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].
Chess players have left outdoor tables to the birds until the post-winter thaw. There’ll be casual matches happening at the Avro tonight, as the Leslieville pub launches its monthly chess club. Photo by phocrastinating from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
In today’s Urban Planner, free (or PWYC) music, games, theatre, and comedy abound…
MUSIC: In-store alert! Tonight’s Radio Dept. and Young Prisms show at Lee’s Palace is sold out, but you can catch the latter band, a San Francisco outfit that wears its shoegazer label proudly, at Sonic Boom this afternoon. As usual, Sonic Boom only asks you to bring a donation for the Daily Food Bank. Sonic Boom Record Store (512 Bloor Street West), 4 p.m., FREE.
GAMES: Both the weather and the utter chaos at Yonge and Gould streets have put the kibosh on drop-in chess games there between strangers and friends. Okay, there may be hardy souls clearing the snow off benches and tables to play in other areas of town, but why do that when you can play for free in a cozy pub—and enjoy four-dollar shots? The Avro launches its monthly Brawn vs. Brain chess club tonight—all players welcome. The Avro (750 Queen Street East), 7 p.m., FREE.
BLUES: Shakura S’Aida, recently named Canada’s best female blues singer at the Maple Blues Awards, is taking her band on tour to Australia and Europe in March, and to prepare, she’s doing a month of Monday residency nights, working out the kinks in more than twenty new songs. The “public rehearsals,” as S’Aida modestly refers to these shows, are free to all, though if you’d like a good seat, it’d be wise to call ahead (416-340-6469) and reserve a table for dinner. Joe Mama’s (317 King Street West), 7:30 p.m., FREE.
THEATRE: Tonight’s the first preview of Canadian Stage’s production of Saint Carmen of the Main, a new translation of Michel Tremblay’s play about a nightclub singer who starts performing her own material inspired by the denizens of Montreal’s St. Laurent Boulevard. Since it’s Monday, that also means there’s a limited number of PWYC tickets available, starting at 10 a.m. in person at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts box office. Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front Street East), 8 p.m., PWYC–$99.
SOAPS: The National Theatre of the World, who we named among our Heroes of 2010, are experimenting with yet another show format, previewing tonight in preparation for a March launch, but this one isn’t groundbreaking. In fact, it’s a retro classic that hasn’t been seen in Toronto in years. They’re reviving the improvised soap opera, collaborating with many other Second City alumni, including members of Falcon Powder, winners of “Best of the Fest” at the 2010 Toronto SketchFest. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 9 p.m., PWYC.