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 February 21st, 2011:
** 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.
Already Covered by MoT…
**A Chorus Line by James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante, Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban (Toronto Youth Theatre). Singers and dancers tell personal stories during a Broadway audition. Opens Feb 10 and runs to Feb 26, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 3:30 pm. $25.50-$35, stu $19.50-$25.50. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. torontoyouththeatre.org.
Barrymore by William Luce (Barrymore Entertainment Limited). Christopher Plummer portrays legendary actor John Barrymore as he struggles with the role of Richard III and looks back on his life. Previews Jan 27-29. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Mar 9, Fri-Sat and Mon-Wed 8 pm. $55-$120. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 416-872-5555, barrymoretheplay.com.
**The Fantasticks by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones (Soulpepper). The children of feuding neighbours fall in love in this musical. Previews Feb 8-12. Opens Feb 14 and runs to Mar 24, see website for days and times. $45-$60, stu $28; rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
Highway 63: The Fort Mac Show by Architect Theatre (Theatre Passe Muraille). People come and go in the transient town of Fort MacMurray, Alberta, in this play about love, money, oil and politics. Previews Feb 3-5. Opens Feb 8 and runs to Feb 26, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $25-$30, previews $15, mat pwyc. Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.
Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini (Toronto Opera Repertoire). Hearts and cultures collide in this Italian opera. Opens Feb 16 and runs to Mar 5, see website for schedule. $25, stu/srs $15. Bickford Centre Theatre, 777 Bloor W. 416-978-8849, toronto-opera.com.
Stephen Harper: The Musical by the Shehori Brothers and Jay McCarrol (Second City). This musical satire looks at the trials and tribulations of our current prime minister. Feb 25 at 8 pm. $28-$48. Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Lane. 905-874-2800, rosetheatre.ca.
The Magic Flute by WA Mozart (Canadian Opera Company). The opera about growing up and seeking ideals is performed in German. Opens Jan 29 and runs to Feb 25, Jan 29, Feb 1, 3, 8, 10, 16, 18, 23 and 25 at 7:30 pm, mats Feb 6 and 20 at 2 pm, Feb 12 at 4:30 pm. $62-$281. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
The Man In Black by Shawn Barker (Mirvish/LCQ Productions). Barker performs his solo tribute show to music legend Johnny Cash. Previews Feb 15. Opens Feb 16 and runs to Feb 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25-$60. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
**The Middle Place by Andrew Kushnir (Canadian Stage). Based on Project: Humanity interviews, the stories of homeless youth are brought to the stage. Previews Feb 14-16. Opens Feb 17 and runs to Mar 12, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat 2 pm. $22-$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
More Fine Girls by Jennifer Brewin, Leah Cherniak, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Alisa Palmer and Martha Ross (Theatre Columbus). Three sisters reunite over a family crisis ten years after a party drove them apart. Previews Feb 22-Mar 1. Opens Mar 2 and runs to Apr 3, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2:30 pm (no mats during previews). $23-$46, rush $10. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Nixon In China by John Adams (Canadian Opera Company). The modern opera sung in English looks at President Richard Nixon’s trip to China in 1972. Opens Feb 5 and runs to Feb 26, Feb 5 at 4:30 pm, Feb 9, 11, 19, 22, 24 and 26 at 7:30 pm, Feb 13 at 2 pm. $62-$281. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
Oleanna by David Mamet (Soulpepper). A power struggle ensues when a female student accuses a professor of sexual harassment. Previews Jan 29-Feb 2. Opens Feb 3 and runs to Mar 5, see website for days and times. $28-$60. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
**Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). The new works festival features plays, dance, performance art and hybrid works by Ravi Jain, Alex Napier, Claire Calnan, emergency exit, Mark Shyzer and others. Opens Feb 16 and runs to Feb 27, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20 evening pass, Sun pwyc. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
Saint Carmen Of The Main by Michel Tremblay (Canadian Stage Company/National Arts Centre English Theatre). A country singer pushing artistic boundaries threatens some in her nightclub community. Previews Feb 7-9. Opens Feb 10 and runs to Mar 5, Mon-Sat 8 pm, see website for mats. $22-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
The Secret Garden by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon (Edinburgh Festival Theatre/Mirvish). An orphan makes a magical discovery in this musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel. Previews Feb 8-12. Opens Feb 13 and runs to Mar 20, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $40-$110. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
**Bad Dog Theatre presents Seriously!, high status, dramatic improv. Jan 25 8 pm, Feb 22 8 pm. $8, stu $5. 138 Danforth. 416-491-3115, baddogtheatre.com.
South Pacific by Rodgers & Hammerstein (Dancap/Lincoln Center Theater). Love blooms on an island paradise during WWII in this musical. Opens Feb 15 and runs to Apr 10, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 1 pm. $35-$190. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-644-3665, dancaptickets.com.
**Sweetheart: The Mary Pickford Story by Dean Burry (Lunabridge Productions). This musical tells the story of the Canadian silent film legend. Opens Feb 10 and runs to Feb 27, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $17. Spadina Museum, 285 Spadina Rd. 416-392-6910, toronto.ca/spadina.
**Wit’s End III: Love Life (Sandra Shamas). Shamas performs the third instalment of her solo show about her life in rural Ontario. Previews Feb 16-18. Opens Feb 19 and runs to Mar 13, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25-$65. Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge. 416-872-5555, ticketmaster.ca.
... and the rest
$#*! My Mayor Says (Second City). presents current-events comedy about T.O. Mon 8 pm. $12. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
... Making Other Plans by Geoffrey Tyler (Peacock Productions). Tyler performs his French-style cabaret solo show. Jan 29 at 8:30 pm. Feb 26 at 8:30 pm. $50, stu $35. Labspace Studio, 2A Pape. 647-705-7247, peacockproductions.ca.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (Soulpepper). Lovers and actors meet and mingle in an enchanted forest. Previews Feb 17-22. Opens Feb 23 and runs to Apr 15, see website for schedule. $45-$60, stu $28; rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
Airship Femmes du Feu present an aerial dance show as part of the Rhubarb Festival. Opens Feb 23 and runs to Feb 27, Wed-Sun 9 pm. $20. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, femmesdufeu.com.
Artaud: Un Portrait En Décomposition (TheatreRUN/Théâtre français de Toronto). This combination of poetry, images and theatre is based on the writings of Antonin Arnaud and performed in French. Opens Feb 16 and runs to Feb 26, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $20. TFT Centre for Creation, 21 College, suite 610. email@example.com.
**Billy Elliot The Musical by Lee Hall and Elton John (Mirvish). A boy leaves boxing for ballet while his family struggles with economic troubles in small-town England. Previews Feb 1-28. Opens Mar 1 and runs to Jul 10, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 1:30 pm. $36-$130. Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss (Toronto Opera Repertoire). A woman gets revenge on her philandering husband in this comic operetta. Opens Feb 18 and runs to Mar 6, see website for schedule. $25, stu/srs $15. Bickford Centre Theatre, 777 Bloor W. 416-978-8849, toronto-opera.com.
**Groundswell Festival (Nightwood Theatre). The festival of new works by women presents staged readings of plays by Natasha Greenblatt, Radha S Menon, Meghan Swaby, Aisha Sasha John, Jayne Collins, Jordi Mand, Lisa Codrington and Rose Cullis. Opens Feb 17 and runs to Feb 26, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm. Pwyc ($10 sugg). Tapestry/Nightwood Studio, Studio 315, 55 Mill, Cannery Bldg. 416-944-1740, nightwoodtheatre.net.
InDance Art Gallery of Ontario presents members of the company performing as part of the exhibition Maharaja: The Splendour Of India’s Royal Courts. Jan 26 from 6 to 9 pm. Jan 29 from 1:30 to 2:15 pm. Feb 21 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm. Free w/admission. 317 Dundas W. indance.ca.
Jackie And Jack by Jim Christy (Back Burner Productions). A fateful meeting takes place on a beach in 50s Massachusetts. Opens Feb 23 and runs to Feb 25, Wed-Fri 8 pm. $10. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Longer Than A Shadow DanceWorks CoWorks and Kemi Contemporary Dance Projects present choreography and performances by Jennifer Dallas and Bienvenue Bazie. Feb 24-27, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $15, Sun pwyc. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 55 Mill, bldg 58, studio 313. 416-204-1082, kemiprojects.ca
Pinkalicious, The Musical by Elizabeth Kann, Victoria Kann and John Gregor (Vital Theatre). A girl turns pink after eating too many cupcakes in this family musical. Opens Oct 9 and runs to May 29, Sat-Sun 1 pm. $29.50-$39.50. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-642-8973, vitaltheatre.ca.
Rough Justice by Terence Frisby (East Side Players). A man charged with killing his infant son defends himself in this courtroom drama. Opens Feb 17 and runs to Mar 5, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu $15. Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery. 416-425-0917, eastsideplayers.ca.
**Spring ’11 Mainstage Review (Second City). presents a new production poking fun at the changing world we live in. Tue-Sat 8 pm (plus Sat 10:30 pm), Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
The Big Bang by Jed Feuer and Boyd Graham (Civic Light Opera Company). Two theatre producers try to stage the history of civilization in this musical comedy. Opens Feb 9 and runs to Feb 26, Wed 7 pm, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun (and Feb 26) at 2 pm. $25. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-755-1717, civiclightoperacompany.com.
**The Carnegie Hall Show (The National Theatre of the World). presents a weekly variety show. Wed 9 pm. Pwyc. Bread & Circus, 299 Augusta. thecarnegiehallshow.com.
The Diary Of Anne Frank adapted by Wendy Kesselman (Shakespeare in Action). The story of a Jewish girl and her family hiding from the Nazis is adapted for the stage. Previews Feb 23-28. Opens Mar 1 and runs to Mar 13, see website for schedule. $15, stu/srs $12. Central Commerce CI, 570 Shaw. 416-703-4881, shakespeareinaction.org.
The Hunt For Red Willie by Ken Bourke (Toronto Irish Players). Locals seek a killer after a landowner is murdered in a remote part of Ireland. Opens Feb 17 and runs to Mar 5, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, opening night reception $50. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley. 416-440-2888, torontoirishplayers.org.
The Soaps (The National Theatre of the World). presents a weekly improvised soap opera w/ Jim Annan, Matt Baram, Lisa Brooke, Jan Caruana and others. Mon 9 pm. Pwyc. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. thenationaltheatreoftheworld.com.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*