Go to a massive beach party, explore forbidden buildings and six other things to do this week
Get a sneak preview of the album of the summer
It’s been almost three years since Aussie psychedelicists Tame Impala released their sophomore stunner, Lonerism, but it feels like they never really went away. Lead single “Elephant” stomped its way through episodes of Girls and The Vampire Diaries—not to mention an inescapable Blackberry commercial—and we’re willing to bet Indie 88 is playing the album’s swooning centerpiece track, “Feel Like We Only Go Backwards,” yet again as you read this. As such, Tame Impala’s upcoming third album, Currents (out July 17), is one of the most hotly anticipated rock albums of 2015. And while early evidence suggests the band has retired its formative guitar roar for synth-washed electro-R&B, the signature trippiness remains. Fortunately, Massey Hall has the cavernous backdrop to accommodate one hell of a light show. Tuesday, May 19. $39.50-$59.50. 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com
Bear witness to the unexpected return of an opera legend
Superstar tenor Ben Heppner stunned the Canadian opera world with news of his retirement last April—but he didn’t stay silent for long. Heppner returns to the stage to play American politician and Macy’s co-founder Isidor Straus in the Mirvish production of Titanic: The Musical, a song-based account of the doomed ship’s fateful 1912 voyage. He’s one among a massive cast that brings the Tony-winning saga of brazen ambition, undying love and terrible tragedy to life. Tuesday, May 19 to June 21. $35–$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
Reacquaint yourself with an oft-overlooked icon of Greek mythology
The tale of Orpheus, the mythical minstrel who tried and failed to save his wife from the underworld, is widely known. Her backstory? Not so much. Soulpepper’s production of Eurydice—scripted by playwright and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Sarah Ruhl—re-imagines the story from the perspective of the titular protagonist as she descends into Hades, then faces a choice between returning to Orpheus and remaining with her dead father below. Tuesday, May 19 to June 18. $29.50–$89. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
Get schooled on Middle East politics by a drag queen
The endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict doesn’t seem like the most obvious fodder for a campy musical treatment. However, in Ballad of Burning Star, Israel’s foremost drag diva, Nir Paldi, draws from his experiences as a marginalized cross-dressing performer to examine the psychological toll of living in a state of perpetual tension. After wowing audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the show makes its North American debut this week at The Theatre Centre. Tuesday, May 19 to Sunday, May 24. $20-$50. 1115 Queen St. W., 416-538-0988, burningstar.ca.
Hear Canada’s most famous jazz singer go classic rock
Grammy-winning jazz pianist and vocalist Diana Krall built her name on a soulful alto, sultry melodies and restrained arrangements. But on her latest album, Wallflower, Krall took a calculated turn toward straight-up pop, covering tunes from Elton John, Paul McCartney and The Eagles, among others. For this performance, she’ll mix the new crowd-pleasing numbers with those beloved jazz standards, backed by a full orchestra. Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23. $80–$145. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com.
Hit the ultimate Canadian beach party
The summer-summoning CBC Music Festival returns to Echo Beach for a third year with a fresh, folk-focused line-up. Headlining the daylong event are Montreal’s cinematic baroque-pop master Patrick Watson and Can-rock icon Joel Plaskett (with his Emergency backing band in tow). They’re joined by Quebec piano powerhouse Cœur de Pirate, local foot-stomping folk outfit The Strumbellas, Toronto’s omnipresent choral collective Choir!Choir!Choir! and, for a hit of childhood nostalgia, veteran troubadour Fred Penner. Saturday, May 23. $39.50. Echo Beach, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 416-260-5700, music.cbc.ca.
Legally infiltrate Toronto’s most secretive spaces
Since 2000, Doors Open Toronto has granted us access to the darkest and most obscure corners of Toronto—Lower Bay subway station, the Island’s Gibraltar Point Lighthouse and the Fort York Armoury, to name but a few. This year, the event will offer behind-the-scenes glimpses of the city’s sporting facilities and a sneak peek at the new pools, courts and tracks created for the upcoming Pan Am Games. Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24. Various locations, toronto.ca.
See Han Solo’s spaceship as you’ve never seen it before
Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist Johnathan Ball uses high-art techniques to depict the geek-culture touchstones of his youth: his paintings and photographs blend elements of street art, comic books and Japanese anime with futuristic expressionism. His latest show is all steely, retro masculinity, including colourful renditions of the Millennium Falcon and various sci-fi monsters. FREE. Saturday, May 23 to June 15. Liss Gallery, 140 Yorkville Ave., 416-787-9872, lissgallery.com.