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Girls, Gaga, Oz and Verdi: looking ahead to 2013

Categories: Art & Design, Books, Movies, Music, Television

2013 lookaheadThings we can't wait to check out (from top row, left):Ai Weiwei's According to What?, Iron Man 3, Lady Gaga's new album Artpop, bottom row from left, Lena Dunham's Girls, Rush's latest tour and Ben Heppner in Tristan und Isolde. (Associated Press, Getty Images)

As a fresh new year gets off to a start, CBC Arts takes a glimpse at some arts and entertainment happenings about to unfold. Be they outstanding productions or cringe-inducing wrecks, these are just a few of the shows, books, albums, musicals, films and events we just can't wait to check out in 2013.

  • A successor to the controversial and over-the-top Jersey Shore, Buckwild will elbow its way onto the TV dial amid the current pack of Southern-fried peers like Duck Dynasty and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. (MTV, Jan. 3)

  • Love it or hate it, Lena Dunham's much-discussed cable series Girls returns — with its 20-something quartet of young women undoubtedly continuing to balance both squirmy, humiliating situations with personal triumphs. (HBO Canada, Jan. 13)

  • Over the Rainbow's Danielle Wade slips into the ruby slippers for real, as the curtain rises on the CBC-TV musical theatre contest-winner on her opening night in The Wizard of Oz in Toronto (Jan. 13).

  • Internationally acclaimed Canadian tenor and Wagnerian expert Ben Heppner returns to the Canadian Opera Company's main slate in his signature role: Tristan in Tristan und Isolde (Jan. 29).

  • Influential Aussie alt-rockers and cult favourites Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will release the new album Push the Sky Away, their first in five years (Feb. 18).

  • Also heading to the Emerald City is director Sam Raimi, whose star-studded, eye-popping cinematic prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful will return movie audiences to that fantasy realm (March 8).

  • History buffs and aficionados of epic TV miniseries like The Tudors, Camelot, The Borgias and Hatfields & McCoys are sure to be in for some bloodthirsty, intrigue-filled fare when Vikings debuts. Gabriel Byrne will star in the vast ensemble project, which taps the talents of Canadian director Ken Girotti and actresses Jessalyn Gilsig and Katheryn Winnick (History Channel, March 3).

  • Classical music and opera fans have three reasons to celebrate (or tough programming decisions to make), with both Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi being honoured worldwide in yearlong bicentenary events along with tributes to Benjamin Britten for his centenary.

  • A clutch of famous femmes are taking on Broadway, both onstage and behind-the-scenes. We'll see Scarlett Johansson star in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Jan 17), Game of Thrones' dragon mistress Emilia Clarke in Breakfast at Tiffany's (March 20) and Zooey Deschanel in Coal Miner's Daughter (expected 2013). Meanwhile, both Cyndi Lauper (Kinky Boots, Apr. 4) and Sheryl Crow (Diner, Apr. 10) are shepherding new movie-to-musical work to the stage.

  • Will it be a CanCon juggernaut? Avril Lavigne releases her fifth studio album, whose collaborators include fiancé and Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger (expected early 2013).

  • Korean rapper, viral sensation and YouTube record-holder Psy will vie to prove he's more than a one-hit wonder internationally with his next album (expected March 2013).

  • Several retro acts have reunited and it feels so good — to head out on tour. Among them: Fleetwood Mac (April 4), Depeche Mode (May 7) and the Backstreet Boys (summer/fall 2013). (Still rockin' and touring anew are soon-to-be Rock Hall of Famers Rush and Bon Jovi).

  • Might Twilight author Stephenie Meyer have another book-to-screen megahit on her hands? We'll see when her ambitious sci-fi romance The Host — starring noted young actress Saoirse Ronan — hits theatres (March 29).

  • Bookworms rejoice: Isabel Allende (Maya's Notebook, April 23), Khaled Hosseini (And the Mountains Echoed, May 21) and Malcolm Gladwell (David and Goliath, fall 2013) are just three bestselling authors with new work on the way.

  • Are you ready for more crashing, bashing, explosions and cheeky one-liners? New superhero instalments are coming, including Iron Man 3 (May 3), Man of Steel (June 14), Kick-Ass 2 (June 28) and Thor 2 (Nov. 8).

  • The Stratford Festival brings back former artistic director Des McAnuff to helm his classic rock musical Tommy (May 30).

  • Among the big screen tales unveiling their next chapters: The Hangover 3 (May 24), Monsters University (June 21), Red 2 (Aug. 2), Despicable Me 2 (July 3), The Smurfs 2 (July 31), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Nov. 22) and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Dec. 13).

  • How will Hollywood translation The Delivery Man (Oct. 4), starring Vince Vaughn, compare to Ken Scott's original 2011 sperm-donor comedy hit Starbuck?

  • Top pop divas will battle to reign over the pop charts in 2013, with new albums coming from Mariah Carey (expected March 2013), Lady Gaga (spring 2013), Beyoncé (spring 2013) and Katy Perry (expected summer 2013).

  • Also anticipated is new music from Lil Wayne (Feb. 19), 50 Cent (Feb. 26), Thom Yorke's Atoms for Piece (expected Feb./March), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (spring 2013), The Black Keys (second half of 2013) and Eminem (expected in 2013).

  • Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario will be the only Canadian stop for the travelling exhibition of audacious Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei's show According to What? (August).

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