Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of February 20, 2012

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of February 20, 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 25. $18-$22, stu $15-$19. Tarragon Theatre, ExtraExtra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com

BECKETT: FECK IT! (Queen of Puddings Music Theatre/Canadian Stage). Samuel Beckett’s shorter plays are combined with contemporary classical music from Irish composers inspired by Beckett’s appreciation for the absurd. Opens Feb 17 and runs to Feb 25. $22-$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.

EVERYTHING UNDER THE MOON by Shary Boyle and Christine Fellows (Harbourfront World Stage/Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery). Multimedia and visual artist Boyle and musician Fellows combine live drawings, projections and music in an all-ages show. Opens Feb 18 and runs to Feb 23. $15, child $10. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.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. theatrecentre.org

LES CHEMINEMENTS DE L’INFLUENCE (PATHWAYS OF INFLUENCE) Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie presents a solo dance work created and performed by Laurence Lemieux as a tribute to her father. Opens Feb 15 and runs to Feb 25. $25. The Citadel, 304 Parliament. 416-364-8011, colemanlemieux.com.

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR by Gaetano Donizetti (Toronto Opera Repertoire). This story of tragic love, set during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, is performed in Italian with surtitles. Opens Feb 15 and runs to Mar 3. $25, stu/srs $15. Bickford Centre Theatre, 777 Bloor W. 416-978-8849, toronto-opera.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. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Mar 4. $38-$55. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

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.

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.

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. shelleyhamilton.ca

DANI GIRL by Christopher Dimond and Michael Kooman (Talk is Free Theatre/Show One Productions). A young girl with leukemia goes on a magical journey to reclaim her health in this musical. Previews Feb 16-17. Opens Feb 18 and runs to Mar 4. $33. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, tift.ca.

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

EXPLAIN YOURSELF! (Hardworkin’ Homosexuals). This series features artists performing a personal analysis of current queer culture. Feb 26 at 8 pm. $5.75-$6. Goodhandy’s, 120 Church. goodhandys.com.

FORBIDDEN BROADWAY by Gerard Alessandri (Civic Light Opera Company). This musical revue salutes and spoofs famous musicals. Opens Feb 22 and runs to Mar 10. $28. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-755-1717, civiclightoperacompany.com.

FOUR AT THE WINCH QUEBEC Toronto Dance Theatre presents works by Estelle Clareton, Lina Cruz, Deborah Dunn and Jean-Sébastien Lourdais. Opens Feb 23 and runs to Mar 3. $20-$26, Sun pwyc. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-967-1365, tdt.org.

FUCK U FRIDAYS (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). This erotic cabaret features Coco la Creme, Jenna Syde and others. Feb 24 at 10:30 pm. $5. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555. buddiesinbadtimes.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.

GHOSTS OF VIOLENCE Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada presents a full-length ballet by choreographer Igor Dobrovolskiy about domestic homicide and its victims. Feb 25 at 8 pm. $29-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, atlanticballet.ca.

HIGH LIFE by Lee MacDougall (Soulpepper). An unlikely group of masterminds plan ‘the perfect crime,’ with dangerous and comic results. Previews Feb 13-20. Opens Feb 21 and runs to Mar 28. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22/stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

LE PATIN LIBRE (Reg Hartt). The contemporary skating troupe presents a video and spoken word performance followed by a live performance of excerpts from its ice show at a nearby rink. Feb 19-21. $15-$20. Cineforum, 463 Bathurst. lepatinlibre.com.

**LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT by Eugene O’Neill (Soulpepper). O’Neill’s story of isolation, addiction and despair reveals a day in the life of his own family. Previews Feb 14-22. Opens Feb 23 and runs to Mar 28. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22/stu $5. 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.

**OBEAH OPERA by Nicole Brooks (b current Performing Arts/Theatre Archipelago). Based on historical texts about the Salem witch trials, this opera tells the story of five women accused of abominable spiritual acts. Previews Feb 16-19. Opens Feb 22 and runs to Mar 4. $25, stu/srs $20. 918 Bathurst Cultural Centre, 918 Bathurst. 416-533-1500, bcurrent.ca.

PSYCHO THRILLER THEATRE (Sunny Breaks Productions/Breen Godfrey). Two one–act plays by Breen Godfrey are staged. Opens Feb 16 and runs to Feb 26. $12. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. breengodfrey@gmail.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.

**SEEDS by Annabel Soutar (Crow’s Theatre/Porte Parole). A Canadian farmer battles a biotech giant in court in this documentary play about the future of food. Previews Feb 18-21. Opens Feb 22 and runs to Mar 10. $10-$35. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, crowstheatre.com.

SENSES Bridge to Artists presents a journey through the five senses with choreography by Vlad, Linda Garneau and Julia Cratchley. Feb 18-20. $35-$40. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis. bridgetoartists.com.

SONNETS FOR AN OLD CENTURY by José Rivera (Column 13 Actors Company). In a waiting room for the afterlife, souls have one chance to concisely relate the story of their lives. Opens Feb 14 and runs to Feb 25. $12. Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston. 416-536-0048, column13.org.

SPEAKEASY (Les Coquettes). The cabaret theatre company presents burlesque, music and more inspired by vintage NYC nightclubs in a dinner theatre show. Feb 14. Feb 20. $35-$85.Revival, 783 College. lescoquettes.com.

TAPTOO by John Beckwith and James Reamy (Toronto Operetta Theatre). Set around the War of 1812, this operetta looks at the founding of Upper Canada and Toronto. Opens Feb 24 and runs to Feb 26. $66-$95. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, torontooperetta.com.

THE BIG SMOKE by Amy Nostbakken and Nir Paldi (Theatre Ad Infinitum Canada/Why Not Theatre). This solo a cappella performance is inspired by the lives of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. Previews Feb 21. Opens Feb 22 and runs to Mar 4. $25, stu/srs $18, Sun pwyc. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

THE EROS CABARET Eros, Thanatos & the Avant-Garde Cabaret Series present dance and interdisciplinary performances by Anjelica Scannura & NIKKI, Marcy Mussari, Kirstie Keenan and others, plus films and music. Feb 22 at 9 pm. $12-$15. Rivoli, 332 Queen W. dancetodancefestival@hotmail.com.

THE LONESOME WEST by Martin McDonagh (Toronto Irish Players). A young priest tries to resolve violent disputes between two brothers following their father’s death. Opens Feb 23 and runs to Mar 10. $20, stu/srs $18; opening night $50. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley. torontoirishplayers.com.

THE OPEN COUPLE by Dario Fo and Franca Rame (G&T Productions Co-op). This satire looks at gender politics and the evolving nature of marriage. Opens Feb 21 and runs to Feb 27. $22, stu/srs $15. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com.

THE SHAKESPEARE CHALLENGE (Shakespeare in Action). Nine amateurs perform an abridged version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the company’s annual funder. Feb 24 at 8 pm. $40.Arts & Letters Club, 14 Elm. 416-703-4881, shakespeareinaction.org.

TICK, TICK… BOOM! by Jonathan Larson (Half Pint Theatre). Larson’s autobiographical musical looks at an aspiring composer trying to make a start in 90s New York City. Feb 23-26. $16.Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555. theatre-musical.com

TRIBUTE: A MOVING HISTORY OF CANADIAN BLACKS IN DANCE dance Immersion and Harbourfront NextSteps present a showcase of dance, film and spoken word paying homage to Len Gibson, Dindi Lidge, Zab Maboungou, Paul Pettiford and others. Feb 23-25. $27-$32, stu/srs $22-$27. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

**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.

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.

ZOMBIE PROM (fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company). This themed fundraising party for the company features music, food, prizes and more. Feb 25. $40. Berkeley Street Theatre, Rehearsal Hall, 26 Berkeley. 416-920-2828, fu-gen.org.


*Listings based on NOW stage listings*