Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of December 3rd, 2012

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of December 3rd, 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 (Tarragon Theatre/Why Not Theatre). An Indo-Canadian man discovers that his Indian vacation is actually a wife-seeking scheme by his parents. Previews Nov 25. Opens Nov 27 and runs to Dec 16. $48-$53, srs $38-$43, stu $27, previews $21-$24, rush $13. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

BINTI’S JOURNEY by Marcia Johnson (Theatre Direct). A young African girl seeks her grandmother after losing her family to HIV/AIDS. Previews Nov 27. Opens Nov 28 and runs to Dec 9. $15-$20. Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.

CINDERELLA (A RATICAL RETELLING) by Mike Kenny and Jason Jestadt (Young People’s Theatre). Five rats retell the classic fairy tale in this musical story for ages 4 and up. Previews Nov 12-14. Opens Nov 15 and runs to Dec 30. $15-$20. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.

FARE GAME: LIFE IN TORONTO’S TAXIS by Ruth Madoc-Jones, Marjorie Chan and Alex Williams (Theatre Passe Muraille). This docudrama multimedia play looks at the lives of taxi drivers and the struggles they face. Previews Nov 16-17. Opens Nov 20 and runs to Dec 8. $30-$35, previews/under 30 $15. Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.

IGNORANCE (The Old Trout Puppet Workshop). From living in caves to the present day, this puppet documentary looks at the evolution of happiness. Opens Nov 27 and runs to Dec 15. $22-$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, theoldtrouts.org.

LORD OF THE FLIES adapted by Nigel Williams (Lower Ossington Theatre). Stranded on an island, a group of school boys descend into violent chaos in this adaptation of Golding’s novel. Opens Nov 22 and runs to Dec 9. $49. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

ORDINARY DAYS by Adam Gwon (Angelwalk Theatre/Winnipeg Studio Theatre). The lives of four New Yorkers in their 20s intersect when one loses the notes to her graduate thesis. Previews Nov 29. Opens Nov 30 and runs to Dec 9. $35-$45, preview $30, under 30 $25. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge. 1-855-985-2787, angelwalk.ca.

**TERMINUS by Mark O’Rowe (Outside the March/Mirvish). A mother with a heavy heart, a lonely woman and a dangerous loner experience a supernatural night in Dublin in this Irish rap-opera. Previews Nov 21-22. Opens Nov 23 and runs to Dec 9. $69, rush $29. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

THE ARSONISTS by Max Frisch (Canadian Stage). A man lets two strangers into his home and turns a blind eye to the obvious in this dark comedy about the human ability to ignore acts of evil. Previews Nov 11-14. Opens Nov 15 and runs to Dec 9. $24-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.

THE LITTLE YEARS by John Mighton (Tarragon Theatre). Growing up in the 50s, a young woman’s interest in science is dismissed by her family. Previews Nov 7-13. Opens Nov 14 and runs to Dec 16. $48-$53, srs $38-$43, stu $27, rush $13. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.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 Jan 6. $35-$130, rush $29. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

WE’VE TOTALLY (PROBABLY) GOT THIS! Second City presents its fall 2012 revue featuring new sketches, songs and improv about stress and juggling priorities. Wed-Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sun 7:30 pm (plus Fri-Sat 10 pm). $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

And the Rest…

A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens (Soulpepper). Michael Shamata’s adaptation of the classic holiday ghost story gets a staging. Previews Dec 3. Opens Dec 4 and runs to Dec 29. $51-$68, stu $32, rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE: A PLAY WITH MUSIC by Anthony Burgess (Huge Picture Productions/Echo Productions). Burgess’s dystopian novella about human nature and free will is adapted for the stage. Opens Dec 6 and runs to Dec 15. $15, stu $12.Electric Theatre, 299 Augusta. 416-317-8715, hugepictureproductions.com.

A TASTE OF OPERA (Opera Five). The company presents one-act operas by Paul Hindemith, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Milton Granger. Dec 4-6. $25-$30. Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren. brownpapertickets.com/event/292832.

A VERY CHRIS-TERICAL CHRISTMAS CABARET (Chris Tsujiuchi). Sharron Matthews, Jeni Walls, Andrew King, Tsujiuchi and others perform a seasonal cabaret. Dec 7-8. $10. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555.

CALLAGHAN! & THE WINGS OF THE BUTTERFLY SEX T-REX present an action/adventure sketch comedy revue w/ Josef Addleman, Conor Bradbury, Kaitlin Morrow, Colin Munch and Seann Murray. Opens Dec 4 and runs to Dec 9. $15. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. sextrexcomedy.com.

CHRISTMAS WITH HI AND LO by Jim Millan, Alice Moran and Colin Munch (John Alcorn/Kyra Millan). This scripted cabaret features a glimpse into the married life of the performers, seasonal songs and comedy. Opens Dec 3 and runs to Dec 17. $30-$50. Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren. christmas-with-hi-and-lo.ticketleap.com.

ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS by George F Walker (WhobeatupJunior Equity Co-op). A dysfunctional family finds itself caught up in a criminal plot in this dramatic comedy. Opens Dec 4 and runs to Dec 17. $20, stu/srs $15. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com.

FLASHMAN by Dave Healey (Spadina Museum). A superhero fights to win the girl of his dreams and save the world in this 1930s sci-fi radio play. Opens Dec 2 and runs to Dec 16. $10, srs/stu $8, child $6. 285 Spadina Rd. 416-392-6910, facebook.com/events/462986597073011.

GIRL IN THE GOLDFISH BOWL by Morris Panych (UC Follies Theatre Company). A girl becomes attached to an odd house guest, who she believes is the reincarnation of her goldfish. Dec 6-8. $20, stu/srs $12. Glen Morris Studio Theatre, 4 Glen Morris. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.

GISELLE The National Ballet of Canada presents Sir Peter Wright’s classic romantic ballet. Opens Dec 5 and runs to Dec 9. $25-$239. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-345-9595, national.ballet.ca.

GRIMMFEST (Canadian Opera Company). This celebration of the 200th anniversary of the fairy tales includes concerts, a lecture and performances of The Brothers Grimm, a family-friendly one-act opera. Opens Dec 4 and runs to Dec 8. Performance $25, child $15; concerts/lecture free. coc.ca/GrimmFest.

IMPULSE 2012 The School of Toronto Dance Theatre presents students performing works by Darryl Tracy, Robert Desrosiers, Peter Chin and others. Opens Nov 29 and runs to Dec 8. $19, stu/srs $15. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-967-6887, schooloftdt.org.

LOVELY BITS The Weaker Vessels present a sketch comedy revue w/ Charles Booth, Allan Cooke, Jeff Clark, Colin Sharpe and guest Nadine Djoury. Dec 6-8. $5-$10. The Annex Live, 296 Brunswick. facebook.com/TheWeakerVessels.

MIRACLE ON MERCER ST. Second City presents all-ages seasonal comedy mixing live-action sketches with puppetry and songs. Dec 1 Noon, Dec 9 Noon, Dec 15 Noon. $14, family 4-pack $45. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

MOZART’S MAGICAL CASTLE (Opera Atelier). Interactive activities and performances showcase the music, dance and story of Mozart’s most famous opera, The Magic Flute. Opens Dec 1 and runs to Dec 30. Included w/ admission. Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace. 416-923-1171, casaloma.org.

NONNA’S PARTY by Ashley Burton (Gladstone Hotel). Burton brings stories of her feisty Sicilian family to life in this solo comedy. Opens Nov 7 and runs to Dec 19. $35-$55 (ticketweb.ca). 1214 Queen W. 416-531-4635, gladstonehotel.com.

SNOW WHITE: THE DELICIOUSLY DOPEY FAMILY MUSICAL by Rick Miller (Ross Petty Productions). Pop culture references permeate this holiday pantomime version of the classic fairy tale. Previews Nov 23-28. Opens Nov 29 and runs to Jan 5. $27-$85. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 1-855-599-9090, rosspetty.com.

SWEENEY TODD, THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler (St Michael’s College Student Union/Arts Commission). The wrath of a wrongfully convicted barber has brutal consequences in this musical. Opens Nov 30 and runs to Dec 8. $20, stu/srs $12. Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.

THE 501: TORONTO IN TRANSIT by Bob Nasmith, Donna-Michelle St Bernard and Justin Many Fingers (Theatre Passe Muraille). The creators share true stories collected while riding the longest streetcar line in the world, the 501 Queen line. Previews Nov 29-Dec 1. Opens Dec 4 and runs to Dec 8. $25-$30, under 30/previews $15. Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.

THE FINE ART OF MURDER (Mysteriously Yours… Dinner Theatre). This dinner-theatre whodunit features a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Opens Sep 21 and runs to Dec 29. $66-$71. 2026 Yonge. 416-486-7469, mysteriouslyyours.com.

THIS LIME TREE BOWER by Conor McPherson (Cart/Horse Theatre). Three men escape their mundane lives in the suburbs of Dublin through crime, booze and sex in this dark comedy. Previews Dec 6. Opens Dec 7 and runs to Dec 22. $25, preview/Mon $10. Berkeley Street Theatre, Upstairs, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.

THE MARK LEWIS MAGIC SHOW (Lower Ossington Theatre). Lewis performs a magic show for young audiences. Opens Dec 2 and runs to Dec 30. $32. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

THE MUNSCH BRUNCH (George Brown Theatre School). This family-friendly show is based on popular Robert Munsch stories. Opens Dec 1 and runs to Dec 8. $18, srs $12 stu $7. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666.

THE SANTALAND DIARIES by David Sedaris (Li’l Frosty Collective). A cynical scriptwriter works as one of Santa’s elves at an NYC store and witnesses the highs and lows of the holidays. Nov 30-Dec 4. $12, mat pwyc. Videofag, 187 Augusta. santalandtoronto.wordpress.com.

THE SEAFARER by Conor McPherson (Fly on the Wall Theatre). Staged reading of McPherson’s play about a Christmas Eve card game in Dublin. Dec 9-10. Pwyc. Fionn MacCool’s Pub, 181 University. 416-363-1944.

THE SECOND CITY’S NUT-CRACKING HOLIDAY REVUE Second City presents sketches, songs and improv inspired by the season of merriment, mirth and last-minute shopping. Opens Nov 30 and runs to Dec 21. $22, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse (Civic Light Opera Company). An aspiring nun leaves the order to govern the children of Captain von Trapp in this musical. Opens Dec 5 and runs to Dec 15. $28. York Woods Library Theatre, 1785 Finch W. 416-755-1717, civiclightoperacompany.com.

THE STORY by Martha Ross (Theatre Columbus). The ensemble performs an unconventional telling of the Nativity in an outdoor walk-about show. Previews Dec 4-5. Opens Dec 6 and runs to Dec 30. $30, stu/srs $22.50, child/previews $12.50.Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview. 416-504-7529, theatrecolumbus.ca.

**THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS NEXT by Daniel MacIvor and Daniel Brooks (Necessary Angel Theatre Company). MacIvor performs his solo show about the ‘Kingdom of Kevin’ and life in the modern world for the last time. Previews Dec 1-2. Opens Dec 4 and runs to Dec 8. $20-$25, preview $15, Dec 9 mat pwyc. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, necessaryangel.com.

WANNABE: A VERY SPICY CHRISTMAS (Lower Ossington Theatre). The Spice Girls tribute band performs a holiday-themed show. Dec 6 at 8 pm. $20. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.