In today's Urban Planner: actors and improvisors collide, a visit to the Forbidden City, and walking with the ROM.
- Comedy: The monthly improv comedy show pairing screen actors with stage improvisers (there’s inevitably some crossover, as improvisers nail a lot of auditions), Mixed Company this month features Lisa Merchant, Stacey McGunnigle, and Jason Derosse among the improvisers, and Raymond Ablack (Space’s Orphan Black), Harmon Walsh (CTV’s Flashpoint), and Steffi DiDomenicantonio (Showcase’s Lost Girl) among the actors. Those actors get a script for their scenes and possibly even a costume and set dressing; the improvisors go in with nothing but the intention to shake the scene up. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., $12. 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
- Theatre: Only about two hours away from Toronto, madness is infiltrating the town of Stratford, Ontario—but fortunately, it’s the kind that produces delightful results. Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino has designed this year’s season around the theme “Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge,” and explores it through everything from jukebox musicals to Shakespearean tragedies. And with the festival’s increasingly popular twice-daily bus service to and from downtown (in its second year), it’s easy to get a taste of what the mania is all about. Here’s Torontoist‘s take on a sampling of this year’s festival offerings—Ira Glass and his opinions notwithstanding, a whole lot of people would welcome a chance to spend some time with the Bard and some of Canada’s most esteemed artists. Multiple venues, all day, $25–$133. Details
- History: It may not seem like it right now, but there’s more to Front Street than construction. The Royal Ontario Museum encourages you to go on a stroll with it and learn about the area’s history and architecture with a guided ROMwalk. Who knows—you might even start to pay attention to the buildings you pass every day on the way to work! , 2 p.m., FREE. 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.