Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of November 14, 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
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 Dec 4, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $39-$74.Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
DECEIVED by Motti Lerner (TEATRON Theatre). An American Jew is caught transferring information to Israel in this drama based on the Jonathan Pollard story. Opens Nov 9 and runs to Nov 20, Tue-Thu and Sat (and Nov 13) 8 pm, mats Sun 2 pm (and Nov 9 preview at 1 pm). $31-$48, stu/srs $26-$30. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge. 416-733-0545, teatrontheatre.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.
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.
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.
**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.
IMPRINTS by Michael Spence (Theatre Gargantua). An ailing woman is haunted by the ghosts of her ancestors while undergoing an experimental treatment. Previews Nov 9-10, Wed 6:30 and 9:30 pm, Thu 8 pm. Opens Nov 11 and runs to Nov 26, Thu-Sat (and Nov 15) 8 pm, Nov 13 at 2:30 pm. $20-$25, previews $17. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, theatregargantua.ca.
**MARY POPPINS by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman (Mirvish/Disney Theatrical Productions/Cameron Mackintosh). This musical is based on the PL Travers stories and the 1964 Disney film. Previews Nov 10-11. Opens Nov 12 and runs to Dec 24, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm (no eve show Dec 24; see website for other dates). $35-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
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.
SEUSSICAL by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Young People’s Theatre). This all-ages musical is based on the classic Dr. Seuss books. Previews Nov 7-9. Opens Nov 10 and runs to Dec 30, Sat-Sun 2 pm, see website for other dates and times. $15-$20. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.
SYLVIA by AR Gurney (Alumnae Theatre). A stray dog comes between a man and his wife in this comedy. Opens Nov 11 and runs to Nov 26, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, Wed 2-for-1, Sun pwyc. Studio, 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.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 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 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, 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.
And the rest…
CLASS CITY (Action Slacks). An Irish immigrant family struggles to establish themselves in Toronto in this improvised play. Opens Nov 14 and runs to Nov 28, Mon 8 pm. $15. Cameron House, 408 Queen W. classcitytoronto.eventbrite.com.
COMMITMENT ISSUES curated by Jess Dobkin (FADO Performance Art Centre). Five artists and one collective use their bodies as source material to investigate qualities and dimensions of commitment. Nov 16 at 7 pm. $15, stu/srs $12 (must be 19+). Oasis Aqualounge, 231 Mutual. performanceart.ca.
CROWN MATRIMONIAL by Royce Ryton (Stage Centre Productions). The queen is torn between her sons when one wants to marry a divorcee in 30s England. Opens Nov 17 and runs to Nov 26, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Nov 19, 26 at 2 pm. $27.50, stu/srs $22. Fairview Library, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-299-5557, stagecentreproductions.com.
DESPERATE CHURCH WIVES by Diane L Johnstone (Under the Blood Productions). Church ladies are upset when a minister’s wife is busted for prostitution in this solo comedy. Opens Nov 19 and runs to Nov 26, Sat 8:30 pm. $15-$18. Trinity St. Paul’s Church, 427 Bloor W. bourgee-bushwoman.com.
HALLAJ by Soheil Parsa and Peter Farbridge (Modern Times Stage Company). This drama is based on the life of the 10th-century Sufi poet Mansur el-Hallaj. Previews Nov 18-20. Opens Nov 22 and runs to Dec 4, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $18-$35, Sun pwyc at the door.Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, moderntimesstage.com.
LITTLE WOMEN adapted by Emma Reeves from the novel by Louisa May Alcott (George Brown College Theatre School). The March sisters grow up in genteel poverty against the backdrop of the American Civil War. Opens Nov 9 and runs to Nov 19, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Nov 12 and 16 at 1:30 pm. $18, srs $12, stu $7. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. youngcentre.ca or 416-866-8666.
LORD ARTHUR SAVILE’S CRIME adapted by Constance Cox from a short story by Oscar Wilde (The Village Players). A palm reader’s prediction sets off a a comedic chain of events. Opens Nov 11 and runs to Dec 3, Thu-Sat (and Nov 16) 8 pm, mats Nov 20, 26 at 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $16. Bloor West Village Playhouse, 2190 Bloor W. 416-767-7702, villageplayers.net.
MACBETH by William Shakespeare (Shakespeare in Action). This adaptation sets the classic tragedy in a post-apocalyptic world. Nov 19 at 8 pm. $15. Central Commerce CI Theatre, 570 Shaw. 416-703-4881, shakespeareinaction.org.
MURDER AT TWILIGHT by Brian Caws and Barb Scheffler (Mysteriously Yours… Dinner Theatre). Modern-day vampires, old-school monsters and humans try to coexist in this murder mystery. Previews Oct 7-22. Opens Oct 28 and runs to Dec 23, Fri-Sat 6:30 pm (see website for other dates). $79-$85. 2026 Yonge. 416-486-7469, mysteriouslyyours.com.
PLAY READING WEEK (Tarragon Theatre). Works in progress by Leanna Brodie, Haley McGee, Jason Maghanoy, Bobby Theodore, Evan Tsitsias and David Yee get staged readings. Opens Nov 14 and runs to Nov 20, Thu-Sat and Mon-Tue 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. Free. Near Studio, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
**RIDE THE CYCLONE by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell (Acting Up Stage Company/Atomic Vaudeville). Teenagers in a choir group get a chance to express themselves after dying in a roller coaster accident. Previews Nov 10-11. Opens Nov 12 and runs to Dec 3, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $30-$35, previews $15, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, actingupstage.com.
ROMEO AND JULIET The National Ballet of Canada presents Shakespeare’s story and Prokofiev’s music, with choreography by Alexei Ratmansky. Opens Nov 16 and runs to Nov 27, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25-$234. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-345-9595, national.ballet.ca.
SESAME STREET STRIP TEASE (Great Canadian Burlesque). The troupe parodies characters from the kids’ show in this slapstick musical showcase. Nov 17 at 9:30 pm. $15-$20. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. eventbrite.com/event/2214780468.
SHINING CITY by Conor McPherson (Toronto Irish Players). A Dublin therapist counsels a man haunted by the ghost of his wife. Opens Nov 3 and runs to Nov 19, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $18, Nov 10 $10. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley. 416-440-2888, torontoirishplayers.org.
SPRING AWAKENING (Toronto Youth Theatre) Priding itself on “handling edgy, adult material not often performed by youth” The Toronto Youth Theatre (TYT) will perform “Spring Awakening” the rock musical adaptaDon of Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 German play. Directed by Neil Silcox Nov. 16 – Students: $17.50 (General) and $25.00 (Reserved) Adult: $27.50 (General) and $35.00 (Reserved) Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington Ave. http://tytspringawakening.eventbrite.com/
STATE OF MIND Conteur Contemporary Dance Company presents works choreographed by Eryn Waitman to benefit Three To Be. Nov 19-20, Sat-Sun 8 pm, mat Sun 2:30 pm. $43. St Michael’s College School, 1515 Bathurst. conteurdancecompany.com.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY by Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice and Andrew Lippa (Dancap Productions). This musical comedy is based on the TV series about the ghoulish, quirky family. Previews Nov 16. Opens Nov 17 and runs to Nov 27, Tue-Sun 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm (plus Nov 17, 23). $62-$180. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-644-3665, dancaptickets.com.
THE ATOMIC WEIGHT OF HAPPINESS Stand Up Dance presents a remount of Meagan O’Shea’s theatre/dance mashup about human emotion and ecological responsibility. Opens Nov 19 and runs to Nov 27, Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $10-$15. Theatre Direct, 76 Wychwood. 416-537-4191, theatredirect.ca.
THE BUNDLE by Edward Bond (Ryerson Theatre School). A foundling grows up to be a militant voice for the people against the landowners in feudal China. Opens Nov 15 and runs to Nov 24, Tue-Fri 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $18, stu/srs $14. Abrams Studio Theatre, 46 Gerrard E. 416-979-5118, ryersontheatre.ca.
**THE CHILDREN’S REPUBLIC by Hannah Moscovitch (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company). A champion of children’s rights and a boy face a looming catastrophe in WWII-era Poland. Previews Nov 8-15. Opens Nov 16 and runs to Dec 18, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $38-$47, srs $33-$45, stu/previews $20-$24. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, hgjewishtheatre.com.
THE DUMB WAITER by Harold Pinter (Stratical Theatre). Two women play the roles of the assassins in this workshop production. Opens Nov 10 and runs to Nov 20, Tue-Sun doors 7:30 pm, mat Nov 20 at 2:30 pm. $15 sugg donation. Unit 102 Studio, 376 Dufferin. 416-539-9788, firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE TWO TREES by Daniel Giverin (Red Sandcastle Theatre). This solo play is based on the writings of Irish poet William Butler Yeats. Opens Nov 11 and runs to Nov 20, Wed-Sat (and Nov 14) 7:30 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $15. 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com.
WILLOW QUARTET by Joan Burrows (Greenwillow Productions). A married woman dealing with a tragedy returns to her family’s farm and becomes interested in a visiting musician. Opens Nov 18 and runs to Dec 3, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25, Sun pwyc. Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery. 647-342-7454, secureaseat.com.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*