- Sarah McLachlan and the TSO
Watch this if: You’ve sweetly surrendered to this songstress.
You think McLachlan’s music is better than “Ice Cream”? (Sorry, get ready for more song puns.) We’re not “Building a Mystery” — when she plays the Budweiser Stage with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto stop on her current tour across Canada and the U.S. featuring a new orchestra joining her in every city, the result will be the music of an “Angel.” It might not be Lilith Fair, but don’t be “Stupid,” this will be a night to remember. (Budweiser Stage, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 8 p.m.)
— Carly Maga
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
Watch this to: Groove to “the world’s first and only heavy-metal mariachi band.”
It’s a pretty packed week by midsummer dog-days standards, but don’t go dismissing L.A.’s Metalachi as a mere novelty act, unworthy of consideration — beyond the hair, the makeup and the sending-ups, they’ve got some quality themselves and after over nearly a decade of gigs they know something about performance. Traditional mariachi is the springboard for the riotous quintet whose set list runs to classic rock and metal covers, with violinist Kyla Vera and horn man El Cucuy adding fire and charisma to the drum-free lineup. It’s their first time in, on their first (and only, perhaps) Canadian tour, so it’d be no surprise to find them giving some Rush a go. (Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., doors 8 p.m.)
- Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It?
Watch this if: You want to know about the sex robots.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
“They all would have nine boobs across their chest, the belly button would be a bottle opener, their face would just be Joe Rogan, it’s a bad idea.” Standup comedian Whitney Cummings spends an extended amount of her new hour dealing with the potential threat of sex robots. I won’t spoil more, beyond saying that the veteran comedian continues to dwell on intimate relationships — and describes how a surprising part of her anatomy saved her from grievous injury. (July 30 on Netflix)
Watch this if: A high-speed sports flick gets you running to the Lightbox.
An indie drama about a young Rastafarian track-and-field sensation trying not to let his personal complications slow him down, Sprinter attracted two powerful supporters when Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith signed on as executive producers for the Jamaica-shot feature. Writer-director Storm Saulter will be seeking some love from Toronto viewers, too, when he visits town for a sneak peek of Sprinter, which has been earning raves for the breakout lead performance by former Vine star turned actor, Dale Elliott. (TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 7 p.m.)
- Calypso Rose: The Lioness Of The Jungle
Watch this if: You want a generous serving of Caribbean music docs.
All the great music and even better food will surely be tempting many Torontonians to Harbourfront Centre for Island Soul this weekend but don’t forget the free movies, too. One of three documentaries on Caribbean music on offer, Calypso Rose: The Lioness of the Jungle profiles the larger-than-life performer known as the Queen of Calypso. As a prolific singer and songwriter who scored her first hit back in 1966, she also became a trailblazer for women in the male-dominated world of calypso. Films on more venerable calypsonians and the legendary Trinidadian club Dirty Jim’s are also yours to savour. (Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W., 8 p.m.)
- All’s Well That Ends Well
Watch this if: You think every play should feature a dog or at least a dog fountain.
Get more of the Star in your inbox
Never miss the latest news from the Star. Sign up for our newsletters to get today’s top stories, your favourite columnists and lots more in your inbox
Sign Up Now
Dauntless City Theatre is the latest Toronto theatre company to venture into the world of summer outdoor Shakespeare productions, but its central location in Berczy Park (the one with the dog-covered water fountain by the St. Lawrence Market, you know it) is not the only appealing aspect of their production of the problem play All’s Well That Ends Well — it also features pay-what-you-can pricing and non-traditional casting to open up different readings of such famous plays. Dauntless City themselves say they make “Shakespeare for people who think they hate Shakespeare,” so if that’s you, why not take a dip into new water (fountains)? (Through Aug. 25, Berczy Park, Front and Church Sts.)
- A Black Lady Sketch Show
Watch this if: You’ve been wanting to see more Black women in comedy.
This series is written by and stars a Black woman, Robin Thede, is executive-produced by another, Issa Rae, and features a cast of Black women (with a few Black dudes thrown in), but the laughs it generates are colour-blind. Just try not to chuckle at sketches like “Bad Bitch Support Group” and “Basic Ball.” TV comedy isn’t exactly bursting with Black women, so Thede and her co-stars, who include guests like Rae, Angela Bassett, Lena Waithe and Laverne Cox, are doing it for themselves. (HBO at 11:59 p.m. Friday)
- Nilufer Yanya
Watch this for: An enchanting alternative to the long weekend’s OVO and Veld scene-making.
This London singer-songwriter has been in here before, warming for Fleet Foxes last summer and Sharon Van Etten in February, and indeed it’s Van Etten who’s a useful reference point for Yanya’s rock ’n’ soul and her up-from-the-ground career path. Debut (double) LP, Miss Universe, arrived in March and, with its mix of new and old tracks from a couple of previous EPs, shows off her considerable range as a writer and a voice, able to convince from a whisper to a rocked-out wail. She’s on her way up and with four bandmates alongside on the stand to add muscle to the sharp hooks, she could well provide one of the highlight club shows of the whole summer. (Horseshoe, 370 Queen St. W., doors 9 p.m.)
- Dusk Dance
Watch this if: You want to celebrate a dance institution.
The annual summer dance festival Dusk Dances is marking its 25th anniversary this season, growing from a one-off performance in the Trinity-Bellwoods Park ravine to a multi-day lineup of contemporary dance with sister events in Hamilton and Barrie (and previous licensee editions in Vancouver, Ottawa and Peterborough). This year, the Toronto event will once again take over Withrow Park, hosting previous Dusk Dances hits Mix Mix Dance Collective’s Follow Me and Denise Fujiawara’s Moving Parts, as well as world premieres of new works by Hanna Kiel (about falling in love), Meredith Thompson (featuring over 35 community performers from ages eight to 80) and Yuichiro Inoue, Pulga Muchochoma and Naishi Wang (about how we share space together). (Through Aug. 11, Withrow Park, 7:30 p.m.)