Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of October 31, 2011

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of October 31, 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 

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. 

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. 

**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. 

**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. 

**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.

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.

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. 

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.

**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 

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. 

DARCY MICHAEL The Flying Beaver Pubaret presents Vancouver’s gay stoner dad in a live show. Opens Nov 4 and runs to Nov 5, Fri-Sat 8 pm. $10-$15. 488 Parliament. 647-347-6567, brownpapertickets.com. 

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS (Dia De Los Muertos Festival/TheOriginalFace.ca). This showcase for local artists features a vaudeville cabaret with musicians, burlesque and circus performers. Nov 5, craft fair 11 am-6 pm (free), cabaret at 8 pm. $15-$20. Revival, 783 College. DiaDeLosMuertos2011. eventbrite.com. 

DITCH by Geoff Kavanagh (Sometimes Y Theatre). Two shipmates on an 1845 Arctic expedition must confront their mortality after their ship is trapped in ice. Previews Nov 2. Opens Nov 3 and runs to Nov 20, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $10-$20, Sun pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, sometimesytheatre.com. 

FIRERAISERS by Max Frisch (the red light district). Frisch’s play about fear and mistrust during a city’s arson epidemic is given a modern update. Opens Nov 2 and runs to Nov 19, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $20, stu $15. Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas E. theredlightdistrict.ca.

FLUENCY Tribal Crackling Wind, DanceWorks and Harbourfront NextSteps present a fusion of video, interviews and dance that explores choreographer Peter Chin’s attempt to integrate into the culture of Nicaragua. Nov 3-5, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $23-$28, stu/srs $15-$18. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com. 

FOUR MAD HUMOURS pounds per square inch and the New Alt Performance Group present four solo works about the nature of madness, two performed live by Linnea Swan and Gerry Trentham, and two performed virtually via live feed from Buffalo. Opens Nov 2 and runs to Nov 5, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $28, stu/srs $20. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, theatrecentre.org. 

HANSEL AND GRETEL by Englebert Humperdinck (Canadian Opera Company). Young artists of the COC present a retelling of the classic fairy tale. Nov 5 at 11 am and 2 pm. $20, srs $15, child $10. Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front E. 416-363-8231, coc.ca. 

HENRI FABERGÉ’S HELIGOLAND FOLLIES (Stages). This monthly 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. 

JUST FOR LAUGHS COMEDY TOUR Just For Laughs presents the first ever British-edition lineup w/ Abandoman & Rob Broderick, Matt Kirshen, Hal Cruttenden, Terry Alderton, Sean Meo and host Steve Patterson. Nov 4 7:30 pm. $35.50-$52.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria. 416-872-4255, ticketmaster.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. 

LIL ANGELO TSAROUCHAS’ BIG CANADA SHOW Mirvish presents the comic in a live show. Nov 6 8 pm. $44. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.                       

LITTLE PEA’S REVOLUTION by Laura Quigley (Little Revolutions). A 12-year-old girl hides from adulthood and learning about her political, sexual and racial identity. Nov 4-5 at 8 pm. $15. Hub 14, 14 Markham. 416-268-3897. 

LOVE AND OTHER STRESSES… THE MULTIMEDIA MUSICAL by Merle Garbe (Encore Entertainment). This musical comedy looks at the quest for love through social networking sites, texting and blogging. Opens Oct 27 and runs to Nov 6, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $28-$29.50. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 1-855-985-2787, encoreshows.com. 

ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE Compagnie Marie Chouinard and Canadian Stage present the ancient Greek myth interpreted through dance. Opens Nov 1 and runs to Nov 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $24-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com. 

PADRE X by Marc Moir (Looking Glass Productions). Moir’s solo play about a Canadian chaplain’s loyalty and heroism during WWII is presented as part of the Remembrance Day service. Nov 6 at 10:30 am. Free. Forest Grove United Church, 43 Forest Grove. 416-222-2781. 

PTEROS TACTICS Toronto Dance Theatre presents a new version of the work by Christopher House about the instant of desire. Opens Oct 28 and runs to Nov 5, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $26, stu/srs $20, Sun pwyc. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-967-1365, tdt.org. 

SMASH HIT Opening Night Theatre presents a weekly improvised musical. Sat 8 pm. Pwyc.Augusta House, 152 Augusta. openingnighttheatre.com. 

THE ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY COMPLETELY MADE UP SHOW Second City presents interactive, family-friendly improv and sketch. Sat 1 pm. $12. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com. 

THE DARK ROOM by SR Krieger (Socratic Theatre Collective). Eight tales of ghosts and spirits from ancient Greece to modern times are presented. Opens Nov 3 and runs to Nov 13, Tue-Fri 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $15, stu/srs $10, Tue-Wed pwyc. Unit 102 Studio, 376 Dufferin. socratictheatre.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 Nov 2-9. 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 REZ SISTERS by Tomson Highway (Factory Theatre). Women on a reservation plan a trip to Toronto to attend a huge bingo tournament. Previews Nov 5-9. Opens Nov 10 and runs to Dec 11, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$55. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca. 

**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. 

THE TEST by Lukas Bärfuss (The Company Theatre). A man seeks scientific proof of his son’s paternity in this dark comedy. Previews Oct 31-Nov 2. Opens Nov 3 and runs to Nov 26, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat 2 pm. $22-$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, companytheatre.ca.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*