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The Weekender: December 3–5

The Weekender: December 3–5

1. ROSS PETTY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST The evil Barnum von Cowell (otherwise known as Ross Petty the other 11 months of the year) is on a quest to rule the forest’s music charts, so he’s been creating pop stars out of musically disinclined woodland creatures. Enter shy Prince Edgar (Degrassi alum Jake Epstein), who makes a deal with von Cowell and gets turned into the Beast for his trouble—and, of course, he meets Beauty (Melissa O’Neil) only post-transformation. Look for the hilarious Scott Thompson as Beauty’s guardian.

To Jan. 2. $27–$85. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 416-872-5555, ticketmaster.ca.

2. TORONTO CHRISTMAS MARKET (FREE!) European-style holiday markets in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France were the inspiration for this new festival, which features kid-friendly programming during the day and grown-up events at night. We’re happy to indulge in both gingerbread and beer garden fare, which, happily, also includes hot rum, schnapps and mulled wine. Dec. 3 to 12. Distillery District, torontochristmasmarket.com.

3. SOUNDS OF THE SEASON 2010 (FREE!) It’s not necessary to be a total news junkie to enjoy the CBC’s annual fund- and food-raiser; altruistic types can get behind the “helping your fellow man” bit, and music lovers are all over the performances by such artists as Sarah Harmer, Tanika Charles, Sarah Slean and Denzal Sinclaire. But with a 5 a.m. start time, it probably helps. Dec. 3. CBC, Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W., 416-205-3311, cbc.ca/toronto/community/sots.html.

4. HARBOURKIDS: SK8 (FREE!) We’re more summer people than winter people, but even we can find the fun in taking a lap or two around Harbourfront’s two outdoor rinks. Not that skating is the only thing on offer; we’re also going to get on Santa’s nice list by taking the smaller members of our family to see Cow Over Moon Children’s Theatre’s hilarious take on Jack Frost, followed by a mug of (free!) hot choc at the rinkside fire pits. Dec. 4 and 5. Harbourfront Centre, Natrel Rink, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

5. LATKEPALOOZA (FREE!) Caplansky’s is all about competition—remember the matzo ball–themed Battle of the Bubbies back in September? This time around, the tasty Jewish foodstuff in question is the latke. Fry up some samples and let the crowd at this College Street deli decide who deserves the title Best Latke Maker in the City. (We just made that title up, but you’ll get bragging rights, at least.) Dec. 4. Caplansky’s Deli, 356 College St., 416-500-3852, caplanskysdeli.com.

6. WHEN I LAST WROTE TO YOU ABOUT AFRICA The ROM’s Institute for Contemporary Culture has rounded up a who’s who of Toronto professionals to lead weekly tours of the museum’s El Anatsui exhibit. The Ghanaian artist weaves discarded junk (aluminum foil, bottle tops, wire) into a thoroughly modern, and post-colonial, “fabric.” This weekend, Afrofest’s artistic director, Peter Toh, guest curates. To Jan. 2. $22. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-5524, www.rom.on.ca/icc.

7. WILD GAME COOKING DEMO AND TASTING We love food, but we’re not quite up for Anthony Bourdain’s try-anything style. Yet. But maybe that will change this weekend. The theme of this cooking demo is wild game, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that the meat on the menu (kangaroo, bison and venison) won’t taste anything like chicken. Dec. 4. $50. Olivia’s at Fifty-Three, 53 Clinton St., 416-533-3989, oliviasat53.com.

8. DEADCEMBER Some people are bundles of holiday joy from November 1 on, but others aren’t quite so...festive. For them, there’s this evening of dark cinema and art. And if experimental films, videos, shorts, sketches and music aren’t enough, there’s also a raffle for scary movies (for later emergencies involving too much holiday cheer, we guess). Dec. 3. $5. CineCycle, the coach house behind 129 Spadina Ave., super8porter.ca/CineCycle.htm.

(Images: Latkes, Chris Robinson; ROM, bomb_tea; Scott Thompson, theatremania.ca)

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