Radar: Art, Your Secrets, Jack Beats, The Joy of Gender, WriteNOW! Festival of New Works

French playwright Yasmina Reza's Art won a slew of awards when it debuted in 1995, including France's highest dramatic honour in the Moliere Award. It was so universally loved that its English translation won a Tony in the United States and a Laurence Olivier Award in Britain. The play centers on three friends whose relationship is stretched to the breaking point by a debate over the purchase of an expensive white-on-white avant garde painting that is essentially nothing more than a blank canvas. Funny and insightful, Art examines the nature of art and the merits of modernism with a delightfully sharp wit. The Toronto production runs until April 10 and stars the ever-likable Colin Mochrie, Peter Donaldson, and Evan Buliung.
Bluma Appel Theatre, 45 Front St. East, $20 - $64, Monday - Saturday 8 pm with 2 pm Saturday matinee

COMEDY | Your Secrets
Most of us walk around everyday carrying terrible secrets; some of us might be sleeping with our sister's boyfriend. Some of us might say horribly racist things when no one's around. Some of us (c'mon, all of us) pick our nose. It can take a lot of effort to keep a lid on all that, so if you're looking to air out some skeletons in your closet, send a message to the organizers of Your Secrets. They'll take your hidden peccadilloes and darkest mysteries and turn them into hilarious improv comedy before your very eyes. All the emails remain anonymous so you can sit and chuckle quietly while all your dirty laundry is aired to a packed comedy club. Just don't laugh too hard, some one might catch on.
Clinton's Tavern, 693 Bloor St. West, $5, 8:00 pm

PARTY | Jack Beats w/ Tapedeck Bros. at the Social
Mother nature's a bitch. After teasing us with three days of blissful sun during the work week she unleashed three straight days of miserable rain this weekend, stranding would-be partiers indoors. You may have missed out on festivities while you did your best to stay dry, but tonight the the clouds have cleared and the Social is throwing a worthy party with London, UK's Jack Beats and local mixtape miscreants the Tape Deck Bros. Jack Beats are a duo made up of award winning DJs Beni G and Plus One, purveyors of the British house sound currently in vogue. With $2 drinks before midnight and $3.50 pints all night, this one's got some legs.
The Social, 1100 Queen St. W., 10 pm

SEX ED | The Joy of Gender
Humans have a tendency to think in binaries. Good and evil, black and white, man and woman. Thankfully the real world is a bit more complicated than that, and there's a lot of room to move between those supposed opposites. Psychotherapist and activist Hershel Russell comes to U of T tonight to disrupt commonly held notions of male and female with a provocative workshop called "the Joy of Gender." Exploring and celebrating the experiences of transgendered people, Russell shows how transsexuality is a natural aspect of human diversity and pays particular attention to the upcoming rewrite of the always controversial Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The interactive workshop is an opportunity to learn as well as contribute your own voice to the discussion.
Centre for Women and Trans People, 563 Spadina Ave., Free, 6 pm - 8 pm

THEATRE | Write NOW! Festival of New Works
Now in its fourth year, the pivotal(arts) theatre company's WriteNOW Festival is a six-day juried festival of one-act plays by Toronto's emerging playwrights. The fest kicks off tonight with an edgy queer comedy by Graeme Gerrard called Dating Yourself (my favourite method of practicing safe sex, by the way) and a six-playwright concoction called Up In the Clouds. The works may be new and written by untested youngsters, but that doesn't mean they're slapdash. Each play goes through three months of workshopping before its even casted, ensuring the finished product is fresh but well-thought out. Runs til Saturday.
Bread and Circus, 299 Augusta Ave., $15 single play, $25 festival pass, 7:30 pm

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Photo: "Food" by tanjatiziana, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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