Urban Planner: March 19, 2010
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Urban Planner: March 19, 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].

Quebec City’s L’Orchestre d’Hommes-Orchestres in full force. Photo by Jacynthe Carrier.

MUSIC: Anyone lucky enough to have experienced the mighty Tom Waits live knows he doesn’t just put on a concert but a no-holds-barred spectacle—a thrill-ride combo of carnival side show, off-Broadway musical, and impromptu ramble over a piano in a dank, small-town tavern. Needless to say, it’s difficult to embody the strange and whimsical genius of Waits and the power he commands over his audience. But one eclectic group of musicians has taken on just this task. Quebec’s L’Orchestre d’Hommes-Orchestres performs songs from Waits’ vast and colourful repertoire using nearly one hundred objects and instruments on stage. The energetic and unique tribute is faithful to Waits’ spirit, but opens up the playing field for the audience, mixing styles and adapting arrangements. When was the last time you saw a show that relied not only on traditional instruments like voice, violin, and banjo, but also on spaghetti, boxing gloves, baby cradles, and tea pots? There is likely no one to do this better than LODHO, who have evolved since 2002 from a music ensemble to a collaborative workshop encompassing talent from various performing arts. If you miss them tonight, don’t worry—they’ll be back for a second show on Saturday. The Music Gallery (197 John Street), doors 7 p.m., concert 8 p.m., $20 advance, $24 door, $18 members.
THEATRE: ARC is a two-time Dora Award–winning company committed to bringing provocative theatre from international stages to Canada. Tonight, they present the Canadian premiere of Martin Crimp‘s celebrated work, The City. Helming the production is award-winning Romanian director Cristian Popescu, who will guide a talented cast (Deb Drakeford, Peter James Haworth, Janet Porter) in his interpretation of this dark and engaging piece. As with all of Crimp’s work (most recently, Fewer Emergencies, Cruel and Tender, Face to the Wall), The City offers up a vision of contemporary society as a place of social decay, moral compromise, and barely suppressed violence. The darkly comic story of Clair, Chris, and Jenny, who fight to make sense of a surreal and collapsing world, is told in a non-linear fashion, so the audience can piece it together in part from their own impressions. Prepare to be disturbed but moved. The Berkeley Street Theatre, upstairs (26 Berkeley Street), 8 p.m., $25, $15 students/artists.
ART: Hamra Abbas‘ multi-media installation Read is a suspended labyrinth-like wooden structure, whose concealed speakers project the sounds of children reciting the Qur’an as they memorize its verses. The piece is currently on display at the ROM until March 28, and the museum’s Institute for Contemporary Culture invites the artist to speak about her work tonight. Born in Kuwait in 1976, and now working between Boston and Islamabad, Abbas will not only discuss her art, but her experiences working with institutions around the world, and the challenges and nuances she has encountered. The talk is free with Half-Price Friday Night admission to the ROM, but seating is limited, so arrive early. ROM, level 3 (100 Queen’s Park), 7–9 p.m., FREE.
FILM: Are you ready to change your view of our universe? And we’re not talking Avatar, here. The Ontario Science Centre presents the latest IMAX film, Hubble, which will take you on a journey through (real-life—no Pandora in sight. For now…) far-away galaxies to explore the monumental mysteries of space. Accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt some of the most difficult and crucial tasks in NASA’s history. This celestial trip is essential for astronomy lovers, both young and old. The Ontario Science Centre (770 Don Mills Road), go online for showtimes, $12 adults, $8 children, $9 youth and seniors.