A gospel Messiah, a Steve Nicks show and seven other things to do this week
Soulful Messiah, a funky Christmas tradition
In Ballet Creole’s signature seasonal production, the most sacrosanct Christmas ritual gets a new spin. The company brings the vibrant spirit of Caribbean and African dance to Quincy Jones’s horn-filled, gospel-choir take on Handel’s Messiah. The troupe combines tap, ballet, jazz and other modern dance styles to create something energetic, spiritual and, yes, soulful. Dec. 2 to 4. $28–$48. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., harbourfrontcentre.com.
A greatest-hits reel with Stevie Nicks
Where to begin with Stevie Nicks? She’s the most important member of Fleetwood Mac (no arguments, please), she has a towering solo career, and she’s a style icon to generations of pop songstresses. At 68, her famously hoarse voice has grown even raspier, giving hits like “Landslide” and “Edge of Seventeen” a powerful, lived-in quality. She’ll revisit her most iconic songs in this career-spanning tour with openers The Pretenders. Tuesday, November 29. $80–$205. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., ticketmaster.ca.
An exhibition where the artists are anonymous
Have you ever mistaken professional artwork for amateur scribblings? Taken a newbie’s work for high art? Art for Cancer Foundation’s second annual anonymous group exhibition plays with those blurred lines by placing original works by all manner of artists—pros and laypeople alike—side by side. Each eight-by-eight-inch piece is $100, and the creator is revealed only once you’ve put your money down. Proceeds support the foundation’s creative programs for people living with cancer. Thursday, December 1 to Sunday, December 4. Artwork $100. AFC Place, 1884 Davenport Rd., artforcancerfoundation.org.
A sesquicentennial performance from pianist Stewart Goodyear
He’s a reliably superb pianist with immense stamina, but the most noteworthy aspect of this concert is the inclusion of the world premiere of “Acabris! Acabras! Acabram!”—an original composition written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. The program also includes works by Bach, Chopin, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. Sunday, December 4. $35–$85. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., rcmusic.ca.
Who Killed Spalding Gray?, a dark one-man play
Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor takes a speculative, semi-autobiographical approach to the celebrated monologist Spalding Gray in this one-man show. Starring as himself, Gray and a few other characters, MacIvor weaves details of Gray’s 2004 suicide with his own visit to a “psychic surgeon.” There’s a subplot about a man who orders a hit on himself and a surprising cameo by, of all people, Helena Bonham Carter. In the process, MacIvor invites audiences to analyze the perplexing interplay of truth and fiction that characterizes both Gray’s work and his own. Thursday, December 1 to Sunday, December 11. $39–$69. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., canadianstage.com.
Chantal Kreviazuk’s overdue return to the stage
After seven years out of the spotlight—spent writing songs for Drake, Carrie Underwood and Pitbull (who knew?)—Kreviazuk returns with Hard Sail, a collection of earnest pop tunes that leave behind gentle piano lines for soaring power ballads. The evolution matches the album’s subject matter: the songs address both the day-to-day of raising children, as well as the heavier issue of sex trafficking in the Middle East. Thutsday, December 1. $49.25–$59.50. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., ticketmaster.ca.
Bruce Cochrane’s earthy ceramic art
The Canadian clay artist has shown his elegantly simple pottery in more than 300 exhibitions in museums like Toronto’s Gardiner and London’s Victoria and Albert. In recent years, he has focused on marrying aesthetics and functionality, taking cues from North American folk art and ancient Chinese bronze work. The result is a body of faded, earthy-brown forms that both respects and reinterprets tradition. Thursday, December 1 to Friday, December 23. David Kaye Gallery, 1092 Queen St. W., davidkayegallery.com.
A glamorous stage adaptation of Sister Act
Perhaps it was inevitable that Sister Act—a fluffy musical comedy that tapped the charisma of Whoopi Goldberg and the intrinsic funniness of nuns—would eventually find its way onto the stage. The story about a night club chanteuse who infiltrates a convent has both the glamour of showbiz and the pageantry of the Catholic Church. Goldberg herself has produced stagings of this adaptation, which played successfully on Broadway and in the West End. Thursday, Dec. 1 to Sunday, January 29. $60–$70. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100 Ossington Ave., lowerossingtontheatre.com.
An ode to one of the most peculiar men in music
A true eccentric, Louis T. Hardin was known both as Moondog and as The Viking of 6th Avenue on account of the Norse outfit he wore around New York. But he was also a serious musician who had an impact on minimalist composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Hardin would be 100 this year, and this tribute concert features Nexus Percussion, vocalist Suba Sankaran and the Mike Smith Company performing works by, or inspired by, Moondog. Saturday, December 3. $17. Music Gallery, 197 John St., musicgallery.org.