Get ready for SummerWorks.
Urban Planner is your weekly curated guide to what’s on in Toronto—things that are local, affordable, and exceptional.
Tuesday August 2
There are some choice offerings for those in the Pay What You Can bracket (which, really, is everyone). Popular musical comedy Three Men in A Boat, which won awards at the Toronto Fringe and Next Stage festivals, is performing a one night only warm-up show in Toronto, before taking the show on the road through the Prairies. The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West), 7:30 p.m., PWYC.
Immediately after, one could head approximately ten blocks west to see three local musicians try out some new material: Ryan Driver; Tamara Lindeman (also known as The Weather Station); and Steve Lambke (also known as Baby Eagle, or as a member of the Constantines). Holy Oak Cafe (1241 Bloor Street West), doors at 8 p.m., PWYC.
Wednesday August 3
The first live recording of IMPOSTER, Canadaland‘s new arts and culture podcast hosted by Aliya Pabani, will feature comedian Jackie Pirico, music duo Bizzarh, and an audio piece by filmmaker Geoff Siskind about Canada’s profitable film glory days, when we produced classics like Porky’s and Meatballs. DJ Daniel Vila will spin before and after. Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West), doors at 7 p.m., $10.
The popular annual outside adventure Dusk Dances ranges throughout Withrow Park nightly from Monday August 1 to Sunday August 7, with 2 p.m.matinees on Thursday August 4 and Sunday August 7. Host Susie Burpee, in her clown alter-ego, will guide the crowd from performance to performance, starting with a Nia dance class and musical performance by Doubletooth, then a tour through various forms of dance at spots along the route. Withrow Park (north of Bain Avenue, between Logan and Carlaw Avenue), 7 p.m., PWYC.
Thursday August 4
Two of Toronto’s most beloved genderqueer and LGBTQ-positive musical acts of the past twenty years share a double bill at one of Canada’s premiere music venues. Peaches and The Hidden Cameras both excel at putting on live shows that verge on bacchanalia, and Peaches in particular has lost none of her edge when it comes to pushing boundaries (the above video for latest single “Vaginoplasty” is definitely NSFW). Massey Hall (178 Victoria Street), doors at 8 p.m., $18.94—$29.50.
The annual SummerWorks Performance Festival, a curated collection of mostly Torontonian/some Canadian/a few international acts featuring theatre, music, dance, and live art, kicks off with an opening night party at the Festival Hub at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), 10 p.m., PWYC. (The festival itself runs at a dozen venues centred along West Queen West, and runs Thursday August 4 to Sunday August 14; check the website or app for programming information, and keep your eyes peeled next week for reviews by Torontoist contributors.)
Friday August 5
One of the biggest hits of this summer’s Toronto Fringe Festival, Kat Sandler’s new play Bright Lights, wasn’t able to participate in July’s Best of Fringe remount series, due (in part) to two of the actors, Peter Corlone and Chris Wilson, touring their own show (Peter Vs Chris) to the Winnipeg Fringe. So the series has a special extension into August, featuring both shows in a double bill, Friday August 5 to Sunday August 7. Toronto Centre For the Arts Greenwin Theatre (5040 Yonge Street), 7 p.m., $24 per show, $30 double bill.
There’s also some great free shows tonight, extending into the weekend. East coast musicians Ben Caplan and Taryn Kawaja will be in town to share a double bill as part of Y-D Square’s Indie Fridays programming. Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas Street East), 8 p.m., FREE.
And at the Harbourfront Centre, the annual Beats Breaks & Culture Festival celebrates Canadian hip-hop and electronic music, as well as the cultures that inform them. Musical acts include The Jungle Brothers and Keita Juma; family friendly Play De Academy and Breakdance workshops, showcasing music and dance respectively, run all weekend; and Saturday night, a late night Hip Hop Vs. House Afterparty will go ’til 3 a.m.. Friday August 5 to Sunday August 7, various Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West) venues, FREE.
Weekend August 6-7
It’s the first full weekend of Soulpepper’s production of Father Comes home From The War, an epic Obie Award winning 2014 play by Suzan Lori-Parks, with three one acts looking at race and family relations during and after the American Civil War. The past week of previews, and the August 4 Canadian premiere performance, give way to a three week run. Young Centre Baillie Theatre (50 Tank House Road), August 5 – August 27, various times, $25—$96.
On Saturday, continuing our summer of a music festival just about every weekend, the Time Festival returns, with a stacked all day line-up of cutting edge artists like Run The Jewels, Bob Moses, Cold Cave, and many more. Fort York Garrison Commons (250 Fort York Boulevard), Saturday August 6, doors at noon, $20-$50.
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CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the price of tickets to Bright Lights and Peter Vs Chris. Ben Caplan’s name was also misspelled, and has been corrected. Torontoist regrets the error.
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