Taste of the Danforth, the ultra-hip Time Festival and eight other things to do this week
The Danforth’s tastiest street fest
The 23-year-old Greektown street food fair now includes Thai, Cuban, Indian and other international flavours alongside the typical Mediterranean favourites. Between bites, check out live music, Greek dancing, a kids’ area and a sports zone, or see what kind of Guinness World Records they’re attempting to break this year (past attempts include most people to eat a single olive in eight hours, and most people to score a penalty kick in eight hours). Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 7. Danforth Ave., tasteofthedanforth.com.
Bleeders, a dystopian SummerWorks play
Jamaican-Canadian poet d’bi.young anitafrika (a.k.a. Debbie Young) debuts the last chapter in her ambitious Afro-futurist dub opera, the Orisha Trilogy. The finale takes place in a post-apocalyptic Toronto, where female descendants of the Black Lives Matter movement form a council to fight government oppression, widespread infertility and ecological disaster after Pickering’s nuclear plant explodes. Thursday, August 4 to Sunday, August 14. $15. The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W., summerworks.ca.
The eclectic, energetic Time Festival
This unpredictable annual fest is like a music nerd’s iPod on shuffle. One year after South African electro freaks Die Antwoord headlined, ruthless hip-hop duo Run the Jewels crown the one-day smorgasbord of electronica and dance. Also on the lineup: trip-hop duo Broods, R&B siren Kehlani and Brooklyn rapper Joey Badass. Saturday, August 6. $20. Garrison Common, Fort York, 250 Fort York Blvd., time-fest.com.
A big jerk festival
At Centennial Park this weekend, you can feast on jerk chicken, alligator, kangaroo, frog legs and more. JerkFest attendees will get the chance to take part in cooking demos and workshops, eating contests and a “so you think you can jerk” competition. Lawn chairs and blankets (because, naps) are strongly encouraged. $7–$80. Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 7. Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Rd., jerkfestival.ca
A hip-hop adaptation of The Wizard of Oz
The yellow brick road leads to Compton in Straight Outta Oz, a concert-theatre hybrid by YouTube star and American Idol semi-finalist Todrick Hall. He turns the familiar story into an urban fantasia with original music and his own viral videos—an undertaking that requires brains, heart and nerve. Saturday, August 6. $38.50–$99.50. Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 190 Princes’ Blvd., ticketmaster.ca.
Gwen Stefani’s playful pop set
This Is What the Truth Feels Like, Stefani’s first solo album in a decade, packed plenty of the bubble gum energy that defined her “Hollaback Girl” days, but it also revealed a more vulnerable side of the No Doubt front woman. Peppy singles like “Spark the Fire” alternate with maudlin tracks like “Used to Love,” which was shaped by her recent high-profile divorce. Her comeback tour will nonetheless showcase her still-playful stage presence. Thursday, August 4. $34.25–$159.25. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., ticketmaster.ca.
A street food festival at St. Lawrence Market
This Thursday, the Food Dudes are taking over the south building for the Market’s first patio party. In collaboration with various market vendors, the Dudes will cook up dumplings, tacos, street corn, jambalaya balls and other delicious dishes. Admission includes two food tickets, while additional drink (Amsterdam Brewery, Tequila Tromba) and food tickets will be available onsite. $30. Thursday, August 4. South Market patio, 95 Front St. E., stlawrencemarket.com
A Civil War era version of Homer’s Odyssey
Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts I, II and III), Suzan-Lori Parks’s ambitious epic spins, Homer’s Odyssey into a story about racism during the American Civil War. Its Canadian premiere promises to mix familial drama and explosive humour as it follows a slave who leaves his family behind to fight for the Confederacy. Thursday, August 4 to Saturday, August 27. $32–$94. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., soulpepper.ca.
A dance series in a park
For more than 20 years, Dusk Dances has treated Torontonians to elegant pop-up dance performances in public parks. This year, five new contemporary works hit Withrow Park. Heykloro depicts four fallen warriors, Waves follows three lonely characters in search of connection, and Auto-Fiction sees a trio of dancers running, leaping and rolling over and around a car. Monday, August 1 to Sunday, August 7. PWYC. Withrow Park, 725 Logan Ave., duskdances.ca.
Tomorrow’s Child, a blind sci-fi theatre experiment
Calgary collective Ghost River Theatre blindfolds audience members as soon as they arrive, seats them on swivel chairs and guides them into the theatre one by one. Once inside the dark venue, they’re treated to an aural adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi story about a child born into another dimension. Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 14. $15. Artscape Sandbox, 301 Adelaide St. W., summerworks.ca.