A Toronto-shot Star Trek premiere, JFL42 and eight other things to see, do, hear and read this week
Toronto, the final frontier
1This month, Starfleet’s newest vessel boldly goes where no one has gone before: Toronto’s Pinewood Studios. Star Trek: Discovery—the sci-fi franchise’s first television series since 2005’s Enterprise—was filmed largely in the east end facility. It follows the rise of a young officer (The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green) and, rumour has it, the fraught mission to broker peace between the Federation and the Klingons. It’s a new crew, a different ship and uncharted worlds, but die-hard Trekkies will find plenty they’re familiar with: Romulans, Spock’s father and, we can only imagine, a new batch of unlucky redshirts. Sunday, September 24. Space.
A hilarious whodunnit
2After seducing audiences with her wildly popular solo show Blind Date, improv queen Rebecca Northan swaps romance for intrigue. In Undercover, as in Blind Date, she coaxes a willing audience member onstage—only this time, it isn’t to embark on an intimate evening but to solve a crime. The rookie Sherlock’s first assignment is to assume a false identity and suss out the culprit. The world premiere also taps a team of ace improvisers, including actors from Calgary’s seminal Loose Moose Theatre Company, to assume the show’s supporting roles. Tuesday, September 19 to Sunday, October 29. $22–$60. Tarragon Theatre.
John Mulaney’s JFL42 set
3Twiggish, nasal-voiced and preppily dressed, John Mulaney looks more like a Young Republican than a rabble-rouser. But in his new routine, Kid Gorgeous, he lands a few jabs at Trump and shows off the biting wit and awkward charm that propelled him to fame through stand-up specials and a gig writing for Saturday Night Live (he co-created Stefon!). Thursday, September 21. $35–$199. Sony Centre.
A lakeside book fair
4Environmentalist David Suzuki, musician Ron Sexsmith, Room author Emma Donaghue and poet Anne Michaels are all making appearances at Canada’s biggest books and magazine fair, The Word on the Street, this weekend. The daylong event includes dozens of readings and panels, as well as booths selling more novels, non-fiction and cookbooks than you can count. Sunday, September 24. Free. Harbourfront Centre.
An offline Esty marketplace
5Who hasn’t fallen into the Etsy wormhole? You log in looking for a scarf, and three hours later, you’ve ordered a set of Orange is the New Black–branded coffee mugs. This weekend, get lost in a real-life artisan market. Etsy’s pop-up shopping event, Made in Canada, features clothing, jewellery and knick knacks from more than 100 Canuck creators in one place. Saturday, September 23. Free. MaRS.
Ali Wong’s mom comedy
6In Ali Wong’s breakthrough Netflix special, Baby Cobra, the comedian was seven months pregnant, delivering honest insights about the exact sort of things you’d expect: the awkward transition into adulthood, the quirks of marriage and the peculiarities of parenthood. Now that she’s officially a mom, we expect she’ll have plenty more to say on the topic. Sunday, September 24. $35–$199. Sony Centre.
A gripping 1950s spy saga
7Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 thriller, North by Northwest, leaps from the screen to the stage in this hit Australian adaptation. In Hitch’s serpentine classic, a suave advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent, and finds himself embroiled with spies, killers and the inevitable femme fatale. Director Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) cleverly recreates the film’s most iconic scenes, like a cat-and-mouse game with a crop-dusting plane and the suspenseful climax on the face of Mount Rushmore. Tuesday, September 19 to Sunday, October 29. $29.50–$119. Royal Alexandra Theatre.
An IRL comedy experience with Jenny Slate
8She’s done low-budget viral videos (Marcel the Shell With Shoes On), indie rom-coms (Obvious Child) and Hollywood romance (she dated Chris Evans), but former SNL star Jenny Slate has sworn never to film her stand-up comedy. Consider this JFL42 appearance a rare opportunity to see Slate at her purest. Sunday, September 24. $35. Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
The faces of World War I
9When Canada entered WWI, 3,327 Eaton’s department store employees enlisted in the Army. Every one of them was photographed, and their portraits were displayed at the Eaton’s flagship store in Toronto throughout the war effort. To mark Canada 150, Mackenzie House staff dug up the photographs and undertook an epic mission: find out who these men were. The result is Eaton’s Goes to War, a sprawling photo exhibition that tells the stories of some of the men pictured. Thursday, September 21 to January 28, 2018. Mackenzie House.
A celebratory Tafelmusik debut
10After 33 years at the helm of Tafelmusik, one of the world’s pre-eminent baroque bands, Jeanne Lamon hands the reins to Elisa Citterio, an Italian violinist who recently impressed Toronto audiences and critics with her infectious verve and assured command of period style. Her first program as director, A Joyous Welcome, is appropriately festive, featuring baroque reliables Handel, Corelli and Vivaldi. There’s a touch of Gallic spice, too, in a suite from Rameau’s opera Les Boréades. Thursday, September 21 to Tuesday, September 26. $26–$81. Koerner Hall and Toronto Centre for the Arts.