Shows That Caught Our Eye This Week
It’s easy to think of February as a less-than-awesome month. There are no holidays except for Valentine’s Day (which can be a bit of an unhappy day for a lot of folks, and a very stressful one even for people who are in relationships). But this February, you’re going to have more fun, because you’re going to see a lot of theatre! And these are the shows playing in Toronto for the start of the month. Anything highlighted in red with two asterisks comes highly recommended by our Managing Editor, Wayne.
Already Covered By MoT…
Don Giovanni by WA Mozart (Canadian Opera Company). A womanizing nobleman meets his match in this classic opera. Sung in Italian with English subtitles. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Feb 21, see website for schedule. $22-$424. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts 145 Queen W. http://coc.ca/
The Heart of Robin Hood by David Farr (Mirvish). Robin and his crew steal from the rich and keep it for themselves until Marion steps up for the poor in this version of the tale. Previews Dec 23-Jan 6, 2015. Opens Jan 14 and runs to Mar 1, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 1:30 pm. $35-$130. Royal Alexandra Theatre 260 King W. http://mirvish.com/
Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl (The Empty Room). A girl admired for her “beautiful sadness” becomes happy, disappointing her followers. Opens Jan 29 and runs to Feb 8, Thu-Sun 8 pm. $20-$23, stu $15-$18, opening night pwyc (limited rush one hour before show). The Collective Space 221 Sterling, Unit 5. http://empty-room.com/
Ntu and Skwatta – DanceWorks and Harbourfront NextSteps present a double bill by South African choreographer/dancer Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe. Jan 29-31, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $19-$37. The program is comprised of two solos – NTU and Skwatta – choreographed and performed by Mantsoe, both embodying the limitless spirituality and realities of his South African homeland, brought to life through his forceful performance. Harbourfront Centre Theatre 231 Queens Quay W. http://www.danceworks.ca/
**The Other Place by Sharr White (Canadian Stage). A successful neurologist’s life seems to be falling apart, but things are not as they seem. Previews Jan 18-21, opens Jan 22 and runs to Feb 7, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Fri 7pm, mat Sat-Sun 1 pm. $30-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre 27 Front E. http://canadianstage.com/
The Seagull by Anton Chekhov (Crows Theatre/Canadian Stage). Unrequited love, dreams, family feuds and devotion to art are part of this drama set in 1890s Russia. Previews Jan 11-14, opens Jan 15 and runs to Feb 8, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun 1 pm. $22-$49.
**Waiting Room by Diane Flacks (Tarragon Theatre). A doctor embarks on a medical experiment despite the objections of his colleagues while a couple wonder if the doctor has what it takes to save their child. Previews from Jan 6, opens Jan 14 and runs to Feb 15, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm (and some Sat). $29-$55, previews $23-$27. Tarragon Theatre 30 Bridgman. http://tarragontheatre.com/
And the rest…
**Abyss by Maria Milisavljevic (Tarragon Theatre). A young woman goes missing and her family looks to her lover from a troubled region for answers. Previews from Feb 3, opens Feb 11 and runs to Mar 15, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm (and some Sat). $29-$55, previews $23-$27. In the Extraspace. Tarragon Theatre 30 Bridgman. http://tarragontheatre.com/
**Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo (Soulpepper). An anarchist arrested after a bombing in Milan falls from the 4th floor of the police station in this satirical farce. Previews Jan 29-Feb 4, opens Feb 5 and runs to Feb 21, see website for times. $29.50-$89. Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, see website for other shows/exceptions/matinees. Young Centre for the Performing Arts 50 Tank House Lane.http://soulpepper.ca/
Brazil, The Land of Tears and Soul – Newton Moraes Dance Theatre presents dance that portrays the soulful complexity of contemporary Brazilian culture. Opens Feb 4 and runs to Feb 7, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $25, stu/srs $20. Winchester Street Theatre 80 Winchester.
The Brick Bros. Circus by Puppetmongers (Solar Stage Children’s Theatre). Trained bricks performing in a one-ring circus in this all-ages puppet play. Feb 7-8 at 11 am & 2 pm. $16. Solar Stage Children’s Theatre 4950 Yonge. http://solarstage.on.ca/
**Die Walkure by Richard Wagner (Canadian Opera Company). A warrior goddess risks everything to preserve the future. Sung in German with English subtitles. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 22, see website for schedule. $22-$424. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts 145 Queen W.
**The Dining Room by AR Gurney (Soulpepper). A series of vignettes over the span of 50 years satirize the family life of bourgeois America. Preview Feb 5-11, opens Feb 12 and runs to Mar 7, see website for times. $29.50-$89. Young Centre for the Performing Arts 50 Tank House Lane. http://soulpepper.ca/
Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (St Michael’s College Troubadours). A Jewish patriarch in Russia clings to tradition in a changing world in this musical. Feb 5-7, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $12. Hart House Theatre 7 Hart House Circle. http://uofttix.ca/
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Unit 102 Actors Company/the Fresh Mint Project). The classic tragedy is presented in film noir style with suits, bourbon and fedoras. Previews Jan 21-22, opens Jan 23 and runs to Feb 7, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$25, pwyc Jan 27 & Feb 3. The Theatre Machine 376 Dufferin. http://unit102theatrecompany.com/
How Do I Love Thee? by Florence Gibson MacDonald (Canadian Rep Theatre). This play explores the role of addiction and artistic inspiration in the love story of poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. Previews Jan 31-Feb 4, opens Feb 5 and runs to Feb 22, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm (except Feb 1, at 7 pm). $35-$40, previews $20, $15 rush Sun. Berkeley Street Theatre 26 Berkeley.http://canadianrep.ca/
Love For Love by William Congreve (George Brown College School of Performing Arts). A nobleman’s son must choose between love or money in this Restoration comedy. Opens Feb 4 and runs to Feb 14, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 1:30 pm (and Feb 11). $20, srs $15, stu $8. Young Centre for the Performing Arts 50 Tank House Lane. http://youngcentre.ca/
Old Stories – Danceworks CoWorks presents choreography by Maxine Heppner that reveals public myths shared by a community of storytellers and the private world of a woman living amongst them. Feb 5-8, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun 3 pm. $20-$30. In the Scotiabank Theatre.
**Progress: International Festival of Performance and Ideas – SummerWorks and the Theatre Centre present performances, workshops and conversations featuring six international shows, six languages and five free artist workshops and talks. Feb 4-15, see website for schedule. $15-$30, some free events. Theatre Centre 1115 Queen W. http://thisisprogress.ca/
Queens Calling dance Immersion and the Kuumba Festival present a celebration of sisterhood by eight diverse female choreographers. New works and remounts by Paulette Brockington, Ghislaine Doté, Jasmyn Fyffe, Sharon Harvey, Charmaine Headley, Zab Moboungou, Michèle Moss and Alesandra Seutin. Feb 6-7, Fri-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 1 pm. $25-$30, stu $15. Harbourfront Centre Theatre 231 Queens Quay W. http://danceimmersion.ca/
The Queernote Cabaret (Festival of Original Theatre/Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, U of T). Burlesque, drag, spoken word and performance art work that is queer in methodology and content with hosts Belle Jumelles and Ryan G Hinds. Feb 5 at 8 pm. Pwyc. Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen W. http://foot2015.wordpress.com/
R-E-B-E-C-C-A by Sara Farb (Theatre Passe Muraille). A girl with developmental disabilities due to premature birth interacts with an alternate self who was born at full term in this solo piece about the randomness of fate. Previews Feb 5-8, opens Feb 10 and runs to Mar 1, see website for schedule. $17-$33. In the TPM Backspace. Theatre Passe Muraille 16 Ryerson. http://passemuraille.ca/
Sabrina Fair by Samuel Taylor (Amicus Productions). A chauffeur’s daughter returns from Paris profoundly changed and captures the eye of his employer’s son. Opens Jan 29 and runs to Feb 7, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Feb 1 and 7 at 2 pm. $22, stu/srs $20. Papermill Theatre 67 Pottery. http://amicustickets.ca/
Sleeping Beauty (Nags Players). The fairy tale is presented as a traditional English pantomime in this family show. Opens Jan 29 and runs to Feb 7, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 1:30 pm. $12-$20. Tranzac 292 Brunswick. http://nagsplayers.com/
Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind (Lower Ossington Theatre). A group of 19th-century German teens explore their budding sexuality and deal with the consequences. Opens Feb 5 and runs to Mar 1, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $50-$60. Lower Ossington Theatre 100A Ossington. http://lowerossingtontheatre.com/
**Twisted by Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman and Joseph Jomo Pierre (b current/Factory Theatre). Ollie and Nance struggle to survive on the streets of Toronto in this modern re-imagining of Oliver Twist. Previews Jan 31-Feb 4, opens Feb 5 and runs to Feb 22, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm (except Feb 1 at 7 pm). $23-$45. Factory Theatre 125 Bathurst. http://factorytheatre.ca/
The World Goes ‘Round (Scarborough Music Theatre). This show features the music and lyrics of John Kander and Fred Ebb including songs from Cabaret, Chicago and more. Opens Feb 5 and runs to Feb 21, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun (and Feb 21) at 2 pm. $25-$27. Scarborough Village Theatre 3600 Kingston Rd. http://theatrescarborough.com/
Zayo! Esie Mensah’s Black Stars – Kuumba Festival presents African and Caribbean dance fused with contemporary hip-hop and house dance forms. Feb 7 at 8 pm, Feb 8 at 4 pm. Free. Harbourfront Centre Theatre 231 Queens Quay W.
Play Listings Based on NOW! Stage Listings