The Weekender: An all-girls dance party, even more Henry Moore and six other events on our to-do list
1. OPERA 101: THE MAGIC FLUTE (FREE!)
Hosted by the CBC’s Brent Bambury, the Opera 101 series features behind-the-scenes chats with cast and crew from one of the Canadian Opera Company’s current shows. This week, it’s Isabel Bayrakdarian, who plays Pamina in Diane Paulus’ family-friendly production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Jan. 7. Duke of Westminster, 77 Adelaide St. W., coc.ca.
2. DANCE DANCE PARTY PARTY
This ladies-only dance party is part exercise, part shed-your-inhibitions fun. The only rules: no boys, booze or judgment allowed. It almost makes us want to stick to that New Year’s get-fit resolution. Jan. 9. $8. Mad for Dance, 263 Adelaide St. W., dancedancepartyparty.com.
3. NEXT STAGE THEATRE FESTIVAL
The smaller, chiller counterpart to the Toronto Fringe festival features eight of the better works from TF alums. Some are new, some are reworked, some are local and some are not. All of them, we’re confident in saying, are pretty awesome. Our must-see pick is Swan Song of Maria (A Tragic Fairy Tale), a modern retelling of Swan Lake with classical ballet sharing the stage with tap and Cuban jazz. To Jan. 16. $12–$15 per play. Factory Theatre, 12 Bathurst St., fringetoronto.com/nstf/.
4. SWEET BABY JAMES
A tribute to folk rock legend James Taylor, this Michael Wrycraft-hosted concert features tons of local and Canadian talent. Hayley Gene, Lorraine Segato, Mike Evin and Tom Wilson take turns covering Taylor’s hits. Jan. 7. $25. Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., 416-531-6604, hughsroom.com.
5. TORONTO INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW
We’re already counting down the days ’til summer, so we’ll be hitting the boat show this weekend. Teen sailing sensation Zac Sunderland (who circumnavigated the globe at 16) will be there, and the Great Canadian Fish Tank seminars are always entertaining. Plus, as always, there are power boats and speedboats for the buying. Jan. 8 to 16. $18. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes Blvd., 905-951-0009, torontoboatshow.com.
6. HENRY MOORE
The sculptor behind “The Archer”—the gigantic, free-form bronze statue that sits in Nathan Phillips Square—Henry Moore is an important part of Toronto’s art history. When Finnish architect Viljo Revell won the international contest to design City Hall in the late 50s, he commissioned a sculpture from the British artist. City council initially rejected the $120,000 piece, saying the design was too abstract. Controversy ensued, but the statue was eventually installed. In 1974, Moore donated 200 sculptures to the AGO (they live in the gallery’s Henry Moore Sculpture Centre). This exhibit, on loan from the Tate Britain, is made up of over 50 of Moore’s early pieces. To Feb. 6. $20. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648, ago.net.
7. BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI
For Italian director and cinematic icon Bernardo Bertolucci, a movie isn’t a movie unless it’s got sex and politics (cinephile characters are a bonus). This retrospective of his decades-long career includes screenings of his most famous films, like the Oscar-winning The Last Emperor, the controversial Last Tango in Paris and 2003’s Dreamers. To Jan. 23. $15. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 330 King St. W., tiff.net.
8. WINTER NATURE WALK: WINTER BIRDS
This bird-watching journey through High Park, sponsored by Toronto Field Naturalists, is an excellent reason to get out of the house this winter weekend. Bring binoculars (or borrow a pair from the nature centre) and look out for cardinals, chickadees and woodpeckers. January 8. $2. High Park Nature Centre, 430 Parkside Dr., 416-392-1748, ext. 2, highpark.org.