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events

Urban Planner: April 24, 2014

In today's Urban Planner: Notable Canadians get lit, a musical birthday party, and a brew-tal improv battle.

Up-and-coming improvisors battle it out at BeerProv’s The Draft. Photo courtesy of RAW Photography.

  • Books: Musicians, writers, and athletes are coming together to Get Lit in support of a great cause. Several notable Canadians will take the stage to read from pieces of literature that inspired their success. Participants include Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham, the Globe and Mail‘s Robyn Doolittle, Olympic hurdler Perdita Felicien, artist and fashion designer Jeremy Laing, the Lang & O’Leary Exchange‘s Amanda Lang, and Frank Viva, the creative director of Viva & Co. All proceeds from the event will go to The Running & Reading Club, an after-school program that promotes literacy and physical activity among economically challenged children across the country. Neubacher Shor Contemporary Gallery (5 Brock Avenue), 6 p.m., $100, $60 for under 25. Details
  • Music: What do you do when you’re the founder of one of the longest-running music blogs in Toronto and you hit a milestone age? Well, you throw a birthday party show, of course. Mechanical Forest Sound presents I’m Forty Now, a night of celebration featuring performances by Light Fires, Sacred Lamp, Marker Starling, and Not the Wind, Not the Flag. TRANZAC (292 Brunswick Avenue), 7 p.m., PWYC. Details
  • Comedy: In the city there exists an event where the beer flows freely and the spirit of competition inspires top-notch comedic performances. That event is BeerProv’s The Draft. What is it? A slew of amateur improvisers going head to head in a series of elimination games in hopes of getting the honour of drinking from the Mini-Mug of Champions. Watch Anesti Daniels, Dale Wells, Emma Viola-Robinson, Jordan Markowski, Nicole Dunn, Simon McCamus, and many others give their all in what should be a brew-tal battle. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 9:30 p.m., $15. 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
  • Art: “The greatest art always returns you to the vulnerabilities of the human situation.” – Francis Bacon

    “In the human figure one can express more completely one’s feelings about the world than in any other way.” – Henry Moore

    These quotations, which welcome visitors to Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty,” immediately establish the exhibition’s tone and focus. Each artist’s distortions of the human figure, shaped by their wartime experiences, capture the vulnerability of our mortal forms. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $25 adults. Details

  • Theatre: Shakespeare’s Ophelia and Desdemona find new life in Danya Buonastella, Dean Gilmour, Nina Gilmour, and Michele Smith’s Death Married My Daughter. In this satire, these women—resurrected from the swamps of death—take great pleasure in shaking up Man’s society while exposing their murderers and abusers. The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West), 7 p.m., $23. Details
  • Theatre: Every year, Playwright Project brings theatre lovers together to celebrate one deserving writer. This year, Caryl Churchill’s works will get the spotlight treatment for two weeks at The Downstage. Vinegar Tom, A Number, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You, and Three More Sleepless Nights will each be showcased several times throughout the festival. The Downstage (798 Danforth Avenue), 7 p.m., $10–$15. Details
  • Theatre: After a long, cold winter, Toronto is coming alive with The Sound of Music! This Rodgers and Hammerstein classic will brighten the Randolph Theatre stage for four weeks with some of the best-known and loved musical pieces in theatre history. Set against the darkness of Nazi-occupied Austria, the story centres around Maria—an aspiring nun—and the von Trapp family she learns to love. The Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst St.), 7:30 p.m., $39–$69. Details
  • Theatre: It’s 1977, and a group of friends in England are gathering for a soirée. A pretty standard concept, that’s for sure, but Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party takes things to another level with a playful romp through the lives of these suburban socialites. Witness the hilarity and awkwardness as the hostess from hell metaphorically tears her guests to pieces. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), 7:30 p.m., $25–$29.50. Details
  • Theatre: Zack and Abby are the couple that others envy—the ones who seem to have it all. But secrets hide behind the beautiful home, the loving marriage, and the promising careers. Company Theatre’s Belleville—produced in association with Canadian Stage—explores the darkness that’s revealed in this seemingly perfect relationship after Abby finds her husband at home one day when he’s supposed to be at work. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), 8 p.m., $22–$49. Details
  • Theatre: We’ll bet you’ve never had a dinner party quite as interesting as this one. Mark Leith invites you to sit down with the founder of political spin, Edward Bernays; the inventor of propaganda, Dr. Joseph Goebbels; and the spearhead of the war on terror, Karl Rove—in the Act 2 Studio Works production of Dinner With Goebbels. Red Sandcastle Theatre (922 Queen Street East), 8 p.m., $22. Details
  • Theatre: Despite its provocative title, there’s actually very little that’s controversial about Mike Bartlett’s Cock, making its Canadian premiere at the Theatre Centre. Its subject matter might have been viewed as more controversial in 2009, when the play premiered at the Royal Court in London—but after five years, this story of a love triangle between two men and a woman has lost part of its taboo-challenging appeal. Luckily, though, its emotional appeal has endured. The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West), 8 p.m., $25–$35. Details
  • Theatre: If you’re in the mood for a murder mystery with a religious twist, you’ll want to check out The Last Confession. David Suchet (Poirot) and Richard O’Callaghan star in this play about the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. After only 33 days in office, and having warned three cardinals that they would be replaced, he is found dead. Though the Vatican refuses to open an official investigation, Cardinal Benelli goes out in search of the truth. Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West), 8 p.m., $35–$119. Details
  • Theatre: Erin Shields’ Soliciting Temptation, premiering now at Tarragon Theatre, was highly anticipated—it’s the first new play since 2010 from the eminent female playwright, known for the Governor General Award-winning If We Were Birds. In some respects, it lives up to the hype. It deals with the difficult, often-overlooked subject of child sex tourism, and it does so thoughtfully and with nuance. The overall experience, though, is somewhat underwhelming, because the compelling ideas explored are undercut by an implausible premise. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space (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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