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Urban Planner: July 21, 2014

In today's Urban Planner: celebrating the city's musical theatre community, and why you should care about Canada's new prostitution laws.

Singular Sensation accompanists Donavon LeNabat and Jamie Bird watch as Gabi Epstein accepts her 2013 BackDora award. Photo by Jennifer Walls.

  • Offbeat: The second annual BackDora Awards, a play on TAPA’s mainstream theatre Dora Awards, celebrate Toronto’s indie cabaret and musical theatre community, many representatives of which gather on a weekly basis at Statler’s Piano Bar for cabaret night Singular Sensation. This year, the recently concluded Toronto Fringe Festival is presenting a special section of awards in recognition of Singular Sensation’s support of the festival (nine different shows previewed songs at Statler’s in advance of the Fringe). There are plenty more awards and presenters, a red carpet is planned, and attendees are encouraged to wear formal dress. Statler’s Lounge (487 Church Street), 9:30 p.m., PWYC. 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
  • Film: You’d be hard-pressed to think of a filmmaker more frequently linked to his national cinema in the popular imagination than Satyajit Ray, whose work in the 1950s brought an independent streak to the production of Indian cinema as famously as Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless countered the establishment of French costume dramas around the same time. Yet prior to the 1990s, you might have found it equally difficult to name a major international figurehead who was as underrepresented at repertory screenings, so dire was the state of the films’ prints.

    Twenty years after the Academy Film Archive restored the Bengali director’s deteriorating and otherwise endangered negatives and made proper retrospectives possible, TIFF Cinematheque offers “The Sun and the Moon: The Films of Satyajit Ray,” a far-ranging program that gives Toronto audiences the opportunity to see the fruit of that labour as well as the work of arguably India’s most influential filmmaker. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West). 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. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West). Details
  • Music: The Beaches International Jazz Festival has grown over the years into 10 days chock-full of diverse programming, including a jazz run, a street festival, a food truck fest, and much more. It’s as much a celebration of the Beaches area and community itself as it is a jazz fest, although an appreciation for the music is evident throughout. Artists playing main-stage concerts include Trampled Under Foot, Paul James, and Dumpstaphunk—check out our top picks. , all day, FREE. Details
  • Theatre: With so many sold-out shows at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, there were plenty of people who didn’t get to see many of Torontoist‘s top picks. Not to worry: as they have for several years now, the Toronto Centre for the Arts is presenting Best of Fringe, a two-week additional run for some of the most popular shows at this year’s festival, including Theatre Brouhaha’s Punch-Up, Pea Green Theatre’s Three Men in a Boat, and The Howland Company’s 52 Pick-Up. We strongly suggest double billing shows over an evening (each show runs about an hour) and buying tickets well in advance, as each show gets only three performances. Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street), all day, $17.75-$21.75. 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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