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Urban Planner: June 26, 2013

In today's Urban Planner: an outdoor screening of Lost Rivers, Joss Whedon trivia, and Star Trek comedy.

Anything is possible when you combine improv and Star Trek  Photo courtesy of The Dandies

Anything is possible when you combine improv and Star Trek. Photo courtesy of The Dandies.

  • Film: Celebrate the beginning of warm summer nights (well, hopefully) with an outdoor screening of Lost Rivers. Presented by the Homegrown National Park Project, the documentary examines waterways that flow, unseen, beneath our cities. Why is this any better than the other outdoor screenings around town? They’ll have food trucks, a campfire, and marshmallows for toasting! Bring your own blankets or small folding chairs. Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Boulevard), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Books: Descant Magazine salutes the mysterious with the launch of Descant 161: Into the Unknown, A Summer Reader. Contributors Richard Greene, Trista Gilbert, Linda Dobbs (on behalf of Kildare Dobbs), David Mason, Shane Neilson, and Hugh Graham will all read excerpts of their work. Raffle prizes, including handmade jewellery and magazine subscriptions will also be up for grabs. The Ossington (61 Ossington Street), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Music: Miranda Mulholland, the “fiddle ninja” behind Great Lake Swimmers and Belle Star, has revived the salons of La Belle Époque with a concert series in a variety of intimate and unusual venues. The first show in La Belle Éparkdale features performances by Patricia O’Callaghan with Greg Oh, and Miranda with Joe Phillips. Specially tailored snacks and drinks will be provided by gourmet Krysta Oben, and chef Nathan Isberg. The Atlantic (1597 Dundas St West), 8 p.m., $10 suggested. Details
  • Trivia: Grab a partner, or up to five friends, and get ready to strain your brains at Trivia Club. This edition celebrates all things Joss Whedon, while throwing in some pop culture and general knowledge trivia questions, too. Take a break between each of the three rounds—Classic Trivia, Roger Ebert Game, and Jeopardo—to make the most of the food and beverage specials. Or just power on and partake in the drinking games! There are great prizes to be won, after all. Cardinal Rule (5 Roncesvalles Avenue), 8 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Comedy: We all know those actors, the ones that seem to be in every commercial and show on TV. The ones that plague you with the question “where do I know them from?” Now for your pleasure, or perhaps frustration, they’ve all been corralled into one place for the I Seen You on TV improv spectacular. Catch the talented Naomi Snieckus (Mr. D), Albert Howell (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), Susan Coyne (Slings and Arrows), Matt Baram (Seed) and more, as they celebrate the birthday of Kids in the Hall‘s Mark McKinney. Drake Hotel Underground (1150 Queen Street West), 8 p.m., $18 + HST. Details
  • Comedy: The Dandies present Episode 5 of their comedy series, Holodeck Follies: Lights. While there will be Star Trek-themed skits, the whole night is not for Trekkies alone. Expect stand-up by Vanessa Dangerstorm, improv from Twos Company, sketch from Burns & Gallo, music from the 10-Forward band, and more. Black Swan Tavern (154 Danforth Avenue), 9:30 p.m., $7. Details

Ongoing…

  • 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
  • Music: The 2013 Toronto Jazz Festival descends on the city on June 21 with a huge “free for all” event. That means all of Friday, June 21′s programming at every Jazz Festival venue is, yes, completely free of charge. There will be concerts from local favourites Molly Johnson and Mary Margaret O’Hara, plus a show by Smokey Robinson and Martha Reeves, who will be launching the fest from its epicentre, Nathan Phillips Square.

    Here’s a rundown of some of the shows worth checking out on Friday—and during the rest of the festival, when you’ll actually have to pay. Multiple venues, 12 a.m., Prices vary. Details

  • History: The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.

    Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), 12 a.m., $27 (Includes general admission). Details

  • Film: While most festivals are geared towards some specific audience—like the Inside Out Festival or the Jewish Film Festival, for instance—where ReelHeart International Film Festival separates itself from the pack is by welcoming all submissions, as long as they have what the organizers deem to be “real heart.” Big Picture Cinemas (1035 Gerrard Street East), 12 a.m., Tickets $12. Details
  • Performing Arts: Cats is a challenging musical to stage for a number of reasons. The narrative is thin and strange; the lyrics are drawn primarily from T.S. Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats, with more borrowed from some other Eliot poems, “Rhapsody on a Windy Night” (which original director Trevor Nunn adapted into the song “Memory”) and “Moments of Happiness.” The result is not so much a story as ideas and character sketches. Old Deuteronomy, patriarch of the Jellicle Cats, calls the creatures together once a year to celebrate, and for one cat to be chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer (essentially, to die and be reincarnated). Most of the songs detail the adventures and virtues of a single cat in particular, essentially serving as that cat’s audition for the honour of ascension. Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street), 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $60–$110. Details
  • Theatre: There are a lot of chefs in the kitchen for the Canadian premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play, a triptych set in three time periods that tells the stories of amateur actors (played by real actors) involved in staging performances of the story of Christ. Three different Toronto independent theatre companies, all with reputations for innovative staging and creation in their past work, each tackle one of the three acts. Ordinarily, such a complicated arrangement would be to a show’s detriment, but not in this case. While you need to be prepared for a marathon of theatre (the show runs four hours, incluing two intermissions), you’re certainly going to get your money’s worth. Eastminister Church (310 Danforth Avenue), 7 p.m., $25—$30. 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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