ART & MUSEUMS
Uncharted Waters: Toronto’s Enigmatic Harbour
Six photographers focus on the city portlands and islands, an eclectic setting for everything from grime-faced workers to driftwood to Hitchcockian seagulls. Perhaps you’ll experience them, as the 72 images are arranged along Harbourfront Centre’s boardwalk. To June, 2013. Free. 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000.
House on Wheels
Imagine William Campbell, the 19th-century Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Upper Canada, standing at the corner of Adelaide and Frederick streets today, scratching his head, being all “Now where in the dickens did I park my Georgian mansion?” An exhibit chronicles a history of the Campbell House that includes its 1972 move by flatbed truck to its current location. To Sept. 4. $3 to $6 (regular museum admission). Campbell House, 160 Queen St. W., 416-597-0227.
Susuriwka – Willow Bridge
A cross-cultural production (as part of Harbourfront’s Planet IndigenUS festival) makes its North American premiere. Toronto’s Kaha:wi Dance Theatre offers a fusion of movement and music, bridging Iroquois dance to the serene Ainu melodies native to Japan. Aug. 17 (7 p.m.), Aug. 18 (2 and 7 p.m.) and Aug. 19 (7 p.m.). $15 to $30. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000.
A Synonym for Love
Handel’s operatic cantata about a love triangle recieves a contemporary libretto in a sight-specific production that finds a baroque orchestra and three singers moving about the rooms, halls and barrooms of the Gladstone Hotel. The interesting Ross Manson directs. Aug. 20 to 31, 7 p.m. (preview, Aug. 19, $20). $30 to $47. 1214 Queen St. W., 1-800-838-3006.
Bry Webb and Doug Paisley
The bourbon-voiced country crooner Doug Paisley joins the ex-Constantines singer Bry Webb, who offers the quiet, thoughtful material of his solo album Provider, performed here for the SummerWorks festival with a backing band involving horns, pedal steel and acoustic bass. Aug. 18, 10:30 p.m. $15. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen St. W., ticketwise.ca.
The star of the classic reggae film The Harder They Come arrives by the steam of his new album Rebirth, a celebration of seventies-style roots-reggae that finds the still-supple singer not so much reborn as revitalized. Aug. 18, 7 p.m. $62.25. Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St., 1-855-985-5000.
Too many plays to mention, but here are a couple of hotly tipped productions: Petrichor (involving original folk music and a migrant Mennonite family of tomato harvesters; Factory Theatre, Aug. 18, noon, and Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.) and Terminus (a three-hander billed as a “lyrical Irish spoken-word ballad”; Factory Theatre, Aug. 18, 10 p.m., and Aug. 19, 2:30 p.m.). To Aug. 19, various venues. $15. Summerworks.ca or ticketwise.ca.
Love, betrayal, mistaken identity, cross-dressing and a dog – just another day in Withrow Park. Shakespeare in the Ruff offers a hip version of the Bard’s Two Gentlemen Of Verona. To Sept. 2. PWYC ($15 suggested donation). Withrow Park (south of Danforth Avenue, between Logan and Carlaw avenues). shakespeareintheruff.com.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
A weekly outdoor-screening festival closes with a beauty: Director Benh Zeitlin’s magicially strange debut film about an imaginative six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy marginal and a Louisiana delta community that faces a biblical deluge. Before the film, the earthy, spirit-rousing folk-rock orchestra Bruce Peninsula warms up the audience. Aug 23, 7:30 p.m. $15. Amsterdam Brewery, 21 Bathurst St., 647-857-0748 or openrooffilms.com.
Yes, with their nerdy costumes the fanatics attending this four-day affair of sci-fi, horror films and comic books are on exposition. But we’re really there to see Stan Lee, Jay & Silent Bob, John Carpenter, Lou Ferrigno, Christopher Lloyd and Gillian Anderson. Aug. 23 to 26. $25 to $45 (four-day pass, $95). Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 222 Bremner Blvd., fanexpocanada.com.
Toronto Underground Market
A monthly foodie fandango offers offbeat culinary experiments, often involving pork and/or doughnuts. Bring open minds, empty bellies and Tupperware, but leave children and strollers behind as this is an adults-only happening. Aug. 25, 6 to 11 p.m. $10. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave., yumtum.ca.
Canadian Comedy Awards
Interestingly the competition for the funniest Canadian humour is tight and intensely waged, yet, at the same time, considered to be something of a laugher. Nominees showcase their fun stuff at various venues, leading up the awards gala on Aug. 26 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Aug. 23 to 26. Various prices and venues. canadiancomedy.ca.
Posies, Picnics and Papillons at Colborne Lodge
Spread out a picnic blanket or stroll through the Victorian gardens, but please don’t leave with a pocketful of posies, as that would be poor form. A tour takes in a picturesque rural cottage and surrounding grounds, which feature an array of plant varieties predating 1890 and the likely appearances of extraordinary breeds of birds. Aug. 19 (and Sept. 16), 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. $20. South end of High Park, on Colbourne Lodge Dr., 416-392-6916.
Street performers (no doubt including some sort of robotic, spray-painted Elvis Presley person) entertain, literally, at the drop of a hat. Aug. 23 to 26. (Admission is by voluntary donation to Epilepsy Toronto). St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, torontobuskerfest.com.
Canadian National Exhibition
He isn’t bad to the bone, but he is mean to the middle-aged midsection. A George Thorogood tribute act (Sunday, 7:30 p.m.) boogies and big-dogs it at the CNE Bandshell this weekend. On Friday, say hi-hi to Mister American Pie, the authentic singer-songwriter Don McLean (Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m.). To Sept. 3. $12 to $16. theex.com.
Red Hot Nights
Veronika Swartz, of the Shameless Dames burlesque troupe, is apparently known for her “theatre-savvy rump-a-licious booty,” as well as her “goofy-cum-sultry antics.” Ms. Swartz’s publicist, who is famous for the hyphenated hard sell, will appreciate a night of high-hedonistic hoohah and tee-hee-hee hilarity at Harbourfront’s Planet IndigenUS this evening. Aug. 18 (the indigenous arts festival continues to Aug. 19), 11 p.m. Brigantine Room, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000.
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams and a tin-eared Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Steven Spielberg’s Hook isn’t a perfectly classic film, but it’s a perfectly good way to pass some of what counsellors insist on calling “quality time” with the kids. The prosthetic-pirate movie from 1991 is the closing-night feature for this year’s barge-based film festival. Aug. 18, 8:45 p.m. (seating space limited; free tickets at sailincinema.com). Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Dr.
Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris To Aug. 26. Art Gallery of Ontario, 416-979-6648.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream To Sept. 2. High Park Amphitheatre, 416-368-3110 or canadianstage.com.
Backbeat to Sept. 2. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 416-872-1212.
War Horse Indefinite run. Princess of Wales Theatre, 416-872-1212.
Neil Hamburger Sept. 14 and 15. Comedy Bar, 416-551-6540.
Jack White Oct. 3 and 4. Sony Centre, 1-855-985-5000.
Alanis Morissette Oct. 15. Sound Academy, 1-855-985-5000.
Barbra Streisand Oct. 23. Air Canada Centre, 1-855-985-5000.
THE INSIDER: The Boss keeps singing his song
Once people had bought the tickets, Bruce Springsteen told the New Yorker magazine, he had no choice but to perform.
“There is a commercial exchange, and that ticket is my handshake,” he said.
Mr. Springsteen will make good on his promise on Friday night, “all night,” as the song goes.
Most of seats being sold to watch him lead the E Street Band go for $130.20, with the stratosphere seats at Rogers Centre commanding a reasonable $47.40 to be in the same building as the 62-year-old dynamo.
His latest album Wrecking Ball is 11 songs of rootsy hooting and sweaty-shirt rabble-rousing, including Easy Money, a fiddle-folksy, grab-your-partner kind of thing. It involves a Smith & Wesson, which rhymes with lesson, which is what the tune’s protagonist pledges to teach the “fat cats.”
Some may see the wealthy Mr. Springsteen as a fat cat himself, but he is not that. He has earned his money; his fans love his product, value and warranty.
“That ticket is me promising you that it’s gonna be all the way every chance I get,” the New Jerseyite pledged in the magazine piece.
“That’s my contract. And ever since I was a young guy I took that seriously.”
The track which follows Easy Money is Shackled and Drawn, a strummy yelp of a tune.
“What’s a poor boy to do but keep singing his song,” asks Mr. Springsteen. The question is rhetorical. This big-music troubadour and his audience will continue to shake hands in rock ‘n’ roll faith, satisfaction at this point fairly guaranteed.