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    MARK WIGMORE'S TOP 3 – WEEK OF JANUARY 8th

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




    SCHITT’S CREEK: SEASON 4

    Its winter, and that means the return of so many TV favorites including the fourth season of Schitt’s Creek.



    The Rose family is back. And it’s not the simple fish out of water tale we saw in Season 1 of the CBC program. In the beginning, Eugene and Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Annie Baker were billionaires who lost everything; moving to the lark purchase town of Schitt’s Creek. But since that initial setup, the characters have been beautifully fleshed out, and the show now has a wonderful pace and comedic flow.

    Mark spoke to the cast during a set visit last summer.

     


    This new season is so funny and well written, but definitely takes a deeper dive into these characters. Schitt's Creek Season 4 premieres Tuesday at 9pm on CBC Television.

     


    THE GROUNDLING THEATRE: LEAR

     
    This is an interesting turn of events for comedy fans. Colin Mochrie has joined the Groundling Theatre Company as a cast member in Lear. The comedy veteran will play The Fool in the Bard classic. The other point of interest within this production with that the usual ‘King’ has been replaced with a Queen; in this case, Stratford mainstay Seana McKenna. This was an idea that the team at Canadian Stage played with last year during its run of Shakespeare in High Park. This time, the female led Lear will be housed at The Harbourfront Centre Theatre beginning Tuesday and running through the 28th. www.GroundlingTheatre.com for info and tickets. It's the company's 5th season, and Colin Mochrie will be my guest this Sunday on "Arts Toronto".

     


    HOT DOCS CINEMA: THE FAMILY

     
    It’s hard to believe, but the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival is just a few months away, and so why not get in the spirit with the organization's monthly series, Doc Soup. The January edition sees multiple screenings of The Family.



    If you've ever thought of joining a religious cult, The Family might be cautionary viewing. Anne Hamilton-Byrne led the Australian sect known as The Family. She convinced her followers to hand over their life-savings, their homes, relinquish marriages and turn over infants and children. She was convinced she was their Messiah, and she conducted all sorts of abuse and strange psychiatric and psychedelic drug experiments, especially on the kids. She was never arrested despite the Family's dissolution. Director Rosie Jones gets firsthand accounts from cult members and police detectives involved in the case in The Family. She will be participating in screenings with Skype Q&As at all screenings. The Family will be shown Wednesday at 6:30pm and 9:15pm and Thursday at 6:45pm. www.HotDocsCinema.ca for details

     

     

     




    BONUS IDEAS


     


    FRINGE: NEXT STAGE THEATRE FESTIVAL


    A reminder that The Toronto Fringe Next Stage Theatre Festival is underway. Next Stage is a platform for past Fringe artists to take their work to the next level – and a great chance to see what the Fringe is up to in the dead of winter. Next Stage is taking place at The Factory Theatre through the weekend. A couple of stand-outs for me: Good Morning Viet Mom, Jonno, The Surprise and Swordplay. www.fringetoronto.com for info and tickets. Go and enjoy something fresh and daring this week with Next Stage.


     


    TARRAGON THEATRE: HAMLET


    Noah Reid was fantastic in the Coal Mine Theatre production of Aliens earlier this season. He's a cast member of Schitt's Creek, and he's back on stage this week, portraying Hamlet with Tarragon Theatre. The team there calling it a Rock and Roll Reimagining. Hamlet opens Wednesday night and it runs through February 11th. The show runs 3 hours, and it directed by Artistic Director, Richard Rose. www.Tarragontheatre.com for tickets.


     


    THE ANNUAL VINTAGE PROM


    And a reminder that this Friday night sees The Annual Vintage Prom return for its 4th year. The event is happening at The Great Hall, which was renovated in the last couple of years, so it’s looking good. The Vintage Prom is presented by Rose the Rebel, and you can pick up tickets there for $25, that's 604 Queen West. Or check here: Vintage Prom Website


    This year’s theme is "Dreams of the Silverscreen" featuring classic Hollywood costumes. Doors are at 8:30pm and then expect performances from DJ Swankenstein, The Soda Pop Hop Dance Troup, The rockabilly act The Greasemarks, and live jazz from Kitten Monroe... Ivory and Alex Bird too. Limited General admission tickets will be available Friday night, at the door for $35.







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