In today's Urban Planner: cardio burlesque, a festival of clowns, and turbo-charged funk.
- Dance: Chances are you’ve already given up on your New Year’s resolution to try new things or exercise more. Redeem yourself in just one evening by getting your sweat on and learning two different dances at the Toronto School of Burlesque. An hour-long Can Can Cardio class with St. Stella kicks things off (ha, get it?) before Miss Kitty Litteur takes everyone back in time for some Retro Go Go. Toronto School of Burlesque (193 Augusta Avenue), 6:30 p.m., FREE. Details
- Performing Arts: This post is going to upset as many people as it will intrigue, but here goes! The Toronto Festival of Clowns is back for its ninth year of painting the town’s noses red, bringing five days of performance art. These aren’t your typical birthday clowns; programming at the Pia Boulman School and the Brockton Collective ranges from bouffon acts to dating games and from dramatic pieces to puppet shows, and will feature special appearances by Morro and Jasp, and Mullet the Zombie Clown. Multiple venues, 6:30 p.m., $15 per show, $65 for 5-show pass, $110 for 10-show pass. Details
- Music: If you’ve walked around downtown at all in the last couple of years, there’s a good chance you’ve come across dance parties that have spontaneously broken out to the music of some pretty unique buskers. Those buskers would be Turbo Street Funk, and they’ve graduated from performing on the corner to taking the spotlight at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern to celebrate the release of their first album. George Koller, their friend and producer, will also be performing with his band, The Shuffle Demons. Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen Street West), 9 p.m., $15, including CD. 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
- Film: Now in its 24th year, the Inside Out festival offers an eclectic mix of LGBT-themed films from Canada and around the world. Setting up shop at venues ranging from the TIFF Bell Lightbox to Videofag, the festival mixes screenings, panel discussions, and receptions for equal parts edification and entertainment—all in the name of “challenging attitudes and changing lives.” Multiple venues, all day, . 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), 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., $35–$119. Details
- Theatre: Outside the March seems to be Toronto’s favourite indie theatre company. Director Mitchell Cushman built up quite a buzz after consecutive hits Mr. Marmalade and Terminus, both of which were praised for their unconventional use of space (the former was set in a kindergarten classroom, the latter placed both the actors and the audience on the stage of the Royal Alexandra Theatre), so his next project had been highly anticipated. Vitals, written by Rosamund Small, was the first script for Outside the March developed specifically for a site-specific space, and its original run had to be extended even before opening night. Then, only a few days into the run, it was extended again to June 1. And though Vitals isn’t the best show in Outside the March’s history, there’s a reason that tickets have been flying. 149 Roncesvalles Avenue (149 Roncesvalles Avenue), 7:15 p.m., $25–$30. Details
- Theatre: Meet Dean—he’s climbed the military ladder, fought in Afghanistan, and made it safely home. But home is no longer where the heart is. A dark comedy, Dead Metaphor puts a humorous spin on the difficulties of postwar life as Dean returns to a pregnant ex-wife, a lack of job prospects, and the realization that there is no place for him in the real world. Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street), 8 p.m., $19–$79. Details
- Theatre: If we’ve learned anything from slasher flicks, it’s that having sex leads to death. Returning to the stage to mark its 25th anniversary, Brad Fraser’s Love and Human Remains pursues this dark train of thought. Set in Edmonton, the play tells the story of a bunch of sexually frustrated and dysfunctional twenty- and thirty-somethings grappling with life and love, while a killer lurks in their midst. Unit 102 Theatre (376 Dufferin Street), 8 p.m., $20 + fees. Details
- Performing Arts: Few fads have stood the test of time quite so well as dance movies from the 1980s. Now, one of the best films from this era has been adapted for the stage. Flashdance—The Musical revisits the story of a young female steel welder with a desire to dance, set to a score of iconic songs such as “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “I Love Rock and Roll,” and many more. Ed Mirvish Theatre (244 Victoria Avenue), 8 p.m., $36–$130. 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.