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Urban Planner: April 30, 2013

In today's Urban Planner: poetry and opera join forces in La Selva de los Relojes, comedy at Buddies in Bad Times, and other things.

Krisztina Szabó stars in La Selva de los Relojes  Photo courtesy of the Queen of Puddings Music Theatre

Krisztina Szabó stars in La Selva de los Relojes. Photo courtesy of the Queen of Puddings Music Theatre.

  • Music: Queen of Puddings Music Theatre and The Canadian Opera Company present a unique combination of poetry and opera in La Selva de los Relojes (The Forest of Clocks). Arranged for Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó and an ensemble of six instruments, the show is based on Spanish poet Federico García Lorca’s Suites, set to the music of Chris Paul Harman. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen Street West), 12 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Comedy: Bitch Salad presents Spring Breakouts, their first show of 2013, with a bunch of acts that have never before appeared on their bill. Hosted by Video on Trial’s Andrew Johnston, the almost entirely female line up boasts sketch duo British Teeth, Write Club host and producer Catherine McCormick, Picnicface’s Evany Rosen, Sunday Night Live‘s Jocelyn Geddie, CBC personality Aisha Alfa, transgendered comedian Avery Edison, and Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award winner Christi Olson. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander Street), 8:30 p.m., $10. Details

Ongoing…

  • Theatre: Falsettos, a groundbreaking and Tony Award–winning musical, comes to town for a short run, presented by The Acting Up Stage Company. The story takes us to New York City in 1979, where the Sexual Revolution is hot, AIDS is on the rise, and Marvin, a husband and father, has decided to leave his family for a man. Directed by Robert McQueen and starring Darrin Baker, Sara-Jeanne Hosie, Sarah Gibbons, Michael Levinson, Eric Morin, Stephen Patterson, and Glynis Ranney. Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas Street East), 7 p.m., $39-$55. Details
  • Theatre: In 1897, Austrian playwright Arthur Schnitzler wrote a play so scandalous that at first he only shared it among his friends. It wasn’t publicly staged until 1920 and, unsurprisingly, it caused an uproar. The ruffled feathers had to do with La Ronde‘s frank discussion of sexual relationships—in particular, those between members of different social classes. But while the acts themselves were originally left up to the audience’s imagination, Soulpepper Theatre’s current, modernized adaptation goes all the way with its sex scenes. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 7:30 p.m., $22-$68. Details
  • Theatre: Fans of George A. Romero will be pleased to hear that, according to one cast member of Night of the Living Dead Live, the seminal zombie film director has already given two thumbs up to the stage adaptation of his horror film classic, which is having its world premiere here in Toronto. The savvy marketers behind NoTLDL have arranged for after parties on Thursday nights of the run (free for ticket holders, $10 for the public), and for Romero to do a post show talkback after the early shows on May 4 and 5. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), 7:30 p.m., $20–$80. Details
  • Comedy: The Toronto Comedy Brawl is in the middle of a growth spurt. Despite humble beginnings, Ian Atlas’ amateur competition has grown from 64 participants to, this year, a few hundred.

    The Comedy Brawl pits amateur stand-up comics against one another in a round-robin tournament. Each night features eight performers, each of whom does a five-minute standup set. At the end, each audience member votes for his or her three favourite comics. The four highest-scoring comedians from each night move onto the next round, until one winner is chosen on the final night.

    This year, the first round features 26 shows and over 300 comedians, a number that will be pared down as the tournament progresses.

    Atlas, who has worked in comedy production since he came to Toronto, originally started the brawl as a way to keep attendance up at his open-mic shows over the slow months. “Summer is a time where no one wants to go inside to do things,” he said, “so I started the brawl to [prevent myself from] losing the rooms and my livelihood.” The Crown and Tiger (414 College Street), 8 p.m., $5. Details

  • Theatre: David Yee examines lifes interconnectivity in Carried Away on the Crest of a Wave. The play follows an escort in Thailand, a housewife in Utah, and a Catholic priest in India, and how their lives are simultaneously brought together and torn apart by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., $21-$53. Details
  • Theatre: There are few playwrights whose names can double as adjectives (think “Shakespearean,” or “Beckettian”). But Race, now on at Canadian Stage, makes us want to coin a new one of those words. That’s because of the opening scene, where a black lawyer named Henry Brown addresses a white man with the line “You want to tell me about Black folks?” while leaning back in his office chair at the end of a long boardroom table. It’s distinctly Mamettian.

    The American playwright David Mamet is known as much for his portrayal of fast-talking, morally ambiguous businessmen as he is for “Mamet speak,” his unique style of verbose, curse-filled, overlapping dialogue or long-winded speeches. His 2010 script Race is no different—in fact, it might be his most Mamettian to date. It certainly doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to its subject matter (as the title suggests). Discourse surrounding race, privilege, language, and cultural history consumes the entire play. Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front Street East), 8 p.m., $24 to $99. 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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