They say that variety is the spice of life. But, I mean, who has the time to go out and buy a whole bunch of different spices to make their life more exciting? No thanks. If you’re like me, and you’d rather find variety of a more dramatic fashion, Toronto’s got a few shows playing this week that’ll give you a lot of variety for only a little bit of cash. So save yourself the trip to the spice store, and go see some Cheap Theatre!
Big Ideas (Alumnae Theatre). Staged readings of works-in-progress by Chloe Whitehorn, Ramona Baillie, Mairy Beam and others. Opens May 13 and runs to May 16, Tue-Fri 8 pm. Free. Studio, 70 Berkeley. alumnaetheatre.com/WP/shows/big-ideas.
May One Acts (Sterling Studio Theatre). This festival focuses on a different playwright each week. Week 1 (May 6-11): James McClure. Week 2 (May 13-18): Woody Allen. Week 3: (May 19-25): John Patrick Shanley. Opens May 6 and runs to May 25, Tue-Sun 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm (no show May 19). $20, mat pwyc. 163 Sterling. sterlingstudiotheatre.com.
Spring Into Song: Selections From Broadway’s Best (Etobicoke Musical Productions). This revue pays tribute to great musical theatre shows from Broadway’s history. May 16-18, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $23. The Assembly Hall, 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park. 416-248-0410, e-m-p.ca.
Toronto International Circus Festival (HarbourKIDS/Zero Gravity Circus). This all-ages weekend features aerial acrobatics, stunts, comedy, music and clowns, plus workshops and interactive kids’ programs. May 17-19, see website for schedule. Free. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, tocircusfestival.com.
WeeFestival (Theatre Direct). This theatre festival is dedicated to engaging children ages zero to six and features performances by Helios Theatre, Teotro do Biombo and others. Opens May 12 and runs to May 19, see website for schedule and venues. $10-$14. weefestival.ca.