Eye-catching Toronto live theatre for the week of September 26, 2010

Here are all of the shows we wish we could get out and see this week!  Take your pick from our list of great theatre escapes for the week of September 26, 2010:

**  Shows marked with the double asterisks and in red are the ones that make Megan, our editor, wish she could clone herself so she could check them all out.

Abilities Arts Festival (Abilities Arts Festival). The multi-arts festival celebrating diversity, inclusion and accessibility features visual art, installation, dance, theatre and storytelling for kids, installation art, film and more. Opens Sep 24 and runs to Oct 24, see website for venues, dates and times. Various prices, many events free. abilitiesartsfestival.org.

**(African Women Are As Strong As The Baobab Tree by Sauro Agostinho (Baobab Youth Theatre Group). A woman survives an abusive relationship and struggles to support her family. Opens Sep 22 and runs to Oct 2, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $25. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, baobabtheatregroup.com.

Aida by Giuseppe Verdi (Canadian Opera Company). The tragic opera set in ancient Egypt is performed in Italian. Opens Oct 2 and runs to Nov 5, Oct 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 27, 30, Nov 2 and 5 at 7:30 pm, mats Oct 2 at 4:30 pm, Oct 24 at 2 pm. $62-$281. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.

**Ali & Ali: The Deportation Hearings by Camyar Chai, Guillermo Verdecchia and Marcus Youssef (Cahoots Theatre Company). Five Arab/Muslim men are held without charges in Canada in this satire. Previews Sep 28-29. Opens Sep 30 and runs to Oct 17. $15-$32, Sun pwyc. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

**Billy Twinkle: Requiem For A Golden Boy by Ronnie Burkett (Factory Theatre). A puppeteer evaluates his life and rekindles his passion after losing his job. Previews Sep 24-26, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm. Opens Sep 28 and runs to Oct 24, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25-$48, previews $15-$25, Sun pwyc. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

Blasted by Sarah Kane (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Sex, violence and the horrors of war are explored by a man and woman sheltering in a hotel. Previews Sep 22-26. Opens Sep 28 and runs to Oct 17, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $23-$33, Sun pwyc. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.

Blood by Tom Walmsley (Doghouse Riley Productions). A prostitute in need of drug money considers an incestuous three-way hook-up. Opens Sep 24 and runs to Oct 3, Wed-Sat and Mon 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $15. Somewhere There Studio, 227 Sterling, unit 112. dhrproductions.com.

Global Cabaret Festival (Global Toronto). This arts fest features music, dance, poetry and more with Sharron Matthews, Andrea Nann, Don Francks and others. Sep 30-Oct 3, see website for schedule. $20 per show, stu rush pass $30. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. globalcabaret.ca.

Happyview P.S. by Michael McMurtry and Derek Williams (Spicy Mike Productions). The audience plays the role of students at a school assembly in this family comedy. Opens Sep 20 at 7 pm. Sep 25-Oct 3, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $10. Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston. 416-539-8437, spicymike.ca.

**Hard Times based on the novel by Charles Dickens (Puppetmongers/the night kitchen). Mask and puppetry are used in this satire of capitalism and Utilitarian philosophy. Previews Sep 30-Oct 2. Opens Oct 5 and runs to Oct 16, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $30-$35, preview $15, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.

**ID by Jeannot Painchaud (Cirque Éloize). The streets of a big city are transformed through music, urban dance and circus arts. Opens Oct 1 and runs to Oct 9, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $35-$77. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front E. 416-872-2262, sonycentre.ca.

Richard III by William Shakespeare (Hart House Theatre). A ruthless Duke marries and murders his way to the top. Opens Sep 15 and runs to Oct 2, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Oct 2 at 2 pm. $25, stu/srs $10-$15. 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.

**Sex Tape Project by Adrienne Wong, Donald Woo and David Yee (fu-GEN Theatre). The audience views crime and passion through binoculars in this workshop presentation. Oct 1-3, Fri-Sun at 8 and 9 pm. $10 (space limited; please reserve). Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina. 416-920-2828, fu-gen.org.

Tarragon 40th Anniversary (Tarragon Theatre). Theatre critic Richard Ouzounian talks with playwrights Morwyn Brebner, Judith Thompson, David French, Michael Healey and Hannah Moscovitch. Sep 28 at 7 pm. Free. Toronto Reference Library, Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, 789 Yonge. tarragontheatre.com.

**The Clockmaker by Stephen Massicotte (Tarragon Theatre). A man is intrigued by a married woman who brings a broken clock to his shop. Previews Sep 14-21. Opens Sep 22 and runs to Oct 24, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $23-$44, Fri & Sun rush $10. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

**The Spadina Monologues by Christine Estima (Foundry Theatre Company). Estima’s play about a first date on a streetcar gets a reading. Sep 27 at 7 pm. Pwyc. The Rearview Mirror, 193 Baldwin. firstdrafttoronto@gmail.com.

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (Direct Flight Theatre/GromKat Productions). Shakespeare’s comedy is set in the present-day Gladstone Hotel. Opens Sep 26 and runs to Oct 5, Sun-Tue (and Oct 6) 7:30 pm, mats Sep 26 (preview) Oct 5-6 at 2 pm. $25, stu $15. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen W. directflighttheatre.com.

Already covered by Mooney on Theatre:

[Title Of Show] by Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell (Angelwalk Theatre). Two writers struggle to write and produce a musical in only three weeks for a theatre festival. Previews Sep 22-23. Opens Sep 24 and runs to Oct 10, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25-$45. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge. 416-872-1111, angelwalk.ca.

Banana Shpeel by David Shiner (Cirque du Soleil). This production combines slapstick comedy, dance, circus acts, acrobatics and music. Previews Sep 14-18. Opens Sep 19 and runs to Oct 10, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 6:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun (and some Wed) 1:30 pm. $25-$110. Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

Closer by Patrick Marber (Parkdale Players). Two London couples engage in a game of partner swapping and self destruction. Opens Sep 22 and runs to Oct 2, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $15, stu $12. Unit 102 Theatre, 46 Noble, unit 102. parkdaleplayers.wordpress.com.

Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter: An Attempt At The Truth by Tankred Dorst (Canadian Stage Company). A millionaire uses deceit and manipulation to get his betrothed to love him in this metaphysical fable. Previews Sep 18-22. Opens Sep 23 and runs to Oct 16, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat 2 pm. $22-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.

Love, Loss, And What I Wore by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron (Michael Rubinoff/Daryl Roth). Mary Walsh, Margot Kidder, Sharron Matthews, Andrea Martin and others perform stories about women. Previews Jul 16-20. Opens Jul 21 and runs to Sep 4. Opens Sep 10 and runs to Oct 2, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed and Sat 2 pm. $35-$65. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, lovelossonstage.ca.

Rock Of Ages by Chris D’Arienzo (Mirvish). This arena-rock love story takes place LA’s Sunset Strip and features hits from the 80s. Previews Apr 20-May 9. Opens May 11 and runs to Dec 19, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $28-$99. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

Through The Leaves by Franz Xaver Kroetz (Company Theatre). This drama looks at the relationship between a female butcher and her abusive companion. Previews Sep 10-11. Opens Sep 14 and runs to Oct 3, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $20-$40. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, companytheatre.ca.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*