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 March 21, 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.Covered by MoT…
**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 23, see website for schedule. $45-$60, stu $28; rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
**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.
**BROTHEL #9 by Anusree Roy (Factory Theatre). A young woman strives to take control of her life after she is sold to a Calcutta brothel. Previews Feb 26-Mar 2. Opens Mar 3 and runs to Mar 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25-$40, Sun pwyc. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
**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 10. Opens Mar 11 and runs to Apr 3, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $23-$46, rush $10. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
**NEW IDEAS FESTIVAL 2011 (Alumnae Theatre). The annual showcase of new writing, works-in-progress and experimental theatre features plays and staged readings. Week 1 (Mar 9-12): works by MP Fedunkiw, Neale Kimmel, Brianne Hogan, Niall O’Reilly and JP Larocque. Week 2 (Mar 16-19): works by Flora Stohr-Danziger, Richard Ballon, Francine Dick, Kelsey Blair and Betty Jane Wylie. Week 3 (Mar 23-26): works by Rosemary Doyle, Neale Kimmel, Nicholas Sgouros, David Nicholson and Betty Jane Wylie. Opens Mar 9 and runs to Mar 26, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2:30 pm (readings Sat at noon). $15, pass $35, Sat readings pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.com.
**SPIN by Evalyn Parry (OutSpoke Productions). Music, narration and projections are used to portray the bicycle as an instrument of social change. Previews Mar 15 at 8 pm. Opens Mar 16 and runs to Mar 26, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $20, stu $16, preview $15. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
**SPOTLIGHT.ITALY (Istituto Italiano di Cultura/Canadian Stage). Italian music, dance, theatre and art are presented to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italy’s reunification. Opens Mar 15 and runs to Mar 26, see website for schedule. $32. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-921-3802, canadianstage.com/italy.
**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.
**TOMBS OF THE VANISHING INDIAN by Marie Clements (Native Earth Performing Arts/Red Diva Projects). Three Aboriginal sisters and their mother deal with issues of identity and isolation after a forced relocation. Previews Mar 9. Opens Mar 10 and runs to Mar 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $25, Fri & Sun pwyc. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, nativeearth.ca.
**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 Apr 3, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25-$65. Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge. 416-872-5555, ticketmaster.ca.
**THIS PARTY’S A RIOT! Second City presents a new show poking fun at the ever-changing world we live in. Tue-Sat 8 pm (plus Sat late show 10:30 pm), Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
…and the Rest
AFTER AKHMATOVA by Kate Cayley (Tarragon Theatre). An American interviews the son of a Soviet dissident and poet. Previews Mar 22-29. Opens Mar 30 and runs to May 1, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2:30 pm (no mats during previews). $23-$46, rush $10. Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
**I MARCUS GARVEY by Edgar Nkosi White (Theatre Archipelago/b current). This drama looks at the life and activism of the Jamaican national hero. Previews Mar 11-15. Opens Mar 16 and runs to Mar 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $15-$35. Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery. 416-533-1500, theatrearchipelago.ca.
**IMPROMPTU SPLENDOR (National Theatre of the World). An improvised play is presented in the style of playwright Sam Shephard, with guest Tony Nappo. Mar 27, Playreading Series at 7:30 pm, show at 9 pm. $12. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. thenationaltheatreoftheworld.com.
LE DOCTEUR MIRACLE/L’HEURE ESPAGNOLE by Georges Bizet/Maurice Ravel (The Glenn Gould School Opera). Artists of the vocal program and RC orchestra perform two one-act operas. Opens Mar 23 and runs to Mar 25, Fri and Wed 8 pm. $20-$40. Royal Conservatory of Music, Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor W. 416-408-0208, rcmusic.ca.
LEAR (Idée Fixe/HATCH). Performance, music and film artists explore King Lear’s act of self-sabotage and the divided self. Mar 25-26 at 8:30 pm. $15, stu/srs $12. Harbourfront Centre, Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
**MONTPARNASSE by Maev Beaty and Erin Shields (Groundwater Productions). Art, voyeurism, nudity and ego are explored in this look at artist models of 20s Paris. Previews Mar 17-20. Opens Mar 22 and runs to Apr 2, 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.
MORRO AND JASP GONE WILD by Heather Marie Annis and Amy Lee (U.N.I.T. Productions). Two clown sisters go on a Spring Break coming-of-age trip. Previews Mar 15. Opens Mar 16 and runs to Mar 26, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2:30 pm. $20, preview/mats pwyc (totix.ca). Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, morroandjasp.com.
NOHAYQUIENSEPA (NO ONE KNOWS) by Trevor Schwellnus and Olga Barrios (Aluna Theatre). This multimedia dance-theatre piece explores how we react to the deaths of strangers. Previews Mar 13. Opens Mar 15 and runs to Mar 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $20-$30, stu/srs/Sun $15; Mar 18 gala $75. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, alunatheatre.ca.
**PAPER SERIES by David Yee (Cahoots Theatre Company). Various situations examine how we use paper to create, amuse, define and communicate. Previews Mar 18-19. Opens Mar 21 and runs to Apr 9, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $10-$30. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, cahoots.ca.
**PAPRIKA FESTIVAL (Tarragon Theatre). This festival presents new works by emerging artists in theatre, live music, comedy, cabaret performances, staged readings and workshops. Opens Mar 18 and runs to Mar 26, daily at 7 pm, mats Mar 19, 23 and 26 at 1 pm. Free. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, paprikafestival.com.
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 (additional performances Mar 14 and 15). $29.50-$39.50.Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-642-8973, vitaltheatre.ca.
THE ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY COMPLETELY MADE UP SHOW Second City presents interactive, family-friendly improv and sketch. Opens Mar 12 and runs to Mar 19, Mon-Sat 11 am. Opens Mar 26 and runs to Apr 30, Sat 11 am. $12. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE by CS Lewis (Lower Ossington Theatre). The fairy tale from The Chronicles Of Narnia is presented on stage. Opens Mar 15 and runs to Mar 20, Sat-Sun and Tue 11 am, Wed-Fri 1 pm. Mar 26-27 at 11 am. $18. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lionwitchwardrobe.eventbrite.com.
THE PERFECT WEDDING by Robin Wedding (Theatre Etobicoke). A groom wakes up next to a woman he doesn’t know in this bedroom farce. Opens Mar 24 and runs to Apr 2, Thu-Sat 8 pm (no show Mar 31), mat Apr 3 at 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $18. The Assembly Hall, 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park. 416-246-1889, theatre-etobicoke.com.
THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE by William Saroyan (Soulpepper). Various characters speak of their dreams in a Depression-era San Francisco bar. Previews Mar 16-17. Opens Mar 18 and runs to Apr 16, see website for schedule. $45-$60, stu $28; rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
**WRITENOW! FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS (pivotal(arts) theatre company). The final edition of this one-act play festival features works by Jon Nelson, Jessica Rose and Mark Tipps. Opens Mar 21 and runs to Mar 26, Mon-Sat 7:30 and 8:30 pm. $12, two-show pass $20. Bread & Circus, 299 Augusta. pivotalarts.ca.
ZERO HOUR by Jim Brochu (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). This solo show looks at the art, humour, temper and wit of Jewish artist Zero Mostel. Previews Mar 26-27. Opens Mar 28 and runs to Apr 16, Mon-Thu and Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $40.50-$64.50. MNJCC Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina. 416-366-7723, hgjewishtheatre.com.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*