There are always so many things to do in Toronto. Get out and enjoy some of the many great expos, events and concerts taking place throughout the city this month!
BY LAURA SABATINI
ON NOW Toronto’s legendary comedy ensemble, the Second City delivers another knee-slapping show. Its fall 2013 mainstage revue, We Can Be Heroes, features a new assemblage of improvisations, sketches and songs, all written and performed by six of the company’s rising stars. These superhuman jokes are best enjoyed on a full stomach—the venue offers a full bar and food menu, with table service throughout the performance, or make a dinner-and-show booking at adjacent Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant. 51 Mercer St., $24 to $29; call 416-343-0011 or click here for a schedule and to purchase tickets.
OCTOBER 3 TO 6 Milestone anniversaries call for all-the-stops-pulled-out events; appropriately, the 25th edition of the Toronto Fall Home Show boasts the largest collection of vendors and exhibitors in its history. More than 300 home-improvement and decor specialists are on-hand to offers advice for your DIY projects, while innovative new products, unique design ideas and great deals abound on the show floor. Among the bevy of prominent guests and presenters are Property Brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott, renowned decorative painting expert Annie Sloan, and home expert Vicky Sanderson. Exhibition Place, Better Living Centre, $10 to $15; call 416-644-5400 or visit this link for further details.
OCTOBER 3 TO 30 A heart-rending story of passionate yet doomed love unfolds as the Canadian Opera Company inaugurates its latest season with a new production of Puccini’s La Bohème. Award-winning Canadian-born director John Caird leads a top-notch ensemble cast through the taverns and tenements of 19th-century Paris, a time and place of grandiose ambitions but also dire straits. Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts, $12 to $365; call 416-363-8231 or visit coc.ca for a schedule and to reserve.
OCTOBER 4 TO 27 With autumn’s arrival, another season of theme-park fun gets ready to go out not with a bang, but with a blood-curdling scream, as Canada’s Wonderland hosts its annual Halloween Haunt, a succession of spine-tingling fright nights leading up to the spookiest day of the year. The country’s premier amusement park already boasts some truly twisted roller coasters, but the big draws at this after-dark event are its absolutely sinister haunted mazes and atmospheric scare areas, all teeming with costumed monsters eager to shock the bejeezus out of you. Not recommended for children younger than 13. Friday to Sunday, 7 p.m. to midnight, $29.99 and up; call 905-832-8131 or visit here for more information and to purchase tickets.
OCTOBER 5 Sure, order that after-dinner espresso; your late-night alertness will be rewarded during Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s annual dusk-til-dawn outburst of civic engagement through conceptual art. More than a million local and visiting art lovers are expected to view—and in many cases interact with—dozens of curated projects set up in the downtown core, including works by such top Canadian artists as Kim Adams, Max Dean and Libby Hague. Ai Weiwei headlines the event’s varied list of international contributors: a new version of the Chinese artist’s Forever Bicycles installation will be on display at Nathan Phillips Square.
OCTOBER 17 TO 25 In September the Toronto International Film Festival welcomed thousands of visiting celebs and moviegoers to town. This month the city hosts outsiders of a different sort—the aliens, zombies, ghouls and other ne’er-do-wells of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Now in its eighth year, the event celebrates all things creepy, crawly and uncanny with screenings of much-anticipated new horror, sci-fi, action and cult movies from around the world. It’s the stuff of every genre-cinema fan’s dreams—or nightmares! Scotiabank Theatre, general admission $13; click here for showtimes and more information.
OCTOBER 26 TO NOVEMBER 2 One of the classical canon’s most boisterously entertaining works opens the new Opera Atelier season. The company’s revival of its colourful Abduction from the Seraglio follows the master-and-servant duo of Belmonte and Pedrillo through three uproarious acts as they attempt to spring their loved ones from the harem of the bold Pasha Selim. Featuring some of Mozart’s most beloved arias, as well as a generous share of comedic antics and ribald jokes, the production promises to appeal not only to seasoned opera lovers, but children and young adults, too. Elgin Theatre, $45 to $174; call 416-703-3767 or click here for more information.
Top Concerts This Month
OCTOBER 4 Magic men Penn and Teller materialize on stage at Casino Rama.
OCTOBER 10 B.B. King, the legendary “king of the blues,” riffs on his timeless hits at Massey Hall.
OCTOBER 10 TO 12 Toronto-based indie talent Basia Bulat marks the release of her third album with a trio of shows at the Polish Combatants Hall.
OCTOBER 12 Pop-punk band Billy Talent celebrates its 10th anniversary at the Sound Academy.
OCTOBER 17 Mercurial songstress Fiona Apple visits the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to perform from her diverse oeuvre.
OCTOBER 19 Janelle Monáe brings material from her new record, The Electric Lady, to the Kool Haus.
OCTOBER 20 House actor Hugh Laurie takes the stage at the Danforth Music Hall to show that he knows how to carry a tune, too.
OCTOBER 24 Our hometown hip-hop hero, Drake, plays a big show at the Air Canada Centre. R&B heatseeker Miguel opens.
OCTOBER 24 The Kool Haus hosts reinvigorated British dance-rock band Franz Ferdinand.
OCTOBER 25 Crooner Josh Groban presents an “in the round” performance at the Air Canada Centre.
OCTOBER 26 Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson finds his way to the Sony Centre with guitarist Jeff Beck.
OCTOBER 27 Cyndi Lauper enlivens Massey Hall.
OCTOBER 27 Eclectic indie musician Chaz Bundick—better known as Toro Y Moi—plays a set at the Phoenix. Post-rock pioneers the Sea and Cake open.
OCTOBER 29 Massey Hall hosts folk-rock icon Steve Earle and his band, the Dukes.