Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of August 29th.
The summer comes to an end at last, and we’re bidding it goodbye with a new batch of theatre opening in the city this week! In addition to more traditional fare, we’ve got Chekov installations, radio plays and buskerfests, and even one play staged inside a shipping container! If you’re having trouble deciding, then never fear: editor Samantha is here to pick her particular favourites in red text. Check them out under the cut.
Already Reviewed by Mooney on Theatre:
Matilda: the Musical by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin (Mirvish/Royal Shakespeare Company/The Dodger). A gifted girl uses her imagination and sharp mind to fight against the cruel and cynical people in her life in this musical based on the novel by Roald Dahl. Opens Jul 5 and runs to Oct 16, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm. mat Wed, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm (no performances Sep 6-11). $38-$139. Show Info.
Luzia by Daniele Finzi Pasca and Julie Hamelin Finzi (Cirque du Soleil). Acrobats, musicians, dancers, storytellers and more are used to tell a story inspired by the monarch butterfly’s journey from Canada to Mexico. Opens Jul 28 and runs to Oct 2, see website for schedule. $49 & up. Show Info.
Killer Tunes. Presented by Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre. Music superstars gather at an awards show in this interactive dinner theatre whodunnit. July 8 to Sep 17, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm (dinner from 6:30 pm), see website for matinees. $45-$87. Show Info.
Shakespeare in High Park: Hamlet. Canadian Stage and the York University Dept of Theatre present the annual outdoor theatre gig. The classic tale of betrayal, revenge and murder is performed outdoors. Previews from Jun 30, opens Jul 14 and runs to Sep 3, Tue, Thu & Sat 8 pm (All’s Well That Ends Well runs on Wed, Fri & Sun to Sep 4). Pwyc, $20 suggested; advance premium reserved seats $25. At the Amphitheatre. Show Info.
Shakespeare in High Park: All’s Well that Ends Well. Canadian Stage and the York University Dept of Theatre present the annual outdoor theatre gig. The bed-trick romantic comedy is performed outdoors. Previews from Jul 1, opens Jul 15 and runs to Sep 4, Wed, Fri & Sun 8 pm. (Hamlet runs on Tue, Thu & Sat to Sep 3). Pwyc, $20 suggested; advance premium reserved seats $25. At the Amphitheatre. Show Info.
Thank You For Being a Friend (Joseph Patrick/LOT). Dorothy, Sophia, Rose and Blanche of TV’s Golden Girls take the stage in puppet form in this tribute show. Opens Jul 29 and runs to Sep 24, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Tue, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm. $60-$80. Show Info.
Shakesbeer: The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). Classical Theatre Project presents a comedic play in a tavern setting. This comedic romp through a medley of the Bard’s works is performed in a tavern setting alongside buskers, musicians and more. Opens Jul 27 and runs to Aug 31, Wednesdays 6:30 & 9 pm. $29-$59. Live jazz by Django Futuro. Show Info.
West Side Story by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim (LOT). A young man falls in love with a rival gang member’s sister in this musical. Opens Aug 11 and runs to Sep 18, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 3:30 pm. $55-$65. Show Info.
And the rest:
Taking the A Train Uptown Manhattan — Harlem by Albert Schultz (Soulpepper Theatre Concert Series). This musical revue looks at one of America’s most vibrant and culturally rich neighbourhoods from 1905 up to the present. Aug 26-Sep 3, Fri 7:30 pm, mat Sep 3 at 1:30 pm. $25-$69. Show Info.
The 39 Steps. Adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by Patrick Buchan (Soulpepper Theatre). An everyday man is thrust in a mysterious romance and dangerous manhunt in this comedy whodunit. Previews from Jul 21, opens Aug 3 and runs to Sep 3, see website for schedule. $32-$96. Show Info.
The Cherry Orchard: An Installation. Runaway Hotel Kollectiv). Segments from the second act of Anton Chekhov’s comedy are performed in parks and public spaces around the city in this busking show. Aug 11-31, see website for dates, times and locations. Pwyc. Show Info.
Milf Life Crisis. Anne Marie Scheffler performs her hit comedic solo play about mid-life dating after divorce. Opens Aug 30 and runs to Sep 10, Tue-Sat at 8 pm. $20. Show Info.
Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare (Shakespeare in the Ruff). The romantic tragedy is performed outdoors. Previews from Aug 16, opens Aug 20 and runs to Sep 4, Tue-Sun 8 pm. Pwyc. Show Info.
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (73H Productions/the Howland Company). A broken Southern family struggles to fulfill their dreams on the eve of WWII. Opens Aug 31 and runs to Sep 11, Tue-Sat 8 pm (and Sep 4), mat Sep 10-11 at 2 pm. $25-$30 (arts workers $15-$20). Show Info.
The Container by Clare Bayley (Theatre Fix). Five migrants who paid to be smuggled into England try to survive their journey in this site-specific play being performed inside a shipping container outside the theatre. Previews from Aug 31, opens Sep 4 and runs to Sep 18, Thu and Fri 6 & 9 pm, Sat and Sun 3 & 6 pm, plus Aug 31 at 6 pm, Sep 7 at 9 pm. $39-$44 stu $29-$34, previews $25. Warning: Confined space, dark, mature language and subject matter. THE CONTAINER is performed inside a restricted space that is neither accessible nor suitable for those with claustrophobia. EXTREMELY limited seating. Show Info.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (Ashkenaz Festival and Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre). The classic play about the quest for the American dream is performed in Yiddish with English surtitles. Opens Aug 31 and runs to Sep 8, Wed-Fri 8 pm, Sat 2 pm. $36, stu $18. In the Studio Theatre. Show Info.
The Five People You Meet in Hell: Episode 1 by Stephanie Cooke and Billy Seguire (Very Radio Much Play). An average guy dies unexpectedly and revisits his life with his caseworker from Hell in this 6-part radio play, performed monthly. Aug 31 at 8 pm (doors/opening acts from 7 pm). $5/pwyc. Show Info.
Ice Age on Ice (Stage Entertainment/Twentieth Century Fox). Characters from the animated movie franchise perform live on an ice rink. Sep 2-4, Fri 3-7 pm, Sat 11 am, 3 & 7 pm, Sun 11 am & 3 pm. $25-$75. Show Info.
Toronto International Buskerfest for Epilepsy. This festival of music, dance and European street theatre features comedians, contortionists, fire jugglers, musicians, acrobats, clowns, daredevils, street food and more. The new Be A Busker Zone is an interactive area for kids to get some hands-on experience in a few of the many arts that buskers perform. There will also be games, face painting and other kids’ activities. Performers include new acts Ace-K from Japan, Cirque No Problem from Israel, Dr Bubblito from Mexico, returning acts The Budapest Marionettes, Pancho Libre and Throw 2 Catch, and local acts The Silver Starlets, Fireguy and many more. Sep 2-5: Fri noon-11 pm, Sat 11 am-11 pm, Sun-Mon 11 am-8 pm. Admission by donation (supports Epilepsy Toronto). Show Info.
Mordidabnormalme by Shea Wojtus and Nora Smith (The Figgy Figs). This comedic play looks at what it’s like to grow up with a morbid, abnormal and persistent fear of your own mortality. Sep 2-3, Fri 8:30 pm, Sat 2 & 7 pm. $17, stu/srs $12. Show Info.
We Keep Coming Back. Created by Michael Rubenfeld and Sarah Garton Stanley with Mary Berchard and Katka Reszke-Grünberg (Ashkenaz Festival/Koffler Centre of the Arts). A mother and son who are descendants of Holocaust survivors go to Poland in the hopes of finding their lost identity and mending their own fractured relationship. Sep 3 at 8:30 pm. $24, adv $20. In the Studio Theatre. Show Info.
Listings based primarily on NOW! Stage Listings.