The Ex, a Shawn Mendes show and eight other things to do this week
The return of the Ex (and its food building)
Do Tiny Tom doughnuts get you giddy? Do you adore the SuperDogs? Do you have at least one traumatic memory of the Zipper? If so, you probably already know the Ex is back. Whether you want to try out the most bizarre culinary monstrosities of the season, win a stuffed Minion on the midway or hum along to a broadcast of the last Tragically Hip show at the Bandshell, the Toronto summer staple has you covered. Friday, August 19 to Monday, September 5. $18. Exhibition Place, 210 Princes’ Blvd., theex.com.
Camp Wavelength, the summer’s friendliest music fest
In a city where there are more summer music festivals than there are weekends, this indie-arts extravaganza’s intimate locale and friendly vibe stand out. Cleveland garage rockers Cloud Nothings, synth-pop stars Young Galaxy and local noise demons Odonis Odonis are just part of the fun—pitch a tent on the Island and make the most of three days of swimming, painting, art installations and DIY video games. Friday, August 19 to Sunday, August 21. $20–$160. Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Islands, 443 Lakeshore Ave., wavelengthmusic.ca.
Shawn Mendes’s 18th-birthday bash
Once upon a time, it took busking your butt off in Stratford (and getting Usher to watch your YouTube videos) for a Canadian kid to become a pop heartthrob. By the time Shawn Mendes released his first album last year, he’d already amassed millions of loyal fans by looking good and singing smoothly on Vine. He’s back in his hometown just days after his 18th birthday to deliver infectious singles like “Stitches,” and you can bet that plenty of tween acolytes will be there to celebrate. Sunday, August 21. $53. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., ticketmaster.ca.
The Aeneid through the eyes of a modern-day refugee
Québécois playwright Olivier Kemeid’s powerful drama reimagines Virgil’s ancient epic—Trojan hero Aenaeas’s escape from Troy—as a contemporary story about the refugee crisis. As a group of migrants flee their ravaged homeland in search of a new world, they encounter both mythological tropes and modern realities, such as immigration officials and settlement camps. Friday, August 19 to Tuesday, October 4. $93–$130. Studio Theatre, 35 George St. E., stratfordfestival.ca.
Sail-In Cinema, a lovely lakeside screening series
Ports Toronto’s dockside screening series brings Hollywood to the harbour with a floating two-sided screen that lets landlubbers watch from Sugar Beach and sailors anchor in the bay. Fans decided on this year’s three-night lineup, a selection of stories that have been adapted from books to the big screen: Hook (Aug. 18), Jumanji (Aug. 19) and The Princess Bride (Aug. 20). Thursday, August 18 to Saturday, August 20. Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Dr., sailincinema.com.
Blink-182’s stupidly fun comeback
Front man Tom DeLonge left the quintessential pop-punk band last year, but their latest single, “Bored to Death,” still sounds stubbornly like Blink-182—a time capsule from the early 2000s, stuffed with all the power chords and teen angst that inspired a generation of alt-rockers. Expect their show to be an equally nostalgic—and idiotically fun—affair. Sunday, August 21. $29.25–$103.25. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., ticketmaster.ca.
case/lang/veirs, a singer-songwriter triple threat
k.d. lang started this supergroup when she sent Neko Case and Laura Veirs a matter-of-fact email: “I think we should make a record together.” A few recording sessions later, they released their self-titled debut, an intergenerational effort that combines three distinct styles: Case’s avant-rock, Veirs’s indie-folk and lang’s ever-evolving pop-jazz fusion. Tuesday, August 16. $43–$53. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., ticketmaster.ca.
A border-busting five-course meal
Scott Vivian is Toronto’s unofficial culinary ambassador to the world: the Beast chef was instrumental in convincing Anthony Bourdain to shoot in Toronto for the first time, and his restaurant’s regular Beast and Friends dinners invites up-and-coming American chefs to cook at his King West restaurant in a cross-border culinary exchange with locals. The out-of-town guest at this month’s “Soigne Southern Feast” is Zach Meloy of Atlanta’s Better Half restaurant, who, along with Vivian and iQ Food Co.’s Christine Flynn—a.k.a. Instagram chef Jacques La Merde—will prepare an inventive and, of course, #soigne five-course meal. Spots are limited; call to make a reservation. Tuesday, Aug. 23. $100. The Beast, 96 Tecumseth St.,647-352-6000, thebeastrestaurant.com.
The Hypochondriac, a farcical Molière satire
Molière famously collapsed while performing this, his final play, and passed away shortly after. Stratford top dog Antoni Cimolino will hope for better luck when he directs this freshly translated Stratford production of the French satirist’s hijinks-filled farce about a wealthy health nut who tries to pressure his daughter into marrying his doctor’s son. Thursday, August 18 to Friday, October 14. $25–$190. Festival Theatre, 55 Queen St., Stratford, stratfordfestival.ca.
A recreation of the Beatles’ last Toronto concert
Fifty years ago, the Beatles blasted through Toronto for the last time, playing a tight, terse set in Maple Leaf Gardens. This week, the team behind Classic Albums Live—a concert series that stages iconic records note for note—is celebrating the show’s anniversary by recreating it, right down to the venue. After the original song list, a Fab Four knockoff band will treat the crowd to the mop tops’ greatest hits. Wednesday, August 17. $50–$100. Mattamy Athletic Centre, 50 Carlton St., masseyhall.com.