November’s Great Nights Out
Toronto’s a great city with lots—too much—to do in it each night. Great Nights Out is here to help. Every day, we’re highlighting the very best thing to do with your time, and every weekend, we’re highlighting the best place to get away from it all.
Sunday, November 1: Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen
This retrospective, created in collaboration with Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum, documents the pop-art pioneer’s obsession with stardom. It features his childhood scrapbook and fastidiously culled collection of portraits, along with the silkscreens, Polaroids, prints and films that transformed him from a chronicler of icons into an icon in his own right. $13. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.
Monday, November 2: Marina and the Diamonds
The Welsh pop star’s effervescent electropop is a mélange of radio-ready vocal hooks, EDM-calibre bass and perfect production, all delivered with a retro aesthetic that evokes Lana Del Rey and Amy Winehouse. $46.50. Sound Academy, 11 Polson St., ticketmaster.com.
Tuesday, November 3: Butcher
The deft dramaturge Weyni Mengesha directs this gripping thriller, about an eastern European war criminal who shows up at a Toronto police station dressed as Santa Claus. The escalating drama is morally murky and wonderfully specific. $30. The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W., theatrecentre.org.
Wednesday, November 4: Eunoia
Each chapter of Christian Bök’s poem contains only one vowel, and each movement of Canadian choreographer Denise Fujiwara’s NextSteps dance adaptation mimics the approach: its performers initiate action only through specific body parts (e.g., in Chapter E, the chest and feet are allowed to move, but not the torso). $39. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W., harbourfrontcentre.com.
Thursday, November 5: The Weeknd
Scarborough crooner Abel Tesfaye is the talk of the town after dropping his bestselling album and the song of the summer, “Can’t Feel My Face.” At his ACC show, he’ll cast his spell with moody lighting, a quivering crown of cockatiel dreads and that lusty, warbling falsetto. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., ticketmaster.com.
November 6 to 8 Weekend Getaway: Niagara Falls
The Falls are always worthy of a weekend visit, but the second edition of the Real Canadian Craft Beer Festival is a once-a-year draw, with a long list of local brewers, a table-top gaming lounge and plenty of comfort food. Scotiabank Convention Centre, 6815 Stanley Ave., realcanadianbeerfest.ca.
Friday, November 6: We Are Proud to Present…
In Brooklyn playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury’s recent work, a lecture on a little-known south African genocide quickly turns into a racially charged, deadly funny meta-commentary about how history is presented, and by whom. $30. The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W., theatrecentre.org.
Saturday, November 7: Spoon River
Soulpepper musical director Mike Ross sets a selection of poems by Edgar Lee Masters to melody in this joyous, foot-stomping sing-along. The immersive atmosphere makes for an electric experience. $29.50–$94. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., soulpepper.ca.
Sunday, November 8: Kasa Moto
The city’s fanciest izakaya makes ikebana-like displays out of mackerel, hamachi, sea bream, fatty Scottish salmon and precious tuna belly sashimi. Each bite is more flavourful than the last, like a wine that surprises with more depth on every sip. Read our review here. 115 Yorkville Ave., kasamoto.ca.
Monday, November 9: Flock Rotisserie and Greens
The menu at this quick-service spot from the Harbord Room’s Cory Vitiello is small but tasty: four made-to-order salads, a single sandwich, and chicken roasted to perfection on an in-house rotisserie. 330 Adelaide St. W., eatflock.com.
Tuesday, November 10: Don Henley
The founding member of The Eagles lent his bluesy songwriting stamp and unmistakable rough-edged tenor to “Hotel California” before starting a successful solo career that spawned the undying warm-weather anthem “Boys of Summer.” $59–$198. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E., sonycentre.ca.
Wednesday, November 11: Margaret Atwood
The queen of Canadian fiction chats with George Stroumboulopoulos about The Heart Goes Last, her new post-apocalyptic novel, which follows a jobless young couple trying to ensure a modest middle-class future by selling their souls to a sinister social experiment. Read our review here. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., torontopubliclibrary.com.
Thursday, November 12: Honest Weight
Fishmonger extraordinaire John Bil puts his encyclopedic knowledge of seafood to good use at his small Junction shop. There are plump B.C. clams, lush mussels, fish crudo and creamy, shellfish-packed chowder. 2776 Dundas St. W., honestweight.ca
November 13 to 15 Weekend Getaway: Jordan, Ontario
The weekend-long Christmas Handmade Market in Jordan brings more than 80 jewellers, woodworkers and clothing artisans to the tranquil Honsberger Estate. Anyone seeking more scenery can sneak out to the nearby Jordan Harbour Conservation Area. Honsberger Estate, 4020 Jordan Rd., handmademarket.ca.
Friday, November 13: Beirut
Zach Condon, the uke-strumming Santa Fe musician behind Beirut, employs a handful a musicians to deliver the sort of folk-tinged, European-influenced indie pop found on his latest release, No No No. $44–$47. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, November 14: Hawksley Workman
The Freddie Mercury of CanRock has released 11 full-length albums that wander between arena-appropriate glam-rock bangers (remember “We Will Still Need a Song”?) and sentimental piano ballads. $40.75. Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St., ticketmaster.com.
Sunday, November 15: Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
This 19-year-old event stands out as a beacon of excellence in alternative cinema—it digs deep into the catalogue of works created by Asian filmmakers at home and abroad, offering much more than what typically trickles down to North American audiences. $10–$20. Various locations, reelasian.com.
Monday, November 16: Nada Surf
Front man Matthew Caws and his band mates have consistently created poetry out of everyday observations. They set their lyrics to a simple selection of guitar-driven alternative music that’s influenced legions of pop-punk and emo rockers since. $22.50. Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., horseshoetavern.com.
Tuesday, November 17: Carrie Brownstein
Long before lampooning hipster culture on Portlandia, Brownstein was a riot grrrl stalwart as the guitarist of the critically acclaimed (and recently reunited) trio Sleater-Kinney. Here, she discusses her new memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. [Update: This event has been cancelled. Toronto Public Library says it will be rescheduled.] Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., torontopubliclibrary.com.
Wednesday, November 18: The Winter’s Tale
The National Ballet’s new principal dancers Naoya Ebe, Elena Lobsanova and Jurgita Dronina juggle the lead roles in this triumphant take on Shakespeare’s romance about royalty, rage and redemption, in which a king seeks forgiveness after falsely accusing his wife of adultery. From $37. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., national.ballet.ca.
Thursday, November 19: Gourmet Food and Wine Expo
This epicurean extravaganza features 140,000 square feet of artisanal cheeses, craft beers and luxury spirits, plus complimentary cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs like Mark McEwan. $25–$85. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 222 Bremner Blvd., foodandwineexpo.ca.
November 20 to 22 Weekend Getaway: MacGregor Point Provincial Park
This massive and majestic green space is home to the largest number of public yurts in Ontario’s parks. Each of its 16 heated shelters has space for six people, so grab some friends and lounge the weekend away. MacGreger Point Provincial Park, 1593 Bruce Rd. 33, ontarioparks.com.
Friday, November 20: Hey Rosetta! and Yukon Blonde
The St. John’s outfit Hey Rosetta! headlines with their complex yet cathartic sing-alongs, while Kelowna hippie-rockers Yukon Blonde blaze through their album On Blonde, a repertoire of synth-shaped rock ’n’ roll. $39.50–$49.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., roythomson.com.
Saturday, November 21: Sleeping Beauty on Ice
An international troupe of 18 championship skaters lace up for an ice ballet based on the classic Brothers Grimm tale set to Tchaikovsky’s romantic 1890 score. Expect stilt skating, pyrotechnics and gravity-defying leaps. $55–$95. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E., sonycentre.ca.
Sunday, November 22: Grimes
Claire Boucher graduated from underground gigs to world tours with her breakthrough album, Visions. Up next: Art Angels, a diverse collection of punky synthpop tunes that includes the danceable, dubstep-tinged “Go.” $32.75–$40.50. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., ticketmaster.com.
Monday, November 23: Otto’s Berlin Döner
This new snack counter in Kensington Market serves a near-perfect version of Berlin’s unofficial late-night nosh, the döner. Thick slices of spit-roasted veal and lamb are tossed with tomato, iceberg lettuce and red cabbage, then doused with a spicy, garlicky yogurt sauce and served on grilled flatbread. Read our review here. 256 Augusta Ave., ottosdoner.com.
Tuesday, November 24: Domesticated
Star spouses Paul Gross and Martha Burns turn their offstage chemistry into onstage scandal in this play about a popular politician who’s discovered at the bedside of an ailing sex worker. $24–$53. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., canadianstage.com.
Wednesday, November 25: Abbas Kiarostami
In its first solo exhibition, the Aga Khan Museum presents a series of full-size canvas works by Iranian photographer, poet and filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who spent two decades documenting weird and weathered doors in Iran, Italy, France and Morocco. Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr., agakhanmuseum.org.
Thursday, November 26: Romeo and Juliet
The National Ballet of Canada’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s most popular love story blends the subtle urgency of Sergei Prokofiev’s score with the fresh, folksy energy of Alexei Ratmansky’s rapid, Russian choreography. From $37. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., national.ballet.ca.
November 27 to 29 Weekend Getaway: Elora
Find some sweet deals (and Santa Claus) on the streets of Elora during Starlight Shopping, when the quaint, quiet town congregates to pick out Christmas gifts, share some hot wintry beverages and, presumably, appreciate their beautiful surroundings. Various locations, elora.info.
Friday, November 27: Bahamas
Toronto troubadour Afie Jurvanen’s newest album, Bahamas Is Afie, is a gorgeously restrained record of soft, country-coloured folk rock. Here, he delivers his new, swaying single “All I’ve Ever Known” along with three discs’ worth of other breezy beauties. $19–$29.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., liveatmasseyhall.com.
Saturday, November 28: One of a Kind Show and Sale
The 40-year-old makers’ market is an IRL Etsy, uniting hundreds of artisans and vendors to deliver carefully crafted wares for the home, kitchen and wardrobe, including ultra-cool Toronto skyline cufflinks by Sin Kim Jewellery. Enercare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd., oneofakindshow.com.
Sunday, November 29: Late Company
The prolific playwright Jordan Tannahill continues his takeover of the Toronto theatre scene with a production of Late Company, which occurs months after a young boy’s suicide, when his parents invite their son’s bully and his family over for dinner. $30. The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W., theatrecentre.org.
Monday, November 30: Charles Matton
The Parisian polymath is best known for his impeccably detailed miniature interiors, painted dioramic duplicates of real-life bedrooms, studios and libraries. This retrospective reveals a largely unseen oeuvre of in-process snapshots and other photography. Artwork $3,500–$12,500. Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen St. W., bulgergallery.com.
When it was originally published, this post mistakenly featured Factory Theatre's production of Banana Boys on Monday, November 9. In fact, the show runs Tuesdays through Sundays.