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WEEKENDER: Beauty meets the Beast, teen girls rock out, and a Plaid Parade is set to take over the west end

Elaborate sets and colourful costumes bring the world of Beauty and the Beast to life. Photo by Joan Marcus.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
If you’re feeling nostalgic, why not re-visit a tale as old as time? The smash-hit Broadway musical is now on at the NAC. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, this classic musical is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and production numbers so upbeat you’ll have the songs stuck in your head for days. Experience the enchanting tale of Belle, a young woman whose father is held captive by the Beast (who’s really a prince trapped under a spell), and offers herself in her father’s place. While we admit that’s a dark way to start a story, Belle sees beyond Beast’s gruff exterior and against all odds the two begin to fall in love. Aww… Tuesday, October 30, to Sunday, November 4, show times vary by day. $50-$105. NAC, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., www.nac-cna.ca.

FREE THINKING FILM FESTIVAL
Centred on themes of freedom, liberty, and democracy, the Free Thinking Film Festival urges festivalgoers to engage in conversation and public debate. The third annual festival includes four evenings and two full days (Saturday and Sunday) that feature more than 20 films, five book launches, speakers, and a series of panel discussions. The title films include Losing Our Sons, Death By China, The Rescuers, and Raoul Wallenberg. Thursday, November 1, to Sunday, November 4. Day passes $30 ($15 for students). See website for schedule. Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., www.freethinkingfilmfest.ca

THE TOM FUN ORCHESTRA
The name says it all! Alternative indie folk collective The Tom Fun Orchestra will surely get you on your feet. Hailing from Nova Scotia, the band is set to perform at Café Dekcuf this Friday alongside guests The Strumbellas (a Toronto folk country band) and Jonathan Becker and the White Devils (Ottawa’s own indie folk ensemble). The assortment of genres on display will ensure everyone has a good time. Friday, November 2, 9 p.m. $10 in advance. Café Dekcuf, 221 Rideau St., www.spectrasonic.com. 

OTTAWA ROCK CAMP FOR GIRLS
Has your daughter been dropping hints about guitar lessons lately? Maybe she could use a little extra help on the drum set? Ottawa Rock Camp is a three-day musical event for girls aged 13-17. It’s designed to be both fun and intensive, and suitable for the absolute beginner (Guitar Hero pros welcome) and the more experienced player looking to improve her musical skills. If you know someone who’s been looking for an opportunity to unleash her inner rock star and learn guitar, bass, and drums, this is the event for her. No previous musical experience is necessary and all equipment and instruments are provided. Besides rocking out, there will also be a pizza party, a Girls Rock! documentary, and other fun activities on the bill. Friday, November 2, to Sunday, November 4, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. $3 or canned food donation. Capital Rehearsal Studio, 250 City Centre Ave., Unit 202, www.ottawarockcampforgirls.com

Alex Cuba and his band play music that reflects both Latin and African influences, with a mix of funk, jazz, and pop thrown in for good measure. Photo by Christina Woerns.

ALEX CUBA BAND
Cuban-Canadian singer-songwriter Alexis Puentas, better known as Alex Cuba, has been writing songs and playing gigs since his teenage days. Often working with his brother, Alex’s songs reflect Latin and African influences, with a mix of funk, jazz, and pop thrown in for good measure. Alex has collaborated with fellow Canadian superstar Nelly Furtado, as well as with Corinne Bailey Rae. His music is enjoyed both in Canada (he’s won two Juno awards) and abroad (he won a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist). Friday, November 2, and Saturday, November 3, 7:30 p.m. $38.50. NAC, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., www.nac-cna.ca.

KICHESIPPI BEER CO. PRESENTS PLAID PARADE (FREE!)
Ah fall, that perfect in-between point. Before the weather becomes too frigidly cold, make the most of the season by taking part in Ottawa’s first-ever Plaid Parade. Presented by Kichesippi Beer Co, the event invites you to show off your finest plaid attire and take a scenic bike ride through the city in celebration of autumn. The bike ride will start at Suzy Q Donuts on Wellington Street West, and continue towards the Rideau Canal by Dow’s Lake before circling back to the starting point. For those who need a break from cycling there are plenty more bike-related events happening around Wellington Village: a bike themed art exhibit entitled “Self Propelled” at Grey Area, an open house at Tall Tree Cycles, and an after-party at the Kichesippi Brewery. Pizza and beer will provide much-needed nourishment. Saturday, November 3, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sign in to Facebook to see the event page here.

INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL MINIPRINT EXHIBITION (FREE!)
Opening this Saturday, the International Digital Miniprint Exhibition will feature unconventional artwork from all around the world. In its 7th edition, the annual exhibition at Le Centre d’artistes Voix Visuelle is curated by Raymond Aubin and will showcase artwork inspired by this year’s theme, Quick! Presented in both English and French, this unique and unusual show has proven to be a favourite among gallery hoppers. Saturday, November 3, 1 p.m. Le Centre d’artistes Voix Visuelle, 81 Beechwood Ave., www.voixvisuelle.ca.

THE GREAT CRAFTING DE-STASH (FREE!)
Got some holiday crafting coming up? Then head over to this event that involves exhibitors clearing out old crafting supplies and selling the cast-offs for super cheap. Flock Boutique has not only invited 30 designers/crafters to participate in this year’s event (which kicks off this Saturday), but has also put out an open call for any other crafters willing to part with some of their extensive craft stashes (be honest, will you really miss those old buttons?). Send them an email if you’d like to join in the fun! Saturday, November 3, to Sunday, November 11. Flock Boutique, 1275 Wellington St. W., email info@flockboutique.ca to participate, see the event Facebook page here.