Play pinball, drink beer for charity and eight other things to do this week
Dive into Iris Apfel’s closet
Iris Apfel is a 94-year-old fashion starlet, with a flash of dove-white hair, scarlet lipstick and harlequin outfits cobbled together from haute couture and flea market finds. Her Park Avenue closet was dazzling enough to merit its own costume exhibit at the Met in 2006. And now she’s the subject of Iris, an affectionate, stylish new documentary from Grey Gardens maestro Albert Maysles, who died last year. It’s best watched through Frisbee-size glasses. Friday May 15 to Sunday May 31. $12. 506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123, bloorcinema.com.
Show off your pinball wizardry
This week, Handlebar in Kensington Market combines two of Toronto’s enduring obsessions: craft suds and retro gaming. There will be beer from Kensington Brewery, live music from DJs and indie bands, and cutthroat pinball tournaments every night on a different machine, including Jungle Lord, White Water and The Simpsons’ Pinball Party. Victors get edible prizes from Thomas Lavers Delicatessen and Sanagan’s Meat Locker. Monday May 11 to Friday, May 15. $5–$8. Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave., 647-748-7433, thehandlebar.ca.
Sample international cuisine at the Terroir dinner series
Every year, Toronto’s Terroir Hospitality Symposium unites food-world luminaries for a thinky academic conference. But who wants to talk about food when you can eat it? The Terroir dinner series features a procession of culinary creations, including New Nordic (a collaboration between Justin Cournoyer of Actonolite and Jamie Lee of Copenhagen’s Fiskebaren), Rock Stars (an ode to East Coast cuisine with a team of Newfoundland chefs), and Big Gay Bingo (a night of burgers, ice cream and, yes, bingo with Lisa Marie’s Matt Basile and New York soft-serve kings Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff). Tuesday May 12 and Wednesday May 13. Various prices and venues, terroirsymposium.com.
See rare photographs from a Group of Seven master
After a decade or so spent creating bright, romantic Canadiana with the Group of Seven, Frank Johnston broke from the famous coterie. He spent the rest of his career painting gritty, realist landscapes that toyed with texture and light, usually after photographing his locations for reference. Those photos are sublime, stunning works in their own right, and will be on display until August at the McMichael gallery in Kleinburg. To Sunday August 16. $18. McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10365 Islington Ave., Kleingburg, 905-893-1121, mcmichael.com.
Check out a Yiddish play about demonic possession
The Exorcist owes everything to S. Ansky’s nightmarish 1916 Yiddish play The Dybbuk, about a malevolent spirit who possesses the body of a young bride in a Polish shtetl. It gets an ethereal, eerie new production this week at Soulpepper, directed by Albert Schultz. In the role of the demonic Leah is Hailey Gillis, the company’s newest star, who recently stole scenes as yet another supernatural ingénue in Spoon River. Thursday May 14 to Thursday June 18. $29.50–$89. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
Hear Braids’ effervescent ’80s art-rock
Raphaelle Standell-Preston, the lead singer for the Calgary art-rock trio Braids, sings with a swooning ’80s power ballad pulse, as if someone threw Kate Bush and Pat Benatar into a Vitamix. But everything else about her music is pure 2015: on “Miniskirt,” she belts about the indignity of rape culture, and on the synth-laden “Sore Eyes,” croons about porn as something both seductive and sickening. Check out the band this Thursday at the Horseshoe. Thursday May 14. $12. Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., 416-598-4226, horseshoetavern.com.
Discover the world of Johann Sebastian Bach
The Tafelmusik orchestra takes a decidedly method approach to baroque music: they play all their concerts on period-appropriate instruments, including 18th-century violoncellos, harpsichords, organs and bassoons. Their newest concert is a multimedia program devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach, featuring the Brandenburg Concerto and the Goldberg Variations, plus images, film footage and storytelling that show the craftsmanship that went into building Bach’s instruments. Tuesday May 12. $24–$85.75. George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge St., 1-855-985-2787, tafelmusik.org.
Guzzle beer for a good cause
Beyond its philanthropic clout, the annual Brewers’ Plate charity dinner is a terrific deal. For $95, attendees get unlimited samples from 20 chefs (including Carmen’s Luis Valenzuela and La Palette’s Brooke Kavanagh) and creative beer pairings from 20 craft brewers (like Junction Craft and Beau’s). The proceeds go to a different charity every year. This time, it’s the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, devoted to protecting Ontario’s farms, forests and wetlands. Wednesday May 13. $95. Corus Quay, 25 Dockside Dr., 1-877-435-9849, brewersplatetoronto.org.
Watch a gorgeously gruesome French film with a top chef
Hannibal Lecter might be cinema’s most famous flesh-eating fiend, but Clapet, the Falstaffian villain in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Delicatessen, is the most hilariously grotesque, carving up the handymen in his apartment building and selling them in his butcher shop. The film screens this week as part of TIFF’s Food on Film series, with an introduction from the superstar American molecular gastronomist Wylie Dufresne. Wednesday May 13. $24–$29.75. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433, tiff.net.
Spend an evening with David Sedaris
We’ve all heard David Sedaris tell the story about his brother Rooster, or recall his tenure as a Christmas elf at the mall, or describe his uproarious visit to a nudist colony. But this week at the Sony Centre, the cheerily dour essayist will debut an evening of folksy new stories—including one about that time in middle school when he had a tumour excised so he could feed it to his sister’s snapping turtle. Saturday May 16. $44–$59. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E., 1-855-872-7669, sonycentre.ca.