Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of January 13th, 2014. ** 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…
Avenue Q by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Lower Ossington Theatre). A college grad moves to NYC and transitions to adulthood in this adult musical puppet play. Opens Dec 12 and runs to Feb 23, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm, Sun 4 pm (no shows Dec 23-Jan 2 and Feb 1-13). $49-$59. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
**Fatherly by Sam S Mullins (Sam S Mullins/Next Stage Theatre Festival). Mullins performs his solo show about fathers, sons, America, baseball and more. Opens Jan 9 and runs to Jan 19, see website for schedule. $10, passes $48-$88. Factory Theatre, Antechamber, 125 Bathurst. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.
**Jack Your Body by Emily Law and Ashley Perez (Mix Mix Dance Collective/Next Stage Theatre Festival). Issues of race, gender and social status are examined in this work that explores underground social dances. Opens Jan 9 and runs to Jan 19, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$88. Factory Theatre, Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.
**Killer Business – The Musical by Rob Torr, Ken MacDougall and Saul Segal (Torrent Productions/Next Stage Theatre Festival). The production of a run-of-the-mill musical gets a jolt when a dead body turns up on stage. Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 19, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$88. Factory Theatre, Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.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 Feb 2, 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.
**A Misfortune by Scott Christian, Wade Bogert-O’Brien and Kevin Michael Shea (Common Descent/Next Stage Theatre Festival). A married woman and a young lawyer take a walk in this musical about small moments and momentous decisions. Opens Jan 9 and runs to Jan 19, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$88. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.
Nightmare Dream by Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu and Motion (IFT Theatre/Newface Entertainment/Obsidian Theatre). Preparing to return for his father’s funeral, an African immigrant in Canada is haunted by his disconnection to his traditional culture. Previews Jan 7-8. Opens Jan 9 and runs to Jan 26, Tue-Sat 8 pm (and Jan 12), mat Sat-Sun 2 pm (no shows Jan 23-24). $18-$35. Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen W. nightmare-dream.com.
**On the Other Side of the World by Brenley Charkow (Harley Dog Productions/Next Stage Theatre Festival). Adapted from various memoirs, this drama tells the story of Jews in 1930s Europe who sought refuge in China. Opens Jan 9 and runs to Jan 19, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$88. Factory Theatre, Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.
**Polar Opposites by Nicole Ratjen (TiltHAUS/Next Stage Theatre Festival). This play about two polar bears trapped on a melting iceberg features comedy, tragedy, table tennis and mask theatre. Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 19, see website for schedule. $10, passes $48-$88. Factory Theatre, Antechamber, 125 Bathurst. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.
**Release the Stars: The Ballad of Randy and Evi Quaid by Amanda Barker and Daniel Krolik (God is in the Dairy/Next Stage Theatre Festival). A celebrity couple flee from U.S. media and stage an artsy cabaret in Canada. Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 19, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$88. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.
**Rifles by Nicolas Billon (Praxis Theatre/Next Stage Theatre Festival). Not wishing to suffer more loss, a Spanish Civil War widow tries to keep her sons out of the conflict. Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 19, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$88. Factory Theatre, Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.
**Scheherazade by Johnnie Walker (Nobody’s Business Theatre/Next Stage Theatre Festival). A brave woman faces a brutal king who kills his brides after every wedding night in this darkly erotic satire. Opens Jan 9 and runs to Jan 19, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$88. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.
**Stencilboy and Other Portraits by Susanna Fournier (Paradigm Productions/Next Stage Theatre Festival). Desperate to be immortalized in art, a woman is caught between a graffiti artist and a once-famous painter. Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 19, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$88. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.
Sundown Bad Dog Theatre and Sex T-Rex present unscripted shows in the style of gritty western films. Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 29, Wed Wednesdays 9:30 pm. $12, stu $10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. 416-551-6540, baddogtheatre.com.
We Can be Heroes Second City presents a new collection of sketches, songs and improvisations inspired by the world around us. Opens Jan 2 and runs to Feb 1, Tue-Thu 8 pm, Fri and Sun 7:30 pm, Sat 7:30 & 10 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
And the Rest…
Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Songbook (Talisker Players). This musical revue features Porter’s hits of the 1930s and 40s. Jan 12-14, Sun 3 pm, Tue 8 pm. $35, srs $25, stu $15. Trinity St Paul’s Church, 427 Bloor W. 416-978-8849, taliskerplayers.ca.
As You Like It by William Shakespeare (Rarely Pure Theatre). The tale of spontaneous love and friendships is set in a winter wonderland. Opens Jan 9 and runs to Jan 26, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $15. The Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor W. secureaseat.com.
The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh (Red Sandcastle Theatre). A lonely fortysomething woman deals with her mother’s meddling in this darkly comic Irish play. Opens Jan 16 and runs to Feb 1, daily at 8 pm (no shows Jan 21-22 and 27). $20, stu/srs $15. 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com.
A Conversation with Edith Head by Paddy Calistro and Susan Claassen (Canadian Alliance of Film & Television Costume Arts & Design). Claassen plays the legendary Hollywood costume designer telling stories about her life and the film industry. Jan 17-19, Fri-Sun 8 pm. $40. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
Così Fan Tutte by WA Mozart (Canadian Opera Company). Two soldiers wager on the fidelity of their fiancées in this comic opera. Opens Jan 18 and runs to Feb 21, see website for schedule. $12-$332. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
DanceWeekend ’14 Dance Ontario and Harbourfront NextSteps present various genres performed by hundreds of dancers and troupes, including COBA, Gadfly, Ritmo Flamenco, Typecaste and others, plus a gala to present the Dance Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award to Nadia Potts. Jan 17-19, Fri 7 to 10 pm, Sat 1 to 6:30 pm, Sun 1 to 5 pm and Awards Gala from 7:30 pm. $10 minimum donation, gala $25. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, danceontario.ca.
The Emergency Monologues Morgan Jones Phillips presents his storytelling/stand-up show about being a paramedic in the big city. Jan 16 8 pm. $20 (RSVP required: firstname.lastname@example.org). Cameron House, 408 Queen W. emergencymonologues.com.
The Fantasticks by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (Dreamtheatre). A young couple’s romance is tested by their meddling parents in this musical. Opens Jan 15 and runs to Jan 18, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm. $25, stu/srs $20. St Michael’s College School, 1515 Bathurst. dreamtheatreproductions.com.
Flesh and Other Fragments Of Love by Evelyne de la Chenelière (Tarragon Theatre). The discovery of a drowned body off the Irish coast leads a vacationing couple to examine their marriage. Previews Jan 7-14. Opens Jan 15 and runs to Feb 16, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun (and some Sat) 2:30 pm. $48-$53, stu/srs $27-$45, previews $21-$25, rush $13. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Girlesque Expo 2014 (Great Canadian Burlesque). This burlesque showcase features Ruby Joule, Bettina May, World Famous Bob, the Mansfield Brothers, Tanya Cheex and others. Jan 18-19, Sat-Sun 7:30 pm, Sun brunch show at Round (152 Augusta), doors 12:30 pm. $25-$50. Virgin Mobile Mod Club, 722 College. girlesque14.eventbrite.com.
The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico Garcia Lorca (Victoria College Drama Society). A widow imposes an 8-year mourning period on her daughters, who rebel against her strict control. Jan 16-17, Thu-Fri 8 pm. $15, stu/srs $10. Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles W. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.
Les Improbables Supermarket presents a biweekly show with competitive improv en français. 7 pm. Jan 14, Jan 28, Feb 11, Feb 25, Mar 11, Mar 25, Apr 8, Apr 22. $5. 268 Augusta. 416-840-0501, email@example.com.
The Keith Richards One Woman Show by Deanna Jones and Cole Lewis (Suitcase in Point Theatre Company). Jones takes a trip through Keith’s life, from boyhood to Toronto drug bust. Opens Jan 9 and runs to Jan 25, Thu-Sat 8 pm (and Jan 22). $15. Fixt Point, 1550 Queen W. 416-587-4346, suitcaseinpoint.com.
London Road by Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork (Canadian Stage). This documentary musical is based on interviews with Ipswich residents following the 2006 serial murders in their town. Previews Jan 19-22, Sun 2 pm, Tue-Wed 8 pm. Opens Jan 23 and runs to Feb 9, 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.
The Lover by Harold Pinter (Sterling Studio Theatre Collective). A suburban couple try to liven up their marriage with a lover and a prostitute. Previews Jan 14. Opens Jan 15 and runs to Jan 25, Tue-Sun 8 pm. $20, preview $15. Sterling Studio Theatre, 163 Sterling, unit 5. sterlingstudiotheatre.com.
Manon, Sandra and the Virgin Mary by Michel Tremblay (Pleiades Theatre). Pious Manon and worldly Sandra reveal themselves in parallel monologues about their fascination with the Virgin Mary. Previews Jan 11-14. Opens Jan 15 and runs to Feb 2, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $27-$37, previews/rush $20. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
The Melville Boys by Norm Foster (Theatre Scarborough). Plans for a guys’ getaway change when the brothers meet two sisters in this comedy. Opens Jan 9 and runs to Jan 25, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Jan 12 & 25 at 2 pm (no eve show Jan 25). $20. Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston. 416-267-9292, theatrescarborough.com.
The… Musician. An Etude based on a book by Vladimir Korolenko (Toronto Laboratory Theatre). A boy born without sight learns to communicate through music. Previews Jan 11-12. Opens Jan 17 and runs to Jan 26, see website for schedule. $20-$25. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 9 Trinity, studio 313. themusician.bpt.me.
Pacamambo by Wajdi Mouawad (Canadian Rep Theatre). A missing girl is found with her grandmother’s body in this play for all ages about kids and death. Previews Jan 18-19, Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm. Opens Jan 22 and runs to Feb 2, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm (and Feb 1). $24-$36, preview $15, Sun mat pwyc. The Citadel, 304 Parliament. 416-504-7529, canadianrep.ca.
Pith! by Stewart Lemoine (The Theatre Department). A sailor leads a widow and her housekeeper on an exotic jungle adventure without leaving the living room. Previews Jan 15. Opens Jan 16 and runs to Feb 2, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20, Tue pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, thetheatredepartment.com.
Puppet Allsorts: The Little Yellow School Bus (Toronto Puppetry Collective). B-AM Children’s Entertainment perform an all-ages puppet show. Jan 19 at 3 pm. $15. Metropolis Factory, 50 Edwin. puppetallsorts.com.
Seven Days by Ron Rutberg (TEATRON Theatre). A family reunion at the matriarch’s death reveals the story of a couple who fought for the establishment of Israel, then moved to the United States. Previews Jan 8 at 1 pm ($19). Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 19, Tue-Thu and Sat-Sun 8 pm, mat Sun 2 pm. $26-$48. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge. 1-855-985-2787, teatrontheatre.com.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Living Arts Centre presents classical Chinese theatrical dance and music inspired by myths and legends. Jan 16-19, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $50-$150. 4141 Living Arts. 905-306-6000, livingartscentre.ca.
This is It by Sasha Singer-Wilson (the blood projects). A couple looks at their marriage in this exploration of intimacy, commitment and trust. Previews Jan 15 at 8 pm. Opens Jan 16 and runs to Jan 25, Thu-Sun 8 pm, late show Jan 24 at 11 pm, mat Sun 2 pm. $20, preview $15, Sun mat pwyc. lemonTree Studio, 196 Spadina (lower unit). bloodprojects.com.
Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales by Erin Fleck (Videofag). Workshop presentation of a play featuring shadow puppetry, projections and stop-motion storytelling. Mostly floor seating; bring a blanket. Jan 13-15, Mon-Wed 8 pm. $10 or pwyc. 187 Augusta. videofag.com.
The Ugly One by Marius von Mayenburg (Theatre Smash/Tarragon Theatre). A man enjoys his new beauty until his plastic surgeon offers his face to others in this black comedy. Previews Jan 8-12. Opens Jan 14 and runs to Feb 16, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $48-$53, stu/srs $27-$45, previews $21-$25, rush $13. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
The Way Back to Thursday by Rob Kempson (Theatre Passe Muraille). A boy and his grandmother bond over movies, but grow apart as he gets older. Previews Jan 16-18. Opens Jan 21 and runs to Feb 8, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $15-$32.50, mat pwyc. 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.
The Wedding Singer by Matthew Sklar, Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy (Hart House Theatre). An entertainer finds love in this musical based on the Adam Sandler film. Opens Jan 10 and runs to Jan 25, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Jan 25 at 2 pm. $28, srs $17, stu $10-$15. 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.
When We are Dead by Larissa Diakiw (Gasp Gasp). A snowstorm traps Anna in her childhood home with a man she hooked up with at her dad’s funeral. Jan 16 at 8 pm. $6. Saving Gigi, 859 Bloor W. 416-531-1538. Willow Quartet by Joan Burrows (The Village Players). A violinist helps a divided family find harmony. Opens Jan 10 and runs to Feb 1, Thu-Sat 8 pm (and Jan 15), mat Sun Jan 19 & 26 at 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $16. Bloor West Village Playhouse, 2190 Bloor W. 416-767-7702, villageplayers.net.
**Play listings based on NOW stage listings.