Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of January 28th, 2013. ** 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 Woman Of No Importance by Oscar Wilde (Alumnae Theatre). A woman finds out that her son’s boss is the man who got her pregnant and refused to marry her. Opens Jan 25 and runs to Feb 9. $20, Wed 2-for-1, Sun pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.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. Opens Jan 10 and runs to Mar 3. $45-$60. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Catalpa by Donal O’Kelly (Blood in the Alley). A screenwriter tells the story of six Irish expats who undertake a risky trip to free rebels from an Australian prison in 1875. Previews Jan 15. Opens Jan 16 and runs to Feb 2. $20, preview $15, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.
**Final Savage Land by Allison Cummings (Sore for Punching You). Art, music and dance are used to explore questions about survival and codependency. Opens Jan 23 and runs to Feb 2. $20. Oz Studios, 134 Ossington. 416-504-6429 ext 24, soreforpunchingyou.com.
Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot (UC Follies Theatre Company). Young pacifists explore free love and 60s culture while resisting the Vietnam War draft. Opens Feb 1 and runs to Feb 9. $30, stu/srs $15. Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.
P-Dale Episode 3: A Shot Of Love To The Gut by Luis Fernandes (Unit 102 Actors Company). This multimedia theatrical series looks at the pre-gentrified residents of Parkdale. Opens Jan 23 and runs to Feb 2. $15. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. p-dale.com.
**Someone Else by Kristen Thomson (Crow’s Theatre/Canadian Stage). A middle-aged couple are forced to confront their stagnant existence after a sobering encounter with a stranger in this dark comedy. Previews Jan 7-9. Opens Jan 10 and runs to Feb 2. $22-$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, crowstheatre.com.
The Amorous Adventures Of Anatol by Arthur Schnitzler (Tarragon Theatre). A young playboy pursues women without commitment or care in this contemporary adaptation of the 1895 play. Previews Jan 1-8. Opens Jan 9 and runs to Feb 10. $27-$53, rush $13. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
The Marvelous Wonderettes by Roger Bean (Lower Ossington Theatre). This musical comedy pays homage to high school songleader squads of the 1950s. Opens Jan 17 and runs to Feb 10. $49. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
**The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (Nightwood Theatre). Odysseus’s wife gives her response to Homer’s epic, told through classical tragedy, Victorian melodrama, burlesque and song. Previews Jan 8-9. Opens Jan 10 and runs to Feb 10. Pwyc-$49. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, nightwoodtheatre.net.
The Wizard Of Oz adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Really Useful Group/Mirvish/Troika Entertainment/Warner Bros/Bill Kenwright). There might be a lack of magic in this adaptation of the 1939 movie, which includes four new (and uneven) songs, but the story of Dorothy’s (Danielle Wade) journey to Oz is still entertaining, thanks mostly to a versatile cast. While reality TV show winner Wade seemed stiff on opening night, she should grow into her ruby slippers as the run progresses. Previews Dec 20-Jan 12. Opens Jan 13 and runs to Jun 2. $35-$130. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
**This Is War by Hannah Moscovitch (Tarragon Theatre). A Canadian Forces captain in a volatile region of Afghanistan must deal with a threat from within. Previews Dec 28-Jan 2. Opens Jan 3 and runs to Feb 3. $48-$53, srs $38-$43, stu $27, rush $13. Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Thunderstick by Kenneth T Williams (Thunderstick Collective/Culture Storm). Odd couple native cousins seeking journalistic fame get on the trail of scandalous political intrigue. Previews Jan 16-17. Opens Jan 18 and runs to Feb 3. $20, stu/srs/preview $15. Toronto Free Gallery, 1277 Bloor W. firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve Totally (Probably) Got This! Second City presents its fall 2012 revue featuring new sketches, songs and improv about stress and juggling priorities. Opens Aug 23 and runs to Jan 31. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
And the Rest…
Actors! Canadian Actors Up Close And Personal by Melissa Major (The Cheshire Unicorn). A scripted performance unfolds while the audience interacts with the performers to learn the ins and outs of living as an actor. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 9. $10. Winchester Kitchen & Bar, 51A Winchester. cheshireunicorn.com.
Aluna Cafe (Aluna Theatre). The company presents a reading and interactive exploration of Casa, a play by Denise Stoklos. Jan 28 at 7:30 pm. Free. 1 Wiltshire, unit 123. 416-203-2535, alunatheatre.ca.
Apartment 3A by Jeff Daniels (Amicus Productions). After leaving her cheating boyfriend, a woman must deal with interest from a neighbour and a co-worker. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 9. $22, srs $20, stu $18. Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery. 416-860-6176, amicusproductions.ca.
Chocolate Woman Dreams The Milky Way by Monique Mojica (Native Earth Performing Arts/Chocolate Woman Collective). This collective creation looks at feminine strength from an indigenous perspective. Previews Jan 29 at 12:30 pm (stu mat). Opens Jan 30 and runs to Feb 3. $20, mat $15, elders/stu $10. Native Earth Performing Arts, Aki Studio Theatre, 585 Dundas E. 1-800-204-0855, nativeearth.ca.
Cowboy Mouth by Sam Shepard and Patti Smith (Heart in Hand Theatre). A man embarks on a sex- and drug-fuelled bender with a girl who dreams of making him a rock star. Previews Jan 25-28. Opens Jan 30 and runs to Feb 14. $25, previews $20. Cameron House, 408 Queen W. heartinhandtheatre.com.
**Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata by Veda Hille and Bill Richardson (Factory Theatre/Acting Up Stage Company). This musical comedy looks at modern life through the lens of the classifieds website. Previews Jan 30-Feb 5. Opens Feb 7 and runs to Mar 3. $35-$47, preview $22, Sun pwyc. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
**Every Letter Counts by Nina Lee Aquino (Factory Theatre). A woman searching for her path in life examines the legacy of her uncle, a Filipino political icon. Previews Jan 26-30. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 24. $32-$42, preview $22. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
Fan Fiction: James Bond Black Swan Comedy and Adam Ward present fan-generated material performed live by comedy groups w/ the Sushi Boys, the Weaker Vessels, host Daniel Woodrow and others. Feb 2 8 pm. $7. Black Swan, 154 Danforth. 416-903-5388, facebook.com/events/457736407620131.
Festival Of Original Theatre (U of T Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies/Drama Centre Students’ Union). The conference and festival features panel presentations, discussions and innovative theatre performances. Feb 1-3. Free. Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College. foot2013.wordpress.com.
Heart Strings The Musical by Reynold Nathaniel (MOLE Production). In 1908, an Italian apprentice goes to Ireland to deliver an anniversary gift from Germany. Previews Jan 28-29 at 8 pm. Opens Feb 12 and runs to Feb 16. $25-$39, rush $20, stu/srs $15. The Annex Live, 296 Brunswick. 416-668-5329, heartstringsplay.weebly.com.
Kuumba (Harbourfront Centre). This cultural festival celebrates Black History Month with music, theatre, dance, film, spoken word and more. Feb 1-3. Free and ticketed events. 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
**La Clemenza Di Tito by WA Mozart (Canadian Opera Company). Emperor Tito chooses to forgive rather than punish those who plotted to assassinate him in this Italian opera. Opens Feb 3 and runs to Feb 22. $12-$325. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
Love Letters by AR Gurney (Encore Entertainment). A dutiful lawyer and a lively artist exchange letters over 50 years in this play about love and friendship. Opens Jan 25 and runs to Feb 3. $28-$29.50. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge. 416-733-0545, encoreshows.com.
Lovelash: The Musical by Terrence Vince (Entre’Acte Studios/Chicken Coop Theatre). A comedic musical examining the frustrations of love, relationships and the dating game. Opens Feb 1 and runs to Feb 3. $20. Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston Ave. entractestudios.weebly.com
Once Upon A Murder (Mysteriously Yours… Dinner Theatre). Preparations for a royal wedding are interrupted by a murder in this interactive dinner-theatre mystery. Opens Jan 25 and runs to May 31. $40-$71. 2026 Yonge. 416-486-7469, mysteriouslyyours.com.
one ReActive Dance Theatre’s full-length debut and benefit for L.I.F.E. for Health explores what it means to help another human being. Feb 2 at 8 pm. $15. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 9 Trinity, studio 313. facebook.com/events/116141588561468.
Orlando by GF Handel (Opera in Concert/Aradia Ensemble). A warrior in Charlemagne’s army is led astray by unrequited love in this Baroque opera performed in Italian with surtitles. Feb 3 at 2:30 pm. $52-$73. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, operainconcert.com.
**Rare by Judith Thompson (Young Centre for the Performing Arts). This collage of real-life stories is put on by an ensemble of co-creators/performers with Down syndrome. Opens Jan 28 and runs to Feb 7. $15-$30. 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.
R-E-B-E-C-C-A by Sara Farb (Blue Balloon Productions). A girl with developmental disabilities due to premature birth interacts with an alternate self who was born at full term in this solo piece about the randomness of fate. Opens Jan 29 and runs to Jan 31. $10 sugg donation. Tapestry/Nightwood Studio, 55 Mill, Cannery, Studio 315. email@example.com.
Re-Potted Potter (Avenue Road Arts School Musical Theatre Company). Students from Grades 7-12 perform a show based on JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. Jan 31-Feb 1. $15. Walmer Centre Theatre, 188 Lowther. 416-961-1502 ext 303, avenueroadartsschool.com.
**Shakespeare’s Nigga by Joseph Jomo Pierre (Obsidian Theatre/3D Atomic/Theatre Passe Muraille). Two iconic black characters, Shakespeare’s Othello and Titus Andronicus’s Aaron, confront their creator. Previews Feb 2-6. Opens Feb 7 and runs to Feb 23. $15-$35. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, obsidiantheatre.com.
Stinky Kids The Musical by Britt Menzies (Lower Ossington Theatre). A girl and her friends try to fix a sticky mess in this play for young audiences. Opens Feb 2 and runs to Apr 27. $29-$39. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Terry Fox Is A Cyborg, And Other Canadian Fables Fratwurst presents an all-Canadian-content show that aims to prove Canadian history is not boring, with Fratwurst, Primo, Ron Sparks and host Joel Buxton. Jan 31 8 pm. $10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. 416-551-6540, comedybar.ca.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin (Lionheart Productions Coeur de Lion). Six adolescent overachievers vie for the championship in this musical comedy. Opens Jan 30 and runs to Feb 2. $10, stu $5. Glendon Campus Theatre, 2275 Bayview. 416-487-6822, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Spirituality Of Man by David Suszek (Minmar Gaslight Productions). Suszek’s dramatic comedy about a Victorian lady of the night gets a reading. Jan 28 at 7 pm. Free. Glad Day Bookshop, 3rd floor, 589 Yonge. minmargaslightproductions.com.
Toronto Monologue Slam (TMS). Up-and-coming actors deliver intimate and electrifying performances. Feb 1 doors 7 pm. $10-$15. Johnny Jackson, 587 College. 647-780-2513, toslam.com.
Tribute: A Moving History Of Canadian Blacks In Dance dance Immersion and Harbourfront NextSteps present a showcase paying homage to dance artists Len Gibson, Dindi Lidge, Kevin Pugh, Zab Maboungou, Paul Pettiford and others. Feb 1-2. $25-$28, stu/srs $18-$20. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
**Tristan Und Isolde by Richard Wagner (Canadian Opera Company). The operatic story of passion and vengeance is performed with video imagery. Opens Jan 29 and runs to Feb 23. $12-$390. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
Two Rooms by Mansel Robinson (Théâtre français de Toronto/Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario/Théâtre de la Vieille 17). A white police officer and his Muslim wife explore suspicion, paranoia, anger and resentment in the age of the war on terror. Opens Jan 30 and runs to Feb 3. $33-$48, srs $28-$41, Sat rush $20, Wed pwyc. Berkeley Street Theatre, Upstairs, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*