Eye-catching Toronto live theatre for the week of April 19, 2010

By Sam Mooney

Shows that Caught Our Eye This Week

Leanne’s away so I’m writing about the shows that we think are the best bets for great theatre in Toronto this week.  Not fair really.  I’m not in Toronto and there are so many terrific shows I won’t get to see.

Here they are – hopefully in alphabetical order.

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.

Friday Nights With Diaspora Dialogues (Diaspora Dialogues). The series presents an excerpted play reading of Spin Alley by Donna-Michelle St Bernard, plus spoken word, music and more. Apr 23 at 7 pm. Free. Palmerston Library, 560 Palmerston. diasporadialogues.com.

An improvised homage to television shows like Glee – aptly named Gleeks – is due to sing and dance its way into your heart this Saturday, April 24th at 10PM as part of Comedy Bar’s April line up. Tickets $15 and can be purchased in advance. Go to comedybar.ca and click on ticketweb.

Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet (Soulpepper). A group of real estate salesmen struggle to make it in their cutthroat industry. Opens Apr 22 and runs to Jun 5, see website for schedule. $37-$70, stu $29; rush $20 (stu $5). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

Hana’s Suitcase by Emil Sher (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People). An old suitcase from Auschwitz leads a teacher and her students on a historical journey. Previews Apr 18-20. Opens Apr 21 and runs to May 21, call or see website for schedule. $10-$20. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, www.lktyp.ca.

If We Were Birds by Erin Shields (Groundwater Productions). A man’s lust for his wife’s sister leads to horrific consequences in this adaptation of Ovid’s myth. Previews Apr 14-20. Opens Apr 21 and runs to May 23, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $33-$39, srs $28, stu $21, previews $20, rush $10. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

Mentorship In The Arts (Granny Boots/Keith Cole). Senior artists will mentor junior artists and present their collaboration in a performance followed by a forum about the arts. Apr 21 at 7 pm. Free. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen W. keithcole.ca.

Polly (Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre). Aradia Ensemble perform Samuel Arnold’s reconstructed opera. Apr 22 at noon. Free. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. coc.ca.

Post Eden by Jordan Tannahill (Suburban Beast). Newcomers upset the status quo in a quiet, suburban community. Opens Apr 14 and runs to Apr 18, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $15, stu $12. Abrams Studio Theatre, 46 Gerrard E. 647-342-8177, suburbanbeast.ca.

Reconciliation by Sky Gilbert (The Cabaret Company). A country dweller and his urbanized brother clash over lifestyle, sexuality and their father’s inheritance. Previews Apr 14. Opens Apr 15 and runs to Apr 25, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $15-$25, Sun pwyc. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, artsexy.ca.

Rock.Paper.Sistahz.9 (bcurrent). The annual arts festival features poetry, spoken word, music, staged readings, dance, film and more. Opens Apr 9 and runs to Apr 30, see website for full schedule and offsite events. $9.99, pass $49.99; some pwyc events. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie. 416-533-1500, bcurrent.ca.

The Banana Festival (Monkeyman Productions). Four short plays by Stephen Near, Tasha Gordon-Solmon, DJ Sylvis and Jordan Hall are performed each night. Opens Apr 16 and runs to Apr 24, Fri-Sat 8 pm, plus late shows Sat 10:30 pm. $10. Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas E. monkeymanproductions.com.

The Physical Ramifications Of Attempted Global Domination (HATCH/Birdtown and Swanville). This multidisciplinary performance looks at the illnesses of history’s dictators. Apr 17-18, Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $12, stu/srs $10. Harbourfront Centre, Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

The Professional by Dusan Kovacevic (Eleventh House/Samuel French, Inc). A publisher is unnerved by a strange visitor in post-communist Eastern Europe. Opens Apr 16 and runs to Apr 24, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Apr 21 at 7 pm, mats Sat 2 pm. $35, stu/srs $25. Grace Community Church, 6670 Campobello. eleventhhouse.org.