In today's Urban Planner: hit the road for Rio, learn from entrepreneurs, and can can cardio.
Music: There’s no question about it: we could all benefit from a little heat these days. If you can’t escape to the tropics, come out for the Canadian Opera Company’s free presentation of Road to Rio. Pianist and composer Gordon Sheard will conjure thoughts of warmer climates with the help of his students—the Humber Brazilian Jazz Ensemble.
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen Street West), 12 p.m., FREE. Details
- Civic Engagement: If your New Year’s resolution was to stop working for other people, or to finally follow through on your great idea for a product or service, listen up! The Toronto Public Library has organized a How to Be an Entrepreneur workshop for people like you who have questions and fears about taking the plunge. Two local business owners will be present to share their own experiences with starting a company and making it successful. Bloor/Gladstone Branch, Toronto Public Library (1101 Bloor Street West), 6:30 p.m., FREE. Details
- Food: After the indulgence of the holidays, wouldn’t it be nice to incorporate some healthy foods into your diet? Learn to make four delicious and wholesome dishes at the Warming Winter Salads Taster. Instructor and nutritionist Marni Wasserman will demonstrate how to make one of the chosen recipes, before helping the group prepare (and sample) three others. What’s on the menu? Rice, noodles, quinoa, and more—all in salad form! Marni’s Food Studio & Lifestyle Shop (510 Eglinton Avenue West), 7 p.m., $69. Details
- Dance: The Toronto School of Burlesque has added some new sexy classes to its schedule, and want to give you a free sneak peek into what’s coming. Join St. Stella, the bendy buxom blonde herself, for a Can Can Cardio class. Learn the basic moves, a simple choreography, some stretches, and a bit of dance history, all while working off that dreaded winter weight. All you need to bring is a big loose skirt, and a lot of energy! Toronto School of Burlesque (193 Augusta Avenue), 7:30 p.m., FREE. 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
- Theatre: Every revolution needs a leader. And though the movement to bring the classic 1980s musical Les Misérables 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: While vacationing on the Irish Coast, a couple discovers the body of a drowned woman, awakening issues that have been dormant in their marriage. Based on the novel Une vie pour deux, Evelyne de la Chenelière’s Flesh and Other Fragments of Love is a play that straddles the line between detective mystery and ghost story, and examines issues of human intimacy. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., $21-$48. Details
- Theatre: If you’re a fan of Teen Girl Squad, it will be hard to say this play’s name with a straight face. A satire about how to get ahead in the world, The Ugly One focuses on our obsession with beauty and body modification. Reuniting for this Toronto production are the original cast members—Jesse Aaron Dwyre, David Jansen, Hardee T. Lineham, and Naomi Wright. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., $27-$53. 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
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.