Eye Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of April 18th

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 18th, 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…

**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. $23-$46, rush $10. Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

ALLEMANDE MOVE: the company and DanceWorks CoWorks present the premiere of Josh Beamish’s new piece, plus works by Matjash Mrozewski, Simone Orlando and Lara Barclay. Apr 17-19 at 8 pm. $25, stu/srs $20. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-204-1082.

**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.

**AS YOU PUPPET by Jane McClelland and Mike Petersen (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.

**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.

GHOST STORIES by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman (Mirvish/Lyric Hammersmith/Phil McIntyre Entertainments). This theatrical experience features stories based on real interviews. Previews Apr 1-10. Opens Apr 12 and runs to May 8, Tue-Fri 7:30 pm, Sat 5 & 8:30 pm, Sun 3 pm. $25-$79. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

NIGHT by Christopher Morris (Human Cargo/Performance Spring Festival). The lives of an anthropologist and a teenage Inuk girl intersect during 24 hours of darkness on Baffin Island. Opens Apr 13 and runs to Apr 24, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun 2 pm and Apr 16 at 4 pm. $25-$35, Sun pwyc. Factory Theatre, Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

**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.

**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.

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.

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.

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), Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

…and the rest

BULLET FOR ADOLF by Woody Harrelson and Frankie Hyman (Children at Play Productions/Starvox Entertainment). Eight characters form friendships, share ideas and deal with secrets, betrayal and a blast from the past in 80s Houston. Previews Apr 19-20. Opens Apr 21 and runs to May 7, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $32 stu/srs $18 (uofttix.ca). Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, bulletforadolf.com.

**BUZZ (Theatre Passe Muraille). Projects in development by Andrea Donaldson and Anna Chatterton, Sinha, Aviva Armour-Ostroff, Jordi Mand and others are presented for audience input. Opens Apr 19 and runs to Apr 22, Tue-Fri 7:30 pm. By donation. 16 Ryerson. passemuraille.on.ca.

CALENDAR GIRLS by Tim Firth (Mirvish/Manitoba Theatre Centre). Members of a women’s club make a racy calendar to raise money in this comedy. Previews Apr 15-17. Opens Apr 19 and runs to May 28, Tue-Sat 8 pm (opening night 7 pm), mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $30-$94.Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

CINDERELLA (LA CENERENTOLA) by Gioacchino Rossini (Canadian Opera Company). The comic opera based on the fairy tale is performed in Italian. Opens Apr 23 and runs to May 25, Apr 23, 28, May 10, 13, 19 and 25 at 7:30 pm, May 1 and 22 at 2 pm, May 7 at 4:30 pm. $62-$281. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.

**DIVING NORMAL by Ashlin Halfnight (Red One Theatre Collective/Tuning Puck Co-op). Three people wade through addiction, sex and disloyalty in this dark comedy. Previews Apr 11. Opens Apr 12 and runs to Apr 23, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $20, preview/Tue/mat $15 (secureaseat.com). Toronto Free Gallery, 1277 Bloor W. redonetheatre.com.

FORESTS by Wajdi Mouawad (Tarragon Theatre). A teenage girl seeks the origins of her mother’s mysterious fatal illness in this drama about family and sacrifice. Previews Apr 19-26. Opens Apr 27 and runs to May 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2:30 pm (no preview mats). $23-$46, rush $10. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

FUCKING STEPHEN HARPER by Rob Salerno (Ten Foot Pole Productions). The journalist presents an election edition of his solo show. Apr 21 at 8 pm. $15. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. tenfootpole.ca. (See Mooney on Theatre’s review of a previous production)

GUINEAPIGGING by Catherine Frid (Alumnae Theatre). A woman with an addiction looks for help at a drug testing lab. Opens Apr 15 and runs to Apr 30, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, Wed 2-for-1, Sun pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.com.

HATED NIGHTFALL by Howard Barker (George Brown Theatre School). This historical drama speculates on the last hours of Russia’s royal family, the Romanoffs. Opens Apr 12 and runs to Apr 23, see website for schedule. $18, srs $12, stu $7. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.

**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.

JAKE’S GIFT by Julia Mackey (Juno Productions/Performance Spring Festival). A WWII veteran returns to Juno Beach for the 60th anniversary of D-Day in this solo show. Opens Apr 19 and runs to Apr 24, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun 2:30 pm, Wed 12:30 pm. $25-$35, Sun pwyc.Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

LA CLEMENZA DI TITO by WA Mozart (Opera Atelier). Measha Bruggergosman, Michael Maniaci and Kresimir Spicer perform the Italian opera seria. Opens Apr 22 and runs to May 1, Apr 22, 23, 26, 27 and 30 at 7:30 pm, May 1 at 3 pm. $33-$166. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 416-872-5555, operaatelier.com

**OPERA 101: ARIADNE AUF NAXOS (Canadian Opera Company). Brent Bambury, Richard Margison and Jane Archibald discuss the COC’s upcoming production of Strauss’s opera. Apr 20 at 7:30 pm. Free. Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen W. coc.ca.

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.

**P.O.V. (MYTE/Performance Spring Festival). Factory Theatre’s Monday Youth Theatre Ensemble performs collective creations. Apr 18 at 8 pm. $5. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

**RAISE A RUCKUS (Clay & Paper Theatre). This benefit for the company features live jazz, a silent auction and more. Apr 18 at 8 pm. $15-$20. Supermarket, 268 Augusta. 416-708-3332, clayandpapertheatre.org.

**SEASON OF WRATH AND PLAY (AfriCan Theatre Ensemble). This double bill of plays by Femi Osofisan features The Engagement and Flood! Previews Apr 20. Opens Apr 21 and runs to May 1, Mon-Fri 8 pm, Sun 3:30 pm. $27, stu/srs $22, preview $12. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. africantheatre.org.

THE COSMONAUT’S LAST MESSAGE TO THE WOMAN HE ONCE LOVED IN THE FORMER SOVIET UNION by David Greig (Canadian Stage). Cosmonauts stranded in a space station and various people on earth all struggle, in their own way, to communicate. Previews Apr 16-20. Opens Apr 21 and runs to May 14, 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.

**THE LION KING by Elton John and Tim Rice (Mirvish). The musical based on the Disney film returns. Previews Apr 19. Opens Apr 20 and runs to Jun 12, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 1 and 6:30 pm (no show May 24 & 31; see website for other times). $20-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

THE SITUATIONISTS by Sky Gilbert (The Cabaret Company). Three characters look at applying Situationist principles to current issues while dealing with their own sexual tensions. Previews Apr 13. Opens Apr 14 and runs to Apr 24, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $16-$27, Sun pwyc. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.

THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH by Thornton Wilder (George Brown Theatre School). A seriocomic look at the human experience and humanity’s resilience. Opens Apr 13 and runs to Apr 23, see website for schedule. $18, srs $12, stu $7. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.

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*