The Weekender: Prince, Romeo and Juliet and six other items on our to-do list
He’s a rock star, an icon and, um, something of an odd duck. (Remember his “Internet’s completely over” moment?) But more than any of those, Prince is a seriously talented musician—you can tell by his many and varied accolades, which include 30-odd chart-topping singles, seven Grammys and millions upon millions of records sold. He’s performing in Toronto to kick off his first Canadian tour since 2002, and we can’t see how it wouldn’t be a good concert. We’d love to hear performances of Prince classics like “Kiss,” “When Doves Cry” and “Cream.” Nov. 25 and 26. $49.50–$250. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
2. GAMERCAMP LV3 FESTIVAL
This Friday, gaming girls and guys will converge at the Bathurst Street Theatre for this video game–focused festival. Speakers (like Seth Cooper, lead designer of HIV protein–mapping game FoldIt), panels, screenings, a cereal breakfast, an Iron Chef–like game-building competition and an urban road trip—it’s apparently “like a live-action Mario Party”—are all on offer, but playing the actual games is obviously the star of the show (for many). Don’t miss the retro gaming stations (but if you have them already, there’s still game development workshops). November 25 to 27. $30; three-day pass $60. Bathurst Street Theatre, 736 Bathurst St., gamercamp.ca.
3. ROMEO AND JULIET
Sergei Prokofiev’s score of what’s arguably Shakespeare’s most famous play has been a National Ballet staple since the early 1960s, and this year, in celebration of the National Ballet’s 60th anniversary, there’s a brand new production by world-famous choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, with costumes and sets by Tony Award–winning designer Richard Hudson (The Lion King). To November 27. $20–$207. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595, www.national.ballet.ca.
4. ONE OF A KIND CHRISTMAS SHOW AND SALE
This biannual show and sale is a must-attend for crafty types. In addition to 825 artisans there to showcase their jewellery, accessories, ceramics and other handiworks, there are also $50 workshops for those with a DIY soul (and breakfast is included for workshop attendees). To December 4. $7 for students and seniors; $12 in advance; $14 at the door. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd., oneofakindshow.com.
Inspired by Seven Samurai, a classic Japanese film about a village that hires seven out-of-work samurai to protect them from bandits, this urban-meets-classical dance production was choregraphed by Gadfly’s Apolonia Velasquez and Ofilio Portillo. It is a mash-up of genres, from house, hip hop, jazz and contemporary, and it follows seven fallen warriors trying to find their lost powers. To November 27. $15–$28 for regular admission, $45 for a double bill that includes a screening of Enter the Shadow. Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
6. UNDER THE BIG TOP
Okay, we’ve never actually been to an old-fashioned travelling circus, but this burlesque show is giving us a healthy dose of nostalgia. In addition to the traditional burlesque elements (people wearing very little), there are circus freaks, “death-defying” stunts and Big Top treats like popcorn and cotton candy. November 26. $15. Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St. E., facebook.com/events/165985350145769/.
7. MAYA: SECRETS OF THEIR ANCIENT WORLD
Considering they’re to blame for every irritating mention of the world ending in 2012 (including that horrible John Cusack movie), we think it’s quite generous of us to continue admiring the Maya. But the ancient Mesoamerican culture wasn’t just in the business of doomsday predictions—they also developed astronomy and complex calendar and writing systems, and built elaborately designed pyramids. This exhibit features nearly 250 artifacts, and many of them were only recently excavated—some have never left Mexico until now. To April 9, 2012. $17–$25 (ROM general admission plus Maya exhibit fee). Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8000, rom.on.ca.
8. STRAIGHT TO THE STREETS (FREE!)
Help out your fellow man—and woman—with this charitable endeavor. Now in its sixth year, this annual event finds groups of volunteers walking around 10 different routes throughout the city to distribute warm clothes to those in need. Anyone without the luxury of time can simply drop off clothes for donation at 11 a.m. at the meeting point. November 26. Meet at Queen St. W. and Bathurst Ave., projecthumanity.ca.