Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of January 16, 2012: ** 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
Cabaret by Joe Masteroff, John Kander and Fred Ebb (Hart House Theatre). An American writer falls for a nightclub singer in Nazi-era Berlin. Opens Jan 13 and runs to Jan 28, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Jan 28 at 2 pm. $25, stu/srs $10-$15. 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, harthousetheatre.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-Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 8 & 10:30 pm, Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com
**Kim’s Convenience by Ins Choi (Soulpepper). A Korean family in Toronto struggles with a bitter past and reconciliation. Previews Jan 12-18. Opens Jan 19 and runs to Feb 11, see website for schedule. $51-$68, stu $32. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
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 Feb 26, 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 Blue Dragon by Robert Lepage (Mirvish). The life of a Canadian expat living in Shanghai is turned upside down by two women in this multilingual dance-theatre piece. Previews Jan 10. Opens Jan 11 and runs to Feb 19, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $25-$99. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. mirvish.com.
**The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (Nightwood Theatre). This response to Homer’s Odyssey comes from the perspective of Odysseus’s wife and is told through classical tragedy, Victorian melodrama, burlesque and song. Previews Jan 10-11. Opens Jan 12 and runs to Jan 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm, Wed 1:30 pm. $22-$46. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, nightwoodtheatre.net.
The Play’s The Thing by Ferenc Molnar, adapted by PG Wodehouse (Stage Centre Productions). A playwright schemes to save a relationship and his operetta in this romantic comedy. Opens Jan 12 and runs to Jan 21, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun (and Jan 21) at 2 pm. $27.50, stu/srs $22. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-299-5557,stagecentreproductions.com.
And the rest…
Avenue Q by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Lower Ossington Theatre). A college grad moves to NYC and works through the transition to adulthood in this musical puppet show. Opens Jan 18 and runs to Feb 4, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm. $45-$60. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747,lowerossingtontheatre.com.
**Caroline, Or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori (Acting Up Stage Company/Obsidian Theatre). A black maid and the son of her Jewish employer struggle with extraordinary life changes in this musical. Opens Jan 21 and runs to Jan 22, Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm. Opens Jan 25 and runs to Feb 12, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, mats Sat 2 pm, Feb 12 at 3 pm. $32-$45. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, actingupstage.com.
**Cruel And Tender by Martin Crimp (Canadian Stage). A general fighting a war in Africa sends a local woman back home to his pampered wife in this modern update of Sophocles’ Trachiniae. Previews Jan 21-25. Opens Jan 26 and runs to Feb 18, 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.
DanceWeekend 2012 Dance Ontario and Harbourfront NextSteps present various genres perfomed by hundreds of dancers and troupes, including YMI Dancing, JHHA, Sashar Zarif Dance, Keiko Kitano, Gadfly Dance, COBA, BoucharDanse, City Dance Corps and others. Jan 20-22, Fri 7 to 10 pm, Sat-Sun 1 to 6:30 pm. $10 minimum donation. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. danceontario.ca.
Disco Fever (Famous People Players). The blacklight theatre company presents a dance party musical show. Opens Dec 31 and runs to Jan 21, Tue-Sat noon and 6:45 pm. $62, srs $56, child $40 (incl meal). 343 Evans. 416-532-1137, fpp.org.
Dracula – A Love Story by Sharyl Hudson (Brant Theatre Workshops). Follow actors through the castle’s historic halls in this adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel. Opens Jan 20 and runs to Feb 11, Fri-Sat 8 pm. $34-$66. Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace. 647-725-1822, casaloma.org.
Four Dogs And A Bone by John Patrick Shanley (Lyric Artist Alliance Co-op/AK Productions). Two female actors, a producer and a screenwriter vie for control of an art-house film in this satirical comedy. Previews Jan 9 at 8 pm. Opens Jan 10 and runs to Jan 21, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $20, preview $10. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. fourdogsandabone.com.
My Heart Is A Spoon Maxine Heppner & Across Oceans/DanceWorks Co-Works Series present a dance-media performanc-in-process exploring the emotional and physical range of rage alongside Japanese manga visuals. Jan 19-22, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25, stu $20. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, acrossoceans.org.
**Other People by Christopher Shinn (Mutual Friends Co-op/Mercedes Grundy). Three ambitious young adults struggle with sex, desire and their art over Christmas in the East Village in NYC. Previews Jan 18. Opens Jan 19 and runs to Jan 28, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2:30 pm. $20, stu/srs $15. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Tank House Theatre, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666,otherpeopletoronto.com.
Penny Plain by Ronnie Burkett (Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes). A reclusive old woman’s sanctuary is disrupted by a chaotic outside world. Previews Jan 20-22, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Feb 26, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $38-$55, previews $30. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
Red Snow by Diana Tso (Red Snow Collective). This story of love and struggling to reconcile the past with the present is inspired by stories of survivors of the Rape of Nanking. Previews Jan 12-13. Opens Jan 14 and runs to Jan 28, Jan 19-21 and 23-28 at 7:30 pm, mats Jan 21, 25 and 28 at 2 pm (see website for other times). $30, stu $15, Sat mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, redsnowcollective.ca.
Rob Ford, The Opera by Michael Patrick Albano and student composers (U of T Faculty of Music). This surrealist fantasy is loosely based on the personality of the city’s mayor. Jan 22 at 2:30 pm. Free. Edward Johnson Building, MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen’s Park. 416-978-5776.
The Boy, The Shark And The Sea (Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Company). This family-friendly puppet show about our interactions with the natural environment is part of LunarFest 2012. Jan 21-22, Sat-Sun 2 and 5 pm. Free. Harbourfront Centre, Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
**The Golden Dragon by Roland Schimmelpfennig (Tarragon Theatre). A restaurant’s kitchen staff help an illegal immigrant search for his lost sister. Previews Jan 10-17. Opens Jan 18 and runs to Feb 19, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun 2:30 pm (and Jan 21, 28, Feb 4). $20-$51. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
The Sound And Feel Of It Peggy Baker Dance Projects presents live musicians alongside dancers performing contemporary works by Baker. Opens Jan 20 and runs to Jan 29, Wed-Sat 8:30 pm, Sun 4 pm. $28, stu/srs $22. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis. 1-888-222-6608, peggybakerdance.com.
The Trojan Women by Euripides, translated by Gwendolyn MacEwen (Alumnae Theatre). The women of Troy seek their voice amidst the destruction of war in this exploration of feminist ideals. Opens Jan 20 and runs to Feb 4, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, Wed 2-for-1, Sun pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.com.
Tosca by Giacomo Puccini (Canadian Opera Company). A passionate woman is caught in a web of corruption, lust and betrayal in this Italian opera. Opens Jan 21 and runs to Feb 25, Jan 21 at 4:30 pm, Jan 25, 31, Feb 3, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, 21, 23 and 25 at 7:30 pm, Jan 29 and Feb 5 at 2 pm. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
TwoByFour Dancemakers presents a festival of duets, with works by George Stamos, Peter Bingham, Andrea Spaziani and Martin Nachbar. Jan 17-23, Tue-Thu, Sat-Mon 8 pm (and Jan 26-28 at 8 pm). Jan 26-28 at 8 pm. $25, stu/srs $20; passes $54-$60. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 55 Mill, bldg 58, studio 313. 416-367-1800, dancemakers.org.
When Sisters Speak (Up from the Roots). This female spoken word showcase features Keisha Monique, Dasha Kelly, Truth Is…, Queen Sheba and others. Jan 21 at 8 pm. $35-$45. St Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, stlc.com.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*