A mega barbecue fest, the return of Orphan Black and eight other things to see, do, hear and read this week
Smoke on the water
1This weekend’s BBQ Eats Festival is about more than just brisket. The three-day event will showcase barbecue specialties and flavours from all around the world (think kebabs, tandoori and jerk). A number of chefs—including Matt Basile (Lisa Marie), Ivana Raca (Raca Cafe and Bar) and Ippei Iwata (Kinka Izakaya)—will compete in a charcoal barbecue showdown. And attendees can take on-site classes to learn barbecue basics they can use in their own backyards. Friday, June 9 to Sunday, June 11. Free. Ontario Place.
The story behind a TIFF hit
2Indian-American filmmaker Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Salaam Bombay!) will stop by TIFF to discuss how she adapted Queen of Katwe, Tim Crothers’ book about a Ugandan girl who becomes an unlikely chess master, into what she calls “the first Disney movie about Africa with no animals in it.” Eleanor Wachtel of CBC Radio’s Writers & Company hosts the screening and conversation. Monday, June 5. $36. TIFF Bell Lightbox.
A homegrown show’s exhilarating final act
3The Toronto-shot series Orphan Black graduated from sci-fi sleeper to prime time hit when Tatiana Maslany won an Emmy for playing a legion of clones, including a Scarborough soccer mom, a villainous scientist and a badass Brit who’s just trying to stay alive. In the fifth and final season, Maslany’s multiples mount one last attack on the endless string of researchers and cultists intent on messing with their genes. Still a few seasons behind? That’s okay—half the fun is watching the cast pop up in CityPlace, King East and, in one particularly memorable scene, at a Peaches gig at the Bovine Sex Club. Saturday, June 10. Space.
A massive hip-hop fest
4After a decade of weeklong festivals every September, Toronto’s hip-hop summit, Manifesto, is morphing into a series of events spread throughout the year, including this weekend’s Echo Beach bash. Local duo and frequent Drake collaborators Majid Jordan headline alongside L.A. soul outfit The Internet and buzzy Tennessee rapper Isaiah Rashad. Saturday, June 10. $72–$93. Echo Beach.
A new take on The Sound of Music
5Raindrops on roses? Check. Whiskers on kittens? Check. Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens? Check. The Sound of Music is back on stage. This new production by Tony-winning director Jack O’Brien balances the bones of the original with a few additions—more complex characters, a dedication to social commentary—for a novel take. Tuesday, June 6 to Sunday, June 11. $29–$145. Ed Mirvish Theatre.
A two-day pizza party
6One of NYC’s most popular pie makers is popping up on Ossington. Anthony Falco, the founding pizza chef of Roberta’s, Bushwick red-sauce restaurant with a cult following, will be hosting a two-day pizza party at Superpoint in association with Werewolf Pizza, a local pop-up. On the menu: thin-and-crispy bar pies. Sunday, June 11 and Monday, June 12. Superpoint.
A chance to be part of the action at the Shaw
7British director Tim Carroll made his name staging the Bard’s classics at Shakespeare’s Globe, but as the new Shaw Festival boss, he’s on an adventurous streak, delivering a first season full of interactive, improvisational theatre. Audiences can get a taste in this month’s freewheeling production of George Bernard Shaw’s Roman circus comedy, Androcles and the Lion, in which they get involved in the action and help shape the course of the story. (The crowd also gets a star turn in Shaw’s The Madness of George III and Wilde Tales.) Tuesday, June 6 to Saturday, October 7. From $28.25. Court House Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Do Make Say Think’s rocking return
8The Toronto post-rockers finally return with their first album in eight years. No matter how long the break, Stubborn Persistent Illusions—a complex, ethereal guitar-and-drum soundscape—is every inch a Do Make Say Think album, imaginative and genre-busting. Saturday, June 10. $15–$18.50. Danforth Music Hall.
Open Tuning, Toronto’s hidden-gem music fest
9No other Toronto music festival sticks to its DIY roots quite like Open Tuning. The fourth annual event is refreshingly easygoing and rigorously indie (no Budweiser-sponsored stages here). It all unfolds in the streets, alleys, parks, driveways and on the porches of Seaton Village, where more than 100 artists strum folk tunes and play stripped-down sets for free. Saturday, June 10. Free. Seaton Village.
A revisionist royal thriller
10Tudor intrigue gets a contemporary twist in The Virgin Trial, Kate Hennig’s hotly anticipated sequel to her sold-out 2015 Stratford hit, The Last Wife. The story picks up after King Henry VIII and Katherine Parr have died, when Henry’s brilliant younger daughter, Bess, is angling for the throne with the aid of Katherine’s old flame, Thom Seymour. That means deposing the new monarch, Elizabeth’s frail half-brother Eddie, and outwitting her acerbic half-sister Mary. It’s a sexually charged political thriller, complete with treason and inquisitions, for audiences who can’t wait for season two of The Crown. Wednesday, June 7 to Saturday, Sept. 23. From $69.60. Studio Theatre, Stratford.