Urban Planner: May 12, 2014
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Urban Planner: May 12, 2014

In today's Urban Planner: exceptionally talented sisters, a literary launch party, and a laughable night out.

Leilanni (left) and Maylee (right) Todd. Photo by May Truong.

  • Talks: The Todd sisters, exceptionally talented in their respective creative fields of fashion (Leilanni) and music (Maylee), guest on this month’s Interaction series for creative thinkers, hosted by the Lunch collective. Maylee, who just played a showcase at CMW, often wears costumes and outfits on stage and in her videos that are created by her sister; in turn, she’s often been a model for Leilanni, who’s been profiled as a designer by the Globe and Mail and Fashion magazine. The sisters will talk about their collaborative creative work in the past, present, and future. Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street West), 6 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Books: ECW Press kicks off its spring publishing season with a Spring Literary Party, which will have a half-dozen of their recent authors in attendance, including former Torontoist contributor Suzannah Showler, author of Failure to Thrive; the Grid‘s film critic Adam Nayman, author of It Doesn’t Suck: Showgirls; and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle super-fan Richard Rosenbaum, author of Raise Some Shell. The Piston (937 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Comedy: Spring is sprung, Torontonians are leaving their homes again, and shows like Laughable are returning so you can drink and laugh in the company of others. Co-hosts Nick Flanagan and Steph Tolev have a pretty strong lineup for their first stand-up showcase of 2014, including Laugh Sabbath’s Tim Gilbert, the jolly Arthur Simeon, and unauthorized jingle crooner Marty Topps. Unlovable (1415 Dundas Street West), 9 p.m., PWYC. Details


  • Art: If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), all day, $27 adults. Details
  • Theatre: As the world premiere of a stage adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s famous novel, Soulpepper Theatre’s production of Of Human Bondage is the jewel of the company’s 2014 season. Not that it’s a perfect play—but it does flex the strength of Soulpepper’s acting ensemble, design team, and, well, budget. The arresting opening scene sees the play’s main character, Philip Carey, well-played by Gregory Prest, enter by rising through a trapdoor centre stage while other members of the cast appear to dissect a cadaver (they’re actually crossing bows across a double bass, which is lying horizontally on an operating table). A spotlight casts Philip’s shadow against a red-brick wall, so that the bows appear to saw through his stiff, upright body. Setting the tone for the rest of the production, the scene is striking, but not incredibly subtle. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 7:30 p.m., $29–$74. Details
  • Music: After a month of “spring break,” Danny Michel’s School Night Mondays return to their weekly residency at the Dakota Tavern. The previous March residency had special guests like astronaut Chris Hadfield and fellow local songwriter Royal Wood, and given that every previous edition has sold out (it’s door tickets only, so get there early), the night is likely to continue to feature quality guests (plus Michel and his band, of course). Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Avenue), 8 p.m., $20. Details

Happening soon:

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.