In today's Urban Planner: Toronto's next big idea, a rock-and-roll play, and the WOW Project.
- Civic Engagement: The Urban Studies Program at the University of Toronto presents a forum on “big ideas for Toronto.” The Next Big Idea? will be moderated by the Toronto Star‘s Christopher Hume, and feature transit guru Steve Munro, the Maytree Foundation’s Ratna Omidvar, Pembina Institute’s Cherise Burda, and ERA Architects’ Graeme Stewart discussing architecture, urban planning, and Toronto’s cityscape, present and future. The event is free, but reservations are required. Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue), 6:30 p.m., FREE (RSVP required). Details
- Theatre: Sam Shepard and Patti Smith’s torrid love affair in the early ’70s resulted in Cowboy Mouth, a helter-skelter impression of a lost weekend (or longer) spent in a hotel room while hazy from drugs, alcohol, and rock and roll. The play was last seen in Toronto in the summer of 2013 as part of the Playwrights Project; now, there’s a short, week-long run at Sterling Theatre, featuring Oliver Pigott as rock star Slim, Danka Scepanovic as his manipulative muse Cavale, and Nick Stojanovic as the enigmatic Lobster Man. Each night of the run will feature a different local musical act. Sterling Theatre (163 Sterling Road), 8 p.m., $15–$20. Details
- Theatre: For the third edition of The WOW Project, a series examining “Theatrical Representations of Queer Women in Canada, past, present, and future,” there’ll be a staged reading of Mel Hague’s Theatrical Essay: All the Stuff That Keeps People Apart. Lindsey Clark, who recently starred in Scheherazade at the Next Stage Festival, and Natasha Greenblatt, co-creator of Flush: The Series (and recently announced as a member of the National Arts Centre’s 2014-2015 company), play two women who “circle each other” in life and love. There’ll be a discussion of the work after the performance with the three creators, and the bar will, of course, be open for business. Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue), 8 p.m., PWYC. Details
- Art: If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), all day, $27 adults. Details
- Theatre: Playwright Bobby Del Rio was inspired to write The Trial of Ken Gass, a Kafkaesque look at a man’s encounter with an officious bureaucrat, by the ousting of Factory Theatre’s artistic director by its board of directors (who earned themselves a place in our Villains roster in 2012). The play is less interested in the scandal’s details, however, and more in the different ways people react when confronted by an unreasonable person who’s the gatekeeper for an uncaring system. To drive the point home, as in the original production, Del Rio has cast a different performer every night to play the title character, who’s put through the wringer by a mercurial investigator played by Jess Salguiero. Among the guest “Gasses” are playwright Matthew Edison, comedian Sandra Battaglini, and cabaret performer Ryan G. Hinds. Big Picture Cinema (1035 Gerrard Street East), 8 p.m., $15. Details
- Art: You should not, would not miss this event if you’ve ever read Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or Green Eggs and Ham. Why? The Art of Dr. Seuss is coming to Casa Loma! Presented by Liss Gallery, the exhibit features over 30 paintings, drawings, and sculptures showcasing the mind of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Come during March Break (March 8-15) to take advantage of extra-Seussy programming, including storytelling, arts and crafts, and live performances. Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace), 9:30 a.m., $27, $17 kids, $21 seniors. Details
- Fashion: Ichimaru—once one of Japan’s most famous geishas—left the profession in the 1930s to pursue a career in entertainment. Never really leaving her past life, she became known for adorning herself in the traditional geisha garb when performing in concert or on television. “From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru” exhibits several decades’ worth of outfits and personal effects, shedding light on the woman behind the makeup. Textile Museum of Canada (55 Centre Avenue), 11 a.m., $6–$15. Details
- Music: Veteran balladeer Danny Michel will be spending his March Mondays at the Dakota Tavern with his band and special surprise guests. The first edition’s guests included down-to-earth astronaut Chris Hadfield, who snapped the banner image above. Michel’s calling his residency School Night Mondays, and tickets are available in advance for each Monday (and will likely go fast). Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Avenue), 8 p.m., $20. 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.