A Hugh Jackman extravaganza, a Negroni celebration and six other things to see, hear and do in Toronto this week
A modern-day Renaissance man
1Hugh Jackman’s days as the steel-clawed, mutton-chopped Wolverine are officially behind him. He’s returned to his roots as a clean-cut music man, embarking on his first international arena tour, accompanied by a full symphony orchestra. For Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show, he brings his charm and dapper dance moves to the stage for a set of earworms from his two major musicals—The Greatest Showman and Les Misérables—as well as maraca-charged songs from his Tony-winning Broadway hit The Boy From Oz. Tuesday, June 25. $102–$461. Scotiabank Arena.
A Negroni buffet
2Italy’s favourite Italian aperitif (the Negroni, not the contentious Aperol Spritz) turns 100 this week, and what better way to celebrate a birthday bash than by getting responsibly smashed? Negroni Week has been serving hangovers since 2013 and now the seven-day festival—part party, part fundraiser for local charities—happens in more than 10,000 venues around the world. Here in Toronto, expect to find the blood orange classic, as well as twisted versions, like The Annex Food Hall’s Negroni Baiju (made with the titular kombucha-like Chinese liquor) and Amano Pasta’s pineapple smoked Negroni. Monday, June 24 to Sunday, June 20. Various prices. Various locations.
An out-of-this-world art exhibit
3In the half-century since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, scientists have sent spacecraft to the far corners of our solar system, found exoplanets made of hot ice and diamonds, and, this year, captured the first photo of a black hole. The Stephen Bulger Gallery’s latest exhibit pays tribute to these monumental discoveries, featuring a collection of nearly 200 photographs taken throughout the history of space exploration. Nineteenth-century observations of the sky hang alongside photos captured by astronauts, demonstrating how historical curiosity led to modern discovery. Friday, June 28 to Saturday, August 31. Stephen Bulger Gallery.
A finger lickin‘ ribs fest
4Leave your white shirt at home, bring your bib and ditch your vegan friends for Toronto’s annual Rib Fest, where barbecues will be ablaze to grill up summer staples. This food festival has all the hallmarks of a fall fair (minus the cotton candy), so if you haven’t been able to make the trek to Canada’s Wonderland, there’s always the ferris wheel and neon-coloured midway to tide you over between racks of ribs from vendors like Billy Bones, Jack On The Bone, Silver Bullet and The Hogfather. Friday, June 28 to Monday, July 1. VIP tickets $47, GA free. Etobicoke Centennial Park.
A sweetened songstress
5Over the past year, the ponytailed princess of pop Ariana Grande has ascended to queendom, releasing two albums in the span of just six months. The turnaround time alone is an impressive feat for any artist, but her latest release also secured all three top spots on the Billboard Hot 100—something no album has ever achieved, and no act has managed since the Beatles in 1964. She kicked off her Sweetener tour in March and stopped off in Toronto just two months ago, but now she’s back for an encore. Live, she’s shed her Nickelodeon-child-star-turned-bad-girl persona and emerged, at 25, as her charismatic, adult self. Grande’s near-supernatural four-octave range is worth the ticket price alone. Wednesday, June 26. $190–$920. Scotiabank Arena.
A Toronto Symphony teaser
6Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno has led renowned orchestras in Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Japan, and now he’s coming to Toronto, where he’ll take over as the TSO’s new music director. He doesn’t officially begin his tenure until next year, but he’s giving aficionados a taste of what’s ahead in a series of sampler concerts. This one tests his command of the modern repertoire, featuring the Suite from Stravinsky’s The Firebird, Prokofiev’s Classical symphony and Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. Friday, June 28 to Sunday, June 30. $50–$118. Roy Thomson Hall.
A nonagenarian sex guru documentary
7Pint-sized sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer turned 91 earlier this month, but she’s far from your average grandma. Over the course of her life, she’s been a World War II refugee, a celebrity radio and television host, an author and, most recently, the subject of the acclaimed documentary, Ask Ruth, which premiered at Sundance this year. (According to Dr. Ruth, it’s going to be an Oscar-winner.) If you missed the sold-out screening at Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival, it’s playing again for one weekend only, followed by a recorded Q&A with Ruth and the director Ryan White. Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29. $11.50. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
A colourful music festival
8One of summer’s brightest dance parties brings an EDM-fuelled mess of glitter, plenty of glow-sticks and neon galore. This year’s Dreams Festival lineup includes chart-topping DJ-producer Zedd, dream-pop duo Louis The Child and Canadian techno DJ Rezz (who also happens to be the event’s first female headliner). Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 20. $99–$229. RBC Echo Beach and Ontario Place.