Urban Planner: January 3, 2011
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Urban Planner: January 3, 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].

The cast of Parade, which previewed in the last days of 2010, and opens tonight in 2011. Photo by Kesta Graham.

In today’s Urban Planner, as the new year ramps up, we’re recommending a futuristic film set nine years ago, a socially conscious musical set ninety-eight years ago, and a sampler of new comedy shows that could come back… in the future.

FILM: We interviewed special effects legend Doug Trumbull (Blade Runner, Star Trek: The Motion Picture) last month, chatting with him about his work on Stanley Kubrick’s seminal film 2001: a Space Odyssey, which launched Trumbull’s career. 2001 continues its run tonight and this week at our 2010 Hero venue, the TIFF Bell Lightbox, screening in gorgeous 70mm glory. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), 6 p.m. & 9:15 p.m., $12–$15.
THEATRE: Studio 180 Theatre, best known to Toronto audiences as the producers of politically relevant shows like Stuff Happens and The Laramie Project, is collaborating with the Acting Up Stage Company to co-produce the Canadian premiere of Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown’s Parade (we wrote about the show in our December 30 Urban Planner, while it was in previews). It’s the first musical for Studio 180 (Acting Up Stage scored big with audiences and critics last year with their production of Light in the Piazza), and the largest production yet for both companies; in our opinion, Parade is exactly the kind of quality show that Toronto should be producing locally, rather than importing touring productions of. Canstage Berkeley Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), 8 p.m., $32–$40.
COMEDY: The second annual Festival of New Formats began last night at Comedy Bar, and continues all this week, showcasing new show ideas that local performers and producers want to give trial runs. Tonight’s wildly varied slate includes The Big Lebowski Live, which, like Friday’s Empire Strikes Back Live, could be a one-night-only event (previous live interpretations of The Dude, Donny, and Walter have run into copyright roadblocks); The Soft Chin Show, which boasts talented comedians like Ryan Belleville and Kayla Lorette, based solely on specific anatomy; and The Vermouth Club, a spin-off of a Sunday Night Live sketch about men indulging a specific obsession in the club president’s garage. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m. onwards, FREE.