See Austra for free, party with Die Antwoord and eight other things to do this week
Listen to Miguel’s soaring falsetto at the Sound Academy
Sultry, sexed-up R&B is back in vogue, courtesy of artists like the dreadlocked Toronto superstar The Weeknd and the slinky American singer Frank Ocean. The other big name on the scene: Miguel, the dreamboat crooner who crept into the mainstream three years ago with his lusty lyrics, woozy production values and Prince-worthy falsetto. He plays the Sound Academy this week in support of his languid new album, Wildheart. Tuesday, August 11. $39.50. Sound Academy, 11 Polson Pier, ticketmaster.ca.
See Grace Kelly make her Hitchcock debut
Grace Kelly is thought to be the ultimate Hitchcock blonde, but the pair didn’t team up for the first time until 1954’s Dial M For Murder, a paranoid drawing-room thriller about an upper-class snake who plots to kill his icy socialite wife. The film screens this week in David Pecaut Square as part of TIFF’s outdoor movie series. Watch out for Hitchcock’s cameo, about 13 minutes in. Wednesday, August 12. FREE. David Pecaut Square, 55 John St., 416-599-8433, tiff.net.
Hear Austra’s shimmering synthpop, gratis
Five years ago, the dominant Toronto sound was earnest and folky, governed by Broken Social Scene and its jangly, plaid-clad progeny. All that changed with Austra’s debut: the synthpop group, led by the icy soprano Katie Stelmanis, glitter-bombed the city’s music scene with their dreamy melodies, symphonic harmonies and thrumming synthesizers. The band brings their electronic beats and glam ’80s showmanship to Nathan Phillips Square this week. Wednesday, August 12. FREE. Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., toronto2015.org.
Get your fill of stinky tofu
Asian night markets are sparkling open-air bazaars featuring live music, rides and lots of spicy treats. The T&T edition takes place this weekend at Polson Pier, and includes a midway, a sports zone, interactive karaoke and more than 100 vendors selling all manner of exotic food dares, including curried fish balls, squid skewers and the specialty: deep-fried stinky tofu. Friday, August 14 to Sunday, August 16. FREE. 222 Cherry St., waterfrontnightmarket.com.
Check out an interactive klezmer-punk show about the Ukrainian revolution
Mark Marczyk, the front man for the gonzo 14-piece Lemon Bucket Orkestra, wrote the immersive theatre piece Counting Sheep after participating in the protests at Maidan Square in Ukraine. The play, part of the SummerWorks Performance Festival, takes the form of an interactive feast amid the protests. It’s all set against a backdrop of traditional eastern hymns, psalms and ballads performed by the Orkestra. Monday, August 10 to Sunday, August 16. $15–$25; festival passes from $40. The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W., 416-504-9971, summerworks.ca.
See your favourite comic book heroes fight evil together
If there’s anything comic-crazed kids love more than reading about their favourite superheroes, it’s seeing all of them together onstage. The pyro-filled Marvel Universe Live! pits a cast of 25 heroes (including Captain America, Black Widow and Spider-Man) and villains (Loki, Doc Ock and Madame Hydra) against one another in blockbuster battles, acrobatics and motorcycle madness as they fight to save—or obliterate—the universe. All ages. Thursday, August 13 to Sunday, August 16. Adults, $36.25–$167.25; kids two to 12, $31; kids under two, free. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 416-815-5500, marveluniverselive.com.
Take in some summery chamber music in a magical waterfront garden
The Blythwood Winds, a Toronto quintet, describe themselves as champions of new Canadian music, and this concert features contemporary works by Canadians Kevin Lau and John Estacio. The ensemble grants the past some presence though, with a transcription for winds of Rossini’s overture to his opera La Cenerentola (Cinderella), and Samuel Barber’s languid and vivid Summer Music. Thursday, August 13. FREE. Toronto Music Garden, 475 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
Party with Die Antwoord and Badbadnotgood
The on-again, off-again TIME Festival returns with a characteristically genre-hopping lineup: local MC Tory Lanez and Swedish Internet sensation Yung Lean fill the hip-hop quota, West Coast goofball Mac DeMarco and Brooklyn rockers DIIV offer up some indie, college buddies Badbadnotgood jazz it up, and L.A. avant-pop weirdo Ariel Pink and incomprehensible South African rap-ravers Die Antwoord supply the WTF factor. Saturday, August 15. $35–$50. Fort York, 250 Fort York Blvd., 1-855-985-5000, time-fest.com.
See an avant-garde dance piece inspired by radio waves
Montreal artist Erin Hill presents Radio Project, a SummerWorks dance production inspired by the ubiquitous electromagnetic frequencies that flow through our tech-filled modern lives. Two performers physically interpret a droning feedback loop of ghostly sounds created by an array of radios and tape recorders strewn across the stage. Friday, August 14 and Saturday, August 15. $15; festival passes from $40. The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W., 416-504-9971, summerworks.ca.
Watch the city’s top dance talent strut their stuff
The biennial Dance: Made in Canada fest returns to showcase the country’s top talent. In the world premiere of Montreal choreographer Lina Cruz’s Waiting for a Sleepless Night, two friends prance across a dream terrain. Meanwhile, Toronto’s Jacob Niedzwiecki debuts Unfavourable Geometry, about the dangerous science of nuclear programs. More premieres, late-night performances and dance films round out the bill. Thursday, August 13 to Sunday, August 16. $15–$25. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis St., 416-533-8577, princessproductions.ca.