There’s a lot of great theatre going on in Toronto for the week of May 19th, 2014. And you’ve got an extra weekend day (today, that is) to go see some of it! ** Shows marked with the double asterisks and in red are the ones that make Samantha, our Editor, wish there were more hours in a day so she could check all of them out.
Already Covered by MoT…
Avenue Q by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty (Lower Ossington Theatre). A college grad moves to NYC and copes with grown-up problems in this adult musical puppet play. Opens Apr 10 and runs to Jun 1, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm, Sun 4 pm. $49-$59. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Bingo! by Daniel MacIvor (Factory Theatre). Drinking games and fear of life in their 40s drive the actions of five friends at their high school reunion. Previews May 3-7, Sat and Tue-Wed 8 pm, Sun 7 pm. Opens May 8 and runs to Jun 1, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $30-$45, previews $23, Sun pwyc. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
Don Quichotte by Jules Massenet (Canadian Opera Company). This romantic French take on Spain’s greatest literary hero features FerruccioFurlanetto in the title role. Opens May 9 and runs to May 24, May 9, 14, 17, 20 and 22 at 7:30 pm, May 11 at 2 pm, May 24 at 4:30 pm. $12-$332. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
**A God In Need Of Help by Sean Dixon (Tarragon Theatre). In 1606, four Catholics carrying a holy painting across the Alps are attacked by Protestant zealots and attribute their escape to divine intervention. Previews Apr 16-22. Opens Apr 23 and runs to May 25, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $21-$53, 8 pm, ltd rush $13. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Contractions by Mike Bartlett (Red One Theatre Collective). A ruthless office manager grills an employee about a policy breach in this dark comedy. Opens May 8 and runs to May 25, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20. The Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor W. redonetheatre.com.
Hedwig And The Angry Inch by John Cameron Mitchell (Lower Ossington Theatre). An East German transgender musician moves to America to start a rock band and find love. Opens Apr 17 and runs to Jun 7, Thu-Fri 8 pm, Sat 8 and 11 pm. $49. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
**The Last Confession by Roger Crane (Mirvish). This thriller explores the mystery shrouding the sudden death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. Previews Apr 19-26. Opens Apr 27 and runs to Jun 1, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $35-$119. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
**The Last Seven Steps Of Bartholomew S. by Daniele Bartolini (Bata Shoe Museum). A mysterious voyager brings change to the places he visits and individuals he encounters. May 24-25, Sat-Sun 7 pm. $50, rush $20. 327 Bloor W. 416-979-7799, batashoemuseum.ca.
The Lion King by Elton John, Tim Rice and Roger Allers (Mirvish). The musical based on the Disney film returns. Previews Apr 30. Opens May 1 and runs to Jun 15, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 6:30 pm, mat Sun 1 pm, Sat 1:30 pm (see website for more dates/exceptions). $35-$155.Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
Of Human Bondage by Vern Thiessen (Soulpepper). W Somerset Maugham’s novel is adapted for the stage in a tale of loss, lust, obsession and the pursuit of beauty. Previews Apr 15-23. Opens Apr 24 and runs to May 24, see website for schedule. $29-$74, rush $5-$23. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
**The Road To Mecca by Athol Fugard (Soulpepper). A widow turns her property into an eccentric art installation in a conservative South African village in this drama about intolerance and the need for self-expression. Previews Apr 30-May 3. Opens May 5 and runs to May 28, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mat Wed & Sat 2 pm. $29-$74, rush $5-$23. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
**Roberto Devereux by Gaetano Donizetti (Canadian Opera Company). Jealousy and intrigue run through Queen Elizabeth’s court when her love interest falls for the Duchess of Nottingham. Opens Apr 25 and runs to May 21, Apr 25, 29, May 3, 15 and 21 at 7:30 pm, May 10 at 4:30 pm, May 18 at 2:30 pm. $12-$332. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
Vitals by Rosamund Small (Outside the March/Theatre PasseMuraille). A Toronto paramedic deals with life, death and bureaucracy in this show based on interviews with EMS workers. Previews Apr 29-30. Opens May 1 and runs to Jun 1, Tue-Sun 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25-$30. Starts at Roncesvalles & Garden Aves, 149 Roncesvalles.416-504-7529, outsidethemarch.ca.
And the rest…
Back End Burlesque (Red Herring Productions). Daytona Bitch hosts a showcase of burlesque, boylesque, drag, circus and more. Mar 19 at 9 pm. Apr 16 at 9 pm. May 21 at 9 pm. Jun 18 at 9 pm. $10. Crews/Tango, 508 Church. aprofessionaldistraction.com.
The Company We Keep (Theatre 20). The cast of Theatre 20’s production of Company perform. May 25 at 7 pm. $25.Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge. theatre20.com.
Confessions Of A Fairy’s Daughter by Alison Wearing (Eden Mills Writers’ Festival/the Bookshelf). Wearing performs her musical monologue about growing up with a gay dad in the 1980s. May 23 at 8 pm. $12-$18.Ebar, 41 Quebec. ticketbreak.com/event_details/7408.
Dead Metaphor by George F Walker (Mirvish). A soldier returning from Afghanistan settles for a job with a crusading politician in this dark comedy. Previews May 21-22. Opens May 23 and runs to Jun 8, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm (no show May 25), mat Sat-Sun 2 pm (and May 21). $19-$79. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
Doored 15 (Life of a Craphead). This monthly performance showcase features Chris Boni, Sara Hennessey and others. May 19 at 8 pm. $7. Double Double Land, 209 Augusta. eventbrite.ca/e/11573218809.
Dreaming Of Rob Ford by Mike Daisey (Crow’s Theatre/East End Performance Crawl). Daisey performs his solo show about how we construct fame, who we’re really laughing at and what it means when we play the fool. May 21-23, Wed-Fri 8 pm. $40. Big Picture Cinema, 1035 Gerrard E. crowstheatre.com.
**East End Performance Crawl (Crow’s Theatre). Theatrical fest featuring Mike Daisey’s Dreaming Of Rob Ford, TEASE at Jilly’s, the Soulo Festival, storytelling and more. Opens May 21 and runs to Jun 1, see website for schedule and prices. Various venues on Queen East from Broadview to Greenwood. crowstheatre.com.
The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher (Redheaded Coffeshop Girl/Red One Theatre Collective). Staged reading of the Star Wars classic reimagined by William Shakespeare. May 21 at 7 pm. $10-$15.The Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor W. secureaseat.com.
**Freeway Strangler by Christian Canterbury (The Box Studio/StraeonFilmworksInc). Four Hollywood actors pursue love and fame while a serial killer terrorizes L.A. Opens May 22 and runs to Jun 8, Thu-Sun 8 pm. $20. The Box Studio, 89 Niagara. brownpapertickets.com/event/688046.
Fringe Kitchen Party: BBQ Edition (Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival). This funder for the festival is hosted by chef Matty Matheson and features dinner, a dance performance, DJ party and more. May 22 at 7 pm. $95.The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst.416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.
The Kids From Brooklyn (Beth Tzedec Congregation). Cantor Simon Spiro and the Manhat-tones perform a revue celebrating the songs of Neil Sedaka, Carole King and other Jewish songwriters. May 21 at 7:30 pm. $39-$128.Toronto Centre for the Arts, George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge. tocentre.com.
**Love And Human Remains by Brad Fraser (Witchboy Theatre). Frustrated young adults look for sex and love while a serial killer roams the city. Opens May 21 and runs to Jun 7, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $20. Unit 102, 376 Dufferin. witchboytheatre.com.
Magic @ The Cage (Abracadabaret). Magicians, mind readers and mystery entertainers perform weekly magic and comedy. Opens Mar 4 and runs to Jun 29, Sun and Tue 7 pm. $15-$20. The Cage 292, Crimson Lounge, 292 College. 416-995-1736, abracadabaret.com/cage.
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.
Mindful Martinis (Elaine Smookler). Performer Smookler presents music and stories to help you stop and breathe. May 22 at 6:30 pm. Jun 24 at 6:30 pm. $15-$20. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen W. eventbrite.com/e/11283875375.
**Paleoncology by Kira Hall (Moon Dinosaur Theatre). A woman deals with her brother’s terminal illness by taking up a hobby in this solo play. May 24-25, Sat-Sun 8 pm, mat Sun 2 pm. $10, mat pwyc. Videofag, 187 Augusta. kirahall.com.
Pinkalicious by Elizabeth Kann, Victoria Kann and John Gregor (Vital Theatre). A girl turns pink after eating too many cupcakes in this family musical. Opens Mar 30 and runs to May 25, Sun 1 pm. $29.50-$39.50. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, pinkaliciousthemusical.com/toronto.
Ranevskaya And The Seamstress by Polly Phokeev (Theatre Double Take). Reading of a new play about a group of people working at a theatre in 1939 Moscow. May 21 at 8 pm. Pwyc. lemonTree Studio, 196 Spadina. theatredoubletake.com.
Rent by Jonathan Larson (Lower Ossington Theatre). NYC artists struggle to make ends meet in the shadow of the AIDS epidemic in this musical. Opens Apr 3 and runs to Jun 8, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm, Sun 4 pm. $49-$59. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
The Shakespeare Challenge: Twelfth Night (Shakespeare in Action). Ten amateur actors perform an abridged version of the play as part of this annual fundraiser for youth in priority neighbourhoods. May 21 at 7 pm. $75. Arts & Letters Club, 14 Elm. shakespeareinaction.org.
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. Mar 17-Jun 30, Mon 10 pm. Free. Statler’s, 487 Church. 416-922-0487.
SOULO Theatre Festival (SoulOTheatre). Performances of one-person shows by Sage Tyrtle, Rachelle Eli, SébastienHeins, Martha Chaves and others, plus panels and workshops. May 22-25, see website for schedule. $15, opening night $50; panels & workshops $20. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. soulo.ca.
Stars Of David based on a book by Abigail Pogrebin (Harold Green Jewish Theatre/Angelwalk Theatre). The book about Jewish identity based on interviews with Gloria Steinem, Leonard Nimoy, Fran Drescher and others is adapted to a musical production. Previews May 10-13, Sat and Tue 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. Opens May 14 and runs to Jun 1, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, mat Thu 1 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25-$65. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge.416-733-0545, hgjewishtheatre.com.
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.
UmraoYasmin, A New Beginning by YasminVirani (Tpark Entertainment). Virani performs her solo show about faith, love and artistry, inspired by the Bollywood film UmraoJaan. May 23 at 7 pm. $25.Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 9 Trinity, studio 313. yviraniboxoffice.blogspot.ca.
Watching Glory Die by Judith Thompson (Canadian Rep Theatre). Thompson performs in her solo show about three women linked by shared helplessness in the face of tragedy. Previews May 15-16. Opens May 17 and runs to Jun 1, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $30-$42, previews $18. Berkeley Street Theatre, Upstairs, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianrep.ca.
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.
**Play listings based on NOW stage listings.