Urban Planner: January 4, 2013
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Urban Planner: January 4, 2013

In today's Urban Planner: free comedy at the Festival of New Formats; an epic painting freed from history by dance; free dinner (with music to dance it off after) at Feast in the East, and more.

The Wave Riders sequence in Qingming Riverside. Photo by Conrad Dy-Liacco.

COMEDY: Until Sunday night, all shows at Comedy Bar are FREE. That’s because it’s the third annual Festival of New Formats, where comedians and producers try out new ideas and pitches, some of which may succeed wildly, and others…not so much. Among tonight’s offerings: March of Improgress at 7 p.m., with new performers matched with top talent; a “no words allowed” version of Catch 23 Improv at 8 p.m.; and at 10 p.m., comedians paying tribute to the king of parody songs with Weird Al Karaoke. Comedy Bar (946 Bloor Street West), 7 p.m. onwards, FREE.

LAUNCH/FUNDRAISER: There are still people facing charges and incarcerated for protest actions during the G20, and a new cookbook, Appetites for Change: Recipes for Change has been compiled to fundraise for legal costs. The book launches tonight at Bike Pirates, with snacks and drinks, plus music by acts like Janice Lee and the Free Radicals. Bike Pirates (1292 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., $5 (or by donation).

DANCE: The Hong Kong Dance Company and the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble are in town tonight and tomorrow night to perform Qingming Riverside, an elaborate spectacle of music, dance, costumes and more, inspired by the 12th-century scroll painting, “Along the River during the Qingming Festival.” The show has toured internationally since 2007, and was performed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 Shanghai Expo. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (1 Front Street East), 8 p.m., $48–$88, plus taxes and service charges.

MUSIC: This month’s edition of the dinner-and-a-concert series Feast in the East has a electronic flavour, with Yacht Club, Digits, and Beta Frontiers on the bill, plus opening shoegazer act Miss Elizabeth. The chef this month is Dan Bedard. Polyhaus (388 Carlaw Avenue), 9 p.m., $7 in advance (includes dinner!), $10 at the door.

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].