Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of September 19

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of September 19, 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

DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE! (AND OTHER LIES) Second City presents its latest sketch revue about the things we tell ourselves to get through life. Wed-Fri 8 pm, Sat 8 & 10:30 pm, Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, Stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

**MACHOMER by Rick Miller (WYRD). Miller voices several characters from TV’s the Simpson’s in this solo comedic adaptation of Macbeth. Opens Sep 13 and runs to Sep 25, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$55. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

PEOPLE4CHANGE (Lemontree Creations/Thethem). Three people are moved to create positive change after witnessing a death on the subway tracks. Previews Sep 13. Opens Sep 14 and runs to Sep 24, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $20, Stu/Srs $15, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, lemontreecreations.ca. 

**THE PRICE by Arthur Miller (Soulpepper). Two estranged brothers reunite in a condemned house to sell their father’s possessions. Previews Aug 29-sep 1. Opens Sep 2 and runs to Oct 22, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28. Young centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

THE TALE OF A TOWN – QUEEN WEST by Lisa Marie Diliberto (Fixt point). This theatrical promenade starts at TPM and goes through the neighbourhood, exploring the history of the area using music and stories. Previews Sep 14. Opens Sep 15 and runs to Oct 9, Tue-Sun 7:30 pm. $20-$25, preview $15. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.

THE UNDERPANTS by Carl Sternheim, adapted by Steve Martin (Coffeehouse Theatre). Various men pursue a woman after a wardrobe malfunction at a parade in this comedy. Opens Sep 16 and runs to Sep 24, Thu-sun 8 pm, mats Sep 23-24 at 2 pm. $18, stu $15. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com. 

TOTEM by Robert Lepage (Cirque du Soleil). Music, dance, acrobatics and design are used to trace the journey of the human species from amphibians to its desire to fly. Opens Aug 10 and runs to Oct 9, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun 1 & 5 pm, Fri-Sat 4 pm. $74-$249, stu/srs $67-$235, kids under 12 $54-$208. Grand Chapiteau, port lands, commissioners at cherry. Cirquedusoleil.com 

WHITE BITING DOG by Judith Thompson (Soulpepper). A suicidal lawyer on a bridge is advised by a talking dog. Previews Aug 13-17. Opens Aug 18 and runs to Oct 21, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28, rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

And the rest…

AFTER MRS. ROCHESTER by Polly Teale. Inspired by a Jane Eyre prequel titled Wide Sargasso Sea, told from the perspective of Rochester’s reluctant West Indian bride.  Drawing on the famous works of both Brontë and Rhys, this powerful drama interweaves Jean’s demons with those of her alter ego, to explore their toll on the writer’s stormy life. Runs Sep 23 to Oct 8. Wed-Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. $20, Wed 2 for 1, Sun PWYC. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley St. 416 364 4170, reservations@alumnaetheatre.com.

BILL BAILEY’S DANDELION MIND SHOW Live Nation presents the musical comedian in a live show. Sep 19 7:30 pm. $35. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, billbailey.co.uk.

BITCH SALAD GOES BLACK TO SCHOOL 2 Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents an all-black, all-female comedy showcase w/ Kellye Howard, Keesha Brownie, Zabrina Chevannes, Crystal Ferrier and host Andrew Johnston. Sep 20 8:30 pm. $10. 12 Alexander. Femaledogsalad@gmail.com. 

CAROUSEL by Rodgers & Hammerstein (Civic Light Opera Company). Love blooms at a carousel ride in this classic musical. Opens Sep 7 and runs to Sep 24, wed 7 pm, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun (and Sep 24) 2 pm. $28. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-755-1717, civiclightoperacompany.com. 

CHESS THE MUSICAL by Tim Rice, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (Mirvish). Two great chess masters vie for a championship and the love of one woman. Previews Sep 24-27. Opens Sep 28 and runs to Oct 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $35-$175. Princess ofWwales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com. 

FROM THINE EYES Signal Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Danceworks and Harbourfront Nextsteps present a dance-theatre piece by Michael Greyeyes about six characters looking for meaning at the end of their lives. Sep 22-24 at 8 pm. $28-$33.50, stu/srs $19-$22.50. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com. 

HARD TIMES AT THE HARD LUCK Impulsive Entertainment presents a comedy mashup w/ cheap smokes, Jim Kim, Sharkjump, Mantown and host Bryan O’Gorman. Sep 19 9 pm. $5. Hard Luck Bar, 812 Dundas W.  Hardluckbar.com.

**HIS GREATNESS by Daniel MacIvor (Independent Artists Repertory Theatre). This play is based on two days in 1980 when Tennessee Williams was in Vancouver for the opening of one of his plays. Previews Sep 20-21. Opens Sep 22 and runs to Oct 23, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat 2 pm, Sun 3 pm. $40-$60, preview $20, limited PWYC Sun. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca. 

**IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY by Sarah Ruhl (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre). A doctor’s use of a newfangled medical device draws curiosity from his wife. Previews Sep 13-20. Opens Sep 21 and runs to Oct 23, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2:30 pm (no mats Sep 17, Oct 15,Oct 22). $20-$47. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

KATHY GRIFFIN Live Nation presents the comic/TV personality in a live show. Sep 25 8 pm. $39.50-$69.50. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front E. 416-872-2262, sonycentre.ca.

MANIFESTO FESTIVAL OF COMMUNITY AND CULTURE (Manifesto Community Projects). This urban arts festival features live music, art exhibits, dance, poetry, film, spoken word, the Wombanifesto conference and showcase and much more. Opens Sep 15 and runs to Sep 25. Various prices, some free events. Various venues, see website for addresses and schedule. Themanifesto.ca. 

PRIVATE LIVES by Noël Coward (Mirvish). Exes meet at the same hotel while honeymooning with new spouses. Previews Sep 16-24. Opens Sep 25 and runs to Oct 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm (no matinee Sep 17). $35-$175. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

SPRING AWAKENING by Frank Wedekind, with music by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater (Lower Ossington Theatre). Teens journey from youth to adulthood in 19th-century Germany in this musical. Opens Sep 21 and runs to Oct 8, Wed-Sat 8 pm, sun 4 pm. $45-$60. 100a Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

**THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL (Hart House Theatre) a tongue-in-cheek, rockabilly romp filled with strip clubs, hysterical pregnancies and dreams of the Ice Capades. We’re talkin’ trashy – trailer trashy. Runs Sep 23 – Oct 8. Wk 1: Fri & Sat @ 8pm, wk 2: Wed to Sat @ 8pm, wk 3: Wed to Sat @ 8pm + Sat @ 2pm. $25, stu & srs $15. uofttix.ca

**THE MAIDS by Jean Genet (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Two maids are investigated when their mistress and her daughter are found dead in this psychosexual thriller. Previews Sep 17-21. Opens Sep 22 and runs to Oct 9, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $23-$33, Sun pwyc at the door. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.

THE ODD COUPLE by Neil Simon (Soulpepper). A meticulous man and his sloppy roommate try to coexist in a small apartment in this comedy. Previews Sep 22. Opens Sep 23 and runs to Nov 19, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca. 

THE SECOND CITY’S IMPROV ALL-STARSSecond City presents a fast-paced, completely improvised weekly show. Opens Sep 6 and runs to Sep 27, Tue 8 pm. $20, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com

THE ZOO STORY by Edward Albee (Two Wolves Theatre). Conflict arises when two strangers in a park strike up a conversation. Opens Sep 21 and runs to Sep 24, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $10, Wed pwyc. Cameron House, back room, 408 Queen W. 416-703-0811, twowolvestheatre.com. 

TORONTO COMEDY BRAWL SEMIFINALS Toronto comedy brawl presents amateur comedians competing for $1,000. Sep 14 7:30 pm, Sep 20 7:30 pm. $5. Rivoli, 332 Queen W. Torontocomedybrawl.com.


*Listings based on NOW stage listings*