Heads Up

WEEKENDER: A play about politics, an evening of classical music, and everybody cuts “Footloose” — plus four more fun events for your weekend

Since 2008, the Toronto NuJazz Festival has brought together some of today’s most innovative and talented performers from around the world. For the first time ever, World Famous Music, Mercury Lounge, and House of PainT are presenting the Ottawa edition over a three-day period. The goal is to celebrate the spirit of jazz in a contemporary musical and presentation context, featuring bands that cover an incredibly diverse range of styles and DJs who fill their sets with a variety of anthems. This year’s lineup includes three progressive groups that break down musical barriers: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (USA), Soul Motivators (Toronto), and Jazz Amnesty Sound System (Montreal). Thursday, November 22, to Sunday, November 24, 10 p.m. Ticket prices vary, 3-day pass for $30. See website for venue details. www.mercurylounge.com.

Indulge in the genuine Ghanaian song and dance experience with the Carleton University Music Department’s West African Rhythm Ensemble and the Baobab Youth Performers. Combining music, dance, and drum elements, this program will include the talented Nani Agbeli of Ghana. He was trained at a young age to be a master of percussion and dance by his late father Godwin Agbeli, and currently teaches at Berklee College of Music and Tufts University in Boston. Agbeli will lead over 50 drummers and dancers in the performance of two main pieces called Tokwoe and Gahu, both of which are visually and sonically powerful. Friday, November 23, 8 p.m. $20 adults, $10 students and seniors. Kailash Mitel Theatre, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr., www.baobabtree.org.

Actors rehearse for their roles in Footloose, which hits the stage this Friday.

In this memorable story made famous by Kevin Bacon’s dance moves, music and dance take centre stage. With a Tony-nominated score, not to mention a Top 40 soundtrack that reached #1 on the Billboard charts (you’ve got the theme song stuck in your head now, don’t you?), this modern stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford is sure to get your toes tapping. What began as a story about a boy moving to a small town and finding a ban on dancing has emerged as one of the most recognized movie musicals of our time. The struggle between youth in rebellion and traditional ways of thinking is a central theme, as Footloose celebrates the wisdom of young people in a world set in its ways. Friday, November 23, to Sunday, December 2, 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. $37-$40, seniors $31-$37, children $20-$25. Centrepoint Theatre, 101 Centrepoint Dr., www.centrepointetheatre.ca.

Just because the U.S. election season has come and gone doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some political satire. In this Tony Award-winning comedy by Pulitzer Prize recipient David Mamet, this hysterical story of a down-and-out incumbent seeking an unlikely second term in the oval office highlights the absurd lengths some people will go to in order to win. This production showcases the talents of local actors, including Todd Duckworth, Steve Martin (but not the Steve Martin), Chantale Plante, Tom Charlebois, and Bruce Sinclair. Friday, November 23, to Saturday, December 8, 8 p.m. Matinees Saturdays and Sundays. The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., www.thegladstone.ca.

This much-anticipated gala is in support of Ottawa’s youth-based Dandelion Dance Company and Women for Mental Health at The Royal Ottawa Hospital. Under the award-winning mentorship of educator Hannah Beach, the company’s performances are inspired by the experiences and passions of the dancers themselves. The focus is on exploring social issues through movement, and the company emphasizes the importance of encouraging youth to share their ideas through dance. The gala will include a special performance by the company’s dance troupe, a motivational address by Olympic silver medalist Elizabeth Manley, and catering by Thyme & Again. Saturday, November 24, 7 p.m. $100 ($25 of which goes to The Royal). Aviation Museum Theatre, 11 Aviation Parkway, www.dandeliondancecompany.ca.

Mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah performs with soprano Maria Knapik and the Ottawa Classical Choir.

Two of Ottawa’s finest female singers, soprano Maria Knapik and mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, are taking the stage alongside pianist Jean Desmarais, conductor Michel Brousseau, and the Ottawa Classical Choir. Performing the haunting and sombre piece Stabat Mater by Pergolesi and the more uplifting Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi, these contrasting performances will offer a night of truly enchanting music. Saturday, November 24, 7:30 p.m. Regular $30, reserved $35, students $25. Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 335 Cooper St., www.ottawaclassicalchoir.com.

As a part of Support Local Month, this craft fair boasts a variety of handmade items by some of Ottawa’s best artisans. As the holidays are quickly approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to get special gifts for friends and family while supporting local businesses in the community. With jewellery, clothing, preserves, and much more on sale you’ll surely find something for everyone — from the foodie to the fashionista in your life. Sunday, November 25, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Hintonburg Public House, 1020 Wellington St. W. See the Facebook event here.