Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of November 21, 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.
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.
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.
Imprints by Michael Spence (Theatre Gargantua). An ailing woman is haunted by the ghosts of her ancestors while undergoing an experimental treatment. Opens ? ?. Previews Nov 9-10. Opens Nov 11 and runs to Nov 26, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Nov 13 at 2:30 pm. $20-$25, previews $17. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, theatregargantua.ca.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare (Hart House Theatre). Ambition leads to bloody murder in the classic tragedy. Opens Nov 9 and runs to Nov 26, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Nov 26 at 2 pm. $25, stu/srs $10-$15. 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, harthousetheatre.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). $38-$185. 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.
**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.
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.
Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind, with music by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater (Toronto Youth Theatre). Teens journey from youth to adulthood in 19th-century Germany in this musical. Opens Nov 16 and runs to Nov 26, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $25-$35. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, tytspringawakening.eventbrite.com.
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 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 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 Dec 4, 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-$45, Sun pwyc. 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.
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.
Death (A Play!) by Woody Allen (art & lies productions). A young man is forced to face his fear of death in this physically stylized absurd play. Opens Nov 23 and runs to Nov 26, Wed-Fri 8 pm, Sat 7 pm. $15. Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen W. artandliesproductions.com.
Dying City by Christopher Shinn (surface/underground theatre). A therapist confronts her late husband’s identical twin when he comes to talk about his brother. Opens Nov 25 and runs to Dec 10, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$25, Sun pwyc. Toronto Free Gallery, 1277 Bloor W.dyingcity.com.
Enter The Shadow: The Life Of A B-Boy Harbourfront Centre Fresh Ground presents a fusion of hip-hop, dance and theatre by youth group Break it Down and playwright Ins Choi that looks at b-boy lifestyle and culture. Nov 24-27, Thu-Sat 7 pm, Sun 2 pm. $28, srs $24, stu $15. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
Free Bach (Julie Lassonde). Corporeal mime Lassonde performs movement improvisation to Bach’s 1st solo cello suite. Nov 25 at 8 pm. $15, stu 10. Hub 14, 14 Markham. freebach.wordpress.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.
Hullabaloo 2011 (Young People’s Theatre). This funder for YPT features face painting, crafts, a special performance of Seussical and more. Nov 27 at 12:30 pm. $100-$130, child $50-$65. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.
Humanity In Harmony Festival: Living Africa presents live music, dance, spoken word, art and more with African Dance Ensemble, Isaac Akrong and others. Nov 23 at 7:30 pm. $10, stu/srs $5. York University Accolade East Bldg, Student Lounge, 4700 Keele. afridance.com.
Impromptu Splendor (National Theatre of the World). The cast performs an improvised play based on audience suggestions. Nov 27 at 9 pm. $12. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. thenationaltheatreoftheworld.com.
Klorofyl Harbourfront NextSteps and Gadfly present a dance piece about the rebirth of seven fallen warriors who reconnect and rekindle their passion. Nov 24-27, Thu-Sat 8:30 pm, Sun 4 pm. $28, stu/srs $24. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
Les Huguenots by Giacomo Meyerbeer (Opera in Concert). This French opera is based on the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of Protestants by Catholics in 1572. Nov 27 at 2:30 pm. $40-$52. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, operainconcert.com.
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.
Matt & Ben by Brenda Withers and Mindy Kaling (Theatre Elusive). Matt Damon and Ben Affleck struggle to find success as screenwriters in this satire. Opens Nov 16 and runs to Nov 26, Wed-Mon 8 pm, mat Nov 19 at 3 pm. $20, stu $18 (totix.ca). Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst. theatreelusive.com.
Miss Toronto Acts Back by the Ditchwitch Brigade (Pandemic Theatre). This multimedia performance presents an alternative history of beauty pageants in Toronto. Opens Nov 25 and runs to Dec 4, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5 pm. $15. Unit 102 Studio, 376 Dufferin. pandemictheatre.blogspot.com.
Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles (Mirvish). This multimedia show recreates performances from the 60s and 70s. Nov 25-27, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $30-$99. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
Red by John Logan (Canadian Stage/Vancouver Playhouse/Citadel Theatre). Painter Mark Rothko struggles to create a masterpiece in the face of fame, fortune and commercialism. Previews Nov 19-23. Opens Nov 24 and runs to Dec 17, 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.
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.
Ryerson Dances 2011 Ryerson Theatre School presents works by Aresenio Andrade Calderon, Valerie Calam, Vicki St Denys and Allen Kaeja, performed by students. Opens Nov 22 and runs to Nov 26, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $18, stu $14. Ryerson Theatre, 43 Gerrard E. 416-979-5118, ryersontheatre.ca.
Shumka At 50! Sony Centre for the Performing Arts presents the Ukrainian music and dance company celebrating its golden anniversary. Nov 25-26 at 8 pm. $35-$85. 1 Front E. 416-872-2262, sonycentre.ca.
Snow White & The Several Dwarfs (Act II Studio). Love and politics collide in this interactive, all-ages Panto based on the fairy tale. Nov 24-26, Thu-Fri 7 pm, mat Fri-Sat 2 pm. $15, child $10. St Vladimir’s Theatre, 620 Spadina. 416-979-5000 ext 6297, act2studio.ca.
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 18 and runs to Nov 27, Fri-Sat 8 pm (no show Nov 25), 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 Evil League Of Sexy (The Underground Peepshow). This villain-themed burlesque show for ages 19+ features Dolly Berlin, Bella Fox, Sky Blew and others. Nov 26, doors 9 pm. $10-$13. Toronto Underground Cinema, basement, 186 Spadina. undergroundpeepshow.com.
The Love And Obsession Theatre Festival (Good Humour Productions). Four plays explore longing and redemption in art, romance, celebrity and pop culture. Opens Nov 22 and runs to Nov 27, Tue-Sun 7:30 & 9 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 & 3:30 pm. $15-$25. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, loveandobsessionfest.com.
The Miracle On Mercer Street Second City presents all-ages seasonal comedy mixing live-action sketches with puppetry and songs. Opens Nov 19 and runs to Dec 17, Sat Saturdays at noon. $12, family 4-pack $40. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue Second City presents a holiday-themed show of scenes and songs. Opens Nov 21 and runs to Dec 30, Mon 8 pm, Wed-Fri 2 pm. $15-$22. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
The Wizard Of Oz: The Wickedly Wacky Family Musical adapted by Lorna Wright and Nicholas Hune-Brown (Ross Petty Productions). A snowstorm transports a city girl to a wacky new world in this farcical version of the classic story. Opens Nov 25 and runs to Jan 6, Tue-Sat 7 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm (see website for other dates and holiday exceptions). $27-$85. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 416-872-5555, rosspetty.com.
The Word Festival (Young Centre for the Performing Arts). This 400th-anniversary celebration of the King James Bible and the works of Shakespeare features theatre, lectures, improvisation, readings, movement and song. Nov 25-27, Fri from 6:30 pm, Sat from 2:30 pm, Sun from 2 pm. $20-$25, stu $15; pass $59. 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca/thewordfestival.
**Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks (Obsidian Theatre/Shaw Festival). Two brothers learn to survive as hustlers while trying to overcome their past. Previews Nov 22-23. Opens Nov 24 and runs to Dec 4, Tue-Sat 7 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20-$30, previews $15, Nov 29 pwyc. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, obsidian-theatre.com.
Two By Pirandello: An Evening Of One-Act Plays (Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, U of T). Sicilian Limes and The Man With The Flower In His Mouth are performed to mark the 75th anniversary of Luigi Pirandello’s passing. Nov 25-27, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $10, Sun pwyc. Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College. 416-978-7986, utoronto.ca
Une Maison Face Au Nord by Jean-Rock Gaudreault (Théâtre français de Toronto). A man faces a changing society, modern issues and generational conflict in this family drama. Nov 24-27, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 3:30 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $33-$48, srs $28-$41. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.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.
**Would You Say The Name Of This Play? by Berend McKenzie (Young People’s Theatre). A gay black youth deals with taunts and marginalization in this play for ages 14 and up. Previews Nov 21-22. Opens Nov 23 and runs to Dec 3, call/see website for schedule. $15-$20. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.