Urban Planner: June 24, 2010
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Urban Planner: June 24, 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].

Plants and Animals play tonight at The Opera House. Photo by Caroline Desilets.

FUNDRAISER: Tonight, some of Toronto’s most brilliant minds in the fields of visual art, dance, film, literature, and even sports will congregate to make beautiful music. During Compose Yourself, a fundraiser for The Music Gallery, distinguished guests will be transformed into composers, bringing an idea for a musical piece and seeing it improvised and created by a troupe of talented musicians. Guest composers include the Music Gallery’s retiring chair, Daniel Cooper, author and Spacing editor Shawn Micallef, artist Charles Pachter, filmmaker John Greyson, novelist Kerri Sakamoto, Toronto Dance Theatre artistic director Christopher House, and former Toronto Maple Leaf and Detroit Red Wing Boyd Devereaux. The Music Gallery (197 John Street), doors 7 p.m., concert 8 p.m., $50/advance, $20 for students and artists.
AGRICULTURE: When you live in the city, it’s hard to stay close to the greener things in life. Our vegetables are shrink-wrapped, our fruit is crated, and they’ve even taken away our saplings. In her new book, City Farmer, urban agriculture guru Lorraine Johnson gets her hands dirty exploring all the ways in which rooftops, yards, and balconies are becoming fertile, fruitful grounds for growing. Tonight, along with Toronto Botanical Garden staff and guest chef Johan Maes, Johnson will participate in a reading and a tour of the TBG’s container gardens as part of the Taste of the Garden series. Toronto Botanical Garden (777 Lawrence Avenue East), 7–9 p.m., $50/regular, $45/members.
THEATRE: Soulpepper’s latest production is a backstage comedy set in Canada, proving that Broadway isn’t the only theatre hub with behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Jitters was written in 1979 by Newfoundland-born playwright David French (whose Leaving Home was part of Tarragon Theatre’s first season). He based the play on his own experiences, and in addition to all the backstage comedy stalwarts (play-within-a-play, idealistic writer, glamourous diva), Jitters brings the idiosyncrasies of the Canadian theatre tradition onto the mix. It runs from tonight until July 24, with an official opening on June 30. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District (55 Mill Street), 7:30 p.m., $39.81–$75.33.
MUSIC: Montreal trio Plants and Animals are one of the few groups that successfully walk the line between skinny jean–wearing hipster superstars and head-thrashing jam band. Their new album, La La Land (recently longlisted for the Polaris Prize), is both orchestrated and psychedelic, with a precocious indie sound tempered by straight-out rock and roll. Meanwhile, their live shows dismantle those very same carefully arranged tunes, incorporating riffs and improvised jams. Joining Plants and Animals tonight will be Dinosaur Bones, for those of you who missed them last week at NXNE. The Opera House (735 Queen Street East), 9 p.m., $18.

CORRECTION: 2:29 p.m. The Music Gallery’s outgoing chair is Daniel Cooper, not David Cooper as we originally reported. Also, the post originally failed to mention that lower-priced tickets are available for artists and students.