Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of August 27th, 2012

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of August 27th, 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.

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.

A SYNONYM FOR LOVE by GF Handel, libretto by Deborah Pearson (Volcano Theatre/Classical Music Consort). This site-specific opera travels through the building in a modernized version of a Handel cantata about a love triangle. Previews Aug 19. Opens Aug 20 and runs to Aug 31. $42, srs/youth $30, preview $20. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen W. volcano.ca.

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.

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.

DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS LIVE: CAMPAIGN 1: THE LEGEND OF T’RANNAH Bad Dog Theatre presents an unscripted adventure comedy based on the popular role-playing game. Opens Aug 22 and runs to Sep 19. $12, stu $10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. 416-551-6540, baddogtheatre.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.

IN A DARK DARK HOUSE by Neil LaBute (Unit 102 Actors Company). Two estranged brothers reunite and confront the abuse in their past and how to overcome it. Previews Aug 9-11. Opens Aug 16 and runs to Sep 1. $20. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. unit102tix@gmail.com.

MEMORY IN THE MUD (Words In Motion). This movable drama and tour tells the stories of brick makers, POWs and Depression-era transients 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.

 ODYSSEO (Cavalia). Theatre artists and horses create a spectacle combining equestrian arts, stage arts and special effects. Opens May 15 and runs to Sept 2. $29.50-$119.50. White Big Top, 324 Cherry. 1-866-999-8111, cavalia.net.

OLEANNA by David Mamet (Unit 102 Actors Company). A power struggle ensues when a female student accuses a professor of sexual harassment. Previews Aug 8-10. Opens Aug 15 and runs to Aug 31. $20. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. unit102tix@gmail.com.

**THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller (Soulpepper). A small, devout Massachusetts town is thrown into chaos with accusations of witchcraft in 1692. Previews Jul 25-Aug 8. Opens Aug 9 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 ROYAL COMEDIANS by Mikhail Bulgakov (Soulpepper). This play looks at the life of French dramatist Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière. Previews Jul 24-Aug 6. Opens Aug 7 and runs to Sep 21. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22, stu $5.Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

SPEED-THE-PLOW by David Mamet (Soulpepper). Movie industry big shots use sex andschemes 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.

TWO GENTS (Shakespeare in the Ruff). This outdoor performance features the company’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen Of Verona, with a new ending that empowers the female leads. Previews Aug 15. Opens Aug 16 and runs to Sep 2. Pwyc ($15 sugg). Withrow Park, 725 Logan. shakespeareintheruff.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, rush $29. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

And the rest…

ARABIAN TALES (Little Red Theatre). This play for ages four and up presents a variety of fun and culturally diverse adventure stories. Opens Aug 27 and runs to Aug 31. $11, child $9. Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston. 416-533-8848.

**BABES IN SPACE: IN 3-DD (Red Herring Productions). The Star Trek vs Star Wars burlesque show returns with Nasty Canasta, Obskyura and others. Opens Aug 26 and runs to Aug 30. $20-$25. Revival, 783 College. babesinspace3dd.eventbrite.com.

MARY, MARY by Jean Kerr (Classic Theatre Festival). A recently divorced couple are forced to spend the night together in this comedy. Previews Aug 10-11. Opens Aug 11 and runs to Sep 2. $21-$30. Mason Theatre, 13 Victoria. 1-877-283-1283, classictheatre.ca.

MASS APPEAL by Bill C Davis (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). A bisexual seminarian’s past haunts him in this comedic drama. Aug 29-30. $20. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) (The Classical Theatre Project). Three actors perform 37 plays in 97 minutes in this interactive show performed on the garden terrace. Opens Aug 8 and runs to Aug 15. Aug 29-Sep 5. $50, stu/srs $30. Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace. 416-915-6750, completeworksabridged.com.

THE CORPSE BRIDE (Theatre Panik/Harold Green Jewish Theatre). A young groom accidentally weds a corpse bride in this darkly comedic spin on Yiddish folklore, presented as part of the Ashkenaz Festival. Aug 30-Sep 2. $25-$30. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

THE PENIS PROJECT 2 (Michael Mackid /Amy Lou Taylor). Over 20 visual artists and comedic, musical and drag performers celebrate all things phallic. Aug 31 at 10 pm. $7. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.