Urban Planner: March 24–25, 2012
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Urban Planner: March 24–25, 2012

This weekend, join an outdoor art tour with the AGO; catch a one-night-only performance of a stellar comedy monologue act; a documentary on the story of American film critics gets a screening and panel discussion; Canadian Music Week goes out with a bang; and much more!

Shanren, a Beijing rock band, will be playing at this weekend's launch of a book about the rock music movement in China. Photo courtesy of Anna Withrow.

BOOK LAUNCH: Those who think we’re not in a golden age of music right now are clearly missing something. For another example of how the global village has helped to bring music from around the world together, don’t miss this launch of new book Red Rock, The Long, Strange March of Chinese Rock & Roll. The event also features rare performances by Beijing bands Shanren and Nova Heart. Gladstone Hotel, Main Ballroom (1214 Queen Street W.), Saturday, 1 p.m., $5 (or free with a purchase of the book).

HEALTH: Hey, it’s the weekend—your chance to cool down from a stressful week at work. If you need a helping hand for the winding-down process, you might consider this free Reiki healing class, which serves as an intro to the Japanese stress reduction technique (and will then be followed by a demonstration and question period). The World’s Biggest Bookstore, 2nd floor (20 Edward Street), Saturday, 1–2:30 p.m., FREE.

ART WALK: Sometimes, wandering aimlessly in a gallery isn’t enough to appreciate all the great art that the city has to offer. Fortunately for us, the AGO gets that. As part of AGO’s Toronto Now series, local artists Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette will be taking art lovers on an outdoor tour called Tagging Along—a perfect complement to the excellent weather we’re having. Meet in the Young Gallery, AGO (317 Dundas Street W.), Saturday, 2–4 p.m., FREE.

COMEDY: For one night only, you can see the one-man show that has everybody raving. Sex, Religion & Other Hang-ups is a monologue of triumphs and disappointments by a guy named James Gangl, who must fight off his religious upbringing to obtain the heart of an underwear model. Check out our interview with him here. The Second City (51 Mercer Street), Saturday, 10 p.m., $15.

FILM: Before Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic ratings essentially swept away the individual power of a film critic, reviewers had a tremendous impact on the culture of the industry. For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism is a documentary that tells this story and features critics such as Roger Ebert, A.O. Scott, Lisa Schwarzbaum, and more. Following a screening of the film there will also be a panel with the director, Gerald Peary, as well as a number of Toronto film critics (including Torontoist’s own Kiva Reardon). Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street W.), Sunday, 6:30 p.m., $11.

MUSIC: Take a moment to reminisce about the choir days of your youth and prepare your ears for the 50-person Hart House Chorus (made up of students, alumni, and professors). This spring concert will be showcasing works such as Healey Willan’s “Gloria Deo per Immensa Saecula,” Holman’s “Night Music,” and Craig Galbraith’s “Go Lovely Rose.” The Great Hall, Hart House (7 Hart House Circle), Sunday, 7 p.m., FREE (will take donations).

DISCUSSION: If you haven’t found enough events to fill your women’s history month, here’s one you shouldn’t miss. Gender, Security and Religion in Israel: New Challenges, New Voices is a talk that features Israela Oron, the first woman Israeli Defence Force deputy spokesperson, who helped initiate major reforms for women in the IDF and Israel. Oron will be talking about the impact of religion on gender equality and democratic values. Temple Sinai (210 Wilson Avenue), Sunday, 7:30 p.m., FREE.

COMEDY: Piece of Garbage Sex Dungeon. Now that’s a name that’ll get your attention. This comedy show features improv with Surprise Romance Elixir, White Panther Girlfriend, The Jeremy Birrell Show, and stand-up comedy host, Evan Desmarais. Check out this rather awesome promo for the show here. Unit 102 (376 Dufferin Street), Sunday, 8 p.m., $5.

CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK: Bands, and films, and comedians—oh my! Canadian Music Week is upon us again, filling our evenings from March 21 to 25 with acts from across the world. Check out our full coverage of the festival with daily picks, nightly reviews, band profiles, and other magical tidbits we pick up, and make the most of it. It is, after all, the first CMW in recent memory that maybe won’t require an umbrella, which is cause for celebration in and of itself.


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].

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