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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of February 8–10

Fran Lebowitz appears in conversation with Jian Ghomeshi this Friday at Massey Hall (Image: courtesy of Fran Lebowitz)

In this edition of The Weekender: a Chinese New Year festival, the queen of Italian-American cuisine and three more things to do in Toronto.

THEATRE
1. Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata
For this 90-minute song cycle, Vancouver singer-composer Veda Hille and CBC host Bill Richardson took actual Craigslist postings and set them to music. The result is alternately humorous (“Need Sarah Palin look-alike for adult film”) and poignant (the Missed Connections), as the show’s central theme slowly emerges: the desire to connect in an increasingly virtual world. $35–$47. To March 3. Factory Theatre, 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca

FOOD
2. Lidia, Live on Stage
Lidia Bastianich’s an Italian-American culinary dynamo: she’s a TV chef, a cookbook author, a restaurateur and, most recently, co-founder of the popular New York Italian grocery Eataly. She brings her unique stage show—part cooking demonstration, part food-tinged live memoir, part Q&A—to Toronto on Sunday. $114-$352. February 10. Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca

MUSIC
3. Yo La Tengo
Hoboken, New Jersey–based trio Yo La Tengo have mellowed a little over 30-plus years of making indie rock; but they’ve also become masters of a certain kind of slow-burning, fuzzed out romanticism (it helps to have a married couple at the core of the group). $25. February 9. Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St., 416-323-1251, libertygroup.com

FESTIVAL
4. CIBC LunarFest (FREE!)
Harbourfront rings in the Chinese Year of the Snake with this weekend-long family-friendly festival. Expect a traditional lion dance, an interactive lantern maze, a musical performance by the genre smashing Chai Found Music Workshop and a tutored tasting of five different kinds of dumplings. February 8–10. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com

CONVERSATION
5. Fran Lebowitz
This conversation between sharp-tongued New York wit Fran Lebowitz and Jian Ghomeshi was originally scheduled for early November until Hurricane Sandy intervened ($1 of each ticket sale is going to be donated to the Red Cross). Despite a decade-long writer’s block, Lebowitz remains a compelling, if intimidating, live speaker. Good luck, Jian! February 8. $17.50–$57.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com

 

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