Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of January 22nd, 2018
With so many new shows opening on Toronto stages this week — with just as many diverse themes — you may have a hard time deciding what to see. Luckily, our publisher Megan is here to highlight a few of her top picks in red. Check them out below the cut:
Already reviewed by Mooney on theatre:
Mustard by Kat Sandler (Tarragon Theatre). A teen deals with her drinking mother and an imaginary friend who lives under her bed in this darkly comic fairy tale. Previews from Jan 3, opens Jan 4 and runs to Jan 28, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm, Wed 1:30 pm. $22-$60, rush $20. At Tarragon Theatre. Show Info.
Or Not To Be by Andrew Batten (RST). Theatre artists struggle with the question: what is the role of a lifetime? Opens Jan 11 and runs to Jan 28, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm (except Jan 13). $15-$20. Ticket links: https://beachdanforth.snapd.com/events/view/1108027 (first 7 shows) https://beachdanforth.snapd.com/events/view/1108041 (last 7 shows). At Red Sandcastle Theatre. Show Info.
Lear by William Shakespeare (Groundling Theatre). The tragic tale of an aging monarch’s loosening grip on the reigns of power and the slow, lonely descent into madness that follows. Starring Seana McKenna in the title role. Previews from Jan 9, opens Jan 12 and runs to Jan 28, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $46-$69. At Harbourfront Centre. Show Info.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Tarragon). The classic tragedy is re-examined through the lens of rock ‘n’ roll. Previews from Jan 2, opens Jan 10 and runs to Feb 11, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm (see website for Saturday and Wednesday matinees). $20-$60. At Tarragon Theatre. Show info.
The Wedding Party by Kristen Thomson (Crow’s Theatre/Talk Is Free Theatre). Comedy about two families, a wedding, mistaken identities and love. Previews from Jan 2, opens Jan 5 and runs to Jan 20, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mat Wed & Sat 2 pm. $20-$50. At The Streetcar Crowsnest. Show Info.
And everything else:
Bang Bang by Kat Sandler (Factory Theatre). A white playwright uses the police shooting of an unarmed Black man as inspiration to write a hit play that draws interest for a movie deal. Previews from Jan 27 (Sat, Tue-Wed 8 pm, Sun 7 pm), opens Feb 1 and runs to Feb 18, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $30-$50, preview $20. At Factory Theatre. Show Info.
The Drowning Girls by Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson and Daniela Vlaskalic (Mortar & Pestle Productions). The ghosts of three women murdered by the same husband tell their stories. Opens Jan 25 and runs to Feb 3, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Jan 27 at 2 pm. $15-$20 at eventbrite.ca. At Gerrard Art Space. Show Info.
The Chemical Valley Project. Broadleaf Theatre presents a play by Kevin Matthew Wong and Julia Howman. This blend of documentary-theatre, projections, object puppetry and solo performance explores environmental racism, Canada’s energy infrastructure, colonialism and Indigenous solidarity and reconciliation. Jan 27-28 Sat 2 pm, Sun 7:30 pm. $10 adv, pwyc at the door. At Theatre Passe Muraille. Show Info.
Robin & Olivia. Madeline Smith and Josh Doig present a play about love, friendship, childhood and the relationships between. A play about love, friendship, childhood and the relationships between. Jan 25-27, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. Pwyc. At The Collective Space. Show Info.
Dark Heart. Written by Genevieve Adam, directed by Tyler J. Seguin. (Thought For Food) New France, 1661. A young bride disappears into the forest. Has she run off to be with her lover, or is there something more sinister in the woods? Previews from Jan 24, opens Jan 26 and runs to Feb 11, Thu-Sun 8 pm (and Jan 24, 30 & 31). $20-$25, preview $12.50. At The Assembly Theatre. Show Info.
Brodsky / Baryshnikov (Show One Productions). This solo theatrical performance is based on the poems of Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov. An emotional journey deep into the poet’s visceral and complex compositions. Performed in Russian with English surtitles, Baryshnikov recites a selection of his long-time friend’s poignant and eloquent works. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Jan 28, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 3 pm. $45-$150. At The Winter Garden Theatre. Show Info.
Declarations by Jordan Tannahill (Canadian Stage). Five performers chronicle a life through mythology, political and environmental calamity, pop culture and everyday happenings. Previews from Jan 23, opens Jan 25 and runs to Feb 11, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, mat Wed, Sat-Sun 1 pm. $39-$69. At The Berkeley Street Theatre. Show Info.
Le Dire De Di (The Telling of Tell) by Michel Oullette (Théâtre français de Toronto/Théâtre la Catapulte). A woman’s life is disrupted by the arrival of a newcomer and her terrifying mining machines. Michel Ouellette explores a playful and poetic style of writing in which characters are shaped like poems. Jan 24-28, Wed-Fri 8 pm, Sat 3:30 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $19-$49, pwyc Wed & Thu.At The Berkeley Street Theatre. Show Info.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller (Hart House Theatre). The classic cautionary tale looks at what happens when a society allows fear, suspicion and superstitious gossip to rule over facts and reason. Opens Jan 19 and runs to Feb 3, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Feb 3 at 2 pm. $28, srs $17, stu $12-$15. At Hart House Theatre. Show Info.
Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi (Canadian Opera Company). A father’s anger and vengeance lead to murder and tragedy in this Italian opera. Opens Jan 20 and runs to Feb 23, see website for schedule. $22-$350. At The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Show Info.
How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel (Trinity College Dramatic Society). This tale of survival is seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. Jan 17-20, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $15, stu/srs $10. At George Ignatieff Theatre. Show Info.
Omission by Alice Abracen (Alumnae Theatre Company). On the eve of a papal conclave, a journalist confronts a cardinal about his activities during a military junta. Opens Jan 19 and runs to Feb 3, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $25, Wed 2-for 1, Sun pwyc. At Alumnae Theatre. Show Info.
Challenging The Sea. Written and produced by Helen Posno. This allegorical play asks if humankind can overcome its emotional debris to become more compassionate. Opens Jan 18 and runs to Jan 28, Tue-Sat 7 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25, stu/srs $22. At The Theatre Centre. Show Info.
Bears by Matthew MacKenzie (Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts/Punctuate! Theatre). Fleeing from the RCMP, a man experiences unsettling physical changes while travelling along the route of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline in this multi-disciplinary dark comedy. Opens Jan 18 and runs to Jan 27, Mon-Sat 8 pm. $25, stu/srs $17. At The Theatre Centre. Show Info.
Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett (TPM). Bob Nasmith plays Krapp reviewing tapes he made when he was younger in this solo show. Previews on Jan 17, opens on Jan 18 and runs to Jan 28, Tue-Sun 7:30 pm, mat Sun 2 pm. $20, mat pwyc at the door. At Theatre Passe Muraille. Show Info.
Minosis Gathers Hope by Christine Sokaymoh Frederick (Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts/Punctuate! Theatre). A young Métis girl dealing with abandonment, self-doubt and racism connects to the mythical figures of her grandparents’ stories. Opens Jan 15 and runs to Jan 27, Jan 15-17, 19 and 24 at 11:30 am, Jan 27 at 2 pm. $12, child $7. At The Theatre Centre. Show Info.
Calpurnia. Nightwood Theatre and Sulong Theatre present a provocative look at class, race and family dynamics by Audrey Dwyer. A screenwriter seeks to redress To Kill A Mockingbird through the perspective of Calpurnia, the Finch family maid. Previews from Jan 14, opens Jan 17 and runs to Feb 4, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $20-$35, Sun pwyc. At Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Show Info.
The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum, Harold Arlen and EY Harburg (LOT). A Kansas farm girl travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home in this musical based on the classic film. Opens Dec 8 and runs to Feb 18, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 3:30 pm, Sun noon and 4 pm. $55-$75. At The Lower Ossington Theatre. Show Info.
A Delicate Balance by Edward Albee (Soulpepper Theatre). The uneasy life of upper-middle class suburbanites is upset when a divorced daughter returns home and old friends need a place to crash. Previews from Jan 13, opens Jan 18 and runs to Feb 10, see website for times. $35-$95. At The Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Show Info.