Christmas at Toronto City Hall

Weekend Radar: What's In The Box Festival, Toronto Zoo Holiday Treats Walk, Cinderella in Muddy York, Boxing Day Salsa Party, Ice Pick: The Dancehall Movie, Reader Writer Party, Sunday Night Live, the Nutcracker

Photo: "Christmas At City Hall" by keith_watson, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

Events on Toronto's Radar for SATURDAY DECEMBER 26 and SUNDAY DECEMBER 27, 2009... lovingly handpicked from blogTO's events calendar.

Saturday, December 26

MUSIC | What's In the Box Festival
For the next five nights the Drake is serving up five bands a night in a music festival that will keep your party muscles exercised until the big one on New Year's Eve. Tonight's bill includes Scarborough soulrocking duo the Carps, synth-punk trio the Styrofoam Ones and DJ Scratch Bastid. Highlights from the rest of the week are sets by Bishop Morocco, By Divine Right, the D'Urbervilles and Opopo. Props to the Drake for having a music fest this time of year and filling the winter music vacuum.
The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., $5, 10 pm

THEATRE | Cinderella in Muddy York
Toronto's internationally renowned puppeteers Puppetmongers brings you this two time Dora-nominated production by brother and sister puppeteering duo Ann and David Powell. The critically-acclaimed production tells the story of Ella, a young girl living in early 19th Century York (the precursor to Toronto) where downtown is muddy mess of streets and anything west of Yonge Street is untamed wilderness. The play if funny and informative and has something for both children and adults. Beautifully staged using marionettes and innovative performance techniques developed by Puppetmongers. Runs til January 1.
Tarragon Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Ave., $16 adult, $13 children/seniors/students, Daily matinees at 2 pm, additional matinees Dec. 30 and 31 at 4:30 pm

ZOO | Toronto Zoo's Annual Christmas Treats Walk
The weather outside will indeed be frightful today, and not in the pleasant Christmasy way. More in the "what a stupid city we live in" kind of way. Don't let high winds and wet weather deter you from a walk in the zoo, where today Siberian tigers, polar bears, reindeer, and other animals will unwrap their Christmas treats and carollers will stroll through the grounds singing and handing out hot chocolate. Half price admission all day, with proceeds going to the Endangered Species Reserve Fund.
Toronto Zoo, 361A Old Finch Ave., $6.50 kids, $10.50 adults, 10 am - 4: 30 pm (last admission 3:30 pm

DANCE | Toronto Salsa Nights Boxing Day Salsa Party
The second annual salsa party has been moved to a larger venue after a smashing success in 2008. Strut your stuff on the dancefloor while Djs play the hottest salsa, cha-cha and bachata tracks. In honour of Boxing Day prices at the bar have been slashed, and there will also be performance by the United Salseros Men's Group. No lessons at this event, just dancers who know all the moves heating up the dancefloor. A spicy and sexy way to spend your Saturday night.
Estonian House, 958 Broadview Ave., $15, 9 pm

FILM | Ice Pick: The Dancehall Movie
LyricDVD Magazine is an electronic publication that also produces movies to accompany its editorial content. The magazine is run out of two offices in Toronto and Kingston, Jamaica and focuses on the dancehall music scene in both cities. Tonight at Spadina's Acacia Theatre they launch their new movie Ice Pick, an in-depth look at a genre of music that was born from the violent streets of Kingston told through the eyes of some its major stars.
Acacia Theatre, 186 Spadina Ave., $10 9:30 pm

PARTY | The Holiday Wrap Yacht Party
The pesky "spend time with your family" part of the holidays is over, and the week long Boxing Day to New Year's Eve party season has officially begun. There are plenty of jams going down across the city tonight, but this one is the only one that's happening on a boat. The bitch of a Boxing Day storm that will hit us today might take away some of the usual pleasures of pleasure cruising (sun, warm weather, actually feeling like you're on a boat, etc) but the yacht is fully enclosed and heated and djs will be spinning the hits all night. Probably not as fun as this, but Toronto Harbour in the dead of winter is not exactly Miami Beach.
Stella Borealis, 25 Queens Quay East, Pier 27, $35 advance, more at the door, 9 pm

Sunday, December 27:

BOOKS AND LIT | Reader+Writer+Party
The After Waking Creative group hosts this evening of unfinished literary work. A group of authors that includes Barnacle Love author Anthoy De Sa, Anar Ali, and Sheila Heti will share either early drafts of now-finished works or current versions of works-in-progress. The idea is to give aspiring writers a glimpse into the processes of successful writers, hopefully inspiring others to tell their own stories. Live jazz and martinis at the bar.
The Social, 1100 Queen St. W., $18.50, $5 taken off with every donation to the food bank, 6 pm

BALLET | The Nutcracker
This fall, Washington Post writer Sarah Kaufman sparked controversy in the theatre world by calling the Nutcracker "the ballet equivalent of meatloaf" and urging theatre companies break with the tradition that mandates they stage the ballet every single year. Luckily for us here in Toronto even if every other city heeds her advice, our Nutcracker will likely be the last to go as it's widely hailed as one of the best productions of the holiday classic on the planet. There are still tickets available for its 2009-2010 run, and with sets and costumes by Oscar and Tony-nominated Santo Loquasto it's definitely worth a look. Performances from Sunday Dec. 27 til January 3.
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., $45 - $100, 1 pm matinee, 5:30 pm evening performance

COMEDY | The Classic Supremes and The Sketcherons' Sunday Night Live
Two of the city's best comedy ensembles play back to back Sunday night at the Comedy Bar. The Classic Supremes' Greg Chociej, Ely Henry, and Charles Pond all have kind of funny names, a good start when forming a comedy troupe. The Supremes will be followed by the Sketchersons, perennial nominees for the Canadian Comedy Award for Best Sketch Troupe. The powerhouse group of about a dozen members plays its popular weekly Sunday Night Live set.
The Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor St. W., $8, 8 pm

Have an event you'd like to plug? Submit your own listing to the blogTO calendar, contact us directly, or use our handy Facebook app.

For Toronto movie showtimes, view our Movie Listings section.

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