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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for March 2 to 4

This photo shows actors from Orpheus Musical Theatre Society rehearsing for "Rent."

Friday, March 2
Orpheus Musical Theatre brings its rendition of the Tony Award-winning Rent to the stage. Based on Puccini’s La Bohème, this rock opera follows a group of young, struggling artists trying to make it in New York City. Gritty and modern, the friends face challenges that range from relationships to money to the health threat of HIV and AIDS. See why the musical lasted 12 years on Broadway when this local theatre group takes on the show. (And don’t be surprised if you start humming songs like “La Vie Bohème B” and “Seasons of Love” and dreaming of running away to the Big Apple.) Opening tonight and running until March 11.

In 1971, Pink Floyd played two shows in Quebec, one in Montreal and one in Quebec city, for the first time ever. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of these legendary concerts with the 2011 travelling show Eclipse – The Pink Floyd Story, on at Casino du Lac-Leamy. This commemorative performance demonstrates the band’s evolution, with a live band performing the best of Pink Floyd from the early days to the later years. Moving lights, spectacular lasers, and video projections make this a complete sensory experience.

Enter the musical universe of Kyssi Wète this Friday at the National Arts Centre. Wète mixes the sounds and rhythms of blues, reggae, rumba, soul, raga, and pop to transport his audiences somewhere between France, Jamaica, and the Congo. Using human diversity and relationships as his inspiration, he relays messages of interracial harmony with his unique voice.

Saturday, March 3
Celebrate International Women’s Week on the opening day of the Celebrate HER Charity Music and Art Festival. The festival celebrates outstanding women in the Ottawa community with a week full of art, music, dance, theatre, and spoken word poetry. Check out this year’s centrepiece: the “Amazing Women-Femmes d’exception” photo installation at Alpha Soul Café, which includes women such as University of Ottawa professor Constance Backhouse and children’s author Naomi Guzman Poole.

This Saturday is the last day to laugh your way through Translations at the Ottawa Little Theatre. When the British Army moves into a small Irish village in the mid-1800s to change place names from Gaelic to the King’s English, romance, drama, and comic misunderstandings ensue. Think of it as preparation for St. Patrick’s Day later in March.

Celebrate the new spring season with your little ones at the Canada Agriculture Museum’s annual Barnyard Break. Help your kids name the newest additions to the museum’s cow family, learn how a modern milking machine works, meet the sheep and the goats, and learn how to make butter. With so many different activities, there’s something for everyone!

Power of Movement takes place in Ottawa, along with 21 other Canadian cities.

Sunday, March 4
Start practicing your downward dog because the Power of Movement mega yoga session takes place today. On this wintery morning in 22 Canadian cities, thousands of people will don their spandex pants to take part in giant, hour-long yoga classes; in Ottawa alone organizers expect about 200 participants. And don’t worry if you can’t twist yourself into a pretzel just yet: the goal is to build a healthy balance of strength, flexibility, and appreciation for your hot bod. Proceeds go to arthritis and autoimmune disease research.

This Sunday, catch the end of VERSeFest, a poetry festival that includes both traditional and spoken word poetry. Take the afternoon to work on your inner wordsmith at a hands-on workshop with American spoken-word artist at Mercury Lounge. Then spend a poetic evening at the National Arts Centre . Festival is on now and runs until Sunday.

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