Urban Planner: November 21, 2013
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Urban Planner: November 21, 2013

In today's Urban Planner: a lecture on pregnancy in horror films, a TTC town hall, Pieces of Me continues, and lots more.

From the poster for Rosemary's Baby  Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

From the poster for Rosemary’s Baby. Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

  • Film: What could be scarier than knowing that something is growing inside of you, and that it will one day burst forth from your flesh to wander the earth bearing your features? When put so tenderly, it’s no surprise that themes of motherhood and birth find their way into many a frightening movie. Torontoist‘s own Kiva Reardon takes the mic at the last Black Museum lecture of the semester—Woeful Wombs: Pregnancy and the Horror Film—to discuss this very topic. Rosemary’s Baby, The Fly, and Twilight will be some of the examples used to illustrate Reardon’s study of how reproduction is represented on the big screen. Big Picture Cinema (1035 Gerrard Street East), 8 p.m., $12 advance, $15 door. Details


  • History: The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.

    Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), all day, $27 (Includes general admission). Details

  • Art: When it was originally unveiled at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (England, not Ontario), the “David Bowie Is” exhibition shattered attendance records, selling over 42,000 advance tickets. Now that the show has come to Toronto, it’s easy to see why it was so successful. Composed of over 300 objects from David Bowie’s personal archive, spanning his entire career, the exhibit is arranged and presented as a completely immersive experience, enveloping visitors in a kaleidoscopic visual and aural landscape that would be overwhelming if it weren’t so brilliantly arranged and intelligently guided. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $30 (includes general admission). Details
  • Theatre: Since its humble beginnings in the back room of Toronto’s Tranzac club back in 2003, Evil Dead The Musical has steadily risen in infamy as a ridiculously fun, tongue-in-cheek, gore-soaked musical experience. From those earliest shows, the musical has gone on to make an off-broadway debut, to win and be nominated for several Dora awards, and to play in dozens of cities around the world, from Montreal and Vancouver to Tokyo and Madrid. It was high time that the show make a triumphant homecoming to a stage in Toronto, and it finally has, at the Randolph Theatre. The Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst St.), all day, $19.99–$79.95. Details
  • Film: It’s not every day that a media tour opens with the injunction not to photograph “the sex blob,” but so began TIFF’s preview of “David Cronenberg: Evolution,” the organization’s first large-scale touring exhibition (for now, it’s stationed at the TIFF Bell Lightbox’s HSBC Gallery). It’s an exhaustive, stunning look at some of the wildest, most perverse creations of a pioneer of the body-horror genre—who also happens to be Canada’s most internationally renowned filmmaker. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), 2:40 a.m., $15, $12 students, $5 Tuesdays. Details
  • Art:Telling: An Audio Survey of Parkdale,” curated by Phil Anderson and Tara Bursey, gathers site-specific audio clips that relate to spaces across Parkdale. The opening reception and panel discussion (where the public will get the chance to discuss the different works) are on November 7th and November 13th respectively (both at 7 p.m.). Gallery 1313 (1313 Queen Street West), all day, FREE. Details
  • Theatre: Why simply watch a theatre production when you could be immersed in it? Let the Bloomsbury Collective transport you to Cambridge University in the year 1928 to hear Virginia Woolf deliver a speech that would later inform her iconic feminist text, A Room of One’s Own. Attendees are invited to roam the on-site library and peruse Woolf’s personal letters and diary to get a peek into her life. Campbell House Museum (160 Queen Street West), 7 p.m., $20. Details
  • Theatre: Every revolution needs a leader. And though the movement to bring the classic 1980s musical Les Miserables back to Toronto is markedly different than the quest for political accountability and social equality, it has its hero just the same. After Wednesday night’s official opening performance at the Princess of Wales Theatre, the audience likely would have followed London-based, Richmond Hill-raised performer Ramin Karimloo (as the story’s golden-hearted protagonist, Jean Valjean) anywhere he would lead. Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West), 7:30 p.m., $35–$130. Details
  • Theatre: The old adage “appearances can be deceiving” rings true in Promise Productions’ new musical, Pieces of Me. Though Pamela and Parker seem to have a perfect marriage, trouble brews just below the surface. Parker works to solidify a happy future with his wife, not knowing that Pamela is restless, and harbouring a secret that could destroy everything. Written and directed by Deon Denton, the play stars the Shahi Teruko (Canada’s Got Talent), and recording artist Sheldon Neil. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), 7:30 p.m., $20–$32.50. Details
  • Theatre: If the name Shakespeare Bash’d sounds familiar, it’s for good reason. For two years in a row, the collective creative effort founded by James Wallis and producer Rob Kraszewski has been upending the way local audiences experience the Bard’s work. In 2012, Shakespeare Bash’d’s Fringe Festival staging of The Taming of the Shrew, at Mirvish Village’s Victory Café, earned citywide praise. Bar 3030 (3030 Dundas Street West), 7:30 p.m., $16–$21. Details
  • Comedy: You might expect a show called We Can Be Heroes to be a send-up of superhero films, but Second City’s new mainstage production is actually a celebration of minor, everyday acts of heroism ranging from giving advice to a bullied child to managing not to be a jackass at your friend’s wedding. Second City (51 Mercer Street), 8 p.m., $24–$29. Details
  • Comedy: If you’re looking for some sketch comedy to help you get to the end of the week, look no further than Mark & Kyle’s Thursday Plays, which promises new comedy shows (with plenty of music) every week for the month of November. Mark Little and Kyle Dooley are just coming off a pretty successful run at Just For Laughs and JFL42 (which we featured here), so you know it’ll be good. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., $8. Details
  • Theatre: The Alumnae Theatre Company presents its inaugural FireWorks theatre showcase. Akin to the New Ideas Festival, this series features plays created in-house by local artists. Three pieces will be staged during the three-week run: Theory by Norman Yeung, Gloria’s Guy by Joan Burrows, and Measure of the World by Shirley Barrie. For those who want more than just stage productions, there will also be several roundtable discussions and playwright talks to attend. Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley Street), 8 p.m., Tickets $20, $50 for series pass. Details
  • Theatre: The Unit 102 Actors Company brings Shakespeare’s tale of power and corruption to life with its production of Julius Caesar. Taking place in 44 B.C., the play follows the events surrounding Caesar’s assassination. First performed as early as 1599, many of the story’s central issues are still relevant today. Unit 102 Theatre (376 Dufferin Street), 8 p.m., $20. Details
  • Theatre: Red One Theatre Collective presents an adaptation of August Strindberg’s classic drama Miss Julie, directed by David Ferry. In Patrick Farber’s After Miss Julie, set in England at the close of WWII, Miss Julie (Claire Armstrong) tempts her chauffeur John (Christopher Morris), imperiling his engagement to Christine (Amy Keating). The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., $10–$20. Details
  • Theatre: Tarragon Theatre presents ten days of innovative onstage creations as part of Play Reading Week. The showcase will debut new works from members of the 2013 Playwrights Unit, and many of the plays will go on to be developed further in Tarragon’s WorkSpace program and mounted as full productions in future seasons. A different burgeoning playwright will find him or herself in the spotlight each night. On the roster are Kate Cayley, Anna Chatterton, Jordi Mand, Amy Lee Lavoie, Maria Milisavljevic, Jessica Anderson, Adam Paolozza, Diane Flacks, Marilo Nuñez, and Gord Rand. Tarragon Theatre, Near Studio (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Theatre: Imagine what it would be like if Einstein and Picasso met in a bar and ended up competing for the affection of the same woman. That’s exactly what Steve Martin did (yeah, that Steve Martin) when he wrote Picasso at the Lapin Agile. This comedy, set in 1904, sees the two masterminds meet for a tête-à-tête in Paris, just before Einstein publishes his Special Theory of Relativity, and before Picasso paints Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Presented by the Trinity College Dramatic Society, the play runs for one week only. George Ignatieff Theatre (15 Devonshire Place), 8 p.m., $10 students, $15 adults. Details
  • Theatre: Winners and Losers is a play by Marcus Youssef and James Long based on a game of the same name the two theatre artists sometimes play. They pick a person, place, or thing, and debate whether it’s a “winner” or a “loser.” But it probably wouldn’t be fair to pick their director (and Crow’s Theatre artistic director) Chris Abraham as a topic, particularly since he was recently declared the winner of the Siminovitch Prize, Canadian theatre’s most prestigious (not to mention lucrative) honour. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), 8 p.m., Various prices. Details

Happening soon:

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