Drink lots of beer, see a bunch of documentaries and eight other things to do this week
Drink and dance at spring’s hottest beer festival
Toronto’s Festival of Beer combines two summer traditions: outdoor booze bacchanals and music festivals. Each ticket includes five free samples from breweries like Creemore, Junction Craft Brewing, Flying Monkeys and Beau’s (plus cideries like Brickworks and Thornbury). Performances from the synthpop starlet Lowell and the indie band JJ and the Pillars will entice non-drinkers to tag along. April 24 and 25. $30. Sherbourne Common, 61 Dockside Dr., beerfestival.ca.
See snapshots of the city’s history at the Toronto Public Library
Last summer, the Toronto Star magnanimously donated a century’s worth of archival photos to the Toronto Public Library, the best of which will be on display starting this week. The exhibit features shots from Yousaf Karsh, Cecil Beaton and Ansel Adams, plus hundreds of iconic snaps of moments in Canadian history, including Queen Elizabeth flirting with Pierre Trudeau during a 1997 visit to Parliament Hill, Princess Diana flirting with Pierre Trudeau at a 1983 state dinner in Halifax, Joe Carter in manic euphoria after his 1993 World Series home run, and, pictured above, a mod-era Twiggy observing a ’60s fashion show at Eatons. To June 14. FREE. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., 416-393-7131, torontopubliclibrary.ca.
Hear the next Bob Dylan at the Danforth Music Hall
The sandy-haired British songwriter George Ezra looks like Justin Bieber but sounds like Muddy Waters: his rich, mournful smoker’s voice croaks out bluesy tracks about loss, loneliness and the angst of being 21. After a stint opening for Sam Smith on his recent North American tour, Ezra takes the spotlight tonight at the Danforth Music Hall, where he’s supported by the Ruen Brothers, a new-wave English rockabilly duo who record at Abbey Road and moonlight as Burberry models. April 20. $28–$46.50. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., 1-855-985-5000, thedanforth.com.
Watch a Bollywood take on Shakespeare
Tarragon’s new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing takes place in Brampton’s South Asian community, updating the original-recipe rom-com with bhangra dance routines, Bollywood beats and intergeneration strife. The excellent playwright Anusree Roy stars as Thara, the play’s Beatrice counterpart; she spars with Stratford actor Alon Nashman as Benedick. April 22 to May 31. $50–$55. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Gorge on the world’s best documentaries
It says a lot about our city’s intellectual appetite that one of its most popular annual blowouts is Hot Docs, a festival devoted to thinky documentaries. This year, there’s a special program devoted to comedy documentaries: don’t miss Tig, about comedian Tig Notaro’s battle with breast cancer; Monty Python, a backstage look at the British troupe as they prep for a new tour; and Live From New York, a comprehensive history of Saturday Night Live. April 23 to May 3. $17–$248. Various locations, 416-637-5150, hotdocs.ca.
Check out some artwork by a modern-day Seurat
For the past 30 years, the artist Stephen Andrews been documenting LGBT culture in Canada: he’s printed gay erotica on latex, recast a group of street hustlers as Jesus’s apostles, and created neon-hued pointillist paintings of bathhouses and discos. He mounts a large solo exhibit at the AGO this week, featuring 21 massive impressionist paintings, plus sketchbooks, ceramics and studio paraphernalia. He’ll also be conducting an artist talk at the public opening on Wednesday. April 22 to August 30. $19.50. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648, ago.net.
Waltz with hippos at Roy Thomson Hall
Walt Disney’s Fantasia has all the nostalgic permanence of a Proust madeleine: most of us will always associate Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony with frolicking centaurs, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with dying dinosaurs, and Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours with pirouetting hippos. This week, the TSO will showcase Disney’s dazzling film, providing live accompaniment as the animation sparkles onscreen. April 24 and 25. Adults $29–$99; kids $20–$39. 60 Simcoe St., 416-593-4828, tso.ca.
See an intense new historical drama from a former Degrassi star
Jake Epstein is best known for his role as the moody, broody Craig Manning on Degrassi, but over the past few years he has graduated to meatier parts on Broadway, including the male leads in Beautiful, the Carole King musical, and Green Day’s American Idiot. He wrote his first play, Therefore Choose Life, with his mother, Kathy Kacer. Now, in the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company’s production, he stars as a man whose father, a Holocaust survivor, receives a letter from his long-lost love, whom he thought he had died in a concentration camp. To May 10. $21–$58.50. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St., 1-855-985-2787, hgjewishtheatre.com.
Hear what it sounds like when two classical prodigies come together
Yannick Nézet-Seguin loves vintage Whitney Houston, has a tattoo of a turtle on his right shoulder, and owns a closetful of skinny jeans and deep V-necks. He’s also Canada’s most celebrated classical prodigy: at age 25, he was appointed conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain, and now he’s music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He reunites with the former this week at a Koerner Hall concert, where he’ll lead an Elgar-heavy program. He’ll be conducting another French-Canadian prodigy: the 20-year-old cello soloist Stéphane Tétrault. April 24. $50–$125. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208, rcmusic.ca.
Watch an all-female twist on a masculine masterpiece
David Mamet won a Pulitzer and a Tony for Glengarry Glen Ross, an acerbic battleground of power, rage, greed and Rambo masculinity. Which makes it such a strange surprise that a new version, currently playing at the Red Sandcastle Theatre, stars a cast made up entirely of women (though the characters retain their male names). It’s a Glengarry for the End of Men era: a coy interrogation of the patriarchy and its trappings, as each line takes on ironic new depths and each stereotype warps into something fresh. To April 26. $20. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen St. E., 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com.