“I’m playing the Carnegie, the Palace in Louisville, the Ryman,” Elvis Costello said. “These are places of dreams.” You can include Massey Hall on the list of illustrious venues that the master songwriter is visiting on a solo-acoustic tour that leads up to his 60th birthday. Do not confuse “solo-acoustic” and the man’s ripe age as an indication of softness, however: Expect him to sweat, shake and rock as he digs deep into the richest of catalogues. And as far as dreams go, this intimate appearance undoubtedly has made the wishes of his legion of fans come true. June 14, 8 p.m. $35 to $99. Massey Hall, 189 Victoria St., 416-872-4255 or masseyhall.com.
The Day Of Literary Intensity
People lick their fingers as they turn the pages of a good book because written words are just so delicious. Did you know that? It is a fact. With that in mind, the Luminato Festival hosts what it is calling a “literary picnic,” in which a buffet of novelists, young adult and children’s authors read and share thoughts, on three stages Sunday at Trinity Bellwoods Park (noon to 3:30 p.m. Free). Also happening are themed literary walks (at 2, 3 and 4 p.m.) and a cabaret (The Lost Songs of Toronto, at 6 p.m., $18 to $25, Edward Day Gallery). June 15, luminatofestival.com.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Late Night: Shostakovich Symphony 5
Russian music scholar Simon Morrison stressed that Dmitri Shostakovich was interested in social discourse, and that he “sought to engage, rather than alienate, his audiences.” We take that to mean that the great composer would appreciate a preconcert tailgate party involving a food-truck situation and an open bar, where the discussions on the brooding introspection of the landmark 1937 piece will be lively, friendly and suitably lubricated ones. June 14, 10 p.m. $35 to $45. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-593-4828 or tso.ca.
Taste Of Little Italy
You want to get a taste of Italy? Drop by this annual event of outdoor dining and Italian arts and culture specifically on Saturday at suppertime (6 p.m.), which is when the Italian national soccer squad hits the field against the England side over in Brazil for the World Cup. If midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo or any other Italian player scores a goal, the noise will be so loud and startling that you might drop your gnocchi (and we all know how painful that can be). Until to June 15. Free. College Street, between Bathurst and Shaw streets. tasteoflittleitaly.ca.
MuchMusic Video Awards
Hosted by the glossy Jenner sisters – Kendall and Kylie, scions of the Kardashian/Jenner reality-TV dynasty – and excited by performers that include Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran and the unstoppable Auckland singer Lorde, this year’s annual block party is sure to provide screamable moments and red-carpet intrigue. And for those out of touch with what the kids are up to these days, think of this televised spectacle as a pop-culture primer. June 15, 8 p.m. Free (wristbands previously issued). Bell Media Headquarters, 299 Queen St. W., muchmusic.com.