In today's Urban Planner: The latest take on The Wizard of Oz, a discussion about the connection between animals and humans, a look at the relationship between two important Canadian women, a trailer park tragedy, a Pulitzer-winning play about a woman struggling between genius and mental illness, a Toronto version of La bohème, and the four-day Roller Derby World Cup. Whew!
THEATRE: Check out the premiere of Ross Petty Productions’ take on The Wizard of Oz—the classic story of a girl who tries to find her way home after stumbling somewhere over the rainbow. Featuring Elicia MacKenzie (who won the reality show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and then went on for a string of The Sound of Music performances) and Ross Petty himself (who encourages the crowd to boo him when he appears as the Wicked Witch of the West). The Elgin Theatre (189 Yonge Street), today to January 6, 7 p.m., ticket prices vary.
ANIMALS: Poor Aquaman. Everybody always makes fun of DC’s least-popular superhero because the only thing he can do is talk to animals. But the relationship between humans and animals is a lot more complex and meaningful than people think. “Between Species” is a discussion brought to you by Zoocheck Canada that features five speakers on five different topics, all discussing how our understanding of animals changes constantly. Northern District Public Library (40 Orchard View Boulevard, 2nd floor), 7 p.m.–9 p.m., $5.
THEATRE: Very few know the story of Toronto activist and theatre director Eugenia “Jim” Watts. After her work was banned, she enlisted in the Spanish Civil War where she became its only female ambulance driver. Jesus Chrysler explores the relationship between Watts and Dorothy Livesay–a poet who went on to win the Governor General Award twice. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), today to December 11, 7:30 p.m., ticket prices vary.
THEATRE: This trailer-park tragedy first made its premiere at SummerWorks in 2008; it’s now been reworked and is ready for a return to the Toronto stage. CRUSH tells the story of Martin, who moves into Ronny and Sandra’s trailer park on the edge of a small Ontario city—the startling tragedy that happens next… Well, you have to see it to find out! Factory Studio Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), today to December 11, 8 p.m., $20.
THEATRE: Math? Did somebody say math? Don’t worry, you can leave this next bit of problem solving to the actors. Proof, a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award–winning play, tells the tale of a woman who must come to terms with her mathematical genius while also struggling with mental illness. The Branding Factory (136 Geary Avenue), today to December 18, 8 p.m., $20.
THEATRE: The bohemians are coming! The bohemians are coming! That’s right, the cold lonely month of November is finally behind us, meaning it’s due time for some love. Grain Theatre is bringing a new take of Puccini’s La bohème to Toronto—a tale where a writer, lover, artist, and flirt come together for a night of love and tragedy. The Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Avenue), today to December 3, 8 p.m., ticket prices vary.
ROLLER DERBY: Speed, body-checking, and women on wheels. When these three things come together, you get the sport known as the roller derby. And, no, this isn’t your dinky third grade trip to Wheelies (how’s that for some nostalgia?). To see what all the fuss is about, check out the 2011 Roller Derby World Cup, which is taking place right here in Toronto! Teams from around the world will be competing in an intense four-day marathon. The Bunker (40 Carl Hall Rd. Studio #3), today to December 4, $35 single day pass, $100 weekend pass.
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.