Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of May 7, 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.
A Florentine Tragedy/Gianni Schicchi by Alexander Zemlinsky/Giacomo Puccini (Canadian Opera Company). Zemlinsky’s satire based on an unfinished Oscar Wilde play is presented with Puccini’s comedy about a greedy family members scheming over a will. Opens Apr 26 and runs to May 25. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
Bring It On: The Musical by Jeff Whitty, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green (Mirvish). This musical comedy looks at high school rivalries and friendship in the world of competitive cheerleading. Opens May 2 and runs to Jun 3. $35-$130, rush $25. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria. mirvish.com.
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.
**Crash by Pamela Mala Sinha (Theatre Passe Muraille). The death of her father triggers a girl’s long-suppressed memories of an unresolved crime. Previews Apr 27-28. Opens May 1 and runs to May 12. $25-$30, previews $15, mat pwyc. 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.
Momentum 2012 School of Toronto Dance Theatre presents students performing works by Sharon B Moore, Jennifer Dallas, Christopher House and others. Opens May 3 and runs to May 12. $19, stu/srs $15; gala $60. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-967-6887, schooloftdt.org.
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, limited Mon pwyc. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.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.
**The Tennessee Project (The Tennessee Project). Seven one-act plays by Tennessee Williams will rotate through different neighbourhoods, with productions by Theatre Caravel, Red One Theatre Collective, Red Light District, Birdtown and Swanville, Afterglow Theatre and others. Opens May 1 and runs to May 7. $18, passes $45-$85. tennesseeprojecttoronto.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 21. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22/stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
And The Rest
42nd Street by Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble, Harry Warren and Al Dubin (Etobicoke Musical Productions). A hard-working chorus girl upstages an aging diva in this musical set in the 30s. Opens Apr 27 and runs to May 12. $26, stu $20. Burnhamthorpe Auditorium, 500 the East Mall. 416-248-0410, e-m-p.net.
Baobab by Hélène Ducharme (Théâtre Motus/SÔ Company). An ancient tree gives birth to a boy who is destined to save a village from drought in this story inspired by West African legends. Opens May 7 and runs to May 17. $15-$20. Young People’s Theatre, Studio, 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.
Beyond The Cuckoo’s Nest by Edward Roy (Young People’s Theatre). This drama for ages 13-18 follows three youths who meet at a drop-in group for teens with mental health issues. Previews May 7-8. Opens May 9 and runs to May 17. $15-$20. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.
Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Wordsmyth Theatre). Four women play the roles of the brothers in this adaptation of the Russian novel. Previews Apr 26. Opens Apr 27 and runs to May 20. $29, preview $20. Odyssey Studio, 636 Pape. wordsmyth.ca.
Cotton Patch Gospel by Tom Key, Russell Treyz and Harry Chapin (The Arts Engine). Matthew’s gospel is taken from Israel to the modern-day American South in this musical re-telling of the story of Jesus. Opens May 9 and runs to May 13. $18.50-$26.50. Walmer Centre Theatre, 188 Lowther. theartsengine.ca.
Dive by Nik Beeson and Richard Sanger (Mermaid Collective/Festival of Ideas and Creation). A mermaid takes the audience deep into her world in this voice salon and sound installation. Opens May 12 and runs to May 20. $20-$40. 321 Sackville. 416-927-1534, firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Festival Of Ideas And Creation (Canadian Stage). This development festival features readings and workshop performances of cross-disciplinary works by Anusree Roy, Justin Rutledge, Jordan Tannahill, Gein Wong, Debashis Sinha, Barbara Nichol and others. Opens May 9 and runs to May 13. Most events free. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com/festival.
From The House Of Mirth Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie present a dance/theatre piece inspired by Edith Wharton’s novel The House Of Mirth, choreographed by James Kudelka. Opens May 9 and runs to May 13. $50, Thu night gala $100, Thu mat pwyc. The Citadel, 304 Parliament. 416-364-8011, colemanlemieux.com.
**Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph (Birdland Theatre). This drama about wounded friendships follows the lives of two childhood pals over 30 years. Previews May 2. Opens May 3 and runs to May 13. $20-$30. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, birdlandtheatre.com.
Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo (Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre). This Japanese puppet theatre show features chanted narration and English subtitles. May 8 at 7 pm. $30, stu $25. 6 Garamond. 416-441-2345, jccc.on.ca.
Harold Awards (Toronto Harolds). The annual awards for Toronto theatre artists are presented with host Caroline Gillis. May 7 at 8 pm. $10 plus a canned food donation. El Mocambo, 464 Spadina. haroldawards.com.
High by Matthew Lombardo (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis/Mirvish). Kathleen Turner plays a nun trying to help a drug addict in this drama about truth, redemption and human fallibility. Opens May 8 and runs to May 13. $50-$150. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
Home by David Storey (Soulpepper). The social interaction between five characters reveals their desire to belong and maintain human contact. Previews May 8-16. Opens May 17 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.
How To Disappear Completely by Itai Erdal (The Chop Theatre/Performance Spring Festival). Erdal performs his solo show about the final months of his mother’s life. Opens May 8 and runs to May 13. $30-$40. Factory Theatre, Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
Intent City: A Work-In-Progress Interactive Play by Gein Wong (Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts). The audience is invited to a tent city that springs up when the city’s mayor stops communicating with people. May 11 at 7:30 pm. $12. Theatre Direct Christie Studio, 601 Christie. mayworks.ca.
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.
Love Notwithstanding by Grant Tilly (A Vancouver Apt. Co-op). Two young artists agree to a time-limited relationship, but find their modern ideas at odds with their emotions. Previews May 9. Opens May 10 and runs to May 20. $20, stu/srs $15. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com.
Luba, Simply Luba by Diane Flacks, Luba Goy and Andrey Tarasiuk (Pleiades Theatre/Red Boots Canada). Actor/comic Goy shares her own story of growing up in a Ukrainian immigrant family and finding radio and TV success. Previews May 7-8. Opens May 9 and runs to May 26. $33. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
Man Of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion (Alexander Singers and Players). The imprisoned Cervantes reenacts the misadventures of his novel’s protagonist in this musical. Opens May 4 and runs to May 13. $27, stu/srs $22. York Woods Library, 1785 Finch W. 416-324-1259, alexandersingers.com.
**rock.paper.sistahz (bcurrent). This arts festival features theatre, dance, comedy, spoken word, visual art and more by Naomi Abiola, Sandra Brewster, Mason Haigh and others. Opens May 4 and runs to May 11. Artscape Wychwood Barns, Studio 251, and other venues around the city, 601 Christie. bcurrent.ca.
**Semele by GF Handel (Canadian Opera Company). Handel’s opera based on the Greek myth about an ill-fated love affair is fused with ancient Chinese myths and legends in this adaptation. Opens May 9 and runs to May 26. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
**The Agony And Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs by Mike Daisey (Outside the March/Theatre Passe Muraille). Daisey’s exposé about the human cost of our love of technological gadgets is presented in a found space. Opens May 5 and runs to May 13. $25, stu $20 (artsboxoffice.ca). Secret Location, revealed with ticket purchase. outsidethemarch.ca.
The Innocents by Daniel Karasik (Innocents Collective/Tango Co). A lawyer meets a young man with a bright future who’s confessed to a senseless murder. Previews Apr 26 at 8 pm. Opens Apr 27 and runs to May 13. $22, stu/srs $17. Tarragon Theatre, Near Studio, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tangoco.net.
**The Real World? by Michel Tremblay (Tarragon Theatre). A playwright draws on his family as the raw material for his first work. Previews Apr 24-May 1. Opens May 2 and runs to Jun 3. $21-$51. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
The Shipment by Young Jean Lee (Harbourfront World Stage). This drama looks at how we unconsciously process experiences of life and theatre through the filter of racial perspective. Opens May 9 and runs to May 12. $15-$45. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
The Woolgatherer by William Mastrosimone (Dayle McLeod Productions). This play about two neurotic people searching for love is staged in a Chicago-style storefront theatre space. Opens Apr 28 and runs to May 12. $17-$25. Empty Storefront, 3087 Dundas W. secureaseat.com/woolgatherer.
Throne Of Games Bad Dog Theatre presents a weekly improv show based on the Game Of Thrones fantasy series w/ Colin Munch, Paul Bates, Aurora Browne and others. Opens May 2 and runs to May 23. $10-$12. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. 416-551-6540, baddogtheatre.com.
To Live In The Age Of Melting (Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts). Theatre artist Evalyn Parry deconstructs Stan Rogers’s folk song Northwest Passage to look at issues of Arctic sovereignty, global warming, colonization and history. May 13 at 4 pm. $15. Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom, 1214 Queen W. mayworks.ca.
TransMigration Kaha:Wi Dance Theatre and Harbourfront Centre Planet IndigenUs present a response to the vision, struggles and art of Ojibwe shaman/artist Norval Morrisseau. May 10-13. $30-$35, stu/srs $15-$22.50. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
Unspoken by Nina Kaye (Unspoken Theatre Company). This drama looks at the darker side of romantic relationships in vignettes that are connected through the poetry of WB Yeats. Opens May 7 and runs to May 13. $15, stu/srs $10. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. 647-770-3837.
**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, rush $29. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com
Watching Glory Die by Judith Thompson (Performance Spring Festival). Thompson’s drama about three women bound by a tragic death gets a workshop reading. May 11-13. Pwyc. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
West Side Story by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim (Dancap Productions). A young man falls in love with a rival gang member’s sister in this musical. Opens May 8 and runs to Jun 3. $51-$180. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-644-3665, dancaptickets.com.