In today's Urban Planner: Shakespeare on the fly, appreciating our urban forest, and rocking out to the War on Drugs.
- Theatre: East end outdoor theatre company Shakespeare in the Ruff will announce its upcoming summer show at the Ruffing It event, a fundraiser that will feature company members performing another Shakespeare play on the fly, reading from “sides” featuring only their lines. In addition to the performance, there’ll be a post-play DJ, door prizes, and a photo booth for playgoer-partiers. Celtic Dance Centre (836 Danforth Avenue), 7 p.m., $12. Details
- Civic Engagement: Toronto took a big hit to its tree canopy over this past winter due to the December ice storm, which felled as much as a fifth of our trees. Mayor Rob Ford has contentiously opposed planting more trees to replace them, despite obvious benefits the tree canopy provides, such as improving air quality, helping the city dissipate heat during the hot summer months, helping soak up storm water, and much more. The City’s LEAF program is hosting a free meeting entitled Benefits of the Urban Forest, where you can learn more about the organization and get involved in conservation efforts in your neighbourhood. , 7 p.m., FREE. Details
- Music: Riding high on great reviews of their new album, Lost in the Dream, The War on Drugs are back for a two-night stand in Toronto. Night one on Monday takes place at The Horseshoe Tavern and features their tour mates, White Laces (the ‘Shoe is where the band played their first few appearances in Toronto). Night two on Tuesday is at Lee’s Palace, where Toronto’s own Andre Ethier is their opening guest. , 9 p.m., $16.50. 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
- Festivals: A week of performing arts programming created by artists 21 and under, The Paprika Festival features readings, theatre and dance performances, and social events that aim to encourage youth involvement in the arts and foster the creation of art by young people. The festival boasts many alumni in the arts and arts-related fields, and this year’s crop of budding writers, directors, and performers may give young-at-heart attendees a glimpse of future Dora-winning work. There’s a double bill of workshopped shows each night of the week, with readings beforehand and late-night cabaret programming afterward. Over the festival’s closing weekend, the evenings turn into full days of arts events. All main-stage shows are $5; unlimited access festival passes can be purchased for $50. Many events are free of charge. For the full programming schedule, consult the festival’s website. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), FREE–$5, $50 festival pass. Details
- Festivals: Taking place in five Canadian cities for the second time, The Spur Festival brings together thinkers, innovators, and academic and creative types for a series of lectures, meetings, and performances on “nationally relevant and locally nuanced” ideas. Here in Toronto from April 3 to April 6, the festival will include noted lawyer Michael Geist on free speech, an urban planning panel moderated by Shawn Micallef, talks by author Cecil Foster and photojournalists Rita Leistner and Mike Kamber, and much more. Many of the events, including the opening and closing parties, are free; a few have ticket prices ranging from $10 to $30. For full details, visit the festival’s website. FREE–$150. 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.