Cheap Theatre in Toronto for the Week of April 12, 2010

by Leanne Milech

Five for Twenty (Or Less)

This week’s theme for cheap Toronto theatre is Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC).  We go gaga for PWYC performances because they give people a chance to attend a night of live theatre without throwing down a whole wad of cash.  In our experience, once you see one PWYC event, you jones to go back for more – and you’re usually happy to pay full price for a great seat!  So, buyer beware: these PWYC shows will likely leave you begging for more!

1) Crocosmia

– England-based Little Bulb Theatre is currently touring this production about imaginative siblings trying to make sense of life through cake puppetry, slide shows and experiments right through Theatre Passe Muraille.  What to look forward to most?  A vintage record collection soundtrack!

– Previews begin tonight, and the show officially opens tomorrow, April 14, running to April 24.

– Tonight’s preview is only $15 , and $20 tickets are available for regularly scheduled performances (Tue-Sat 7:30 pm).  But the best part are the Saturday 2:30 pm matinee performances priced as PWYC!

– Pick up tickets online at, by phone (416-504-7529) or at the venue (16 Ryerson).

2) Opera 101

The only thing a step up from PWYC shows are free theatre-related events, which is why we’re so excited about the Canadian Opera Company‘s (COC) Opera 101 event on tomorrow, April 14, at 7:30 pm at the Drake Hotel (1150 Queen W.).

– Join CBC’s Brent Bambury, conductor Johannes Debus and director Christopher Aldeno as they discuss the upcoming COC production of The Flying Dutchman.

– This evening is dedicated to removing the intimidation factor for those new to opera, so it’s all about theatre accessibility (plus, it’s always fun to grab a few drinks at the Drake!).

3) Reconciliation

Canadian playwright and icon, Sky Gilbert, has penned and directed yet another soon-to-be theatre gem about two very different brothers: one lives in the country, the other is a city boy.  Needless to say, sparks fly over their differences – including sexuality, of course!

– Watch it all go down on stage from Apr 14-Apr 25 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander).

– Showtimes are Wed-Sat 8 pm and Sun 2:30 pm. with tickets ranging from $15-$25.  You guessed it, though: Sunday matinees are PWYC!

– Get tickets online at, at the box office, or by phone at 416-975-8555.

4) Post Eden

– While this Suburban Beast production is priced slightly higher than PWYC, we couldn’t resist including it in our 5 for 20 suggestions, just because it sounds so damn good!  Check out this show about folks living in a Toronto suburb.  The residents’ darkness and longing are highlighted, and the realities that tie them together are made clear.

Opens Apr 14 and runs to Apr 18 (Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm) at Abrams Studio Theatre (46 Gerrard E.).

– Tickets are $15 or $12 for students/arts workers. Pick them up by calling 647-342-8177 or hitting the web at

5) Rock.Paper.Sistahz.9

We can never resist a good festival here at MoT, hence our recommendation of the very nicely priced Rock.Paper.Sistahz, an annual arts festival featuring poetry, spoken word, music, staged readings, dance, film and more!  Check out the website for a full schedule and more details.

– This fest has been on since April 9, but don’t worry – it runs to Apr 30 at Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie).

– There are some PWYC events, but others are as cheap as $9.99 a pop.  One PWYC event, Talk.In.Gold, takes place this Saturday, April 17 at the AGO (317 Dundas W.) from noon-2.  Participate in an interactive interview and get raw food treats!