WEEKENDER: East of Berlin, maple sugar, films from Latin America, and four more ways to enjoy the first weekend of spring
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WEEKENDER: East of Berlin, maple sugar, films from Latin America, and four more ways to enjoy the first weekend of spring

This tangled love story brings together two young people with violent histories. East of Berlin sees the son of a Nazi doctor (Simon Bradshaw) fall in love with the daughter of an Auschwitz prisoner (Catherine Boutin), a situation that forces these characters to deal with their difficult pasts. Directed by Joel Beddows, written by Ottawa playwright Hannah Moscovitch, and nominated for the Governor General’s award, East of Berlin is a challenging, but also funny, play. Wednesday, March 21 to Sunday, April 8. Irving Greenberg Theatre, 1233 Wellington St. West. www.gctc.ca

Come to the Maple Sugar Festival and celebrate the arrival of spring the way Canadians always have. The Festival features syrup-inspired meals and activities like a maple soup cook-off and walks throughout the maple forest. The warm weather might have slowed the sap flow, but it’s all the more reason to come and get outdoors. Price varies by event, see website for details. Sunday, March 25 to Sunday, April 1. 300 av. Des Peres-Blancs. http://www.museoparc.ca

This weekend the Ottawa Home and Garden Show opens its exhibition of decorations, trends, and ideas. With over 300 exhibitors, the Home and Garden Show has displays ranging from no-maintenance gardens to an entire ultra-modern model home to be unveiled at the show. $12, $10 seniors and youth, children under 12 free. Thursday, March 22 to March 25. 4899 Uplands Dr. www.ottawahomeshow.com

Celebrate cinema from far south of the border with the Latin American Film Festival. Offering over 17 films chosen from renowned film festivals like Cannes, Toronto, and Chicago, the festival features the very best of Latin American cinema. The films depict the struggles of Latin American life, but also the music and passion the people are known for. $12, $8 members seniors, students, and children. Thursday, March 22 to Saturday, March 31. 395 Wellington St. http://www.cfi-icf.ca/

Esther Simmonds-MacAdam brings a female perspective to male portraits in this exhibition. Choosing to depict her male subjects as vulnerable and contemplative, she approaches themes of masculinity from a perspective that challenges stereotypes. Her intense colours and overt brushstrokes bring warmth and life to her subjects. Friday, March 23 to March 29. La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St. http://www.lapetitemortgallery.com

Growing up skinny in a house full of burly men is tough. And funny. In his Chasing Manhood comedy tour, Darrin Rose discusses the challenges and mishaps of trying to live up to, and out-muscle, his much larger father and brother. Smart, funny, and clever, Darrin Rose is quickly becoming one of Canada’s most popular comedians. Saturday, March 24. 8:00 p.m. $27. Centrepointe Theatre. http://darrinrose.com/

The NAC Orchestra extends this year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities with “A Celtic Celebration with Natalie MacMaster.” Conductor Jack Everly teams up with the iconic Canadian fiddler to perform powerful and lively renditions of Celtic songs from the most popular to the lesser known. From $21. Thursday, March 22 to Saturday, March 24. 53 Elgin St. http://www.nac-cna.ca/