Urban Planner: February 23, 2010
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Urban Planner: February 23, 2010

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].

Briga will perform tonight at Hugh’s Room to celebrate the launch of her first album, Diaspora. Photo courtesy of Heather Kitching.

MUSIC: You’ve got to love a press release that uses the phrase “the great Canadian culturefuck” when describing an album. Appropriately enough, this phrase was used to describe an album called Diaspora by Balkin pop musician Briga. An active member of the gypsy revival music scene in Montreal, Briga’s music combines Balkan jazz and French chanson. She’ll be showing Toronto some attention when she launches Diaspora tonight. Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas Street West), 8 p.m., $10 ($12 at the door).
WORDS: Tonight screenwriter and author Andrew Kaufman (All My Friends Are Superheroes) will be celebrating the launch of his sophomore effort, The Waterproof Bible, with This Is Not A Reading Series. He’ll be talking about the accursed “sophomore slump” with author Nathan Whitlock, who’s working on a follow-up to his own critically acclaimed first novel, A Week Of This. The Waterproof Bible is written as a modern allegory about a women named Rebecca, whose out-of-control emotions literally leap from her body and need to be contained in personal objects. (Especially cool about this TINARS event: it’s the first with Torontoist as a sponsor!) Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 7:30 p.m., $5 (free with book purchase).
THEATRE: Blind Date premiered at Harbourfront Centre in 2007 as a ten-minute burlesque-clown piece, but its sold-out run convinced creator Rebecca Northan to expand the show to a ninety-minute social experiment in a cabaret-style setting. Northan plays Mimi, a young Parisian woman who’s stood up on a blind date. She enlists an audience member to come up on stage and take her date’s place for the night, making an already awkward scenario even more cringe-worthy. The show explores love and heartache through a blend of clowning, improvisation, and theatre, with lots of audience interaction. Blind Date runs until March 6 as part of Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage program. Harbourfront Centre’s York Quay Centre, (235 Queens Quay West), 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), $30.
WORDS: Free Speech is a monthly literary salon that features writers and songwriters from the west end. Host and curator Johan Hultqvist (of the Juno-nominated afrobeat group Mr. Something Something) has set up a pretty excellent lineup of artists for tonight’s event. Author Miriam Toews (A Complicated Kindness), CBC Radio producer Philip Coulter, playwright and librettist Marcia Johnson, and musician Ron Hawkins (from the band Lowest of the Low) will be in attendance to tell stories and perform. Tinto Coffee House (89 Roncesvalles Avenue); doors at 7 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m.; pay-what-you-can.