In today's Urban Planner: theatre awards by the water, and comedy parties underground.
- Parties: The Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Toronto’s version of Broadway’s Tony Awards, are doing something a little different this year. Inspired by the success of the past few years’ after-party on Front Street following the ceremonies, they’ve moved the whole kit and caboodle outdoors, putting the red carpet, awards, and after-party outside by the water at the Harbourfront Centre. As with previous years, tickets are available for the VIP reception and the awards themselves—and for those on a budget who want to schmooze with Toronto theatre stars, a $15 after-party ticket will get you into the late-night street carnival celebrations. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), 5:30 p.m., $15–$165. Details
- Comedy: The madmen behind Party Hard Hard Party—RN & Cawls (Rob Norman and Adam Cawley) and 2-Man No-Show (Ken Hall and Isaac Kessler)—are counter-programming their monthly improv comedy showcase against the Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the city’s annual celebration of Toronto’s best theatre (and a few things comedic, too). The Doras will wrap up the night with a massive street party along the waterfront, whereas the PHHP boys are keeping it real in an (actual) underground bar venue. At least one Dora nominee is on the bill: Jan Caruana, nominated for her Second City mainstage performance. And she’s not the only recent award nominee—the men hosting have multiple Canadian Comedy Award nominations. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 9 p.m., $10. Details
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: On June 19, the Toronto Jazz Festival will once again descend upon Nathan Phillips Square and clubs and concert halls all over the city. Friday night will feature a free concert at Nathan Phillips Square, presented in partnership with WorldPride, with sets by Melissa Etheridge and Deborah Cox. There will also be a huge fireworks display and the raising of the rainbow flag—it’s bound to be a real party. There are lots of big names at the fest this year, including Chaka Kahn, Bobby McFerrin, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Here’s our rundown of some of the other shows worth checking out.
, all day, Various. Details
Film: Anyone seeking proof that all it takes for a radical to become part of the establishment is a little bit of endurance need only look to “Skin Flicks,” TIFF Cinematheque’s retrospective of the films of Toronto zine impresario, radical, occasional pornographer, and queercore filmmaker Bruce LaBruce.
A farm boy who left his rural digs for a more urban life in Toronto in the mid-‘80s, LaBruce first turned heads on the scene with his publication (along with partner and Fifth Column frontwoman G.B. Jones) of the seminal queer punk zine J.D.s, which distinguished itself from punk culture through its queer vision, and from mainstream LGBT culture through its aggressive DIY aesthetic and radical politics. From that fertile underground world came the first of LaBruce’s experimental Super 8 shorts, including Boy, Girl—ground zero for later thematic obsessions such as neo-skinheads and surveillance.
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), all day, . Details
- Festivals: For ten days this June, Toronto will welcome the world to our city—a city that’ll be bursting with queer-positive cultural events, including musical performances by the likes of Tegan & Sara, special theatrical presentations by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and many more, visual art exhibitions, parties, and of course, the various annual Pride parades. All the official events are listed on the World Pride 2014 website (though we’ll also be keeping our eyes open for a few unofficial events we think readers might appreciate). Multiple venues, all day, . Details
- Film: Every part of our city will be drenched in WorldPride this summer, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Bent Lens: Pride on Screen comprises nearly two months of screenings, exhibits, and speaking engagements that reflect the broadness of our LGBT community. Check out films under the stars in David Pecaut Square, take in a conversation with Laverne Cox of Orange is the New Black, and much more.
Theatre: If you haven’t heard of Twelve Angry Men, you’ve likely seen it parodied in a number of movies and television shows over the years. Now here’s your chance to see the real deal, on stage, thanks to the Soulpepper Theatre Company. Watch the drama unfold in a claustrophobic deliberation room as one dissenting juror unravels what is supposed to be an open-and-shut murder case.
Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 8 p.m., $29–$74. 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.