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Toronto Fringe Festival

The Next Stage Theatre Festival Brings Fringe Hits Back to Toronto

Next Stage Theatre Festival 2013

Throne of Games spoofs George R.R. Martin’s popular “Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy books at the Next Stage Theatre Festival

JANUARY 2 TO 13  Some of Canada’s best independent theatre artists come together for a dozen days of dramatic and comedic revelry at the Next Stage Theatre Festival. Among the event’s 10 must-see original productions are Bad Dog Theatre Company’s Throne of Games, an unscripted take on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling fantasy series that’s sure to inspire big laughs, while the thought-provoking 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival hit Awake examines the effect violence can have on a community. Factory Theatre, $10 to $88; call 416-966-1062 or visit here for a full schedule and tickets.  —Eva Voinigescu

Weekend Roundup, July 8 to 10

Friday: Grab some prix fixe grub at Brassaii and other Summerlicious restaurants

Friday, July 8
Sample the food of your favourite restaurants in the city—or discover a new favourite—when Summerlicious begins this Friday. Dine for less with specially created prix-fixe menus at over 100 eateries throughout the city such as Canoe, Pangaea, and Brassaii.

Experience the eclectic sights and sounds of Mexico as the Corazon de Mexico arts fiesta begins its weekend-long stint at Harbourfront Centre. Traditional and modern performances happening along the lively waterfront include cumbia musician Celso Piña and high-energy salsa band Sugar Heat. If the dancing makes you hungry, make sure you grab some authentic Mexican tostadas with lime and chia agua fresca. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, July 9 to 11

The pressing heat wave calls for a distraction. You’re sure to find one amongst the shows and events taking place this weekend.

Friday: The musical Miss Saigon is sure to enthrall audiences

Friday, July 9
Experience the enduring story of Miss Saigon. Based on Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, this musical tragedy tells of a young American soldier and a Vietnamese girl who fall in love, only to be torn apart by the circumstances of war.

Start licking your chops. Toronto’s Summerlicious dining event begins today, with more than 150 restaurants—from Ame to Zucca—offering special three-course prix fixe menus to satisfy eager appetites.

Head over to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre for a sure-to-satisfy concert by Juno Award–winning indie band Metric. Also on the bill are Passion Pit and Toronto’s Holy F**K.

Saturday: Legendary rapper Rakim headlines Harbourfront Centre's Beats, Breaks & Culture

Saturday, July 10
Hum along with melodies by the Fab Four at RainA Tribute to the Beatles. This multimedia exploration of the band’s memorable music recreates many career highlights, from their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and much more.

Break it down this weekend at Harbourfront Centre’s returning Beats, Breaks & Culture festival. Groove to some excellent emerging electronic-music acts—plus a free show by hip-hop legend Rakim (9:30 p.m.)—try your hand on the turntables, or cheer for your favourite freestyle dancer in the Pop, Lock & Load Break Dance competition.

Celebrate summer as it’s meant to be experienced—outdoors. Close to 400 artists gather at Nathan Phillips Square for the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, North America’s largest open-air juried art fair. Stroll between the paintings, photographs and sculptures while mingling with local art lovers.

Sunday: Lady Gaga brings her act to the Air Canada Centre

Sunday, July 11
You might not be able to maintain that poker face, Lady Gaga swoops into the Air Canada Centre with outrageous costumes, provocative set pieces and tunes like “Bad Romance,” as part of her current Monster Ball concert tour.

Laugh, cry or sing along as more than 800 Canadian theatrical performers continue to break their proverbial legs as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. Enjoy an after-show beer and nightly entertainment at Honest Ed’s, this year’s host of the Fringe Club.

Catch Carlos Santana live at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. The famed classic-rock guitarist jams this evening with special guest Steve Winwood.

Hot Date: Fringe Begins

A scene from The Getaway

JUNE 30 TO JULY 11 Brace yourself for a no-holds-barred theatrical extravaganza as the Toronto Fringe Festival brings edgy stage entertainment back to the city. More than 800 Canadian thespians are set to enthrall audiences at 27 venues with such eclectic offerings as the side-splitting Canadian-historical musical-comedy The Flying Avro Arrow, backseat caper The Getaway—performed streetside in a van—and a peek into the life of a bitter birthday clown entitled Mal. After a show, let the glow of the 23,000-bulb marquee guide you to Honest Ed’s, which this year hosts the Fringe Club, complete with a beer tent and free nightly entertainment. Various venues and times, tickets up to $10 per show, five-play pass $40; call 416-966-1062 or visit here for more information.

July Editor’s Picks: Entertainment

Eric Davis is a deranged clown at the Fringe Festival.

Eric Davis is a deranged clown at the Fringe Festival.

JULY 1 TO 12 The city’s largest annual theatrical extravaganza, the Toronto Fringe Festival, offers up an eclectic slate of small- and large-scale productions—from dramas and musicals to comedies and modern dance numbers. More than 800 artists from around the world perform at a mix of traditional and unconventional venues. The 150 showcased plays are whittled down from 500-plus submissions using a lottery system, meaning that you could have tickets for Broadway’s next big hit. Catch the likes of Red Bastard—a one-man play starring Eric Davis as an anti-clown clad in a tomato-red body suit—or The Laramie Projects, a deeply moving story of hate, fear and hope in a small American town. Various venues, tickets $5 to $10; call 416-966-1062 for a program and times.