In today's Urban Planner: a group bike ride in East York, First Thursdays returns to the AGO, and Carmen comes to the ballet.
- Wheels: If you enjoy biking in the city (and of course you do) then get your wheels tuned up and join in Ward 29 Bikes’ weekly summer series, Thursday Night Rides. Here, you’ll have an opportunity to spin around neighbourhoods you might not normally explore on your own while getting to meet other like-minded cycling citizens. Be sure to check out their website for the starting point and schedule (also to get confirmation that the ride’s still a go due to weather, etc.). Multiple venues, 6:15 p.m., FREE. Details
- Theatre: Passion Play is an epic cycle of three plays that explores how religion, politics, and theatre intersect. The three-act play, which starts off in Withrow Park before moving down to Eastminster United Church, depicts traditional passion plays throughout three historical periods. This play by Sarah Ruhl is presented by Outside the March, Convergence Theatre, and Sheep No Wool. Multiple venues, 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., $25. Details
- Parties: The AGO’s insanely popular First Thursdays is back for another night of music in the art gallery. This edition features feminist art rock band, Vag Halen, who’ll also be joined by Light Fires, and a DJ set by the Mighty Real DJs. Besides the music, there will be pop-up talks about artworks in the AGO, a chance to get into some karaoke, and so much more. Act fast with tickets, though; every First Thursday night has sold out since the event started. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), 8 p.m., $12 advance, $15 door. Details
Even if you aren’t familiar with the opera Carmen, chances are you’re familiar with at least some of its score (if you are, chances are equally strong that you’ll have a difficult time getting this melody out of your head today). Though initially a flop when it debuted in 1875, Carmen went on to enjoy critical acclaim and has since become one of the most performed operas of all time. It’s now omnipresent in popular culture. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen Street West), 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $25 – $180. Details
- Photography: Canadian indie music label, Arts & Crafts, are celebrating their tenth anniversary. As part of the celebrations, they’re showing a new exhibition from Toronto photographer, Norman Wong. The exhibition features images of various artists over the years including Feist, Kevin Drew, Emily Haines, and many more. You’ll be able to buy a book of photography there and a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Testicular Cancer Canada and MusiCounts. 1093 Queen Street West, Unit 2 (1093 Queen Street West), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
- Theatre: Broadway’s second longest running show prowls into Toronto, boasting an entirely Canadian cast. The all-new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS combines established acting talent, a known and loved score, and holographic set design. Directed by Dave Campbell, and featuring performances by Eric Abel, and original Canadian company member Susan Cuthbert. Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street), 7:30 p.m., $40-$110. Details
- Theatre: One of the Fringe Festival’s greatest successes, and definitely Soulpepper’s biggest post-millennial hit, Ins Choi’s corner store comedy Kim’s Convenience returns for another extended run into the the summer season. Most of the principal cast, including Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as larger-than-life patriarch Appa, are back. Here’s our review of the first Soulpepper remount. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 7:30 p.m., $5–$68. Details
- Theatre: If you’ve been paying attention to musical theatre news over the past two years, you know that The Book of Mormon has a passionate and devout following of fans who swear it’s the long-awaited saviour of the artform. The show won nine Tonys in 2011, the cast recording reached number three on the Billboard chart, and tickets for its Broadway run are rare and expensive. Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West), 8 p.m., Prices vary. Details
- Theatre: Naomi Snieckus and Matt Baram of The National Theatre of the World have created “an actor’s nightmare and a playwright’s dream” with The Script Tease Project. They’ve arranged for celebrated Canadian writers to pen the first two pages of a play, sealing them in an envelope afterwards. Then, on stage in front of an audience, the envelope is opened, the pages read cold, and a completely improvised play is born! A new writer’s work will be featured every night of the showcase. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 8 p.m., $15 – $25. Details
Theatre: In 1996, Theatre Columbus premiered playwright Michael O’Brien’s “freely adapted” take on the famous Beaumarchais play The Barber of Seville, which was written in 1775. O’Brien’s version mixed in music from the 1816 opera of the same name by Gioachino Rossini, as well as original tunes by composer John Millard. The adaptation also propelled the story forward a couple centuries, with pop culture references galore. With Theatre Columbus co-founder Leah Cherniak at the helm, the musical ended the season with six Dora Award nominations (it won three) and plenty of critical acclaim.
Seventeen years later, Soulpepper Theatre is remounting this zany reimagination of The Barber of Seville, updated once again by O’Brien, Millard, and Cherniak. But, for some reason—the change in decade, or company, or sense of humour—whatever had made the original so magical, has faded, save for a few key performances. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 8 p.m., $32–$68. Details
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 us with all the details (including images, if you’ve got any), ideally at least a week in advance.