Toronto Playlistings for the Week of December 23, 2019

Shows that Caught Our Eye in Toronto for the Week of December 23, 2019

Happy Holidays! It’s been a great weekend to start the festive season. And I’m sure most of us have a couple of hectic days of travel, family, food and fun ahead. I am certainly looking forward to a bit of downtime starting on Boxing Day! What better way to spend some of that downtime that at the theatre!

This week it is our fearless leader Megan’s pleasure to let you know what shows she thinks should be on your Christmas wish list this week – check out her festive ‘red‘ recommendations! And from all of us at Mooney have an enjoyable festive season!

Already Reviewed by MoT:

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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Anastasia (Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria) by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Opera Atelier). Romantic musical, inspired by the films, about the twilight of the Russian empire and a young woman’s quest to discover the mystery of her past. Opens Dec 3 and runs to Jan 12, see website for schedule. $39-$175.
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Bend It Like Bekham: The Musical (Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E). Starvox Entertainment, Bend It Films, Kintop Pictures and TO Live present the musical based on the hit film. In West London, a teen girl from a South Asian Sikh family desperately wants to play soccer, against the wishes of her traditional immigrant parents. Book by Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges, with lyrics by Charles Hart and music by Howard Goodall. Previews from Dec 7, opens Dec 17 and runs to Jan 5, see website for times. $50-$300.
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Cats (Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W) by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Mirvish). Talented felines frolic at the Jellicle Ball in this classic musical. Opens Nov 27 and runs to Jan 5, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Wed, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm – see website for additional performances. $39-$175.
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A Christmas Carol (Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House) by Charles Dickens (Soulpepper). Michael Shamata’s adaptation of the classic holiday ghost story gets a staging. Opens Dec 6 and runs to Dec 24, see website for schedule. $35-$95.
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Come From Away (Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge) by Irene Sankoff and David Hein (Mirvish). Newfoundlanders open their homes to stranded passengers following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Continuing at the Elgin after an 11-month run at the Royal Alex: Dec 13, 2019 to Mar 1, 2020, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Wed 1:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm (see website for holiday performance schedule and other schedule exceptions). $39-$169, limited rush $25 (premium tickets also available).
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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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Lil’ Red Robin Hood (Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge) by Matt Murray (Ross Petty Productions). Family-friendly holiday musical set in Sherway Gardens Forest featuring pop tunes, ad libs and audience participation. Previews from Nov 29, opens Dec 6 and runs to Jan 4, see website for schedule. $27-$99.
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Peter Pan (Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House). Soulpepper and Bad Hats Theatre present a musical reimagining of JM Barrie’s classic tale, suitable for ages 3 and up. Opens Dec 6 and runs to Dec 24, see website for schedule. $25-$45.
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The Second City’s Improv Showdown @ Hotel X (Hotel X, 111 Princes’ Blvd). The Second City cast brings a holiday-themed, family-friendly version of the improv competition to Hotel X Toronto. Dec 13-Jan 5, see website for schedule. $15-$35.
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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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And Everything Else:

Ashley With a ‘Y’ (Paradise Theatre, 1006 Bloor W). Ashley Botting performs her solo show, a mix of cabaret, storytelling and musical improv. De 28 at 9 pm. $29-$33.
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Cats in Boots (Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E) by Jane Shields and Rosemary Doyle (Panto Players). This family-friendly holiday pantomime is a mashup of Puss In Boots and the musical Cats. Open Dec 26 and runs to Jan 5, Dec 26-30 and Jan 2-4 at 7 pm, mat Dec 28-29, Dec 31, Jan 3-5 at 3 pm. $17-$29.
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Christmas Spirits: A Spooky Holiday Comedy Show (Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W). In an effort to revive the lost tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas, comedians share their spooky tales of the supernatural. Dec 23 at 9 pm. $15. All proceeds for this show will be donated in memory of Emma McAllister to Cure SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy).
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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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Cinderella Panto (Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst). TYT Theatre presents a family-friendly musical experience adapted from the classic fairy tale. Opens Dec 14 and runs to Jan 5, see website for schedule. $30.
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DisasterFEST (Bad Dog Theatre Company, 875 Bloor W). Bad Dog Theatre and Fake Cops present a six-hour marathon of wild, weird and experimental comedy. A new show every 10 minutes. Dec 27 8 pm-2 am. Tickets are $20 in advance or at the door.
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The Gypsy Baron (Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E). Toronto Operetta Theatre presents a three-act comic operetta by Johann Strauss II. Opens Dec 28 and runs to Jan 5, Dec 28, 31 and Jan 3 at 8 pm, Dec 29 and Jan 5 at 3 pm. $55-$95.
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Jack and the BeansTalk: A Merry Magical Pantomime (Royal Canadian Legion 1/42, 243 Coxwell). Rob Torr (Torrent Productions). Fairy-tale inspired family holiday show with laughs and singalong songs. Opens Dec 20 and runs to Dec 29, Fri-Sat 7 pm, mat Sat-Tue & Dec 26-27 at 2 pm. $28-$38.
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Jewish Comedy Festival Presents: Jews Going Out of Business (Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W). Celebrate Channukah and Boxing Day with stand-up by Cedric Newman, Natalie Norman, Laura Leibow, Brandon Sobel, headliner Simon Rakoff & host Ben Bankas. Dec 26 at 7 pm. $20.
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The Nutcracker (Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen W). The National Ballet of Canada presents its annual holiday tradition, with choreography by James Kudelka. Dec 12-Jan 4, see website for schedule. $45 & up.
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Tea At The Palace (Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman). Puppetmongers Theatre celebrate their 30th anniversary of annual Winter Holiday performances, designed, built and performed by Ann Powell and David Powell. Using magical puppetry and exuberant folk music, this retelling of two heartwarming tales told in old Russia explores themes of equity, social justice and compassion. Tea At The Palace features magical pop-up scenery, an array of puppets inspired by antique dolls and toys ranging from 6” to 6’ tall, and exuberant music that draws on traditional Russian songs and instrumentation. Ideal for ages 5 to 105 – the perfect holiday treat for the whole family. December 26-29, Thu-Sun 2:30 pm, evening shows Fri-Sat 7 pm. $25, stu/srs/child $20.
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Tweet Tweet! (Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House). Soulpepper Family Festival presents aerial arts and circus creation by Femmes du Feu for ages 0-6 about two birds in a magical tree. Dec 27-29 at 10:30 am, 1:30 & 3 pm. $18.
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What the Elf?! (Second City, 51 Mercer). Second City presents a musical extravaganza about the holiday season for kids, parents, grandparents, siblings and reindeer of all ages. Includes brand new scenes for 2019, improv and original songs by Jay McCarrol. Nov 30-Jan 3, matinee performances at 2 and 4:30 pm, see website for schedule details. $18, child $14.
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Wife: Holiday Special (Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas W). Love Letters Cabaret presents a two-woman show featuring burlesque stars Pastel Supernova and Rosie Mae. Dec 29 at 8 pm (doors 7 pm). $35 (VIP $60).
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Some listings based on NOW! Stage Listings.