based arts foundation. Wednesday, February 17 to Saturday, February 20. $54. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., harbourfrontcentre.com.
A concert from old-timey singer-songwriter Josh Ritter
The 39-year-old alt-folk performer lists the usual suspects—Cash, Dylan, Morrison—as influences, and it shows in his tunes. His newest album, Sermon on the Rocks, is a series of short stories about small factory towns, religious fanatics and restless teenagers. True to form, in his live performances he plays the part of an old-school troubadour simply passing through. Tuesday, February 16. $29.50. Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St., ticketmaster.com.