Here are all of the shows we wish we could get out and see this week! Take your pick from our list of great theatre escapes for the week of May 30th, 2011:
** Shows marked with the double asterisks and in red are the ones that make Wayne, our managing editor, wish he could exist in multiple parallel universes so he could check them all out.
Already covered by MoT
**BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL by Lee Hall and Elton John (Mirvish). A boy leaves boxing for ballet while his family struggles with economic troubles in small-town England. Previews Feb 1-28. Opens Mar 1 and runs to Sep 3, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 1:30 pm. $36-$130. Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
**DOUBLE BILL (Soulpepper). The Academy presents (re)Birth: E.E. Cummings In Song and Lab Series creation Window On Toronto. Previews Apr 30-May 8. Opens May 9 and runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $28-$65. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
FRONTERAS AMERICANAS by Guillermo Verdecchia (Soulpepper). Verdecchia perform his solo show about seeking his identity as an Argentinean-Canadian. Previews May 6-9. Opens May 11 and runs to Jun 12, see website for schedule. $28-$65. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
**…LA RONDE… by Arthur Schnitzler (red light district). Ten unconnected people meet and hook up in a series of vignettes about sex in the city. Opens May 19 and runs to Jun 4, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm. $20-$25, stu $15. Wicked, 1032 Queen W. theredlightdistrict.ca.
OUR TOWN by Thornton Wilder (Soulpepper). A stage manager paints a portrait of life in a small American town around 1900. Previews Apr 7-12. Opens Apr 13 and runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28; rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
**THE ALEPH by Jorge Luis Borges (Soulpepper). Diego Matamoros performs this adaptation of Borges’s short story. Previews May 13-16. Opens May 17 and runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $25-$35. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
**THE LION KING by Elton John and Tim Rice (Mirvish). The musical based on the Disney film returns. Previews Apr 19. Opens Apr 20 and runs to Jun 12, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 1 and 6:30 pm (no show May 24 & 31; see website for other times). $20-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
THE POST OFFICE by Rabindranath Tagore (Pleiades Theatre). A sick boy watches and interacts with the world from his bedroom window in India. Previews May 7-9. Opens May 10 and runs to Jun 4, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats May 28 and Jun 4 at 2 pm. $35, stu $12, srs $16-$30.Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, pleiadestheatre.org.
THE RAILWAY CHILDREN by Edith Nesbit (Mirvish). Three siblings struggle to survive after their father is imprisoned in Edwardian England. Opens May 3 and runs to Jun 26, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm (no shows May 29, Jun 12, 25; see website for other times). $25-$140. Roundhouse Theatre, 255 Bremner Blvd. mirvish.com.
**ZADIE’S SHOES by Adam Pettle (Factory Theatre). Desperate to recoup his losses, a gambler looks to his forgotten synagogue for a miracle. Previews Apr 30-May 4. Opens May 5 and runs to Jun 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $15-$45, Sun pwyc. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
…and the rest
A LITTLE MORE KRIMA Maxine Heppner Across Oceans presents a night of music, dance, photos and film, with Jessica Runge, James Kendal, Megan English, Heppner and others. May 31 at 7 pm. $20-$25. The Annex Live, 296 Brunswick. acrossoceans.org.
AFFOGATO Lavish Dance Company presents choreography by Audra Simmons about themes of isolation, immersion and recovery. Jun 3-4 at 8 pm. $20. George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire. lavishdance.com.
**ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Ballet (UK) present Christopher Wheeldon’s interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s story. Opens Jun 4 and runs to Jun 12, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun (and Jun 9 and 11) 2 pm. Jun 23-25, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $24-$227. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-345-9595, national.ballet.ca.
…AND STOCKINGS FOR THE LADIES by Attila Clemann (The Gesamtkunstwerk Project). A Canadian airman helps Jewish refugees in post-WWII Germany in this solo show. Opens Jun 1 and runs to Jun 5, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Thu 1:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $26, stu/srs $20. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827. tarragontheatre.com
ANDREA MARTIN AT THE 519 (Salah Bachir). The actor/comic performs her solo show Final Days! Everything Must Go! in this gala funder for the community centre. Jun 4-5 at 6 pm. $500.519 Community Centre, Ballroom, 519 Church. 416-355-6777. the519.org
ANYTHING GOES by Cole Porter, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse (Civic Light Opera Company). A stowaway and a nightclub singer get in trouble aboard an ocean liner in this musical. Opens May 18 and runs to Jun 4, Wed 7 pm, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun (and Jun 4) at 2 pm. $25. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-755-1717,civiclightoperacompany.com.
AWKWARD: A SHOW OF EPIC FAILS Erin Rodgers presents stories, sketch and song depicting tales of humiliation. Opens Jun 2 8 pm. $8. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. comedybar.ca.
**BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR by Eric Peterson and John Gray (Soulpepper Theatre Company). Soulpepper remounts its hit production about the famous WWI fighter pilot. Previews Jun 1. Opens Jun 3 and runs to Jun 21, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28, rush $22 (stu $5). Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
CHOCOLATE WOMAN DREAMS THE MILKY WAY (The Chocolate Woman Collective). This collective creation looks at feminine strength from an indigenous perspective. Previews May 31-Jun 1. Opens Jun 2 and runs to Jun 19, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $10. Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, 79A St. George. 647-717-6129, totix.ca.
DON’T LOOK DOWN by Robin Cleland (Robin Cleland & Kristie Vinet). A hard-drinking man deals with his demons following his wife’s funeral. Previews May 25. Opens May 26 and runs to Jun 4, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat 2 pm. $25-$35. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com/alsoatberkeley.
INSPIRATO FESTIVAL (Dominik Loncar). The annual festival of 10-minute plays presents works by Jordan Davis, Catherine Frid, Len Cuthbert and others. Opens Jun 2 and runs to Jun 11, Thu-Sat 8 pm, see website for more times. $12-$17. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley.inspiratofestival.ca.
LA BOHÈME by Giacomo Puccini (Against the Grain Theatre). The classic opera is reset in contemporary Toronto and performed in English. Jun 2-5 at 8 pm. $30. Tranzac, 292 Brunswick.againstthegraintheatre.com.
LA VIE EN ROUGE (Jane Mallett Theatre). Louise Pitre performs a musical cabaret. Jun 1 at 8 pm. $60-$75. 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, stlc.com.
LIVING LA VIDA IMELDA by Carlos Celdran (Kapisanan Philippine Centre). Celdran’s solo show looks at the Philippines in the 70s and what made the former first lady an icon. Previews Jun 2. Opens Jun 3 and runs to Jun 5, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $15-$25. Twist Gallery, 1100 Queen W. 416-979-0600, kapisanancentre.com.
MOTION TRACKING Goethe Institut and Series 8:08 present Palindrome Inter.Media Performance Group showcasing how sensors and computers let dancers’ movements control other stage elements. Jun 3, performance 1:30 pm (workshop from 10 am to 1 pm). $10 ($45 w/ workshop). Dovercourt House, 805 Dovercourt. goethe.de/toronto.
PRESENT LAUGHTER by Noel Coward (East Side Players). An actor deals with various people vying for his attention in this comedy. Opens May 26 and runs to Jun 11, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu $15. Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery. 416-425-0917, eastsideplayers.ca.
SOUND IT OUT (Thesp). Johnnie Walker, Dan Daley, Kate Fenton, Morgan Norwich and others present new works in development. Jun 4 from 1 to 8 pm. Pwyc. Toronto Free Gallery, 1277 Bloor W. thesp.ca.
SPANISH ON HER TONGUE (EN DOS LENGUAS) by Janet Romero-Leiva (Kapisanan Centre). This solo show looks at the displacement, loss of language and denied aboriginality of a queer girl. Opens Jun 1 and runs to Jun 5, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $12-$17 sliding scale. 167 Augusta. spanishonhertongue.weebly.com.
SWIMMER (68) by Ker Wells (Hopscotch Collective). Wells performs a multimedia show inspired by the 1968 film The Swimmer. Previews May 24-25. Opens May 26 and runs to Jun 4, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $15, previews $10. Glen Morris Theatre, 4 Glen Morris. 416-978-7986. totix.ca
THAT’S HOW IT STARTED, THIS IS HOW IT ENDS… by Kelly Aija Zemnickis (Green with Envy Productions). Two strangers facing major life changes are stuck in an airport together in this dramedy. May 31-Jun 1 at 8 pm. $15. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley. 416-839-8810, greenwithenvyproductions.ca.
THE ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY COMPLETELY MADE UP SHOW Second City presents interactive, family-friendly improv and sketch. Sat 11 am. $12. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com
THIS PARTY’S A RIOT! Second City presents a new show poking fun at the ever-changing world we live in. Wed-Sat 8 pm (plus Sat late show 10:30 pm), Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
**TIGHTROPE by 2boys.tv (Stephen Lawson and Aaron Pollard) (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). This theatrical song cycle looks at societal amnesia and cultures threatened by suppression of memory. Previews May 26. Opens May 27 and runs to Jun 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $19-$33, Sun pwyc. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
TORONTO FESTIVAL OF CLOWNS (TorontoClown.com). This year’s festival features performances by Sandra Battaglini, Precious Chong, Attila Clemann, Rachelle Elie, Stevie Jay, Phil Luzy, Eric Miinch and many others. Opens Jun 2 and runs to Jun 5, see website for schedule. $10-$20. Pia Bouman School, 6 Noble. torontoclown.com