In today's Urban Planner: Evil Dead life drawing, a multimedia meditation on a correspondence, and the evolution of snuff films.
- Theatre: Up until Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez made that movie, the word “Gigli” was associated with images of beauty, the splendour of the opera, and, more specifically, the renowned Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli. In Irish playwright Tom Murphy’s The Gigli Concert, originally written in 1983 and on stage now at Soulpepper Theatre, the singer’s voice represents not only beauty, but hope itself—the one saving force that can pull its two central characters from deep depressions. And, thankfully, the journey to the other side is infinitely more watchable than the previously mentioned Hollywood film. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $29–$74. Details
- Art: Life-drawing classes aren’t always about staring at some nude guy’s junk. Toons On Tap likes to take things in a more costumed direction, using models dressed as living cartoon characters. Give your pencils and sketchbook a treat at Session 47: Army of Darkness, where you’ll get to draw Ash from the Evil Dead series, chainsaw hand and all. ROUND Venue (152a Augusta Avenue), 7 p.m., $10. 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
- Performing Arts: The Art of Time Ensemble remounts its intriguing meditation on the letters exchanged by author John Berger and artist John Christie, I Send You This Cadmium Red. The Ensemble creates the musical soundscape, while actors Julian Richings (whom we recently profiled) and John Fitzgerald Jay read the correspondence, and Vancouver video artist Bruce Alcock provides visual projections. Harbourfront Centre, Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West), 8 p.m., $25–$59. Details
- Film: Warning! The faint of heart need not pay attention to this listing. This month, horror writer and podcaster Rachel Katz takes to the Black Museum stage to present her lecture on Snuff Movies and the Evolution of Genre. Get all the gory details on the genre, from its birth in the 1970s to its influence on torture porn and found-footage films, with examples from Slaughter (1971), 8mm (1999), Hostel (2005), and more. Royal Cinema (608 College Street), 9 p.m., $12 advance, $15 door. 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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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), 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., $22–$49. 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
- Music: The Toronto Centre for the Arts is stripping away the glossy layers of the music industry with their Bare Bones and Up Front Indie Music Series. Every Wednesday for eight weeks, two local musicians will be given the chance to show off their songs and skills in an intimate setting. Some of the featured acts include Rehan Dalal (March 12), Meredith Shaw (March 26), and Lindy (April 9). Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street), 8 p.m., $20. Details
- Theatre: The Storefront Theatre presents two great plays for the price of one, with the Swell Broad and The Homemaker Double Bill. Set in the 1950s, Brooke Banning’s Swell Broad follows an unlikely relationship between the hopelessly romantic Stuart, and Delilah, a woman with a less-than-favourable view of love, men, and commitment. Continuing in a similar vein, Laura Anne Harris’s The Homemaker examines the life of small-town 1960s housewife Janette Pettitpas, who tells the story of her marriage—and alcoholism—though poetry, dance, puppetry, and song. The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., $20, $15 for students. 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.