An evening with Anderson Cooper, a Tanya Tagaq show and eight other things to see, do, hear and read this week
Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen’s unscripted comedy act
1If a journalist wants to make it through the Trump era intact, he’ll need a healthy sense of humour to sift through the absurdity. That’s why legendary newsman Anderson Cooper is teaming up with Andy Cohen, host of the irreverent late-night celeb-interview show Watch What Happens Live, for an unscripted comedy tour about life in the media spotlight. Both adept interviewers, the friends will probe each other for juicy tidbits from their careers and take questions from the audience about current events, pop culture and the era of Fake News. Saturday, March 24. $100–$160. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.
The world premiere of a tragic opera
2The folks at Opera in Concert are used to taking risks, reviving little-known classical and baroque works. They take a different gamble by staging the world premiere of The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, an opera based on George Ryga’s classic play. Set to music by local composer Victor Davies, it’s the story of a young Indigenous woman (played by First Nations mezzo Marion Newman) who leaves the reserve for a new life in the city, only to encounter loneliness, racism, and a world of drug use and sex work. Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25. $22–$52. St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.
A genre-busting Tanya Tagaq performance
3Canadian Stage’s interdisciplinary spectacle, Voices3, pairs two ingenious Inuk artists: throat singer Tanya Tagaq and Greenlandic mask dancer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. The duo will weave sharp spoken-word passages, carnal vocal runs and frantic movements into an entrancing whirlwind of dance and music about Indigenous reconciliation. Thursday, March 22 to Saturday, March 24. $39–$69. Berkeley Street Theatre.
A theatrical prohibition party
4Hogtown has turned the Campbell House and Broadview Hotel into slices of 1920s Toronto with its prohibition-era theatre parties. Now, the show is headed to the Drake Commissary, where guests will be immersed in a play set in a shady speakeasy filled with bookies, showgirls and illicit cocktails. Sunday, March 25. $80. Drake Commissary.
A fleet-footed dance spectacle
5In 1983, choreographer Christopher House carved a space for himself in the world of Canadian dance with Glass Houses, a fresh creation that paired kinetic contemporary movements with a cheerfully swift piano score. Toronto Dance Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary with Glass Fields, a program that includes a restaging of the piece as well as works by House and other choreographers—Amanda Acorn, Jasmyn Fyffe, Hanna Kiel, Tedd Robinson—inspired by or responding to the original. Tuesday, March 20 to Saturday, March 24. $25–$40. Fleck Dance Theatre.
A dazzling audio-visual experience
6The fin-de-siècle Russian composer Alexander Scriabin had synesthesia, causing him to see music as spectral bursts of colour. During Art of Time Ensemble’s performance of his piano preludes, lighting designer Kevin Lamotte will bathe the Harbourfront Centre Theatre in shimmering light art in an attempt to show audiences what the composer saw. Thursday, March 22 to Saturday, March 24. $25–$64. Harbourfront Centre Theatre.
A double dose of Hannah Moscovitch
7March is Hannah Moscovitch month in Toronto. The bold, beloved playwright returns to town with two productions about sexuality over the past 100 years. Crow’s presents a 2b Theatre production of What a Young Wife Ought to Know, Moscovitch’s historical drama about the Canadian birth control movement set in 1920s Ottawa. Meanwhile, Tarragon remounts Bunny (to April 1), her 2016 Stratford comedy about a modern young woman grappling with transgressive erotic desires. Tuesday, March 20 to Saturday, April 7. $30–$45. Streetcar Crowsnest.
A lively remembrance bash
8Last October, 25-year-old Tyler McLean was killed in a shooting outside Rebel nightclub. This weekend, McLean’s friends are organizing a party in his honour, filled with his favourite things: art, music and dance. The night will include an art show, a live paining performance, four local DJ sets and custom cocktails, and all proceeds support the victims of gun violence through Ontario Victim Services. Friday, March 23. $25. Love Child.
A teenage photographer’s book signing
9Leah Denbok has been all over Toronto, New York and other cities in Ontario, taking stunning, humanizing portraits of people living on the street. She and her dad also interview the subjects, asking about their backstories and their hopes for the future. Those images and words appear in her new book, Nowhere to Call Home, which Denbok will present at a sale and signing at Stephen Bulger Gallery this weekend. All proceeds support Barrie’s Salvation Army centre. Saturday, March 24. Stephen Bulger Gallery.
The opening of Toronto’s new art gallery
10C9 Art, a new contemporary gallery just south of Yorkville, opens its doors this week. The space kicks off its programming with Relationships, an exhibition of new work by Chinese-born, Toronto-based artist Jin Zuo, who paints landscapes and portraits with elegantly textured brushstrokes, and the late Quebec painter Corno, known for her pop-art female faces. Friday, March 23 to Saturday, April 21. C9 Art.