The Weekender: Wishful Drinking, Festival of India and six other events on our to do list
1. NIGHT IT UP! (FREE!)
Follow your nose: that, um, pungent smell that’s filling the air at this annual Asian cultural fest–meets–foodie adventure is actually a delicacy. The infamous stinky tofu draws crowds, but it’s not the only unique treat to try (and thank goodness for that). Inspired by traditional night markets across Asia, this all-night event also has game booths (look for the goldfish scooping), shopping and a martial arts–inspired breakdancing performance. July 15 and 16.
Metro Square Plaza, 3636 Steeles Ave. E., Markham , nightitup.com.
2. WISHFUL DRINKING
To put it mildly, Carrie Fisher has had an interesting life. She’s had lots of ups—a decades-long career as a script doctor, iconic roles (Princess Leia) in blockbuster films (Star Wars, The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally)—but just as many downs. The downs are the fodder for this one-woman show, which somehow manages to be hilarious despite recounting the star’s tumultuous relationship with Paul Simon, problems with addiction, visits to rehab and electroshock therapy. July 12 to August 21. $35–$99. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W., 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
3. FESTIVAL OF INDIA 2011 (FREE!)
Centre Island goes Indian this weekend with this annual parade and cultural festival. The celebrations get started with a huge parade down Yonge Street inspired by the 3,000-year-old Ratha-Yatra festival in the ancient Indian city of Puri, followed by an island weekend of yoga demos, traditional drama, dance and music and—our favourite—a free, veggie-friendly feast. July 16 and 17. Centre Island, festivalofindia.ca.
4. TAYLOR SWIFT
Taylor Swift’s career is pretty much built on the idea of innocence and purity, but those sly yet sickly-sweet lyrics have made her an über-successful, chart-topping singer (four Grammys, seven American Music Awards and upwards of 35 million digital downloads); they also do a lot to disguise the savvy businesswoman hiding behind the glitter and poufy dresses. Which is how we justify belting out “Fifteen” at the top of our lungs every time it comes on the radio. July 15 and 16. $115.50. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
5. SUPAFRIK POP-UP SHOP (FREE!)
Part fashion boutique, part art exhibit, this endeavour by local designer Chinedu Ukabam expands on the pop-up concept. Rather than just offering clothes—though there are lots, including items from Ukabam’s own label, Chinedesign, and others like London-based Ohema Ohene, Cape Town’s Shine Shine and the Parisian AITF—the shop also includes artwork and photography themed around “Urban Contemporary Africana.” July 15 to 31. Hotshot Gallery, 181 Augusta Ave., supafrik.com.
6. THE KREUTZER SONATA
An adaptation of Tolstoy’s novella of the same name, this one-act play features writer and Dora Award–winning actor Ted Dykstra. Written as Tolstoy’s argument for abstinence, it follows a man, Pozdnyshev, who finds out his wife has had an affair at a dinner party. Things get dramatic shortly thereafter, naturally. July 12 to August 11. $25-35. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., Bldg. 49, 416-203-6264, soulpepper.ca.
7. GREY GARDENS (FREE!)
This cult 1975 documentary by filmmaker brothers David and Albert Maysles follows mother-daughter duo Edith Bouvier Beale and “Little Edie,” one-time New England socialites (and Jackie O.’s aunt and cousin) who grew increasingly reclusive, living together in a derelict mansion in the Hamptons (the titular Grey Gardens). Part of a weekly film series curated by The 519, this doc introduced the Edies and their funny and tragic story to the world, and inspired a 2009 HBO film, not to mention songs, a musical and a handful of high-fashion photo shoots. July 16. 519 Church Street Community Centre, at the corner of Church and Dundonald streets, the519.org.
8. REPTILES: THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DEADLY
This might make us sound like chickens, but we hope this interactive display isn’t too interactive. Kids learn about deadly snakes, crocodiles, turtles and lizards, hang out in a life-sized model of a Galapagos turtle shell and, on Thursdays and Fridays, get up close and personal with Ontario reptiles at the science centre’s special Close Encounters of the Reptile Kind program. July 10 to September 5. $13–20. Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Rd., 416-696-1000, ontariosciencecentre.ca.
(Images: Dykstra, Cylla von Tiedemann; Fisher, Patrick Harbron; Swift, avrilllllla)