ON STAGE: Concerts, Plays and Musicals to Check Out This Summer

by CHRIS CLAY

IF YOU’RE A MOVIE FAN, you’re very familiar with HUGH JACKMAN.

He’s had a variety of great roles, most notably the rough-around-the-edges mutant Wolverine from the popular X-Men franchise. But, he’s also a musical talent and boasts quite a set of pipes. He’s taking his talents on the road for his first-ever world tour entitled Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The show rolls into Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena on June 25, when the Tony Award-winner will perform hits from The Greatest Showman and Les Misérables as well as other selections from Broadway and film with the backing of a live orchestra. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

The Academy Award-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody has helped turn a new generation onto the music of British band QUEEN. Fans both new and old can enjoy their music live when the band comes to Scotiabank Arena for a concert on July 28 as part of their Rhapsody Tour. While Freddie Mercury has sadly passed away, Adam Lambert of American Idol fame has served as the band’s frontman for the past several years. Get ready to dance to their impressive collection of hits including “Somebody to Love” and “We Are the Champions,” among many others. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Just in case you missed them the first time around, flamboyant rockers KISS will bring their End of the Road world tour back to the Scotiabank Arena on August 17. The tour – that the band says is their last – had a stop in Toronto in March. KISS is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has scores of hits including “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” and “Shout It Out Loud.” Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

Without a doubt, Budweiser Stage is going to be tops on many music fans’ destination lists for this summer. There’s a slew of great bands, singers, rappers and artists coming to rock the venue over the coming months. WIZ KHALIFA has a concert on July 23. He’s enjoyed hits including “We Dem Boyz” and “See You Again” from the Furious 7 sound track. The American rapper released his latest album, Fly Times, Vol. 1: The Good Fly Young, earlier this year.

Other concerts include ALEXISONFIRE (June 15 and 16), Phish (June 18), the Outlaw Music Festival featuring WILLIE NELSON and others (June 21), LIONEL RITCHIE (June 27), BRYAN ADAMS (July 4), DAVE MATTHEWS BAND (July 10), SARAH MCLACHLAN (July 29), SANTANA (August 6), IRON MAIDEN (August 9 and 10), THE SMASHING PUMPKINS & NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS (August 13) and HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH (August 29). And, that’s not even the full list of shows happening there this summer. Tickets can be purchased through Ticket Monster.

Music icon and multiple Grammy Award-winner HERBIE HANCOCK is set to grace the Roy Thomson Hall stage for a concert on August 6. Hancock is an innovator and one of the most respected jazz musicians in the world. His discography covers six decades and, showing just how relevant he remains, Hancock won the 2008 Grammy Award for Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters. Also performing at the concert is Kamasi Washington, who’s no slouch in his own right. The jazz saxophonist’s 2018 album Heaven and Earth garnered critical praise and lots of positive reviews. Tickets cost $59.50 to $199.50 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 416.872.4255.

Whether you’ve seen the animated film or the theatrical performance, Disney’s THE LION KING has a special place in many people’s hearts. If you’ve never attended the live production, now’s your chance when it comes to the Princess of Wales Theatre. The Tony Award-winning show runs June 13 to August 4. It’s filled with stunning costumes and vivid visuals and has been universally hailed by critics and audiences alike. The show is filled with memorable songs that include “Circle of Life,” “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” Tickets start at $79 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 416.872.1212 or by visiting TicketKing.com.

Meanwhile, the popular musical DEAR EVAN HANSEN is having its run extended at the Royal Alexandra Theatre until September 29. It’s about a young man with severe social anxiety who can’t find any common ground with his peers. Tickets start at $59 and can be purchased through the box office at 416.872.1212.

The wildly irreverent and Tony Award-winning musical THE BOOK OF MORMON is coming to Ed Mirvish Theatre for a short run from June 11 to 23. Widely praised for its humour, the show has proven to be a commercial hit as well. It’s written by the guys behind the long-running animated program South Park plus one of the writers from Avenue Q. It follows a pair of Mormon missionaries who are sent to Africa to preach. But, the earnest missionaries find the villagers have more important issues to focus on instead of what religion to follow. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased through the box office at 416.87.1212.

THE OFFICE! A MUSICAL PARODY, currently selling out the Jerry Orbach Theatre in New York City, lovingly pokes fun at the hit TV show The Office. Don’t miss this hilarious unauthorized musical parody featuring your favourite coworkers from Dunder Mifflin when it arrives in Toronto for a limited run. The Office takes the stage at the CAA Theatre from July 30 through August 25. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 416.872.1212 or by visiting TicketKing.com.

The formidable and talented NORAH JONES has a performance on June 26 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts as part of this year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival. She has won a staggering nine Grammy Awards throughout her career and sold tens of millions of albums around the world. Jones released her seventh studio album Begin Again earlier this year. Tickets cost $60 to $120 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 1.855.872.7669.

Meanwhile, comedian TOM SEGURA brings his Take It Down Tour to the Sony Centre for a pair of shows on August 15. He boasts three Netflix specials, appearances at the renowned Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and has had roles in films including Instant Family. Tickets cost $49.14 to $79.14 and can be purchased through the box office.

South Korean jazz vocalist YOUN SUN NAH brings her soaring voice to the Toronto Centre for the Arts’ George Weston Recital Hall for a concert on June 29. She has performed at festivals around the world including the Montreal Jazz Festival and released her latest album, Immersion, earlier this year. Tickets start at $47 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling the box office at 416.250.3708.

If you love the funky sounds of SLY & THE FAMILY STONE you won’t want to miss the Sly High: A Tribute to Sly & the Family Stone concert on June 27 at Flato Markham Theatre. An 11-piece band will play some of Sly & the Family Stone’s greatest hits. Tickets cost $55. To purchase, call the box office at 905.305.7469

LUXE MAGAZINE

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