The return of Broken Social Scene, the Fringe Fest and six other things to see, do, hear and read this week
Broken Social Scene’s boisterous return
We’ll forgive Broken Social Scene for taking seven years to make their new album, Hug of Thunder—we can only imagine how long it takes 17 members, give or take, just to book a band practice. The original lineup (Feist, Kevin Drew, Emily Haines, Brendan Canning et al.) is back, along with their massive sound. The early single “Halfway Home” is a comfortingly familiar potpourri of umpteen jangling guitars, blaring horns and vocal harmonies that converge in an epic chorus, while the title track is a warmer, quieter number that might have felt at home on Feist’s recent album, Pleasure. Friday, July 7. Arts and Crafts.
The off-the-wall antics of Fringe
Every year, the folks at Fringe pick some 150 random plays out of a hat. And, somehow, the result is always a delightful romp, brimming with imaginative theatre and madcap comedy. This year’s lineup includes About Time, a time-travelling sketch show from zany duo the Templeton Philharmonic; A Peter N’ Chris-tmas Carol, a festive Dickensian send-up; Interstellar Elder, about a 96-year-old astronaut tasked with protecting the endangered human race; and Graham Clark’s Not Here, an absurd farce in which the price of putting on a play in Toronto prevents the main character from showing up. From $12. Wednesday, July 5 to Sunday, July 16. Various venues.
A labyrinthine adult play place
The Cineplex of the future has a bar, a sprawling patio, an upscale restaurant, video games galore, Ping-Pong tables, and an auditorium for live concerts and comedy—and it’s now open at the Roundhouse Park. The Rec Room, part of Cineplex’s series of multi-purpose spaces across the country, is a 40,000-square-foot grown-up arcade for birthday parties, corporate bashes and, we suspect, pre-Jays drinks. There’s really only one thing you won’t be able to do there: watch a movie. Have a look inside. Open now. Cineplex Rec Room.
An unpredictable Bob Dylan concert
You never know what you’re going to get when you see Bob Dylan live: he may shower the crowd in classics like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” serenade them in Frank Sinatra covers, or work through, track by track, a recent album like Tempest or Modern Times in his gravelly late-period howl. Whatever happens, this may be one of your last chances to see the 75-year-old Nobel Laureate. Wednesday, July 5. $56.25–$126.25. Air Canada Centre.
The city’s newest outdoor screening series
The Toronto Outdoor Picture Show (a.k.a. the people behind the beloved Christie Pits Film Festival) is packing up its big, inflatable movie screen and heading east. Over three Thursdays this July, the city’s newest screening series will show a pair of sports classics—A League of Their Own and Invictus—and a musical, Hairspray. The locale: Corktown Common, the sprawling park at the foot of the Don Valley, with a gorgeous, glowing backdrop of downtown Toronto. Thursday, July 6 to Thursday, July 20. Free. Corktown Common.
A feminist remix with some fangs
Move over Bella and Vampire Bill. The original bloodsucker is back, and he’s hanging out at Shaw this summer. Allan Louis (of last season’s hit “Master Harold”…and the Boys) stars as the toothy Transylvanian count in this dark, sexy, feminist version of Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror classic, adapted by Scottish poet-playwright Liz Lochhead to focus on its sexually repressed female characters. When Louis’s Drac makes his midnight calls on the English gentle-folk, he unleashes not just the usual neck-piercing terror, but also erotic female desires that are quite possibly scarier to the Victorian patriarchy than vampires. Saturday, July 8 to Saturday, October 14. From $33.90. Festival Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake.
A startling look back at Auschwitz’s architecture
The Evidence Room, a chilling new ROM exhibition, is a full-scale reconstruction of three components of the Auschwitz gas chambers. It includes stark white replicas of a gas column (the device that fed Zyklon B into the room) and a gas-tight door and hatch, as well as plaster casts of 60 artifacts—photographs, blueprints and contractors’ bills—that show how Nazi architects intentionally designed Auschwitz as a death camp. The show, created by a team from the University of Waterloo for the 2016 Venice Biennale, is a harrowing look at architecture’s role in the Holocaust. To January 28, 2018. Royal Ontario Museum.
Roxanne Gay’s moving new memoir
Three years after releasing her acclaimed essay collection Bad Feminist, Roxanne Gay returns with a new memoir, Hunger. The book explores Gay’s complicated relationship with her weight and body image, and analyzes what it means to be overweight in a society that emphasizes appearances. Following a reading, Gay with have an onstage Q&A with writer-activist Kim Katrin Milan. Wednesday, July 5. $10. Another Story Bookshop.