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Mark Wigmore's Top 3 - Weekend of December 9

Friday, 09 December 2016 12:04

It’s Friday and that means Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore shares his top arts and entertainment picks for your weekend ahead.


The folks at Soulpepper are looking to harness the spirit of the Toronto Christmas Market and make it even more festive over the next couple of weeks. Not that the theatre hub hasn't always offered wonderful holiday and Christmas programming, but when you have five or six thousand people wandering through the Distillery daily, that’s likely going to set the mood. Once again, Soulpepper is offering up “A Christmas Carol” starring the great Joseph Ziegler. Joseph Spoke to Mark Wigmore in 2014.

Interestingly, Soulpepper has cast it-boy talent Kawa Ada as young Ebineezor Scrooge this time around. This is one of the great versions of the Dickens classic. “A Christmas Carol” at the Young Centre.

Also, beginning this weekend, illusionist David Ben returns to Soulpepper with his latest mix of theatre meets magic. This one is titled “Hocus Pocus”. Great for the magic lover in your family.

The one change this year; a stage adaptation of the film "It's A Wonderful Life". The Capra classic gets the Soulpepper treatment, but with a little help from Canadian Stage. The production will take place at The Bluma Appel, which simply has more room, so the team behind this one expects it to be very popular. Resident Artist and Nova Scotian Gregory Prest will take on the lead role as George. Click here for more information.


It's going to be a very special night of jazz at Koerner Hall on Saturday. There's just something keen and delightful about the trusty dexterity of B3 Hammond genius Joey Defrancesco.

The three time Grammy nominee will be with his trio at Koerner Hall this weekend. He's played other rooms; bigger and smaller, but this is going to be a beautiful spot for his trio... get ready to feel good.

Also on stage as part of the “Art of the Trio Concert Series” that Koerner has organized, Jensen Restivo Vivian, the all Canadian powerhouse combo featuring David Restivo on the keys, bassist Jim Vivian and Montreal's Christine Jensen. Click here for tickets.


They are decking the halls at the Jazz Bistro this weekend. Two wonderful shows will take place, starting with The Robert Scott trio on Saturday night. The trio will be paying tribute to the Charlie Brown Christmas Album, composed and performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio way back in 1965. Mark Wigmore spoke to the original drummer about the wildly popular jazz recording, Jerry Granelli.

You can see Robert Scott and his trio, including George Koller on bass, this Saturday night at 9:30pm at the jazz bistro.

And you may have seen him at our famous One Stop Vocal Jazz Safaris! Sam Broverman: A Jewish Boy's Christmas will happen on Sunday night at the Bistro. It's a fun night of exploration into how Jewish composors have contributed to your classic Christmas tunes. Click here for info.

At Hugh’s Room this weekend, an equally inspiring roster of holiday programming. The Roncesvalles mainstay gets festive Saturday night with the Toronto All Star Big Band.

This is a wonderful act featuring lots of locals and it's cool yule show is titled “A Swingin’ Christmas with the Toronto All-Star Big Band”. Expect material from Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick and the Andrew Sisters.

On Sunday, The Sultans of String have a holiday show worked out for Hugh's Room. The gypsy jazz outfit will perform their new Christmas Caravan concert, featuring originals, world music inspired classics, and seasonal favorites of course. Click here for info on both nights.

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