In today's Urban Planner: discussing the Dane, depressing tales (not) for children, and a night of music and comedy.
- Theatre: Think of it as a live Canadian version of the BBC’s Shakespeare Uncovered episode on Hamlet. Moderated by Martin Julien, the Hamlet Edition will involve three experienced actors talking about the challenges of playing the Bard’s most famous lead character for the Player to Player discussion series. Ted Dykstra, a founding member of Soulpepper Theatre Company, played Hamlet at Theatre Calgary in the ’90s; Gord Rand, a Shaw festival veteran, played the Dane here in Toronto at World Stage in 2009; and Raoul Bhaneja is the creator and performer of Hamlet: Solo, a work in which he performs (nearly) every part. The Robert Gill Theatre (214 College Street, 3rd floor), 7:30 p.m., FREE. Details
- Theatre: Playwright Erin Fleck has spent the past month in residence at Videofag, (super-heroic runners-up in our Heroes of 2013 poll), and the result is a short workshop run of Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales, a shadow puppet performance of adult fairy tales. The show’s not for children, but adults attending may feel they’ve regressed a bit: the storefront venue’s being turned into a “blanket fort” for the performances, with mostly floor seating (be prepared to get cozy with other audience members). Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue), 8 p.m., PWYC ($10 suggested). Details
- Music: The back room of the Cameron House will play host to a rare mix of both comedy and music, organized by headliner Cat and the Queen. Stand-ups DJ Demers and Brian Ward kick off the night, followed by first music act Crooked House Road; Kathleen Phillips and Chris Locke then take over with more comedy, before being followed by the headliners; and Emmy Rouge closes the night out. Cameron House (408 Queen Street West), 9 p.m., PWYC. Details
- Film: It’s not every day that a media tour opens with the injunction not to photograph “the sex blob,” but so began TIFF’s preview of “David Cronenberg: Evolution,” the organization’s first large-scale touring exhibition (for now, it’s stationed at the TIFF Bell Lightbox’s HSBC Gallery). It’s an exhaustive, stunning look at some of the wildest, most perverse creations of a pioneer of the body-horror genre—who also happens to be Canada’s most internationally renowned filmmaker. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), 12 p.m., $15, $12 students, $5 Tuesdays. Details
- Art: Virginia Woolf once remarked that “On or about December 1910, human character changed.” Whether it actually did is debatable, but the curators of “The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection 1910–1918” use that year to start their exhibition of works from a tumultuous decade of innovation in European fine art. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $16.50–$25 (includes general admission). Details
- Theatre: For the seventh straight year, the darkness of January will be brightened by brilliant stage works. Over the course of 12 days, the Next Stage Theatre Festival takes over the Factory Theatre, featuring 10 new pieces by Fringe Festival alums. Championing the creativity of up-and-coming playwrights, the NSTF bill includes everything from street dance performances to dark satires. Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), all day, $10-$15. Details
- Photography: Ali Eisner is already known for being a puppeteer, composer, and performer. Now she adds another line to her resumé with her debut photography exhibit, “Favourite Things.” As one might expect, each photo in the show depicts a cherished moment, person, or item in her life—you’ll find shots of everything from travelling and architecture, to puppets and musicians such as Kathleen Edwards, Ron Sexsmith, and Serena Ryder. Join her for the opening reception on January 9. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 12 p.m., FREE. 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.