Things to do in Toronto this weekend: March 25-27

Including stand-up Russell Howard, a hybrid opera directed by Atom Egoyan, the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival and the Oscars

Russell Howard

The UK-born stand-up and presenter, familiar from his Netflix specials, is now a global superstar, and he brings his latest tour, postponed because of the pandemic, to two Toronto venues, one in the east end, one in the west.

March 25 at 6:30 and 9 pm, Danforth Music Hall (147 Danforth), and March 26 at 7 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (190 Princes’ Blvd). $51.35-$52.70.

The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival

The mostly-virtual edition of the annual comedy festival wraps up this weekend, with digital shorts by Sam Roulston, Tom Hearn, Fatuma Adar, Anders Yates and others. There’s also a live show on March 27 at Comedy Bar Danforth.

Runs to March 27. From $8.

Picastro and Fortunato Durutti Marinetti

Long-running local experimental singer/songwriter Picastro (aka Liz Hysen) has a new cover EP, I’ve Never Met A Stranger, and she’s joining up with fellow Canadian song exploder Fortunato Durutti Marinetti. Comedian Nick Flanagan opens. These kinds of warm, slightly off-kilter local shows are something we’ve been missing. Maybe you have too.

March 26 at the Tranzac (292 Brunswick). 8 pm. $15. Proof of vaccination required.

Photo of Daniel Brooks by Bronwen Sharp

Other People

Daniel Brooks, one of the country’s most important theatre artists, presents his solo show inspired by his time at a silent meditation retreat following his terminal cancer diagnosis. Canadian Stage’s artistic director Brendan Healy directs.

Runs to April 3, Tuesday-Saturday 8 pm, matinees Sunday 2 pm. From $29. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley).

The Mary-Go-Round Project

Act 3 Theatre, an all-female collective of well-known actors between the ages of 50 and 76, presents a showcase of works in progress featuring a metaphorical merry-go-round, with each scene including a character named Mary.

Runs to March 27, Thursday-Saturday 7 pm, matinees Saturday-Sunday 2 pm. $20-$30. Aki Studio (585 Dundas East).

Photo of Bluebeard’s Castle courtesy of Canadian Opera Company

Bluebeard’s Castle

Atom Egoyan’s bold new production of Béla Bartók’s chilling one-act opera includes references to the director’s 1999 film Felicia’s Journey. Johannes Debus conducts the Canadian Opera Company orchestra, with mezzo Krisztina Szabó and Kyle Ketelsen starring in this hybrid blending of stage and screen.

March 26 at 7:30 pm (available to stream for six months). Free.

Jazmine Sullivan

Jazmine Sullivan’s confessional R&B opus Heaux Tales was a constant on year-end music lists for 2021, and now she’s making her way to Toronto’s new LiveNation venue History for a hero’s welcome.

March 27 at History (1663 Queen East). 7 pm. Tickets from $63.25.

The Oscars at Comedy Bar

Who will take home the top film prize this year? Belfast? The Power Of The Dog? CODA? Dune? How will co-hosts Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes fare? You can watch the ceremony at home, of course (on CTV at 8 pm), or you could head on over to Comedy Bar for a free screening, complete with prizes, commentary and shrewd analyses by comics like Aine Davis, Mark Little, Roger Bainbridge, Isabel Zawtun and Cameron Maitland, all hosted by Paul Beer.

March 27 at 7 pm. Free. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor West).


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