The Weekender: Doors Open Toronto, Bonnie Raitt and six other items on our to-do list

The Weekender: Doors Open Toronto, Bonnie Raitt and six other items on our to-do list

Odysseo (Image: Odysseo) 


1. DOORS OPEN TORONTO

This long-running design event is really the architectural equivalent of a peep show. For one weekend of every year, buildings like Havergal College, TIFF Bell Lightbox and Steam Whistle Brewery allow visitors to explore their normally private spaces. May 26 and 27, Various locations, toronto.ca/doorsopen.

2. ODYSSEO
Unlike the horse-related shows of previous weekends (ahem, War Horse), this circus-style show won’t inspire any tears—though awestruck expressions are totally likely. While there’s not so much in the way of plot, the theatrical staging, haunting score and spectacular choreography from acrobats of the two and four-legged variety (61 of the latter!) are sure to impress. To June 10. $29.50–$119.50. Port Lands, 324 Cherry St., 1-866-999-8111, cavalia.net/en/odysseo.

3. GHOSTS OF VIOLENCE
It’s not that ballet doesn’t get heavy sometimes. But usually, that heaviness is literary, historical and distant. In this multimedia production, performed by the award-winning Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada, the theme is domestic violence and the style is thoroughly contemporary and far more in-your-face than your usual classical ballet. A compelling combination of video projections, storytelling and dance, it follows four couples in abusive relationships. May 26. $22–$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E., 416-366-7723, stlc.com.

4. TORONTO TASTE 2012
This annual fundraiser for Second Harvest is equal parts philanthropy and foodie heaven. Upwards of 60 chefs and 30 beverage providers—including big names like Buca’s Rob Gentile, Nota Bene’s David Lee and Ruby Watchco’s Lynn Crawford—mean dinner will be so worth it, and the fundraising goal (rescuing enough food to provide 700,000 meals to the city’s hungry) is too. May 27. $250. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, torontotaste.ca.

5. GUMBALL 3000 RALLY (FREE!)
While Yorkville isn’t the first place we think of as a possible gathering spot for car enthusiasts, it all starts to make sense when you consider just what kind of rally this is—the coolest, most expensive one ever (maybe not ever, but it’s definitely one of the coolest). First of all, the cars are all “luxury supercars,” like Lamborghini Aventadors, Bugatti Veyrons, McLaren MP4-12Cs and other epically pricey rides. Second, it’s basically a caravan of those supercars making their way from Manhattan to L.A., making stops to party, throw a small concert or two, showcase some art and, oh yeah, show off some seriously cool cars. And, since it’s been touted as the “most rock ‘n’ roll car rally ever staged” in Vanity Fair, celebs are a given. Past Gumballs have seen some serious celebrity participation, like Eve, Idris Elba, Tony Hawk, David Guetta and The Hoff. May 25. Admission is free. Cumberland, Bellair and Yorkville Streets, gumball3000.com.

6. BONNIE RAITT
Sure, the first song anyone thinks of when they think of Bonnie Raitt is probably “Something to Talk About”—it did make it to the top of the charts and net her a Grammy (one of nine), after all. But the singer, songwriter and musical legend has been performing for almost four decades, making her back catalogue enormous. While this show will go heavy on her latest work—last month’s Slipstream, her 19th album and return to recording after a seven-year break—we’re sure she’ll have plenty to sing about. May 26. $50–$75. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com.

7. IT STARTS WITH A DJ
This Stylus Group–organized musical conference, a precursor to next week’s Spinfest, takes a hyper-focused look at hip-hop and the role of the DJ. In addition to panel discussions with artists, producers, record label execs and some much-admired Canadian DJs, hip hop heads should definitely not miss live interviews with Wu Tang’s Raekwon and his protegé, local rapper JD Era. May 26. $10. Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., stylusgroup.ca.

8. BOLLYWOOD IN THE SQUARE (FREE!)
Everyone needs a little Bollywood in their lives. There’s drama, dancing and rich, vibrant colours—what’s not to enjoy? And for those who like a film you can sink your teeth into, the movies are often so long, an intermission is required (people who can’t sit comfortably for long periods of time should skip this, because the screening is 2 hours and 30 minutes). Catch a screening of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and score some tasty eats at this fun cultural fest. May 25. Yonge-Dundas Square, ydsquare.ca.