Ride a giant waterslide, see the Flaming Lips for free and eight other things to do this week
Watch Downsview Park transform into a giant waterslide
Slide the City has turned nearly 200 major city streets across North America into massive, 1,000-foot-long slip ’n’ slides, but in Toronto, it will take place on the sloping hills of Downsview Park. Whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart, grab an inflatable tube and get ready for nearly three football fields’ worth of slippery bliss. Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19. $20–$60. Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Rd., 416-952-2222, slidethecity.com.
See an avant-garde extravaganza from Robert Lepage
The Canadian theatre icon writes, directs and stars in 887, a dreamy, semi-autobiographical world premiere. Playing a suffering actor, Lepage conjures recollections of childhood as he navigates a dimly lit dream world of intricately detailed miniature models, nostalgic household settings and a dumpster-size apartment building. Tuesday, July 14 to Sunday, July 19. $30–$100. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-366-7723, toronto2015.org.
Check out a free, flamboyant Flaming Lips show
The latest album by these psychedelic rockers is a tribute to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, so there’s a good chance Toronto showgoers will be treated to some Beatles covers. There’s an even better chance front man Wayne Coyne will climb inside his signature inflatable plastic bubble and crowdsurf. Either way: groovy. Sunday, July 19. FREE. Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., 416-203-2600, toronto2015.org.
See a theatrical adaptation of David Rakoff’s poignant posthumous novel
Love, Dishonour, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish is a study in contrasts: it’s a novel, but it’s also a poem in rhyming couplets; it touches on dark topics like rape, abortion and AIDS, but it also feels innocently Seussian. Toronto’s Studio 180 adapts Rakoff’s book for the stage, honouring its original format through choral recitation and music, as well as illustrations by the cartoonist Seth. Thursday, July 16. $25. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, studio180theatre.com.
Hear a serene classical concert in an idyllic outdoor setting
England’s Royal Opera House has a musical pedigree that goes back to the 18th century, when it premiered works by Handel and his contemporaries. Canadian countertenor Michael Taylor is known for his idiomatic command of that era’s frequently florid repertoire, one that will feel at home in the meticulously designed Toronto Music Garden. Thursday, July 16. FREE. Toronto Music Garden, 479 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
Check out some psychedelic paintings by a local renaissance man
André Ethier has fronted a local garage rock band (the Deadly Snakes), released Dylan-esque solo albums and exhibited his phantasmagoric artwork—a dog-human-owl hybrid, a Cyclops with a hippie haircut—across the globe. Here, he debuts a surrealist selection of colourfully creepy oil portraits. Friday, July 17 to Aug. 15. FREE. Paul Petro Contemporary Art, 980 Queen St. W., 416-979-7874, paulpetro.com.
Enter your children in their first extreme endurance race
The Junior Spartan Race, a pint-size extreme obstacle course, swaps out its adult counterpart’s barbed wire and spear tossing for balance beams, mud pits and cargo net climbs. Older kids tackle a full mile, while the younger crowd does half. Ages four to 13. Saturday, July 18. $17–$30. Brimacombe, 4098 Regional Rd. 9, Orono, spartanrace.ca.
See a play in a canoe
It Comes in Waves is an immersive, site-specific production by Toronto theatre wizard Jordan Tannahill where audiences board canoes, paddle to the Island and join a family feast. As they help prepare dinner, build a fire and interact with their singing hosts, the participants become an integral part of the family’s undoing and restoration. Monday, July 13 to Friday, July 24. $30. Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre, 283A Queens Quay W., necessaryangel.squarespace.com.
Hear some retro alt-rock
On their most recent release, El Pintor, Interpol shed a member but none of their sound. The disc hearkens back to the trio’s beginnings, when they served up a breed of straightforward, self-serious alternative—more form than grunge, less kick than classic rock—that gave rise to a legion of imitators with its clashing guitars, lethargic baritone vocals and expansive sound. Tuesday, July 14 and Wednesday, July 15. $28.50–$35. Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., 416-778-8163, thedanforth.com.
Check out a play inspired by ancient Indian mythology
In Gimme Shelter, Why Not Theatre’s Ravi Jain draws inspiration from the Mahabharata, an Indian epic poem, to examine the plight of refugees displaced by war, political conflict and climate change. He forces his audience to confront some difficult questions: do developed nations have a responsibility to welcome those in need? And if so, is there enough room for everyone? Monday, July 13 to Saturday, July 25. $40. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., 416-866-8666, theatrewhynot.org.