Eye-catching Toronto live theatre for the week of April 4, 2010

by Leanne Milech

Shows that Caught Our Eye This Week

Every week, Mooney on Theatre editors troll local theatre listings for our writers, searching for shows that we think our writers might want to review. We base our picks on whatever sounds interesting, exciting and original. After compiling a list of shows that fit the bill, we circulate our selections to our writers, and they take it from there. Now, we’ve decided to start giving our readers the benefit of our research! Every Sunday from here on out, we’ll give you the inside scoop on cool shows you might want to check out based on our very own writers’ list. Enjoy!

CROSSCURRENTS (Performance Spring Festival). The play development series features staged readings of works by Nina Lee Aquino, Byron Abalos, Daniel MacIvor and others, plus artist talks and more. Opens Apr 4 and runs to Apr 25, see website for schedule. Pwyc ($10 sugg). Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

EMPEROR by Colin Bruce Anthes (Twitches and Itches Theatre). Two Majorcan folktales are adapted into a play about crooked monarchs and honest peasants. Opens Apr 6 and runs to Apr 10, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2:30 pm. $10, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.ca.

GIIWEDIN by Spy Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan(Native Earth Performing Arts/An Inde(n) Rights Reserve). This opera blends baroque and indigenous music and languages to look at Canadian history and cultural identity. Opens Apr 8 and runs to Apr 24, Wed-Fri 8 pm, mat Sat 2:30 pm. $25, Fri-Sat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.ca

IMAGES FESTIVAL (Images Festival). Performance installations featuring art, film and sound are part of this festival of moving image culture. Opens Apr 1 and runs to Apr 10, see website for schedule and locations. $10-$15, stu/srs $8-$12, some pwyc programs. Various venues. imagesfestival.com.

OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR by Joan Littlewood, Theatre Workshop and Charles Chilton (Soulpepper). This satiric anti-war musical looks at the generation that fought the First World War. Previews Mar 11-16. Opens Mar 17 and runs to Apr 10, Mon-Sat 7:30 pm, see website for mats. $38-$70, stu $28; rush $20, stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

SLAGUE, L’HISTOIRE D’UN MINEUR by Mansel Robinson (Théâtre français de Toronto/Théâtre du Nouvel Ontario). A wheelchair-bound heroin addict tries to rectify his mistakes in this solo show. Previews Apr 7-8. Opens Apr 9 and runs to Apr 11, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat 3:30 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $29-$46, stu/srs $24-$32, Wed pwyc. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.

THIS TIME by Heidi Strauss (adelheid). This contemporary dance work is loosely based on Light, a wordless play by Ken Gass. Part of the Performance Spring Festival. Opens Apr 1 and runs to Apr 10, Thu-Sat (and Apr 4) 8 pm, mat Apr 11 at 2 pm. $22, stu/srs $18; mat pwyc-$25. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

WHERE THE BLOOD MIXES by Kevin Loring (Vancouver Playhouse Theatre/Belfry Theatre/Savage Society). A survivor of the residential school system reunites with his daughter and confronts the past. Part of the Performance Spring Festival. Opens Apr 7 and runs to Apr 17, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $25-$35; limited rush $10. Factory Theatre, Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

WOMAN IN A MONKEY CAGE by Berni Stapleton (Royal Porcupine Productions). Stapleton’s play about the last woman alive is presented along with staged readings of works by Megan Liley and Rosmary Doyle. Opens Apr 7 and runs to Apr 28, Wed 7 pm. $15. Clinton’s, 693 Bloor W. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.

Shows MoT has reviewed:

A BOY CALLED NEWFOUNDLAND by Graeme Gillis (Theatre Smash). A 15-year-old boy deals with growing up and family issues. Previews Mar 26-28. Opens Mar 30 and runs to Apr 11, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $15-$30. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, theatresmash.com.

“ART” by Yasmina Reza (Canadian Stage). The purchase of an expensive modernist painting tests the limits of friendship. Previews Mar 15-17. Opens Mar 18 and runs to Apr 10, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat 2 pm. $20-$92, limited rush and Mon pwyc. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canstage.com.

BREAKFAST by Anna Chatterton and Evalyn Parry (The Independent Aunties). A woman tries to empower herself through self-help rituals. Opens Mar 17 and runs to Apr 4, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. Pwyc-$29. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, artsexy.ca.

COMMUNION by Daniel MacIvor (Tarragon Theatre). A woman works with a therapist to reconnect with her daughter. Previews Feb 23-Mar 2. Opens Mar 3 and runs to Apr 4, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $33-$39, srs $28, stu $21, previews $20, rush $10. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

WHO KNEW GRANNIE: A DUB ARIA by ahdri zhina mandiela (Obsidian Theatre). Four cousins reunite at their grandmother’s funeral in this play featuring dub poetry, percussion and song. Previews Mar 13-17. Opens Mar 18 and runs to Apr 4, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $15-$35. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*