Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of February 6, 2012

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of February 6, 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

A BRIMFUL OF ASHA by Asha and Ravi Jain (Why Not Theatre). An Indo-Canadian man discovers that his Indian vacation is actually a wife-seeking scheme by his parents. Previews Jan 24-25. Opens Jan 26 and runs to Feb 18. $18-$22, stu/previews $15-$19. Tarragon Theatre, ExtraExtra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

ALL IN THE TIMING by David Ives (Down n’ Out Productions). This collection of six one-act plays emphasizes theatrical invention, word play and humour. Opens Jan 28 and runs to Feb 12. $55 (includes dinner), mat pwyc (show only). Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen W. 416-597-0227 ext 2.

**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. Previews Jan 21-22. Opens Jan 25 and runs to Feb 12. $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. $22-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.

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. $34-$66. Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace. 647-725-1822, casaloma.org.

**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. $51-$68, stu $32, rush $22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

LOVE FROM AFAR by Kaija Saariaho (Canadian Opera Company). A 12th-century French troubadour has a long-distance love affair with a woman in Tripoli through a pilgrim who takes their messages back and forth. Opens Feb 2 and runs to Feb 22. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.

**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. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Feb 26. $38-$55, previews $30. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.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. $25-$99. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. mirvish.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. $20-$51. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com

THE WHO’S TOMMY by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff (UC Follies). A traumatized boy discovers his talent for pinball in this rock musical. Opens Feb 2 and runs to Feb 11. $25, stu/srs $15. Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.

**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. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca

VISITING MR. GREEN by Jeff Baron (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). A court orders a young executive to visit an elderly widower after he nearly runs him down in his car. Previews Jan 28-30. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 18. $39.50-$69.50. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, hgjewishtheatre.com.

And the rest…

A NEW HOPE by Shelley Hamilton and Stan Christie (Shelley Hamilton Productions). Hamilton performs her solo play about the first African-Canadian communities in Canada in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation Arts Fund. Opens Feb 5 and runs to Feb 26. $25. ING Direct Café, 221 Yonge. 416-826-6855.

AT THE WRECKING BALL V Ambitious Enterprises presents short works by Kate Holden & Joshua Van Tassel, Julia Male & Zazu Myers, Jacob Niedzwiecki and others. Feb 9-12. $15, stu/srs $12. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-988-8462, thewreckingball.wordpress.com.

BE MEIN VALENTINE! (Skin Tight Outta Sight Rebel Burlesque). The troupe performs a show in the tradition of Weimar Republic Berlin with Boylesque T.O. and others. Feb 10. $25-$30.Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom, 1214 Queen W. bemeinvalentine2012.eventbrite.com.

BETWEEN A WORD AND A THOUGHT: SONGS BY ZACHARY FLORENCE (Acting Up Stage Dark Night Cabaret Series). The works of Zachary Florence are performed by Thom Allison, Eric Craig, Sara Farb, Gabi Epstein and Susan Henley. Feb 6 at 8 pm. $20. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, actingupstage.com.

DANCES OF OFFERING Pegasus Studios presents dance by Janice Pomer, Nicola Pantin, Lisa Weiler and others to benefit the Paediatric Ambulatory Clinic at Toronto East General Hospital. Feb 12 at 5 pm. $35, child $25. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis. dancesofoffering.myevent.com.

DIVISADERO: A PERFORMANCE based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje (Necessary Angel/the Film Farm). A family is forever changed by a violent event in this musical adaptation about memory, identity and love. Previews Feb 8. Opens Feb 10 and runs to Feb 26. $25-$35, preview $10, Sun pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, necessaryangel.com.

FUNKYLAND (Famous People Players). The blacklight theatre company presents a twist on Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Apr 28. $62, srs $56, child $40 (includes meal). 343 Evans. 416-532-1137, fpp.org.

GOLDILOX & THE BEARS by Sue T Plyte and Dave B Harris (Nags Players). This English-style pantomime tale is loosely based on the children’s story. Opens Feb 2 and runs to Feb 11. $10-$20. Tranzac, 292 Brunswick. 647-338-6247, nagsplayers.com.

HAMLET LIVE (Hamlet Live Team). Shakespeare’s tragedy is adapted to a dystopian post-apocalyptic future in this production that can be viewed live onstage or via computer live stream. Opens Jan 26 and runs to Feb 11. $5-$40. Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst. hamletlive.com.

HUGHIE by Eugene O’Neill (The Alley Theatre Workshop). A night clerk at a NYC hotel hears a small-time hustler’s tale of woe in this one-act play. Previews Feb 7. Opens Feb 8 and runs to Mar 3. $25, stu/srs $20. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988.

ILOVE – A ROMANTIC DOT COMEDY Second City presents a comedic play about relationships in the age of social networking. Mon 8 pm. $12. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

IN THE HEIGHTS by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes (Dancap Productions). Theatre, music and dance are used to tell the stories of residents of a hip Latino neighbourhood in NYC. Opens Feb 7 and runs to Feb 19. $51-$165. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-644-3665, dancaptickets.com.

JAMRA Harbourfront Centre, Arabesque and Small World Music present a contemporary production inspired by the dances of the nomadic peoples of Egypt, Turkey, North Africa, Iran and Lebanon. Feb 9-12. $35-$45, srs $30-$40, stu $15. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, arabesquedance.ca.

KICKSTART: 6 CHOREOGRAPHERS PUSHING BOUNDARIES Canasian Dance Festival presents new works by Emily Cheung, Susan Lee, Hiroshi Miyamoto, Tomomi Morimoto, Meena Murugesan and William Yong. Opens Feb 9 and runs to Feb 11. $22, stu/srs $18. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-504-7529, canasiandancefestival.com.

LATIN LOVE VALENTINE CELEBRATION (Aluna Theatre). This funder for an upcoming project features music, dancing, finger food and more. Feb 10 at 7:30 pm. $35-$40. Lambadina, 875 Bloor W. 416-536-2148, alunatheatre.ca.

LOVE LETTERS Vanessa Young and PSE present choreography by Pastel Supernova about heartache, lust, bisexuality and more. Opens Feb 8 and runs to Feb 9. $25-$60. Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas W. loveletters.pastelsupernova.com.

MAN 2 MAN by Kwame Stephens (Hart House). A confident man in his 20s meets a man in his 40s who is coming to terms with his sexuality. Feb 7 at 7:30 pm. Free. Arbor Room, 7 Hart House Circle. harthouse.ca/student-engagement/man-2-man.

MARATHON ’33 by June Havoc (Ryerson Theatre School). Fading celebrities and the jobless looks for cash prizes at marathon dance competitions in the 1930s. Opens Feb 8 and runs to Feb 15. $18, stu/srs $14. Ryerson Theatre, 43 Gerrard E. 416-979-5118, ryersontheatre.ca.

NO SWEETHEART REQUIRED (Cabbagetown Theatre Company). This alternative Valentine’s cabaret features comedy, dance, music and theatre by Kim Sprenger, Brent Barkley and others. Feb 9-14. $20, Thu & Mon $10. Whistler’s Grille, 995 Broadview. 416-653-5870.

POTTED POTTER by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner (Starvox Entertainment/Potted Productions). Clarkson and Turner use costumes, props and music to perform all seven Harry Potter books in 70 minutes. Previews Feb 11-12. Opens Feb 14 and runs to Mar 4. $29.95-$99.95. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 1-800-461-3333, mirvish.com.

PVT. WARS by John McLure (Red One Theatre Collective/Hinson’s Radio Co-op). Three Vietnam vets at an army hospital discuss their physical and emotional wounds. Previews Feb 8-9. Opens Feb 10 and runs to Feb 19. $20. Studio 561, 561 Bloor W. redonetheatre.com.

RHUBARB FESTIVAL (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). The new works festival features plays, dance, performance art and more by Damien Atkins, Adam Lazarus, Natasha Mytnowych, the Independent Aunties, Cara Gee and others. Opens Feb 8 and runs to Feb 19. $20 evening pass, Sun pwyc. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.

SALVATION (Les Coquettes). The cabaret theatre company presents burlesque, music and more about the agony and ecstasy of romance. Feb 12 at 7 and 10 pm. $15-$35. Revival, 783 College. lescoquettes.com.

SANCTUARY SONG by Abigail Richardson-Schulte and Marjorie Chan (Theatre Direct). This opera for young people looks at the journey of an Asian elephant from captivity to freedom. Opens Feb 10 and runs to Feb 20. $10-$20 (ZooCheck benefit $50-$100 at zoocheck.com).Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie. 416-537-4191, theatredirect.ca.

SPRING ’12 MAINSTAGE REVUE Second City presents previews of the upcoming revue, featuring a collection of sketches, songs and improvisations. Tue-Sat 8 pm (plus Fri-Sat 10:30 pm), Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

SUMMERTIME IN FEBRUARY (The Theatre Elusive). Sage Tyrtle, Marilla Wex, Alex Nursall and other performers tell stories in this benefit for LGBT Youth Line Ontario. Feb 11 at 8 pm. $tba. 1078 Dovercourt. thetheatreelusive.com.

THE DOUBLE by Fyodor Dostoevsky (TheatreRUN). A man tries desperately to fit in with a grotesque society in this multidisciplinary adaptation. Previews Feb 2. Opens Feb 3 and runs to Feb 19. $20-$28, preview/Sun pwyc. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971,theatrerun.wordpress.com.

THE GOD OF HELL by Sam Shepard (Unit 102 Actors Company). A small-town couple’s peaceful life is undone by a friend in trouble and a patriotic stranger in this post-9/11 tragic farce. Feb 1-11. $12-$15 (email unit102tix@gmail.com for adv tickets). Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. unit102theatre.com.

THE GREAT MOUNTAIN by Tracey Power (Red Sky Performance). Drama, dance and movement are used to tell the story of a girl who discovers the power of nature and the importance of courage. Opens Feb 11 and runs to Feb 19. $15-$20. Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.

THE MAN OF MODE by George Etherege (George Brown College Theatre School). This Restoration drama satirizes the behaviour of the libertines, courtiers and wits of 17th-century London. Opens Feb 8 and runs to Feb 18. $18, srs $12, stu $7. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666.

THE RAG BAG CABARET (Rachelle Elie). This evening of comedy, burlesque, music, dance and circus arts features Sandra Shamas, Les Coquettes, Elie and others and will raise funds for vocational training for women in Kenya. Feb 9 at 8 pm. $20. Drake Hotel, Underground, 1150 Queen W. 416-531-5042, crowningmonkey@yahoo.ca.

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 TALE OF THE ALLERGIST’S WIFE by Charles Busch (Amicus Productions). A depressed woman is roused by the arrival of a childhood friend, who then becomes an unwanted permanent houseguest. Opens Feb 2 and runs to Feb 11. $20, stu/srs $18. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-860-6176.

**WAR HORSE based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford (National Theatre of Great Britain/Mirvish). An English boy sets out to find his horse after it’s sold to the cavalry and shipped off to France during WWI. Previews Feb 10-27. Opens Feb 28 and runs to Jun 30. $35-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING BACK THERE?! WINTER ARTS FESTIVAL (Back Burner Productions). Playwrights, musicians, comics, dancers, poets and others showcase their work, featuring Socratic Theatre Collective, Evelyne Russell, random acts of dance and others. Opens Feb 9 and runs to Feb 18. $5-$10 sliding scale. Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen E. facebook.com/events/245691598839371.

YOU WON’T BE HERE (TOMORROW) by James Fanizza (Theatre In Spite Of). Workshop performance of a drama about two estranged sisters who reunite after one of them quits rehab. Feb 10-12. $20. Odyssey Studio, 636 Pape. info@theatreinspiteof.com.

ZERO HOUR by Jim Brochu (Lia and Danna Matthow). This solo show looks at the art, humour, temper and wit of Jewish artist Zero Mostel. Previews Feb 8. Opens Feb 9 and runs to Mar 11. $59-$69.50. Bathurst Street Theatre, 736 Bathurst. 1-855-985-2787, zerohourshow.com.

ZONE by Marcel Dubé (Théâtre français de Toronto/Théâtre la Catapulte). A group of young criminals mix love, dreams and violence in 50s Montreal. Previews Feb 1-2. Opens Feb 3 and runs to Feb 12. $33-$57, srs $28-$57. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*