Relive Motown’s golden years, buy a bunch of books and seven other things to do this week
Sing along to the story of the man behind Motown
Berry Gordy Jr. may not have the name recognition of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross or Marvin Gaye, but it was his label, Motown Records, that catapulted all of them to fame. Motown: The Musical tells the label’s story through its artists’ lives and hits, including The Temptations’ “My Girl,” Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street” and the Ashford and Simpson standard “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Tuesday, September 22 to November 1. $35–$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., motownthemusical.com.
Visit Word on the Street at its new home
Say goodbye to your annual book crawl down Queen’s Park Crescent: Word on the Street’s massive festival is on the move. But don’t fret: you can still expect the same superb selection of books, magazines and all things literary from nearly 300 exhibitors, plus too many author events to name. Sunday, September 27. FREE. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., wordonthestreet.ca.
Slurp soup at Artscape Wychwood Barns
Welcome fall weather—one spoon at a time—at Soupalicious. Attendees will be able to slurp their way through more than 30 different recipes in support of the food-growing and -sharing program Plant a Row, Grow a Row. Entry includes 10 free tastings, and additional bowls will be available for $1.50 each. Bonus: if you BYO spoon to the zero-waste event, you’ll be rewarded with an extra sample. Sunday, September 27. $15–$22. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St., soupalicious.ca.
Watch an indie Western about abortion
The Wild West, as portrayed in a century of cinema, is a man’s frontier. No longer: Toronto writer-director Jill Connell’s new indie play, The Supine Cobbler, features an all-female cast whose characters are presented as heroes and outlaws when one of them has an abortion. The content is contemporary—the story is based on Connell’s own experiences and work in women’s health—but the genre trappings are all there, including hangings, bandanas and a site-specific theatre located by the train tracks. $20. To Saturday, September 26. 35 Strachan Ave., thesupinecobbler.brownpapertickets.com.
Browse more than 50 great local designers in one place
One of the fall’s best shopping events is back this weekend, as Made Inland fills 99 Sudbury with heaps of clothes, racks of accessories and jewellery from over 50 Canadian designers. Toronto wares to look out for include Hayley Elsaesser’s hypnotic prints, Mary Young’s comfortable lingerie, Eleven Thirty’s cowhide satchels and 3-D printed gold jewellery from Daniel Christian Tang. Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27. $5 admission. 99 Sudbury St., madeinland.ca.
Hang out with a world-class comic artist
Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant cartoons lampoon the C-list celebrities of Canadian history, the English-lit canon and, not infrequently, Beaton herself with deadpan hilarity. Here, the Toronto artist discusses Step Aside, Pops—her second comic collection—with National Post books editor Emily M. Keeler. Tuesday, September 22. Free ticket required for entry. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., torontopubliclibrary.com.
Let the TSO remind you what the rest of Beethoven’s Fifth sounds like
The opening four notes constitute the most familiar theme in the classical symphonic repertoire, but the TSO—under conductor Peter Oundjian—manages to keep this work fresh. Brahms’s Double Concerto for violin and cello, also on the program, isn’t quite as well known, but it’s an achingly romantic work that exploits the considerable talents of violinist and concertmaster Jonathan Crow and principal cellist Joseph Johnson. Friday, September 25 and Saturday, September 26. $33.75–$148. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., tso.ca.
Choose your own adventure at JFL42
This year’s festival headliners include American favourite Bill Burr, former Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson and newly crowned Daily Show king Trevor Noah. Guests can also opt for an all-inclusive pass to see Just the 42, a stellar selection of comics like the gloriously grating Gilbert Gottfried, 2008 Last Comic Standing champ Iliza Shlesinger and local sketch duo Ladystache. Thursday, September 24 to October 3. $25–$299. jfl42.com.
Hang out with dogs—a lot of dogs
Calling all bulldogs, beagles and boxers: North America’s largest outdoor festival for dogs returns to Toronto this month. The two-day bonanza features wiener dog races, an obstacle course, a costume contest, a fashion show, a “stupid dog tricks” competition and a marketplace for everything a man’s best friend could ever need. Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27. Woodbine Park, Lake Shore Blvd. E. and Coxwell Ave., woofstock.ca.