In today's Urban Planner: Toronto Masque Theatre holds a retrospective, a variety show with Stephen Eyes, and Dawn Whitwell hosts an improv showcase.
- Music: Toronto Masque Theatre is celebrating 10 years or reviving baroque opera, music, and dance with a Retrospective Salon, showing excerpts of their past work, as an introduction to their new season. The programming will obviously double as an introduction to the multi-disciplinary company’s work, too. Actor Martin Julien, soprano singer Teri Dunn, and choreographer Alice Ho are just some of the guests on the retrospective bill. The Studio (21 Shaftesbury Avenue), 7:30 p.m., PWYC fundraiser. Details
- Talks: Sometime variety talk show host Stephen Eyes is back with another edition of Eyes on Eyes, celebrating a diverse selection of Toronto-based talent (and his own birthday). Eyes’s guests at this show will include actress and author Katie Boland; comics Ron Sparks, Fraser Young, and Ryan Belleville; and musical guests The Cybertronic Spree. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 8 p.m., $15. Details
- Comedy: Dawn Whitwell typically hosts a weekly stand-up showcase, Dawn Patrol, on Monday nights. But every so often, she flips the format over to an improv showcase with Wand Portal—and considering the glut of stand-up the week prior with the JFL42 festival, it should be a welcome change of pace. On the bill for the show are Aurora Browne, Gavin Crawford, and Carolyn Taylor, among others. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 8:30 p.m., $7. 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), all day, $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, all day, $25–$175. Details
Art: If you look out the window while riding the bus from downtown to Markham, you’ll notice the urban landscape gradually unfolding into the suburban: tight-knit city streets loosen into faster multi-lane roads, box stores assemble in beige-brick clusters, and everywhere new structures are being outstripped by even newer buildings at various stages of completion.
Markham just upgraded itself from town to city in July 2012, and is one of the fastest-growing and most diverse municipalities in the country. And while the place may not inspire many enthusiastic road-trips from downtowners, Land|Slide Possible Futures, a new, large-scale public-art exhibition, invites visitors to explore Markham’s history, its quickly changing present, and its potential evolution—while also challenging glib notions surrounding the suburbs themselves. Markham Museum (9350 Markham Road), all day, FREE. Details
- Art: When it was originally unveiled at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (England, not Ontario), the “David Bowie Is” exhibition shattered attendance records, selling over 42,000 advance tickets. Now that the show has come to Toronto, it’s easy to see why it was so successful. Composed of over 300 objects from David Bowie’s personal archive, spanning his entire career, the exhibit is arranged and presented as a completely immersive experience, enveloping visitors in a kaleidoscopic visual and aural landscape that would be overwhelming if it weren’t so brilliantly arranged and intelligently guided. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $30 (includes general admission). Details
- History: Looking to brush up your cultural and history knowledge on all things Toronto? Heritage Toronto 2013 Tours offers you an enormous chance to learn tons and tons about the city you love via walking tours, bike tours, and more. Some of the events on the agenda of this weekly series include tours of Fort York, Korea Town, Don Valley, and Black Creek. It’s running all summer long so don’t miss out! Multiple venues, all day, FREE. Details
- Theatre: Like the company’s recent triumph, Angels in America, Soulpepper’s newest show, The Norman Conquests, requires multiple trips to the theatre—or a hearty constitution for a full day of marathon attendance. Unlike Angels in America, the three instalments of The Norman Conquests—Table Manners, Living Together, and Round and Round the Garden—are comic in nature and small in scope, with each instalment taking place in a different part of a couple’s house. Written by prolific British playwright Alan Ayckbourn, the three-part series features veteran members of the Soulpepper ensemble, and can be “enjoyed individually or in any combination.” Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), all day, $51–$68. Details
- Comedy: Improv troupe The Dandies presents Clockwork Orange Is The New Black, an improvised mash-up of Netflix’s hit womens’-prison series Orange Is The New Black and Anthony Burgess’s dystopian street-crime novel (and Stanley Kubrick’s film) A Clockwork Orange. Comic Nicole Dunn stars as Alexa Chapman, a new inmate who volunteers for a an experimental treatment program. Over three weekly Monday shows, the audience will help decide how that turns out. Measure (296 Brunswick Ave), 7:30 p.m., $5. Details
- Theatre: FIXED is a play by Zack Russell that describes itself as a “cross-generation mash-up of gay inventors looking for their fix.” The show’s main character, Gayle, invents a hook-up app that broadcasts men right into a user’s home. What could go wrong? Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue), 8 p.m., $10. 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.