Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of October 21st, 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
**The Best Brothers by Daniel MacIvor (Tarragon Theatre). Two very different brothers learn about each other and their mother after her death in a freak accident at the Pride parade. Previews Sep 17-24. Opens Sep 25 and runs to Oct 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $27-$53. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
**La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini (Canadian Opera Company). A poet and a seamstress have a tragic love affair in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Opens Oct 3 and runs to Oct 30, see website for schedule. $12-$365. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
The Brady Project The Flying Beaver Pubaret presents comedy by Heidi Mole dedicated to the classic TV series. Opens Oct 19 and runs to Nov 2, Sat Saturdays 7 pm. $10-$15. 488 Parliament. 647-347-6567, brownpapertickets.com.
Dine Her by Bruce Hunter (Realspace Theatre). This interactive zombie comedy looks at how gentrification strips neighbourhoods of life. Oct 24-26, Thu-Sat 7 pm. $50 (dinner & show). The George Street Diner, 129 George. dineher2.eventbrite.ca.
Farther West by John Murrell (Soulpepper). A prostitute seeks independence from male control in 1800s western Canada. Previews Oct 11-16. Opens Oct 17 and runs to Nov 9, see website for schedule. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
Kuwaiti Moonshine/By A Thread by Tim C Murphy/Diane Flacks (Sterling Studio Theatre). One-act plays about a Canadian bootlegger in Kuwait and an anxious performance artist are presented in this double bill. Previews Oct 15. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Oct 26, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $20, preview $15. north entrance, 163 Sterling, unit 5. sterlingstudiotheatre.com.
**Les Miserables by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (Cameron Mackintosh/Mirvish). An ex-convict seeks redemption and dodges his nemesis in this musical based on the Victor Hugo novel. Previews Sep 27-Oct 8. Opens Oct 9 and runs to Dec 22, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 1:30 pm (see website for exceptions/extra shows). $35-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. mirvish.com.
**Night Of The Living Dead Live by Trevor Martin, Dale Boyer and Christopher Bond (Nictophobia Films). George A Romero’s 1968 zombie film is performed in black and white in this interactive stage adaptation. Previews Oct 5-6. Opens Oct 8 and runs to Oct 27, see website for schedule. $23-$80. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, nightofthelivingdeadlive.com.
**The Norman Conquests by Alan Ayckbourn (Soulpepper). A librarian seeks a tryst but must dodge his wife in this trilogy where each play is viewed from a different part of the home. Opens Sep 27 and runs to Nov 16, see website for schedule. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten (Canadian Opera Company). An alienated fisherman struggles under the judgment of his neighbours in an English seaside village. Opens Oct 5 and runs to Oct 26, see website for schedule. $12-$332. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
**Venus In Fur by David Ives (Canadian Stage). A young actress determined to land the lead plays a cat-and-mouse game with the play’s director. Previews Sep 29-Oct 2, Sun 2 pm, Tue-Wed 8 pm. Opens Oct 3 and runs to Oct 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Wed 1:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $24-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
You Should Have Stayed Home by Tommy Taylor (Praxis Theatre). Taylor performs his show about his arrest and detention during the G20 summit in 2010. Actors and community members will play the role of other detainees. Previews Oct 17. Opens Oct 18 and runs to Oct 26, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25. Daniels Spectrum, Aki Studio Theatre, 585 Dundas E. 1-800-204-0855, praxistheatre.com.
Yukonstyle by Sarah Berthiaume (Canadian Stage/Faculty of Fine Arts, York University). Three unlikely roommates endure the winter while the Robert Pickton murder trial plays out on TV. Previews Oct 13-16, Sun 2 pm, Tue-Wed 8 pm. Opens Oct 17 and runs to Oct 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Wed 1:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $22-$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
We Can Be Heroes Second City presents a new collection of sketches, songs and improvisations inspired by the world around us. Indefinite run, Tue-Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 7:30 & 10 pm, Sun 7:30 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
And the Rest…
**360 Screenings (360 Screenings). Halloween-themed immersive cinema experience combining a film screening with elements of theatre. Oct 25-26, Fri 7 and 11 pm, Sat 2 and 7 pm. $40-$60. Secret Location, see website for details. 360screenings.com/October2013.
Abduction From The Seraglio by WA Mozart (Opera Atelier). Two men plot to rescue their girlfriends from an Ottoman Pasha in this commedia dell’arte opera. Opens Oct 26 and runs to Nov 2, Fri-Sat and Tue-Wed 7:30 pm, Sun 3 pm. $38-$166. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 1-855-622-2787, operaatelier.com.
All Our Happy Days Are Stupid by Sheila Heti and Dan Bejar (Suburban Beast). A vacation in Paris becomes a nightmare for two families in this irreverent critique of the pursuit of happiness. Opens Oct 24 and runs to Nov 3, Tue-Sun 8 pm. $25, stu/srs $20. Videofag, 187 Augusta. allourhappydaysarestupid.eventbrite.ca.
Amigo’s Blue Guitar by Joan MacLeod (UC Follies). A Salvadoran refugee fleeing torture moves in with a draft dodger and his family in Canada in this play about escaping one’s demons. Oct 24-26, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $15, stu/srs $10. George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.
The Barb & Laurie Show (Encore Entertainment). Barb Scheffler and Laurie Hurst perform a musical theatre cabaret. Oct 26 at 8 pm. $25. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge. encoreshows.com.
The Best Of The Second City presents classic and original sketch and trademark improvisation. Mon 8 pm. $14. Second City, 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
Big City Improv Festival Comedy Bar presents Bad Dog’s 63 South (7 pm, free), plus Eleven O’Clock Number, Hanky Panky, POMP, Tales of Cthulhu, White Rhino and others. Oct 21 Mainstage 7, 8 & 10 pm, Cabaret Space 9 pm. $10, festival pass $40-$60. 945 Bloor W. bigcityimprovfestival.com.
Big City Improv Festival presents Steak Dinner, Tits on Fire and the Second City All-Stars. Oct 21 9 pm. $10, festival pass $40-$60. John Candy Box Theatre, 70 Peter. bigcityimprovfestival.com.
Birth Of Frankenstein adapted by the company (Litmus Theatre). This site-specific production fuses Mary Shelley’s gothic novel with the dramatic personal circumstances that inspired her to write it. Previews Oct 22. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Nov 3, Tue-Sun 8 pm. $30, stu $20, preview pwyc. Saint Luke’s United Church, Parlour Room, 353 Sherbourne. litmustheatre.com.
Brief Lives by Patrick Garland (Toronto Masque Theatre/Global Cabaret Festival). Stories and songs of old London are performed in this show based on the book by John Aubrey. Oct 25-27, Fri-Sun 8:15 pm, mat Sat-Sun 3:15 pm. $22-$25, stu $15 (festival passes $63-$120). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. globalcabaret.ca.
Cabaret, Comedy And Coffee Talk (The Flying Beaver Pubaret). This cabaret/chat show features host Ryan G Hinds and guests Carla Collins, King Flare and Elliott Loran. Oct 25 at 9 pm. $10-$15. 488 Parliament. brownpapertickets.com/event/474832.
Dido And Aeneas – 21st Century Remix (Global Cabaret Festival). The opera is re-imagined through bluegrass, fiddling, pop and South Indian classical music. Oct 24-26, Thu 8:15 pm, Sat 9:30 pm. $22-$25, stu $15 (festival passes $63-$120). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. globalcabaret.ca.
The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Tarragon Theatre/TheatreRUN). An anxious government clerk tries desperately to fit in with a grotesque society in this multidisciplinary adaptation of the novella. Previews Oct 15-22, Tue-Sat 8 pm. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Nov 24, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $21-$53, rush $13, pwyc on Oct 15. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Escape Artist MOonhORsE Dance Theatre presents an evening of solos performed by Claudia Moore from choreographers Paul-Andre´ Fortier, Christopher House, Susanna Hood and Gadfly. Opens Oct 25 and runs to Nov 2, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25, stu/srs $20. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 9 Trinity, studio 313. 416-504-6429 ext 66, moonhorsedance.com.
**Evil Dead – The Musical by Christopher Bond, George Reinblatt, Frank Cipolla and Melissa Morris (Starvox Entertainment/Jeffrey Latimer Entertainment). The musical based on the Evil Dead film franchise returns home for its 10th anniversary. Previews Oct 24-27, Thu-Sat 7 and 10:30 pm, Sun 3 pm. Opens Oct 29 and runs to Dec 22, Tue-Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 7 and 10:30 pm (and Oct 31), Sun 3 pm. No show Oct 30. $19.99-$79.99. Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst. evildeadthemusical.com.
Exhibition (Les Coquettes). The company’s annual Halloween show features an art-themed cabaret of dance, cirque, live music and elements of burlesque. Opens Oct 27 and runs to Oct 31, Thu and Sun 7 and 10 pm. $20-$35. Revival, 783 College. lescoquettes.com.
Le Fa Le Do by Luc Moquin (Théâtre français de Toronto/Théâtre de la Catapulte). An archivist finds an old tape of a woman singing Fado music and enters a world of political intrigue in his quest to find her. Previews Oct 23-24. Opens Oct 25 and runs to Nov 2, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 3:30 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $28-$57, some pwyc/rush available. Berkeley Street Theatre, Upstairs, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.
Grindhouse Ghoulies 8: A Halloween Spooktacular (Skin Tight Outta Sight/Great Canadian Burlesque). The troupes and special guests present a tribute to celluloid sleaze in this burlesque revue. Oct 26 at 9 pm. $15-$20. Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen W. grindhouseghoulies13.eventbrite.ca.
The House Of Yes by Wendy MacLeod (Last Priority Productions). A dysfunctional family passes a tense Thanksgiving when the oldest son arrives with his new fiancée. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Oct 27, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $15. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com.
I Love Lucy – Live On Stage by Kim Flagg and Rick Sparks (Mirvish). Be a member of the studio audience in this adaptation of the 50s TV show. Previews Oct 15. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 3, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm (no show Oct 31). $49-$89. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
In Pace Requiescat (Opera 5). Three operas based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe are presented as part of this Halloween-themed event. Opens Oct 27 and runs to Oct 31, Wed-Thu and Sun 7:30 pm (closing night followed by costume contest and dance party). $30, stu $25. Arts & Letters Club, 14 Elm. o5inpace.eventbrite.ca.
The Judgment Of Paris (Global Cabaret Festival). This mix of musical cabaret, history and storytelling looks at Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel circa World War One. Oct 27 at 2 and 7 pm. $22-$25, stu $15 (festival passes $63-$120). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. globalcabaret.ca.
The List by Jennifer Tremblay (No Exit Theatre). A woman neglects a neighbour’s request and inadvertently causes her death. Opens Oct 17 and runs to Oct 30. Oct 17-20, Thu and Sat-Sun 8 pm. Oct 24-30, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $16-$20. The Artisan Factory, 344 Westmoreland, unit 104G. thelist2013.com.
Lunacy Cabaret – Devil’s Night (Zero Gravity Circus). This vaudeville-style cabaret features clown, circus, comedy, burlesque, music and more. Oct 26 at 9 pm. $20-$25. Centre of Gravity, 1300 Gerrard E. lunacycabaret.com.
The MacMillan Theatre: 50 Operatic Years (Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre). Artists of the University of Toronto’s Opera Division perform a preview of their 2013/14 season. Oct 23 at noon. Free. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. coc.ca.
The Nefarious Bed And Breakfast by DJ Sylvis (Monkeyman Productions). Heroes, evildoers and superpowers collide at a retired villain’s B&B in this comic book-inspired play. Previews Oct 25-26. Opens Oct 29 and runs to Nov 9. $20. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, monkeymanproductions.com.
Night Of Dread (Clay & Paper Theatre). Puppets, stilt dancers and others perform and parade in an interactive exploration of our collective fears. Oct 26, parade assembles at 4 pm, departs at 6 pm. Pwyc ($10 sugg). Dufferin Grove Park, Dufferin S of Bloor. clayandpapertheatre.org.
No Romance by Nancy Harris (Toronto Irish Players). Various characters confront their innermost secrets in this play set in three separate acts. Opens Oct 17 and runs to Nov 2, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $18; opening night $50, Oct 24 $10/pwyc. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley. 416-440-2888, torontoirishplayers.com.
One Man’s Journey Through The Middle Ages by Judah Leblang (Living Soulfully Toronto). Storyteller/columnist Leblang presents his take on life in middle age. Oct 27 at 5 pm. $10 or pwyc. Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, 34 Isabella. 416-777-2755, judahleblang.com.
Operanat10n: A Night Of Temptation (Canadian Opera Company). This COC gala features a live collaboration between the Sam Roberts Band and stars of the COC Ensemble Studio, plus culinary delights, dancing and more. Oct 24 at 9 pm. $150. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, operanation.ca.
Prayers for the New World by Laura Cockburn-Tulk (Glasswater Theatre). The scripts of Cockburn-Tulk’s Confessions and Gone Home are woven together using music and movement to create a seamless evening of storytelling. Previews Oct 17. Opens Oct 18 and runs to Nov 2, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Oct 26 and Nov 2 at 2 pm. $25, stu $18. Berkeley Street Theatre, Rehearsal Hall, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, glasswater.ca.
Puppet Allsorts: Pirate Treasure! (Toronto Puppetry Collective). Ottawa’s Rock the Arts perform an all-ages puppet show followed by a workshop. Oct 27 at 3 pm. $15. Metropolis Factory, 50 Edwin. puppetallsorts.com.
Puppet Up: Uncensored (Mirvish). Puppets from the Jim Henson Company are used in this mashup of puppetry and improvised comedy for grown-ups. Opens Oct 22 and runs to Nov 3, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 4 pm (no show Oct 31). $19-$79. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
The Reluctant Resurrection Of Sherlock Holmes by David Belke (Scarborough Theatre Guild). Arthur Conan Doyle kills off the Sherlock Holmes character, but is then haunted by his ghost in this comedy-mystery. Opens Oct 10 and runs to Oct 26, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Oct 20 & 26 at 2 pm (no eve show Oct 26). $20, stu/srs $17. Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston. 416-267-9292, theatrescarborough.com.
The Rocky Horror Show by Richard O’Brien (Lower Ossington Theatre). A newly engaged couple find a freaky castle in the classic rock musical. Opens Oct 10 and runs to Nov 10, Thu-Sun 8 pm. $39-$49. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Savage In Limbo by John Patrick Shanley (Bob Kills Theatre). Various 32-year olds seek love, sex and a way out of their dead-end lives. Opens Oct 22 and runs to Nov 3, Tue-Sun 8 pm. $20. The Downstage, 798 Danforth. savageintoronto.com.
Scirocco Drama Readings (Playwrights Guild of Canada). Book launch and readings by Sean Devine, Col Cseke, Gary Kirkham, Melody A Johnson and Kate Hewlett. Oct 21 at 8 pm. Free. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton. 416-922-7175.
Sharron Matthews – Something Completely Different (Global Cabaret Festival). The usually raucous cabaret artist performs an acoustic show. Oct 26-27, Sat 7 pm, Sun 4:30 pm. $22-$25, stu $15 (festival passes $63-$120). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. globalcabaret.ca.
Singular Sensation: A Music Theatre Open Mic (Jennifer Walls). Sing showtunes with a live band and see previews of upcoming works at this weekly show. Mon 10 pm Free. Statler’s, 487 Church. 416-922-0487.
Spoon River Cabaret (Global Cabaret Festival). A forgotten town comes back to life in this music and poetry cabaret inspired by Edgar Lee Masters’s 1915 poetry collection. Oct 24-27, Thu-Sat 8:15 pm, mat Sat-Sun 5:45 pm and Sun 3:15 pm. $22-$25, stu $15 (festival passes $63-$120). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. globalcabaret.ca.
A Story Before Time by Drew Hayden Taylor (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre/the Banff Centre). Original music, dance and theatre bring this Onkwehonwe (First Nation) creation story to life. Previews Oct 16. Opens Oct 17 and runs to Oct 24, see website for schedule. $15-$24. Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.
Strange Sisters (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Showcase of queer women and trans folk in performance, featuring solo theatre, spoken word, art, dance and more by Juliet November, Alvis Parsley, India Davis and others. Oct 25 at 8 pm. $20. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
Subway Stations Of The Cross by Ins Choi (Global Cabaret Festival). A homeless vagabond delivers a message from God in Choi’s performance of songs and spoken words. Oct 24-27, Thu 8:15 pm, Sat-Sun 5:45 pm. $22-$25, stu $15 (festival passes $63-$120). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. globalcabaret.
Sucker by Kat Sandler (Blood Sweat & Blood Collective). Various odd characters grieve in their own way in a small town crushed by a whimsical tragedy in this Halloween-themed play. Opens Oct 24 and runs to Nov 9, Thu-Sat 8 pm (and Nov 6), Sun 2 pm (and Nov 9). $20, Oct 27 pwyc, Oct 31 $15 w/ costume. The Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor W. secureaseat.com.
Tales Of Fright (Brian Finch/Erin Rodgers). Freaky tales are told by Jordan Sowunmi, Laila Gomes and others in this storytelling event. Oct 21 at 8 pm. Pwyc. Rustic Owl Gallery, 993 Bloor W. facebook.com/groups/533597603322239.
Theatresports Fall Tournament Bad Dog Theatre presents the improv competition. Opens Sep 21 and runs to Dec 14, Sat Saturdays 8 pm. $12, stu $10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. 416-551-6540, baddogtheatre.com.
Wrecking Ball 15: For Russia With (Gay) Love (The Wrecking Ball). A night of new work by queer and allied playwrights including Ronnie Burkett, Dave Deveau, Catherine Hernandez, Daniel MacIvor, Sonja Mills and others. Oct 27 at 8 pm. Pwyc (proceeds to Actors’ Fund of Canada). Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. thewreckingball.ca.
You Can Sleep When You’re Dead by Glyn Bowerman, David Brock, Omar Hady, Graham Isador and Kat Sandler (TheatreLab). Various stories of tortured spirits unable to pass to the next world are told in the setting of the historic house. Opens Oct 24 and runs to Oct 31, daily at 7 and 9 pm. $25-$35. Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen W. theatrelab.ca.
Whirl, The Dance Cabaret & The Soulpepper Dance Awards Ceremony And Dance Party The Global Cabaret Festival presents a showcase of all the award nominees, the awards presentation and a party. Oct 26 at 9:30 pm. $22-$25, stu $15 (festival passes $63-$120). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.
The Whole Shebang Cabaret – STONED The Global Cabaret Festival presents music, dance, theatre, poetry and more centred around Danny Grossman’s work Higher with Andrea Nann, Kate Alton and others. Oct 26-27, Sat 7 pm, Sun 4:30 pm. $22-$25, stu $15 (festival passes $63-$120). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.
**Listings based on NOW stage listings