Caribbean Carnival, a boozy bootlegger party and seven other things to do this week
The vibrant Caribbean Carnival
Every year, the food, music and festivities at this Toronto tradition get a little more colourful. If you’ve lived in the city for any of the last 48 years, you know the drill: this week’s highlights include the King and Queen Show (July 28), and, of course, the legendary Grand Parade (July 30). To Sunday, July 31. Free. Various locations, torontocaribbeancarnival.com.
Veld, Deadmau5’s EDM extravaganza
The annual electro-fest features the mouse-masked, feud-prone DJ Deadmau5, plus Australian prodigy Flume, the hip-hop master Travis Scott, and American house heavy-hitters Steve Aoki and the Chainsmokers. Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31. $159.50–$229.50. Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Rd., veldmusicfestival.com.
A boozy bootlegger theatre-party
In The Hogtown Experience, audiences run loose in the stately Campbell House Museum, where a cast of 34 actors—playing showgirls, gangsters and bootleggers—act out scenes from a sultry 1920s Toronto speakeasy. Guests wander from room to room like ghosts, watching a mayoral candidate curry political favour in the parlour, a couple having a clandestine argument upstairs and a jazz band crooning in the basement. To Sunday, Aug. 28. Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen St. W., hogtownexperience.com.
A date with a fleet of food trucks
Have you ever dreamed of a gluttonous paradise where bacon, poutine, mac and cheese, doughnuts and more could live together? Dream no longer: the Toronto Food Truck Festival brings all manner of gastronomical delights to Woodbine Park for a weekend. Beaver Tails, Bacon Nation, Tiny Tom Donuts and Portobello Burger are among the event’s 45-plus vendors. Friday, July 29 to Sunday, July 31. Food prices vary. Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. E., torontofoodtruckfestival.com.
Cirque du Soleil’s latest high-flying offering
Luzia is a big-top extravaganza steeped in the sounds and culture of Mexico. The show’s title is a portmanteau of the Spanish words for light (“luz”) and rain (“lluvia”), and you can expect to see plenty of both. The colourful spectacle features elaborate bird costumes, Cyr wheel stunts and Cirque’s signature acrobatic daredevilry performed on—and way above—a giant treadmill. Thursday, July 28 to Sunday, Oct. 2. $48–$195. The Port Lands, 51 Commissioners St., cirquedusoleil.com.
A Doll’s House, Ibsen’s proto-feminist play
Henrik Ibsen: playwright, director…feminist? In 1879, the father of modern drama shocked his contemporaries with this bombshell of a production, the story of an ambitious woman who longs for a life of her own. Set in an era when women were expected to be nothing more than housewives, the play challenges gender norms and asks how free a woman can be in a society dictated by men. Wednesday, July 27 to Saturday, Aug. 27. $32–$94. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., soulpepper.ca.
A chance to take this picture
Richard Branson, Nick Cannon and the Stanley Cup have all graced the decks of Mariposa Cruises’ fleet of ships. Starting this week, you can join the club. The company is offering scenic, after-work cocktail cruises through Toronto Harbour every week until early September. Get your iPhone ready: Instagram beckons. From Tuesday, July 26. $20. Mariposa Cruises, 207 Queens Quay W., mariposacruises.com.
A musical time machine to the mid-1800s
Founded 18 years after Beethoven’s death, the London-based Beethoven Quartet Society was the first to perform a complete cycle of the master’s quartets. The youthful Dover Quartet duplicates the spirit (but not the entire length) of that marathon with this three-work sampler show, which features one quartet from each of his early, middle and late periods. Listen for the slow, supremely affecting third movement of Opus 132, which Beethoven wrote while recovering from a serious illness. Friday, July 29. $25–$55. Walter Hall, 80 Queen’s Park, torontosummermusic.com.
The best of Toronto’s burlesque scene
When the Toronto Burlesque Festival began in 2008, burlesque was, to most people, a bygone relic. It’s since exploded into a thriving, diverse movement. This four-day extravaganza showcases teasing and tassels from Toronto and abroad—including Chicago’s all-male troupe the Stage Door Johnnies and glitzy New York–based diva Miss Dirty Martini—plus Burlesque University workshops for anyone who wants in on the glamour. Thursday, July 28 to Sunday, July 31. $25–$65. Revival Bar, 783 College St.; Mod Club, 722 College St., torontoburlesquefestival.com.