A chance to eat vegan Big Macs, an all-night play and seven other things to do this week
Proof that vegan food can be tasty
Those of us who’d rather chew glass than eat tofurkey have something to learn at the Vegan Food and Drink Festival, which proves that a pure vegan diet can be delicious. Enjoy meat-free Big Macs from Doomie’s (pictured above), mac-and-cheese masters Nona Vegan and comfort-food kings Cardinal Rule, along with live performances by local artists. Saturday, August 13. $10. Garrison Common, Fort York, 250 Fort York Blvd., vegandrinkfest.com.
An all-nighter SummerWorks show
This production’s creators won’t blame you if you doze off during their performance—that’s the point. Empire of Night is an ambient eight-hour dreamscape of light, sound and music, with a structure inspired by the biological rhythms of sleep. Audiences will drift in and out of consciousness between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. before the show climaxes with a euphoric celebration of dawn. Thursday, August 11. $15. Drake Underground, 1150 Queen St. W., summerworks.ca.
A boozy way to beat the sweltering summer heat
The Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest’s biggest fans turn out twice a year: once for an icy mid-winter edition and once during this sweltering weekend (a lot more fun, if you’re asking us). Steam Whistle Brewing hosts, and more than 25 Ontario breweries round out the drinks list—Muskoka, Flying Monkeys, Wellington, Amsterdam and newcomers High Park Brewery are all on tap. Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14. $25. Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd., craftbeerfest.ca.
A cozy new outdoor screening series
This week, a new challenger enters Toronto’s crowded outdoor film scene. Movies on the Common is a collaboration between Waterfront Toronto and Toronto Outdoor Picture Show (which manages screenings in Christie Pits). At the inaugural edition, a fitness boot camp and yoga session will precede a screening of Apollo 13 in the idyllic comfort of one of the city’s nicest, newest parks, Corktown Common. Thursday, August 11. Free. Corktown Common, 155 Bayview Ave., facebook.com.
The musical sparring of West Side Story
With their respective street gangs in a bitter ethnic war, how can an American boy and a Puerto Rican girl make their way in America? Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s New York–set version of Romeo and Juliet has become a musical-theatre warhorse, and the Lower Ossington Theatre’s back-alley dance battles remind us why. Thursday, August 11 to Sunday, September 18. $55–$65. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100 Ossington Ave., lowerossingtontheatre.com.
A taste of the Americas
A fest that celebrates the western hemisphere’s food, art, music and dance has a lot of ground to cover. The fourth annual Pan American Food Festival is up to the challenge: it features more than 75 chefs from 41 countries, including Colombia’s Federico Trujillo (whose restaurant chain, Sushi Light, fuses Central American and Asian cuisines) and Venezuelan-Canadian Luis Manuel Cordoba, head chef at Toronto’s Arepa Cafe. This year’s featured country is Ecuador, so expect shrimp ceviche and hip-moving Latin grooves. Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14. Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St. E., panamfoodfest.com.
YouTube star Lilly Singh’s IRL show
In the hierarchy of YouTube stardom, Lilly Singh is Beyoncé. The Scarborough comedian, who posts videos under the alias Superwoman, has nine million subscribers and more than a billion total views. The 27-year-old York alumna recruits Seth Rogen and James Franco to appear in her videos. And her elastic, goofy mug is plastered across every other bus stop in town. She adopts cartoonish accents to impersonate her conservative Indian parents, picks apart high school stereotypes and gabs about sexist tropes in the media. This week, she performs her slapsticky sketches for a crowd of 15,000 at YouTube FanFest. It’s a rare opportunity to watch an Internet star become a real one. Saturday, August 13. Free. Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., ticketmaster.ca.
Superdude and Doctor Rude, Second City’s super-funny kids show
At the Second City’s musical sketch revue, Superdude will use any means necessary to defeat the dastardly Doctor Rude—even take suggestions from the audience. It’s a superhero story that’s bound to be at least as funny as Batman vs. Superman—and guaranteed double the fun. Ages five to 12. Wednesday, August 10 to Thursday, Sept. 1. $14. The Second City, 51 Mercer St., secondcity.com.
An open-air downtown art fair
Toronto Art Crawl, the entertainment district’s fourth annual outdoor art fair, takes a broad approach to art: the day-long event features painting, photography, clothing, jewellery, leather, woodwork and home decor. Customers can chat up (or bargain down) the artists, artisans and designers at the casual market, which also includes DJ sets and food trucks. Friday, August 12. David Pecaut Square, 215 King St. W., torontoartcrawl.com.
Pitbull’s over-the-top club hits
Say what you will about Pitbull’s salsa-rap club bangers—detractors call them cheesy, soulless, sexist, whatever—the man has charisma to burn. Mr. Worldwide’s magnetism is most apparent on a stadium stage, when he’s surrounded by a nonstop swirl of gyrating hips, shaking booties and frantic energy. It’s shameless, slightly disreputable and entirely alluring. Wednesday, August 10. $34–$154. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., ticketmaster.ca.
An earlier version of this post incorrectly started that Waterfront Toronto runs Sail-In Cinema. It is in fact run by PortsToronto.