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events

Urban Planner: May 9, 2014

In today's Urban Planner: images of Iceland, and a bluesy launch party.

Photo by Katrina Lee.

  • Photography: Montreal-based photographer Katrina Lee was captivated by the otherworldly beauty of Iceland’s landscapes when she visited the country in 2009. Her photos, which also document how the rapidly warming island nation is shedding layers of ice from its glaciers at record-breaking rates, form the basis for her first solo photographic exhibition, Panta Rhei“. After the opening party, where Lee will be in attendance, the exhibition will remain on display at the Oculus Arts QSQ Gallery until June 20. QSQ Gallery (845 College Street), 6:30 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Music: It’s been five years since the last album released by Maple Blues award-winning outfit Raoul and the Big Time. The band has been playing on both coasts sporadically (band leader Raoul Bhaeja is a busy actor spending time in L.A. and T.O.), and now has a 12-track album in the can, recorded here in Toronto and in Burbank, California, featuring guest performances by members of Canned Heat and the Mavis Staples Band. The Hollywood Blvd. launch party will feature an expanded lineup of local blues artists, as well as a special guest, 2013 BB King Entertainer of the Year Curtis Salgado. Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas Street West), 8:30 p.m., $30–$35. 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

  • Music: If you’re thinking that it seems longer than usual since Canadian Music Week last rolled around, good news: you’re not crazy. For its 2014 edition, the event left behind its typically lousy March weather and moved to the comparatively balmier conditions of early May. So instead of being viewed as the next major festival after SXSW, it’ll perhaps now be seen more as a sibling of NXNE. Thanks to a radius clause introduced by NXNE that makes sure the two festivals feature different acts, though, they’ll have to carve out their own separate identities as concert extravaganzas. Multiple venues, all day, Wristbands $75. Details
  • Theatre: Be honest: you’re one of those drivers who slows down to gape at traffic accidents, aren’t you? Outside the March aims to satisfy this morbid curiosity with Rosamund Small’s Vitals. In this unique, interactive theatre experience, the 30-person audience gets to accompany Anna (Katherine Cullen) as she gets dispatched out to the scene of an emergency. As the location of the performance is undisclosed, guests will pick up their tickets—and directions to the venue—at 149 Roncesvalles Avenue. , 7:30 p.m., $30, $25 for seniors and those under 30. Details
  • 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), 7:30 p.m., $29–$74. 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: 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: Most unsolicited messages from admirers to famous writers do not result in collaborations: but when Lindsay Cochrane, kindergarten teacher and English literature grad, emailed Yann Martel, the acclaimed author of Life of Pi, about adapting one of his novels into a stage play, the two ended up joining forces. The result is Cochrane’s first play, Beatrice & Virgil, on now at Factory Theatre (in a co-production with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre). With the help of director Sarah Garton Stanley, Cochrane has made an impressively valiant effort to wrangle some large, abstract, and troublesome ideas into a well-crafted work of live theatre. Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), 8 p.m., $23–$45. Details
  • Theatre: We’re nearing the end of Tarragon Theatre‘s 2013/2014 season, and it appears we’ve also arrived at the final stage of its theme: love, loss, wine, and the gods. But that doesn’t mean the Tarragon, which has seen some major hits this year in Lungs, The Double, and The Ugly One, is phoning it in. Sean Dixon’s ambitious new script, A God in Need of Help, has produced not only one of the longer plays in the Tarragon season, but also easily the most dense and layered, mixing as it does historical fact and fiction with timeless issues of art, religion, and politics. Fortunately, that makes it the strongest mainstage show of the season thus far (we’ll see how Tarragon’s final show, The God That Comes, co-created by and featuring Hawksley Workman, performs in June). Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., $21–$53. Details
  • Theatre: Talk about striking while the iron is hot—David James Brock’s Snow Bride is hitting the stage just in time for wedding season… and some other stuff in the news. When no one shows up for Helena’s bachelorette party, she turns to her oldest and most trusted friend: cocaine. Using humour, the play touches on the difficulties surrounding a life of addiction and its effects on interpersonal relationships. The Box Theatre (89 Niagara Street), 8 p.m., PWYC-$20. Details
  • Theatre: On Tuesday night, it was a clear and calm evening by the waterfront—a little warm, even. It was a hint of what (we’re hoping) is in store for us this summer, and created a serene and restful atmosphere.

    That feeling was promptly destroyed by the production currently playing at the Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre, Yael Farber’s Mies Julie. It’s angering, devastating, and terrifying—but in the best way possible. Harbourfront Centre, Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West), 8 p.m., $49. 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), 9:30 p.m., $23. 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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