A symphonic take on Star Wars, an Anne of Green Gables ballet and four other things to do this week
A highbrow take on Star Wars
1Fire up your lightsabre: the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is encouraging audiences to come in full Star Wars regalia for this screening of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi with live musical accompaniment. John Williams’s score borrows from Mozart, Wagner and Prokofiev to create something entirely unique, and it takes huge artistry and athleticism for the orchestra to nail their cues as the film unfolds. The rest of us can be content dum-dum-dum-DUMing our way through the theme song. October 3 and 5, Roy Thomson Hall.
A full-immersion dramedy
2Grab a bucket of popcorn and settle in for Annie Baker’s three-hour, Pulitzer-winning dramedy, The Flick. Baker’s super-size play focuses on a trio of bored, brainy millennials stuck in low-wage purgatory as ushers at a crumbling movie palace. As their day of drudgery unspools, the gifted American playwright deploys her naturalistic style to reveal their dreams and delusions. For this Toronto premiere, immersive-theatre specialists Outside the March team up with Crow’s Theatre to turn the latter’s Leslieville venue into a classic cinema. No word on whether the floors will be sticky with spilled pop. October 6 to 27, Streetcar Crowsnest.
A CanPoli satire
3In time for this fall’s election, Common Boots Theatre wanted to know why Canadians vote the way we do. To find out, they embedded five performers—Ojibwe, Jewish, Polish, Tamil and Pakistani—as volunteers with the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP during the 2015 federal election. Now, they’ve turned their doorstep debates and undercover observations into The Election, a hilarious and sometimes sobering new play that mixes serious inquiry with songs and physical comedy as it explores the gnarly tangle of issues and emotions that makes up the country’s messy democracy. October 4 to 27, Theatre Passe Muraille.
A CanLit ballet for the kids
4 Anne of Green Gables can do many things: inspire congenitally sassy Canadian girls; light up the fictional P.E.I. town of Avonlea with her fiery braids and personality; function as a passable, fictional farmhand. But can she dance? Find out as the Ontario premiere of Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet (presented by Canada’s Ballet Jörgen) pirouettes onto the stage in Markham. Kids and their parents who grew up kindred spirits of Anne will delight. Who won’t delight: Gilbert Blythe, who must endure yet another slate smashing. October 4 to 6, Flato Theatre Markham.
A visiting author
5 Pico Iyer, often considered one of the world’s greatest travel writers, makes a one-night stop in Toronto to talk about the idiosyncrasies of living in Japan, where he’s been stationed for three decades and counting. He’ll also delve into the books the country has inspired, Autumn Light and his latest, A Beginner’s Guide to Japan. Expect colourful tales of roaring izakayas, Kyoto’s maze-like back streets and, of course, high times in Tokyo. September 30. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
A dance revolution
6For its fifth year running, Fall for Dance North (FFDN) showcases a broad range of movement — across skill levels and cultures. The 2019 festival, put on in partnership with the Ryerson School of Performance, features a special focus on Indigenous artists, but branches out with plenty of live music and free programming at Union Station’s newly refurbished West Wing. Expect spots by Brazil’s Grupo Corpo, the National Ballet of Canada and the North American debut of the New Zealand Dance Company. Things not to expect: standing still. October 2 to 6. Meridian Hall.