A José González symphony, a nostalgic pop-up funhouse and five other things to see, hear and do in Toronto this week
A symphonic singer
1The Swedish-Argentinian singer-songwriter José González began his career playing bass in hardcore punk bands, though you’d never know it from his soft voice and classical guitar medleys. Today, he’s best known as a folk artist, but he’s constantly expanding his repertoire and diversifying his sound with orchestral collaborations and genre-bending covers, like his sombre version of the Knife’s electro-pop anthem “Heartbeats.” For his latest tour, he’s joining forces with the String Theory, an experimental chamber orchestra based in Berlin and Gothenburg. The added instruments transform González’s humble guitar music into something layered, powerful and downright symphonic. Tuesday, March 26. $69. The Danforth Music Hall.
An artisan market
2No two booths are alike at the annual One of a Kind craft show. Potters, painters, designers, weavers, bakers, jewellers and other creators showcase their unique products in an Etsy-meets-flea-market-style shopping spectacular. If you get bored of browsing, there’s also a handful of workshops scheduled for aspiring DIY kings and queens. Wednesday, March 27, to Sunday, March 31. $15. Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place.
An urban photography exhibit
3Nearly two decades ago, thieves broke into photographer Christopher Porter’s home and stole thousands of negatives and prints. It wasn’t until years later, in 2016, that some of his collection was recovered from an abandoned barn in Nova Scotia. The images, shot on the streets of Paris, New York, Istanbul, Marrakesh and Havana, document ordinary people caught during unsuspecting moments. This new exhibit, Urbania Part 1.5, marks the first time any of Porter’s lost photographs have been shown outside of his hometown, Lunenberg. Until Saturday, March 30. Free. Image Factory, Ryerson School of Image Arts.
A dog-friendly yoga class
4Downward dog takes on new meaning at this pup-friendly yoga class. Attendees are encouraged to bring their cute workout pals (a.k.a. their pets) for a one-hour vinyasa flow session, complete with pats and cuddles between poses. Non–dog owners looking to switch up their regular fitness class routine are also welcome to attend. Saturday, March 30. $20. 10 Lower Spadina.
A funky documentary
5American funk queen Betty Davis practically invented her own genre in the ’70s, fusing bass-heavy grooves with layers of electric rock, catchy R&B and raspy soul (her voice has been compared to “erotic sandpaper”). She was the first black woman to write, perform and manage herself—even with bans and boycotts issued on her music for being “too sexual.” Despite her success as both a solo artist and writer for the Chambers Brothers and Commodores, in the ’80s she completely vanished. Betty: They Say I’m Different, by British director Phil Cox, chronicles her humble beginnings writing songs as a kid living in Durham, North Carolina, her influence as a pioneering black female artist, and her struggle with mental health that led to her mysterious 35-year disappearance. Wednesday, March 27, to Saturday, March 30. $14. AGO.
A grown-up funhouse
6HideSeek, Toronto’s newest pop-up playground, is a nostalgia-fuelled wonderland of interactive installations. With 10 themed rooms to explore—think rainbow Slinkies, pillow forts and those horribly uncomfortable bubble couches—expect plenty of Instagram-ops. Saturday, March 30, to Sunday, June 2. $31.40. 1305 Dundas Street West.
A wild night with Muse
7The British rockers Muse have always been known to put on a good show, but they’ve taken the title of their latest album, Simulation Theory, as over-the-top inspiration for this round of performances. Expect lasers galore, light-up leather jackets, BMX stuntmen, alien robots and a whopping 27-song setlist that cycles through all the hits. Thursday, March 28. $64–$235. Scotiabank Arena.