Toronto Playlistings for the Week of November 18, 2019

Shows that Caught Our Eye in Toronto for the Week of November 18, 2019

It’s beginning to look a lot like… winter theatre season! There are some fabulous shows running at any number of theatre spaces in the city, and sometimes it can be hard to choose which show hits the top of the ‘To-Go-To’ list. I have definitely started planning my Holiday ‘wish list’ because theatre tickets are a stellar gift to get. And to give!

All of us at Mooney are excited about so many of the plays, dance performances, and comedies that are coming out over the next while, and there really is something for everyone! I’m going to let you know what has caught my eye this week. Check out my ‘reds’ to see what of this exciting list has made my ‘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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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And Everything Else:

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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The Art of Magic (Super Wonder Gallery, 584 College). The Toronto Magic Company presents Chris Mayhew headlining two nights of art and illusions performed by professional magicians. Nov 20-21 at 7:30 pm. $20-$40.
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Becoming Her (York University, 4700 Keele). Bridge to Artists present a contemporary dance work about living as your true self. Nov 23 at 2 and 7 pm. $45, stu $30. In the Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan Theatre, Accolade East Bldg, York University.
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Between Breaths (Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst) by Robert Chafe (Factory/Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland). Inspired by the true story of John Lien and his work of saving whales trapped in fishing nets. Previews Nov 20, opens Nov 21 and runs to Dec 8, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25-$50.
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Between Riverside and Crazy (Coal Mine Theatre, 1454 Danforth) by Stephen Adly Guirgis (Coal Mine Theatre). A man tries to hang on to one of Manhattan’s last rent-stabilized apartments in this drama about the effects of social prejudice. Previews Nov 24, opens Nov 27 and runs to Dec 22, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2 pm. $47.50-$55.50, previews/rush $25.
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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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Bi-Pandemonium (Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W). Meg MacKay headlines a showcase of bisexual, pansexual & sexually fluid stand-up comics, also featuring Clare Belford, Bougie B Bougé, Emma J Davey, Olivia Stadler & host Ben McKay. Nov 19 8 pm. $10 adv, $15 door.
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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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Every Day She Rose (Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander) by Andrea Scott and Nick Green (Nightwood Theatre). The personal becomes political for two best friends when racial and queer politics collide at the 2016 Toronto Pride parade. Previews from Nov 23, opens Nov 26 and runs to Dec 8, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $35, stu/srs/arts workers/previews $25. Rush tickets Tue-Thu $20, Sun PWYC.
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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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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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Here Are The Fragments (Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen W) by Suvendrini Lena (ECT Collective/Theatre Centre). Immersive theatre experience inspired by the psychiatric writing of Frantz Fanon that reflects on the relationships between identity, history, racism and mental health. Previews from Nov 19, opens Nov 21 and runs to Dec 1, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $22-$30, preview $17.
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Hilary Duff Fan Club: The Musical (Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, 875 Bloor W). Five spunky young ladies (+ special guests), use an audience suggestion to inspire this improvised show. Nov 21 and Dec 19 at 9:30 pm. $10.
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In Absentia (Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W). DanceWorks presents a multimedia work by JDdance using dance, puppetry, design and music, with choreography by Sharon B. Moore. Nov 21-23 at 8 pm. $36-$42.
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Ma’am You’re Making a Scene: STFU! (The Social Capital, 154 Danforth). All-female identifying/non-binary improv show, this month we will be showcasing both stand-up comedians and improvisers working together to create empowering comedy magic. 9:30 pm. PWYC, all proceeds going towards Up With Women.
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La Maleta (The Suitcase) (Streetcar Crowsnest, 345 Carlaw). Crow’s Theatre presents a Roseneath Theatre production by Bea PIzano. Roca, a 10-year-old refugee from Colombia arrives clutching a suitcase and befriends a bullied boy in this play for ages 6 & up. Nov 23-24 at 11 am, 2 and 4:30 pm. $10-$20.
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Open Heart Shorts (The Commons Theatre, 587a College). Open Heart Productions presents one-act plays by Tad Mosel, Norm Foster, Don Nigro and Alice Gerstenberg. Nov 22-24, Fri-Sun 7 pm. $15-$25.
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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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Sasha Velour’s Smoke & Mirrors (Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth). Live Nation presents a one-queen show by the global drag superstar and theatre producer. Nov 18-19 at 8 pm. $35-$75. All ages.
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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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Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Review (St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front E). This fusion of film, dance and music takes audiences on a journey through modern Indian culture and society. Opens Nov 23 and runs to Dec 1, Tue-Wed & Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun & Thu 2 pm (and Nov 30). $49-$79.
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Tales of Hoffman (Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina). Toronto City Opera presents Les Contes d’Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach. A tortured romantic poet recount three tales about his great loves. In French with English surtitles. Nov 21-24, Thu 7:30 pm, Sat 3:30 pm, Sun 3 pm. $45-$55, stu $35.
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TAP: Ex Augmented (Sidewalk Labs, 307 Lakeshore E). Tapestry Opera, in assocation with Re:Naissance Opera, presents an opera by Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Debi Wong and Benton Roark. This new work explores a macabre take on a Silicon Valley product launch. The audience is invited as the first guests to learn about Elyisum, a new cloud-based technology that reimagines the afterlife as a perfect curation of your best memories. Nov 20-23 at 8 pm. $40.
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Ten Minute Theatre (Super Wonder Gallery, 584 College). Super Wonder Gallery celebrates the one-year anniversary of its infamous Ten Minute Theatre by bringing back five of our favourite and most outrageous ten-minute plays. Nov 19 at 8 pm. $8 advance, $10 at the door.
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Unconventional Holiday Revue (Second City, 51 Mercer). Second City presents a heaping serving of seasonal satire that’s the perfect alternative to those same old holiday shows. Nov 18-Jan 5, evening and matinee shows, see website for schedule. $24-$39.
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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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100 Years of Merce Cunningham (AGO, 317 Dundas W). The AGO marks the 100th birthday of American choreographer Merce Cunningham with a night of performances by dancers David Norsworthy, Una Ludviksen, Christian Allen, Angela Blumberg and dancers from Ryerson School of Performance. This free program is presented in partnership with Fall for Dance North, and will feature live accompaniment by pianist Adam Tendler. Nov 20 6:30-7:30 pm. Free. In Walker Court.
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Some listings based on NOW! Stage Listings.

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