Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of April 1st, 2013

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of April 1st, 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

Arigato, Tokyo by Daniel MacIvor (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). A visiting Canadian author is pulled into a world of obsession, sex and longing in this play that fuses Japan and the West. Previews Mar 16-20. Opens Mar 21 and runs to Apr 14. Pwyc-$37. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.

Gwen Powers by Michael Goldlist (WORKhouse Theatre). A smart, sexy high school student and her teacher push the boundaries of their relationship. Opens Mar 22 and runs to Apr 6. $25, stu $15, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. workhousetheatre.com.

Rent by Jonathan Larson (Lower Ossington Theatre). Artists of NYC’s Lower East Side struggle to make ends meet in the shadow of the AIDS epidemic in this musical. Opens Mar 28 and runs to May 5. $49-$60. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody (Mills Entertainment/Just for Laughs). This musical parody of Fifty Shades Of Grey explores the escapist fun and absurdity of the popular risqué novel. Apr 5-7. $48.75-$58.75. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, spankshow.com.

The Meme-Ing Of Life Second City presents its spring mainstage revue about the wins and epic fails of living on and off the digital highway. Opens Mar 6 and runs to May 29. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

**The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company/Obsidian Theatre). A Jewish Confederate officer celebrates Passover with his former slaves in Civil War-era Virgina. Previews Mar 16-20. Opens Mar 21 and runs to Apr 14. $42.50-$62.50. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-733-0545, hgjewishtheatre.com.

The Wizard Of Oz adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Really Useful Group/Mirvish/Troika Entertainment/Warner Bros/Bill Kenwright). A twister sends Dorothy over the rainbow in this musical based on the film. 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.

And the rest…

¡Theatresports! Spring Tournament Bad Dog Theatre presents the 30th year of the improv comedy competition. Opens Mar 9 and runs to May 25. $12, stu $10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. 647-898-5324, baddogtheatre.com.

Akshongay The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre presents excerpts from an upcoming work created and performed by Nova Bhattacharya and Louis Laberge-Côté. Apr 2 at noon. Free. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. coc.ca.

Ballet Express! The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre presents excerpts from the classic and contemporary repertoire, performed by Ballet Jörgen. Apr 4 at noon. Free. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. coc.ca.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story by Alan Janes (Lower Ossington Theatre). The life and music of the rock pioneer are celebrated in this jukebox musical. Opens Mar 28 and runs to Apr 21. $49-$60. Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst. lowerossingtontheatre.com.

**Chile Con Carne by Carmen Aguirre (Alameda Theatre). A Chilean girl whose family fled the 1973 coup strives to save a tree in Vancouver in this dark comedy. Previews Mar 30-31. Opens Apr 2 and runs to Apr 14. $22-$29, stu/srs/previews $15-$17, Sun pwyc. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, alamedatheatre.com.

Dib & Dob And The Journey Home/In This World by David S Craig & Robert Morgan/Hannah Moscovitch (Roseneath Theatre). A comic adventure for Grades JK-4 and Moscovitch’s drama about race, class and sex for teen audiences gets a public preview performance. Apr 6. Free (donations welcome), tickets by RSVP only. 651 Dufferin. 416-686-5199 ext 223, education@roseneath.ca.

Episodes l Andscapes JDdance, Tracey Norman and DanceWorks CoWorks present a triptych of dance works that re-envision locality, memory and intimacy, with two duets by Norman and a solo by Jesse Dell. Apr 4-6. $20, stu/srs $17.Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 9 Trinity, studio 313. 416-204-1082, jddance.ca.

Free Improv Second City presents an improv show by the cast. Apr 4-10. Free. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

Fundy Boy Abroad (Bill Merryweather). Merryweather performs his solo musical show about a roaming gay East Coaster to benefit the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario. Apr 5-6. $25. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. fundyboyabroad@hotmail.com.

Game Of Thrones Season 2 Bad Dog Theatre presents six serialized, unscripted performances inspired by the HBO show, featuring Paul Bates, Evany Rosen, Sarah Hillier and Bruce Hunter. Wed 8 pm. $12, stu $10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. 416-551-6540, comedybar.ca.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare (UC Follies Theatre Company). The classic tale of betrayal, revenge and murder gets a staging. Apr 4-6. $20, stu/srs $12. University College, JCR, 15 King’s College Circle. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.

Hold Mommy’s Cigarette (Shelley Marshall). Marshall performs her solo dark comedy about life, mental illness and survival. Opens Apr 4 and runs to Apr 7. $25, mat pwyc. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley. holdmommyscigarette.com.

If We Were Birds by Erin Shields (Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts). Female survivors of 20th-century violence tell their stories in this adaptation of Ovid’s myth about Tereus and Philomela. Opens Apr 2 and runs to Apr 6. $22. Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst. 1-855-985-2787, ticketmaster.ca.

Kyle & Mark Do New Sketches And Just Kill It Comedy Bar presents a weekly all-ages sketch show w/ Kyle Dooley and Mark Little. Opens Apr 3 and runs to Apr 24. $5. 945 Bloor W. facebook.com/events/434477086629718.

**La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler (Soulpepper). This adaptation sets the vignettes about 10 interconnected sexual liaisons in Toronto and examines our obsession with sex and sexuality. Opens Mar 26 and runs to May 4. $51-$68, stu $32 (rush $22, stu $5). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

**Legoland by Jacob Richmond (Atomic Vaudeville/Theatre Passe Muraille). Misfit siblings are extradited to Canada after attacking an American pop star in this contemporary vaudeville show. Opens Apr 2 and runs to Apr 13. $15-$35, mat pwyc.Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca

LIFT Out Loud Series (Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto). Screenplays by Gord Gammie and Graham Robinson, with guest moderator David Miller, get a reading. Apr 3 at 7:30 pm. $5. Magpie Taproom, 831 Dundas W. lift.on.ca/mt/liftoutloud.html.

Like Me More Like Me Toronto Dance Theatre presents a collaborative creation by choreographer Thomas Hauert and performance artist Scott Heron as part of the Brussels/Toronto Project. Apr 3-4. $20, stu/srs $15. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-967-1365, likeme.eventbrite.ca.

New Voices 2013 (Ryerson Theatre School). This theatre and dance festival features works created and produced by students. Opens Apr 1 and runs to Apr 7. $18, stu/srs $14. Ryerson Theatre, 43 Gerrard E. 416-979-5118, ryersontheatre.ca.

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.

Opera Triple Bill (Metro Youth Opera). The company performs Mavra by Igor Stravinsky, La Serva Padrona by GB Pergolesi and Le Magicien by Jean Vallerand. Apr 5-7. $30, srs $25, stu $20. Crescent School, 2365 Bayview. metroyouthopera.ca.

Overruled/Romance by George Bernard Shaw/Neil Labute (Neoteny Theatre). This double bill features two very different plays about love, lust and infidelity. Previews Mar 27. Opens Mar 28 and runs to Apr 6. $10-$15. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, neotenytheatre.eventbrite.ca.

Paprika Festival (Paprika Festival). Young and emerging artists offers 11 productions and six staged readings, with works by Britta Johnson, Rosamund Small, a Cabaret Series and more. Opens Mar 27 and runs to Apr 6. $5, Cabaret Series free. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, paprikafestival.com.

Race by David Mamet (Canadian Stage). A wealthy white man accused of raping a black woman hires a defense team consisting of one black and one white lawyer. Previews Apr 7-10. Opens Apr 11 and runs to May 5. $24-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.

Raising The Roof’s 16th Annual Comedy Cabaret Franklin Templeton Investments presents a fundraiser to reduce youth homelessness, w/ Derek Edwards, James Cunningham, Eddie Della Siepe, Frank Spadone, Graham Chittenden and host Darrin Rose. Apr 7 7:30 pm. $150. Second City, 51 Mercer. 416-481-1838, raisingtheroof.org.

Red Sky Celebrity Dinner (Red Sky Performing Arts). The company’s first annual fundraiser gala features gourmet food and guests Victoria Tennant, Jock Soto and Sandra Laronde. Opens Apr 5 at 7 pm. $250. Verity Club, Grand Georgian Ballroom, 111 Queen E. 416-585-9969, redskyperformance.com.

River Harbourfront NextSteps and Ballet Creole present the completion of Patrick Parson’s Trouchka and Gabby Kamino’s Fallen Angels in this double bill about the flow of a river. Apr 4-6. $20-$45. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, balletcreole.org.

SketchComedy Lounge Rivoli presents The Twitter Gong Show! where audience tweets decide who moves on and who gets gonged. Apr 2 9 pm. Pwyc. 332 Queen W. sketchcomedylounge.com.

The Hashtag Tour (J Sean Elliott). Actor/singer Elliott performs a cabaret of songs and stories with special guests. Apr 5-6. $10-$12. Winchester Kitchen & Bar, 51A Winchester. jsean.com.

The Magic Flute by WA Mozart (Opera Atelier). The fairy-tale opera about perseverance and true love is performed in English with English surtitles. Opens Apr 6 and runs to Apr 13. $35-$155. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 1-855-622-2787, operaatelier.com.

**This by Melissa James Gibson (Canadian Stage). A group of 30-something friends navigate their way through death, parenthood and adultery in this unromantic comedy. Previews Mar 18-20. Opens Mar 21 and runs to Apr 13. $22-$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.

this is a held note (Coexisdance). This poem cycle is set to dance and music, both live and pre-recorded. Apr 6 at 8 pm. $10. Array Space, 155 Walnut. coexisdance.wordpress.com.

Toronto Comedy Brawl: Gauntlet Qualifying Rounds Empire Comedy Live presents amateur comedians competing for $1,000. Eight comics per night. Opens Mar 25 and runs to Apr 17. $5. Crown & Tiger, 414 College. empirecomedylive.com.

True West by Sam Shepard (Soulpepper). Two recently reconciled brothers fight over art, freedom, family and human nature. Opens Mar 25 and runs to May 4. $51-$68, stu $32 (rush $22, stu $5). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.