In this Weekend Planner: an art installation turns an urban neighbourhood into a soundscape, a children's theatre retells an old fable, "DJ Skate Night" kicks off the new year, the Wavelength music series brings no less than four acts together, a comedy variety show finds a new home, and bring your best rhymes for an open mic poetry night.ART: Spend the day with your eyes closed and you’ll start to realize how much better your ears work than you think they do. “Around the Block” is a multi-channel video and audio art installation that seeks to explore just that, collecting images of an urban neighbourhood to create the experience. The Read Head Gallery (401 Richmond Street West). Opening reception Saturday, 2–5 p.m., FREE.
THEATRE: How about treating your kids to one last hurrah before they have to go back to school on Monday? Cow Over Moon Children’s Theatre is back with “The Ant & The Grass Hopper,” a tale based on an old fable with live music, singing, and break dancing. Pia Bouman Theatre (6 Noble Street). Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m., $10 children, $15 adults.
SKATING: Now that Toronto’s starting to cool down a bit more, the weather’s ripe to get your groove on. “DJ Skate Night” returns with seven more late-night skating events, tied to the grooves of the city’s top DJs. This weekend, skate along to the electro swing beats of DJ medicineman—a combination of world beats and ethno-electro hits. Sing along now: Around the world, around the world, around the world… Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West). Saturday, 8 p.m.–11 p.m., FREE.
MUSIC: The Wavelength music series soldiers on! In the latest installment, prepare your ears for Del Bel (exotica), The Hollow Earth (psychedelica), Persian Rugs (indie pop), and RLMDL (chillwave). The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West). Saturday, 9 p.m., $5.
COMEDY: Now that they’ve found a new home, the “Marty Topps House Party Show” can begin another year in style. This comedy variety show features many laughs, electronica, oodles of confetti, and many special guests. Watch the teaser video to get a taste of what’s in store. The Cameron House (408 Queen Street West). Saturday, 10 p.m., $5 advance, $7 door.
POETRY: Think you’ve got some talent behind the mic? Or maybe you’d rather sit back and enjoy the rhymes of others. The Toronto Poetry Slam invites you to choose either, with its upcoming event featuring High Heels Lo Fi and an open microphone for anyone who wants to join in on the fun. The Drake Hotel Underground (1150 Queen Street West). Sunday, 7 p.m., $5.
NEXT STAGE: The Next Stage Theatre Festival (which is the curated winter edition of the Toronto Fringe Festival, complete with heated beer tent) features a selection of previously produced hits, and is programmed to be all killer, no filler. Check out our preview here.
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.