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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York indie act Fun hit the Mod Club tonight. Photo courtesy of Nettwerk Music Group.
Today in Toronto, don’t miss New York indie rockers Fun, a trio of delectable literary events, the Short Shorts variety show, and a screening and panel discussion about Jewish feminism.
MUSIC: We sure hope New York indie trio Fun lives up to its name at their Mod Club show tonight, because otherwise the reviews are going to write themselves. All signs are good, though, as they boast a strong pedigree—the band consists of Nate Ruess, formerly of The Format; Andrew Dost of Anathallo; and Jack Antonoff of Steel Train. The band’s songs are upbeat, theatrical, and danceable, marked by a touch of bombast. Hey, don’t take our word for it—Fun recently won an Independent Music Award for best pop/rock song, and judges included Tom Waits and M. Ward. Mod Club Theatre (722 College Street), 7 p.m., $16.50.
WORDS: Ladies and gents, it is a goooood night for the spoken (and written) word. First is a celebration of Nelson Mandela‘s new memoir, Conversations With Myself, featuring readings and reminiscing from journalists Suhana Meharchand and Brian Stewart, actor and playwright Andrew Moodie, singer Molly Johnson, and author M.G. Vassanji. (Toronto Reference Library [789 Yonge Street], 7 p.m., FREE.) Next up, we’ve got three of Canada’s top writers—Karen Connelly, Joy Fielding, and the high priestess herself, Margaret Atwood—reading and signing for Read for the Cure in an event hosted by the CBC’s Eleanor Wachtel (Liberty Grand, Exhibition Place [25 British Columbia Road]; doors 6 p.m., program 7:30 p.m., $85.) Finally, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Nino Ricci‘s Governor General’s Award–winning Lives of the Saints, Ricci and Tony Urquhart (who illustrated the anniversary edition) will discuss the collaborative creative process with art critic Gary Michael Dault. (Gladstone Hotel [1214 Queen Street West], 8 p.m., $5.)
COMEDY: Okay, so the words “variety show” conjure up unpleasant images of Lawrence Welk and ventriloquism. But Short Shorts, hosted by Mitchell Roberts, is a different kind of variety show. The monthly affair features comedic short films by some of Toronto’s most talented directors, along with stand-up comics, music, and a live quiz show drinking game. Tonight’s features comedy from Jeffrey Danson and Kirk Hicks, and music from Side Pony Nation. If you’re not sure, this is a good night to check it out—it’s pay what you can, and anyone who submits a film gets in for free. Supermarket (268 Augusta Avenue); doors 7:30 p.m., show 8 p.m.; PWYC.
FILM: Over twenty years ago, the Canadian documentary Half the Kingdom examined the role of women in Judaism, as the film’s seven female subjects struggled to strike a balance between the traditions of their people and their own feminist beliefs. Tonight, the Bloor Cinema will screen the film to honour its legacy and explore the future of Jewish feminism. Director Francine Zuckerman will introduce the film, and several of feminist women featured in the film will reunite for a panel discussion after the screening, hosted by actress Marilyn Lightstone. The panel will also include some newer female voices from the Jewish community, including author Alison Pick and Rabba Sara Hurwitz, the first ordained Orthodox woman in North America. Bloor Cinema (506 Bloor Street West); 6–9 p.m; $36 plus HST/regular, $20 plus HST/students.