The Weekender: TIFF, Lewis Black and five other events on our to-do list

The Weekender: TIFF, Lewis Black and five other events on our to-do list

Lauryn Hill performs at the ONEXONE fundraiser on Saturday (Image: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images Entertainment) 

If Lewis Black comes across as a shouting man more than a funny man, that’s because there just seems to be so much to shout about—and never more so than in a U.S. presidential election year, when sanity tends to leap out the window. Hence his latest show, Running on Empty, in which Black brings his signature curmudgeonly exasperation to bear on Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers and a host of other groups that make him sick. The Daily Show regular says he enjoys playing to Canadian audiences, since they don’t arrive at the theatre with the built-in Democrat or Republican bias his U.S. audiences have, so perhaps the anger will be toned down a half per cent or so at his Massey Hall engagement. September 7. $35.50-$55.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255,

Toronto’s biggest, shiniest week-and-a-half-long party kicks off tomorrow with the world premiere of the confusing time-travel thriller Looper, and doesn’t let up until the end of next week at the earliest. Film buffs have already filled out their ticket packages, but for the less organized, there are still plenty of single tickets available for the less celeb-strewn screenings (check out our guide to this year’s 50 buzziest flicks for tips). Gawkers and (celeb) stalkers of all stripes will be on the scene, and party crashers will be practising their smoothest bouncer-buttering-up all weekend long. Keep a browser tab open to for full coverage of the insanity. September 6 to 16. Various locations, 416-599-8433,

Sure, she might not start all her shows on time. And, okay, maybe she’s not always in perfect voice. But when Lauryn Hill is on, she’s on—even 14 years after her rapping, singing and all-around-earthshaking debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. She performs this Saturday as part of the annual TIFF-timed fundraiser for ONEXONE, a charity that aims to improves the lives of children in Canada, Haiti and beyond. The evening will also include DJs, mixologists, sommeliers and culinary pairings, but none of that matters next to Hill’s singular presence on stage. September 8. $100. Kool Haus, 132 Queens Quay E.,

The hip stretch of Queen West may be moving ever westward, but that doesn’t mean the original Queen West (i.e., the strip between University and Bathurst) is without its charms. For the local BIA’s third annual sidewalk sale, there will be shopping, food and fun running the length of the strip. Design Republic is offering deals from $50-$400, while Lavish and Squalor
is selling its remaining summer stock for half off and BQM is serving sliders for $2 to benefit the Hospital for Sick Children. September 8. Queen St. W. between Osgoode Subway Station and Bathurst St., 416-384-2946,

Food trucks in Toronto haven’t had an easy time, given the less than favourable regulatory environment—but that hasn’t stopped them from opening at a rapid clip. AwesTRUCK is essentially a big party to celebrate just that (they’ve created an infographic about the last year in Toronto food trucking). Thrown by Food Truck Eats, which has done much to push the mobile dining scene forward, the event features an awards ceremony to crown the top truck in categories like Best New Food Truck, Best Concept, Best Menu Item, Road Warrior and Best Graphics. September 9. $15-$60. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave.,

The meat-mad city is not always a friendly place for herbivores, which makes this annual festival something like a pop-up oasis. Over 100 vendors, including restaurants, bakeries, caterers, food producers and even clothing companies, will be showcasing meat-free wares, with plenty of free samples, at Harbourfront Centre. There’s also a series of speakers and performers, including the plant-eater answer to Epic Mealtime—the appropriately named Vegan Meal Time. September 7-9. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W.,

Soulpepper’s 2010 production of this Arthur Miller classic (loved and loathed in equal measure by high schoolers everywhere) garnered rave reviews for the psychologically acute performances of husband-and-wife pair Joseph Ziegler and Nancy Palk in the lead roles of the tired and defeated Willy Loman and his long-suffering wife Linda. Directed by Soulpepper honcho Albert Schultz, this revival is a straight-ahead, no gimmicks staging, leaving it up to the more-than-capable cast to carry the tragic, iconic tale. To September 29. $51-$68. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery Historic District, 416-866-8666,