Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of December 12, 2011

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of December 12, 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.

A VERY LUPE XMAS by Melissa D’Agostino (Fault Line Theatre). A feisty South American immigrant hosts a Christmas party in this solo comedy. Previews Dec 7. Opens Dec 8 and runs to Dec 17, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Dec 11 at 2 pm (pwyc). $20-$25, preview $15 (food bank donations appreciated). Gallery 918, 918 Bathurst. totix.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.

**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.

**MEMPHIS by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan (Dancap Productions). A white DJ falls in love with a black rock-and-roll singer in the 50s in this musical. Previews Dec 6. Opens Dec 7 and runs to Dec 24, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm (see website for more performances). $51-$180.Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-644-3665, dancaptickets.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.

**PARFUMERIE by Miklós László (Soulpepper). Shop clerks who don’t get along at work exchange anonymous love letters as pen pals. Opens Dec 8 and runs to Dec 31, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

PROOF by David Auburn (QED Theatre Co-op). The death of a mathematician reunites his estranged daughters and a former student as they seek the line between genius and madness. Previews Nov 29-30. Opens Dec 1 and runs to Dec 18, Tue-Sun 8 pm. $15-$20. The Branding Factory, 136 Geary, unit 215. secureaseat.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.

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.

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.

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 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 11, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $20-$40. Cameron House, 408 Queen W. 416-703-1725, videocab.com.

THE SOAPS The National Theatre of the World presents a weekly improvised soap opera. Thu 8 pm. Pwyc. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. thenationaltheatreoftheworld.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. Previews Nov 25-30. Opens Dec 1 and runs to Jan 6, Tue-Sat 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm (see website for other dates and holiday exceptions). $27-$85. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 416-872-5555, rosspetty.com.

UNCHARTED ZONES by DJ Sylvis (Monkeyman Productions). Travelling through space and time, this sequence of four episodes explores the borders between human experience and the unknown. Opens Dec 8 and runs to Dec 17, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm (no show Dec 15). $15-$20.Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston. monkeymanproductions.com.

And the rest

A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens (Humber River Shakespeare Co). Five actors perform the timeless tale of greed, ghosts, salvation and hope. Dec 15 at 7 pm. $15, child $10.Sheridan Park Alliance Church, 2440 Fifth Line W. 416-209-2026, humberrivershakespeare.ca.

A LEAHY FAMILY CHRISTMAS Sony Centre for the Performing Arts presents step dancing, fiddle playing and Celtic tunes and carols. Dec 17 at 7 pm. $35-$45. 1 Front E. 416-872-2262, sonycentre.ca.

BED & BREAKFAST by Ann Powell and David Powell (Puppetmongers Theatre). The Princess And The Pea gets a retelling in this family-friendly puppet play. Dec 17-18 at 2:30 pm (continues Dec 26-Jan 1, 2012, daily at 2 pm, Dec 29-30 at 4:30 pm). Dec 26-Jan 1. $25, srs/stu $20; New Year’s Day show + gala $40. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, puppetmongers.com.

CONVERGENCE Pivotal Motion Dance Theatre presents Turning Pointe Academy youth performing choreography by Heidi Strauss, William Yong, Andrea Nann, Kate Hilliard and others. Dec 16-18, Fri-Sun 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $22. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-696-7466, turningpointe.ca.

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 17, Tue-Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. $20-$25, Sun pwyc. Toronto Free Gallery. 1277 Bloor W. dyingcity.com

HAIR by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot (Mirvish). Young bohemian pacifists explore free love, drugs and 60s culture as the Vietnam War draft looms in this musical. Previews Dec 13. Opens Dec 14 and runs to Dec 31, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat 2 pm (no eve show Dec 24); see website for additional days and times. $35-$130. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS (Studio 60 Theatre). This musical revue features songs, dance and sketches with a seasonal theme. Opens Dec 9 and runs to Dec 17, Fri-Sat 8 pm, mats Dec 7 and 18 at 2 pm. $20. 60 Six Point. 416-354-2479, studio60theatreboxoffice.com.

JACOB AND NOVA MIXED BILL Dancemakers presents two new works by Jacob Zimmer and Nova Bhattacharya, performed by Robert Abubo, Amanda Acorn, Kate Holden, Simon Renaud and guest artist Pierre-Marc Ouellette. Previews Dec 7. Opens Dec 8 and runs to Dec 18, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm. $20-$25. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 55 Mill, bldg 58, studio 313. 416-367-1800, dancemakers.org.

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (Lower Ossington Theatre). This musical reinvents the Biblical story of Joseph and his brothers. Opens Dec 13 and runs to Dec 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm (no show Dec 24), mats Dec 18 at 4 pm, Dec 20-21 & 27-28 at 1 pm. $45-$60, stu $20. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

LEA AND MAGGIE’S PARTICULARLY QUEER HOLIDAY PAGEANT A totally new show from Santa’s two favourite helpers Starring Lea DeLaria and Maggie Cassella with Special Guests Gavin Crawford, Heather Bambrick, and more. Runs Dec 1-17. Tickets $2o advance or $25 door. The Flying Beaver Pubaret, 488 Parliament St. Tickets online at brownpapertickets or call 647.347.6567.

LIFT OUT LOUD (Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto). Nathalie Younglai’s screenplay, Grey Ops, gets a reading. Dec 14 at 7:30pm, $5. Xpace, 58 Ossington. Lift.on.ca/mt/liftoutloud.html.

LIKE AN OLD TALE (Jumblies Theatre). Audience members participate in this multicultural retelling of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale with dance, opera, puppets, projections and more. Opens Dec 8 and runs to Dec 18, Wed-Sat (and Dec 11) 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $30, stu/srs $20; Dec 16 gala $50. Commercial Studios Ltd, 793 Pharmacy. jumbliestheatre.org.

MATT & BEN by Brenda Withers and Mindy Kaling (Hot Cousin Productions). Matt Damon and Ben Affleck struggle to find success as screenwriters in this satire. Dec 17-18 at 2 and 8 pm. $15. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley. mattandben.eventbrite.com.

MONSIEUR D’EON IS A WOMAN by Mark Brownell (Toronto Film School). At the peak of his political career, an 18th-century aristocrat transforms himself into a woman. Dec 16-17, Fri-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. Free (ticket required, RSVP online). Pia Bouman Theatre, 6 Noble. tfsmonsieurdeon.eventbrite.com.

RIVOLI DANCES 2.0 presents intimate, contemporary, experimental works by Heather Leslie, Melissa Hart, Sung-Ah Choi and others. Dec 13 at 8:30 pm. $12. Rivoli, 332 Queen W. rivolidances@gmail.com, rivoli.ca.

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (CATS Mainstage Theatre Company). This musical comedy about love and ambition in 1920s Hollywood is based on the 1952 film. Dec 15-18, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun 1:30 pm. $30, stu $15. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, catsmainstage.com.

SMASH HIT HOLIDAY SHOW Opening Night Theatre presents an improvised and musical comedy extravaganza. Dec 16 8 pm. $10. Augusta House, 152 Augusta. openingnighttheatre.com.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY (Church of the Holy Trinity). Professional musicians and a volunteer cast present a nativity pageant. Opens Dec 9 and runs to Dec 24, Fri-Sat (and Dec 22) 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 4:30 pm. $20, child $5 (suggested donation). 10 Trinity Square. 416-598-8979, holytrinitytoronto.org.

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 NUTCRACKER Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement presents an interactive version of the holiday classic. Dec 15-18, Thu-Fri 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $15-$40.Humberside Collegiate Institute, Lismer Hall, 280 Quebec. 416-532-8705, piaboumanschool.org.

THE NUTCRACKER The National Ballet of Canada presents James Kudelka’s 1995 version of this evergreen seasonal classic. Opens Dec 10 and runs to Jan 1, Wed-Sat 7 pm, mats Sat 2 pm, Sun 1 and 5:30 pm till Dec 18, see website for other dates and times. $38-$133.50. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-345-9595, thenutcracker.ca.

THE NUTCRACKER, A CANADIAN TRADITION Ballet Jörgen presents the holiday classic, choreographed by Bengt Jörgen. Dec 14 at 7:30 pm. $20-$69. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis. 416-978-8849, balletjorgen.ca.

THE SECOND CITY’S DYSFUNCTIONAL HOLIDAY REVUESecond 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 SNOW QUEEN (Little Red Theatre). This play for ages four and up is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Dec 12-14, Mon-Wed 1:30 pm and Tue-Wed 10:30 am. $11, child $9. Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston. 416-533-8848, littleredtheatre.on.ca.

THE STORY by Martha Ross (Theatre Columbus). The ensemble performs an unconventional telling of the Nativity in an outdoor walk-about show. Previews Dec 13-15. Opens Dec 16 and runs to Dec 30, Tue-Sun 7:30 pm (no show Dec 24, 25, 26) mats Dec 21, 23, 28 at 4:30 pm. $25, stu/srs $20, child/previews $10. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview. 416-504-7529, theatrecolumbus.ca.

TOUCH MY STEREOTYPEComedy Bar presents a festive edition of videos, sketches, songs and improv w/ the Regulars and British Teeth. Dec 17 9 pm. $12. 945 Bloor W. touchmystereotype.com.

WHITE CHRISTMAS by Irving Berlin (Civic Light Opera Company). This holiday musical is based on the 1954 film with Bing Crosby. Opens Nov 30 and runs to Dec 17, Wed 7 pm, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun (and Dec 17) 2 pm. $28. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-755-1717, civiclightoperacompany.com.


*Listings based on NOW stage listings*