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WEEKENDER: A return to the Ice Age, Stiff Quickies, a sequined celebration of Elton John, and five other ways to keep this weekend interesting

ARIANE MOFFAT WITH SPECIAL GUEST FANNY BLOOM
Singer-songwriter Ariane Moffatt has said that her goal as a musician is to “master the essence of each kind of groove.” Her live performances realize this goal, showcasing her seemingly effortless combination of electro, pop, soul, and rock. Featuring fellow Québécois singer-songwriter Fanny Bloom, this musical evening of French and English songs will enchant all audiences. From $25. Thursday, April 18, 7:30 p.m. National Arts Centre, NAC Theatre, 53 Elgin St., www.nac-cna.ca.

Love Lies Bleeding, presented by The Alberta Ballet Company, is loosely based on the life of Sir Elton John. Photo by J.J. Thompson

ALBERTA BALLET: LOVE LIES BLEEDING
Explore the trials, victories, and sacrifices of achieving super stardom set to 14 classic songs from the man who has been called “The Liberace of Rock ’n’ Roll.” This ballet-sequined spectacle from The Alberta Ballet, loosely based on the life of Sir Elton John, celebrates the fact that he’s still standing despite the hardships of the industry. From $45. Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20, 8 p.m. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., www.nac-cna.ca.

STIFF QUICKIES
Grab your favourite cocktail and settle in to your seat at this glamorous fundraiser for The Ottawa Fringe Festival. The soiree features short films by Craig Conoley, Shooter McNally, Gabriel Marchand-Herbert, Ray Besharah, and Pat Gauthier, to name a few. Drinks will be flowing by 7 p.m., and the films kick off at 7:30 p.m. $12, or two for $20 in advance. Friday, April 19, 7 p.m. Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave., www.ottawafringe.myshopify.com.

Titans of the Ice Age 3D offers viewers a chance to consider the environment of woolly mamoths and other extinct animals.

TITANS OF THE ICE AGE 3D
The human spirit of ingenuity is alive in Titans of the Ice Age 3D. Embark on a journey to the past, experiencing the harsh climatic conditions humans have survived and thrived in long before our time. You’ll be reminded of the human capacity for innovation as you consider the majestic woolly mammoth and other creatures that did not overcome the forces of nature. $11, students and seniors $9, children three to 12 $7. See website for showtimes. Canadian Museum of Civilization, 100 Laurier St., Gatineau, QC, www.civilization.ca.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
The Gladstone’s 2012/2013 season comes to a close with a witty production of The Taming of the Shrew. An all-male cast from Bear and Co. takes the stage for Shakespeare’s outrageous comedy, wherein a romantic war is waged when a stubborn bride refuses to be a complacent wife. Watch the manipulation unfold when the groom learns to fight fire with fire! $39, seniors $34, students $23. Friday, April 19 to Sunday, May 5. See website for show times. The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., www.thegladstone.ca.

OTTAWA CONTRA DANCE
Sling on the baby, strap the little ones in the car seat, and head to Westboro to dance off some of the family’s excess energy. Participate in dance lessons as you swing and step the afternoon away along to traditional Irish and Québécois music performed live on the fiddle, the Irish flute, and the banjo. Don’t forget your indoor dancing shoes! $10, children 16 and under free. Saturday, April 20, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Churchill Recreation Centre, 345 Richmond Rd., www.ottawacontra.ca.

MATTHEW BARBER WITH SPECIAL GUEST MOLLY THOMASON
Ease your transition to the workweek with some Sunday afternoon song. Toronto singer-songwriter Matthew Barber combines folk, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and country to produce his distinctive sound largely influenced by great North American songwriters of the 20th century. Joining him is the young, enormously talented Molly Thomason bringing her strong vocals and eclectic energy from the East Coast. $20, $15 in advance. Sunday, April 21, 4:20 p.m. The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield, QC, www.theblacksheepinn.com.

PHIL DELISLE: METAPAINTING (FREE!)
Phil Deslisle beckons you into the world of an artist with his exhibition Metapainting, allowing the viewer a conceptual glimpse into windows of the artistic experience. This unique display captures the essence of painting, featuring the artistic process on both micro and macro levels, from the washing of a paintbrush to bird’s eye views of a studio in disarray. Until May 19, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ottawa School of Art, 35 George St., www.artottawa.ca.