Urban Planner: January 17, 2014



Urban Planner: January 17, 2014

In today's Urban Planner: a tipsy Macbeth, comic rhyme faceoffs, and a conversation with fashion royalty.

Susan Claassen as legendary designer Edith Head. Photo by Jim Blair.

  • Theatre: Nine actors will play roles in Shakespeare’s classic tragedy completely faithfully and professionally. And the lead character, this show’s titular Drunk Macbeth, will take a wee dram before every one of his entrances. All 15 of them. Given the demands on the Scotsman (and his liver), there’s a fresh one on the second night: Geoffrey Armour plays the role (and takes the drinks) on January 17, and Peter Nicol on January 18. The audience will get to see whether the show goes off the rails or the cast is able to shepherd the increasingly intoxicated Macbeth to the play’s bloody denouement. (For a great example of a cast helping an erratic Macbeth to a triumphant finish, prep yourself with this Slings & Arrows scene.) The Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Avenue), 7 p.m., $18-$30. Details
  • Dance: Get ready for three days of style, swagger, and grace with Dance Ontario’s Dance Weekend. The Fleck Stage at Harbourfront Centre will play host to over 20 artists in the genres including flamenco, b-boy, belly dance, and ballet. The programme will wrap up on Sunday night with a special gala to celebrate the lifetime achievement of Nadia Potts. Harbourfront Centre, Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay West), 7 p.m., $10, $25 for special presentation. Details
  • Theatre: The Canadian Alliance of Film & Television Costume Arts & Design (CAFTCAD) brings actress Susan Claassen’s one-woman show, A Conversation With Edith Head, to Buddies in Bad Times Theatre for a short weekend run. These days, Head is probably best known as the inspiration for Edna Mode in The Incredibles, but the costume designer clothed many of Hollywood’s most enduring celebrities from the ’20s to the ’80s, winning eight Oscars. Claassen tailors each show to the city she’s in, and answers audience questions in character, so film buffs might want to brush up on the films shot here in Toronto from Head’s 1,000 plus body of work. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander Street), 8 p.m., $35–$40. Details
  • Music: Legendary local rock promoter Dan Burke has teamed up with several influential music collectives to present a “Class of 2014,” made up of local acts they’ve pegged for big things things in this new year. Part 1 happened on January 11; Part 2, co-produced by Silent Shout, features Jef Barbara, Lido Pimienta, Bizzarh, Nyssa, Twist. The Silver Dollar Room (486 Spadina Avenue), 9 p.m., $7.50. Details
  • Comedy: The comic rhyming faceoff series Rapp Battlez celebrates its fourth year with a new crop of characters, including Spielberg vs. Scorsese, “Drogo” vs. “Drago,” and more. A recent sample match featured “Siegfried & Roy” (Al Valulis and Thomas Rivas) facing off against two lions (Alex Tindal and Kevin Dowse). Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 10:30 p.m., $10. 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), 12 p.m., $15, $12 students, $5 Tuesdays. Details
  • Art: Virginia Woolf once remarked that “on or about December 1910, human character changed.” Whether it actually did is debatable, but the curators of “The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection 1910–1918” use that year to start their exhibition of works from a tumultuous decade of innovation in European fine art. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $16.50–$25 (includes general admission). Details
  • Theatre: The Next Stage Theatre Festival is back with a diverse and compelling slate of ten plays, all by artists who’ve previously contributed to the Fringe Festival. While a few of these shows have been produced at the Fringe, a number of them are brand new, and you have until January 19 to check out as many as you can. Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), $15 Main/Studio, $10 Antechamber. Details
  • Photography: Ali Eisner is already known for being a puppeteer, composer, and performer. Now she adds another line to her resumé with her debut photography exhibit, “Favourite Things.” As one might expect, each photo in the show depicts a cherished moment, person, or item in her life—you’ll find shots of everything from travelling and architecture, to puppets and musicians such as Kathleen Edwards, Ron Sexsmith, and Serena Ryder. Join her for the opening reception on January 9. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 12 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Theatre: Every revolution needs a leader. And though the movement to bring the classic 1980s musical Les Misérables 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: Minimalism is taken to a new level in the Theatre Department’s Pith! It’s 1931, and Jack Vail is cooped up in a living room with a grieving widow and her stoic housekeeper. With only four chairs, a phonograph, and imagination at his disposal, he takes them away on a South American jungle adventure. Directed by Ron Jenkins, this award-winning play stars Ron Pederson, Daniela Vlaskalic, and Amy Matysio. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), 7:30 p.m., $20, PWYC on Tuesdays. Details
  • Theatre: Cameron and his grandmother share a special tradition: every Thursday night, they escape into the golden age of film together. A musical about unconditional love, The Way Back to Thursday takes us through the changes in this relationship as Cameron grows older and more distant. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), 7:30 p.m., PWYC-$32.50 + HST. Details
  • Theatre: While vacationing on the Irish Coast, a couple discovers the body of a drowned woman, awakening issues that have been dormant in their marriage. Based on the novel Une vie pour deux, Evelyne de la Chenelière’s Flesh and Other Fragments of Love is a play that straddles the line between detective mystery and ghost story, and examines issues of human intimacy. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., $21-$48. Details
  • Theatre: If you’re a fan of Teen Girl Squad, it will be hard to say this play’s name with a straight face. A satire about how to get ahead in the world, The Ugly One focuses on our obsession with beauty and body modification. Reuniting for this Toronto production are the original cast members—Jesse Aaron Dwyre, David Jansen, Hardee T. Lineham, and Naomi Wright. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., $27-$53. Details
  • Theatre: Rarely Pure Theatre brings Shakespeare’s As You Like It to the Storefront Theatre, one of the city’s new alternative presentation spaces. The company gives the story, which sees love and friendship complicated by sexual tension and gender confusion, a distinctly Canadian twist by moving the action to a wintery wonderland. The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., $20, $15 students/seniors/arts workers. Details
  • Theatre: Let’s face it: being a twenty-something can kinda suck. Pumped full of confidence and aspirations, we flee the family nest…and fall flat on our faces. Avenue Q uses songs (written by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx) and puppetry both to lament and poke fun at this difficult time. Much like Sesame Street, it has a cast made up of human actors who interact with a variety of furry creatures, who themselves have hands up their butts. Think that description is tasteless? This might not be the show for you—these puppets are crude and lewd, and have a taste for alcohol and porn. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Avenue), 8 p.m., $49-$59. Details
  • Theatre: With a minimalistic set, some vintage guitars, and a rock n’ roll soundtrack, Deanna Jones takes on the persona of one of music’s most notorious figures. Humourous and introspective, The Keith Richards One Woman Show leads audiences through the highs and lows of the Rolling Stones guitarist’s often ridiculous life. Fixt Point Studio (1550 Queen Street West), 8 p.m., $15. Details

Happening soon:

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