See Idina Menzel in concert, meet Gillian Anderson and six other things to do this week
Hear Idina Menzel belt “Let It Go” live
Rent, Wicked, Enchanted, Glee—this American actress-musician has amassed an impressive CV on the stage and on screens big and small. But for younger fans, those accomplishments are all footnotes. Tykes and tweens know Menzel as the voice of Elsa in Frozen, and the singer of the film’s inescapable anthem, “Let It Go.” Here, she powers through pop classics, musical theatre favourites and her own repertoire. Wednesday, September 2. $63–$128. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E., sonycentre.ca.
Smash the patriarchy with a bunch of chefs
Earlier this summer, a female pastry chef filed a complaint against her former employers, claiming she’d been sexually harassed in the kitchen. When her story went public, hundreds of other women in the restaurant world—chefs, bartenders, servers—started to speak up about their own experiences. Jen Agg, the owner of the Black Hoof, has galvanized a panel of female chefs and food writers from around Toronto and the world for the first annual Kitchen Bitches, a conference designed to address issues of sexism and harassment in the workplace. Thursday, September 3. Sold out, but $75 tickets will be available at the door. Revival Bar, 783 College St., kitchenbitches.ca.
Cosplay it up at FanExpo Canada
Expect the usual steampunk society gatherings and Stormtrooper marches at FanExpo, but the real draw is the guest roster: Gillian Anderson (The X-Files’ Dana Scully), Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob), George A. Romero (director of Night of the Living Dead), Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars series OG Lando Calrissian) and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange’s Alex DeLarge). Thursday, September 3 to Sunday, September 6. $25–$529. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 222 Bremner Blvd., fanexpocanada.com.
See Cirque du Soleil’s latest pyrotechnics
Varekai begins where the Greek myth of Icarus ends—after the whole wing-melting, sea-plunging bit—and tells the story of the journey that follows. Everything here is classic Cirque: the mystical, otherworldly music; the amphibious, fantastical costumes; the stilt-dancing comic relief; and the synchronized, dynamite-twirling stunts. All ages. Wednesday, September 2 to Sunday, September 6. $50–$120. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., cirquedusoleil.com.
Shop for trendy New Zealand menswear
The New Zealand menswear label I Love Ugly is currently wrapping up a cross-Canada road trip with a week-long stint in Yorkville. The temporary shop is a chance for sartorially minded males to snap up the brand’s subtly stylish gear without having to take an international shopping trip. This season, pieces are full of playful graphics and understated prints (I Love Ugly was originally launched as a illustration collective, after all). We particularly love the multi-layered sweatshirts, windbreakers with “nonsense” scrawled across the chest and baseball-themed jerseys. To Monday, September 7. FREE. 76 Scollard St., 76scollard.com
Scald your tongue at a festival devoted to spicy foods
The Hot ’n’ Spicy Food Festival returns for an 18th year of fiery flavours. On Saturday, learn how to prepare a chicken curry recipe that’s been passed down through the generations to celebrity chef and Dragons’ Den mogul Vikram Vij. The theme carries over to the 10 for the Next Gen event, where Fidel Gastro’s Matt Basile asks chefs which of their culinary creations they’d choose to be their legacy dish. The fest finishes on Sunday with ska band The Arsenals. Friday, September 4 to Monday, September 7. FREE. Food prices vary. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., harbourfrontcentre.com.
Check out some dazzling artisanal pottery
Bruce Cochrane, a Torontonian master of ceramics, creates familiar objects—teapots, urns, baskets, bowls, jewellery boxes—with an uncommon grace; the forms’ ornate construction and captivating angles give them a unique appeal. Also showing at the same gallery: Christina Luck, a Cookstown, Ontario, painter, presents a theatrical view of village life with wondrous works that feature her everyday surroundings and neighbours. Thursday, September 3 to Sunday, September 27. FREE. David Kaye Gallery, 1092 Queen St. W. (entrance on Dovercourt Rd.), davidkayegallery.com.
Help the Tallest Man on Earth get over his divorce
Kristian Matsson is a whispery Swedish folk singer who goes by the moniker The Tallest Man on Earth (real height: 5’7”). This week, he performs songs from his latest album, Dark Bird Is Home, an elegy about his painful divorce, recorded in the windy Scandinavian countryside. The material is depressing, but onstage, Matsson is a charismatic charmer, throwing his whole face and body into every song. Friday, September 4. $39.50–$49.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., masseyhall.com.