The Weekender: for the brave souls staying in Toronto this G20 weekend, eight great things to do

The Weekender: for the brave souls staying in Toronto this G20 weekend, eight great things to do

The Toronto FC play LA (Image: Oliver Mallich) 

1. DREAM IN HIGH PARK
High Park’s family-friendly outdoor performance this year is courtesy of Dora-winning director Vikki Anderson, who uses one of Shakespeare’s favourite literary techniques—the play within a play—in her interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. A group of bored thespians waiting at a Verona train station pass the time by performing the famous love story using the costumes and props in their luggage. June 25 to Sept. 5. PWYC (suggested donation $20); children under 14 free. High Park Amphitheatre, 416-367-1652, canstage.com/dream.

2. TD TORONTO JAZZ FESTIVAL
Toronto’s annual jazz fest always brings in the boldface names of the scene, and maybe it’s just us, but this year’s lineup seems especially star-studded. This weekend, local girls Esthero and Nikki Yanofsky each headline shows, as do Herbie Hancock and our mom’s favourite, Harry Connick Jr. June 25 to July 4. $30–$151. Various locations, torontojazz.com.

3. PRIDE WEEK LAUNCH PARTY (FREE!)
The city’s 3oth annual LGBT-friendly arts and culture fest kicks off this weekend, though our favourite part, the parade, isn’t until next. Until then, kick off a week of film screenings, panel discussions and concerts with this Friday’s VIP launch party at Woody’s. June 25. Woody’s, 467 Church St., pridetoronto.com.

4. THE WARRIOR EMPEROR AND CHINA’S TERRACOTTA ARMY EXHIBITION
For the first time, 10 life-size figures from China’s ancient Terracotta Army are touring Canada, starting with a six-month stay at the ROM. The army—8,000 funerary statues of soldiers, horses and chariots belonging to China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi—was accidentally discovered in 1974 by farmers in northern China. June 26 to Jan. 2, 2011. $31. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8000, rom.on.ca.

5. CITY ROOTS FESTIVAL (FREE!)
Having an event scheduled during the headache-inducing G20 weekend is unfortunate, but festival organizers are clearly lemonade from lemons people. Drawing inspiration from the summit, City Roots’ opening night concert at Hugh’s Room features “songs of protest, conscience and hope” by Lynn Miles, Jory Nash, Hotcha! and others. Free Saturday and Sunday performances at the Distillery District. June 25 to 27. Festival launch $17 in advance, $20 at the door. Various locations. torontocityroots.com.

6. FOOD, WINE AND MUSIC UNDER THE STARS
Chef Chris Brown of the Stop Food Community Centre and Hillcrest Village Choir’s artistic director, Ben D’Cunha, worked together to create the perfect evening out. Each of the five courses from Brown’s dinner was inspired by the choir’s music; in fact, each is accompanied by a specific performance. Reservations required. June 26. $120. The Stop’s Green Barn, 601 Christie St., 416-652-7867, ext. 250, thestop.org.

7. CAN’T STOP THE SERENITY
Firefly (Joss Whedon’s post-Buffy, pre-Dollhouse western-set-in-outer-space show) aired for only one season, but that was enough to spawn a cult following and this movie. A fundraiser for Equality Now, the screening of Serenity is accompanied by door prizes and an auction. June 26. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., 416-516-2330, torontoserenity.blogspot.com.

8. TORONTO FC VS. LOS ANGELES GALAXY
If three World Cup games a day isn’t quite enough football, head down to BMO Field this weekend as TFC faces off against Becks’ boys. Sadly, the famous footballer won’t be in attendance; he’s in South Africa with the rest of England’s national team. (But he’s on loan to AC Milan and has a torn Achilles tendon, anyway. That $250 million the Galaxy paid for him was clearly well worth it.) June 26. $26–$195. BMO Field, 170 Princes Blvd., 416-360-4625, torontofc.ca.

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