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Urban Planner: May 15, 2013

In today's Urban Planner: learn to write with feeling, take a guided tour of the neighbourhood around the Royal Ontario Musuem, or see The Biographer before it closes.

Earl Pastko and Miriam Fernandes in Daniel Karasik's The Biographer  Photo by Emily Lockhart

Earl Pastko and Miriam Fernandes in Daniel Karasik’s The Biographer. Photo by Emily Lockhart.

  • Books: Got writer’s block? Need help bringing dimension to your stories and characters? Writing with Feeling is a workshop you won’t want to miss. Presented by Forest of Reading Festival of Trees, authors Megan Crewe and Lena Coakley will discuss the development of story ideas and how to draw on your own emotions. Harbourfront Centre, York Quay Centre, Miss Lou’s Room (235 Queens Quay West), 1 p.m., Included in Forest of Reading pass price ($15). Details
  • History: How often do you stop and take a good look at the buildings on the streets you walk every day? Do you know the history of your own neighbourhood? Get better acquainted with Toronto on guided ROM Walks, with this edition focusing on the ROM and its Neighbours. Learn about the Bloor and Queen’s Park area, and how it transformed from a quiet residential and student-based community to a major cultural hub. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), 6 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Music: Skip the rush hour crush and take in some culture (and complimentary pre-show hors d’ouevres) with the last performance in the TSO Afterworks Series. Under the direction of conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, pianist Kirill Gerstein will perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe Street), 6:30 p.m., $29-$82. Details
  • Poetry: Promote the art of poetry recitation, while supporting young talent at the Poetry in Voice National Finals. The competition will see 39 high school students from all over Canada meet in Toronto for an evening of both contemporary and classic poetry, in both English and French. Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street West), 7 p.m., $10, $5 for students. Details
  • Theatre: Ben and Gus are on a job, holed up in a basement, wondering who is in charge, and waiting for “the call” in Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter. Presented by Wordsmyth Theatre, the play ranges from tense and claustrophobic to ridiculous and surreal, while posing the question: how do you escape from a situation when there is no exit? Odyssey Studio (636 Pape Avenue), 8 p.m., $15-$25. Details

Ongoing…

  • Photography: David Kaufman’s Early Sunday Morning photography exhibit simultaneously celebrates the heritage of Toronto’s architecture, while pleading for its preservation, in the face of gentrification and condo development. The building facades and structures, rich in texture and colour, are each captured at their most beautiful—basking in the light of early morning. Twist Gallery (1100 Queen Street West), 11 a.m., FREE. Details
  • Theatre: Mick Gordon’s BEA tells the story of a young woman suffering from a debilitating illness that has left her bedridden for eight years. She needs someone to feed her, wash her, dress her. But she still controls her right to live or die; a decision with which she struggles. BEA features performances from Bahareh Yaraghi, Deborah Drakeford, and Brendan McMurtry-Howlett. Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), 12 p.m., $10-$25. Details
  • Music: The Lula Music and Arts Centre’s annual Lulaworld festival kicks off on May 10 with Ethiopian jazz innovators Jay Danley and Fantahun Shewankochew. The festival travels around the world for the month of May, with performances most nights (and some afternoons) from local world music purveyors Uma Nota, Cuban player Bobby Carcasses, the Ukrainian Telnyuk Sisters, and more. (For a full schedule, prices, and reservations, visit the Lula Lounge website.) Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas Street West), 12 p.m., FREE–$25. Details
  • Theatre: If you’ve been paying attention to musical theatre news over the past two years, you know that The Book of Mormon has a passionate and devout following of fans who swear it’s the long-awaited saviour of the artform. The show won nine Tonys in 2011, the cast recording reached number three on the Billboard chart, and tickets for its Broadway run are rare and expensive. Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West), 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Prices vary. Details
  • Theatre: Fans of the seminal 1968 horror-film classic, Night of the Living Dead, will delight in Night of the Living Dead Live, a new theatrical production of the story. Despite a weak second act, it’s a fun black-and-white romp with some inventive deaths—and even a chipper musical number. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), 7:30 p.m., $20–$80. Details
  • Theatre: David Yee examines life’s 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: Bad Dog Theatre Company unites sci-fi, comedy, and improv fans with their production of Final Frontier. Based on Star Trek, the unscripted show follows the adventures of a new ship and crew, using plot suggestions from the audience. Featuring improv from Etan Muskat, Jess Bryson, Liz Johnston, Alastair Forbes, and Craig Anderson. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., $12, $10 students. Details
  • Theatre: Delve into the world of dating, love, and marriage—sans commitment—with Angelwalk Theatre’s presentation of the off-Broadway musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Offered as a series of vignettes set to music, the show focuses on the disastrous, hilarious, and touching aspects of love and dating. Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street), 8 p.m., $25-$45. Details
  • Theatre: The 2012-2013 Buddies in Bad Times season goes out with a bang, and a growl, with the world premiere of Ecce Homo Theatre’s Of a Monstrous Child: a Gaga Musical. Bruce Dow plays legendary performer and master of ceremonies Leigh Bowery, with Kimberly Persona as Mother Monster herself. Using the music of Lady Gaga as a backdrop, the show is a crash course in the history of queer performance, celebrating everyone from Yoko Ono to Madonna, and Boy George. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander Street), 8 p.m., PWYC-$37. Details
  • Theatre: Theatre company One Little Goat presents the English-language premiere of The Charge of the Expormidable Moose, an adaptation of Québecois playwright Claude Gauvreau’s story of a embattled poet who may or may not be a prisoner. Gauvreau, a noted figure in Quebec’s radical movement in the mid-20th century, wrote the play in the ’50s while in and out of a mental institution. The show, which was not produced until the ’70s, has become a landmark of Quebec theatre. The seven-member cast includes veterans like Hume Baugh, established indie actors like David Christo, and up-and-comers like Jessica Salgueiro. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., $13–$25. Details
  • Theatre: Videofag, a performance venue in Kensington Market, has played host to a variety of events since it opened last November. It has transformed itself into a cinema, an art gallery, a nightclub, or whatever else has been needed. But its transformation for The Biographer, a new play from Daniel Karasik, is something else entirely. Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue), 8 p.m., $15-$23. 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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