A play for The Crown addicts, a Shake Shack pop-up and 10 other things to do this week
The Audience, a royal play for The Crown lovers
British writer Peter Morgan became the modern era’s pre-eminent monarchical romanticist with his dramas The Crown and The Queen. Morgan again pays tribute to Her Majesty’s endurance with this 2013 play, which documents 60 years of imagined private meetings between Queen Elizabeth and 12 of her prime ministers from Churchill to Thatcher to Cameron. The Audience shows how she remained steadfast during decades of turbulent national evolution. Veteran Canadian actress Fiona Reid takes on the role performed by Helen Mirren on Broadway and in the West End. Tuesday, January 17 to Sunday, February 26. $35–$119. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W., mirvish.com.
A one-day-only Shake Shack pop-up
This Wednesday, from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., the much-loved New York chain Shake Shack is popping up at Momofuku Daishō to serve its signature ShackBurgers and crinkle-cut fries, with $1 from each order going to SickKids. The catch: there’s a limited number of burgers (and we’re guessing it’s fewer than the number of people who’ll show up for one). We recommend getting in line now. Wednesday, January 18. Momofuku Daishō, 190 University Ave., shakeshackxmomofuku.splashthat.com.
Austra’s electric album release show
The Toronto avant-pop outfit couldn’t have timed their new album better. Future Politics is flush with themes fit for our Trumpian era: colonialism, white supremacy and neoliberal capitalism. The ideas may be dense, but the soaring operatic vocals, throbbing electro-pop instrumentals and pulsing percussion are ripe for the dance floor. Friday, January 20. $24.50. Mod Club, 722 College St., ticketmaster.ca.
A globetrotting, time-travelling play
Comedian and former CBC Radio host Tetsuro Shigematsu wrote and stars in Empire of the Son, an autobiographical one-man show about intergenerational language and culture clashes. It focuses on his complicated relationship with his distant father, tracing the elder Shigematsu’s life from 1940s Hiroshima to swinging 1960s London and beyond. Wednesday, January 18 to Sunday, January 29. $25–$55. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst St., factorytheatre.ca.
A psychedelic Sam Roberts set
After more than a decade as the face of Canadian throwback rock, it was inevitable that Sam Roberts would start getting restless. On 2011’s Collider, he got funky; on 2013’s Lo-Fantasy, he fell in love with synths; on his latest album, 2016’s TerraForm, he’s gone full psychedelic. The record blends Roberts’s strong, simple indie songwriting with a more ethereal backdrop. Friday, January 20. $49. Rebel, 11 Polson St., ticketmaster.ca.
A time machine to golden age of circus sideshows
Burlesque isn’t the only late-19th-century art form getting a second wind. The two-day Something Strange Circus Sideshow Festival, billed as “the largest congress of freaks in Canadian history,” unites strongmen, sword swallowers, clowns, contortionists and all manner of other performers who could have been X-Men in their day. Saturday, January 21 and Sunday, January 22. $30–$60. Mod Club, 722 College St. W., eventbrite.ca.
A sprawling interior design expo
More than 300 designers from around the world are showing off their best stuff—furniture, lighting, textiles and more—at the Interior Design Show. It kicks off with a opening bash on Thursday night, before a whirlwind of talks, interactive exhibitions and markets take over the convention centre. Keep an eye out for Spanish artist Jaime Hayon’s kaleidoscopic installation—a tangle of lights, fauna and quirky characters. Thursday, January 19 to Sunday, January 22. $19. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., interiordesignshow.com.
The soaring choruses of Kings of Leon
The Nashville band graduated from southern blues to arena rock with their 2008 anthem, “Sex on Fire,” and they’ve spent nearly a decade pumping out songs with the same alternative staples: clashing guitars, cathartic choruses and a hoarse, aching drawl. Here, they’re joined by prickly art rockers Deerhunter, whose challenging tracks should be a fascinating counterpoint to the Kings’ slick stadium sound. Monday, January 16. $49.50–$70. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., ticketmaster.ca.
A look back at a historic prison protest
In 1971, inmates at the Attica Correctional Facility staged a riot, taking control of the prison and launching heated negotiations with authorities over living conditions. By the time the uprising was quashed, 33 inmates and 10 guards were dead. Images and Sounds of a Rebellion looks back at the radical protest through photojournalism, music, film and other art from the period to measure its lasting legacy on prisoners’ rights. Wednesday, January 18 to Sunday, April 9. Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould St., ryerson.ca/ric.
The TSO’s sesquicentennial concert
The orchestra marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation with Canadian Legacy, a concert of music by Canadian composers. There are no household names in the lineup but many eminent picks the mid-to-late 20th century. Titles like “Fall Fair” and “Barn Dance” are evidence of a country still attached to its agrarian past, while works like Pierre Mercure’s “Kaléidoscope” have a more urban edge. Saturday, January 21. $39.75–$113. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., tso.ca.
The eccentric, excellent Toronto Design Offsite Festival
Design lovers get spoiled this week. On top of the Interior Design Show, this fest brings the party out of the studio and into the streets. Among the highlights: Look Again!, an adventurous eyewear collection (think Kanye, Lady Gaga) that the public can try on; My Meal is an Imposter!, a send-up of our food-obsessed Instragram culture; and Workwear, a playful collection of on-the-job clothing. Monday, January 16 to Sunday, January 22. Most shows are free. Various locations, todesignoffsite.com.
An all-encompassing Dance Weekend
Ballet, belly dancing, b-boying—just about every form of dance is represented at this three-day festival by Dance Ontario, a sampling of the best of the province’s multicultural dance scene. The wide-reaching program includes jazz, flamenco, aerial, contemporary and other works from 26 companies, including premieres from Ryan Lee and Rock Bottom Movement’s Alyssa Martin. Friday, January 20 to Sunday, January 22. $10. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., harbourfrontcentre.com.