Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of October 3, 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
A Fool’s Life by Dan Watson (Ahuri Theatre/Why Not Theatre). Movement, drumming, shadow puppetry and projections are used in this multilingual piece inspired by the life and short stories of Akutagawa Ryunosuke. Previews Sep 29. Opens Sep 30 and runs to Oct 8, Mon-Sat 8 pm. $20, preview/Mon pwyc. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, ahuritheatre.com.
After Mrs. Rochester by Polly Teale (Alumnae Theatre). This drama interweaves the lives of author Jean Rhys and the character from Jane Eyre with whom she identified. Opens Sep 23 and runs to Oct 7, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, Wed 2-for-1, Sun pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.com.
**Another Africa by Deborah Asiimwe, Binyavanga Wainaina and Roland Schimmelpfennig (Canadian Stage/Volcano Theatre). This play trilogy examines the multi-faceted relationship between Africa and the West. Previews Sep 26-28. Opens Sep 29 and runs to Oct 22, 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.
**Bigger Than Jesus by Rick Miller and Daniel Brooks (WYRD/Necessary Angel). Live performance, sound and projections are used in this comedy about the mysteries of life and viewpoints on Christianity. Opens Sep 29 and runs to Oct 9, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$55. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
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 of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
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.
**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.
Iphigenia In Tauris by Christoph Willibald Gluck (Canadian Opera Company). The tragic opera based on a story from Greek mythology is performed in French. Opens Sep 22 and runs to Oct 15, Sep 22, 28, Oct 4, 7, 12 and 15 at 7:30 pm, Sep 25 at 2 pm, Oct 1 at 4:30 pm. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.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.
Suddenly Mommy! by Anne Marie Scheffler (Red Sandcastle Theatre). Scheffler performs her solo comedy about motherhood. Opens Sep 26 and runs to Oct 9, Sep 26-28, Oct 1 and 4-8 at 8 pm, mats Sep 29-30, Oct 2 and 9 at 2 pm. $20-$25. 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com.
The Great American Trailer Park Musical by David Nehls and Betsly Kelso (Hart House Theatre). Colourful characters from mobile homes, trailers and caravans deal with daily travails in this musical comedy. Opens Sep 23 and runs to Oct 8, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Oct 8 at 2 pm. $25, stu/srs $10-$15. 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, harthousetheatre.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 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. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.
The Winslow Boy by Terence Rattigan (Stage Centre Productions). A father fights to clear his son’s name after the boy is expelled from naval college. Opens Sep 29 and runs to Oct 8, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun (and Oct 8th) at 2 pm. $27.50, stu/srs $22. Fairview Library, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-299-5557, stagecentreproductions.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
Absolute Comedy presents Pro-Am Night w/ Andy Hendrickson, Chris Roberts, Eric Bud, Ernie Vicente, Felipe Dimas, Marilla Wex and host Tony Deyo. Oct 5 8:30 pm. $6. 2335 Yonge. 416-486-7700, absolutecomedy.ca.
Awkward Toronto’s newest monthly storytelling show, presents a hilarious night of performers telling their real-life awkward or embarrassing stories. This month’s performers include legendary storyteller Sandra Shamas, whom the Globe and Mail called “Uproarious!” “Awkward” returns to Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West) on October 6th at 8pm. Tickets are $8 and are available from Comedy Bar (416) 551-6540 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
De Colores Festival (Alameda Theatre Company). The festival of new creations by Latin-Canadian playwrights includes works in development by Martha Chaves, Ari Belathar, Gilda Monreal and Aracely Reyes. Oct 6-7 at 8 pm. $15, stu/srs $12, pass $28. Wychwood Theatre, 601 Christie. 416-652-5442, alamedatheatre.com.
HarbourKIDS: Monster (Harbourfront Centre). This festival of family programming features puppet shows, film, music, storytelling, workshops and more. Oct 8-10 from 11 am to 5 pm. Free. 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
Henri Fabergé’s Heligoland Follies (Stages). This six-part performance series features music, comedy, film and narrative theatre about an 1820s community trying to reach a utopian ideal. Oct 6 at 9 pm. Nov 3 at 9 pm. Dec 1 at 9 pm. Jan 12 at 9 pm. Feb 2 at 9 pm. Mar 1 at 9 pm. Free. Hart House, Arbor Room, 7 Hart House Circle. harthouse.utoronto.ca/arts/stages/henri.
Infinitum by Melissa Major (The Cheshire Unicorn). Performers draw from the aerial arts, butoh and contortion to explore the concepts of infinity and repetition. Previews Sep 29. Opens Sep 30 and runs to Oct 16, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun 2 pm (no show Oct 9), Wed 2:30 pm. $25, stu $15. Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst. 416-538-1772, cheshireunicorn.com.
Kabako Benkadi – Powerful Unity Sani-Abu School for African and Contemporary Dance and Batuki Music Society present a celebration of African dance by Ijo Vudu Dance Company. Oct 8 from 6:30 pm (show at 8 pm). $15-$20 (includes dinner). Pia Bouman School for Ballet, 6 Noble. ijovududance.com.
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (Single Thread Theatre Company). The romantic comedy gets a site-specific staging at the historic house and gardens. Previews Sep 28-29. Opens Sep 30 and runs to Oct 15, Wed-Sat (and Oct 16) 8 pm (no show Oct 1). $20. Spadina Museum, 285 Spadina Rd. singlethread.ca.
Musicals That Fly: Amelia In Concert by John Gray (Theatre 20). The company presents a concert version of the musical about Amelia Earhart. Oct 3 at 8 pm. $59-$69. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, theatre20.com.
Name In Vain (Decalogue Two) by André Alexis (Tarragon Theatre). A monk breaks his vow of silence and the second commandment, sending the brotherhood into upheaval. Previews Oct 4-18. Opens Oct 19 and runs to Oct 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun (and Oct 22, 29) at 2:30 pm. $15-$22. ExtraExtra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Prima Donna (CBC Radio 2/Espace Musique/Radio Canada). Sopranos Julie Boulianne, Marianne Fiset and Aline Kutan perform French and Italian arias in celebration of CBC Radio’s 75th anniversary. Oct 3 at 8 pm. $45. Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front W. cbc.ca/glenngould.
ProArteDanza – Season 2011 Harbourfront NextSteps presents modern pieces by Robert Glumbek, Roberto Campanella, Kevin O’Day and Guillaume Côté. Opens Oct 5 and runs to Oct 8, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $22-$39, srs $20-$34, stu $15. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi (Canadian Opera Company). A jester avenges his seduced daughter with tragic consequences in this Italian opera. Opens Sep 29 and runs to Oct 22, Sep 29, 30, Oct 5, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20 and 22 at 7:30 pm, Oct 2 and 16 at 2 pm, Oct 8 at 4:30 pm. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
Saturday Night Cabaret Series (Soulpepper Theatre Company). Derek Boyes and Mike Ross host a weekly arts talk-show cabaret. Opens Sep 24 and runs to Oct 15, Sat 10 pm. $10. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.
**Sex, Religion & Other Hang-Ups by James Gangl (Gangland Productions). Gangl performs his solo comedy from the Fringe about dealing with sexuality and strict beliefs. Previews Oct 4-5. Opens Oct 6 and runs to Oct 22, Tue-Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 7 and 9 pm. $15-$25. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, sexhangup.com.
Side By Side By Sondheim (Sonus Stage Productions). This musical revue features well-known and obscure works by Stephen Sondheim. Opens Oct 5 and runs to Oct 23, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20. Walmer Centre Theatre, 188 Lowther. sonusstageproductions.ca.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller (Ryerson Theatre School). Young women dancing around a fire leads to panic and conflict in the small community of Salem. Opens Oct 4 and runs to Oct 13, Tue-Fri 8 pm, Sat 2 pm. $18, stu/srs $14. Abrams Studio Theatre, 46 Gerrard E. 416-979-5118, ryersontheatre.ca.
The Green Door (Lower Ossington Theatre). The cabaret series presents Standard Practice (Kulak, Pady and Roy). Oct 7 at 8 pm. $20. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
The Jones Boy by Tom Walmsley (surface/underground theatre). Heroin addicts and hookers struggle to survive in this drama. Opens Sep 30 and runs to Oct 15, Tue-Fri 8 pm, Sat 8 and 10 pm, Sun 2 pm (no show Oct 14). $20, Sun pwyc (partial proceeds to CAMH). Toronto Free Gallery, 1277 Bloor W. email@example.com.
The Studio by Hélène Langevin (Bouge de là). Four dancers use their bodies, objects, lighting and projections to bring visual art to life. Previews Sep 26. Opens Sep 27 and runs to Oct 6, see website for schedule. $15-$20. Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.
The Superstars Of Comedy Comedy Bar presents Fraser Young, Georgea Brooks-Hancock, Nicholas Reynoldson, Pat MacDonald and host Ben Miner. Oct 8 9:30 pm. $10. 945 Bloor W. 416-551-6540, comedybar.ca.
The Ugly One by Marius von Mayenburg (Theatre Smash). A man enjoys his new beauty until his plastic surgeon offers his face to others in this black comedy. Previews Sep 30-Oct 2. Opens Oct 4 and runs to Oct 16, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $18-$34. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Theatresports Bad Dog Theatre presents fast and furious improv matches. Sat 8 pm. $12, stu $10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. 416-551-6540, baddogtheatre.com.
Those Who Can’t Do… by Erin Fleck (Theatre Passe Muraille). A sex scandal at a high school forces a teacher to confront her own perceptions of sexuality and shame. Previews Oct 6-8. Opens Oct 11 and runs to Oct 29, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $25-$30, previews $15, mat pwyc. Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.
Viva Cabaret (YURA). This tribute show features divas from stage and screen. Oct 5 at 8 pm. Free. Gladstone Hotel, Melody Bar, 1214 Queen W. 416-531-4635, rushow.ru.
When It All Falls Down by Natalie Miller (The Envisioners Productions). A young woman’s life turns upside down in this drama about struggling to be yourself. Oct 8-9 at 7 pm. $30. Faith Miracle Temple, 280 Yorkland Blvd. 647-241-4713, whenitallfallsdown.webs.com.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*