Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of August 15th
We’re slowly pulling out of the summer theatre slump with a modest but exciting number of new plays opening this week across the city! From Shakespeare to cabarets, our editor Mike is here to highlight those he’s most excited about in red text under the cut! Check ’em out!
Already Reviewed by Mooney on Theatre:
Matilda: the Musical by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin (Mirvish/Royal Shakespeare Company/The Dodger). A gifted girl uses her imagination and sharp mind to fight against the cruel and cynical people in her life in this musical based on the novel by Roald Dahl. Opens Jul 5 and runs to Oct 16, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm. mat Wed, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm (no performances Sep 6-11). $38-$139. Show Info.
Luzia by Daniele Finzi Pasca and Julie Hamelin Finzi (Cirque du Soleil). Acrobats, musicians, dancers, storytellers and more are used to tell a story inspired by the monarch butterfly’s journey from Canada to Mexico. Opens Jul 28 and runs to Oct 2, see website for schedule. $49 & up. Show Info.
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (Soulpepper Theatre). A woman worries about the emergence of a secret while her husband celebrates a big promotion in this drama about gender roles and family values. Previews from Jul 18, opens Jul 27 and runs to Aug 27, see website for schedule. $32-$96. Show Info.
Killer Tunes. Presented by Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre. Music superstars gather at an awards show in this interactive dinner theatre whodunnit. July 8 to Sep 17, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm (dinner from 6:30 pm), see website for matinees. $45-$87. Show Info.
Shakespeare in High Park: Hamlet. Canadian Stage and the York University Dept of Theatre present the annual outdoor theatre gig. The classic tale of betrayal, revenge and murder is performed outdoors. Previews from Jun 30, opens Jul 14 and runs to Sep 3, Tue, Thu & Sat 8 pm (All’s Well That Ends Well runs on Wed, Fri & Sun to Sep 4). Pwyc, $20 suggested; advance premium reserved seats $25. At the Amphitheatre. Show Info.
Shakespeare in High Park: All’s Well that Ends Well. Canadian Stage and the York University Dept of Theatre present the annual outdoor theatre gig. The bed-trick romantic comedy is performed outdoors. Previews from Jul 1, opens Jul 15 and runs to Sep 4, Wed, Fri & Sun 8 pm. (Hamlet runs on Tue, Thu & Sat to Sep 3). Pwyc, $20 suggested; advance premium reserved seats $25. At the Amphitheatre. Show Info.
Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice and Wayne Barker (LOT). This prequel to Peter Pan involves an orphan boy stowed away on a ship and a girl protecting a box of stardust. Opens Jul 7 and runs to Aug 28, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 3:30 pm. $50-$60. Show Info.
The Hogtown Experience (The Hogtown Collective). An immersive theatre experience incorporating drama, music and dance to look at Prohibition-era Toronto and its dark past. Previews from Jul 6, opens Jul 14 and runs to Aug 28, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat & Sun 2 pm. $45, previews $39, opening night $75. Show Info.
Thank You For Being a Friend (Joseph Patrick/LOT). Dorothy, Sophia, Rose and Blanche of TV’s Golden Girls take the stage in puppet form in this tribute show. Opens Jul 29 and runs to Sep 24, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Tue, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm. $60-$80. Show Info.
Shakesbeer: The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). Classical Theatre Project presents a comedic play in a tavern setting. This comedic romp through a medley of the Bard’s works is performed in a tavern setting alongside buskers, musicians and more. Opens Jul 27 and runs to Aug 31, Wednesdays 6:30 & 9 pm. $29-$59. Live jazz by Django Futuro. Show Info.
And the rest:
The 39 Steps, adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by Patrick Buchan (Soulpepper Theatre). An everyday man is thrust in a mysterious romance and dangerous manhunt in this comedy whodunit. Previews from Jul 21, opens Aug 3 and runs to Aug 22, see website for schedule. $32-$96. Show Info.
Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts I, II, III) by Suzan-Lori Parks (Soulpepper Theatre). This trilogy looks at America’s ongoing and turbulent relationship with tells a tale of homecoming, family and heroism set against the US Civil War. Previews from Jul 25, opens Aug 4 and runs to Aug 27, see website for schedule. $32-$96. Show Info.
West Side Story by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim (LOT). A young man falls in love with a rival gang member’s sister in this musical. Opens Aug 11 and runs to Sep 18, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 3:30 pm. $55-$65. Show Info.
All the Things I’ve Lost. UnSpun Theatre & The Make It Real Project present an art exhibit and performance piece by Shira Leuchter. Leuchter revisits significant objects that have been lost throughout her life alongside her mother, a ceramist, who will reinvent, recreate and honour the lost childhood objects by re-making them out of clay. Opens Aug 11 and runs to Aug 20, Thu-Fri 7 pm, Wed & Sat 3 pm. Free. Show Info.
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (Dauntless City Theatre Company). The darkly comedic masterpiece of mistaken identities and misplaced love is performed outdoors. Opens Aug 6 and runs to Aug 28, Sat & Sun 1 pm (no show Aug 14). Pwyc, $10 suggested donation. Show Info.
Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare (Dauntless City Theatre Company). The magical story about the power of forgiveness and love moves all over the park, accompanied by live music and puppetry. Opens Aug 5 and runs to Aug 27, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm. Pwyc, $10 suggested donation. Show Info.
Dreams / Tough! (ENSEMBLE Canadian Youth Theatre) The plays by Wajdi Mouawad and George F. Walker are performed in repertory. Previews from Aug 9, opens Aug 16 and runs to Aug 20. $15 each or both for $20, previews pwyc at the door or $15 reserved. DREAMS (Rêves) poetically explores the complexities of loss, loneliness and the hidden anger that ensues from a war-torn childhood. Aug 9, 11, 13, 15-20 at 9 pm. TOUGH! tackles gender roles and identity, teen pregnancy and alienation, taking a hard look at youth on the brink of adult responsibility. Aug 10 & 12 at 9 pm; Aug 13, 15-20 at 7:30 pm. Show Info.
Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare (Shakespeare in the Ruff). The romantic tragedy is performed outdoors. Previews from Aug 16, opens Aug 20 and runs to Sep 4, Tue-Sun 8 pm. Pwyc. Show Info.
Ruby Red Burlesque (Concrete Vertigo Productions). This contemporized retelling of The Wizard Of Oz explores themes of self-love and acceptance, body diversity, ethnicity, sex and gender. Opens Aug 18 and runs to Aug 27, Tue-Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 7:30 and 10:30 pm. $25-$30. Show Info.
Life Records. Written and preformed by Rhiannon Archer, directed by Lara Johnson. This solo show from the 2015 Fringe Festival looks at the songs that make their ways in to our lives and become the soundtrack to our memories. Aug 19-21, Fri-Sun 9:30 pm. $10. Show Info.
Sizzle! A Love Letters Cabaret. Presented by Pastel Supernova and Harbourfront Centre as part of the Hot & Spicy Food Festival. Vaudeville, contemporary dance and burlesque are used to tell stories and explore decadence and primal instincts. Music by DJ medicineman. Aug 20 at 11 pm. $20-$30, VIP $30-$40. In the Brigantine Room. Show Info.