Eight things to do in Toronto this week


  • The Comet Is Coming

Watch this for: A sound both ground-shaking and outta this world.

London reed man Shabaka Hutchings is a busy guy and no stranger here, having been through the last couple years with skronky quartet Sons of Kemet and Afrofuturists Shabaka and the Ancestors. This time it’s a trio, but don’t let the relatively scaled-down lineup fool ya: King Shabaka’s tenor sax is as molten as ever and alongside Dan Leavers and Max Hallett — a.k.a. Danalogue the Conqueror and Betamax Killer, on electronics and drums respectively — the combination makes for a proggy, dense, cosmic stew that’s delivered with panache and pulse. Highly recommended for fans of Kamasi Washington, Coltrane, Sun Ra, King Crimson — you get the idea. (Mod Club, 722 College St., doors 7 p.m.)

— Chris Young


  • Ang Lee on Gemini Man

Watch this if: you want to know all of Will Smith’s de-aging secrets.

From the wire-enhanced wuxia fighting in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to the ultra-high-res look of “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” Ang Lee has consistently experimented with new means of dazzling moviegoers. Now the director has opened up a fresh realm of possibilities with “Gemini Man,” a futuristic thriller starring Will Smith as a hitman hunted by a clone of himself — he’s also played by Smith, albeit a whole lot younger-looking version thanks to groundbreaking de-aging VFX. Lee comes to town to explain how the heck he did it and to present a special preview of “Gemini Man” ahead of its Friday release. (TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 7:30 p.m.)

— Jason Anderson

  • The Black Keys

Watch this to: Boogie down.

Big riffage warning here, as the greying Ohio duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney return to the arena wars for their first show here in five years, amped up further with the addition of three touring bandmates whose marching orders are simple: Get loud. Don’t forget the hits, either — latest “Let’s Rock” is nowhere near up to their usual snuff, but the back catalogue is strong and classic-rock enthusiasts can rejoice in a career-representing setlist, with 2011 high-water mark “El Camino” getting special attention among some buried treasures going way back. With their menus crowded by a number of side projects in recent years and plenty of tickets remaining for this show, we might well be looking at a swan song, at least in terms of selling these kind of barns. (Scotiabank Arena, 40 Bay St., doors 7 p.m.)

— CY


  • Conviction at Rendezvous With Madness

Watch this if: you want to know the factors behind the rising incarceration rates for women.

A thought-provoking NFB documentary that delves deep into the lives of women on both sides of the gates of a female correctional facility in Nova Scotia, Conviction provides a strong start to the 27th annual arts fest exploring themes of mental health and addiction issues. Co-director Ariella Pahlke joins representatives of Elizabeth Fry Toronto and one of her film’s subjects for a post-screening discussion moderated by Orev Reena Katz. The Rendezvous With Madness festival continues to Oct. 20 with live performances, a visual and media arts exhibition, the fest’s first-ever comedy night and, of course, many more movies with insights worth pondering. (Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., 6:30 p.m., tickets at workmanarts.com)

— JA


  • Letterkenny

Watch this if: You like your TV comedy fast and foul-mouthed.

Leave it to Pastor Glen (actor and director Jacob Tierney) to sum up the appeal of this Canadian series in one succinct phrase: “Youse talk funny.” If you’ve already acquired a taste for this small-town comedy you’ll want to get at ’er with Season 7. Hick Wayne (Jared Keeso) and the usual swearing, fighting, drinking, chorin’, hockey-playing characters are back, so open your ears because the jokes come fast and furious. (Crave)

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—Debra Yeo

  • La Bohème

Watch this if: You want opera “by and for millennials.”

Eight years ago, an upstart opera company made waves when it translated Puccini’s “La Bohème” into English and dropped its characters into The Tranzac Club in the Annex, encouraging audiences to clutch tallboys instead of their pearls. Now Against the Grain Theatre is a nine-time Dora Award-winning company and a major force in Canadian opera (also known for “Kopernikus” last season), so now, not only is “La Bohème” returning to the Tranzac with a Friday premiere, it’s on a national tour from Banff to the Yukon. Can’t make it? It will also be livestreamed on CBC Gem on Oct. 13. (Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Ave., 8 p.m.)

— Carly Maga


  • AGO Live: Songs of Heaven

Watch this if: You want an evening of music that’s downright heavenly.

The Art Gallery of Ontario’s next major exhibition opening this week, “Early Rubens,” travels in divine themes in the visual art of Peter Paul Rubens and his Baroque masterpieces (the AGO’s popular “The Massacre of the Innocents” included). To celebrate its opening, the gallery is complementing these works with heavenly music, courtesy of the Robert Busiakiewicz performing three new choral compositions by Owen Pallett, Cris Derksen and Matt Smith that are inspired by the call-and-response style of choral singing. Admission to this 60-minute concert includes admission to the exhibition. (Art Gallery of Ontario, 535 Dundas St. W., 5:30 p.m., repeats Sunday)

— CM

  • Why We Hate

Watch this if: You want to move past fear to understanding.

You might wonder why, when we’re awash in hate in today’s fractured world, you’d want to watch a documentary about it. But this series — executive produced by Steven Spielberg and fellow Oscar winner Alex Gibney, and directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Sam Pollard (“When the Levees Broke”) — takes a thoughtful, measured look at the human psychology of and evolutionary basis for hate, and suggests there might be a way to keep it from spreading. (Discovery at 10 p.m.)