The Weekender: The Santa Claus Parade, Idina Menzel and six other items on our to-do list
1. THE SANTA CLAUS PARADE (FREE!)
This is the one Sunday in the whole year when otherwise adamant proponents of sleeping-in rise with the sun to stake their claim on the perfect patch of pavement, all to make sure they have the best view of this gleefully over-the-top extravaganza. Expect floats, bands, costumed merrymakers and copious candy canes. ‘Tis the season for sugar highs to be jolly, after all. November 20. Bloor to University, University to Wellington, Wellington to the St. Lawrence Market, thesantaclausparade.com.
2. IDINA MENZEL
As fans of Rent, Wicked and even (sometimes) Glee, we’re exactly the target audience for this two-nights-only concert. Idina Menzel belts out her own songs and some Broadway hits, accompanied by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. It might even be our big break, since the shows will be filmed for a PBS special, which means our hysterical cheering will definitely be on public access television, right? November 17 and 18. $49–$125. Koerner Hall, The Royal Conservatory, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208, rcmusic.ca.
3. MOUSE CITY SUMMIT
Set your future starchitect on the path to a Pritzker this weekend: kids between the ages of two and eight will be joining forces to plan and build a mouse city from various recyclables. We think it is both adorable and educational. There will be two readings from popular children’s books, including Town Mouse Country Mouse (read by Spacing publisher Matthew Blackett) and Something from Nothing (read by Natalie Kertes). Readings will be followed by a discussion about city zoning with Torontoist editor-in-chief Hamutal Dotan and Blackett. November 20. $5 for children, $10 for adults. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635, gladstonehotel.com.
4. THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Talk about culture clashes: For the delightfully creepy Addams parents, Gomez and Morticia, Wednesday’s boyfriend Lucas is only slightly better than a catastrophe—he’s just too normal (and preppy). But little Wednesday is all grown up and in love, so the Addams Family—Uncle Fester, Grandmama, Pugsley and various ancestors—find themselves entertaining Lucas and his equally wholesome parents in this new musical. To November 27. $51–$180. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
5. SWEDISH CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL (FREE!)
Sure, some Grinch-types might complain that it’s not even December yet, but this weekend is our unofficial start to the holiday season (and for good reason—see event number four), which means we’re looking for twinkly lights, seasonally-appropriate treats and shopping. Conveniently, this soon-to-be 29-year-old fest delivers on all fronts: kids can make traditionally Swedish crafts, bake ginger snaps and even dance around a Christmas tree if they so desire, while parents can check out the marketplace and the Glögg (mulled wine). November 19 and 20. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
6. BREAST FEST FILM FESTIVAL
This film festival is about breasts. Actually, it’s more about when those breasts—and the women attached to them—get cancer, and how it changes their lives. Now in its fourth year, this Rethink Breast Cancer-organized event features heartbreaking documentaries and some hilarious, inspiring speakers, as well as the Elvira Kurt-hosted Tits ‘N’ Sass comedy show, which features funny people like Sandra Shamas and The Second City alum Gavin Crawford. November 18–20. Screenings $10-$18, comedy show $25. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, breastfestfilmfest.com.
7. THE GOONIES
This nostalgia-heavy screening is also a fundraiser in support of Horizon Arts Camp, an arts-focused summer camp in the west end. And it’s kind of the perfect choice—what better way to raise money for a venture that inspires kids’ imaginations than a movie where tiny versions of Sean Astin, Corey Feldman and Josh Brolin go on an epic adventure to find a stash of Spanish treasure hidden somewhere in coastal Oregon? Nothing, that’s what. November 20. $20. Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-531-9959, revuecinema.ca.
8. THE WAILERS
It’s maybe a little strange to see this long-running reggae band’s name without a slightly more famous precursor (“Bob Marley and”), but the Wailers are respected in their own right. In addition to Bob, they’ve worked with Stevie Wonder, Santana, Peter Tosh and more. Expect an mix of old-school reggae jams, and presumably some gems from their most recent album, last year’s Solutions for Dreamers: Season 3. November 19. $31. Sound Academy, 11 Polson St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.