Urban Planner: December 11, 2009
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Urban Planner: December 11, 2009

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 all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected]

Berliners Alexander Hacke and Danielle de Picciotto perform their musical adaptation of The Ship of Fools tonight. Photograph by Markus Johannes Reinhardt.

MUSIC: What do you get when you combine the genius and eccentricity of two minds like Einstürzende Neubauten‘s Alexander Hacke and Danielle de Piciotto, co-founder of Berlin’s infamous Love Parade? Why, something genius and eccentric, of course. Presented by the inspired folks at The Music Gallery, tonight’s multimedia production of Sebastian Brant’s fifteenth-century novel, Ship of Fools, takes “unconvention” to new levels. Spanning genres from folk to rockabilly to electronica, the show melds text, music, and video to portray this darkly humourous medieval tale, whose poignant perspectives on humankind still ring true today. Since 2001, the artist couple has collaborated on other strange projects (including “Mountains of Madness,” in which the stories of HP Lovecraft are told in a clash of cabaret and electronics), and is always seeking new ways to explore ideas through avant-garde artistic expression. St. George the Martyr Church (197 John Street); doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m.; $20 regular, $15 member or senior, $10 student (advance tickets available at Rotate This!, Soundscapes and Ticketweb.ca).
COMEDY: Comedy Inc.‘s Gavin Stephens hosts the debut edition of Nerdgasm, a stand-up-comedy event celebrating icons of nerd culture and the nerd experience. Featured in tonight’s show is prolific comedian Debra DiGiovanni, a regular on MuchMusic’s Video on Trial, Gemini Award–winner, recipient of the 2009 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Female Stand Up, and voted Toronto’s Favourite Comedian by the readers of NOW for the second straight year. Debra is joined on stage by fellow nerd, Nile Seguin, no stranger to the North American comedy-festival circuit and accomplished stage, film, and television comedian. The Bathurst Street Theatre (736 Bathurst Street); 8 p.m.; $20 at the door, $15 in advance (available online or by calling 416-554-9362); 19+ event.
MUSIC: Parkdale’s Not My Dog, easily one of the smallest venues in Toronto, brings you its first-ever three-day music festival, “Dogapolooza.” Known for hosting excellent line-ups of local talent, the club aims not only to promote Parkdale’s slew of up-and-comers with the event, but to give back to the community. Showcasing roots musicians like Samantha Martin, Treasa Levasseur, The Creaking Tree String Quartet, David Celia and David Baxter, “Dogapolooza” will raise money and collect non-perishables for a local meal programme run by PARC—a not-for-profit agency that works with adults with mental health and addiction, or who are living in poverty, to encourage hope, recovery, and access to opportunities and services. Not My Dog (1510 Queen Street West), 8 p.m., donation of $10 plus non-perishable food item.
TRADE SHOW: Get a sneak peek at 2010 models, accessories, and gear from a variety of motorcycle and ATV companies like Honda, Suzuki, and Harley Davidson (to name a few) at this year’s Toronto Motorcycle Show. With its charity events and races across the province, this popular precursor to riding season in Ontario kicks off this morning, and runs all weekend. Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front Street West); 10 a.m.–9.p.m.; adults $16, juniors (six to fifteen) $10, children under six free when accompanied by an adult, family pass $38.
MUSIC: This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the St. Michael’s Choir School‘s annual Christmas concert. Since its inception in 1939, the choir has blossomed into an internationally accomplished group, now conducted by Dr. Jerzy Cichocki, Caron Daley, and Teri Dunn. Guest soloist, harpist Sanya Eng, joins gifted musician and St. Michael’s Cathedral organist William O’Meara to bring to life this year’s “Sing We Noel, Noel We Sing,” alongside the choristers—each of whom is trained in vocal, technical, and instrumental music. The school is one of only six choir schools in the world affiliated with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome. And even if you’re not Catholic or you don’t celebrate Christmas, there’s no denying the power, spirituality, and magic of over two hundred and fifty voices raised together in song. Massey Hall (178 Victoria Street), 8 p.m., $22.50–$36.50 (available online or by calling 416-872-4255).