Urban Planner: January 18, 2011
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Urban Planner: January 18, 2011

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].

Four competitors race the clock in a previous Art Battle showdown. Photo by Noah Gano.

On tonight’s docket: local artists go head to head in a battle of brushes, the Toronto premiere of Lynne Nottage’s Pulitzer-winning Ruined, and an evening of improv comedy wrapped in Vegas-style glitz.

ART: The popular live painting showdown Art Battle begins the new year with its tenth installation, which will find eight artists facing off in a timed competition for the prize purse of five hundred dollars. Tickets for the raffle to choose competitors are almost sold out, with a small handful to be available at the door. Audience voting will cull two finalists from the chosen eight, who will then compete head to head for the top honour. All finished works will be available for purchase by auction, but any which don’t receive the minimum bid of $50 will be publicly and mercilessly destroyed! The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West), 7:30 p.m., $15.
THEATRE: The Obsidian Theatre Company and Nightwood Theatre have come together to stage the Toronto premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Ruined, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Set in a small mining town in the civil war-ravaged Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ruined tells the complicated story of Mama Nadi, a brothel owner who both protects and profits from the “ruined” women of her village. Yanna McIntosh takes up the role of the shrewd matriarch, based on interviews conducted by Nottage in Uganda. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), 8 p.m., $15.
COMEDY: Calling all high rollers! The comic duo of Gary Chan and Amy Zuch—known collectively with director Dave Pearce as Super Lucky—are hosting a new monthly evening of Vegas-themed improv. There will be games of chance along with your chuckles, including the opportunity to roll a dice to determine your price of admission. Enjoy while Super Lucky team up with numerous guests for short- and long-form improv, followed by craps, blackjack, poker, and lounge music. Black Swan Tavern (154 Danforth Avenue), 8 p.m., admission by the dice, up to $7.