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].
The Arcade Fire played a surprise show in a parking lot Wednesday night, in Montreal suburb Longueuil; tonight and tomorrow night, they’ll be playing Toronto’s Music Hall. Photo by Sophie Samson, courtesy of AUX TV.
MUSIC: While not complete surprises (they teased Toronto with a Twitter message asking if we had plans this weekend), The Arcade Fire‘s impromptu shows Friday and Saturday night definitely favour flexible planners with lots of free time. Attendees must line up day of; box office opens at noon, one ticket per person, cash only. By the time you read this, we’ll already be in line. The Music Hall (147 Danforth Avenue), doors at 7 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m., $37.50
LUMINATO: Tapestry‘s new opera, Dark Star Requiem, profiled by us in our Luminato preview, opens tonight and closes Saturday night. Like Volcano Theatre‘s Africa Trilogy (which opened last night), it’s a world premiere of a work intent on bridging perceived cultural gaps between Canadian and African audiences. The new dramatic oratorio tackles a quarter century of the AIDS pandemic, bringing opera to bear on a currently relevant and emotionally fraught subject. The Royal Conservatory of Music, Koerner Hall (273 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., $30–$50 (but you can find a 10% off discount code here).
FUNDRAISER: A theatre company fundraiser tonight features a group of highly skilled people, trained in oratory and elocution, performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Nightwood Theatre‘s Artistic Director Kelly Thornton directs almost thirty Toronto-area lawyers in the Bard’s classic comedy. Quoth Thornton, in Precedent Magazine: “The most important quality of an actor is intelligence…Lawyers are naturals because they can think analytically and abstractly.” Judge for yourself (see what we did there?) whether these litigators be thespians or mechanicals. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), 8 p.m., $60 (tax receipts available).
MUSIC: But say you’re working today, and can’t stand on a sidewalk from the crack of dawn onwards for an Arcade Fire ticket? Not to worry—in a city like Toronto, there are always great options for music (and more). If you’re free before suppertime, why not hop on the Ward’s Island ferry before 7 p.m.? You can enjoy the gorgeous weather on the island, then take in a PWYC folk show at the Island Church (102 Lakeshore Avenue), headlined by The Weather Station. If you’re not free until later in the evening, Ottawa’s The Acorn are playing their CD release party tonight; first opener Lisa Bozikovic‘s set is scheduled for 10 p.m. Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor Street West), doors at 9 p.m., $12 ($15 at the door).
COMEDY: The third of our suggestions for shows that run tonight and tomorrow night is avant-garde stand-up Neil Hamburger, who’s performing two late night sets at Comedy Bar. A character created by Gregg Turkington, Hamburger is legendary for riling up punk and rock show crowds as an unlikely opener. His own openers this weekend include rock act Daiquiri and local comic provocateur (and Brutal Knights frontman) Nick Flanagan, who will be sporting a cast from a recent stage-diving injury. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 10:30 p.m., $13 ($15 at the door).