Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of July 30th, 2012

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of July 30th, 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 MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare (Canadian Stage Shakespeare in High Park). Lovers and actors meet and mingle in an enchanted forest in this classic comedy performed outdoors. Opens Jun 26 and runs to Sep 2. Pwyc ($20 sugg), 14 and under free. High Park Amphitheatre, Bloor W and Parkside. canadianstage.com.

ALTAR BOYZ by Kevin Del Aguila, Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker (Lower Ossington Theatre). A boy band perform their Christian-themed hit songs in this musical comedy. Opens Jul 20 and runs to Aug 3. $45. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

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 Jun 22 and runs to Oct 7. $45-$60. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

BEIRUT by Allan Bowne (Borat Gump Productions). A woman defies the law and sneaks into a quarantined area of New York to be with her lover. Previews Jul 24-25. Opens Jul 26 and runs to Aug 5. $20-$25, Tue pwyc. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. secureaseat.com.

 **BEST OF THE FRINGE THEATRE FESTIVAL (Fringe Toronto). Encore performances of Help Yourself, Mahmoud, Pomme Is French For Apple, Rare, The Shape Of Things, The Taming Of The Shrew, The Wakowski Brothers and With Love And A Major Organ. Opens Jul 18 and runs to Aug 3. $16.50. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 1-855-985-2787, fringetoronto.com.

HELLO (Huge Picture Productions). The leader of a vigilante group wrestles with existential questions during an alien invasion in this multimedia musical. Opens Jun 21 and runs to Aug 31. $25. Electric Theatre, 299 Augusta. 416-317-8715, hugepictureproductions.com.

MEMORY IN THE MUD (Words In Motion). This movable drama and tour tells the stories of brick makers, POWs and Depression-era homeless people who spent time at the Brick Works. Opens Jul 11 and runs to Sep 29. $20, child $10. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview. ebw.evergreen.ca/whats-on/memory-in-the-mud.

SPEED-THE-PLOW by David Mamet (Soulpepper). Movie industry big shots use sex and schemes to succeed in Hollywood. Previews Jul 5-14. Opens Jul 16 and runs to Sep 22. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22, stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

THE SUNSHINE BOYS by Neil Simon (Soulpepper). Two vaudeville veterans must overcome their mutual dislike to reunite for a TV special. Previews Jul 14-25. Opens Jul 26 and runs to Sep 22. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22, stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

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.

And the Rest…

ADVENTURES IN SLUMBERLAND (Frolick). This all-ages show about a young boy’s dream world is an adaptation of Winsor McCay’s comic strip Little Nemo In Slumberland. Opens Jul 1 and runs to Aug 26. $10 or pwyc. Olympic Island Lagoon Theatre, near Centre Island ferry dock, over the bridge. frolick.ca.

BACKBEAT by Iain Softley, Michael Thomas and Stephen Ward (Mirvish). The Beatles seek fame in Germany and lose their original bassist when he falls in love with a local photographer. Opens Jul 21 and runs to Sep 2. $36-$130. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

Dusk Dances presents outdoor dance featuring Zata Omm Dance Projects, Bageshree Vaze, the 605 Collective, Lua Shayenne & Co and tiger princess dance projects. Opens Jul 31 and runs to Aug 5. Pwyc. Withrow Park, 725 Logan. duskdances.ca.

Fall 2012 Mainstage RevueSecond City presents a collection of sketches, songs and improvisations. Opens Jul 17 and runs to Aug 8. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

HAIR by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot (Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts). Young pacifists explore free love and 60s culture as the Vietnam War draft looms in this musical. Opens Jul 24 and runs to Aug 4. $22. Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst. 1-855-985-2787, ticketmaster.ca.

Island Soul Harbourfront Centre presents an arts and culture festival with dance by Caribbean Folk Performers and the Jouvay mas spectacle by Theatre Archipelago. Aug 3-6. Free. 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

THE FATAL GAZOGENE by George Bernard Shaw (Red One Theatre Collective/the Clean Shavian Co-op). Shaw’s tragic farce about a love triangle is performed with musical guests. Opens Jul 24 and runs to Aug 4. $23. Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen W. 416-597-0227 ext 2, secureaseat.com.

THE SMALL TIME by Jon Wayne Brown (Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto). Brown’s screenplay gets a reading followed by discussion as part of the LIFT Out Loud Series. Aug 1 at 7:30 pm. $5. The Garrison, 1197 Dundas W. lift.on.ca/mt/liftoutloud.html.

WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN (The Weaker Vessels), a New Toronto based Sketch Troupe directed by Second City’s Frank McAnulty, hailing from Ontario and, oh…. England! the Annex Live Theatre on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of August at  8pm