Leon Bridges’ old-school soul set
Bridges’ debut album, 2015’s Coming Home, could be mistaken for an early-1960s Sam Cooke record. The 26-year-old Texan, who found fame through a Saturday Night Live slot and an iPhone commercial, flaunts his old-school gospel influences and goes downright doo-wop on tracks like “Lisa Sawyer.” Catch him before he hits mega-stardom and starts playing arenas. Thursday, March 10. $29.50–$39.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., ticketmaster.ca.
A Quebec-style sugar shack
Unseasonably warm weather means an early start to maple syrup season—and a pop-up cabane à sucre on the waterfront. This weekend, Sugar Beach turns into a sugar shack, complete with French-Canadian food, music and ice-carving demos. Festival-goers can shake off the inevitable sugar rush (or poutine coma) by skating at nearby Sherbourne Commons or belting out a tune with Choir!Choir!Choir! Saturday, March 12 to Sunday, March 13. FREE. Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Drive , sugarshackto.ca.
A chance to hear Gloria Steinem’s fiery life story
The second-wave feminist icon and activist turns 82 this month. At this reading and discussion, she tells juicy stories from her fiery memoir, My Life on the Road, her first book in 20 years. Among the highlights: tales of being a journalist in the 1960s, founding Ms. magazine in the early ’70s, and consistently championing equality both inside and outside the political sphere. Monday, March 7. $40–$99. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., roythomson.com.
A homegrown dinner for a cause that hits home
This week, Actinolite is holding the inaugural Homegrown Dinner Project, a series of pop-ups featuring local talent and ingredients. This Sunday’s event is a five-course affair with wine pairings, created by chefs from Actinolite, Drake One Fifty, Rhum Corner and La Société. All proceeds support food centres like The Stop and Regent Park Community Centre. Sunday, March 13. $120. Actinolite, 971 Ossington Ave., 416-962-8943, actinoliterestaurant.com.
A skater’s favourite art exhibition
The students from Oasis Skate Factory, an alternative-education program in the TDSB, learned how to run a skateboarding business for credit. In this Gladstone exhibition, they’re showing off dozens of decks they’ve designed with local artists, featuring images that riff on teen stereotypes and rebellion. The boards will be up for auction at the show’s closing party, and all proceeds go back to the Oasis program. To Friday, March 11. FREE. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W., gladstonehotel.com.
Blood Wedding, a Canadian twist on a Spanish play
A young couple’s engagement rekindles a violent family feud in this 1933 play from Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca, inspired by a real-life wedding gone horribly awry. The new translation from playwright Guillermo Verdecchia switches the setting—here, the lovers are located in rural Ontario—but preserves the tension and urgency of the source material. To Saturday, April 9. $32–$89. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., soulpepper.ca.
Judy Collins’ 27-album-spanning show
The 76-year-old singer-songwriter and activist came out of the 1960s folk scene, but she’s never stuck to one genre, flirting with pop and famously covering Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns.” Whatever her sound, her influence has been wide: artists as diverse as Joan Baez, Dolly Parton and Leonard Cohen recently contributed to a tribute album in her honour. Not that she’s done yet—she released her 27th record, Strangers Again, just last year. Saturday, March 12. $100. Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., hughsroom.com.
A ballet triple bill
A thread of modernity runs through this triptych of National Ballet performances. Alexander Ekman’s Cacti cleverly satirizes contemporary dance and its critical reception. George Balanchine’s Rubies is a plotless, jazzy tribute to America, scored by frequent collaborator Igor Stravinsky. And his Four Temperaments is inspired by the four humours. Wednesday, March 9 to Sunday, March 13. From $37. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., national.ballet.ca.
Pyaasa, a solo show about the caste system
Anusree Roy remounts her debut one-woman show, which won two Dora Awards when it premiered in 2008. Pyaasa, Hindi for “thirsty,” tells the story of Chaya, an 11-year-old girl at the bottom of Kolkata’s caste system who gets into trouble after she’s offered a job at a tea stall by a woman of a higher caste. Tuesday, March 8 to Sunday, March 27. $33. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., passemuraille.ca.
Rare Birds, a dinner for women by women
In honour of International Women’s Day, Luma is hosting a dinner to showcase the talented female chefs, sommeliers, bartenders and suppliers who work for O&B restaurants. Each of the meal’s five courses will be made using a recipe passed down from the chefs’ mothers or grandmothers. $65 (pairings for an additional $30). Tuesday, March 8. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., second floor, oliverbonacini.com.
A mellow, melancholic Daughter gig
This English band’s indie folk is a perfect soundtrack for the final stretches of a long Canadian winter. Their frosty, wistful tunes are picturesque and occasionally gothic: on their debut, If You Leave, songwriter Elena Tonra compares herself to a silhouette and sings about children lost at sea. Its mature follow-up, Not to Disappear, contains the lilting single “Doing the Right Thing,” a melancholy melody about the pervasive effects of dementia on a family. Monday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 8. $29.50–$34.75. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., ticketmaster.ca.