A Shawn Mendes show, the Color Run and six other things to see, do, hear and read this week
A Pickering prodigy’s big moment
1At first, it was impossible not to compare Shawn Mendes to Justin Bieber, another baby-faced suburban sensation from Ontario who found fame posting cover videos online. But the kinder, gentler teen idol has since stepped out from Justin’s shadow, earning acclaim with back-to-back chart-topping albums and a growing list of singles that make tween girls swoon. Live, Mendes takes cues from his idol, John Mayer, splitting his show between a stripped-down solo set and an exuberant full-band session. Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12. $45.75–$83.75. Air Canada Centre.
A delicious night market at the Hearn
2After three years in the T&T parking lot, the popular Waterfront Night Market is moving to the Hearn Generating Station, with more than 100 vendors serving all kinds of pan-Asian street snacks. Those who aren’t fond of stinky tofu’s siren smell will be happy to know that all of the more pungent foods will be segregated in an area they’re calling “stinky tofu village.” Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13. Free. Hearn Generating Station.
A radiant, rainbow-hued dash
3The Color Run hits Toronto again this summer, and ups the ante with a new Foam Zone and a creative Dream Wall, a giant inflatable installation that runners can tag with spray paint as they pass. The wacky paint sprint has no winners, no losers and no charitable mandate, just an appropriately colourful prize (a unicorn medal), plenty of coloured powder and a single, two-pronged rule: wear white at the starting line, and don’t expect it to still be white at the finish. Saturday, August 12. $50. Woodbine Entertainment Centre.
Greektown’s tastiest weekend
4Here’s Taste of the Danforth by the numbers: 23 restaurants, one million attendees, live music and dance from nine different cultures, and one big Greek spirit. This year, Toronto’s largest street festival features a kids’ Fun Zone, a Canada 150–themed VR experience celebrating national heroes, plus plenty of mouth-watering food. Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13. Free. Danforth Avenue between Broadview and Donlands.
The enduring funk of Earth, Wind and Fire
5Now that they’re down to just three original members (that’s Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson), Earth, Wind and Fire are mostly a nostalgia act. But when “September” or “Shining Star” revs up, it’s always a party worthy of the 1970s. The funk legends team up with fellow disco-era outfit Chic on this world tour. Sunday, August 13. $39.50–$175. Air Canada Centre.
The best of Toronto’s teenage playwrights
6Before performances of Twelfth Night or King Lear, Shakespeare in High Park audiences will be treated to a series of short plays by some of the city’s most promising storytellers, ages 14 through 21. Works like Afro-Peruana, Those Days Are Gone and Warrior’s Journey from the Horn all explore ideas of migration and displacement, telling stories about unsettled college students and violence in Somalia. To Saturday, September 2. PWYC. High Park Amphitheatre.
The Science Guy’s second wind
7Hot on the heels of his new Netflix show, Bill Nye—yes, the Science Guy—hits up Indigo Yorkdale to discuss the world-changing potential of “thinking like a nerd.” He’ll also sign copies of his book Everything All At Once, so you can finally thank him for making your Grade 5 science class a little more bearable. Wednesday, August 9. Free. Indigo Yorkdale.
An uncanny short story collection
8The Dead Husband Project, the summer’s most macabre short story collection, taps into the latent horrors of modern romance. Its lovelorn heroines find themselves in all sorts of strange scenarios: one goes on a blind date with a faceless man, another reconnects with her mad-mathematician mum, and, in the title story, a woman orchestrates an art installation with her dying husband’s body. Somehow, author and CBC Radio producer Sarah Meehan Sirk brings tenderness to the Gothic grotesquerie. Tuesday, August 8. Doubleday Canada.