In today's Urban Planner: a screening of The Third Man, The Nefarious Bed and Breakfast is open for business, and a haunted cabaret.
- Poetry: World Poetry Slam Champion Ian Keteku has performed all over the globe, and will grace Toronto with his presence at the latest edition of the Queen Gallery Poetry Night. Using the power of voice, Keteku spreads messages of peace, social justice, and critical thought. Come by to witness his inspirational spoken word, and perhaps give a performance of your own. The stage will be open to anyone who wishes to share his or her own music or poetry. Queen Gallery (382 Queen Street East), 6:30 p.m., $5 suggested donation. Details
- Film: This edition of Book Revue takes a look at the Oscar-winning 1949 urban-noir film The Third Man. Shot on location in war-ravaged Vienna, the city itself contributes as much to the feel of the movie as its soundtrack and script. Following the screening, Toronto Star architecture critic Christopher Hume will lead a discussion on both film and the novel it’s based on. The Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles Avenue), 6:45 p.m., $13. Details
- Theatre: Once a famed Canadian supervillain, Dr. Nefarious has retired to pursue a less evil existence out of the public eye. This new life includes a bed and breakfast, which he has opened with his invisible wife and his henchman, Half-Ape. Of course, with a setup like this, the B&B is guaranteed to get all sorts of normal guests…or not. Join the motley crew of The Nefarious Bed and Breakfast as they bumble through their opening weekend. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), 7:30 p.m., $20. Details
- Books: You probably think you’re pretty open-minded and sexually liberated, don’t you? Well, how would you react if your significant other started working in the porn industry? Writer Emily Southwood faced this very conundrum, and decided to put her experience in a memoir. Prude: Lessons I Learned When My Fiancé Filmed Porn details her jealousy, insecurities, and new-found perspectives on pornography and its effect on our relationships, sexuality, and self-esteem. Join her for a live reading and discussion of the book, and enjoy tasty snacks provided by Samuel J. Moore. Copies of the book will be available for purchase from Another Story Bookshop. The Great Hall, Conversation Room (1087 Queen Street West), 7:30 p.m., $15, $10 students. Details
- Performing Arts: What’s the scariest story you’ve ever been told? Back Burner Productions will help jog your memory with BOO! A Haunted Cabaret. Join a cast of clowns, poets, comedians, musicians, puppeteers, and dancers as they tell tales of terror. This one-night-only showcase features performances by Sage Tyrtle, Natalie Frijia, Chris Rouse, SidePony Nation and more. Unit 102 Theatre (376 Dufferin Street), 8 p.m., $10. 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
- 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
- Books: For its 34th birthday, the International Festival of Authors is actually getting younger. One of the themes this year is Brave New Word, a Huxleyan allusion referring not to the demise of books (a Brave New World scenario), but to the next generation of notable writers participating in the festival. Among this group is Canadian-born author Eleanor Catton, who last week, at age 28, became the youngest person ever to win the Man Booker Prize (for her second novel, The Luminaries). Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), all day, FREE–$100 (most events $15–$25). 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
- Art: Throughout history, witches have typically been depicted as ugly women with evil powers. Not to mention, they’re usually found preying on children, riding brooms, and donning black cloaks and pointed hats. But is this accurate? Just in time for Halloween, “Witch” has materialized to challenge our previously held notions on the topic. The art exhibition includes pieces from over 20 artists that explore the history and concept of the witch. Elephant Shoes (1342 Bloor Street West), 12 p.m., $5 suggested admission. Details
- Film: The punchiest distillation of Claire Denis’s film style might well be in 2002’s Vendredi soir, a sublime romance in its own right and a highlight of Objects of Desire: The Cinema of Claire Denis, TIFF Cinematheque’s upcoming retrospective of the celebrated French auteur’s work. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), 6:30 p.m., Tickets $12. Details
- Theatre: Every revolution needs a leader. And though the movement to bring the classic 1980s musical Les Miserables back to Toronto is markedly different than the quest for political accountability and social equality, it has its hero just the same. After Wednesday night’s official opening performance at the Princess of Wales Theatre, the audience likely would have followed London-based, Richmond Hill-raised performer Ramin Karimloo (as the story’s golden-hearted protagonist, Jean Valjean) anywhere he would lead. Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West), 7:30 p.m., $35–$130. Details
- Theatre: The List is a Governor General Award-winning play in which the lone actress is lit up only by a single projector, which is used to visually illustrate the character’s emotions. Torri Higginson stars as a woman who speaks to the audience from her kitchen (her neighbour is dead; is she to blame?) in this story about everyday to-do lists. The Artisan Factory (344 Westmoreland Avenue), 8 p.m., $20 advance, $16 door. Details
Theatre: On stage now at the Panasonic Theatre are 85 tiny pieces of artwork. Beautifully detailed, textured, colourful, and startlingly evocative, these creations are intensely mesmerizing—even when hanging lifeless on a display wall, their toothless mouths gaping open.
When they get hands stuck up their asses, though, it’s an entirely different story.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Mirvish Productions announced an expanded season last month that includes the following: Chicago, starring Elvis Stojko; this year’s Toronto Fringe hit The Musical of Musicals, the Musical!; and Puppet Up: Uncensored, which began a short engagement in Toronto last night. Billed as “a live, outrageous, comedy, variety show for adults only,” the show elicited genuine childlike enthusiasm from audience members. They had likely grown up watching Jim Henson’s beloved puppets on the The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock (or in the more sinister Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal). But Puppet Up: Uncensored is a very different from your average puppet show. Co-created by Brian Henson (Jim’s son) and comedian Patrick Bristow under the Henson Alternative label, these puppets are weird, foul-mouthed, and dirty. Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie would be appalled. Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street), 8 p.m., $19–$79. Details
Theatre: Sheila Heti is getting by with a little help from her friends.
In her acclaimed novel, How Should a Person Be?—which has attracted favorable notice from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Salon, and others—the 36-year-old writer documented her epic struggle to write a play about two families who meet on vacation in Paris. The play is her nemesis, a challenge seemingly insurmountable, and it throws her confidence and her friendships for a loop. Until now, that is, because that very play, All Our Happy Days Are Stupid, had its world premiere on Thursday night. Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue), 8 p.m., PWYC to $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.