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 May 11th, 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…
**AGOKWE by Waawaate Fobister (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Two teenage boys from neighbouring reservations fall in love in this solo show. Opens May 5 and runs to May 15, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $19-$33, Sun pwyc. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.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 Sep 3, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 1:30 pm. $36-$130. Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com
**BROWN BALLS by Byron Abalos (fu-GEN). Three men disguised as Bruce Lee, Charlie Chan and Fu Manchu tackle Asian male stereotypes. Opens May 3 and runs to May 15, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm, May 6 gala from 6 pm. $10-$26, gala $50. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, fu-gen.org.
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, 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.
**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.
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.
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.
**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 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
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.
CAKE by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (Mayworks Festival/New Harlem Productions). A new play about the uranium trade between Niger and Iran gets a workshop production, plus a performance by MataDanZe collective. May 14 at 8 pm. $12. Theatre Direct, 76 Wychwood. mayworks.ca.
**CANCER CAN’T DANCE LIKE THIS by Daniel Stolfi (Patient Commando). Stolfi performs his solo show about his battle with the disease to benefit Lilah’s Fund. May 12 at 8 pm. $49.95. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe. roythomson.com. (See a previous Mooney on Theatre review of the show)
CROOKBACK: AN ADAPTATION OF RICHARD III by Tim Welham (Beacon Theatre). Welham goes into the mind of the famous Shakespearean villain in this solo show. Opens May 5 and runs to May 15, Thu-Sun 8 pm. $15. Unit 102 Theatre, 46 Noble. firstname.lastname@example.org.
**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.
**FESTIVAL OF IDEAS AND CREATION (Canadian Stage). This development festival features talks, workshops and readings and workshop performances of cross-disciplinary works by Weyni Mengesha, Jordan Tannahill, Moynan King, Yvonne Ng, Liza Balkan and others. Opens May 9 and runs to May 21, see website for details and schedule. Most events free. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com/festival.
**FRONTERAS AMERICANAS by Guillermo Verdecchia (Soulpepper). Verdecchia perform his solo show about seeking his identity as an Argentinean-Canadian. Previews May 6-9. Opens May 11 and runs to Jun 12, see website for schedule. $28-$65. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
INTERIOR WITH MOVING FIGURES Peggy Baker Dance Projects presents four contemporary works being performed simultaneously in different galleries. Opens May 11 and runs to May 18, Wed 7 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm. Free w/ admission (Wednesdays free). Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas W. peggybakerdance.com.
**JUMPING MOUSE by Columpa C Bobb and Marion de Vries (Centre for Indigenous Theatre). Two mice set off to follow their dreams in this family play about courage and friendship. May 12-15, Thu-Sat 7 pm, Sun 2 pm. $10 or pwyc. Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, 79A St. George. 416-506-9436, indigenoustheatre.com.
LITTLE JACK HORNER (Class Productions). This English pantomime is based on an incident from the court of King Henry VIII. May 12-14, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $15. Clarke Memorial Hall, 161 Lakeshore W. 416-526-8995.
ORFEO ED EURIDICE by Christoph Willibald Gluck (Canadian Opera Company). Orfeo goes through the underworld to bring back his wife in this Italian opera. Opens May 8 and runs to May 28, May 8 at 2 pm, May 11, 14, 17, 20, 24 and 26 at 7:30 pm, May 28 at 4:30 pm. $62-$281, rush $22. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
**ROCK.PAPER.SISTAHZ (bcurrent). The 10th anniversary of the arts festival features poetry, spoken word, theatre, music, staged readings, dance, film and more. Opens May 10 and runs to May 20, see website for schedule. $10-$25, pass $59.99. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie. 416-533-1500, bcurrent.ca.
THE ALEPH by Jorge Luis Broges (Soulpepper). Diego Matamoros performs this adaptation of Borges’s short story. Previews May 13-16. Opens May 17 and runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $25-$35. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
THE BOOK OF LIZ/THE SANDILAND DIARIES by Amy and David Sedaris/David Sedaris (Ghost Light Projects). A nun ventures into a big city and a man finds work as a department store elf in this double bill. Opens May 7 and runs to May 15, Thu-Sun 7 and 9 pm. $25-$30.Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Tallulah’s Cabaret, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, ghostlightprojects.com.
THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller (Stage Centre Productions). Children dancing by a fire leads to panic and conflict in the small community of Salem. Opens May 5 and runs to May 14, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $27.50, stu/srs $22. Fairview Library, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-299-5557, stagecentreproductions.com.
THE POST OFFICE by Rabindranath Tagore (Pleiades Theatre). A sick boy watches and interacts with the world from his bedroom window in India. Previews May 7-9, Sat and Mon 8 pm. Opens May 10 and runs to Jun 4, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats May 28 and Jun 4 at 2 pm. $35, stu $12, srs $16-$30. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, pleiadestheatre.org.
**THE RAILWAY CHILDREN by Edith Nesbit (Mirvish). Three siblings struggle to survive after their father is imprisoned in Edwardian England. Opens May 3 and runs to Jun 26, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm (no shows May 29, Jun 12, 25; see website for other times). $25-$99. Roundhouse Theatre, 255 Bremner Blvd. mirvish.com.
THE RIVER LADY by David Widdicombe (Lonesome Crowded West). A drifter and a dishwasher connect at an all-night diner and search for the meaning of their lives. Opens May 4 and runs to May 14, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $15, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, lonesometheatre.wordpress.com.
**THE SHAPE OF A GIRL by Joan MacLeod (Green Thumb Theatre). A teen is torn between loyalty to a bullying friend and the safety of others in this drama for ages 12 and up. Previews May 11. Opens May 12 and runs to May 19, call or see website for schedule. $15-$20.Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, lktyp.ca.
THE STORY BEGINS: CELEBRATING SONGS FROM STORY-DRIVEN MUSICALS (Theatre 20). The musical theatre concert series kicks off with performances by Louise Pitre, Colm Wilkinson, Sharron Matthews, Yvan Pednault and others. May 9 at 8 pm. $59-$69. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, theatre20.com.
**TO LIFE by Avery Saltzman and Tim French (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). The Jewish life cycle is portrayed through songs of the Jewish musical theatre canon in this revue. Previews May 13-15. Opens May 17 and runs to May 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $42.50-$79.50. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, hgjewishtheatre.com.
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.
**ZADIE’S SHOES by Adam Pettle (Factory Theatre). Desperate to recoup his losses, a gambler looks to his forgotten synagogue for a miracle. Previews Apr 30-May 4. Opens May 5 and runs to Jun 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm (May 1 preview at 7 pm). $15-$45, Sun pwyc. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*