The Weekender: Black Lips, Shakespeare in puppet form and six other events on our to-do list
1. IN PINOT VERITAS: LUNCHEON WITH NORMAN HARDIE
There aren’t many Ontario wines that garner rave reviews around the world, but vintner Norman Hardie makes several Pinot Noirs that do at his eponymous winery in Prince Edward County. The celebrated winemaker is providing some excellent examples of those Pinots at this exclusive luncheon, which also features a special menu from Nota Bene chef David Lee. April 15. $85. Nota Bene, 180 Queen St. W., 416-977-6400, notabenerestaurant.com.
2. CHARLIE SHEEN: MY VIOLENT TORPEDO OF TRUTH/DEFEAT IS NOT AN OPTION
Tiger blood, winning, benders—Martin’s boy isn’t so great with that whole law-abiding thing, but he is unusually skilled at redefining previously boring words. We’re not sure if Chuck’s Toronto showing will be good, as in Chicago, or walkout-inducing, as in Detroit, but either way, we know we’ll be there. April 14 and 15. $79.50–$109.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, www.masseyhall.com.
3. GAMES DAY FUNDRAISER
A fundraiser hosted by 11 globally-minded women, this playful charity event is aimed at kids in grades 3 to 8. Kids compete in Scrabble and chess competitions, pick up sweet treats from a bake sale and make a difference in the lives of Tanzanian children their age (parents can browse and bid on the silent auction). The women are part of Child Reach International’s Tanzania Team #8 and are raising money to fund the rebuilding of a primary school in the East African country, where they’ll be heading this May. April 16. $25. Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School, 1107 Avenue Rd., tanzaniaschoolproject.wordpress.com.
4. AS YOU PUPPET
We love non-traditional takes on classics, and Shakespeare has proven to be especially fertile ground for modern renditions (remember Ahdri Zhina Mandiela’s hip hop take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and of course the wacky Toronto comic book series Kill Shakespeare). However, this might be our favourite adaptation ever. A hit at 2009’s Fringe, it’s a puppets-only take on As You Like It that sees Rosalind the teddy bear banished from the kingdom by her evil uncle, Frederick the crocodile. There’s nothing left to do but take refuge in the forest of Arden, so Rosalind and her BFF, a stuffed kitten named Celia, set off on an epic adventure. To April 21. $15–$20. Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, 165 Front St. E., 416-862-2222, lktyp.ca.
5. TORONTO ART EXPO
Want to build an art collection that’ll be the envy of all your friends without breaking the bank? Easy: go to this annual art fair and buy something (or some things) you like. With 200-plus artists and galleries from more than a dozen countries, it’ll be easy to find something that speaks to you. We’re especially excited for acclaimed contemporary artist Matsutani Takesada‘s installation piece, Relations, not to mention his other works, which are being exhibited in the Expo’s new Toronto Fine Art Contemporary gallery. April 14-17. $12. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 225 Front St. W., 416-265-6988, torontoartexpo.com.
6. THE COSMONAUT’S LAST MESSAGE
Taking the prize for the most dramatic title we’ve heard this year—its full name is The cosmonaut’s last message to the woman he once loved in the former Soviet Union—David Greig’s 1999 Edinburgh festival play also wins praise for its poignant exploration of the very human need for contact. The Scottish playwright uses an obscure part of recent history as his jumping-off point: in 1991, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev was stranded aboard his country’s space station, Mir, for 313 days as the Soviet Union collapsed. The play explores several overlapping stories of love, loneliness and connection, both terrestrial and extra. April 16 to May 14. $22-99. Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E., 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
7. BLACK LIPS
A self-proclaimed “flower-punk band,” these Atlanta indie darlings mash up blues, rock, doo-wop, country and punk to form their distinctive sound. For those not already acquainted with the band, don’t let the “flower” part fool you—they follow more in the tradition of punk activist and icon GG Allin than, say, The Byrds. Which means their shows are, well, kind of crazy. Past concerts have included puke, onstage urination, fireworks, copious nudity and a chicken named Popcorn. Apparently they’ve toned things down of late, but we hope the chicken is still around. April 16. $18.50. Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
8. THE SIXTH ANNUAL GOOD FOR HER FEMINIST PORN AWARDS
Usually we watch our fave awards shows—the Oscars, Grammys and Teen Choice Awards (don’t judge!)—from the comfort of our couch, but this is one show that we’ll happily show up for. Hosted by Jane Luk and Ryan G. Hinds and honouring ethical, female-positive porn from around the world, it’s pretty much a guaranteed, ahem, good time. Also: burlesque favourites CoCo La Crème and Boylesque T.O. are performing—we’re pretty sure that alone is worth the price of admission. April 15. $22. Berkeley Heritage Events Venue. 315 Queen St. E., 416-588-0900, goodforher.com.