Eye Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of April 4th

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 April 4th, 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 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.

**PAPER SERIES by David Yee (Cahoots Theatre Company). Various situations examine how we use paper to create, amuse, define and communicate. Director Nina Lee Aquino and her talented cast and design team turn these monologues into energetic, clever, paper-filled entertainment. 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.

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD by Jason Robert Brown (Angelwalk Theatre). Characters from a variety of eras live through defining moments in this series of vignettes. Previews Mar 30-31. Opens Apr 1 and runs to Apr 23, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25-$45. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge. 416-872-1111, angelwalk.ca.

**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.

**THIS PARTY’S A RIOT! Second City presents a new show poking fun at the ever-changing world we live in. Wed-Sat 8 pm (plus Sat late show 10:30 pm), secondcity.com.

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.

…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 preview mats). $23-$46, rush $10. Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

**AS YOU PUPPET by Jane McClelland and Mike Peterson (Hank’s Toy Box Theatre). Stuffed animals star in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It for ages 5 and up. Previews Apr 10. Opens Apr 11 and runs to Apr 21, see website for schedule. $10-$20. Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Studio, 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, lktyp.ca.

CHECK OUT (The AMY Project). The mentorship project for young women presents a multidisciplinary piece about shopping and value. Apr 8-9, Fri-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. Pwyc (adv $15), gala $50. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 647-342-8177, theamyproject.com/blog.

DW187 SHARED PROGRAM DanceWorks and Harbourfront NextSteps present Blue Ceiling Dance’s The Animals Are Planning An Intervention (by Lucy Rupert), and Marc Boivin’s Impact. Apr 7-9 at 8 pm. $33.50, stu/srs $22.50. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, danceworks.ca.

**GHOST STORIES Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman (Mirvish, Lyric Hammersmith, Phil McIntyre Entertainments). A series of ghost stories promises to thrill and chill viewers. Previews Apr 2-May 7, Sat. Opens Apr 12 and runs to May 8, Tue-Thu 7:30 pm, Sat 5 & 8:30 pm, Sun 3 pm, some other matinees, check website for schedule. $25-$79. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

HAVING HOPE AT HOME by David S Craig (Amicus Productions). A woman goes into labour at a tense family gathering. Opens Apr 7 and runs to Apr 16, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Apr 9-10 at 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $18. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-860-6176.

I THINK I CAN by Florence Gibson and Shawn Byfield (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People). This dance-theatre piece deals with bullying, cliques and friendship. Previews Apr 4-6. Opens Apr 7 and runs to May 5, see website for schedule. $10-$20. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, lktyp.ca.

**LOST VOICES by Ed Roy (Topological Theatre). This drama looks at the growing phenomenon of unaccompanied minors arriving at airports with no set future plan. Opens Apr 1 and runs to Apr 17, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $15-$20. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, topologicaltheatre.com.

MRTVOLKA by Daniela Sneppova and Penn Kemp (HATCH). Live performance, recordings and projections are mixed to examine media as frozen image and media as once-living body. Apr 9 at 7 pm. $15, stu/srs $12. Harbourfront Centre, Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by William Shakespeare (Scarborough Players). The classic romantic comedy gets a staging. Opens Mar 31 and runs to Apr 16, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mats Apr 10 and 16 at 2 pm. $17, stu/srs $14, stu rush $10. Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston. 416-267-9292, theatrescarborough.com.

**OUR CLASS by Tadeusz Slobodzianek (Studio 180/Canadian Stage Company). Polish Jews and Catholics go from school day dreams to grim adult choices as WWII approaches. Previews Apr 4-6. Opens Apr 7 and runs to Apr 30, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat 2 pm. $20-$49, limited Mon pwyc. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, studio180theatre.com.

OUR TOWN by Thornton Wilder (Soulpepper). A stage manager paints a portrait of life in a small American town around 1900. Previews Apr 7-12. Opens Apr 13 and runs to May 13, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28; rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

**PHONE WHORE by Cameryn Moore (Little Black Book Productions). Truth and taboo collide in this solo show about an intimate visit with a phone sex operator. Apr 7-8 at 8 pm. $10-$15. The Flying Beaver Pubaret, 488 Parliament. brownpapertickets.com.  (See the Mooney on Theatre review of the Toronto Fringe production)

PINKALICIOUS, THE MUSICAL by Elizabeth Kann, Victoria Kann and John Gregor (Vital Theatre Company). A girl turns pink after eating too many cupcakes in this family musical. Opens Apr 2 and runs to May 29, Sat 11 am, Sun 1:30 pm. $29.50-$39.50. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-642-8973 ext 200, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare (Shakespeare in Action). This adaptation for young audiences sets the story in a modern, culturally diverse city. Previews Apr 6-8. Opens Apr 9 and runs to Apr 21, see website for schedule. $15, stu/srs $12. Central Commerce CI, 570 Shaw. 416-703-4881, shakespeareinaction.org.

SUDDENLY MOMMY! by Anne Marie Scheffler (Perfectly Norma Productions). Scheffler performs her solo comedy about motherhood. May 7 at 8 pm. $20-$25. Black Swan, 154 Danforth. suddenlymommy.com.

SWIMMING FOR SHORE by Rex Deverell (Lakeshore Arts/Humber Theatre). The folklore and history of South Etobicoke is told through stories and songs. Opens Apr 8 and runs to Apr 16, Thu-Sat 8 pm (opening night 6:30 pm). $20, stu/srs $15, child $12; opening night gala (benefit for Lakeshore Arts) $50. The Assembly Hall, 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park. 416-338-7255.

THE ANTAGONIST Harbourfront NextSteps and Ballet Creole present works by Patrick Parson, Gabby Kamino and Jose Carret. Apr 7-9 at 8 pm. $25-$45, stu/srs $20-$25. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, balletcreole.org.

THE BEST MEN by Bill Antoniou (Skinny Jo Productions). A difficult bride and a gay best man with two dates cause drama in this wedding comedy. Opens Apr 6 and runs to Apr 10, Wed-Sun 7 pm. $20, stu $15. Bread & Circus, 299 Augusta. 416-336-3399, breadandcircus.ca.

**THE KITCHEN STORIES (From Page to Stage). This evening of staged readings includes short plays by Gillian Kerr, Laboni Islam, Craig Williamson, Ellen Rumm and others. Apr 5 at 8 pm. Pwyc. Arts & Letters Club, 14 Elm. 416-597-0223.

THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES by Molière (Théâtre français de Toronto). A man’s scheme to make a young girl into the perfect wife goes awry in this comedy. Previews Apr 6-7. Opens Apr 8 and runs to Apr 23, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun 2:30 pm, Apr 16 and 23 at 3:30 pm. $33-$57, stu/srs $28-$57, Wed pwyc. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.

**THE SIMIAN SHOWCASE (Monkeyman Productions). Short plays by Camilla Maxwell, Rebecca Nesvet, Mark Harvey Levine and Stephen Near deal with themes of geek/fanatic/pop culture. Opens Apr 8 and runs to Apr 16, Fri-Sat 8 pm (plus Apr 16 at 11 pm), Sun 2 pm. $10.Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas E. monkeymanproductions.com.

VIVA EL TEATRO! (Crisalida). This festival features plays performed in Spanish with English translation, including Aqui No Paga Nadie by Dario Fo, Yerma by Federico Garcia Lorca, Luz Negra by Alvaro Menéndez Leal and the Noche de Teatro III series (at George Ignatieff Theatre). Opens Mar 31 and runs to Apr 30, see website for schedule. $20, festival passport $65. Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston. 416-890-3271, festivalinspanish.ca.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*