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The hottest tickets in town: Five things to do in Toronto

Thundercat is performing at the Danforth Music Hall on Feb. 28.

Thundercat

The jazzy bass player born Stephen Bruner has serious chops and heavy associations, but for his new album Drunk, he's not above having a little fun, with A-list friends Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Wiz Khalifa, Kamasi Washington and Flying Lotus lending hands. Wait a minute, back up – Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins? Yacht rock just got that much cooler.

Feb. 28, 7 p.m. $15 to $22.50. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., 855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca.

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Ahead by Century

Years from now, students will be going to school on the oeuvre of the singer-songwriter and poet Gord Downie. In fact, they already are. At the County Day School, a senior school production uses the music and words of the Tragically Hip and the rock laureate Downie to present what they're billing as a "moving and joyous" Canadian theatrical experience.

March 2 to 4. $15. County Day School, 13415 Dufferin St., King, Ont., cds.on.ca.

Bang! The Bert Berns Story

A refreshing sub-genre of music documentaries has emerged in the past few years, one that pays special attention to the heroes out of the spotlight. The Wrecking Crew focused on L.A.-based studio musicians in the 1960s, 20 Feet from Stardom celebrated the best backup singers and now, the story of Bert Berns, a soul-music producer and Twist & Shout songwriter, is affectionately told.

March 1 and 2. $16. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123 or hotdocs.ca.

Wrik Mead: Local Hero

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With 30 years in the moving-images business to his credit, Wrik Mead gets a celebration long overdue. Known for his short-form works of fairy-tale allegory, first-person narrative and tales of queer identity, the Toronto-based media artist receives a retrospective at OCAD University, his alma mater and the place where he's punched his time card for more than two decades.

Feb. 24, 8 p.m. $5 to $8. OCADU, 100 McCaul St., 416-977-6000 or ocadu.ca.

National Arts Centre Orchestra

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra never gets its oboes out of joint when its capital-city counterpoint comes to town. On Saturday, the TSO collegially hands over its stage for a program that offers two William Walton works (including the score for Laurence Olivier's Henry V from 1944) and an appearance by the Spanish guitarist Pepe Romero.

Feb. 25, 8 p.m. $39.75 to $154. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-598-3375 or tso.ca.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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