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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of April 11–13

Catch the COC's adaptation of Hercules this weekend. (Image: Michael Cooper)

Catch the COC’s adaptation of Hercules this weekend. (Image: Michael Cooper)

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.

OPERA

Hercules
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

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The Pick: Jean Painlevé’s hypnotic underwater films, accompanied live by Yo La Tengo

In 1930, a silent science film documenting skeleton shrimp and sea spiders screened in Paris, earning accolades from painter Marc Chagall, who called it “genuine art,” and artist Fernand Léger, who said it was the loveliest ballet he’d ever seen (he would know). The film was by French Surrealist director Jean Painlevé, who spent the better part of the 20th century shooting some of the most dazzling underwater footage ever committed to film (when he wasn’t hobnobbing with Luis Buñuel and Jean Vigo). In 2002, indie darlings Yo La Tengo recorded The Sounds of the Sounds of Science, an original soundtrack for 11 of Painlevé’s short films; this Saturday, at the closing gala for the Images Festival, the band will be performing the score live to accompany a screening of Painlevé’s work.

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The Weekender: An Evening With Measha Brueggergosman, Riverdance and six other items on our to-do list

The Weekender: Riverdance, And Yet It Moves and CN Tower Climb

1. AN EVENING WITH MEASHA BRUEGGERGOSMAN
The divine Ms. M—opera singer, reality TV judge and heart disease spokesperson—gets back to her roots with this intimate two-set concert promoting her new album, I’ve Got a Crush on You. April 20. $49.50-$58. Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church, 427 Bloor St. W., 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca.

2. CN TOWER CLIMB
While most Saturdays find us sleeping in or going to our favourite brunch place for Caesars, this weekend we feel inspired to do something a bit more active: scaling the CN Tower—all 1,776 steps of it—to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund’s conservation efforts. Check-in runs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. April 21. Minimum donation is $75. CN Tower, 301 Front St. W., wwf.ca/cntower.

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