Toronto Playlistings for the Week of February 10, 2020

Shows that Caught Our Eye in Toronto for the Week of February 10, 2020

I sat down to do up this post like I have every week since September, and just couldn’t BELIEVE how much is going on this week! There’s a Blockbuster Musical making it’s Toronto debut this week. There are two great festivals. There is fantastic Black History Month programming all over the city. And as always there is loads of amazing new local theatre too! So – for those of you maybe looking for something do to for a special date night (or not!) – there is definitely plenty of choice out there. 

With so much going on in theatre this week I don’t envy our editor Samantha the task of picking out what has caught her eye! Check out her ‘red‘ picks in our listings below!

Already Reviewed by MoT:

Caroline, Or Change (Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge). Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre present the musical play by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori. Set against the backdrop of the Kennedy assassination and the civil rights movement, the play uses fantasy and reality to explore a story about ordinary people facing extraordinary change. With a musical score that blends blues, soul, gospel, classical and traditional Jewish melodies, this modern masterpiece is a timely story of change for our socially conscious world. Starring R&B singer Jully Black in her musical theatre debut and renowned soprano Measha Brueggergosman. Previews from Jan 30, opens Feb 4 and runs to Feb 15, see website for schedule. $39-$129.
Show Info

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).
Show Info

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 Mar 1: 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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Jesus Hopped the A Train (Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House). When justice locks you up, what sets you free? Two notorious men await trial for murder, only to discover justice and goodness where it is least expected. Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Adly Guirgis delivers an uncompromising drama about contradiction, contrition, and hypocrisy. Previews Jan 23, opens Jan 30 and runs to Feb 23, see website for showtimes. $25 – $98.
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Marjorie Prime (Coal Mine Theatre, 1454 Danforth) by Jordan Harrison (Coal Mine Theatre). It’s the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. Previews from Jan 26, opens Jan 29 and runs to Feb 16, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2 pm. $47.50-$55.50, previews/rush $25.
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The Second City Totally Likes You (Second City, 51 Mercer). The Second City aims Cupid’s bow at dating, sex, meet-cutes and meet-uglies in this hormone-charged show that marries classic archive material with brand new swipes at relationships. Jan 11-Mar 30, Mon 8 pm, Sat-Sun 4 pm.
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This is How We Got Here (Aki Studio, 585 Dundas E. #120) by Keith Barker (Native Earth Performing Arts). Struggling after a tragedy, a quartet of sisters and spouses meet a mysterious fox with a curious gift. Previews from Jan 26, opens Jan 29 and runs to Feb 16, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$30, previews $15, Tue PWYC.
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And Everything Else:

Black and Funny Festival: 4 (Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, 875 Bloor W). The Black and Funny Festival is back for its fourth edition featuring an all-Black comedian lineup, including headliners: Tallboyz, Coko & Daphney, Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Anthony Engelbrecht; and featuring: Definition of Knowledge, Zabrina Douglas, Nigel Downer & more. Every Friday in February at 8 and 9:30 pm, $20, advance $15.
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Bug (Theatre Passe Mureille, 16 Ryerson) by Yolanda Bonnell (Manidoons Collective/Native Earth Performing Arts). Poetry, prose & song explore an Indigenous woman’s journey through cycles of addiction and inter-generational trauma. Previews from Feb 7 opens Feb 13 and runs to Feb 22, see website for times. $17-$38 with PWYC option for matinee shows.
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Comedy As A Second Language at Progress Festival (Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen W) Show by immigrants and first-generation Canadian comedians w/ headliner Martha Chaves, Habib Siam, John Mostyn, Nour Hadidi, Leonard Chan and host Carol Zoccoli. Feb 12, 2020 8:30 PM $15.
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Fish and Rum (Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina). Culchahworks presents a hybrid theatre/video production about the historical relationship between Newfoundland and Jamaica. Feb 14-16, Fri-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $12.
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Fool for the Fire: An Australian Wildfire Fundraiser Show (Bad Dog Company Theatre, 875 Bloor W). Comedy variety show & fundraiser w/ The Lusty Mannequins, Cameron Wyllie, Hybrid and more. 8 pm. $10-$25 ($10 minimum donation).
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Grounded (Streetcar Crowsnest, 345 Carlaw) by George Brant (theatreSix). Reassigned during her pregnancy, a female fighter pilot deals with drone duty and family obligations. Previews from Feb 13, opens Feb 14 and runs to Feb 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $20-$29.
Show Info

Hamilton (Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria) by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Jeffery Seller/Mirvish). The hit musical about the American Founding Fathers comes to Toronto. Feb 11-May 17, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm (see website for schedule exceptions/additions). $50-$250, premium $500.
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Hansel & Gretel (Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W) The Canadian Opera Company presents Engelbert Humperdinck’s classic with a modern twist on his winter favourite with innovative digital storytelling and video projections that usher this classic straight into present-day Toronto. Feb 6 – 21, see website for show times. $45 – $350.
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House Mix (Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W). Toronto Dance Theatre presents Christopher House’s final main-stage program as TDT artistic director. The program features classic House works and a remount of Tedd Robinson’s 6 People Doing 6 Poses From 6 Photos To Music. Feb 11-15, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $20-$45.
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Jungle Book (Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E) by Craig Francis & Rick Miller (Young People’s Theatre/Kidoons/WYRD Productions). Multimedia adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story for ages 5 & up. Feb 13-Mar 21, see website for schedule. $10-$43.
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Lady Sunrise (Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst) by Marjorie Chan. Set in Canada’s condo and casino playground of Vancouver, this hard-hitting new play is a tale of social climbing and the fraying social fabric among the wealthy and hangers-on of Vancouver’s Asian Canadian community. Inspired by the modern classic, Sunrise by Cao Yu, this world premiere features a cast of six powerful Asian Canadian women, and examines the damning effect of today’s hyper-consumerist society. Previews from February 15, opens February 30 and runs to March 8, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm (Sun Feb 16 at 7 pm). $40-$50, previews $20.
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Many Young Men of Twenty (Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley) by J.B. Keane (Toronto Irish Players). A small-town Irish pub is the site of discussions on emigration, alcoholism, women and politics. Previews Feb 13, opens Feb 15 and runs to Feb 29, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25-$27, preview PWYC (min $15).
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MCU Improvised: Avengers Assemble (The Social Capital Theatre, 154 Danforth). Comedy heroes bring you unscripted parodies of every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This month with Kat Letwin, Nigel Downer, Cameron Algie, Erica Gellert. Feb 14 at 8 pm. $10.
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Progress Festival (The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queens St W). 2020 marks the 5th edition of Progress – an international festival of performance and ideas presented in partnership by SummerWorks Performance Festival and The Theatre Centre. The festival is collectively curated and presented by a rotating series of Canadian organizations, operating within a contemporary performance context. Jan 30 – Feb 15. See website for schedule. $25/show, 3 Show Pass $60. Information on Access Tickets on website.
Festival Info

The Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander). Canada’s longest-running new works festival once again transforms Buddies into a hotbed of experimentation, with artists exploring new possibilities in theatre, dance, music and performance art. Feb 12-22, Wed-Sat 8 pm, see website for details. Evening pass $20, rush tickets PWYC.
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A Seat At The Table (Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W). Crossfield House Productions presents an excerpt from its new theatre piece in development, 1994, about two friends navigating their complex friendship and drawing on the feelings of the music that keep their bond alive. The company also presents a screening of its first feature length film, A Little White Lie. Feb 12-15, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm. $15. In the Studio Theatre.
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Secret Life of a Mother (Streetcar Crowsnest, 345 Carlaw). Crow’s Theatre, Theatre Centre and SLOM Collective present a play by Hannah Moscovitch with Maev Beaty and Ann-Marie Kerr. A playwright writes an exposé of modern motherhood; one of her real-life friends performs the story, and through it her own motherhood secrets surface. Previews from Feb 6, opens Feb 8 and runs to Feb 23, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20-$55.
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The Singing of Birds (Montgomery’s Inn, 4709 Dundas W). Educator Dr. Warwick Dobson presents a theatre-in-education program about an Irish woman and an African-American woman who fled poverty and slavery and ended up in Canada. Audience members will follow the drama as the two women find friendship and hope in a new country. Feb 15-16 at 4 pm. $20, youth $15, child $10.
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Super Hot Date Night (Paradise Theatre, 1006 Bloor W). omedy inspired by dating stories with Andrew Phung, Emma Decorte, Alice Moran, Mark Little & more. The performers collect stories from the audience and special guests Anne T Donahue & Dalmar Albuzeid about their worst, best and most memorable dates and turn them into scenes. Feb 14 at 9:30 pm (doors 9 pm). $25.
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Taking Liberties (Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen W). Taking Liberties Collective presents a play by Dave Carley. Taking Liberties looks at five decades in the life of a city, when ordinary citizens make extraordinary choices. The drama focuses on civil libertarian issues, including censorship, freedom of expression and journalistic ethics. Previews from Feb 5, opens Feb 7 and runs to Feb 23, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 4 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$30. In the Ballroom.
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This Was the World (Tarragon Theatre Extraspace, 30 Bridgeman) by Ellie Moon. A play about old power and new ideas, academia and decolonization, language and authority. Directed by Richard Rose, featuring R.H. Thomson. Previews from Jan 28, opens Feb 5 and runs to Mar 1, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $22-$65.
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Variety Night – An Australian Bushfire Fundraiser (Tranzac. 292 Brunswick). A fundraiser for Australian Bushfire Relief featuring burlesque, neo burlesque, nerdlesque and drag performers, plus theatre and kittening. Feb 15 at 7 pm. $15-$25.
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wind in the leaves with allies and friends (The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance, 304 Parliament). Citadel + Compagnie present Sashar Zarif performing HAQ, a solo using Sufi poetries; and Aria Evans will present a duet exploring how we find our roots to become grounded in belonging, responsibility, vulnerability and compassion. The evening is curated by charles c. smith. Feb 14-15 at 8 pm. $25.
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The Witcher Improvised (Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, 875 Bloor W). A spontaneous comedy show where you choose Geralt’s next quest and see it come to life. Featuring Taylor Davis, Kat Letwin, Liam Lum and others. Feb 16 at 9:30 pm. $10.
Show Info

You And I (Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E) by Maja Ardal (Young People’s Theatre). Multi-sensory, playfully interactive adventure that engages little explorers (and their adults) in discovery through colour, sound, touch and movement. Feb 11-23, see website for schedule. $5-$20.
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Your Hood’s A Joke (Yuk Yuk’s, 224 Richmond W). Danish Anwar hosts this territorial roast battle show. Featuring Portugal (Laura Faria) vs Italy (Sebastiano Fazio), Brazil (Carol Zoccoli) vs Canada (Sarah Ashby), East York (Demi Ellis) vs Danforth (Brian Ward). Feb 14, 2020 10:30 PM $20.
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Some listings based on NOW! Stage Listings.