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events

Urban Planner: March 15, 2013

In today's Urban Planner: Helder Brum hosts a variety show, Kate Nash comes back to Toronto, and The Soul Motivators release an EP.

Kate Nash. Photo by Christopher Dadey.

  • Comedy: Local comedian Helder Brum, known for his garage shows, claymation vids, and dodgeball stamina, hosts a variety show tonight with a wide variety of guests, including fellow stand-up Pat Thornton, improv duo The Sufferettes, and musical guest Laura Barrett. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 8:00 pm, $5. Details
  • Theatre: Nightwood Theatre's annual festival of new creation, the Groundswell Festival, this year features a reading of a new play by Judith Thompson, productions from Montreal's Odelah Creations and Halifax's In Good Company, and nightly readings and events, including their annual Femcab Women's Day Celebration. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), 8:00 pm, $15. Details
  • Music: British singer-songwriter Kate Nash returns to Toronto with her third album, Girl Talk. She's been busy, having spent the time since 2010's My Best Friend is You setting up her own label to support other artists, launching the Kate Nash's Rock n Roll for Girls After-School Music Club, and more. Last year, the pop culture–savvy multi-tasker also released a tribute single to Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, and produced a stage version of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer musical episode "Once More With Feeling" for Halloween. Nash comes after two openers; her set is scheduled for 11:30 p.m. Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen Street West), 9:00 pm, $18.50 advance, $20 at the door. Details
  • Music: Nine-piece funk band The Soul Motivators has only been playing live for a little over a year, but it has already become a popular draw at nightspots around town. Tonight, the band headlines its EP release party, with DJs Voltaire (of the Soul Surrender series) and Andy B. Bad. Bite (423 College Street), 10:00 pm, $10. Details

Ongoing…

  • Comedy: This year's edition of the Sketch Comedy Festival boasts headliners including Eugene Mirman (March 9), Bruce McCulloch (March 11), and Michael Ian Black (March 12). There are also visiting troupes from Winnipeg (Hot Thespian Action), Montreal (Uncalled For), and Vancouver (Peter 'n Chris), plus a wide variety of local outfits. It'll all wrap with a closing show featuring the Sketchersons, joined by special guest host and wrestling legend Bret "The Hitman" Hart. Sketchfest runs at The Randolph Theatre, Lower Ossington Theatre, and Comedy Bar. Update, March 15: Hart is on the sidelines recovering from knee surgery; The Honky Tonk Man has been announced as the new host for Sunday night. Multiple venues, March 7-17, $15–$50. Details
  • Photography: Lovers of photography and the city can rejoice at a new photo extravaganza: the Toronto Urban Photography Festival. This gigantic event features no less than 10 exhibitions, a variety of talks on the subject of urban photography, and a number of photo walks, so you too can get in on the practice of creating urban art. The exhibition also features the Disposable Camera Project, which places many disposable cameras around the city, leaving it up to whoever finds them to take a picture in the moment. And then you might possibly see the results in the festival. Multiple venues, March 9-23, FREE. Details
  • Art: Too Soon: The Contemporary as Method will try to tackle a tricky question: how do we study contemporary art while simultaneously living with it? The conference will take place over two days, the first of which will kick off with a keynote from Gaetane Verna, director of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. OCAD University (100 McCaul Street), March 14-15, FREE. Details
  • Dance: Due to popular demand, The National Ballet of Canada has brought Romeo and Juliet back to the stage for a short run. Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky gives new life to Shakespeare's story of star crossed lovers, set to the romantic Prokofiev score. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen Street West), 7:30 pm, $25–$155. Details
  • Comedy: If there’s one thing that’s particularly impressive about Second City’s new mainstage show, The Meme-ing of Life, it’s how well balanced it is. As the title implies, Meme-ing is nominally a show about the internet, and certainly there is a fair bit of internet-centric humour. (One sketch, about a boy who falls into a YouTube-induced coma that can only be cured by reading, is particularly on point.) That said, it isn’t just a series of jokes about cat videos. Instead, it’s a well-thought-out show that manages to offer something for pretty much everyone, without stretching itself too thin. Second City (51 Mercer Street), 7:30 pm, $24-$29. Details
  • Theatre: fu-GEN Theatre Company presents the Canadian premiere of Lauren Yee's cheeky and insightful play, Ching Chong Chinaman. The ultra-assimilated Wong family don't quite fit the Asian-American stereotype: teenaged Upton ignores chores and homework to play video games, and his sister Desi's math scores are less than stellar. Upton's solution to both problems? Hire an Asian indentured servant with an American dream. Starring Zoe Doyle, Brenda Kamino, Oliver Koomsatira, Richard Lee, Jane Luk, and John Ng. Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas Street East), 8:00 pm, $15-$28. Details
  • Theatre: One of Canada's most acclaimed and prolific young playwrights, Hannah Moscovitch, has her own mini festival at Tarragon Theatre this season. It started with This is War in January, and continues into March with three one-act plays, all concerning children. Two of those three plays form the double bill now on: Little One and Other People's Children. (We've got a full review right here.) Later this month Other People's Children will continue, paired with another one-act piece called In This World. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8:00 pm, $13–$53. Details
  • Theatre: Playwright Kat Sandler has an impeccable flair for comedic dialogue, and her plays keep getting better, from early effort LOVESEXYMONEY, to Fringe hit Help Yourself, to, most recently, clever couple swap scenario Delicacy. Sandler's newest work ROCK could be her darkest yet, about an actor (Andy Trithardt) who's begun fantasizing about murder, despite a supportive girlfriend (Jen Balen) and a rock solid best friend (Tim Walker). The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West), 8:00 pm, PWYC to $20. Details
  • Theatre: The Canadian premiere of Ashlin Halfnight's Laws of Motion, about an accident that sparks a chain reaction of events, boasts a powerhouse ensemble assembled by Small Elephant Co-Op and director Chris Stanton, and is staged in a second-floor jam shop in Leslieville. Update, March 12: The show has now been extended to March 23—but they absolutely have to close after that. Jam Factory Company (2 Matilda Street), 8:00 pm, $23.53. Details

Happening soon:

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 us with all the details (including images, if you’ve got any), ideally at least a week in advance.

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