UJA at the Movies presents two exclusive screenings of My Herzl, an intimate and unexpected documentary film about the private life of Theodor Herzl. The film was a Canada-Israel co-production produced by Toronto lawyer David Matlow and directed by his Israeli brother-in-law, Eli Tal-El. Matlow is known for his extraordinary 2,500-item Herzl collection.
Tal-El will be on hand at both screenings for a Q&A. First screening is at Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk, 5095 Yonge St., Oct. 7, 7 p.m. with Q&A in English. Second screening is at Joseph & Wolf Lebovic JCC, 9600 Bathurst St., Oct. 8, 7 p.m. with Q&A in Hebrew. Tickets $10. 416-631-5707 or GGomperts@ujafed.org
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Poetry Launch: Toronto Workmen’s Circle presents the launch of Exile at Last: Selected Poems, the recently published book of poetry by the late renowned Yiddish Canadian writer and Lodz Ghetto survivor Chava Rosenfarb. The program, presented by the author’s daughter Dr. Goldie Morgentaler, includes readings in English and Yiddish by poet Ken Sherman and Yiddishist Rivka Augenfeld, and singing by composer Henri Oppenheim. Oct. 6, 2 p.m. at 471 Lawrence Ave. W., just east of Bathurst. Free admission, refreshments.
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• The late Jonathan Larson, the playwright-composer behind the Broadway blockbuster Rent, also wrote an autobiographical stage musical behind his creation of Rent. Tick, Tick . . . Boom! tells the story of a young composer on the brink of turning 30 and falling into oblivion, but still trying to write the great American musical. Angelwalk Theatre Company’s production of Tick, Tick . . . Boom! is in previews from Sept. 21 and runs Sept. 25 to Oct. 6 at Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre. www.angelwalk.ca, 1-855-985-2787.
• Alumnae Theatre Company presents The Underpants, a very sexy and bawdy play by Steve Martin, based on a 1910 German farce by Carl Sternheim. The premise is that a housewife becomes an instant celebrity after she accidentally loses her underpants in public. The director is Ginette Mohr and the cast includes Michael Gordin Shore as Benjamin Cohen. Continues at Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley St. (SW corner at Adelaide) until Oct. 5. 416-364-4170, www.alumnaetheatre.com
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Arts in Brief
• Canadian folk music artist Jerry Gray was a “red diaper baby” growing up in Toronto’s left-wing Jewish community in the mid-20th century, and went on to co-found The Travellers and perform with Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel, Harry Belafonte, Gordon Lightfoot and many others. Gray shares songs and stories from his many travels in a musical lecture for The Yiddish Vinkl. Free Times Cafe, 320 College St. Oct. 3, noon. $18 brunch. Please RSVP to email@example.com
• Artist Cathy McPherson and writer Paul Weinberg present a talk and photo presentation on their recent travels to Berlin, Warsaw and Krakow. 918 Bathurst St., Oct. 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bagels and coffee provided. Presented by United Jewish People’s Order of Toronto. www.ujpo.org, 416-789-5502.
• Pianist-vocalist Fern Lindzon performs at the Courtyard Cafe, Windsor Arms Hotel, 18 St. Thomas St. on Oct. 13, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Adults $50, children $35. 416-971-9666. Lindzon and saxophonist Chris Gale perform a “jazz party” at the Home Smith Bar of the Old Mill Inn, 21 Old Mill Rd. Oct. 17, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. $20 food/drink minimum. 416-236-2641. Lindzon and trio are at Chalkers Pub, 247 Marlee Ave., on Saturday Oct. 19, 6 to 9 p.m. $10 cover.
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At the Galleries: The Toronto International Film Festival and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) present David Cronenberg: Transformation, a show curated by Noah Cowan and David Liss, both of MOCCA. The exhibit features works by six artists who display Cronenberg’s preoccupation with the biological and the psychological. 952 Queen St. W, 416-395-0067. The exhibit is part of a larger Cronenberg Project that also includes David Cronenberg: Through the Eyes, featuring works by Louise Bourgeois, Charles Burns, William S. Burroughs, Alex Colville, John Massey, Mark Prent and John Scott, and curated by Cronenberg himself. Opens at MOCCA Nov. 2, on view until Dec. 29.