In today's Urban Planner: photographic silver linings, sexy stories, and Vulcan hissy fits.
- Art: Steam Whistle is partnering with the CONTACT Photography Festival to present a month-long art show in the Roundhouse. Silver Lining features the images taken by five young Canadian photographers: Darlene Huynh, Shayne Laverdriere, Tommy Matejka, Tanja-Tiziana, and Kate Valiquette. Acknowledging the rich history of analogue photography, the show explores its revival and integration with digital technology. Join the featured artists at the opening party, which also includes a performance by Joseph & The Mercurials. Steam Whistle Brewing (255 Bremner Boulevard), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
- Performing Arts: The folks behind Tell Me Something Good are all about the kissing and telling. Their Sexy Storytelling Slam nights encourage regular people like you to get up and tell salacious—but true—stories. This month’s theme is Sexual Empowerment, so bring your tales of body pride, discovering your orientation, or that time you really came into your own in the bedroom (pun intended). Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 8 p.m., FREE. Details
- Comedy: It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it’s time to check in with The Dandies to see what their characters are up to in Holodeck Follies, a Star Trek improv parody show. Episode 5: Vulcan Hissy Fit sees the crew of the Albatross come down with a bad case of Vulcan blood fever. To round out the night, some non-Trekkie action will be provided by Rapp Battlez, Freddie Rivas and his puppets, PHATT al, and Delica-m, who will be premiering their music video. Black Swan Tavern (154 Danforth Avenue), 8 p.m., $8. 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
Art: “The greatest art always returns you to the vulnerabilities of the human situation.” – Francis Bacon
“In the human figure one can express more completely one’s feelings about the world than in any other way.” – Henry Moore
These quotations, which welcome visitors to “Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty,” immediately establish the exhibition’s tone and focus. Each artist’s distortions of the human figure, shaped by their wartime experiences, capture the vulnerability of our mortal forms. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $25 adults. Details
- Music: If you’re thinking that it seems longer than usual since Canadian Music Week last rolled around, good news: you’re not crazy. For its 2014 edition, the event left behind its typically lousy March weather and moved to the comparatively balmier conditions of early May. So instead of being viewed as the next major festival after SXSW, it’ll perhaps now be seen more as a sibling of NXNE. Thanks to a radius clause introduced by NXNE that makes sure the two festivals feature different acts, though, they’ll have to carve out their own separate identities as concert extravaganzas. Multiple venues, all day, Wristbands $75. Details
- Theatre: Broken people, obsession, loss, war, and poverty don’t usually make for the most uplifting stories. But what if love were thrown in? Of Human Bondage does just that. Regarded as one of the world’s greatest novels, it has been brought to life by playwright Vern Thiessen, and will make its world premiere on the Soulpepper Theatre stage. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $29–$74. Details
- Theatre: If you’re in the mood for a murder mystery with a religious twist, you’ll want to check out The Last Confession. David Suchet (Poirot) and Richard O’Callaghan star in this play about the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. After only 33 days in office, and having warned three cardinals that they would be replaced, he is found dead. Though the Vatican refuses to open an official investigation, Cardinal Benelli goes out in search of the truth. Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West), 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., $35–$119. Details
- Dance: The Peggy Baker Dance Project is thinking outside the box with its new production, land|body|breath. Specially designed to exist between the paintings and sculptures of the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, this immersive show features a combination of dancers and vocalists. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), 7 p.m., Ticket included with AGO admission. Details
- Theatre: Be honest: you’re one of those drivers who slows down to gape at traffic accidents, aren’t you? Outside the March aims to satisfy this morbid curiosity with Rosamund Small’s Vitals. In this unique, interactive theatre experience, the 30-person audience gets to accompany Anna (Katherine Cullen) as she gets dispatched out to the scene of an emergency. As the location of the performance is undisclosed, guests will pick up their tickets—and directions to the venue—at 149 Roncesvalles Avenue. , 7:30 p.m., $30, $25 for seniors and those under 30. Details
- Theatre: It’s 1977, and a group of friends in England are gathering for a soirée. A pretty standard concept, that’s for sure, but Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party takes things to another level with a playful romp through the lives of these suburban socialites. Witness the hilarity and awkwardness as the hostess from hell metaphorically tears her guests to pieces. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), 7:30 p.m., $25–$29.50. Details
- Theatre: Most unsolicited messages from admirers to famous writers do not result in collaborations: but when Lindsay Cochrane, kindergarten teacher and English literature grad, emailed Yann Martel, the acclaimed author of Life of Pi, about adapting one of his novels into a stage play, the two ended up joining forces. The result is Cochrane’s first play, Beatrice & Virgil, on now at Factory Theatre (in a co-production with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre). With the help of director Sarah Garton Stanley, Cochrane has made an impressively valiant effort to wrangle some large, abstract, and troublesome ideas into a well-crafted work of live theatre. Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), 8 p.m., $23–$45. Details
- Theatre: We’re nearing the end of Tarragon Theatre‘s 2013/2014 season, and it appears we’ve also arrived at the final stage of its theme: love, loss, wine, and the gods. But that doesn’t mean the Tarragon, which has seen some major hits this year in Lungs, The Double, and The Ugly One, is phoning it in. Sean Dixon’s ambitious new script, A God in Need of Help, has produced not only one of the longer plays in the Tarragon season, but also easily the most dense and layered, mixing as it does historical fact and fiction with timeless issues of art, religion, and politics. Fortunately, that makes it the strongest mainstage show of the season thus far (we’ll see how Tarragon’s final show, The God That Comes, co-created by and featuring Hawksley Workman, performs in June). Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., $21–$53. 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.