Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of May 23rd, 2011

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 23rd, 2011:

** Shows marked with the double asterisks and in red are the ones that make Wayne, our Managing Editor, wish he could exist in multiple parallel universes so he could check them all out.

Already Covered by MoT…

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.

**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. 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

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. 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. 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. Runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $28-$65. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.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. Runs to May 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $23-$46, rush $10. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

FRONTERAS AMERICANAS by Guillermo Verdecchia (Soulpepper). Verdecchia perform his solo show about seeking his identity as an Argentinean-Canadian. 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.

GHOST STORIES by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman (Mirvish/Lyric Hammersmith/Phil McIntyre Entertainments). This theatrical experience features stories based on real interviews. 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.

ORFEO ED EURIDICE by Christoph Willibald Gluck (Canadian Opera Company). Orfeo goes through the underworld to bring back his wife in this Italian opera. 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.

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin (Toronto Youth Theatre). Overachievers vie for the championship in this musical comedy. Opens May 18 and runs to May 28, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 3:30 pm. $21.50-$37. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, putnamcounty.eventbrite.com.

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

**THE LION KING by Elton John and Tim Rice (Mirvish). The musical based on the Disney film returns. 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 POST OFFICE by Rabindranath Tagore (Pleiades Theatre). A sick boy watches and interacts with the world from his bedroom window in India. 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. 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-$140. Roundhouse Theatre, 255 Bremner Blvd. 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.

**ZADIE’S SHOES by Adam Pettle (Factory Theatre). Desperate to recoup his losses, a gambler looks to his forgotten synagogue for a miracle. Runs to Jun 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $15-$45, Sun pwyc. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

… and the rest

ANYTHING GOES by Cole Porter, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse (Civic Light Opera Company). A stowaway and a nightclub singer get in trouble aboard an ocean liner in this musical. Opens May 18 and runs to Jun 4, Wed 7 pm, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun (and Jun 4) at 2 pm. $25. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-755-1717, civiclightoperacompany.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.

BIRDBATH by Leonard Melfi (3 dimes down/Vitus Productions). Two down-and-out New Yorkers seek a connection on a cold night. Opens May 19 and runs to May 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, mat Sat 2:30 pm. $20. Pia Bouman School, Studio Theatre, 6 Noble. 647-344-1483, birdbathplay.com.

DON’T LOOK DOWN by Robin Cleland (Robin Cleland & Kristie Vinet). A hard-drinking man deals with his demons following his wife’s funeral. Previews May 25. Opens May 26 and runs to Jun 4, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat 2 pm. $25-$35. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com/alsoatberkeley.

IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK by Carlos Celdran (Kapisanan Centre/Harbourfront Centre Hot Spot). The performance artist/tour guide presents his walking-tour piece about Manila. May 28-29 at 3 pm. Free. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, kapisanancentre.com.

**LA RONDE by Arthur Schnitzler (red light district). Ten unconnected people meet and hook up in a series of vignettes about sex in the city. Opens May 19 and runs to Jun 4, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm. $20-$25, stu $15. Wicked, 1032 Queen W. theredlightdistrict.ca.

LES ADIEUX (Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre). Graduating artists of the COC Ensemble Studio perform arias and ensembles. May 26 at noon. Free. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. coc.ca.

LITTLE WOMEN adapted by Rochelle Douris (Upper Canada Repertory Company). This musical is based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott is performed by youth aged 7 to 17. May 24-25 at 7 pm. $25, stu $20. George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire. shakespearerocks.com.

PRESENT LAUGHTER by Noel Coward (East Side Players). An actor deals with various people vying for his attention in this comedy. Opens May 26 and runs to Jun 11, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu $15. Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery. 416-425-0917, eastsideplayers.ca.

SWIMMER (68) by Ker Wells (Hopscotch Collective). Wells performs a multimedia show inspired by the 1968 film The Swimmer. Previews May 24-25. Opens May 26 and runs to Jun 4, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $15, previews $10. Glen Morris Theatre, 4 Glen Morris. 416-978-7986.

THE OUTSIDERS adapted by Rochelle Douris (Upper Canada Repertory Company). This musical is based on the novel by SE Hinton about rival gangs in the 60s. May 26-27 at 7 pm. $25, stu $20. George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire. shakespearerocks.com.

THE RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM (Beit Zatoun). David Calderisi performs the medieval Persian poem and tells how it came to be written. May 25 at 7:30 pm. $12. 612 Markham. 647-726-9500, beitzatoun.org.

**THE SCRIPT-TEASE PROJECT (National Theatre of the World). Improvised plays will be created and performed based on two pages written by playwrights Judith Thompson, Daniel MacIvor, Woody Harrelson, Hannah Moscovitch, Morris Panych and others. Opens May 24 and runs to May 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm, plus Thu-Fri 9:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $20, stu $15. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, thenationaltheatreoftheworld.com.

THE SONNET SHOW: A NIGHT OF 14 (Humber River Shakespeare Company). Five original 14-minute plays, based on a 14-line sonnet, are performed. May 27 at 7 pm. $30.Montgomery’s Inn, 4709 Dundas W. 416-209-2026, humberrivershakespeare.ca.

**TIGHTROPE by 2boys.tv (Stephen Lawson and Aaron Pollard) (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). This theatrical song cycle looks at societal amnesia and cultures threatened by suppression of memory. Previews May 26. Opens May 27 and runs to Jun 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $19-$33, Sun pwyc. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.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. 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.

**YICHUD (SECLUSION) by Julie Tepperman (Convergence Theatre/TPM). An Orthodox Jewish couple are alone together for the first time following their arranged marriage. Opens May 21 and runs to May 29, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $30-$45, Wed mat $20.Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca. (See the Mooney on Theatre review of an earlier version of this production)

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*

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