Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of June 13th
This week is a rich one, with the Luminato Festival entering its 10th year and a bunch of intriguing new shows opening up, from Pride events to plays in parks. This time around, it’s my turn to pick my most-anticipated shows in scintillating red text!
Already Reviewed by Mooney on Theatre:
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (Soulpepper Theatre). This solo play re-imagines the last days of Jesus as only a mother can. Opens May 6 and runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $25-$60. Show Info.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak (Mirvish). A man finds out he’s of aristocratic lineage and sets out to get rid of other heirs in this musical comedy set in Victorian England. Opens May 25 and runs to Jun 26, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Wed, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm. $35-$130. Show Info.
Incident At Vichy by Arthur Miller (Soulpepper Theatre). Eight men await interrogation in a room in Vichy, France, in 1940. Previews from May 19, opens May 26 and runs to Jun 23, see website for schedule. $32-$94. Show Info.
The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein (Soulpepper Theatre). This comedy follows a woman from 1960s teen to 80s career woman while exploring feminism, friendship and social change. Previews from May 16, opens May 24 and runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $32-$94. Show Info.
Instructions (To Any Future Socialist Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas) by Michael Mackenzie (Coal Mine Theatre). Set during the 2008 banking collapse, this play examines the shifting and suspect forces that drive the global financial system. Previews May 29, opens May 31 and runs to Jun 19, Tue-Sun 7:30 pm. $35, preview $20. Show Info.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (LOT). This musical reinvents the Biblical story of Joseph and his brothers. Opens Jun 2 and runs to Jun 26, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 3:30 pm. $50-$60. Show Info.
Madam Mao. Collectively created by Paul Thompson, Janet Lo, Samantha Wan and Severn Thompson (Azure River). This play looks at the story of Jiang Qing, wife of Chairman Mao, and her role in China’s Cultural Revolution. Previews from Jun 2, opens Jun 4 and runs to Jun 19, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $32, stu/srs $26, Sun pwyc. In the Tarragon ExtraSpace. Show Info.
Choking the Butterfly by James Johnson (Rarely Pure Theatre). Formerly conjoined twins Betty and Barney are surgically separated as teenagers and thrown out of their sheltered institutional life to face the world. Opens Jun 9 and runs to Jun 19, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $15. Show Info.
And the Rest:
52 Pick-Up by TJ Dawe and Rita Bozie (The Howland Co). A mix of writing and improvisation is used in this intimate look at relationships told through a game of 52 Pick-up. Opens Jun 1 and runs to Jul 27, Wed 8 pm. $15-$20. Show Info.
Golda’s Balcony by William Gibson (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). Tova Feldshuh portrays the woman who went from the pogroms of Russia to becoming Israel’s fourth prime minister. Previews from Jun 7, opens Jun 9 and runs to Jun 19, see website for times and prices. Show Info.
The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, adapted by Lisa Codrington from a short story by Bernard Shaw (Shaw Festival). Abandoned by her missionary for asking too many questions, a young African girl goes on her own quest to find God. Previews from Jun 10, opens Jun 25 and runs in rep to Sep 11. Lunchtime one-act production, all shows at 11:30 am. $35. Show Info.
Skylight by David Hare (Hidden Cove Productions). Three years after their split, a man looks to reclaim his former mistress after the death of his wife. Previews from Jun 9, opens Jun 15 and runs to Jul 9, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun 1 pm. $38-$64. Show Info.
Love’s Labour Lost by William Shakespeare (Bard in the Park). The play about love, loyalty and empowered women is set in the 1970s in this outdoor show. Opens Jun 13 and runs to Jun 18, Mon-Sat 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. Show Info.
Walk the Walk: National Festival of Asian Canadian Women. fu-GEN Theatre Company presents works by female Asian-Canadian theatre creators, with plays by Marjorie Chan, Mieko Ouchi, Natalie Gan, Sophie Gee, plus panel talks, a cabaret and more. Jun 13-19, daily at 8 pm. Free except for Jun 18 performance cabaret ($15-$20). Show Info.
Situation Rooms (Luminato Festival/Rimini Protokoll). Multi-player video/theatre experience where the audience follows 20 lives shaped by the arms trade. Opens Jun 10 and runs to Jun 26, see website for times. $20. Show Info.
Off Limits Zone. Luminato Festival and DopoLavoro Teatrale present a new iteration of DLT’s theatrical walkabout performance The Stranger (SummerWorks 2015) in which the city is the stage and the audience is the protagonist. Opens Jun 11 and runs to Jun 26, Tue-Sun departures every 30 min between 3-8 pm. $30 and up. Active audience participation (walking) dress accordingly; please bring a fully charged cellphone. You will be informed of the exact starting location 24 hours before your show time. Show Info.
A Rose Upon the Blood by Paddy Gillard-Bentley (Flush Ink Productions). An Irish woman sees her lover before his execution following the Easter Rising of1916. Opens Jun 16 and runs to Jun 25, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $15-$20. Show Info.
The Wonderful World of Miss Conception. Queer Pride 2016 presents Miss Conception bringing cartoon and storybook characters to life in an irreverent musical drag show. Jun 17 at 7:30 pm. $25. Show Info.
Changeling: A Grand Guignol of Murderous Times by Julian R Munds (Desiderata Theatre Co/the Changeling Collective). Postmodern version of a 17th-century play by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley. This play about a woman condemned to be married and a man who’ll do anything to have her looks at the horrors of misogyny. Opens Jun 9 and runs to Jun 26, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 6 pm. $20. Show Info.
Bizarre Ball 4: Shipwreck! Presented by Queer Pride 2016. This Pride ball features a vogueing show and party starring Mother Trouble Nuance, Jazmyn Monroe and Neutron Ebony. Jun 17 at 10:30 pm. $10. Show Info.
Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Dress Casual. David Mirvish presents Broadway’s master songman, accompanied by Adam Ben-David on piano, in a musical theatre concert. Jun 15-16 at 8 pm. $59-$150. Show Info.
The James Plays Trilogy by Rona Munro (Luminato Festival/the National Theatre of Scotland) This modern cycle of history plays connects those who ruled from 1406 to 1488 to the political climate of today. Opens Jun 16 and runs to Jun 26, see website for schedule. $39 and up. Show Info.
Genderplay: We Are Hanging Out Right Now. Presented by Queer Pride 2016. Performance work by Aisha Sasha John and Julia Thomas that combines, dance, music, spoken word and theatre. Jun 18 at 2 pm. Pwyc. Show Info.
Lowdown Dirty Shame. Presented by Queer Pride 2016. Examinations of queer shame and shamelessness featuring burlesque, rants, film, dance and more by Miss Dainty Box, Keith Cole, Alex Tigchelaar, host Moe Angelos and others. Jun 19 at 8 pm. $20. Show Info.
Day of Delight. Clay & Paper Theatre presents a multi-arts festival featuring artists, puppeteers, actors, singers, circus performers and dancers celebrating themes of love, courtship and desire for place, people and planet. Jun 19 from 2 to 5 pm. Pwyc. Show Info.
Paris on Broadway. Toronto Operetta Theatre presents a theatrical show of music by Cole Porter, Jacques Offenbach, Lehar, Romberg and more. Jun 19 at 3 pm. $25-$45. Show Info.
Davy the Punk by Bob Bossin (Town of York Historical Society/Toronto’s First Post Office). Indie musician Bossin brings to life the seedy underbelly of 1930s and 40s T.O. in a musical stage show based on the life of his outlaw father. Jun 18 at 7 pm. $25. Show Info.
Black Boys: A Night of Spiritual Pride. Presented by Queer Pride 2016. Saga Collectif presents a night of performance, art and music to celebrate the possibilities of queer Blackness, with Tawiah, M’Carthy, Virgilia Griffith, Thomas Olajide and others. Jun 18 at 8 pm. $20. Show Info.
Listings based primarily on NOW! Stage Listings