Eye Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of April 25th

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 25th, 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

**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.

**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.

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.

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 29, Tue-Fri 7:30 pm, Sat 5 & 8:30 pm, Sun 3 pm. $25-$79. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com

MAHMOUD by Tara Grammy (Pandemic Theatre). An Iranian engineer tells the story of his life while working as a cabbie in Toronto in this solo show. Apr 28-30 at 8 pm. $20, stu/srs $15.Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, 79A St. George. pandemictheatre.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.

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.

ROMEO & JULIET by William Shakespeare (Shakespeare Toronto). Youthful passion leads to tragedy. Apr 30 at 8 pm. $28, stu/srs $20. Bathurst Street Theatre, 736 Bathurst. 416-915-6750, shakespearetoronto.com.

**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.

**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

**A FREUDIAN SLIP OF THE JUNG: THE RE-ERECTED MUSICAL VERSION by Sean Fisher (Suga Jam Entertainment/MNJCC). Carl Jung meets Sigmund Freud in this remount of last year’s Fringe play. Apr 30 at 7:30 pm. Pwyc ($10 sugg). Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina. 416-924-6211 ext 606, mnjcc.org.

ARIADNE AUF NAXOS by Richard Strauss (Canadian Opera Company). Strauss’s opera-within-an-opera is performed in German. Opens Apr 30 and runs to May 29, Apr 30 at 4:30 pm, May 3, 12, 18, 21 and 27 at 7:30 pm, May 15 and 29 at 2 pm. $62-$281. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.

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

**DOUBLE BILL (Soulpepper). The Academy presents (re)Birth: E.E. Cummings In Song and Lab Series creation Window On Toronto. Previews Apr 30-May 8. Opens May 9 and runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $28-$65. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

EDWARD THE ‘CRAZY MAN’ by Emil Sher (Workman Arts). A boy befriends a homeless man in this drama about mental health, prejudice and society. Opens Apr 28 and runs to May 14, see website for schedule. $15, stu/srs $10. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, workmanarts.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.

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.

**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.

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.

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 11 am, Sun 1:30 pm. $29.50-$39.50. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-642-8973, vitaltheatre.ca.

TEMPORADA Momentum Dance Toronto presents a collection of works about the seasonal shift to spring. Opens Apr 27 and runs to Apr 30, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $25.Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. momentumdancetoronto.com.

**THE ATOMIC WEIGHT OF HAPPINESS Stand Up Dance presents a bicycle-powered theatre/dance mashup by Meagan O’Shea. Previews Apr 22-24. Opens Apr 29 and runs to May 29, Fri-Sun 8 pm. $10-$25. Hub 14, 14 Markham. 416-504-6429 ext 18, standupdance.com.

**THE BACKSPACE PROJECT (Humber Theatre/Chameleon Co-Op). Members of Humber College’s theatre program showcase new plays and a puppetry piece. Opens Apr 26 and runs to Apr 30, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $5-$10. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-675-6622 ext 3080.

**THE MONUMENT by Colleen Wagner (ISOKO Theatre/Harbourfront World Stage). A soldier awaiting execution for war crimes is offered freedom by a mysterious woman. Performed in Kinyarwanda with English subtitles. Opens Apr 27 and runs to May 1, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $15-$45. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

THE PARKDALE COMEDY EXPERIMENT: 8 O’CLOCK EDITION The Shop Below Parts & Labour presents Conor Holler, National Theatre of the World, James Hartnett, Matt Folliot and hosts Sara Hennessey and Steph Kaliner. Opens Apr 28 8 pm. $3. 1566 Queen W. partsandlabour.ca.

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE by Gilbert & Sullivan (Toronto Operetta Theatre). The popular operetta set on a pirate ship gets a staging. Opens Apr 27 and runs to May 1, Fri-Sat and Wed 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $52-$78. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, torontooperetta.com.

**THE WRECKING BALL 12: ARE YOU DYING TO VOTE? (Theatre Centre). Ayub Nuri, Sean Dixon, Jean Yoon and other playwrights present political theatre pieces about the upcoming federal election. Apr 25 at 8 pm. Pwyc (proceeds to the Actors Fund of Canada). 1087 Queen W. thewreckingball.ca.

URINETOWN THE MUSICAL by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis (Etobicoke Musical Productions). A corporation takes advantage of a water shortage in this musical comedy. Opens Apr 29 and runs to May 14, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun (and May 14) 2 pm. $25, stu $19.Burnhamthorpe Auditorium, 500 the East Mall. 416-248-0410, e-m-p.net.

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.

WONDERFUL by Shannon Blake (The Bench Theatre). Three women struggle to avoid losing their babies to Children’s Aid. Opens Apr 29 and runs to May 21, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $12-$15.Sanctuary, 25 Charles E. 416-922-0628 ext 215, thebenchtheatre.com.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*