October’s just flying by, isn’t it? Probably because it’s such a busy month for everyone. The theatres of Toronto are no exception – we have an extraordinarily high number of shows in this week’s listings, and are happy to share them with you below. Our Editor, Mike, had a few hard decisions to make – but anything highlighted in red, with two asterisks before it, comes highly recommended by him.
Already Covered By MoT…
**An Enemy Of The People by Henrik Ibsen (Tarragon Theatre). A doctor clashes with officials who want to cover up a public health risk to protect the economy. Previews Sep 16-23. Opens Sep 24 and runs to Oct 26, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $15-$53. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Brotherhood: The Hip Hopera by Sébastien Heins (b current AfteRock Plays). This solo music video tells the story of a superstar duo’s climb to success, breakup and epic reunion. Previews Oct 10-12. Opens Oct 15 and runs to Oct 25, runs in rep with The Femme Playlist, see website for schedule. $15-$50, ltd Sun pwyc. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
Evita by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Lower Ossington Theatre). Eva Duarte rises from poverty to become the Argentine president’s wife in this musical. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 23, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $50-$60. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi (Canadian Opera Company). Falstaff’s life of pleasure comes crashing down when he attempts an ill-advised seduction scheme. Opens Oct 3 and runs to Nov 1, see website for schedule. $12-$339. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
The Femme Playlist by Catherine Hernandez (b current AfteRock Plays). Hernandez uncovers the realities of living as a queer woman of colour in this multidisciplinary show. Previews Oct 11-12. Opens Oct 14 and runs to Oct 25, runs in rep with Brotherhood, see website for schedule. $15-$50, ltd Sun pwyc. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
**Helen Lawrence by Chris Haddock, Stan Douglas (Canadian Stage/Arts Club Theatre Co/Banff Centre/NAC). Vancouver struggles to reorganize itself after World War II in this drama combining visual art, theatre, live-action filming and computer-generated simulations. Previews Oct 12-15, Sun 1 pm, Tue-Wed 8 pm. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 2, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 1 pm. $30-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
Hold Mommy’s Cigarette (Shelley Marshall). Marshall performs her solo dark comedy about life, mental illness and survival. Opens Oct 1 and runs to Oct 28, 8 pm every day. $20. The Full Bawdy Loft, 290 Carlaw, unit 202. 416-821-1754, holdmommyscigarette.com.
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. $50-$160. Grand Chapiteau Tent, Port Lands, Commissioners at Cherry. cirquedusoleil.com/kurios.
Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini (Canadian Opera Company). A geisha marries an American naval officer in this tragic Italian opera. Opens Oct 10 and runs to Oct 31, see website for schedule. $12-$339. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
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.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Young People’s Theatre). Racial injustice in Depression-era Alabama is seen through the eyes of a child in this adaptation of the novel. Previews Oct 6-8. Opens Oct 9 and runs to Nov 2, see website for schedule. $15-$30. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.
What Makes A Man by Jennifer Tarver (Canadian Stage/Necessary Angel). Four actors portray different aspects of the life and songs of poet/singer Charles Aznavour. Previews Oct 5-8, Sun and Tue-Wed 8 pm. Opens Oct 9 and runs to Nov 2, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, Sat-Sun and Wed 1 pm. $15-$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
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.
And the rest…
The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow (East Side Players). This comedy whodunit is based on the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Nov 8, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $22, stu $15. Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery. 416-425-0917, eastsideplayers.ca.
Alcina by GF Handel (Opera Atelier). A sorceress collects the souls of her lovers and a Christian knight seeks to set them free in this Baroque opera. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Nov 1, see website for schedule. $38-$181. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 1-855-622-2787, operaatelier.com.
The Art Of Building A Bunker by Adam Lazarus and Guillermo Verdecchia (Factory Theatre/QuipTake). Elvis finds himself surrounded by a diverse group of characters as he endures workplace sensitivity training. Previews Oct 11-15. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 2, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $23-$45. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
**The Bakelite Masterpiece by Kate Cayley (Tarragon Theatre). An artist must prove that he forged a Vermeer painting he tried to sell in WWII-era Holland. Previews Oct 21-28. Opens Oct 29 and runs to Nov 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $15-$53. Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Bang: Les Coquettes Farewell Show (Les Coquettes). The cabaret theatre company performs a final show featuring dance, cirque, live music and elements of burlesque. Oct 26-30, Thu and Sun 7 and 10 pm. $15-$35. Revival, 783 College. lescoquettes.com.
Big City Improv Festival @ Comedy Bar Main: Bucko, Day Drunk, S&P at 8 pm; Party Hard Hard Party Duos w/ Kidz, Filthy & Squalor, 2-Man No-Show, RN & Cawls and others. 10 pm. Cabaret: Thunderbolt, Maybe Schmoopz, Corey Mathews at 8:30 pm; FOB, Troupe Name Pending, Fake Cops at 10:30 pm. Oct 20. $10-$20, festival pass $60. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. bigcityimprovfestival.com.
**30 People Watching by nisha ahuja and Amelia Sargisson (Subtle Vigilance). Teens assault a South Asian classmate in BC in this play based on the murder of Reena Virk. Previews Oct 25-26. Opens Oct 28 and runs to Nov 14, Tue-Sun 8 pm. $tba. Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas E. subtlevigilance.com.
Beef by Michael Musi (Sorry Goat Productions). A couple break up following a visit to a burger shop in this play about insecurities and acceptance. Opens Oct 21 and runs to Nov 2, Tue Oct 21 at 8 pm, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $18-$20. The Box, 89 Niagara. beeftheplay.com.
Bella: The Colour Of Love by Mary Kerr and Theresa Tova (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). Inspired by the life of Bella Chagall, this show uses words, songs and Marc Chagall’s art to look at the nature of love and creativity. Previews Oct 15-19. Opens Oct 21 and runs to Nov 2, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, mat Sun 2 pm, Wed 1 pm. $63. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-733-0545, hgjewishtheatre.com.
Big City Improv Festival @ BDT The Vote at 7 pm (free); Ladies Night at 8 pm; Golden Ages at 9:30 pm. Oct 21. $10-$20, festival pass $60. Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, 875 Bloor W. bigcityimprovfestival.com.
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, 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.
Bookworms by Bernard Farrell (Toronto Irish Players). A women’s book club experiments with inviting the husbands to the gathering, with disastrous results. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Nov 8, Thu-Sat 8 pm, 2 pm. $18-$21, opening night $50.Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley. 416-440-2888, torontoirishplayers.com.
**Concord Floral by Jordan Tannahill (Why Not Theatre/Suburban Beast). Teens flee a mysterious plague they have brought upon themselves in this re-imagining of Boccaccio’s Decameron. Previews Oct 12-15, Sun 4 pm (followed by community potluck, $10), Tue-Wed 8 pm. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Oct 26, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $15-$20. Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen W. 416-538-0988, theatrewhynot.org.
De Colores Festival Of New Works (Alameda Theatre Company). The final edition of the festival showcasing plays by Canadian Latin American artists features works-in-progress by Martha Batiz, Amanda Parris and Isaac Luy. Oct 23-24, Thu-Fri 8 pm. $15, stu $13, pass $25. Wychwood Theatre, 601 Christie. 416-504-7529, alamedatheatre.com.
Drink With Death: A Morbid Cabaret (Romana Soutus/Christopher Weatherstone). The dead rise to tell the stories of their untimely ends through songs and storytelling. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Oct 30, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $18, stu $10. Cameron House, 408 Queen W. drinkwithdeath.com.
Frankenstein’s Boy by Eric Woolfe (Eldritch Theatre). This bloody, dieselpunk, gothic romance features puppets, people and dark parlour magic. Previews Oct 23. Opens Oct 24 and runs to Nov 8, Tue-Sat 8 pm (plus late show Nov 1 at 11:30 pm), Sun 4 pm. $25. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. eldritchtheatre.ca.
**Global Cabaret Festival (Soulpepper). Cabaret-style shows by Sharron Matthews, Toronto Masque Theatre, Tiina Kiik, Ins Choi, Robert Glumbek and many others. Oct 24-26, see website for schedule. $20-$26, festival pass $63-$120. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. globalcabaret.ca.
L’Implorante & L’éternel voyage Harbourfront NextSteps, BoucharDanse and Théâtre la Tangente A piece about artist Camille Claudel and a trio about human dilemmas make up this double bill by Sylvie Bouchard. Oct 23-25, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $22.25. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
La Loca/Red Winter by Alexander Kentris/Katy Murphy (Pure Carbon). Two physical theatre pieces reimagine the stories of Joanna of Castile and Red Riding Hood as women fighting against their oppressive societies. Oct 23-26, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20. Ernest Balmer Studio, 9 Trinity, suite 315. purecarbon.ca.
Les Improbables Competitive improv en français. Blues vs Greens. Oct 21 7:30 pm. $5. Supermarket, 268 Augusta. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Les Miserables by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (Etobicoke Musical Productions). An ex-convict seeks redemption and dodges his nemesis in this musical based on the Victor Hugo novel. Opens Oct 24 and runs to Nov 2, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun 2 pm (and Nov 1). $tba. Meadowvale Theatre, 6315 Montevideo. 416-248-0410, e-m-p.ca.
Les Zinspirés 3D (Théâtre français de Toronto). Five shows written by teens and reworked and performed by professionals will be presented in French with English surtitles. Opens Oct 24 and runs to Nov 1, see website for schedule. $18-$25, limited pwyc Wed. Berkeley Street Theatre, Upstairs, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.
Lobby Hero Kenneth Lonergan (Unit 102 Actors Company). Dark comedy about futility, and the quest for standing up for what’s ‘right’. Opens Oct 22 and runs to Nov 8 8 pm, no shows Oct 26-28 and Nov 2-4. $25, adv $20, pwyc Oct 22 & 29. The Theatre Machine, 376 Dufferin. thetheatremachine.com, email@example.com.
A Moveable Feast (Volcano Theatre). Pop-up performances, art and music are part of this fundraiser for a spring 2015 opera premiere. Oct 23 at 8 pm. $75-$150. Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw. volcano.ca.
My Treasure Island!!! by Karen Woolridge (Johnson Girls). A woman reevaluates her dull life after reading Treasure Island in this adaptation of Sara Levine’s novel. Previews Oct 24-26. Opens Oct 29 and runs to Nov 16, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm (and Oct 28), mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $17-$33, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, johnsongirls.ca.
Night Of Dread (Clay & Paper Theatre). Puppets, stilt dancers and others perform and parade in an interactive exploration of our collective fears. Black & white dress code suggested. Oct 25, parade starts at 6 pm. Pwyc-$10. Dufferin Grove Park, Dufferin S of Bloor. clayandpapertheatre.org.
Onesies (Daisy Productions). Performance of four one-act comedy plays by Joe Leon, Gavin Harrison and Jen Frankel. Oct 23-26, Thu-Sat 7 pm, Sun 2 pm. $15-$20. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, daisyproductions.ca.
Rocky Horror Halloween Cabaret by Richard O’Brien (Lower Ossington Theatre). Jim Sharman’s cult-classic 1975 film is presented as an interactive musical. Costumes encouraged. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 1, Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 8 & 10 pm. $20. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Sidekicks & Secret Identities by DJ Sylvis (Monkeyman Productions). Short plays based on comics where heroes are unexpected, bystanders aren’t so innocent and sidekicks finally get their moment of glory. Opens Oct 17 and runs to Oct 26, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 3:30 pm. $15. Fraser Studios, 76 Stafford. monkeymanproductions.com.
The Skriker by Caryl Churchill (Red One Theatre Collective/Theatre Brouhaha). An ancient fairy takes on many forms as it pursues two young women. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Nov 9, see website for schedule. $15-$25. The Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor W. secureaseat.com.
The Soldier’s Tale by Igor Stravinsky (Toronto Masque Theatre/Global Cabaret Festival). A soldier’s homecoming is thwarted by an encounter with the Devil in this classic tale that combines music, dance and theatre. Oct 25-26, Sat 6:45 pm, Sun 1 pm. $20-$26. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. globalcabaret.ca.
**Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (Classical Theatre Project). The company presents a vaudevillian take on the classic comedy. Oct 22 at 7 pm. $49. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. ctptickets.com.
Twist & Shout (Famous People Players). Memories of 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.
Uplica: A Silhouette Of A Doubt Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie presents choreography by Ofilio Portillo and Apolonia Velasquez of Gadfly. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Oct 25, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $20. The Citadel, 304 Parliament. 416-364-8011, colemanlemieux.com.
Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!: Music Is Awesome The children’s TV series comes to life in an interactive musical production. Oct 23 at 6 pm. $26-$46. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front E. ticketmaster.ca.
Play listings based on NOW! Stage listings.