Urban Planner: April 16, 2010
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Urban Planner: April 16, 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].

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From Mat Howard’s production of The Queens. Photo by Joel Charlebois/Torontoist.

THEATRE: Montreal playwright Normand Chaurette’s Les Reines premiered in his home city in 1990, followed up by the English version The Queens at Canadian Stage in Toronto two years later. Both versions of this “hilarious and strange” period piece have won several awards, including a Dora and a Chalmers. Set in snowbound London in 1483, The Queens opens up a world of intrigue and ambition, in which six noblewomen vie to win the favour of a new monarch. The piece explores extremes—lightness and dark, fantasy and drama—and director Mat Howard was drawn to its unique ability to not only suspend the disbelief of audiences, but of the artists involved in bringing it to life on stage. Under Howard’s direction, a seriously talented cast, awesome Gothic set, bang-on costumes, and originally scored music come together in a production that will lure you into its world and under its spell until the curtain drops. Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley Street), 8 p.m., $20.
MUSIC: What do you get when you blend the fluid bass lines of drum ‘n’ bass, the aggression and energy of metal, and the relaxed vibes of hip hop? Canadian young-‘un Excision, one of the biggest dubstep acts in North America. His first release, No Escape, sold out and was re-released on his own Rottun Recordings label, proving a huge demand for the “dark side” of dubstep. Excision was then invited to tour alongside Pendulum in the States, as well as play a set at the legendary Shambala Music Festival in 2009. Excision brings his assault of bass-heavy tracks to Toronto tonight, with a highly anticipated show at Wrongbar. Wrongbar (1279 Queen Street West), 10 p.m., $16.50.
ART: Baudelaire once wrote “Le beau est toujours bizarre.” While you may not agree that the beautiful is always bizarre, there is something compelling about the curious and the odd. Tonight, 52 McCaul opens “Curio,” a group exhibition featuring the art of several recent OCAD grads, whose work pays homage to the beautifully grotesque. The show explores the freakish side of nature, while trying to draw out a certain beauty within it. Come and stare. 52 McCaul (52 McCaul Street), 7 p.m.–12 a.m., FREE.
WORDS: Diaspora Dialogues aims to promote the creation and presentation of new fiction, poetry, and drama that reflects the complexity of our city through its diverse writers. Tonight, they launch the fifth year of their popular Friday-night reading series. This evening’s lineup features an intriguing cross-section of artists, including Edeet Ravel, Glenn Sumi, and Fides Krucker, among several others. The festival is a great opportunity to discover some of our city’s newest and finest voices in a cozy atmosphere. Palmerston Library (560 Palmerston Avenue), 7 p.m., FREE.
JEWELLERY: The only one of its kind in Canada, George Brown’s Jewellery Studies program teaches students the rare skills of the goldsmith. Combining contemporary design with traditional techniques, students in the program learn the fundamentals to begin their jewellery-making careers. Tonight, thirteen young, talented jewellers reveal the results of three years of labour at LUXE 2010 (show and sale). Although they’ll be displaying their own designs, the students have been trained to translate anyone’s ideas into commissioned pieces. If you like what you see, perhaps one of these up-and-comers will design something special for you one day. Harbourfront Centre’s Bounty (235 Queens Quay West), 5:30–8 p.m., FREE.

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