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Weekend Roundup: July 20 to 22

Friday: Speed-the-Plow satirizes the movie industry (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Friday, July 20
Expect cracking dialogue and fierce satire this evening as Soulpepper Theatre Company performs David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow. The play examines the lives of two American film producers while dissecting the relationship between art and commerce.

The Toronto Summer Music Festival returned earlier in the week and brought with it a full slate of concerts, master classes and lectures for classical music lovers. Tonight, the acclaimed Borodin Quartet presents Music of Russia, a program of string quartets by Russian composers, including Borodin, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky.

Once again the Harbourfront Centre becomes of a cultural smorgasbord of music, dance, international fare and more as the Hot & Spicy Food Festival occupies the downtown waterfront. The festival kicks it up a notch with exciting competitions like tonight’s Taco Takedown—where you decide which taco reigns supreme—and the annual Iron Chef competition, held over the weekend and concluding Sunday afternoon.

Saturday: Backbeat brings the story of The Beatles’ early years to the stage (photo by Nobby Clark)

Saturday, July 21
It’s opening night for Backbeat, the musical about some Liverpool lads who ventured to Hamburg, Germany to make a name for themselves. That name? The Beatles. The production follows the band’s early years and tells of how what was originally a five-piece outfit became the “fab four.” Accompanying all the drama, of course, are classic tunes like “Love Me Do,” and “Long Tall Sally.”

This week the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto kicked off it’s 45th year of celebrating island rhythms, dance, food and culture. Today, the Junior Carnival brings young masqueraders to parade through Downsview Park. Following that, a free family soirée celebrates 50 years of independence for Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Head down to Yonge-Dundas Square for an event that attempts to honour the environment—the Live Green Toronto Festival. More than 100 vendors sell ecologically friendly products, or take advantage of bike tune-up clinics, live music and local foods. You can also bring your used movies, books and music to Swapsity’s Swap Zone and trade them for other treasures.

Sunday: Examine Michael Snow’s Seated Sculpture and other works at the AGO (photo © Michael Snow)

Sunday, July 22
One of Canada’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Michael Snow, is the subject of a new solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Enjoying its opening weekend, the show, titled Objects of Vision, features 14 of Snow’s abstract sculptures, which explore the “art of looking.”

The Beaches International Jazz Festival is underway this weekend with a bevy of boundary-stretching jazz, funk and soul acts—including Brass Transit and Papa Grows Funk—at Woodbine Park. It’s the first of two full weekends of exceptional opening-air concerts!

Head to the beautiful Toronto Music Garden for an afternoon concert featuring the unique performance “Hitting the Waves: Electronic Percussion by the Lake,” by percussionist/composer Rick Sacks, which mixes the sounds of nature, industry and a multitude of percussion instruments to create intriguing music inspired by the waterfront.

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