In today's Urban Planner: local-theatre trivia, the Rowers Reading Series returns, and Ketamines play a show.
- Games: The Toronto Alliance For the Performing Arts (TAPA), which manages, among other things, the Dora Mavor Moore Awards and TO Tix (the half-price ticket booth at Yonge-Dundas Square), is big on all things theatre—including local-theatre trivia. That’s why it’s launching the Toronto Theatre Trivia Game Show—or The Game for short—at Theatre Passe Muraille, with teams from Toronto’s theatre community. The Actors’ team captain is Richard Lee, the Directors’ captain is Franco Boni, the Managers’ captain is Sara Meurling, and the Playwrights have David Craig. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), 7 p.m., PWYC. Details
- Books: The Rowers Reading Series is gradually drifting westward from its original location (Rower’s Pub, now Harbord House). It will begin holding readings at Measure (formerly Annex Live) in November, but for this kick-off season opener, the event will take place at the Victory Cafe. Readers for this edition include actor and poet Lois Lorimer, fiction writer Ayelet Tsabari, CBC “writer to watch” Ian Williams, and former Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada John Steffler. Victory Cafe (581 Markham Street), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
- Music: It’s a bit hard for music writers these days to overlook Ketamines bassist and singer Paul Lawton’s blogging habits. That’s because Layton was the (eventually exposed) harsh wit behind Slagging Off, a blog that ripped on lacklustre bands on the Canadian Music Week 2013 bill. But chances are, punk fans aren’t going to care much about Layton’s offstage (and online) habits, they just want to see a band that rocks. And given Layton’s discriminating taste, Ketamines and their guests—local band Mexican Slang, Victoria’s Freak Heat Wave, and Calgary’s Viet Cong—should fit the bill. Izakaya Sushi House (294 College Street), 9 p.m., $5. 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: “Face to Place,” a photo exhibition at St. Lawrence Market’s Market Gallery, is a raw and nostalgic attempt at capturing urban life in a city that’s constantly changing. The Market Gallery (95 Front St. East), 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
- Art: Don’t worry: everyone’s favourite crisp-voiced actor is still alive and well. “R.I.P. Morgan Freeman” is actually an art exhibition that takes inspiration from last year’s false rumours that Freeman had passed away. The show aims to honour the man best known as the guy who plays God. If the incredible image above is any indication, this is well worth checking out. Gallery 1313 (1313 Queen Street West), 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
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.