The Weekender: Sleeping Beauty, Canada Blooms and six other items on our to-do list
1. THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
This classic ballet, adapted by legendary dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, is based on Marius Petipa’s original choreography and hearkens back to a more traditional era. The story is familiar and the costumes and sets are beautiful, but all that takes a back seat to the exquisite technique, stunning athleticism and magical dancing. To March 18. $21.50–$201. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595, national.ballet.ca.
2. CANADA BLOOMS
With this week’s daylight savings time/double-digit temperature double whammy, spending an afternoon wandering through acres of pretty tropical flora at this annual gardening extravaganza sounds just about perfect to us. Bonus: the National Home Show is also on, and admission covers both shows, so if all those outdoor living ideas inspire other decor-related thoughts, you’re covered. March 16 to 25. $20. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd., 416-263-3222, canadablooms.com.
3. GAME OF THRONES: THE EXHIBITION (FREE!)
For fans of Game of Thrones, HBO’s popular adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s lusty high-fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, this exhibit is a must-attend. On-set photos, behind the scenes videos, costumes—King Baratheon’s stag crown, for example—and plenty from the prop closet, including banners, weaponry and one of Daenerys’ dragon eggs are on display. Hardcore fanboys and fangirls can even sit on the Iron Throne. Reservations required. To March 18. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.
4. ST. PARTY’S DAY SHINDIG
The one day when honourary Irish lads and lasses outnumber—and out-drink—actual Irish people falls on a Saturday this year, which means there’s absolutely no excuse to skip this party. And it’ll be huge: St. Lawrence Market’s north building will be overrun with revelers and bands in a tent stretching from King to Front, starting at 11 a.m. March 17. $15–$25. St. Lawrence Market, 92–95 Front St. E., tinyurl.com/stpartyday.
5. WORLD MASTERCARD FASHION WEEK
The name might be different (by which we mean more complicated than strictly necessary), but the promise of sartorial magic remains. The city’s best and brightest fashion talent, like Vawk, Lucian Matis, Pink Tartan and, of course, Joe Fresh, are showcasing their fall and winter collections. The most stylish week of the season wraps up on Friday with a bit of a blowout: comeback kid Arthur Mendonça, avant-garde up-and-comer Rad Hourani and the Dare to Wear Love HIV/AIDS fundraiser are all on the schedule. To March 16. $25–$100. David Pecaut Square, King St. W. between John and Simcoe, worldmastercardfashionweek.com.
6. DANNY BHOY
Scottish-Indian funnyman Danny Bhoy (see what he did there?) isn’t really into that gritty, raunchy, Apatow brand of comedy. Sure, he may drop an F-bomb or two, but really he’s more into telling tongue-in-cheek stories about his childhood, his weird day-to-day observations and bagpipes, naturally. March 16. $37.50–$42.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com.
7. VAN HALEN
The boys of Van Halen aren’t just rock royalty. They’re also the epitome of the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle—they’ve been tabloid fodder (everyone knows about the brown M&Ms), had a revolving door of members (David Lee Roth? Sammy Hagar? Gary Cherone?) and rocked some epically big hair. These days, Roth is back, Eddie’s son Wolfgang is playing bass, and the hair is tamer—but the band rocks out as hard as ever. Bonus: Kool and the Gang opens the show with a set that includes favourites from their own decades-long career, like “Celebration” and “Get Down on It.” March 17. $69.50–$149.50. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca.
8. SPIKED TEA 2012
This version of high tea is quite unlike other, mom-approved versions. Sure, there’s tea and treats (including finger sandwiches and gourmet pastries), but the real draw is the art. Hosted by Mercer Union, the west end centre for contemporary art, the event is really a chance for art lovers to connect with local artists, like Robyn Cumming and Heather Nicol, who’ll be decorating the tables the tea is served on. March 17. $75. Mercer Union, 1286 Bloor St. W., 416-536-1519, spiked.mercerunion.org.