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WEEKENDER: Six things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of January 24—26

Ottawa-Weekender-Patti-Normand
Little Voices at Karsh-Masson Gallery uses dioramas to tell mysterious stories

In this edition of the Weekender, a puppet horse, life-sized Jenga party, Slim Shady’s hometown, and three other things to do in Ottawa this weekend.

War Horse
The First World War began one hundred years ago, engulfing Europe and the world in a conflict that would affect not just men, women and children, but animals as well. The National Arts Centre presents War Horse, an internationally acclaimed, moving and imaginative drama about a boy who braves the trenches of France to find his beloved horse, and which features astonishing life-sized puppets, stirring music and song. Until Jan. 26. From $38. National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., nac-can.ca

Mysterious Voices (FREE!)
A bather dives into a lake, oblivious that a sunken car lies beneath; a Marilyn Monroe-like woman stares into a parked trailer; does she want in or is she curious about what’s going on inside? A loaded station wagon rounds the bend towards Silent Falls, only to be greeted by a wandering moose. Patti Normand’s little dioramas each tell their own mysterious stories — stories which have been continued or elaborated upon by author, Lesley Buxton, for a collaborative show combining dioramas and text entitled, Little Voices. Vernissage on Jan. 23; show runs until March 9. Karsh-Masson Gallery in City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., ottawa.ca/karsh-masson-gallery

Year of the Horse
Ring in Chinese New Year at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Nature Nocturne, a monthly party held at the Museum, celebrates the Year of the Horse with some, er, horsing around. Come to the castle and be serenaded by local personality China Doll, who will host Karaoke; try your hand at the life-sized game of Jenga; explore the Museum’s exhibitions until midnight; perfect your two-step as DJs spin throughout the Museum; and enjoy Chinese artists and dancers, who round out the evening. Jan. 24. $20. Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., nature.ca

Ottawa-Weekender-Nature-Nocturne
The Canadian Museum of Nature will transform into a hopping club during Nature Nocturne on Jan. 24 (Photo: Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature)

Beatlesmania!
Liverpudlian – that’s someone from Liverpool, England, and Phil Jenkins is one. The singer/guitarist plays Beatles’ classics, sharing stories of growing up in that town during Beatlesmania, and showing off some of his Beatles memorabilia for an intimate gathering of gourmet food, song, and story at Wakefield’s La Grange. The event offers a pre-show three-course dinner. Jan. 25. 6:30 to 10 p.m. Dinner package $49.50, show $15. Reservations required. La Grange, 80 chemin Summer, Cantley, grange.ca.

The Ploughman’s Poet
Scottish or not, come celebrate Robbie Burns Day at Wakefield’s Black Sheep Inn with Bobby Watt and Ecosse. The Scottish-born Canadian is one of the country’s finest traditionalist singers (also a master stonemason and ex-police scuba diver) who’ll melt any heart with his songs of old. Jan. 26. 4 p.m. $15, students $7.50. Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Drive, Wakefield, theblacksheepinn.com

8-Mile
In a suburb of a mid-sized American city, perhaps Detroit, as suggested by the play’s title, a couple — Ben and Mary — fire up the barbecue to welcome new neighbours. But the friendship quickly veers out of control, threatening to destroy the couples’ fragile hold on their way of life — with unexpected, but hilarious consequences. Detroit, an award-winning play by Lisa D’amour, and directed by Chris Ralph, makes its debut in Ottawa at The Gladstone theatre. Until Feb. 1. $34. The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., thegladstone.ca