Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of October 17, 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
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.
**Doc Wuthergloom’s Haunted Medicine Show by Eric Woolfe (Eldritch Theatre). A travelling exorcist and his ghoulish puppets perform a Victorian-Gothic show. Opens Oct 19 and runs to Nov 6, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$35. Secret Venue, location revealed with purchase. eldritchtheatre.ca.
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.
**Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen (Soulpepper). A woman’s decision to stay with her cheating husband comes back to haunt her. Previews Oct 10-13. Opens Oct 14 and runs to Nov 18, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
Guns & Roses by Julian DeZotti (The Original Norwegian/Breakaway Addiction Services/Mixed Company Theatre). A live DJ and video projections are incorporated into this play about Toronto teens and high school life. Previews Oct 17. Opens Oct 18 and runs to Oct 28, Mon 7:30 pm, see website for other dates and times. $10-$30, stu mats $8. Alumnae Theatre, Studio Theatre, 70 Berkeley. theoriginalnorwegian.com.
**Matchbox Macbeth by William Shakespeare and the company (Litmus Theatre). Music, shadow play and trickery are used to tell the classic tale of witchcraft and murder. Opens Oct 13 and runs to Oct 30, Thu-Sun 7 and 9 pm. $15. Secret Location, revealed with ticket purchase. litmustheatre.com.
Murder On Ossington by Tom Arthur Davis and Alex Rubin (Pandemic Theatre). Inspired by true events, this psychological drama explores themes of violence from different perspectives. Opens Oct 14 and runs to Oct 30, Fri-Sun 8 pm. Pwyc (must reserve). Secret Location, revealed with ticket purchase. firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m In Therapy by Steve Solomon (Philip Roger Roy/Dana Matthow/Bud Martin). Solomon performs his solo show about growing up in a wacky, bi-ethnic family. Opens Oct 12 and runs to Jan 1, Wed 7 pm, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $51.50-$56. Bathurst Street Theatre, 736 Bathurst. 1-855-985-2787, italianjewish.ca.
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.
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. $35-$175. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
The Dinner by Jason Murray (Upstage Productions/pivotal(arts) theatre). Tensions arise between old and new friends at a Thanksgiving dinner. Opens Oct 19 and runs to Oct 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $15-$20. St. Vladimir Institute, 620 Spadina. 416-923-3318, stvladimir.ca.
**The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer (Studio 180 Theatre). A group of friends refuse to let doctors, politicians and the press bury the truth about the AIDS epidemic in early 80s NYC. Previews Oct 14-15. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 6, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $25-$35. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, studio180theatre.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 Rocky Horror Show by Richard O’Brien (Lower Ossington Theatre). A newly engaged couple stumble upon a freaky castle in this classic rock musical. Opens Oct 20 and runs to Oct 29, Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 8 and 11 pm, plus Oct 31 at 8 pm. $28.50-$38.50. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.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, mat pwyc. Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.
And the Rest
2 Pianos 4 Hands by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt (Mirvish). Two boys struggle with lessons, parents and stage fright while dreaming of becoming piano stars. Previews Oct 29. Opens Oct 30 and runs to Nov 20, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $39-$74. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
All My Sons by Arthur Miller (Amicus Productions). After returning from duty during WWII, a man falls in love with his late brother’s fiancée, but family secrets and tensions intervene. Opens Oct 20 and runs to Oct 29, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mats Oct 22-23 at 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $18. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-860-6176.
Bharati (David Mirvish). Dancers, actors, musicians and acrobats present a story of love and homecoming, plus an opening-night Diwali festival and marketplace. Opens Oct 26 and runs to Nov 6, Wed-Sat 8 pm (no show Nov 2), mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $39-$109. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front E. 1-855-872-7669, sonycentre.ca.
Cabaret Enchanté (Les Coquettes). The burlesque troupe presents a carnival theme with a twisted take on fairy tales. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Oct 30, Sun 7 and 9:30 pm. $15-$30. Revival, 783 College. lescoquettes.com.
Cabaret Of Songs (Factory Theatre). Playwright/pianist Tomson Highway and vocalist Patricia Cano give an intimate cabaret show to benefit the theatre company. Oct 27 at 8 pm. $150. Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
Circumcise Me! by Yisrael Campbell (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). Campbell performs his solo comedy about growing up Roman Catholic and his three conversions to Judaism. Previews Oct 25. Opens Oct 26 and runs to Nov 6, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, mats Sun and Wed 2 pm. $35.50-$65.50. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, hgjewishtheatre.com.
Dance For Justice Amnesty International presents a fundraiser with professional dancers performing French Can-Can, ballet, tap, salsa, hip-hop and more. Oct 27 at 7:30 pm. $30. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, aito.ca/justice.
Dance Michael Jackson’s Thriller (Seventh Stage Productions). Learn the moves to the Jackson video in a basic dance class in this funder for the company. Oct 25 at 7 pm. $25. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 55 Mill, bldg 58, studio 313. seventhstageproductions.com.
Don Giovanni by WA Mozart (Opera Atelier). Stefano Montanari conducts the Tafelmusik Orchestra in the comic opera about the incorrigible playboy. Opens Oct 29 and runs to Nov 5, Fri-Sat and Tue-Wed 7:30 pm, Sun 3 pm. $35-$175. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 1-855-622-2787, operaatelier.com.
**FELA! by Bill T Jones, Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendell (Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith/Mirvish). This musical looks at the life of Nigerian Afrobeat musician and civil rights activist Fela Kuti. Opens Oct 25 and runs to Nov 6, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $35-$130. Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
Festival Of Oral Literatures (FOOL Festival). Spoken word and storytelling are blended with dance, theatre, music and more, featuring Dan Yashinsky, Peggy Baker, Erika Batdorf and others. Oct 27-30, Thu-Sun 4 and 8 pm (see website for details and additional off-site events). Pwyc-$10. Mercer Union, 1286 Bloor W. foolfestival.ca.
Global Cabaret Festival (Young Centre for the Performing Arts). This arts fest features music, dance, comedy and more with Sharron Matthews, Jackie Richardson, the National Theatre of the World, Albert Schultz, Don Francks and others. Oct 28-30, Fri from 7 pm, Sat-Sun from 2 pm. $20-$25 per show, stu $15. 55 Mill. globalcabaret.ca.
In The Pines by Akutagawa Ryunosuke, adapted by the Company (Red One Theatre Collective/Yabu no Naka Co-op). Adapted from Japanese Roshomon tales, this story of love, honour and betrayal takes the audience back in time through the historic house. Opens Oct 26 and runs to Oct 31, Wed-Mon 7 and 9 pm. $20. Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen W. redonetheatre.com.
Johnny Canuck by Jovanka Bach (John Stark Productions). A wandering troubadour returns home to find his wife has left him in this musical solo show. Oct 28-30, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $15. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
Le Dieu Du Carnage (God Of Carnage) by Yasmina Reza (Théâtre français de Toronto). Civility turns to hostility when two couples meet to resolve their kids’ dispute in this comedy. Previews Oct 19-20. Opens Oct 21 and runs to Nov 5, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun 2:30 pm, Oct 29, Nov 5 at 3:30 pm. $33-$48, stu/srs $28-$41, Wed pwyc. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.
Like The First Time by Adam Seelig (One Little Goat Theatre Company). A woman is torn between her new single life and her past as a wife and mother. Opens Oct 28 and runs to Nov 13, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$23, stu/srs $15-$18, Sun pwyc. Walmer Centre Theatre, 188 Lowther. 416-915-0201, onelittlegoat.org.
Night Of Dread (Clay & Paper Theatre). Puppets, stilt dancers and others perform and parade in an exploration of fear. Oct 29, parade assembles at 4 pm, departs at 6 pm. Pwyc ($10 sugg). Dufferin Grove Park, Dufferin S of Bloor. clayandpapertheatre.org.
Strange Things Done: A Nightmare In Six Acts (The Empty Room). Drawn from new stories and classic literature, six short plays with themes of fear and horror run in a continuous cycle. Oct 29, from sunset (6-11 pm). $10. Hub 14, 14 Markham. empty-room.com
Super Villains (Against the Grain Theatre). This concert features arias and ensembles that pay homage to despicable characters in opera and musical theatre. Oct 27 at 8 pm. $25. SMASH Furniture, 2880 Dundas W. againstthegraintheatre.com.
The Life And Times Of Mackenzie King: The History Of The Village Of The Small Huts, 1918-1939 by Michael Hollingsworth (VideoCabaret). This history play looks at the Roaring Twenties and Dirty Thirties in Canada. Previews Oct 30-Nov 9. Opens Nov 10 and runs to Nov 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $20-$40. Cameron House, 408 Queen W. 416-703-1725, videocab.com.
The Sankofa Trilogy by d’bi.young anitafrika (Tarragon Theatre). The stories of three generations of Jamaican women are told in the plays blood.claat, benu and word! sound! powah!, presented in repertory. Previews Oct 22-Nov 3. Opens Nov 4 and runs to Dec 3, Thu-Sat 8 pm (no show Oct 28), some Tue-Wed nights and Sat-Sun mats (call/see website for details). $20-$45. Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
True Stories, Made Up Plays (Sage Tyrtle). Improv troupes act out plays based on true stories. Oct 27 at 8 pm. Free. No One Writes to the Colonel, 460 College. 416-928-6777.
Vive La Danse 25 Dancer Transition Resource Centre presents a 25th-anniversary celebration and funder with performances by Aleksandar Antonijevic, Guillaume Coté, Greta Hodgkinson, Gadfly Dance Company and others. Oct 26 from 6 pm. $350. Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Imperial Room, 100 Front W. dtrc.ca.
Weesageechak Begins To Dance Festival XXIV (Native Earth Performing Arts). New works by Aboriginal creators including plays by Keith Barker, Clifford Cardinal, Darrell Dennis, Angela Loft, Thundering Voices artists and more. Opens Oct 25 and runs to Oct 29, professional development Tue-Wed (by registration), performances Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $10, festival pass $30. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, nativeearth.ca.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*