A Harry Potter symphony, Shakespeare in High Park and eight other things to do see, do, hear and read this week
An evening of violins and Voldemort
The TSO has done Beethoven, Brahms and the rest. Now, it turns its attention to a composer of our times: John Williams. His lush, symphonic score and eerie themes gave the wizarding world of 2001’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone so much of its charm. Fans can revisit Hogwarts during this live performance and screening, and ask questions like: was the quidditch CGI really that dodgy back then? Tuesday, June 27 and Thursday, June 29. $49–$99. Sony Centre.
Canada Day, times five
There are a ton of Canada Day celebrations in town, but Nathan Phillips Square’s five-day bash may be the best. Buffy Sainte-Marie, Barenaked Ladies, and Ron Sexsmith with the TSO are among the dozens of entertainers playing the event, which also features plenty of food, activities and nightly fireworks. Friday, June 30 to Monday, July 3. Free. Nathan Phillips Square.
The bard, al fresco
What if King Lear were a queen? Canada’s longest-running outdoor theatre series, Shakespeare in High Park, remixes one of the Bard’s greatest tragedies, casting stage and film vet Diane D’Aquila as the doomed monarch. It shares the amphitheatre stage with the romantic comedy Twelfth Night. There’s no better way to enjoy that ol’ iambic pentameter than with a picnic, some friends and whatever you can sneak in your Thermos. Tuesday, June 29 to Sunday, September 3. PWYC. High Park Amphitheatre.
A jam-packed day of Aboriginal arts
Yonge-Dundas Square hosts a daylong celebration of Indigenous culture this week. The program includes a powwow dance performance, a fashion show and a youth talent showcase before finishing with a concert with sets from singer-songwriters Evan Pang and headliner Amanda Rheaume. Wednesday, June 28. Free. Yonge-Dundas Square.
The rise of Carole King, one hit at a time
Part Cinderella story, part jukebox musical, Beautiful chronicles the journey of Carole King from gifted songwriter to megastar. As the show follows King, played by Chilina Kennedy, through her collaboration with lyricist and then-husband Gerry Goffin and solo breakthrough with Tapestry, the set evolves from a humble music room to a recording studio and shimmering stage. Along the way, there’s a generous sprinkling of King’s most famous work: the soulful “I Feel the Earth Move,” the soaring chorus of “A Natural Woman” and that unabashedly crowd-pleasing title song. Tuesday, June 27 to Sunday, Aug. 20. From $50. Ed Mirvish Theatre.
A Canada Day movie marathon
TIFF celebrates the country’s 150th birthday by screening some of our most celebrated films. Jennifer Baichwal’s Manufactured Landscapes and Michel Brault’s Les Ordres are followed by a double feature from the grand poobahs of Canadian cinema, Atom Egoyan (Calendar) and David Cronenberg (Videodrome). Saturday, July 1. Free. TIFF Bell Lightbox.
An open-air movie-and-music fest
At this film fest, the music doesn’t feel tacked on. The summer-long series pairs screenings of recent releases—this year’s edition includes Get Out and Colossal—with pre-show performances by buzzy indie acts, like Born Ruffians’ Luke Lalonde. Add live performance art and fantastic street food and you have one of the summer’s finest one-stop cultural shops. Tuesday, June 27 to Tuesday, August 29. $15. 99 Sudbury.
A female artist talk at the AGO
If you were planning on checking out the AGO’s Georgie O’Keeffe exhibition, stop by on Monday to catch a panel of female artists. The session, called “I Thought There’d Be More Vaginas,” features performance artist and photographer Lori Blondeau, poet Eileen Myles and musician and writer Vivek Shraya, who will discuss how the gender divide has affected their careers. Monday, June 26. $17. Art Gallery of Ontario.