THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN AUGUST!
AUGUST 1 & 2 Outspoken funnyman and film star Kevin Hart is slated to perform three stand-up sets over two nights at the Air Canada Centre.
AUGUST 2 & 3 Toronto-born hip-hop star Drake’s OVO Fest returns to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre for another year. J. Cole is the announced special guest, but if history is any indication, there will no doubt be many other surprise appearances.
AUGUST 4 The Molson Amphitheatre presents a double-bill of 1990s rock heroes: The Smashing Pumpkins (well, Billy Corgan plus three other non-original band members) riff on their latest record, while Marilyn Manson promotes the new tunes of his The Pale Emperor album.
AUGUST 6 TO 16 What began in 1991 as a means for five friends to help smaller theatre companies mount their works is now a bona fide success story as the SummerWorks Performance Festival marks its 25th anniversary. Although the festival’s initial productions were chosen via lottery, today it’s the largest juried event of its kind in Canada, presenting works in four disciplines: theatre, dance, music and live art, plus a series of special showcases. The silver anniversary lineup includes MacArthur Park Suite: A Disco Ballet, a fusion dance hybrid set to music by Donna Summer; an interactive performance art experiment titled Speed-Dating for the Senses (and the Sensitive), in which blind-folded participants explore what they find attractive through sound, smell, taste and touch; and An Evening in July, which invites audiences to be the guests at a re-creation of Helene de Rothschild’s 1972 Surrealist Ball, based on the Grey Gardens documentary.
AUGUST 7 Another summer nostalgia tour rolls into the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. This time it’s Van Halen. Presumably they’ll play “Jump,” so you can go home happy.
AUGUST 7 TO 9 Canada’s largest street festival is gearing up to bring the sights, sounds and, of course, the flavours of the Mediterranean to Toronto. Last year, more than 1.6 million people attended Krinos Taste of the Danforth, to feast on authentic Greek fare such as souvlaki, gyros, moussaka, stuffed grape leaves and more. This year, meet Betty, Eleni and Samantha Bakopoulos, better known as the Three Greek Sisters and authors of two award–winning cookbooks, Three Sisters Around the Greek Table and Three Sisters Back to the Beginning. The trio have shared family recipes for such dishes as kleftiko, sofrito and shrimp, and orzo salad. And as in recent years, organizers are hoping to set a new Guinness World Record with two challenges: the most olives eaten in eight hours and the most penalty kicks into a soccer net.
AUGUST 8 TO 16 The top seeds in women’s tennis are set to rally for the Rogers Cup. While their male counterparts serve and volley in Montreal, the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Eugenie Bouchard and Maria Sharapova are among the contenders in Toronto. Also expected to hit the court are returning champion Agnieszka Radwanska and three-time Rogers Cup title holder—not to mention the winner of 20 Grand Slams—Serena Williams. This important Canadian stop on the WTA tour is the third oldest tennis tournament in the world, behind only Wimbledon and the US Open, and has a total purse of more than $2 million.
AUGUST 9 Sassy American singer Ariana Grande is in town for the second time this year.
AUGUST 11 TO 23 The country’s musical heritage is celebrated in Oh Canada What a Feeling at the Princess of Wales Theatre! The limited-run concert performance features a live band performing classics by the likes of Paul Anka, Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young and Bryan Adams.
AUGUST 13 TO 16 From the company that brings Disney on Ice to life comes a new live arena show, this one for fans of superheroes who can fly, leap over tall buildings, manipulate the weather or possess superhuman strength. Marvel Universe Live calls on Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, The Hulk and Storm—among other costumed crusaders—to join forces to battle Loki and protect the Cosmic Cube.
AUGUST 15 Toronto’s already seen an array of major music festivals come and go this summer; the most venerable (though not necessarily the most highly anticipated) is Edgefest, which this month brings an array of alt-rock bands to Echo Beach.
AUGUST 20 One Direction is more than a one-trick pony. The British boy band once again finds itself in Toronto—this time attempting to pack the cavernous Rogers Centre.
AUGUST 22 Always a late-summer staple, Blue Rodeo satisfies fans of Canadian roots music at the Molson Amphitheatre.
AUGUST 21 TO SEPTEMBER 7 Summertime staple the Canadian National Exhibition returns for another end-of-season edition jam-packed with rides, midway games, live shows, an international market, and, of course, a smorgasboard of fair food—including inventive combinations like deep-fried butter and bacon-wrapped corn on the cob. Ice cream waffles are sure to be popular as ever, too: this year marks the treat’s 75th anniversary at the CNE. Other highlights include live parkour and extreme pogo demonstrations, the return of the acrobatic and ice skating show, plus concerts by Cody Simpson and Tokyo Police Club.
AUGUST 26 Wish that you had Jessie’s girl? Well so does Rick Springfield. You and the Australian rocker (and however many other hundreds of fans) can commiserate over unrequited love when he plays the CNE bandshell.
AUGUST 27 Country-pop outfit Rascal Flatts attempts to go from simply rascally to riotous as it brings its Riot Tour to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre.
AUGUST 27 TO 30 For four days and four nights, world-renowned street performers fill the Downtown Yonge neighbourhood with non-stop family-friendly revelry during Buskerfest. More then 100 acrobats, magicians, fire jugglers, contortionists, comedians, daredevils, living-statue artists and musicians, including Silver Elvis and Fire Guy, turn Toronto’s longest road into an impromptu stage for their unique feats. Last year, more than 1.5 million people attended North America’s largest street-performance festival. A donation to Epilepsy Toronto is your entrance fee.
AUGUST 28 End the month with an eclectic mashup of old-school acts when—you guessed it—the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre hosts senior rockers Chicago and disco-funk pioneers Earth, Wind and Fire.
ALL MONTH LONG Selling print is a tough gig (especially nowadays). For the turn-of-the-last-century delivery boys of Newsies the Musical, the job gets even tougher when publishing magnates Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise the price on their newspapers. Thus begins a protest against the titans in their towers by a streetwise gang of paper boys, set to a Tony Award–winning score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman that features such songs as “King of New York” and “The Bottom Line.”
ALL MONTH LONG Two men trying to live up to their fathers’ expectations form a unique bond in the heartwarming, Tony Award–winning musical Kinky Boots. Charlie Price, the prodigal son, returns from London to take over his deceased father’s ailing shoe factory—with much resistance from its workers. But a chance encounter with Lola, a drag queen estranged from his own dying father, inspires a new line of stylish heeled boots for men that becomes a hit on Milan’s runways. Together with music by Cyndi Lauper, Charlie and Lola learn that compassion and kinship can be found in the most unlikely places. Visit mirvish.com for showtimes and to buy.
ALL MONTH LONG Head to the west end to spend an evening with the Bard: Shakespeare in High Park has returned for another season. The beloved summertime tradition presented by Canadian Stage sees two different works performed on alternating nights. Depending on your mood, catch the farcical Comedy of Errors or the tragic Julius Caesar. Bring a blanket and pack a picnic for an even more idyllic evening.