Toronto Playlistings for the Week of November 11, 2019

Shows that Caught Our Eye in Toronto for the Week of November 11, 2019

Well, there was snow in the air last week, so it’s officially cold enough for scarves and gloves season. It also means that we are deep into the Toronto Theatre Season. Another dusting of new shows open at most of the main company stages this week and next. And, alongside those shows comes many new plays, dance shows, musicals, and comedy as well.

There is just so much to see this week! And I’m lucky enough to get to let you know what shows have caught my eye this week. Check out my ‘reds’ to see what of this exciting list has made my own ‘Theatre Wish List’ this week.

Already Reviewed by MoT:

Alegria (Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Rd W). Cirque du Soleil reinterprets its 1994 show with new acrobatics, visual design and musical arrangements. Led by an intangible wind of change, the show tells the story of an emerging movement that strives to shake the established order, instilling hope and renewal to bring light to a world in perfect harmony. Opens Sep 12 and runs to Dec 1, see website for schedule. $59-$290.
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Girl From the North Country (Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W) by Conor McPherson (Mirvish). This musical using the songs of Bob Dylan looks in on a tense community in 1934 Minnesota. Previews from Sep 28, opens Oct 6 and runs to Nov 24, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $39-$175.
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If I Could #Throwback Time (Second City, 51 Mercer). Second City’s 83rd sketch comedy revue basks in the neon glow of nostalgia, mining comedy gold from ancient treasures like old school video games, Power Rangers and Canada’s long, complicated history of sweeping social injustices. Previews from Sep 10.Opens Oct 10 and runs to Jan 9th: Tue-Thu 8 pm; Fri 7:30 pm; Sat 7:30 & 10 pm. See website for more days and times, exceptions and to buy tickets. $28 & up.
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Let’s Run Away (Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley). The World Premiere of Daniel MacIvor and Daniel Brooks’ newest collaboration. Chronicling the life of Peter who finds his estranged mother’s memoir after her death, the eccentric Peter reads aloud the story of his life as told sometimes incorrectly by his mother. Let’s Run Away is a touching story of love and abandonment, and MacIvor is glorious in this captivating solo performance. Preview Oct. 31. Opens Nov. 1 and runs to Nov. 17. $49-$79. See website for show times.
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Piaf/Dietrich: A Legendary Affair (CAA Theatre 651 Yonge St). Mirvish presents a musical drama that explores the fascinating friendship between show business legends. Opens Sep 17 and runs to Dec 8, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $39-$129.
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Riverboat Coffee House: The Yorkville Scene (Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House) by Frank Cox-O’Connell and Mike Ross (Soulpepper Theatre). Musical revue that celebrates the stories and songs that made Yorkville the place to be in the free-loving 60s. Nov 6-17, see website for times. $30-$85.
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And Everything Else:

2-Spirit Cabaret (Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander). Native Earth Performing Arts and Buddies in Bad Times present a celebration of the strength, beauty and talent of queer and 2-Spirit Indigenous people. Nov 16 at 8 pm. $20. Presented as part of Weesageechak Begins to Dance 32.
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The Adventures of Pinocchio (Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E) by Brian Hill and Neil Bartram (YPT). This new musical follows the much-loved marionette on his mischievous quest to become a real human being. Ages 5 & up. Opens Nov 11 and runs to Jan 5, see website for schedule. $10-$54.
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Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera (Meridian Hall, 1 Front E) by Dominic Champagne & Julien Bilodeau. (Opéra Concept MP). Psychological drama based on lyrics & music of Roger Waters from Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Opens Nov 13 and runs to Nov 23, Nov 13-14, 16 and 23 at 8 pm, mat Nov 17 at 2 pm. $56-$201.50.
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Bespouss: Autopsy of a Revolt (Streetcar Crowsnest, 345 Carlaw). Pleiades Theatre presents the English-language premiere of a play by Stéphane Brulotte (translation by John Van Burek). A Tunisian fruit vendor’s death and subsequent investigation sparks the Arab Spring. Previews Nov 7, opens Nov 8 and runs to Nov 20, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Wed, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20-$31
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Best of Second City (Second City, 51 Mercer). Ever-changing selection of sketches from the past 50 years plus unscripted improvisation. Nov 4-17, see website for schedule. $25-$35.

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The Beverly Street Seance (starts at Sin & Redemption, 136 McCaul; moves to George Brown House, 186 Beverly). Mentalist Jaymes White presents a recreation of an authentic Victorian séance at one of the city’s most haunted locations. This soul-shaking psychological experience is not intended for the weak or faint of heart. Restricted to ages 18+. Sep 13-Nov 30, see website for days and times. $59.99.
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Buffoon (Tarragon Extraspace, 30 Bridgman) by Anosh Irani (Tarragon). Solo tragicomedy about a clown finding love at the circus. Previews from Nov 12, opens Nov 20 and runs to Dec 15, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $22-$70.
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A Christmas Story (Lower Ossington Theatre, 100 Ossington). Based on the perennial holiday movie favorite, A Christmas Story chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Nov 8-Dec 29. See website for showtimes. $60.
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Copy That (Tarragon, 30 Bridgman). Renowned playwright Jason Sherman’s caustic look at the entertainment industry, Copy That takes us behind the scenes of network television. Four writers struggle to get their new cop show approved for production. When the team’s only Black writer is roughed up by an actual cop, the fallout threatens to not only kill the show, but expose the systemic racism at the heart of popular entertainment itself. Previews Nov 6-12 ($30, stu/arts workers $23). Open Nov 13 and runs to Dec. 8. See website for showtimes. $57/sr $55/stu&arts workers $29.
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Fireworks Festival (Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley). Alumnae Theatre presents three new plays: Belle Darling Klondike Queen by Natalie Frijia (Nov 6-10); Grief Circus by Crystal Wood (Nov 13-17); and If The Shoe Fits by Genevieve Adam (Nov 20-24). Post-show discussions to follow. Nov 6-24, in the Studio. $15-$20.
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Gay AF (And Funny) (Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W). Robert Watson hosts a showcase for gay male comedians that puts the G in LGBTQ, w/ Brendan D’Souza, Ben Sosa Wright, Taylor Rivers, Velvet Wells and headliner Sam Sferrazza. 8 pm. $15, advance $10.
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Girl in the Machine (Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson) by Stef Smith (Seven Siblings Theatre). An intimate dystopian drama that explores our potential digital future. Polly has recently been promoted and won’t stop working until Owen presents her with Black Box to help her relax. When a mysterious technology creeps into everyone’s lives, the line between physical and digital rapidly dissipates. Previews Nov 14, opens Nov 15 and runs to Nov 24, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $15-$30.
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HaHa for the Holidays (Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W). Family-friendly variety show with songs, silly stand-up and maybe just a little holiday mischief. Hosted by Hisham Kelati, featuring various performers. Nov 16-Dec 7, Saturday 3 pm. $12.
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The Harrowing of Brimstone McCreedy: 20th Ambominaversary Edition (Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E) by Eric Woolfe (Eldritch Theatre). This horror play tells the tale of a grifter, unholy larceny and Klondike gold using puppets, con games and dark parlour magic. Opens Nov 13 and runs to Nov 24, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 3 pm. $10-$35.
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Jungle Flower Dragon Heart (Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex). Jungle Flower presents her solo show of travel stories, spoken word poetry and visuals about her healing journey from a psychologically abusive relationship. Nov 16 at 7:30 pm. $30-$50.
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The Learned Ladies (Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House) by Molière, adapted by Sue Miner (George Brown Theatre). The satire about gender and higher education is given a present-day, “Real Housewives” setting in Paris. Opens Nov 6 and runs to Nov 16, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat (and Nov 13) 1:30 pm. $20-$25, stu $10.
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Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Diaries (Ed Mirvish Theater, 244 Victoria). The actor/singer/storyteller performs with Adam Ben-David on piano. Nov 12 & 14 at 8 pm. $59-$250.
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A Midsummer Nights’s Dream (Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton). Shakespeare BASH’d presents a barroom staging of the play by William Shakespeare. Transformation, love and betrayal abound in Shakespeare’s most enigmatic comedy of magic and poetry. Nov 12-17, Tue-Sat 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20-$25.
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Night Watch (Tranzac, 292 Brunswick). The NAGs Players present a play by Lucille Fletcher. A wealthy heiress’s household is thrown into turmoil after she sees a dead man in an abandoned tenement. Opens Nov 7 and runs to Nov 16, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm. $18-$20.
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Older & Reckless #42 (Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W). MOonhORsE Dance Theatre & Harbourfront present dance performed by Indigenous older artists. Featuring Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo, Christine Friday, JP Longboat and Byron Chief Moon. Indigenous writer Lee Maracle will perform with dance maverick Bill Coleman. Distinguished dance elder Elizabeth Langley completes the mixed program. Nov 15-16, Fri-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $25-$30.
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Orpheus Alive ( Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W). The National Ballet of Canada presents the premiere of a new choreography by Robert Binet; George Balanchine’s Chaconne is also on the program. Nov 15-21, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. Tickets start at $41 and vary by performance date. Standing Room locations start at $12 and are available in person on the day of the performance.
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POC: People Of Comedy 3 (The Ossington 61 Ossington) Chris Robinson headlines this show featuring diverse, multicultural & ethnic comedians w/ Patrick Hakeem, Tamara Shevon, Danish Anwar, Marito Lopez, Big Norm Alconcel and Jennifer Hsiung. 8 pm. $10-$15, all proceeds to Access Alliance. Nov 14, 2019 8:00 PM
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The Pianist of Willesden Lane (Meridian Arts Centre, 5040 Yonge) by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). Musical solo show based on the true story of a young Jewish musician who escaped Nazi Germany. Opens Nov 4 and runs to Nov 17, see website for schedule. $26-$90. Greenwin Theatre.
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Portia’s Julius Caesar (Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle) by Kaitlyn Riordan (Hart House Theatre). Feminist adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic reframed to explore the agency of women in Ancient Rome. Opens Nov 15 and runs to Nov 30, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Nov 30 at 2 pm. $28, srs $20, stu $15.
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Ring (Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester). Toronto Dance Theatre presents a new work by Ame Henderson about the relationship between sounding and movement. Opens Nov 14 and runs to Nov 23, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Nov 17 at 2 pm. $20-$30.
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Skills x Soul Dance Festival (St. George the Martyr, 30 Stephanie). Gadfly presents a night of urban dance that celebrates of artistry, athleticism and authenticity. Nov 17, doors 6:30 pm. $20-$30.
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Sound & Fury (Artscape Weston Common, 34 John). Shakespeare in Action presents an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, inspired by the sounds and poetry of 90s-era hip-hop. Opens Nov 16 and runs to Dec 7, Fri-Sat 8 pm. $15-$20.
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Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit (Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas E). Soundstreams and Signal Theatre present a double-bill of the world’s first operas in the languages of Cree and Sámi. Nov 13-17, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25-$77. In Ada Slaight Hall.
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Swim Team (Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen W) by Jaber Ramezani (Nowadays Theatre/Alma Matters Productions). Inspired by real stories from the world of women’s sports in post-revolutionary Iran, Swim Team follows three women who are determined to learn to swim in a place devoid of water. Opens Nov 8 and runs to Nov 17, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20-$25, stu $15.
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Uptown Moves (Meridian Arts Centre, 5040 Yonge). TO Live presents part 1 of the dance series, featuring works by Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata and Shameka Blake’s Artists in Motion. The series includes workshops and masterclasses plus weekend performances. Nov 14-17, workshop w/ Zab Maboungou Thu 7 pm ($15); performances Sat 7 pm, Sun 3:30 pm. $40, stu $15.
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The Wager (Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson) by Michael Spence (Theatre Gargantua). This new play looks at our current era of climate denial, anti-vaxxing campaigns and “alternative facts.” The Wager’s exploration was inspired by the real-life story of a 19th-century scientist who accepted a wager to prove that the earth isn’t flat. While he irrefutably won the bet, the flat-earthers refused to see the evidence for what it was and proceeded to ruin the scientist’s life with harassment, lawsuits and death threats. Previews Nov 14, opens Nov 15 and runs to Nov 30, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm. $22-$35. In the MainSpace.

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Weesageechak Begins To Dance 32 (Aki Studio, 585 Dundas E #120). Native Earth Performing Arts presents the annual festival of theatre, dance, opera and multidisciplinary creations in development from across Turtle Island. Featuring a musical performance by Mimi O’Bonsawin, a taged reading of Sonny’s Way by Jimmy Blais and Tapwewin – Her Inquiry by Maria Campbell, performances by emerging artists from the Animikiig Creators Unit, panel discussions, the 2-Spirit Cabaret and more. Nov 13-23, see website for schedule details. $15, festival pass $50 early bird.
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Women of Comedy (The Social Capital, 154 Danforth). Comedy Nuggets presents stand-up by Demis Ellis, Kelly Zemmickis, Veronica Va Vie, Salma Hindy and Cahtryn Naiker. Nov 16 at 8 pm. $15 adv, $20 at the door.
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Some listings based on NOW! Stage Listings.