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Urban Planner: May 29, 2013

In today's Urban Planner: a farmer's market, a night of student documentaries, and a cross-platform project that explores the meanings of inanimate objects.

The Family China's launch promises to be a smashing success  Photo courtesy of Ann Shin

The Family China‘s launch promises to be a smashing success. Photo courtesy of Ann Shin.

  • Food: Most people will agree that the onset of seasonal allergies are the worst thing about spring. But the best part? All the farmers’ markets that pop up! The Fairmount Park Spring Market boasts farm-fresh produce from a wealth of local suppliers, with live music from musicians at Beyond the Beat. Activity stations will also be set up to teach kids how to grow and cook their own foods. Fairmount Park (1725 Gerrard Street East), 3 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Film: After two years of hard work, Ryerson’s documentary media graduates are ready to share their masterpieces with the public. The DOCNOW Festival’s two nights of screenings celebrate 31 emerging documentarians who have tackled a range of current issues, all while thinking outside of the conventional film approach. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West), 6 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Poetry: Ann Shin’s The Family China, a cross-platform project featuring a book of poetry, a stop-motion film series, and online interactive component, examines how inanimate objects gain meaning and history, and the liberation brought on by breaking them. This Is Not a Reading Series presents the project launch, which includes an interview with Shin, and most excitingly: people smashing stuff. Attendees are welcome to bring their own piece of family china to break. Please RSVP to thefamilychinarsvp@gmail.com. Soho House, Bishop’s Building (192 Adelaide Street West), 7 p.m., FREE. Details

Ongoing…

  • Music: If you’ve ever watched a musical on DVD and complained that your TV speakers aren’t doing justice to the sound, this is an event for you. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents West Side Story with orchestral accompaniment. Under the direction of conductor Steven Reineke, the TSO will play Leonard Bernstein’s original score, including ‘I Feel Pretty’ and ‘America,’ alongside a remastered hi-def screening of the film. Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe Street), 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $40-$110. Details
  • Theatre: Broadway’s second longest running show prowls into Toronto, boasting an entirely Canadian cast. The all-new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS combines established acting talent, a known and loved score, and holographic set design. Directed by Dave Campbell, and featuring performances by Eric Abel, and original Canadian company member Susan Cuthbert. Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street), 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $40-$110. Details
  • Theatre: One of the Fringe Festival’s greatest successes, and definitely Soulpepper’s biggest post-millennial hit, Ins Choi’s corner store comedy Kim’s Convenience returns for another extended run into the the summer season. Most of the principal cast, including Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as larger-than-life patriarch Appa, are back. Here’s our review of the first Soulpepper remount. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $5–$68. 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: In 1996, Theatre Columbus premiered playwright Michael O’Brien’s “freely adapted” take on the famous Beaumarchais play The Barber of Seville, which was written in 1775. O’Brien’s version mixed in music from the 1816 opera of the same name by Gioachino Rossini, as well as original tunes by composer John Millard. The adaptation also propelled the story forward a couple centuries, with pop culture references galore. With Theatre Columbus co-founder Leah Cherniak at the helm, the musical ended the season with six Dora Award nominations (it won three) and plenty of critical acclaim.

    Seventeen years later, Soulpepper Theatre is remounting this zany reimagination of The Barber of Seville, updated once again by O’Brien, Millard, and Cherniak. But, for some reason—the change in decade, or company, or sense of humour—whatever had made the original so magical, has faded, save for a few key performances. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., $32–$68. Details

  • Performing Arts: If you suffer from coulrophobia, this might be a good week to get out of town. Why? The Toronto Festival of Clowns is descending upon us, bringing over 100 playful (or terrifying, you decide) clowns, bouffons, and physical-theatre artists with it. Choose from a variety of experimental clown shows, playing at two different venues. Multiple venues, 6:30 p.m., Tickets $15. Details
  • Photography: Canadian indie music label, Arts & Crafts, are celebrating their tenth anniversary. As part of the celebrations, they’re showing a new exhibition from Toronto photographer, Norman Wong. The exhibition features images of various artists over the years including Feist, Kevin Drew, Emily Haines, and many more. You’ll be able to buy a book of photography there and a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Testicular Cancer Canada and MusiCounts. 1093 Queen Street West, Unit 2 (1093 Queen Street West), 7 p.m., FREE. 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 Accidental Mechanics Group presents an evening of dark comedy, storytelling, and confessional theatre, all rolled into one solo performance. During El Camino or The Field of Stars, Stewart Legere assumes the role of the unnamed protagonist, recanting tales of a failed relationship, a disastrous trip to Italy, love, and the complexities of a young queer couple struggling with internalized homophobia. Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue), 8 p.m., $15. 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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