Every year, local romantics Stars give their Toronto fans something to swoon about with a series of winter shows. For three nights in a row this month, they’ll bring their romantically-charged chamber pop to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. December 11-13. $31.50 at Ticketmaster, Rotate This, Soundscapes.
Heaven & Hell Package (Handel’s Messiah and Jerry Springer The Opera)
You love spiritual elevation and high culture, but when trashy talk shows come on television, you just can’t seem to resist. The Heaven & Hell package affirms your varied tastes, offering discounted tickets on two very different shows. Handel’s Messiah is a soaring oratorio and a holiday classic. Jerry Springer, meanwhile, comes with a warning of “extremely coarse language and adult situations”. If you can handle both shows, save 10 per cent on each. Messiah is Friday, December 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Knox College Chapel (59 St. George), and Jerry Springer The Opera runs January 16-31 at Hart House. $27 both for shows.
Newmindspace Full Moon Gathering
With Newmindspace co-founder Kevin Bracken graduating and moving to New York, Toronto’s famed public space invaders are holding a mass brainstorming session designed to keep the dream alive. While Bracken’s had a hell of a run, it’s time for us locals to grab the torch. December 12, Raw Space (221 Sterling Ave.)
Loving In The Name Of (One-Year Anniversary)
With live Lionel Ritchie covers by a band starring Sebastian Grainger and Josh Reichmann, and inspired choreography by Alison Peacock, Toronto’s least annoying dance party celebrates its first birthday with a soiree at Lee’s. They promise good tunes, good vibes, and most importantly, celebrity appearances. (Sook-Yin Lee is a known attendee.) December 13th, 2008, 10 p.m., Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor West), $5
Housepaint at the ROM
Open to the public, the ROM’s exhibit of graffiti art is the first to be held in a major Canadian museum. The street art will showcase urban social issues and the pieces will be auctioned off next summer. Opening December 13.
You’re never too old to enjoy Macaulay Caulkin’s crazy hijinks as he attempts to outsmart Danny Elfman and Joe Pesci. Bring arts editor Rob Duffy as your date and you will score major Varsity bonus points. December 17, Bloor Cinema, 7p.m.
It’s a Wonderful Life
If there was ever a Christmas movie that could get past shallow materialism, this is it. Frank Capra’s 1946 classic has do-gooder George Bailey (James Stewart) wishing he had never been born. Guardian angel (Henry Travers) is sent to show Bailey how much he has improved his community and will inspire you to do the same. December 19, Bloor Cinema, 7 p.m., free for members.
It’s not New Year’s Eve without Toronto’s alt-country heroes The Sadies. If past years are any indication, special guests are bound to show up and help them ring in 2009. Make sure to get to the Horseshoe early to beat the crowd. December 31, 9p.m. $20 at Ticketmaster, Rotate This, Soundscapes.
Shit La Merde at Sneaky Dee’s
DJ Shit La Merde’s monthly Friday sets at Sneaky Dee’s are always packed with electro-loving hipsters and surprise special guests. If your ideal New Year’s involves sweating to LCD Soundsystem and 90s hip-hop in a grunge-tastic bar, this one’s for you. December 31, 10 p.m., $10 advance, $20 door