In today's Urban Planner: the first Yonge-Dundas beer garden of the season, Critical Mass, and Hooded Fang releases an album.
- Outdoors: Yonge-Dundas Square, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, will be the site of many festivals and parties over the summer, and while the Corona Paint Party isn’t an official kickoff, it is the first event of the summer in the square to boast a beer garden. Coronas themselves won’t be free, but everything else, including paint supplies and coveralls (for the messy mayhem), food and live music—provided by Pup, The Elwins, and Paul Disalle and the Terminators—is complimentary (while supplies and capacity last), Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas Street East), 4 p.m., FREE. Details
- Music: Woodbine Park’s 9th Annual Waterfront Blues, the outdoor festival that bills itself as “metro Toronto’s only Blues festival,” runs for three days over this weekend. Aficionados of the music form will certainly recognize acts like Fathead. Past hit performers at the festival like Eugene Hideaway Bridges are back, as well as new performers (to the festival) like Deanna Bogart. The festival is all ages, and free to all. Woodbine Park (EasternAvenue and Coxwell Avenue), 6 p.m., FREE. Details
- Wheels: The ad hoc group bike ride Critical Mass, which happens on the last Friday of every month, isn’t really a protest. Rather, it’s a boisterous reminder to downtown Torontonians that large numbers of people in the core use bicycles on city street for transportation, and for fun. Cyclists gather at Matt Cohen Park at the corner of Spadina Avenue and Bloor Street for a 6:30 p.m. departure on an unplanned and leaderless ride through the city. Matt Cohen Park (393 Bloor Street West), 6:30 p.m., FREE. Details
- Music: Hooded Fang helped support the Bicycles last month when that band released their latest record, and really knocked our socks off. Now, Hooded Fang are hosting their own CD release for their buzzed-about third LP Gravez, with guests Blonde Elvis, Planet Creature, and Weaves. Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen Street West), 8 p.m., $15. 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
- 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: 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), 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), 7:30 p.m., $5–$68. 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
- 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), 8 p.m., Prices vary. Details
- Theatre: Hold Mommy’s Cigarette is a one-woman show written and performed by Shelley Marshall (who was also nominated for Best Female Stand Up by the Canadian Comedy Awards). It tells an autobiographical tale of a street kid who grew up to be a world-renowned comedian. Directed by Linda Kash. Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley Street), 8 p.m., $20-25. 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), 8 p.m., $32–$68. Details
- Comedy: Comedy and life partners Matt Baram (CityTV’s Seed) and Naomi Snieckus (CBC’s Mr. D) are workshopping a new show format (“come see it get built right before your eyes!”) in a weekly residency in April and May at Second City’s Training Centre. The master improvisers and co-creators of Script Tease have been busy touring and on television of late, and these Baram and Snieckus shows will be a rare opportunity to see our 2010 hero nominees in a back to basics comedy format. John Candy Box Theatre (70 Peter Street), 8:30 p.m., PWYC. 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), 9 p.m., $15-$25. Details
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.