The Weekender: Luminato, Toronto Taste and six other events on our to-do list
Luminato No. 5 kicks off this Friday with a free concert at Metro Square featuring Beast and the Joel Plaskett Emergency. Other offerings we’re dying to see? Malcolm Gladwell’s talk at the Bluma Appel theatre and One Thousand and One Nights, a multilingual, interdisciplinary retelling of Shahrazad’s tales, by British director Tim Supple and Lebanese novelist Hanan al-Shaykh. June 10 to 19. luminato.com.
2. TORONTO TASTE
Second Harvest’s annual fundraiser isn’t just about raising the cash to support the organization’s good work (over the last 21 years, it has provided on the order of eight million meals to the city’s hungry, and each ticket purchased for this event funds 250 meals). It’s also one of the most anticipated foodie events of the year. Toronto’s culinary boldface names—Marc Thuet, Mark McEwan, Roger Mooking, Teo Paul, Paul Boehmer and more—whip up some seriously gourmet eats at and around the ROM, while this year’s host, Food Network’s Bob Blumer, promises to be extra entertaining. Although tickets are usually available at the door, they’re going fast this year. June 12. $250. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, torontotaste.ca.
3. STEVE-O (FREE!)
Steve-O (a.k.a. Stephen Glover), TV personality, stuntman and star member of the Jackass family, is kind of shocking. (Does anyone else remember when Dean Blundell and the rest of his morning show was suspended after Steve-O visited the studio, peed on the floor and performed a stunt called “Unwrapping the Mummy”—duct tape and his, ahem, unmentionables were involved—back in 2004?) But all his crazy behaviour wasn’t just poor judgment; rather, it stemmed from a raging drug addiction and a seriously overblown fondness for fame. Now, after an arrest for coke possession and stints in rehab and a psychiatric ward, Steve-O is back—still a daredevil, but a sober one. He’s in town promoting his new memoir, Professional Idiot, about his journey to the edge and back, this weekend. June 10. Chapters John and Richmond, 142 John St., 416-595-7349, chapters.indigo.ca.
4. UNITED WE SOLE
We love a good pair of kicks, whether they’re towering and strappy or hipster-endorsed Chucks. But we’ve got nothing on Lee Joseph and Dion Walcott, two seriously shoe-happy Torontonians. Founders of Toronto Loves Kicks, they’re hosting the city’s first sneaker expo this weekend, with all sneaker heads invited to participate. Limited editions, rare pairs, sneaks of every brand, style and colour are all on offer, whether they’re for sale, for trade or just there to be admired. June 11. $10. 99Sudbury, 99 Sudbury St., torontoloveskicks.com.
5. WOOFSTOCK (FREE!)
St. Lawrence Market plays host to an onslaught of dogs and dog people this weekend. This super-sized fest is billed as the largest of its kind in North America, and attractions include a doggie fashion show, sporting events and even a pool for the pups to take a dip. June 11 and 12. St. Lawrence Market, 92 Front St. E., 416-234-9663, woofstock.ca.
6. INSPIRATO FESTIVAL
Like that other event that ends in -ato, this festival seeks to promote and support Toronto’s culture scene. Here, though, the emphasis is all on theatre. The lineup of 16 original plays, each 10 minutes long, is themed around sound. Performed in two groups of eight on alternating nights, half are meditative and calming, while the rest focus on sounds that “disturb or awaken.” To June 12. $12–$17. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley St., inspiratofestival.ca.
7. GLEE LIVE! IN CONCERT
We have a confession: we know exactly who each of the following people are: Rachel, Finn, Mercedes, Kurt, Artie, Tina, Puck, Quinn, Santana, Brittany, Mike, Sam and Blaine. Not only that, we regularly watch them mangle (or, sometimes, bring down the house with) classic songs like “Don’t Stop Believing,” “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “River Deep, Mountain High.” We even watched them religiously, once a week for an entire TV season, which is rare in these downloading days. We draw the line at caring about their romantic entanglements and, frankly, most of the plot developments not related to singing. But that’s why this concert is kind of perfect: it’s Glee, the good-parts version. June 11 and 12. $49.50–$89.50. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
8. TIFF FAMILY CLASSIC SATURDAYS
While this TIFF-organized family-friendly movie night doesn’t take place under the stars—like so many others—we like the focus on quality. This summer’s lineup includes award-winning and critically acclaimed movies like Newsies, Whale Rider and The Iron Giant. Kick things off this weekend with The Shaggy Dog (the original 1959 edition, not Tim Allen’s bizarre 2006 foray into therianthropy). June 11 to August 13. $12. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433, tiff.net.
(Images: Supple, Luminato; Froggett, Renée Suen; Michele, David Shankbone)