The Weekender: The Glass Menagerie, Blue Man Group and six other events on our to do list
1. THE GLASS MENAGERIE
Tennessee William’s classic play about the Wingfield family —and, most notably, the introverted, figurine-obsessed Laura—was his big break, though it didn’t come until he was in his early 30s, had failed three attempts at university and suffered one mental breakdown. The play is narrated by Laura’s brother Tom, and one of its claims to fame is the fact that it’s one of the first real “memory plays,” where a main character tells the story while reflecting on the past. Actors Gemma James-Smith, Stuart Hughes, Jeff Lillico and Nancy Palk fill out Soulpepper’s cast for The Glass Menagerie. July 20 to September 10. $28–$65. Soulpepper Theatre, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., Bldg. 49, 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
2. BRAZILFEST (FREE!)
This celebration of all things Brazil features everything necessary for a cultural festival: a fun lineup of singers (including rising stars Diogo Snow and Juliana Caputo Capuleto), samba and salsa dancers, a marketplace with traditional crafts on offer and—of course—plenty of good things to eat. We’re already planning our dinner of Brazilian BBQ and several caipirinhas. July 24. Earlscourt Park, brazilfest.ca.
3. BLUE MAN GROUP
These critically acclaimed, world-famous candy-coloured performance artists are in town for a limited two-week engagement. Their shows are a chaotic mix of music, comedy, multimedia and movement—perfect for kids (albeit kind of strange and sometimes messy) and adults (ditto). It’s a popular show, so we recommend not waiting to buy tickets. July 19 to 30. $50–$99. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
4. GEORGE S. ZIMBEL (FREE!)
Massachusetts-born, Montreal-based photographer George S. Zimbel has shot just about everyone, including über-famous celebs like Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Devoted to the old methods of photography (read: no Photoshop), this exhibit is an attempt to “capture the gravity and giddy joys of childhood” and share a retrospective of Zimbel’s decades-long career. Zimbel will be speaking at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, but spaces are limited (call to R.S.V.P.) July 21 to September 17. Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen St. W., 416-504-0575, bulgergallery.com.
5. FRUGAL FASHION WEEK
If not for this lineup of cost-effective, stylish events, summertime would just be one long, hot, never-ending stretch between the spring and fall fashion weeks for the city’s most fashionable (and cheap). Be sure to check out the “If These Clothes Could Talk” installation, which features togs from some of the city’s top stylists, celebs and the otherwise fashion forward (post-event, the clothes will be donated to Goodwill). We’re also excited for Egos & E-Tailers, a pop-up shop stocked with clothes, shoes and accessories that are usually only available online. July 21 to 24. Various prices. Various locations, frugalfashionweek.com.
6. TORONTO BURLESQUE FESTIVAL
This year’s edition of the Toronto Burlesque Festival is being advertised as a “Canadiana-rama,” and it has attracted acts from across the country (like Vancouver’s Burgundy Brixx, Halifax’s Miss C and Montreal’s Oui Oui Encore), continent (New York’s Amber Ray, Darlinda Just Darlinda, Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey and Chicago’s Jett Adore) and world (the UK’s Shirley Windmill and Japan’s Cherry Typhoon). There will be pasties everywhere. July 21 to 24. $35. Various locations, torontoburlesque.com.
7. HEAVY T.O.
Toronto seems to have music festivals for just about every genre, but until now there hasn’t been one dedicated to metalheads. This weekend marks the launch of Heavy T.O., the Big Smoke equivalent of the successful Montreal festival Heavy MTL. With a lineup that includes Megadeth, Motorhead, Rob Zombie, Slayer and Billy Talent (okay, sure), there’s something for even the most hardcore of music fans. July 23 and 24. $72.50. Downsview Park, 75 Carl Hall Rd., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
8. BIG ON BLOOR (FREE!)
This event is home to three stages of performances by bands, singers, dancers, actors, karate kids, an art fair, crafts, storytellers, buskers, several parades, face-painting and more food than any one person can reasonably eat. Pack some sunscreen and a fashionable chapeau, because there’s so much to do and see that it could be a very long day. July 23 and 24. Bloor Street between Dufferin and Lansdowne, bigonbloor.com/festival.