Summerlicious, a Ricky Gervais stand-up set and six other things to see, do, hear and read this week
A prix-fixe feast
1Summerlicious is the time to finally try that restaurant you’ve been meaning to visit. More than 200 Toronto restaurants will offer three-course prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus that won’t bust your bank account. This year’s list includes classics like Canoe and Café Boulud, as well as newcomers like Fring’s and Leña, one of our best new restaurants of 2017. To Sunday, July 23. $18–$48. Various restaurants.
A living, breathing Gorillaz show
2In the past, going to a Gorillaz show meant stepping into a multimedia spectacle, where giant cartoon avatars play the band’s music—a playful fusion of rock, hip hop and electronic—on massive screens while the performers stayed mostly hidden. On their first North American tour since 2010, frontman Damon Albarn and co. become a little more real, performing their rap-heavy 2017 album, Humanz, in the flesh. Monday, July 10. $53.75–$103.75. Air Canada Centre.
Three nights at the Church of Ricky Gervais
3Ricky Gervais earned several lifetimes’ worth of goodwill when he co-created what is arguably the greatest sitcom of the 21st century: The Office. Judging by his controversial Golden Globe monologues and pugnacious Twitter presence, he seems intent on finding a way to burn through those cheery vibes as quickly and comically as possible. Both disciples and apostates of the Church of Ricky know what to expect from this stand-up gig: giddy prodding of taboo subject matter and aggressively outspoken atheism. Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16. $65.50–$79.50. Massey Hall.
A county fair on King West
4The Budweiser County Fair is brining a little country flair to King Street: live C&W music, carnival games, line dancing and plenty of beer. Plus, chefs from Baro, OMAW, Kung Fu Dawg, Home of the Brave and more will be cooking up southern barbecue, gourmet hot dogs, veggie sides and something called “True AAA-merican burgers.” Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15. $34.50–$139.50. King and Brant.
A kick off to the most colourful month of the year
5The 50th Toronto Caribbean Carnival begins with a massive bash at David Pecaut Square, with Caribbean food, vibrant costumes and plenty of Calypso (July 11). It’s a taste of what to expect from the three-week festival, which includes more parties than you can keep track of: the traditional Carnival Ball (June 28), King and Queen Parade (August 3), Junior Carnival and Family Day (July 22), and the legendary Grande Parade (August 5). Tuesday, July 11 to Sunday, August 6. Free. Various venues.
A trip back to the Roaring ’20s
6Prohibition-era Toronto comes alive in Hogtown, an immersive theatrical experience that returns to the Campbell House Museum this week. Set on the eve of an important mayoral election, the show features 20 performers—all playing politicians, police, showgirls and other characters based on historical Torontonians—who inhabit the home and let guests choose which story to follow. Thursday, July 13 to August 20. $59. Campbell House Museum.
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A massive outdoor art fair
7Art comes off the gallery walls and into the open air during the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhbition, where more than 320 contemporary artists will peddle their wares. The weekend also includes kids’ art workshops, a beer garden, walking tours and a performance by local dancer Meagan O’Shea. Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16. Free. Nathan Phillips Square.
An unorthodox classical concert
8To open the Toronto Summer Musical Festival, the St. Lawrence String Quartet performs works by Haydn, Beethoven and Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. Listen out for Schafer’s Quartet No. 3, an exhilarating display of string playing bolstered by literal yelps, barks and screams from the players. Thursday, July 13. $35–$79. Koerner Hall.