Seven must-sees at David Bowie Is... exhibit

The much anticipated

The much anticipated "David Bowie Is" exhibit was unveiled to the media and Art Gallery of Ontario (AG) members on Tuesday September 24, 2013. It runs Sept. 25 - Nov. 27 and blends music, video and fashion in Bowie-esque fashion spanning his career. Jack Boland/QMI Agency

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:29 PM ET

Sadly, there are no signs David Bowie is going on tour despite a new album, The Next Day, released earlier this year by the 66-year-old British music legend.

But if you're in the Toronto area, or travelling to The Big Smoke, the next best thing is the highly acclaimed exhibit, David Bowie Is ... at the Art Gallery of Ontario until Nov. 27. This is the exhibit's first North American -- and only Canadian -- stop after originating at London's Victoria and Albert Museum earlier this year. And it has proved so popular, AGO has extended its hours on selected Friday and Saturday nights.

It's an enormous two-floor show encompassing 300 of Bowie's personal objects, so here's a list of must-see stops. (For all ticket information, hours, see ago.net).

1. David Bowie at 16. Even in one of his first publicity shots for his then band The Kon-Rads, Bowie oozes cool in black and white, with his blond pompadour (a look he'd later revisit for his Serious Moonlight tour in 1983), velvet suit, and tie, as he leans on his saxophone in this 1966 shot. (Fourth floor.)

2. The Space Oddity Room. It's not really called that, but everything you ever wanted to know about Bowie's 1969 breakthrough hit is contained there, including the handwritten lyrics, the first version -- featuring a higher voiced Bowie -- and accompanying video plus the grey jumpsuit he wore to sing his seminal song on Dick Clark's 1979 TV special Salute To the Seventies. (Fourth floor.)

3. The bright paisley two-piece outfit Bowie wore to sing Starman on Top Of the Pops in 1972, which he described as "ultraviolence in Liberty fabrics," -- highly influenced as he was by Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film version of A Clockwork Orange. Behind the costumed mannequin is also a video of the actual performance. (Fourth floor.)

4. The Bauhaus-inspired oversized plastic black-and-white tuxedo casing that Bowie wore to sing The Man Who Sold The World on Saturday Night Live in 1979. The accompanying video shows he had to be carried on and off the stage by his co-conspirators and backup singers Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias. (Fifth floor.)

5. The Alexander McQueen Union Jack coat. From one British trailblazer to another, the late McQueen designed this coat that Bowie would wear on the cover of his 1997 album cover, Earthling. The setup includes a blown-up handwritten note from "Lee," as McQueen was called by his friends. (Fifth floor.)

6. The best of Bowie as an actor. Film and theatre clips are shown in a tiny theatre, everything from his impressive first starring role as an alien in Nicolas Roeg's 1976 sci-fi classic The Man Who Fell To Earth to his highly praised 1980 turn on Broadway in the lead role of The Elephant Man. (Fifth floor.)

7. Heroes. Various seminal live performances by Bowie are show on enormous screens with surround sound in the second to last room of the exhibit, but the most engaging is a montage of him singing his 1977 anthem, Heroes, over the years, most poignantly during The Concert for New York City following 9-11. (Fifth floor.)


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