The Weekender: Potted Potter, Rhubarb Festival and six other items on our to-do list
1. HAMLET LIVE
Part post-apocalyptic dystopia (it’s set in 2080, and the set-up name-checks everything from violent solar flares to displaced populations to wartime atrocities), and part Shakespearean classic, this Hamlet adaptation keeps Will’s wording but places the young prince, Claudius, Gertrude and the rest of the gang in a futuristic Denmark. King Hamlet oversees a bloody battle to maintain the country’s borders, only to die at his brother’s hand “at the very height of his glory.” Now his son, the young Hamlet, is out for vengeance. In the interest of accessibility—and achieving as large an audience as possible—the play will be live-streamed online ($5), complete with multiple camera angles and on-air editing. To Feb. 11. $20–$40. The Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst St., hamletlive.com.
2. EROTIC ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR (FREE!)
Sweetly handmade crafts meet X-rated content at this fair, and it’s the only event of its kind in the country. Think saucy prints, bondage-inspired jewellery and maybe even a choose your own adventure–style zine. Be sure to stick around for the after-show: a cabaret (PWYC or $7) and a sure-to-be raucous after-party. Feb. 11. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., eroticartsandcrafts.com.
3. FRIGHT NIGHTS: KARLOFF VS. LUGOSI
Scary movies are a regular monthly entry in the Projection Booth’s programming, and this Saturday’s lineup is (as usual) not for the scaredy-cats among us. As an introduction to the main event, guests can catch two shorts: Inside, about a man haunted by his past whose violent fantasies soon become reality, and Ethereal Chrysalis, a Lovecraftian story about perception. Then it’s Boris and Bela’s 1934 film The Black Cat to end the night. Feb. 11. $8. Projection Booth, 1035 Gerrard St. E., fright-nights.ca.
4. ETHIOPIA: A MUSICAL PERSPECTIVE
This retrospective concert features music from Ethiopia’s past and present. The only African country not colonized by a European nation, Ethiopia has a varied and vibrant musical history. Local and international acts, including Girma Woldemichael, Martha Ashagari, Dawit Tesfamariam, Daniel Barnes, Yared Zeleke, Bereket Gebremedn, John Maclean, Abebe Fikade and dancer Saba Alemayehu Asfaw, play traditional and modern instruments to showcase all forms of Ethiopian music. Feb. 11. $25. Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Building, 250 Front St. W., batukimusic.com.
5. POTTED POTTER
Harry Potter fans and foes alike will love this charming, hilarious parody of the super-popular series. Written and performed by two former Children’s BBC hosts, Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, the play condenses thousands of pages of Potter (some of those books were huge) into a delightful, albeit slightly too fast-paced, comedy. Expect many costume changes, cheeky songs and even an interactive game of Quidditch. To March 25. $29.75–$99.75. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
6. MUSIC AND TRUFFLES: BEETHOVEN
This concert series is perfect for budding classical fans, regardless of age. Sure, it’s aimed at five- to 15-year-olds, but adults are welcome to attend—and, like the kids, they’ll even get a truffle at the end. Typically, guest musicians perform short pieces or selected movements from long pieces, which are introduced and explained by a host or the artist. This week, it’s Beethoven, and Mooredale Concerts artistic director Anton Kuerti takes a turn as the master of ceremonies. Feb. 12. $12. Walter Hall, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park, mooredaleconcerts.com.
7. CHILDREN’S STORY JAM
Jam sessions aren’t just for rock stars; the kid-lit crowd and their teeny tiny critics are also getting in on the game with this new event series, which sees authors get feedback from young readers on their as-yet-unpublished work. First up is acclaimed poet Dennis Lee, who will workshop his upcoming collection, Melvis and Elvis, with a crowd of four- to six-year-olds. But this isn’t a reading—kids (and their parents, so long as the grown-ups behave themselves) are taking part in a closed workshop, which actually makes it even cooler. Feb. 11. $5. Academy of the Impossible, 231 Wallace Ave., smallprinttoronto.org.
8. RHUBARB FESTIVAL
This long-running (33 years!) festival of “experimental performance” is the city’s go-to event for thought-provoking, political, adventurous entertainment this weekend. Expect everything from contemporary theatre to modern dance to performance art, including Night and Day, a response to Susan Sontag’s AIDS and its Metaphors, and a “Noh-wave” (think J-pop meets prog meets Noh theatre meets metal) rock opera. To Feb. 19. $20 (for mainstage performances). Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.