Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of January 27th, 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 Feb 1-13). $49-$59. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Cabaret by Christopher Isherwood, John Kander and Fred Ebb (Lower Ossington Theatre). An American writer falls for a nightclub singer in Nazi-era Berlin. Opens Jan 23 and runs to Feb 23, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm, Sun 4 pm. $49-$59. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.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.
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.
Heartbeat of Home Mirvish presents Irish, Latin and Afro-Cuban performers in a music and dance show. Previews Jan 21-25. Opens Jan 26 and runs to Mar 2, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $35-$130. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria. 416-872-1212, mirvish.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.
**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.
**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. $35-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. mirvish.com.
Once on this Island by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Acting Up Stage Company). A peasant girl rescues and falls in love with a rich man in this family musical. Previews Jan 21-23. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Feb 9, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25-$50. Daniels Spectrum, Ada Slaight Hall, 585 Dundas E. 1-800-838-3006, actingupstage.com.
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.
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.
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.
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…
The Artlive Vogue Ball (Harbourfront Centre). This launch party for World Stage 2014 features performers from House of Nuance, DJ John Caffery and more. Feb 1 at 8 pm. $10. Brigantine Room, 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage.
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 23 and runs to Feb 1, daily at 8 pm, matinee Jan 27 at 2 pm (no shows Jan 26, 30). $20, stu/srs $15. 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com.
The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay (Theatre@York). The 1728 satirical play of politics and public morality gets an edgy production. Previews Jan 28. Opens Jan 29 and runs to Feb 1, Tue-Fri 7:30 pm, mat Fri-Sat 1 pm. $17, stu/srs $12, preview $5. York University Accolade East Bldg, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan Theatre, 4700 Keele. 416-736-5888, finearts.yorku.ca/beggarsopera.
The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman (Encore Entertainment). A girl starts a malicious rumour about two women at an all-girls school. Opens Jan 30 and runs to Feb 9, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $28-$30. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. encoreshows.com.
Encounters (U of T Opera and Faculty of Music). Performance of five miniature operas based on librettos by Michael Patrick Albano. Jan 30 at 5 pm. Free. Edward Johnson Building, MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen’s Park. 416-978-5776.
End of Night by Jason Freure (Hart House Players). Live reading of Freure’s dark and poetic new play. Jan 30 at 8 pm. Free. Hart House, Debates Room, 7 Hart House Circle. facebook.com/events/252313844942527.
Free Outgoing by Anupama Chandrasekhar (Nightwood Theatre). A teen sex video goes viral in this play about the battle between technology and traditional values in India. Previews Jan 28-29. Opens Jan 30 and runs to Feb 16, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25-$45. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, nightwoodtheatre.net.
I Seen You on TV: The Jo-Anna Downey Edition The National Theatre of the World presents improv by comics seen on Canadian TV shows and ads w/ Naomi Snieckus, Ennis Esmer and others. Jan 29 8 pm. $18 (proceeds to the Jo-Anna Downey Fund). Drake Hotel, Underground, 1150 Queen W. iseenyouontv.bpt.me.
Idiot’s Delight by Robert E Sherwood (Soulpepper). Countesses, arms dealers, lovers, revolutionaries and others spend a fateful weekend in a Swiss hotel on the eve of WWII. Previews Jan 23-29. Opens Jan 30 and runs to Mar 1, see website for schedule. $23-$74, rush $5-$23. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Improv Gong ShowImperial Pub presents audience-controlled laughs w/ Allan Turner, Amy J Lester, Ben Ball, Isaac Luy, William Nishri and others. Jan 31 9 pm. $5. 54 Dundas E. imperialpub.com.
Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis (Unit 102 Actors Co). This play examines the judicial system and asks whether redemption is possible. Previews Jan 29. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 15, Wed-Sat 8 pm (and Feb 11), mat Sun Feb 9. $20, mat pwyc. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. unit102theatre.com.
Jill’s Living Room (Red Sandcastle Theatre). Jill Léger hosts a monthly musical theatre open-mic show. Jan 27 at 8 pm. Feb 24 at 8 pm. Mar 31 at 8 pm. $10. 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, redsandcastletheatre.com.
The Lady’s not for Burning by Christopher Fry (Alumnae Theatre). A suicidal soldier falls for a woman accused of witchcraft in 1400s England in this romantic comedy. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Feb 8, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $20, Sun pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.com.
**Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (Lyric Hammersmith/Vestuport/Mirvish). A family’s life is turned upside down when their son is inexplicably transformed into a giant insect. Previews Jan 28-Feb 1. Opens Feb 2 and runs to Mar 9, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $25-$99. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
Murder in the Cathedral by TS Eliot (Trinity College Dramatic Society). Archbishop Thomas Becket clashes with King Henry II in 12th-century England. Jan 30-Feb 1, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $15, stu/srs $10. Trinity College Chapel, 6 Hoskin. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.
Les Muses Orphelines by Michel Marc Bouchard (Théâtre la Tangente). Staged reading in French of the play about four siblings who reunite with each other and the mother who abandoned them. Jan 31 at 7:30 pm. $15, stu/srs $10. Alliance Française, 24 Spadina Rd. 416-922-2014, alliance-francaise.ca.
Le Nozze Di Figaro by WA Mozart (Opera by Request). A concert version of the popular wedding opera is performed. Jan 31 at 7:30 pm. $20. College Street United Church, 454 College. 416-455-2365, operabyrequest.ca.
**Of Mice and Morro and Jasp by Heather Marie Annis and Amy Lee (U.N.I.T. Productions). The clown sisters take on John Steinbeck’s Depression-era tale of migrant workers seeking their dreams. Previews Jan 28. Opens Jan 29 and runs to Feb 8, Tue-Sun 8 pm, mat Thu 1 pm, Sat 2 pm. $25, stu/srs $20, preview pwyc. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, morroandjasp.com.
The Portkey (Centre for Indigenous Theatre). Storyweaving presentation by students about theatrical portals found through the character of the trickster. Jan 31-Feb 1 at 8 pm. $10/pwyc. Daniels Spectrum, Aki Studio Theatre, 585 Dundas E. indigenoustheatre.com.
The Princess and the Pea by Dave B Harris and Sue Plyte (Nags Players). A prince must decide between love and royal duty in this traditional English pantomime. Opens Jan 23 and runs to Feb 1, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 1:30 pm. $12-$20. Tranzac, 292 Brunswick. nagsplayers.com.
Ravenscroft by Don Nigro (Sterling Studio Theatre). A brilliant detective looks for the truth about a mysterious death and about himself in this dark comedy. Previews Jan 29. Opens Jan 30 and runs to Feb 8, Tue-Sun 8 pm. $20, preview $15. 163 Sterling, unit 5. sterlingstudiotheatre.com.
The School for Lovers: Highlights From Così Fan Tutte (Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre). Artists of the COC Ensemble Studio perform highlights of the Mozart opera. Jan 28 at noon. Free. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. coc.ca.
Scotland Road by Jeffrey Hatcher (Amicus Productions). A young woman in 19th-century clothing is found on an iceberg 75 years after the sinking of the Titanic in this psychodrama. Opens Jan 30 and runs to Feb 8, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun (and Feb 8) at 2 pm. $22, srs $20, stu $18. Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery. 416-860-6176, amicusproductions.ca.
Scots Wha’ Hae (Bobolink Entertainment). This Robbie Burns Day concert features songs and poems with host RH Thomson. Feb 1 at 8 pm. $tba. Rosedale United Church, 159 Roxborough. 416-854-5426.
Shine Cabaret (Crowning Monkey). Clown, poetry, music and more with Christel Bartelse, Alex Eddington, Lukas Stark and others. Jan 31-Feb 1 at 8:10 pm. $15-$20. DANZoN Studio, 2480 Dundas W, suite 104. 647-701-0736, facebook.com/events/579791235425320.
Sweet Charity: The Musical Adventures of a Girl Who Just Wants to be Loved by Neil Simon, Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields (UC Follies Theatre Company). A dancer seeks true love in 60s New York City. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 8, Thu-Fri 8 pm, Sat Feb 1 at 6 pm, Feb 8 at 2 and 8 pm. $25, stu/srs $12. Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.
**Swell Broad/The Homemaker by Brooke Banning/Laura Anne Harris (Convection Productions/Peanut Butter People). Harris directs a play about an unlikely rendezvous and performs her solo cabaret in this double bill. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 9, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm. $20, stu $15. The Downstage, 798 Danforth, brownpapertickets.com/event/546366.
Tapestry Songbook (Tapestry New Opera). The next generation of opera stars perform a showcase of excerpts. Feb 1 at 7:30 pm. $25. Ernest Balmer Studio, 9 Trinity, suite 316. tapestryopera.com.
This Clement World by Cynthia Hopkins (Theatre Centre Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Performance Series). This cross-disciplinary work fuses music, film and performance to look at the global climate crisis. Opens Jan 29 and runs to Feb 2, Wed-Sun 7:30 pm. $25-$30. The Great Hall, Black Box Theatre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, theatrecentre.org.
Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Alborn (Down n’ Out Productions). A man reunites with his former professor, who is battling Lou Gehrig’s disease. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 12, daily at 6 pm (no shows Feb 7-8), mat Sun 2 pm. $65 (Winterlicious dinner show), Sun pwyc (show only). Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen W. 416-597-0227, campbellhousemuseum.ca.
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.
**Listings based on NOW stage listings.