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Urban Planner: April 1, 2014

In today's Urban Planner: classic tunes for a good cause, paint like Monet, and terrifically funny women.

(R-L) Jorge Molina, Chris O’Sullivan, Laura Jabalee, Penelope Corrin. Photo by Samantha Hurley

  • Music: A group of George Brown College students is raising funds for MusiCounts, supporting future generations of musicians with a show made up of tunes from decades past. Take Back Tuesday aims to bring attendees down memory lane, and boasts covers of hits from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s played by the Beatlers, Fleetwood Mix, and Johnny & the X’s. More than just a concert, the evening also includes auctions, games, and tasty treats! The Opera House (735 Queen Street East), 7 p.m., $20, $15 for GBC students, $25 at the door. Details
  • Theatre: Great theatre comes and goes, and you either see it while it’s playing, or wait for a remount. The On Stage On Demand series is looking to change that by capturing past hit indie plays on film—and they’re opening up the performances for free to a live audience. The shows being performed and taped include past hits like Of Mice and Morro and Jasp (which is already fully reserved), Antoine Feval, and Supperfesta. Admission is free, but you’ll want to reserve your tickets before the shows hit capacity. The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Art: It’s April 1—a time when we can truly start hoping that spring will start springing! Even if it doesn’t, we suggest that you put your flowery daydreams onto canvas and stare at them longingly. Seriously, head over to Paintlounge and take part in its workshop on creating Monet’s Waterlilies. Supplies and instruction will be provided; you just need to bring your lust for learning. All classes, regardless of difficulty, are geared toward the most amateur of artists. Sign up, and give it a try. Paintlounge (784 College Street), 7:30 p.m., $40. Details
  • Theatre: Sparrowhawk Theatre knows that times are tough, which is why it’s presenting two one-act plays for the price of one! Directed by Steven Holmberg, Norm Foster’s My Narrator and The Death of Me promise to be honest, unique, and un-pretentious theatre experiences for both audience and cast. Prepare to get up close and personal with stars Penelope Corrin, Roger Doche, Laura Jabalee, Jorge Molina, and Chris O’Sullivan at this intimate venue. Unit 102 Theatre (376 Dufferin Street), 8 p.m., $16 + fees. Details
  • Comedy: If nobody was able to amuse you with a well-executed prank this April Fool’s Day, Steph Kaliner and Sara Hennessey can help. Their monthly cable access-themed show, Terrific Women, is bound to inspire a few giggles, especially since Andrew Johnston, Kathleen Phillips, and Evany Rosen are among their special guests. The Ossington (61 Ossington Avenue), 9 p.m., PWYC. Details

Ongoing…

  • 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
  • Fashion: If a period drama has ever inspired you to visit the past, but you couldn’t because you didn’t have access to a time machine, listen up! The Spadina Museum is taking history, television, and fashion fans alike back to the Edwardian era with its “Dressing for Downton: The Costumes of Downton Abbey” exhibit. Twenty pieces from the hit show will be on display, along with the City of Toronto’s own collection of garments from the time. Attendees will also be treated to Downton Abbey–themed tours of the century home. Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Road), all day, $25–$30 + tax. 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
  • Dance: Told through South American music and dance, Arrabal is the story of a young girl desperate to find out what happened to her father after the Argentine military made him disappear when she was just a baby. Her search leads her to the Tango clubs of Buenos Aires, where she discovers both the truth, and herself. Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street), 8 p.m., $44–$84. Details
  • Theatre: In line with Tarragon Theatre‘s theme for it 2013/2014 season– “Love, Loss, Wine and the Gods”—the company is currently presenting two one-act plays that document the journey of two very different romantic relationships. The first, in the Tarragon Extra Space, is Duncan MacMillan’s brilliant Lungs, which receives an equally brilliant production from director Weyni Mengesha and actors Lesley Faulkner and Brendan Gall. Lungs is a touching and entertaining portrayal of a couple in love—but above all, it’s honest. It’s that honesty that the show next door in the Tarragon Mainspace, Stephen Sondheim’s song cycle Marry Me a Little, is lacking. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., $21–$53. Details

Happening soon:

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.

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