Urban Planner: January 6, 2012
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Urban Planner: January 6, 2012

In today's UP: Brides brides brides; comedy experiments at the Festival of New Formats, like rappers and kalimba players doing improv; The Balconies and friends celebrate Audio Blood's third anniversary with classic rock tunes; the Songbird cabaret series re-imagines Madonna; and the Next Stage Theatre Festival continues.

Jacquie Neville of the Balconies; the band (and friends) will be playing songs of the '60s and '70s tonight for Audio Blood's 3rd anniversary party.

BRIDEZILLAS: Well, perhaps not, but everything the ambitious bride or wedding planner might want is supposedly on display at the winter edition of Canada’s Bridal Show—a bridal fashion show. Florists, dressmakers, photographers, and catering services will all be exhibiting their wares. Yup, if it’s wedding related, this weekend-long bridal bonanza should have it. Metro Convention Centre (255 Front Street West) Friday 5 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., $15.

COMEDY: Comedy Bar’s third annual Festival of New Formats, which kicked off on Monday, continues into this weekend. Tonight, it has some particularly intriguing comedy experiments. The popular Catch 23 Improv tournament starts the night off with three teams of musicians. Performers will include rapper Wordburglar, Sheezer bandmates Laura Barrett and (Torontoist contributor) Robin Hatch, and a particularly zany matchup of David Dineen Porter (PDF Format), Morgan Waters (Sweet Thing), and Tyler Stewart (The Barenaked Ladies.) Globe and Mail music critic Carl Wilson will be “judging.” Later in the evening, Kurt Smeaton (Falcon Powder) and Gary Rideout Jr. (The Sketchersons) will do a “question-free” set, and a comedic “Never Have I Ever” game will close out the night. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m. onwards, all FREE.

MUSIC: Audio Blood Media is celebrating three years of championing bands from the GTA and beyond, and one of the signature bands on their roster, The Balconies, has organized a night of ’60s and ’70s covers, Jukebox Generation. The Balconies will be joined in their retro show sets by friends like Carleigh Aikins (ex-Fox Jaws, Bahamas), Zach Sutton (Jane’s Party), and comic Ashley Botting. In between, DJ Jer Tompkins will be spinning period-appropriate hits. Sneaky Dee’s (431 College Street), doors at 9 p.m., $6.

CABARET: Theatre Passe Muraille’s After Hours series takes full advantage of the venue’s upstairs bar and cabaret stage, and tonight’s second edition of their Songbird Series features triple-threat performers doing re-interpretations of the Material Girl’s material. Covering selections from Madonna’s (musical) body of work will be lounge singer extraordinaire Jenni Burke, Philip Akin (artistic director of Obsidian Theatre Company), Shania Silver-Baird (an honourable mention double duty performer in our 2011 SummerWorks highlights), and many more. Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson Avenue), 10 p.m., PWYC.

NEXT STAGE: The Next Stage Theatre Festival (which is the curated winter edition of the Toronto Fringe Festival, complete with heated beer tent) features a selection of previously produced hits, and is programmed to be all killer, no filler. Check out our preview here.

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].