Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of April 16, 2012

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

CLYBOURNE PARK by Bruce Norris (Studio 180 Theatre/Canadian Stage). A battle over race and real estate rages over two generations in a suburban Chicago neighbourhood. Previews Apr 2-4. Opens Apr 5 and runs to Apr 28. $22-$49, limited Mon pwyc. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, studio180theatre.com.

LIVE WRONG AND PROSPER Second City presents its latest revue of sketches, songs and improvisations. Wed-Sat 8 pm, plus Fri & Sat 10:30 pm, Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

ORPHEUS DESCENDING/HAPPY END by Tennessee Williams/Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht (George Brown College Theatre School). Williams’s Southern retelling of the Orpheus myth and the Weill/Brecht surrealistic musical comedy are presented in repertory. Opens Apr 10 and runs to Apr 21. $18, srs $12, stu $7. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.

THE MELVILLE BOYS by Norm Foster (Panfish Productions). Two pairs of siblings have their cottage getaway plans changed by a chance meeting in this comedy. Opens Apr 12 and runs to Apr 28. $25. Alumnae Theatre, Studio, 70 Berkeley. 647-401-9727, panfishproductions.ca.

THE SIMIAN SHOWCASE (Monkeyman Productions). Short plays by Sarah Bowden, Nick Philpott, Matthew Ivan Bennett and DJ Sylvis deal with themes of geek/fandom/pop culture. Opens Apr 13 and runs to Apr 21. $10. Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas E. monkeymanproductions.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 Sep 30. $35-$130. Princess  of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

WAS SPRING by Daniel MacIvor (Tarragon Theatre). Three women from different generations confront each other about an incident in their shared past. Previews Mar 27-Apr 3. Opens Apr 4 and runs to May 6. $24-$51. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

And the rest…

A MONTH OF SUNDAYS Aimee Dawn Robinson presents a performance series that features art, video, dance and more with Dawne Carleton, Evan Webber, Victoria Cheong and others. Opens Apr 1 and runs to Apr 29. $10. Halo Halo Village, 208 Christie. wix.com/aprilisamonthofsunda/aprilisamonthofsundays.

ANASTASIA Ballet Jörgen presents the mystical story of the Russian Grand Duchess from royal ballrooms through revolution and captivity. Apr 21-22. $20-$69. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis. 416-978-8849, balletjorgen.ca.

APPRENTICE TO MURDER (YOU’RE FIRED) by Brian Caws and Ken MacDougall (Lili and Brian Caws). This dinner-theatre spoof on The Apprentice features Danny Wengle, Birgitte Solem and others. Apr 20 at 6:30 pm. $66-$71. Mysteriously Yours… Dinner Theatre, 2026 Yonge. 416-486-7469, mysteriouslyyours.com.

AUTISM SPEAKS COMEDY & MUSIC BENEFIT Hugh’s Room presents a fundraising show w/ Ron James, Illustrated Men, Deb MacGrath, Colin Mochrie and others. Apr 18 7:30 pm. $25-$30. 2261 Dundas W. 416-531-6604, hughsroom.com.

BALLET CLASS WITH THE STARS The National Ballet of Canada presents an open class with company dancers for intermediate ballet students and spectators. Oct 23 at 11 am. Jan 15 at 11 am. Feb 5 at 11 am. Apr 22 at 11 am. May 6 at 11 am. $40 per class, $10 to watch (must pre-register). Walter Carsen Centre, 470 Queens Quay W. 416-345-9595.

BIG ASS SPRING IS FINALLY HERE Ariel Len presents this fundraiser for Zoey’s Projects features dance-focused troupe the Parahumans, plus artists, poets, musicians and more. Apr 18 at 8 pm. $17. Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom, 1214 Queen W. 416-531-4635, gladstonehotel.com.

CELEBRATING 30 YEARS: AGUAS/WATERS Harbourfront NextSteps and Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company present the world premiere of a new flamenco music and dance work featuring guest dancer Juan Ogalla. Apr 19-22. $25-$43, stu/srs $21.50-$28.25. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

COSI by Louis Nowra (Alumnae Theatre). A theatre director looks to stage Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte with a cast of mental patients in 1970s Australia. Apr 13-28. $20, Wed 2-for-1, Sun pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.com.

COUNTRY OF THE BLIND (Budget Cut Collective). Inspired by the HG Wells short story, Humber theatre students use music, dance, puppetry and physical theatre to re-imagine perceptions of the five senses. Opens Apr 18 and runs to Apr 21. $10-$15. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529. passemuraille.on.ca

DANCING QUEEN by Sky Gilbert (The Cabaret Company). This fusion of theatre and dance looks at gay romance in an intergenerational love triangle. Previews Apr 18. Opens Apr 19 and runs to Apr 29. $25-$30, stu $20-$24, preview $20, Sun pwyc ($18-$20 adv). Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, ticketweb.ca.

DREAMDANCESomewhere There Studio presents dancer Dawne Carleton, percussionist Nur Intan Murtadza and the dreamDance ensemble. Apr 18 at 8 pm. $8. 227 Sterling, unit 112. coexisdance.wordpress.com.

FOREVER PLAID by Stuart Ross (Lower Ossington Theatre). Four young singers get a posthumous chance to fulfill their dreams in this musical revue. Opens Apr 13 and runs to Apr 28. $45. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.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.

GRANT’S TRUE TALES (Grant’s Blended Scotch Whiskey). Patrons tell stories for a chance to win prizes in this storytelling series. Opens Apr 4 and runs to Apr 25. Free. Brazen Head, 165 East Liberty. 416-535-8787, grantswhisky.com/truetales.

HEART STRINGS, THE MUSICAL (Reynold Nathaniel). In 1908, an Italian apprentice goes to Ireland to deliver an anniversary gift from Germany. Opens Mar 23 and runs to Apr 28. $20-$25.The Annex Live, 296 Brunswick. 416-929-3999.

HISTOIRE D’AMOUR The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre presents contemporary dance by BoucharDanse company about the search for love. Apr 19 at noon. Free. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. coc.ca.

JACK AND THE GIANT BEANSTALK by Linda A Carson (Young People’s Theatre). This version of the classic children’s folk tale features audience participation. Opens Apr 2 and runs to Apr 21. $10-$20. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.

LA COLMENITA (Havanarte Productions/Cuban Embassy of Canada/Carranza LLP). The Cuban children’s theatre group puts a Cuban twist on songs by the Beatles and childhood tales like Pinocchio. Apr 19 at 6:30 pm. $25. Royal Cinema, 608 College. 416-537-1620, torontohispano.com.

L’EMMERDEUR by Francis Veber (Théâtre français de Toronto/Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui). A suicidal oddball jeopardizes a hit man’s task in this comedy. Previews Apr 18-19. Opens Apr 20 and runs to May 5. $33-$100, srs $28-$100. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.

MERYLE TROUBLE’S NEVER GONNA GROW UP BURLESQUE SHOW (Toronto Underground Cinema). This drag and burlesque show features Meryle Trouble, Underground Peepshow, NerdGirlPinups.com, Great Canadian Burlesque and many others, hosted by the Canadian Wolfman. Apr 20 at 9 pm. $12-$15. 186 Spadina. 416-832-0799, meryle.trouble@gmail.com.

MICKEY & JUDY (Michael Hughes). This encore performance of Hughes’s 2011 Fringe hit raises funds for the show’s debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Apr 21 at 8 pm. $25. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge. mickeyandjudy.ca.

MUSE OF FIRE (Talisker Players/Groundling Theatre Company). Actors read and musicians play in a celebration of the words of Shakespeare, plus the premiere of Groundling Theatre’s The Breath Of Kings. Apr 17-18 at 8 pm. $30, srs $20, stu $10. Trinity St Paul’s Church, 427 Bloor W. 416-978-8849, taliskerplayers.ca.

NONNA’S PARTY by Ashley Burton (A. Burton Productions). Burton tells stories about her feisty Sicilian grandmother in this solo show. Apr 19-22. $30-$40. Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst. nonnasparty.com.

ONE NIGHT ONLY – AN EVENING OF SONG AND LAUGHTER (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). This funder for HGJT features music and comedy by Micah Barnes, Thom Allison, the National Theatre of the World, hosts Linda Kash and Sheila McCarthy and more. Apr 16 at 8 pm. $50-$180. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, hgjewishtheatre.com.

PINKALICIOUS, THE MUSICAL by Elizabeth Kann, Victoria Kann and John Gregor (Vital Theatre). A girl turns pink after eating too many cupcakes in this family show. Opens Aug 21 and runs to Dec 18. Jan 15-May 27. $29.50-$39.50. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-642-8973, vitaltheatre.ca.

PRELUDE TO A KISS by Craig Lucas (Amicus Productions). A new husband fights to free his young wife’s spirit after she exchanges souls with an old man in this romantic comedy. Opens Apr 12 and runs to Apr 21. $18-$20. Fairview Library, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-860-6176.

PRISONER OF TEHRAN by Marina Nemat (Contrary Company). Nemat’s memoir of being imprisoned on false charges, a forced marriage and family tension is adapted for the stage. Previews Apr 10. Opens Apr 11 and runs to Apr 28. $30-$35, stu/srs $20, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.ca.

SERIES 3 – FROM THE FRYIN’ PAN Dance Matters presents works by Marie France Forcier, Louis Laberge-Côté, Carmen Romero, Kiri Figueiredo and others. Apr 21-22. $10-$12. Pia Bouman School, Studio Theatre, 6 Noble. 416-556-0347, dancematters.ca.

SLUT (R)EVOLUTION by Cameryn Moore (The Sixth). In this solo show, playwright/performer Moore merges memory and manifesto to explore incendiary events in her sex life. Apr 20-21 at 8:30 pm. $10-$12. 1642 Queen W. brownpapertickets.com.

SMILE THEATRE 40TH ANNIVERSARY GALA (Smile Theatre). This benefit for the company that brings theatre to seniors features cocktails, dinner and entertainment. Apr 16 at 6 pm. $125.First Canadian Place, 68th floor, 1 First Canadian Pl. smiletheatre.com.

SPEAKEASY (Les Coquettes). The cabaret theatre company presents burlesque, music and more inspired by vintage NYC nightclubs in a dinner theatre show. Apr 4. Apr 15. Apr 22. Dinner + show $85; show only $20-$55. Revival, 783 College. lescoquettes.com.

STUDIO 180’S NEIGHBOURHOOD BLOCK PARTY (Studio 180 Theatre). This funder for the company includes tickets to Clybourne Park followed by a special reception. Apr 20 at 8 pm. $65-$75. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, studio180theatre.com.

THE ADAPTATION PROJECT Dancemakers presents a re-imagining of works from the company’s 38-year repertoire, choreographed by Michael Trent. Previews Apr 18. Opens Apr 19 and runs to Apr 29. $25, stu/srs $20. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 55 Mill, bldg 58, studio 313. 416-367-1800, dancemakers.org.

THE ELEPHANT MAN by Bernard Pomerance (The Bench Theatre Initiative). Appearance versus reality and the limits of charity are explored in this drama about the life of John Merrick. Opens Apr 20 and runs to May 12. $12-$15. Sanctuary, 25 Charles E. thebenchtheatre.com.

THE GAME OF LOVE AND CHANCE by Marivaux (Canadian Stage/Centaur Theatre). A betrothed couple who have never met trade places with their servants in order to spy on each other in this 18th-century romantic comedy. Opens Apr 16 and runs to May 12. $20-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO 101 (Forest Grove United Church). Professor Von Strudelnoggin leads an all-ages presentation of Mozart’s famous opera. Apr 22 at 3 pm. Pwyc. 43 Forest Grove. 416-222-2781.

THE PHILOSOPHER’S WIFE by Susanna Fournier (Nightwood Theatre). A philosopher hires a dog trainer to cure his wife’s animalistic behaviour in this staged reading of Fournier’s new play. Apr 22 at 2 pm. Pwyc. The Cannery, 55 Mill, Bldg 58, Studio 315. nightwoodtheatre.net.

THE PROCESS REVEALED: RIVERS Toronto Dance Theatre presents discussion and excerpts from the upcoming work by Christopher House set to the music of Ann Southam. Apr 16 at 7 pm. Free. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. tdt.org.

THE SAD BRIDE CABARET (Loft Theatre Group). This funder for the company’s upcoming production includes music, poetry, comedy and more. Apr 22 at 7 pm. $10. Hard Luck Bar, 772a Dundas W. openbooktoronto.com/events/sad_bride_caberet.

THE SHEETS, THE… by Salvatore Antonio (The Empty Whole Group/HATCH). This multidisciplinary creation explores the human need for emotional connection, sexual release and simple contact. Apr 21 at 8 pm. $15, stu/srs $12. Harbourfront Centre, Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

THE TALES OF HOFFMANN by Jacques Offenbach (Canadian Opera Company). The dark reminiscences of a drunken poet come to life as he recalls his lost loves. Opens Apr 10 and runs to May 14. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.

TWELFTH NIGHT, OR, WHATEVER by William Shakes (Snobbish Theatre). Wear neon and become part of the play at this rave-inspired party adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy. Opens Apr 16 and runs to Apr 25. $15, stu $10. Breakout Studios, 1541 Bayview. snobbishtheatre.com.

YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU by George S Kaufman and Moss Hart (Soulpepper). An eccentric clan experiences unusual order when their daughter finds a fiancé from a conservative family. Previews Apr 19-25. Opens Apr 26 and runs to Jun 20. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22/stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*