Toronto singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez was to make history Monday by becoming the first artist to perform the American and Canadian national anthems from the CN Tower’s EdgeWalk, 116 storeys above the ground.
Reyez is to sing the anthems for Game 1 of the first round of the Toronto Raptors’ NBA Playoff Series. The internationally televised game between the Raptors, the reigning NBA champions, and the Brooklyn Nets, is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Monday on Sportsnet.
It’s been a good summer for the Grammy-nominated Reyez, the pandemic notwithstanding. A news release announcing the anthem performance noted that Reyez sang her single “Before Love Came to Kill Us” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” last week. And she had a cameo during the song “SCAR” in Beyoncé’s film/visual album “Black Is King,” released July 31 on Disney Plus.
Reyez released her debut studio album, also called “Before Love Came to Kill Us,” in March.
Mirvish honours ‘Come From Away’ and ‘Hamilton’ lighting designer Howard Binkley
Mirvish Productions plans to dim the marquee lights of the Royal Alexandra and Princess of Wales theatres Tuesday at 8 p.m. for Howell Binkley.
The Tony Award-winning American lighting designer died Aug. 14 at 64. He had lung cancer, Mirvish said in a news release.
Binkley, who was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, made his Broadway debut with “Kiss of the Spider Woman” in 1993, which earned him his first Tony nomination.
He went on to work in more than 100 shows, was nominated nine times for Best Lighting Design Tonys and won two, for “Jersey Boys” in 2006 and “Hamilton” in 2016.
Binkley also founded the modern dance company Parsons Dance Company with David Parsons in New York City in 1985.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic closed theatres around the world, three shows with lighting designed by Binkley were playing in Toronto: “Come From Away” at the Royal Alexandra; “Hamilton” at the Ed Mirvish and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” at the Princess of Wales.
David Hein, co-creator of “Come From Away” with wife Irene Sankoff, paid tribute to Binkley on social media: “I have a degree in lighting design and Howell Binkley’s work was the best in the world. I remember telling Irene I would’ve watched Hamilton with the sound off just to watch his lighting. We were so so lucky to have him on Come From Away.”
‘Egyptian Mummies’ exhibit will open at ROM on Sept. 19
Six Egyptian mummies whose appearance at the Royal Ontario Museum was sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic will make their Toronto debut next month.
The mummies are the centrepiece of “Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries,” which was scheduled to open in May but will now bow on Sept. 19.
The ROM says this will be the last chance to see the show on its worldwide tour.
Originating at the British Museum, it’s described as “both a rigorous scientific exploration and a spiritual voyage, using advanced CT scanning techniques, 3D images, over 200 extraordinary objects and six mummies to illustrate — in greater detail than ever before — fascinating facts of each individual’s life story.”
The six people lived between 900 BC and 180 AD. They include Nestawedjat, a woman from Thebes; Tamut, a middle-aged chantress; Irthorru, a middle-aged priest; an unnamed temple singer; a young boy who lived during the Roman period; and an unknown young man from Thebes.
To ensure physical distancing, the ROM is limiting daily admissions to the museum with visitors asked to buy timed-entry tickets online. The exhibit runs until March 21. See rom.on.ca for information.
Two men indicted in 2002 killing of Jam Master Jay
Two men have been indicted in the 2002 slaying of hip-hop artist Jam Master Jay, which until now had been one of New York City’s most notorious unsolved killings.
Three law enforcement officials not authorized to speak publicly identified the suspects as Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan. Federal prosecutors were expected to announce the charges at a news conference Monday afternoon.
Washington, who had reportedly been living on a couch at Jay’s home in the days before his death, was publicly named as a possible suspect or witness as far back as 2007. He is currently serving a prison sentence stemming from a string of robberies he committed while on the run from police after Jay’s death.
Jason “Jay” Mizell, known professionally as Jam Master Jay, was a member of 1980s hip-hop act Run-DMC. Their hits included “It’s Tricky,” “Christmas in Hollis” and the Aerosmith remake collaboration “Walk This Way.”
Jay was shot once in the head with a .40-calibre bullet by a masked assailant at his studio in Hollis, the Queens neighbourhood where he grew up, police said at the time. He left behind a wife and three children.
Raunchy single ‘WAP’ becomes most streamed single in its first week out
“WAP” is a verified rainmaker.
The raunchy hip-hop single by rappers Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion racked up 93 million streams in the United States in the week after its release on Aug. 7 — the most ever recorded for an opening seven-day period, according to Nielsen Music, and more than enough for the song to enter Billboard’s Hot 100 at No. 1.
“WAP” bested the previous first-week streaming record-holder, Ariana Grande’s 2019 “7 Rings,” by about eight million streams; its total is the 18th highest for any song in any week, Billboard said, on a list topped by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Old Town Road,” which drew 143 million streams in a single week in April 2019.
“WAP” — scorned by conservative politicians and commentators — wasn’t just a streaming success. With 125,000 downloads, the song also notched the biggest sales week for any song since Taylor Swift’s “Me!” in May 2019.