Well, with September 21st over with, it’s now the true beginning of autumn! Start the season off right with some theatre. Here’s our list of the shows playing in Toronto this week. Anything in red with two asterisks before it comes highly recommended by our Editor, Mike.
Already Covered By MoT…
**Aromas by Andrew Faiz (The Junes Company). A woman searching for her identity gains insight from an escort in a parallel realm in this drama. Opens Sep 18 and runs to Oct 4, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $23. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. 416-845-9411, aromastheplay.com.
Freda And Jem’s Best Of The Week by Lois Fine (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). This play about a lesbian couple and their kids looks at how queer culture approaches family issues. Previews Sep 13-17. Opens Sep 18 and runs to Oct 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. Pwyc-$37. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
Glenn by David Young (Soulpepper Theatre). Two versions of Bach’s Goldberg Variations frame this look at iconic Canadian artist Glenn Gould. Previews Aug 26-Sep 1. Opens Sep 2 and runs to Oct 4, see website for schedule. $29-$74, rush $5-$23.Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
Hedwig And The Angry Inch by John Cameron Mitchell (Lower Ossington Theatre). An East German transgender rocker moves to America to start a band and find love. Opens Sep 11 and runs to Sep 27, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $50. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
The Importance Of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (Hart House Theatre). Two bachelors’ lies catch up with them in this farcical satire. Opens Sep 19 and runs to Oct 4, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Oct 4 at 2 pm. $28, srs $17, stu $10-$15. 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, harthousetheatre.ca.
**KURIOS – Cabinet Of Curiosities by Michel Laprise (Cirque du Soleil). The Seeker looks to his curio cabinet to give him access to a secret, invisible world in this show featuring acrobatics, music, dance and design. Opens Aug 28 and runs to Oct 26, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5 pm, mat Sat 4:30 pm, Sun 1:30 pm. $60-$160, stu/srs/child from $50. Grand Chapiteau Tent, Port Lands, Commissioners at Cherry. cirquedusoleil.com/kurios.
Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker (Out of Joint/Mirvish). A lieutenant stages a play with a cast of convicts and marines on Britain’s new penal colony in 1789 Australia. Previews Sep 13-20. Opens Sep 21 and runs to Oct 26, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $25-$99. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
**Retreat by Kat Sandler (Theatre Brouhaha). Four interns fight to the death to turn their unpaid positions into real jobs in this satire. Opens Sep 18 and runs to Sep 28, Wed-Sun 8 pm, mat Sun 2 pm. $20-$25. The Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor W. secureaseat.com.
Richard III, The Pleasures Of Violence based on text by William Shakespeare (Kadozuke Kollektif/Bad New Days). Performance and film are combined to explore the passion, violence and disaster that surrounds the three York brothers, Edward, Clarence and Richard. Previews Sep 9. Opens Sep 11 and runs to Sep 28, Thu-Sun 7:30 pm. $35. Zuke Studio, 1581 Dupont. zuke.ca.
A Tender Thing by Ben Power (Soulpepper Theatre). An elderly Romeo and Juliet reminisce on their lives together in this re-working of Shakespeare’s text. Previews Aug 14-18. Opens Aug 19 and runs to Oct 1, see website for schedule. $29-$74, rush $5-$23. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.
**Wicked by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman (Mirvish). The hit musical about the backstory of The Wizard Of Oz returns. Previews Sep 3. Opens Sep 4 and runs to Nov 2, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 1:30 pm. $36-$139. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
Woyzeck by Georg Büchner (UC Follies). A poor soldier is driven to insanity and violence by exploitation and societal stress. Previews Sep 17 at 7:30 pm. Opens Sep 18 and runs to Sep 27, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm (no show Sep 20). $15, stu $10, preview $7. University College, Quadrangle, 15 King’s College Circle. 416-978-8849, ucfolliestheatre.ca.
And the rest…
American Buffalo by David Mamet (Unit 102 Actor’s Company). Three small-time hustlers try to achieve the American Dream through a poorly planned coin heist. Opens Sep 21 and runs to Oct 4, Sep 22-27 and 30, and Oct 1-4, all shows 8 pm. $20-$25, pwyc Sep 24 and 30 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. unit102theatre.com.
Bloody Family by Philip McKee and Tanja Jacobs (Theatre Centre). This adaptation of the ancient Greek tragedy The Oresteia looks at a family ripped apart by idealism. Previews Sep 26. Opens Sep 27 and runs to Oct 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20-$30. 1115 Queen W. 416-538-0988, theatrecentre.org.
**The Book Of Mormon by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone (Mirvish). Two naive missionaries go to a volatile region in Uganda in this religious satire musical. Previews Sep 16. Opens Sep 17 and runs to Nov 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm (Sep 17 at 7 pm), Sun 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm, Sun 1:30 pm. $49-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
The Bootlegger’s Wife by Victoria Murdoch (Savory Entertainment). This historical drama tells the story of Bessie Starkman, who joined with her lover Rocco Perri to build Canada’s biggest rum-running operation. Sep 26-28, Fri 9 pm, Sat 7 pm, Sun 2 pm. $15. Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas E. bootleggerswife.com.
Culture Moves You! Dance Matters and YMI Dancing presents a multi-generational interactive dance performance as part of Culture Days. Sep 26 at 6 and 7 pm. Free. Pia Bouman School for Ballet, 6 Noble. dancematters.ca/Culture_Moves_You.html.
elsewhere Harbourfront NextSteps and DanceWorks Five dancers from Heidi Strauss’s adelheid company explore how what happens to us leaves traces on our bodies, our gestures and the space between. Sep 25-27, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $19-$37. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
Escape From Happiness by George F Walker (Alumnae Theatre Company). A bizarre event in a dysfunctional family prompts an incident of brutality in this dark comedy. Opens Sep 26 and runs to Oct 11, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, Wed 2-for-1, Sun pwyc. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.com.
The Fine Art Of The Masque, A Salon (Toronto Masque Theatre). This salon features informal chat and performances. Sep 22 at 7:30 pm. $15-$20. TMT Atrium, 21 Shaftesbury. 416-410-4561, torontomasquetheatre.com.
**Gay Play Day: LGBTQ Theatre Festival (Gay Play Day). Short plays and solo pieces by local LGBTQ writers, including Megan Hutton, Josh Downing, Warren Wagner and others. Sep 26-27, Fri-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 3 pm. $15. Alumnae Theatre, Studio, 70 Berkeley. gayplayday.blogspot.ca.
Ghost Of The Tree by Charles Robertson (Bottle Tree Productions). This solo show exposes the lives and stories of seven women, revealing the shocking secrets of their family tree. Sep 22 at 10 pm. Pwyc. Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 the Esplanade. 416-864-9996, abclub.ca.
Life, Death And The Blues by Raoul Bhaneja (Theatre Passe Muraille/Hope and Hell Theatre). This concert/theatre hybrid combines autobiography, interviews and live music to explore the power, passion and meaning of the blues. Previews Sep 25-28. Opens Oct 1 and runs to Oct 19, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm (and Sep 30), mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $17-$38. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.
The Little Mermaid Jr. by Alan Menken and Doug Wright (Lower Ossington Theatre). The Disney Broadway production is adapted for younger audiences. Opens Sep 20 and runs to Oct 5, Fri 7 pm, Sat-Sun 11 am & 2:30 pm. $30-$50. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (Single Thread Theatre Company). The romantic comedy gets a site-specific staging at the historic house and gardens. Opens Sep 10 and runs to Sep 27, Wed-Sat 8 pm (no show Sep 17 and 24). $25. Spadina Museum, 285 Spadina Rd. singlethread.ca.
Murder At The Burlesque: Episode 2 (The Social Capital/Red Herring). This four-part serial incorporates burlesque performances into a hard-boiled detective story. Sep 26 at 8 pm (and Oct 31 and Nov 28). $15. The Social Capital, 154 Danforth. eventbrite.ca/e/12434721587.
The Muted Note Susanna Hood and Scott Thomson perform music and dance based on the poetry of PK Page. Sep 27 at 8 pm. Pwyc. Gerrard Art Space, 1390 Gerrard E. gerrardartspace.ca.
Paride ed Elena by CW Gluck (Essential Opera). The epic love story of Paris and Helen of Troy is told in this Italian opera. Sep 27 at 8 pm. $25, stu/srs $20. Trinity St. Paul’s Church, 427 Bloor W. essentialopera.com.
Past Perfect by Michel Tremblay (Théâtre français de Toronto). A young woman pursues an epic love affair, but finds heartache. Performed in French with English surtitles for some shows. Previews Sep 24-25. Opens Sep 26 and runs to Oct 5, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 3:30 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $28-$57, Wed pwyc, Sat rush $20. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.
Pinkalicious The Musical by Elizabeth Kann, Victoria Kann and John Gregor (Vital Theatre). A girl turns pink after eating too many cupcakes in this family musical. Opens Jun 22 and runs to Oct 26, Sun 1 pm. $30-$40. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. lowerossingtontheatre.com.
rehearsal/performance Ame Henderson presents live rehearsals as part of her residency at the AGO and in preparation for a Nuit Blanche event. Opens Aug 27 from 6 to 8 pm. Sep 10 from 6 to 8 pm. Sep 24 from 6 to 8 pm. Oct 2 from 6 to 8 pm. Free. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas W. 416-979-6648, ago.net/ame-henderson.
Rob Ford the Musical: Birth Of A Ford Nation by Brett McCaig and Anthony Bastianon (McCaig Regan Productions). The GTA mayor ruffles the ruling elite and goes on a journey from rock star to rehab to redemption. Previews Sep 16-17. Opens Sep 18 and runs to Sep 28, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $35-$40. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, robfordthemusical.com.
Sinful Sundays (Music City North/Great Canadian Burlesque). The weekly burlesque series features Ella Citron, Teresa Lombardi, Honey Fury and Pretty Penny. Sep 28 at 10:30 pm. Pwyc. Cherry Cola’s Rock N’ Rolla, 200 Bathurst. dollyberlin.com.
**Starry Notions (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Ryan G Hinds begins his residency at Buddies with a cabaret backed by a trio of musicians. Sep 28 at 8 pm. $15. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
The Stray Dog Salon (Soulpepper Cabaret Series). Mongrel mix of music, poetry and theatre with David Sereda, David Gray, Colleen Allen and Anne Michaels. Sep 27 at 8:30 pm. $20, stu $15. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.
TUDS: Festival Of Urban Dance Culture Gadfly presents professional shows, all-star battles, workshops, panel discussions and more. Opens Sep 24 and runs to Sep 28, see website for schedule. $20-$45. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. tuds.gadfly.ca.
Twist & Shout (Famous People Players). Memories of Dick Clark, juke boxes, drive-in movies and early rock ‘n’ roll are part of this all-ages black-light theatre show. Opens Aug 25 and runs to Oct 25, see website for schedule. $40-$65. 343 Evans. 416-532-1137, fpp.org.
Voices In The Valley by Kathleen Payne (Words in Motion). This walking outdoor play looks at three historical figures who lived in the Don Valley through three different centuries. Opens Aug 31 and runs to Sep 28, Sun 2 pm (Sep 21 and 27 at 12:30 and 2:30 pm). Pwyc. Todmorden Mills, 67 Pottery. wordsinmotion.ca.
Play Listings Based on NOW! Stage Listings