The Weekender: Beauty and the Beast, Festival of India and six other items on our to-do list
1. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
The stage version of this classic Disney movie has all the hallmarks of that beloved childhood favourite: Belle’s yellow gown, a snarly, growly beast with a heart of gold, and Mrs. Potts and Chip. But in this theatrical undertaking, everything has been amped up a little. The award-winning costumes and sets will awe tiny princess lovers, and even mom and dad will enjoy the songs, which include old faves (“Be Our Guest,” “Belle” and “Beauty and the Beast”) and a few unique to the performance. To July 22. $42–$150. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 416-363-6671, dancaptickets.com.
2. NIGHT IT UP! (FREE!)
The first thing anyone remembers about this “Asian-style night market,” an annual recreation of the bustling sundown-to-sunup markets found across Asia, is encountering what feels like miles upon miles of street food vendors hawking tasty nibbles like Hong Kong–style egg puffs, awkeotsang lemonade from Singapore and Taiwan’s famous stinky tofu. And this year, for the first time, a caravan of downtown food trucks will make the trip north, which means eats from Blue Donkey Streatery, Gorilla Cheese and Smoke’s Poutinerie are now on the menu, too. But while the eats are totally worth remembering, there’s much more to check out, including a sports zone, live music and dance, movie screenings and even a Paint-A-Thon (a public art project anyone can contribute to, with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Canada). July 13–15. Admission is free. Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Blvd., Markham, nightitup.com.
3. LIVE MUSIC
By some happy coincidence, many big concerts are in Toronto this weekend. On Friday, Iron Maiden is in town for their Maiden England Tour alongside Alice Cooper ($44–$121. Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., ticketmaster.ca), rapper Tyga lands in T.O. for his Careless World album club tour ($56. Kool Haus, 132 Queen’s Quay E., 1-855-985-5500, ticketmaster.ca.) and electro-god Skrillex and some buddies—Pretty Lights, Diplo and singer Grimes, among others—are here to inspire serious rump shaking ($51.50. Historic Fort York: Garrison Common, 250 Fort York Blvd., ticketweb.ca); on Saturday, Latin rockers Santana are back in town in support of their latest album, Shape Shifter ($36–$110. Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5500, ticketmaster.ca); Billy Talent, Death From Above 1979 and The Sheepdogs share the stage at this year’s Edgefest ($50. Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Rd., 416-952-2222, edge.ca); and on Sunday, the second rock fest of the weekend goes down: All Time Low, New Found Glory and Taking Back Sunday are only some of the names on the lineup at the Vans Warped Tour ($58. The Flats at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5500, ticketmaster.ca).
4. FESTIVAL OF INDIA (FREE!)
This two-day Indian extravaganza starts off in the most high-energy way possible: with a huge parade down Yonge Street, complete with 40-foot-tall floats, tabla drumming, traditional dancing and lots of singing. Afterwards, the party continues on Centre Island with live dance, music and drama shows, a bazaar, face painting and a free, vegetarian-friendly buffet. Visitors can also bliss out at the accompanying Yoga Meltdown festival, which includes classes, cooking demos and mantra meditation. July 14 and 15. Admission is free. Centre Island, festivalofindia.ca.
5. ONTARIO OYSTER FESTIVAL
This weekend, the city is host to a celebration of the humble bivalve, complete with a shucking competition, music, free ping pong (thanks to Spin, the ping pong social club) and—most importantly—plenty of oysters and fish tacos to eat. Sounds like our kind of Sunday. July 15. $35. Rodney’s Oyster House, 469 King St. W., 416-368-8105 ext. 0, rodneysoysterhouse.com.
6. SHINSEDAI CINEMA FESTIVAL
This jam-packed film fest features some of the most interesting, boundary-pushing and just-plain-good examples of Japanese cinema, including the surreal Zero Man vs. The Half Virgin (Friday), a comedy about an amnesiac cop who has a seriously awkward magic power; End of the Night (Saturday), a thriller about a boy raised to be a ruthless assassin, and what happens when the world of hits and body counts loses some of its attractiveness; and Beyond Anime: The Outer Limits (Sunday), a documentary that explores the other (read: not so kawaii) forms of animation coming out of Japan. To July 15. $12. Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave., shinsedai.ca.
7. UNITY FESTIVAL 2012
Hip-hop heads can take in all manner of urban arts and culture at this city-wide fest: beatboxers, breakdancers, rappers and spoken word artists perform at venues throughout the city. This year, there’s a special focus on local youth, who are competing in poetry slams and beatboxing competitions. And if that isn’t enough, there’s an all-day concert at Yonge-Dundas Square featuring local boy Kardinal Offishall (free). To July 15. Prices vary. Various locations, 416-979-9960, unitycharity.com/festival.
8. ADVENTURES IN SLUMBERLAND
High Park isn’t the only place to take in some outdoor theatre this summer. This kid-friendly play, based on Winsor McCay’s enduring comic strip Little Nemo, is a bit more accessible for guests young and old. Local indie theatre company Frolick makes good use of puppets, masks and music to tell the story of Little Nemo, a little boy who goes on adventures in Dreamland every time he falls asleep. To August 26. $10 or PWYC. Lagoon Theatre on Centre Island, 647-454-7333, frolick.ca.