In this edition of The Weekender, a modern reinterpretation of a classic opera, a festival of kids’ movies and three more things to do in Toronto this weekend.
For the Canadian Opera Company’s adaptation of Handel’s Hercules, American stage director Peter Sellars has pared down the show’s libretto in order to bring it closer, in spirit, to the Sophocles play that inspired it to begin with. Even as the production reaches for its ancient-Greek roots, it also connects with audiences in a contemporary way, by portraying Hercules as a modern U.S. army general suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Apr. 11. $89-$255. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., coc.ca
The self-proclaimed “largest festival in North America for experimental and independent moving-image culture” is back for another year of art film. This is a rare opportunity to see a wide variety of experimental shorts and features, many of them rarely screened outside art galleries. Among this weekend’s screenings is the “Remodeled Beyond Recognition” program, a selection of shorts that explore themes of image, identity and space. Until Apr. 19. FREE–$15. Various venues, imagesfestival.com
TIFF Kids International Film Festival
Kids’ films are often celebrated more for their commercial success than their artistic merit, but TIFF’s annual kiddie festival aims to redress that imbalance. On this year’s slate are a wide variety of films, from Antboy to Zip and Zap. Until Apr. 21 Tickets $12 adult, $8.50 children under 13. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net
Second-Annual Stompin’ Tom Memorial Show
For the second year in a row, musicians will gather to commemorate the departed folk singer and Canadian national treasure. Among the acts on the bill are Sarah Harmer, Cuff the Duke’s Wayne Petti, and Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker. Apr 12. Tickets $20. Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., ticketfly.com
Algonquin, a first feature from Canadian director Jonathan Hayes, begins its Canadian theatrical run in Toronto this weekend. Set in and around Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park, the film is the story of Jake, a bored high school teacher who travels to cottage country intending to help his father write a book about the park, until things go terribly wrong. Sunday’s screening will have cast and crew in attendance. Apr. 13. Tickets $10. The Royal Cinema, 608 College St., theroyal.to