The Weekender: The Silicone Diaries, Chelsea Handler, The Nutcracker and the rest of the best this weekend
1. THE SILICONE DIARIES
It’s easy to look at Nina Arsenault’s life story in numbers: 60 surgeries, eight years, $150,000. That’s what it took for a young man who resembled Crispin Glover to become a 6-foot-something woman with the Barbie doll look she craved as a child. But Arsenault’s account of her transition is more than simple addition; it’s also a captivating look at identity, beauty and femininity. To December 11. $20–$29. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., 416-975-8555, artsexy.ca.
2. CHELSEA HANDLER
There’s a very good reason stand-up comedian Chelsea Handler is a regular on the so-bad-it’s-good reality TV show Girls Behaving Badly—she regularly embodies the show’s title. Take, for example, last weekend’s fiasco of a performance in Newark, NJ. Apparently just realizing that there’s been some talk about Angelina Jolie stealing Jennifer Aniston’s man, she decided to call Jolie out, labelling her a home wrecker and other, um, less safe for work things. Never mind the fact that it’s been years and years and we’re sure all involved parties have moved on. Now we definitely have to go to her book signing/performance—we’ve been feeling nostalgic for 2005 lately. December 11. $69.50–$89.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com.
3. SLOW FOOD TORONTO TERRA MADRE DAY
A celebration of local food, this worldwide Slow Food initiative is all about the taste tests. Since the theme is indigenous cultures, we’re excited to try foods produced by First Nations communities across the province, including Iroquois Three Sisters Soup and dessert bannock. Sure, we’ll also enjoy the music and family-friendly activities, but we’re mostly going for the eats. December 10. $15. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St., slowfood.to/1768/events/terra-madre-day-2010.
4. CODE READ AFRICA BALL
CODE, a Toronto org dedicated to literacy and education, trains teachers and librarians, providing funding and distributing culturally, age and gender-appropriate books to communities in Africa, South America and the Caribbean. This fundraising ball, their first ever, is an eight til late event and features music by Montreal musician Élage Diouf, a Senegalese expat who’s toured with Cirque du Soleil. December 10. $100. Rosehill Venue Lounge, 6 Rosehill Ave., codecan.org/media-room/event/read-africa-ball.
5. TIFF SCREENINGS: 70MM
For a certain type of movie fan, there’s no greater joy than expounding on the benefits of film gauges. Which is better: the widely-used 35mm, or the high-res 70mm? We think the answer is clear: Christopher Nolan filmed parts of Inception in 70mm, and he’s our current cinematic god. The TIFF Bell Lightbox clearly agrees, as they’re screening three classics pieces of cinema—1962’s Lawrence of Arabia, 1967’s Playtime and 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey—in their original format. To January 2. $15. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 330 King St. W., tiff.net.
6. THE NUTCRACKER
James Kudelka and the National Ballet’s take on this Christmas tradition has become a Toronto holiday season tradition. Set in Imperial Russia, the beautifully choreographed ballet follows siblings Misha and Marie on a magical journey to the lands of the Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy, which mirrors their own coming-of-age journey. December 11 to January 2, 2011. $49.46–$130.26. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595, ballet.ca.
7. EVERYONE’S A DJ (FREE!)
The age of celeb DJs seems to be mostly over—or maybe we just miss it whenever Us Weekly talks about Samantha Ronson—but we aren’t quite over DIY DJing just yet. Wannabes can sign up to get their spin on at this monthly party, which turns three this weekend. Hurry though, or all the available spots will be filled and you’ll have to be happy with getting down to 20-minute sets of every possible genre instead. December 11. Disgraceland, 965 Bloor St. W., everyonesadj.ca.
8. LES COQUETTES PRESENT THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS
Last we checked the only tickets left were standing room only for Les Coquettes’ annual holiday-themed revue, this year an anti-holiday spirit, 40s style romp that’s nondenominational and clothing optional (for the performers, we mean. We’ll definitely be wearing pants. It’s cold outside!). December 12. $15–$30. Revival, 783 College St. W., lescoquettes.com.
(Images: Nutcracker by Bruce Zinger, Nina Arsenault by David Hawe, Chelsea Handler provided by Live Nation.)