In today's Urban Planner: interactive, history-oriented theatre at the Brick Works; posters for nonexistent Canadian horror movies; and Holodeck Follies returns.
- Theatre: Evergreen Brick Works may be a cool place to ride a bike or check out a farmer’s market, but it also has a rich history that many people don’t know about. Memory in the Mud brings light to these stories with a unique style of roving, interactive theatre courtesy of Words in Motion. Learn about the people who lived and worked at Brick Works throughout the years, including German prisoners of war and those who were left homeless during the Great Depression. Young Welcome Centre, Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Avenue), 1 p.m., $5 children, $10 adults. Details
- Art: In celebration of Fan Expo and Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear, Steam Whistle’s August art show is all about horror-movie poster art. If They Came From Within: An Alternative History of Canadian Horror Movies features imaginary horror films from the twisted minds of filmmakers Bruce McDonald, Tony Burgess, Jason Eisener, Donna Davies, Rodrigo Gudiño, and even curator (Rue Morgue editor-in-chief) Dave Alexander. Each title has been movie-posterized by the equally twisted hands of “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin, Paige Reynolds, Justin Erickson, Jason Edmiston, and Andrew Wright, among others. Many of the filmmakers and artists will be in attendance for the launch party. The art exhibit runs all month. Steam Whistle Brewing (255 Bremner Boulevard), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
- Comedy: The Dandies return to the stage with Holodeck Follies: Episode 7, your monthly fill of Star Trek-themed improv! This time, the crew of the U.S.S. Albatross faces a whole new adventure—taking on a Borg exchange student. Not a sci-fi geek? Fear not, this variety show contains plenty of “regular” stand-up and sketch courtesy of special guests Ben Ball, Taylor Abrahamse, and Garrett Jamieson, with music from Copy Red Leader and the 10-Forward Band. Black Swan Tavern (154 Danforth Avenue), 8 p.m., $7. Details
- Poetry: For 20 years, Dwayne Morgan has been revolutionizing Spoken Word with his writing and live performances. By popularizing poetry slams in Ontario, he has paved the way for many up-and-coming poets. Join the Godfather of the Canadian Spoken Word scene as he celebrates his two decade-long career with readings of his favourite pieces from over the years. Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas Street West), 8:30 p.m., $20 advance. 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
- Theatre: If Fringe and SummerWorks aren’t enough to satisfy your summer theatre cravings, the world-renowned Stratford Festival is now only a bus ride away from downtown Toronto, thanks to the new Stratford Direct bus route (“the best thing [the Festival] has done in years” according to one usher at the Avon Theatre). Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino has put together a season to please tastes from the traditional to the extravagant. Here’s what we think about five of Stratford’s current productions. Multiple venues, 12 a.m., $25–$175. Details
- Art: Flight: A Thrilling History of an Idea is a new exhibition from the Toronto Reference Library that gathers a number of rare items that explore the theme of the possible and the impossible. Some of the highlights on display are La vingtième siècle: la vie électrique (a rare French book that shows how scientific discoveries would have affected people in 1955), Tame (a sci-fi pulp magazine), and Worldly Wisdom (watercolour that depicts a Leonardo da Vinci-like figure creating a winged flying machine). You’ll find the exhibition in the library’s TD Gallery. Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street), 12 a.m., FREE. Details
- Film: When Animal House first turned the toga into suitable party attire in 1978, the landscape of the film comedy was forever altered. TOGA! The Reinvention of American Comedy, a new film series that kicked off Wednesday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, seeks to chart the changing comedic sensibilities that have occurred in the years since the film’s release. From big budget blockbusters, to libido-fuelled sex romps, to carefully calibrated exercises in nuance and timing, the selections in the program are some of the funniest films ever made. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), 12 a.m., $8.50–$12. Details
- Music: Go on, escape the office for an extended lunch break and take in the tastes and sounds of Fresh Wednesdays. Each week, a different Canadian artist performs as you purchase baked goods and locally-grown produce from the farmer’s market. Pop singer-songwriter Justin Dubé kicks off the concert series, followed by Beat Café featuring poetry by Raine Maida (July 17), rising folk-pop stars Emma Lee and Peter Katz (August 7), and more. Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen Street West), 12:30 p.m., FREE. Details
Theatre: Musical theatre has a reputation for sometimes being out of touch and old-fashioned, so the prospect of Mirvish Productions bringing a tour of Cole Porter’s 1934 musical Anything Goes to Toronto wasn’t especially heartening at first—even if this particular production, by New York City’s Roundabout Theatre Company, won three 2011 Tony Awards.
But say, pal, wouldn’t you know, we were downright tickled to have such a good time at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The jokes are still corny, the songs still melodramatic, and the script still has some pretty racist content, but the show manages to transcend its era. Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West), 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., $29–$130. Details
- Games: If you’ve never played Settlers of Catan, you’re probably wondering what could be more dull than spending your evening playing a board game about old-timey landowners. But that’s because you haven’t played it, yet. Gladstone Hotel aims to change that with their Summers of Catan program. Every Wednesday, gather with other Catan-fans, drink specially discounted beer, and get settled! Bring your own boards, or use those provided. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 6 p.m., FREE. Details
- Dance: Like something out of a movie (except, you know, Footloose), you can spend your summer nights dancing in the open air of the Town Square. Join Dexter and Janice of DjDance as they lead Latin Salsa classes twice a week, all summer. Shops at Don Mills (1090 Don Mills Road), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
- Theatre: Perhaps Soulpepper’s most ambitious theatrical project yet, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America is a seven-hour epic set against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis of the 80′s and 90′s. The play earned a Pulitzer Prize and Tony awards (for the stage versions), and Golden Globes and Emmys (for the HBO miniseries.) Broken down into Parts I and II (sub-titled Millennium Approaches and Perestroika), the company is presenting the two plays in repertory on a nightly basis (save for Sunday evenings) and strongly urges viewers to see them in order. (Full day “marathons” begin in August.) There’s a video with director Albert Schultz and the cast’s thoughts on the project during rehearsal; previews being on July 19, with Millennium Approaches opening on July 31 and Perestroika) on August 1. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 7:30 p.m., $5-$68. Details
- Theatre: The Unit 102 Theatre Actors Company has brought the rapscallions of Parkdale back for another round with P-Dale Episode 4: Rise of Los Muchos. While facing gentrification, the gang must fight Los Muchos to protect their home turf. As one might imagine, hilarity and disaster ensue. Unit 102 Theatre (376 Dufferin Street), 8 p.m., $15. Details
Theatre: In the 31st year of Shakespeare in High Park, Canadian Stage has programmed two productions that are performed on alternating evenings. The two plays could not be more different.
Both Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew involve manipulative spouses and deceptive plots—but where one ends in marriages and love, the other ends with bloodshed and terror. One is infamously problematic, and the other is one of Shakespeare’s most popular. And the two directors, Ted Witzel and Ker Wells, both of whom join Shakespeare in High Park after completing a directing program held in collaboration between Canadian Stage and York University, only exaggerate the differences. High Park Amphitheatre (1873 Bloor St. W.), 8 p.m., PWYC. Details
- Film: Love is in the air this summer as TIFF in the Park returns for another season of outdoor film screenings, showcasing the best romances from across the decades. Bring a blanket and get comfy on the lawn (yes, the Entertainment District has green space, too) to enjoy everything from Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, to Casablanca, Sleepless in Seattle, and The Notebook. David Pecaut Square (221 King Street West), 9 p.m., FREE. Details
- Film: Do you feel guilty about staying indoors in front of your TV when it’s nice outside? There’s a way around that—sitting by the lake and catching great films every week with Harbourfront’s Free Flicks. This year, NOW Magazine’s Norm Wilner has chosen a crop of imagination-stretching films from notable directors and writers. From Little Shop of Horrors, to The Triplets of Belleville, and That Thing You Do!, each title resides, at least a little bit, in the fantasy world. Harbourfront, WestJet Stage (235 Queens Quay West), 9 p.m., FREE. Details
- Games: Some people never outgrow their love of childhood outdoor games. If you’re one of them, you need to join the Manhunt Toronto network. Every week they stake out a different corner of the city to engineer a series of “radical” games of Hide and Seek, Capture the Flag, Freeze Tag, and Octopus in parks and urban spaces. Check their site to find out where to meet up each night. Multiple venues, 9 p.m., FREE. Details
- Theatre: The Bad Dog Theatre Company is celebrating the return of TV’s Breaking Bad in their own special way—by putting on a tribute show. A five-week improv comedy serial, Faking Bad, follows the trials and tribulations of a high school home economics teacher looking to make easy money in the drug world. Featuring performances from Bruce Hunter, Conor Holler, Dan Beirne, Dale Boyer, Nigel Downer, James Gangl, and Craig Anderson. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 9:30 p.m., $12 adults, $10 students. 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.