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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

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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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