ALTHOUGH THE PAN AMERICAN GAMES ARE DEFINITELY THIS MONTH’S BIGGEST EVENT, THERE ARE STILL MANY OTHER THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE GREAT PERFORMANCES, FESTIVALS AND MORE TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN JULY!
JULY 1 TO 12 The spotlight shines on up-and-coming playwrights and independent theatre companies during the annual Toronto Fringe Festival. Founded in 1999 as a means to give writers and a producers a chance to mount new works or test unconventional productions, the annual event now sees more than 1,000 performers taking part in 150-plus shows. This year’s selection includes a study of death in Evan Brown’s A Tournament of Lies, in which a group of friends competes to see who among them is more grief-stricken, while the ambitions of a waitress/wannabe rockstar are the subject of Served by Graham Isador (pictured). See fringetoronto.com for a complete schedule.
JULY 8 TO AUGUST 30 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 of 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, featuring such songs as “King of New York” and “The Bottom Line.” Visit mirvish.com for further details.
JULY 10 TO 26 The city’s east end is the place to be for music lovers as the 27th edition of the Beaches International Jazz Festival brings the sounds of calypso, blues, Latin, Cajun, fusion and new age to the lakeside neighbourhood. Join the likes of Grammy Award–winning artist Chris Thomas King, gypsy jazz band The Lost Fingers, blues group The Kirby Sewell Band, and the Toronto All Star Big Band as they take to several stages at Woodbine Park in The Beach. StreetFest (July 23 to 25) is a beloved tradition that sees street corners and even rooftops on Queen Street East (between Woodbine and Beech avenues) become impromptu performance venues. Dine and dance at the Taste of Jazz (July 21 and 22), which pairs food trucks with live tunes at Woodbine Park. Visit beachesjazz.com for a full lineup of shows. Check out beachesjazz.com for a full list of performers and events.
JULY 16 TO AUGUST 9 The Toronto Summer Music Festival marks its 10th anniversary by honouring groundbreaking composers who’ve inspired new musical forms and shaped our cultural history. Over the course of three weeks, the likes of soprano Measha Brueggergosman, baritone Peter McGillivray and pianist Ingrid Fliter take to the stages at Koerner Hall and Walter Hall for a range of concerts that include works by George Gershwin, George Antheil, Aaron Copeland and Alexandre Scriabin, among others. Navigate to torontosummermusic.com to purchase tickets.
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. See canadianstage.com for further details.
ALL MONTH LONG They’re not running away with things by any means, but the Toronto Blue Jays remain solidly in the contention for the American League’s East Division title. Some exciting wins—interspersed with, we’ll admit, some difficult losses—leave the team hopeful this month as it takes on the Los Angeles Angels (July 18 to 21), Seattle Mariners (July 22 to 24) and Chicago White Sox (July 25 to 27). The Jays will need strong pitching from the likes of Mark Buehrle and Marco Estrada, not to mention continued big bats from Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson. Swing over to bluejays.com to buy tickets.
ALL MONTH LONG Fit for a king or a queen (and their loyal subjects), the city’s palatial Casa Loma hosts weekly concerts as part of its Symphony in the Gardens program. Each Tuesday evening, conductor Kerry Stratton and the Toronto Concert Orchestra perform classical music in the estate’s glass pavilion, surrounded by a lush four-acre garden. Soloist Romulo Delgado brings the sounds of Mexico and Spain to life on July 7, while Beethoven’s powerful Symphony no. 7 is performed on July 14, and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings is featured on July 28. Check out casaloma.org for more information.
ALL MONTH LONG Have you ever wondered if a pop can would explode in a hot car, if talking to plants really helps them to grow, or how many balloons it takes to lift a 40-pound child? Fans of the Discovery Channel program Mythbusters know that no query is too big or too wild for co-hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. Apparently, no venue is too big for them either: now on display at the Ontario Science Centre, Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition, puts physics and probability to the test with interactive demonstrations of some of the show’s best experiments. See for yourself if it’s possible to yank a tablecloth without disturbing the place settings, or learn what it takes to dodge a bullet, then check out props, videos, gadgets and more from the science-savvy TV series. See ontariosciencecentre.com for more information.
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.