An SNL cast member’s stand-up show, a boozy cider festival and six other things to do this week
Sasheer Zamata’s back-to-back stand-up sets
Saturday Night Live lovers know Sasheer Zamata as the ultra-talented comic whose spot-on impressions of Michelle Obama and Rihanna don’t get nearly enough screen time on NBC’s sketch show. Here, it’s all Sasheer, all night—make that two nights. During back-to-back sets, she’ll recall awkward conversations with her stepmom, riff on racism and, we hope, treat us to at least one First Lady impersonation. Friday, August 26 and Saturday, August 27. $25. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor St. W., comedybar.ca.
A cider paradise in the heart of the city
This day-long celebration of craft ciders should keep any beverage lover busy. Show off your drink-mixing prowess in cocktail competitions, partake in some goofy drinking games or listen to live music in the heart of the city. Spirit Tree Estate, Wanderoot, Magnotta and Double Trouble Brewing are among the 30 cideries represented. Saturday, August 27. $30. Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St. E., torontociderfestival.com.
An opera in cottage country
Classical power couple Richard Margison and Valerie Kuinka have been bringing opera to cottage country since 2007, training and coaching young singers and closing the summer with pared-down performances of classic works. On tap this year: Faust, Charles Gounod’s tuneful and darkly dramatic take on the titular character’s deal with the devil. Sunday, August 28 to Thursday, September 1. $37.50. Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion, 5358 County Rd. 21, Haliburton, highlandssummerfestival.on.ca.
Mark Ruwedel’s dark, gritty photography
Ruwedel’s grayscale images of spartan North American landscapes tell stories. Pictures of abandoned shacks and bunkers hint at swift departures. Shots of wooden railroads suggest a rich industrial history. They invite viewers to wonder who might have once inhabited the frame, and what the plastic bags and abandoned passports they left behind might reveal. Wednesday, August 24 to Saturday, October 1. Olga Korper Gallery, 17 Morrow Ave., olgakorpergallery.com.
A home-cooked Syrian family meal
This Wednesday kicks off the Gladstone’s annual Harvest Wednesday dinner series, an initiative that brings city folk and farmers together for delicious local dinners. The guest chefs this week are from Newcomer Kitchen, a community space run by newly arrived Syrian women, who will cook up a four-course, family-style meal of traditional Syrian dishes. Bonus: two glasses of wine from Sandbanks Winery and live Syrian music. Wednesday, August 24 . $50–$60 per person. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., gladstonehotel.com.
No Boundaries, a sprawling sculpture show
The Sculptors Society of Canada’s anniversary exhibition features the work of 35 member artists, including Octavia Proca (whose abstract stone works burst with subtle details), Mary Cartmel (who strikes undulating birds out of soapstone) and Angela Verlaeckt-Clark (who accompanies each of her smooth sculptures with an original poem). Tuesday, August 23 to Friday, September 16. John B. Aird Gallery, Macdonald Block, 900 Bay St., cansculpt.org.
The Gladstone’s textile takeover
The Gladstone always seemed to be decked out in stunning site-specific art, wondrous plant life or cheeky references to classic ’80s films. This week, the hotel gets a new look: two dozen artists are covering its entrance, halls and grand staircase with all manner of knitted, weaved and sewn works for the 11th edition of Hard Twist, the Gladstone’s annual textile-based art show. Expect gorgeous knotted dolls, intricate fabric work and doilies like you wouldn’t believe. Friday, August 26 to Sunday, January 8; opening reception Thursday, September 8. Free. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., gladstonehotel.com.
A free classical concert in a park
The title of this intriguing outdoor concert of medieval music, Amor mi fa cantar a la Francesca, translates to “love makes me sing in the French style.” On hand to illustrate: soprano Julie Ryning and clavicymbalum player Katelyn Clark, founding members of the early-music ensemble Musica Fantasia. Sunday, August 28. Toronto Music Garden, 475 Queens Quay W., harbourfrontcentre.com.