A free Meat Loaf concert, an opera in a bar and six other things to see, do, read and hear this week
A massive Meat Loaf concert
1 He may not get the same critical respect as some of his classic-rock contemporaries, but facts are facts: everyone loves Meat Loaf. The man himself will be in Toronto to launch Bat Out of Hell the Musical by taking over Yonge-Dundas Square. He’ll discuss the inception of his most famous album, introduce the cast with a mini-concert and, we hope, belt a few notes of his own. Monday, May 15. Free. Yonge-Dundas Square.
An artisan market on the waterfront
2 Summer is around the corner, and with it, a slew of markets and fairs. The Waterfront Artisan Market is back for its second year, with 75 local artisans, chefs and bakers peddling their wares in the warm summer air. The market is open every Saturday until October. Saturday, May 20. Free. HTO Park.
A set from honorary Torontonian Future
3 Atlanta rapper Future might as well be a Torontonian with all the time he spends here, recording mixtapes with Drake and filming music videos on the TTC with The Weeknd. In this concert, he shares the stage with Drizzy’s local nemesis, rising singer-rapper Tory Lanez, and Atlanta-area hip-hop trio Migos. Tuesday, May 16. $30.25–$104.75. Air Canada Centre (formerly Budweiser Stage).
A chat with Precious star Gabourey Sidibe
4 Since her smashing, out-of-nowhere debut in Precious, Gabourey Sidibe has become one of Hollywood’s most recognizable character actors, as well as a regular on Empire. She visits Indigo to discuss her career and new memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare, with writer Anne T. Donahue, followed by a book signing. Monday, May 15. Free. Indigo Bay Bloor.
A bare-bones bar opera
5 Conventional opera this is not: this daring production of Puccini’s popular tale La Bohème ditches a full orchestra in favour of a single piano, translates the Italian libretto into a humorous and heartbreaking text that reads true to Toronto circa 2017, and unfolds in the confines of a cozy Annex bar. Modest in concept but rich in imagination, it’s the don’t-miss performance of the month, telling the story of young artists struggling to pay rent, find love and stay true to their dreams. Friday, May 19 to Friday, June 2. $35 (rush tickets only). Tranzac Club.
An artist’s paradise in the Distillery
6 Toronto’s most picturesque neighbourhood might be better known for its wintry activities—the Christmas Market and Light Festival—but this week, it gets an artsy, warm-weather takeover. Local artists will display and sell their paintings, photos, sculptures and crafts while the Distillery District stage buzzes with non-stop live entertainment. Saturday, May 20 to Monday, May 22. Free. Distillery District.
A sampling of Japan’s finest indie rock
7 Every year, a soft-spoken Toronto anesthesiologist named Steven Tanaka shells out $50,000 or so to tour a handful of his favourite Japanese indie rock bands across Canada. The 10th edition features an eclectic mix of emo girl groups (like Yubisaki Nohaku, pictured above), post-punk bands and upbeat indie rockers. Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20. $14–$20. Rivoli and Lee’s Palace.
Bush’s angsty comeback
8 Want to relive the glory days of grunge? British rockers Bush, one of the quintessential bands of the 1990s, are back to recapture some of that Sixteen Stone magic. They’re down a couple of original members—Nigel Pulsford and Dave Parsons—but Gavin Rossdale is still the frontman. There is no dress code, but flannel is recommended. Thursday, May 18. $39.50. Rebel.