A Kanye West concert, Fan Expo and seven other things to do this week
The best and worst of Yeezy
Being a Kanye fan is tough. There are his grandstanding tweets, his tantrums and his award-show stunts to deal with. His latest opus, The Life of Pablo, didn’t help: it’s an overstuffed, deeply narcissistic yet wildly ambitious album that showed Yeezy at both his best and his worst. This concert, part of his Saint Pablo Tour (yes, Saint Pablo), will unleash the same mix of undeniable talent and awe-inspiring awfulness. Tuesday, August 30 and Wednesday, August 31. $29.50–$220. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., ticketmaster.ca.
Your last chance to hang out with Stan Lee
It’s a bittersweet year for Fan Expo Canada, the country’s most star-studded pop-culture convention. At age 93, Marvel Comics chairman/cultural demigod Stan Lee will make his final Canadian appearance, while Adam West and Burt Ward (the best Batman and Robin) are on their 50th anniversary farewell tour. Say goodbye to these geek icons while you rub shoulders with a stacked lineup of guests from film (Kevin Smith, John Cusack, Gillian Anderson), TV (William Shatner, Hayley Atwell, Charlie Cox), and comics (Frank Miller, Joe Quesada). Needless to say, you’re welcome, even downright encouraged, to wear a costume. Thursday, September 1 to Sunday, September 4. From $25. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., fanexpocanada.com.
A heavy and hilarious Second City revue
The Second City’s Trudeau-teasing, Blue Jay–referencing Hotline Always Blings Twice revue put the latest season of Saturday Night Live to shame. So we expect big things from its follow-up, Come What Mayhem, a seriously funny send up of the not-so-funny 2016 news cycle: Black Lives Matter protests, high-profile sexual abuse allegations, mass shootings—and a dash of Pokémon Go. Opens Tuesday, August 30. From $25. Second City, 51 Mercer St., secondcity.com.
Walk Off the Earth’s quirky indie-pop
The Canadian quintet came to fame for their viral YouTube cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and their vibe of just being friends goofing off gives their concert appearances an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink energy: they’ve been known to pepper their music with ukulele, mandolin, banjo and even the sound of an electric toothbrush. Sunday, September 4. Free with CNE admission. CNE Bandshell, theex.com.
A bubbly Meghan Trainor set
The cheeky runaway hit “All About That Bass” established Trainor as defiantly un-hip but incredibly charming songstress. Her sophomore album, Thank You, treads fiercer waters: the slick single “Me Too,” above, features a juicy bass line à la Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” and a polished chorus that would feel at home on a Katy Perry or Lady Gaga record. On this tour, she enlists all the conventional diva accoutrements: an army of backup dancers and LED screens. Tuesday, August 30. $34–$74. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., ticketmaster.ca.
A play in a freight container
The Container isn’t for the claustrophobic. U.K. playwright Clare Bayley’s weighty production—which sold out its SummerWorks debut two years ago—takes place in a dark, sealed freight container for an audience of two dozen and follows five illegal immigrants on their way to England. The sit is simple, but as the characters swap stories and ration resources, the intricate plot becomes only more riveting. Sunday, September 4 to Sunday, September 18. $25–$44. Berkeley Street Theatre Courtyard, 26 Berkeley St., canadianstage.com.
The thousand zany talents of Buskerfest
Jugglers, magicians, fire swallowers, guys on stilts…sure, you may see any or all of these during an average stroll through the park, but at Buskerfest they’ll be seasoned (and highly entertaining) professionals. More than 100 buskers will be hoofin’ it for your amusement at Toronto’s annual celebration of street performance, which this year moves to Woodbine Park for the first time. Admission is by donation; proceeds will go to Epilepsy Toronto. Friday, September 2 to Monday, September 5. Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. E., torontobuskerfest.com.
Black Sabbath’s (alleged) farewell tour
Few fans could have predicted the metal legends would be alive, let alone touring, nearly a half-century after their debut. Shock-rock superstars Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler are now in the second year of their seemingly never-ending farewell tour, reprising iconic thrashers like “Iron Man” and “War Pigs,” aided by the pounding percussion of Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk. Monday, August 29. $41.75–$169.25. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., ticketmaster.ca.
North America’s largest Jewish cultural fest
Ashkenaz Festival explores Jewish identity through musical performers as wide-ranging as Abraham Inc, Klezmatics, Nicole Borger, Muzsikás and Jinta-la-Mvta (which combines traditional Jewish and Japanese music), and cultural events like a new Yiddish production of Death of a Salesman. Food, dance, fashion, literature and family activities round out the fest. Saturday, September 3 to Monday, September 5. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., ashkenaz.ca.
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