In this Friday Urban Planner: Harbourfront Centre holds one reception for nine exhibit openings, Surface/Underground Theatre updates and remounts the 34-year-old Jones Boy; four different release concerts, including the Elwins' first single release from their upcoming debut LP, and 10 female comics from 35 years at Second City Toronto play a benefit for The Redwood shelter.
ART: Harbourfront Centre opens its fall visual arts and design season with nine new exhibitions today, which will all be open to the public in a huge reception taking place throughout their spaces. Dozens of the artists behind the exhibitions will be be present and looking to gauge audience reaction to their work; with so much to see, we wonder, as with Nuit Blanche, how much of the art visitors will be able to see and experience. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), 6 p.m.–10 p.m., FREE.
THEATRE: Surface/Underground Theatre opens their production of Tom Walmsley’s 1977 play The Jones Boy tonight, featuring an impressive cast, including Cara Gee, who won acclaim for her performance in the one-woman show Stitch at Summerworks 2011 (she went on to win that festival’s Spotlight Award). Gee, who recently guest blogged for Praxis Theatre’s Variations series, will be treading similar territory; The Jones Boy, like Stitch, deals with addiction and prostitution. Veteran playwright Walmsley has been working in tandem with director Peter Pasyk to update the 33-year-old script for a 21st-century audience. Toronto Free Theatre (1277 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., $20.
MUSIC: There’s a bewildering number of concerts in Toronto tonight—so many that we’re (mostly) overlooking high-profile shows like James Blake or Steamwhistle Unsigned #19. Just looking at the release shows, we have beloved orchestral popsters Ohbijou releasing Metal Meets at Trinity St. Paul’s Church; legendary late-’70s/early-’80s Toronto new wave punks Stark Naked and the Fleshtones releasing a retrospective LP (their first album ever); and Ottawa-based blues band MonkeyJunk sharing a release with author Holger Petersen’s Talking Music. But if we had to pick just one (and we personally have to), we’re going with the Elwins’ single release, as they and No Shame have stacked the bill with terrific openers, including a set from the Bicycles, who’ve reunited and are working on a new album (they say they probably won’t be playing live in Toronto again until the new album’s tentative release in the fall of 2012.) The El Mocambo (464 Spadina Avenue), doors at 8:30 p.m., $7 in advance (Soundscapes or Rotate This), $10 at the door.
COMEDY: The strength of Second City Toronto‘s mainstage casts has often been best judged by its women—case in point, Inessa Frantowski’s scene-stealing odd sexual propositions in their critically acclaimed new revue. So a benefit performance gathering 10 funny ladies from over 35 years on the SC stage is likely to set off some real comedy fireworks. Anchored by the ladies of sketch troupe Punch in The Box, the bill for The Broad-Way benefit also includes Teresa Pavlinek, Aurora Browne, and Linda Kash, as well as “token” men Darryl Hinds and Rob Baker; all proceeds from the late night (and likely blue light) show will go to The Redwood women’s shelter. Second City Toronto (51 Mercer Street), 11 p.m., $15–$25.
Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORRECTION: October 6, 2011, 1:19 PM This article originally referred to the band “Stark Naked and the Fleshtones” as simply “Stark Naked.”