See The Roots play for free, watch Eugenie Bouchard hit the ball and eight other things to do this week
See a loopy surrealist interactive play in a church courtyard
An Evening in July, produced for SummerWorks by the Toronto sketch comedy troupe Templeton Philharmonic, invites audiences into an otherworldly summer celebration inspired by Marie Hélène de Rothschild’s notorious Surrealist Ball of 1972. As the evening progresses, the party’s sisterly co-hosts descend into a comically melodramatic feud that ends in a devastating climax. Thursday, August 6 to Sunday, August 16. $15; festival passes from $40. St. George the Martyr Anglican Church, 205 John St., 416-504-9971, summerworks.ca.
Hear Tanya Tagaq screech her way through the downtown core
The Inuk throat singer’s Polaris-winning protest album, Animism, is an experimental whirlwind of moans, grunts and yelps that conjures the anguished cries of a caged beast. Her semi-improvised vocals—embedded in dark electronic textures—are unsettling, entrancing and unlike anything you’ve heard before. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience Tagaq in an outdoor setting—but beware of shattered glass falling from nearby buildings. Saturday, August 8. FREE. Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., 416-957-2015, toronto2015.org.
Check out an outdoor choir performance at dawn
Absolutely worth getting out of bed for: three 7 a.m. performances by R. Murray Schafer, without a doubt Canada’s finest living composer. Based on an earlier composition called “Music for Wilderness Lake,” the work features percussion quartet TorQ, 50 choristers and, as dawn breaks, a solo by a soprano being paddled in a canoe along the river. Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9. FREE. Tom Patterson Island, Avon River, Stratford, 519-271-2101, stratfordsummermusic.ca.
See Serena Williams and Eugenie Bouchard fight it out
The world’s tennis titans descend upon our nation once again for this year’s edition of the tournament formerly known as the Canadian Open. While the men battle in Montreal, the women—Canuck wunderkind Eugenie Bouchard, Russian rampart Maria Sharapova and number-one American Serena Williams—will serve up their A game at the York U campus. Saturday, August 8 to Sunday, August 16. $15–$350. Tennis Centre at York University, 1 Shoreham Dr., 1-877-283-6647, rogerscup.com.
Brave the screaming teens at Ariana Grande’s concert
After drawing 14,000 fans to the ACC in March, the 22-year-old cat-eared Disney diva returns to showcase her Mariah-calibre range amid a spectacle of lasers, confetti and big-name video cameos. (Iggy Azalea, Mac Miller and Childish Gambino all Skyped in last time.) Who knows: maybe Grande’s “Love Me Harder” duet partner—Toronto’s own The Weeknd—will appear in the flesh. Sunday, August 9. $46–$112. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca.
Dance to Janelle Monáe’s slinky, summery R&B
Over the course of two critically acclaimed albums, this soulful singer has woven a high-concept sci-fi narrative about messianic androids in a dystopian future where dancing is banned due to its subversive effects. But even if you can’t wrap your head around her lyrical ideas, there’s no denying the dance floor–ready accessibility of her songs. Fusing memorable melodies with psychedelic R&B rhythms, Monáe’s tunes are groovy works of art that evoke funky freaks like Bowie, Prince and Outkast. Sunday, August 9. FREE. Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., 416-957-2015, toronto2015.org.
Drink your fill at the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival
The millionth beer festival of the season features 25 breweries—including hosts Steam Whistle and Oshawa newbies Underdog’s Brewhouse—offering ice-cold ales and lagers in the summer heat. Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9. $20 advance; $25 door. Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd., 416-362-2337, craftbeerfest.ca.
Hear Sook-Yin Lee’s experimental new band
Sook-Yin Lee is equally known as a CBC Radio host, a former MuchMusic VJ, a playwright, a director and an actor. In Jooj, a collaborative project with her artistic and romantic partner, Adam Litovitz, she returns to her indie-musician roots. This experiential SummerWorks show combines the duo’s dark, minimalist melodies with theatrical elements courtesy of experimental artist Alex Wolfson and set designer Bojana Stancic. Friday, August 7. $15; festival passes from $40. Scotiabank Studio Theatre, 6 Noble St., 416-504-9971, summerworks.ca.
See Paris in an entirely new way
The German-born photographer Michael Wolf grew up in various cities across North America, studied in his home country and now lives in Hong Kong. An eternal newcomer, Wolf maintains a curious, observant eye. His new “Paris Rooftops” series is bursting with tiny details, asymmetrical lines and captivating depth, presenting unseen angles on one of the world’s most photographed cities. Saturday, August 8 to Saturday, August 22. FREE. Bau-Xi Photo, 324 Dundas St. W., 416-977-0400, bau-xiphoto.com.
Watch The Roots leave Jimmy Fallon behind
The neo-soul innovators have come a long way since the early ’90s, when founding MC Black Thought and drummer Questlove were busking on the streets of Philadelphia. (Proof: there’s now a massive mural of the band in that city.) Forget the melodicas and toy percussion they trot out as Jimmy Fallon’s house band; this gig will dig into their deep catalogue of smart, richly textured, arty hip hop. Saturday, August 8. FREE. Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., 416-957-2015, toronto2015.org.