Chill with Drake, stuff yourself for a good cause and eight other things to do this week
Get seduced by Lana Del Rey
In the summer of 2011, Lana Del Rey broke the Internet with the sultry, cinematic ballad “Video Games.” A few months later, a disastrous Saturday Night Live performance threatened to kill the hype before her major label debut album, Born to Die, was even released. The moody singer persevered: last year’s sublime Ultraviolence was an international chart-topper. This week, she shares the stage with Montreal avant-pop artist Grimes. Wednesday, June 3. $29–$83. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca.
See an opera in an art gallery
The irreverent Against the Grain Theatre debuts a pair of song cycles—Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin and Messiaen’s Harawi—both staged in Parkdale’s Neubacher Shor art gallery. Both cycles deal with a common theme: the death wish of a rejected lover. Bass-baritone Stephen Hegedus sings the Schubert, mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó takes on the Messiaen, and Christopher Mokrzewski handles the difficult piano accompaniment. Tuesday, June 2 to Friday, June 5. $35–$70. Neubacher Shor Contemporary, 5 Brock Ave., 416-522-6515, againstthegraintheatre.com.
See what passes for an “intimate” Drake show
Just weeks after revealing the details of his annual August OVO Festival, the Toronto hip-hop heartthrob announced he would be playing a more intimate local show in June. This being Drake, “intimate” means a stadium show, with a guest appearance by red-hot rapper Future. After the show, Drake will probably be found at Sher, his private members’ club at the ACC. Good luck getting in. Tuesday, June 2. $76–$170. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St. 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca.
Celebrate summer with the season’s first big music fest
Arts and Crafts’ feel-good fest returns for a third year, swapping out its usual lineup (Broken Social Scene, Stars) for a weekend of roots-rock heavyweights. Hammertown heroes Arkells and indie icons the War on Drugs will open for raspy blues outfit Alabama Shakes on Saturday, and L.A. duo Rhye shares the bill with psych-folk scion Father John Misty on Sunday. The mythic My Morning Jacket will conclude the event with a cathartic closing set. Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7. $70–$200. Fort York and Garrison Common, 190 Fort York Blvd., fieldtriplife.com.
Eat at dozens of the city’s best restaurants, all at the same time
Dine by the dock at this outdoor gourmet gala in support of Second Harvest’s food rescue program. The night’s events will include an Iron Chef–style cooking contest, an auction and sample-sized dishes from dozens of the city’s top chefs—including the gastro gurus from Buca, the Drake Hotel, Pizzeria Libretto and Woodlot. The elegant event will feed a few hundred and, with the money raised, serve up more than a million meals for Torontonians in need. Sunday, June 7. $250. Corus Quay, 25 Dockside Dr., 416-408-2594, torontotaste.ca.
See a subversive new family drama from an avant-garde playwright
Young Jean Lee, the audacious New York impresario who brought us cavorting nude dancers in last year’s Untitled Feminist Show, returns to Harbourfront with that piece’s polar opposite. Straight White Men is a subversively straightforward family drama about midwestern, middle-class, middle-aged dudes confronting their worst fear: irrelevance. Wednesday, June 3 to Saturday, June 6. $35–$45. Fleck Dance Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
Check out the magic of 3D printing
The world of 3D printing has endless implications for medicine, tech and consumer goods, but the Design Exchange, fittingly, is more concerned with the aesthetic possibilities. Its new exhibit, 3DXL, features dazzlingly gargantuan feats of computerized design, including a meticulously detailed wall printed from sandstone, an igloo built from Californian sea salt, and an ad-hoc industrial printer made from a reprogrammed robot arm. The off-site exhibit occupies a pop-up glass box at King and Blue Jays Way. To Sunday, Aug. 16. $11. 363 King St. W., 416-363-6121, dx.org.
Witness new works from two star choreographers
The National Ballet of Canada’s latest mixed program features pieces from two top choreographers. First up is Being and Nothingness, from the company’s principal dancer and resident choreographer Guillaume Côté; it’s a marvel of twitchy, abstract anxiety and inner torpor. Then come two original pieces from the incandescent American Ballet Theater artistic director Alexei Ratmansky, both set to works by Shostakovich and inspired by the composer’s rigid life in Stalinist Russia. To Saturday, June 6. $36–$259. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595, national.ballet.ca.
Take in the Aga Khan Museum’s lush new exhibit
Renaissance Europeans fetishized Islamic carpets the way Queen Westers fetishize Danish furniture. In the Aga Khan Museum’s latest show, intricate 17th-century Dutch paintings are paired with Near and Far Eastern carpets fashioned around the same time, shedding light on the trade economy that linked European and Islamic cultures. While you’re there, take a stroll through the newly opened Aga Khan Park—a seven-hectare oasis inspired by traditional Persian gardens. To Saturday, October 18. $20. 77 Wynford Dr., 416-646-4677, agakhanmuseum.org.
See Studio Ghibli’s newest animated fantasia
Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio, suffered a major loss last year when its visionary founder, Hayao Miyazaki, announced his retirement. Ghibli’s new film, When Marnie Was There, proves the studio can still make magic without him. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the fantasy is set in a rural seaside town, where a young asthmatic girl befriends a ghostly young woman who lives in a dilapidated Gothic mansion. The film, which plays this week at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, is sweet, ornate and a little bit haunting—Studio Ghibli at its old-fashioned best. To Thursday, June 4. $13. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433, tiff.net.