Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of October 17, 2011

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of October 17, 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

**ANOTHER AFRICA by Deborah Asiimwe, Binyavanga Wainaina and Roland Schimmelpfennig (Canadian Stage/Volcano Theatre). This play trilogy examines the multi-faceted relationship between Africa and the West. Previews Sep 26-28. Opens Sep 29 and runs to Oct 22, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, sat 2 pm. $22-$99. Bluma appel theatre, 27 front e. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.  

CHESS THE MUSICAL by Tim Rice, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (Mirvish). Two great chess masters vie for a championship and the love of one woman. Previews Sep 24-27. Opens Sep 28 and runs to Oct 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $35-$175. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King w. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE! (AND OTHER LIES) Second City presents its latest sketch revue about the things we tell ourselves to get through life. Wed-Fri 8 pm, Sat 8 & 10:30 pm, Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

**GHOSTS by Henrik Ibsen (Soulpepper). A woman’s decision to stay with her cheating husband comes back to haunt her. Previews Oct 10-13. Opens Oct 14 and runs to Nov 18, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

HARDSELL by Rick Miller (WYRD/Necessary Angel). This multimedia solo show takes a satirical look at consumerism. Opens Oct 13 and runs to Oct 23, Tue-Sat 8 pm, sun 2 pm. $20-$55.Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca. 

**HIS GREATNESS by Daniel MacIvor (Independent Artists Repertory Theatre). This play is based on two days in 1980 when Tennessee Williams was in Vancouver for the opening of one of his plays. Previews Sep 20-21. Opens Sep 22 and runs to Oct 23, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat 2 pm, Sun 3 pm. $40-$60, limited pwyc sun. Factory Theatre, studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.  

I SEND YOU THIS CADMIUM RED (Art of Time Ensemble/Canadian Stage). Correspondences between artist John Berger and filmmaker John Christie are the basis of this dance-theatre piece. Opens Oct 10 and runs to Oct 22, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat 2 pm. $22-$49.Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.

IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY by Sarah Ruhl (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre). A doctor’s use of a newfangled medical device draws curiosity from his wife. Previews Sep 13-20. Opens sep 21 and runs to Oct 23, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2:30 pm (no mats Sep 17, Oct 15, Oct 22). $20-$47. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

**MATCHBOX MACBETH (Litmus Theatre) Be one of only 15 audience members to witness an eerie yet magical hour-long adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic in a hidden backyard-shed.  This will be the absolute final run of this NOW Magazine Top 10 Theatre Production of 2010. Oct 13th – 30th. Thu – Sun 7 & 9pm daily $15 tickets available online only. Secret location in the heart of Toronto’s Little Italy revealed with online booking.

MURDER ON OSSINGTON by Tom Arthur Davis and Alex Rubin (Pandemic Theatre). Inspired by true events, this psychological drama explores themes of violence from different perspectives. Opens Oct 14 and runs to Oct 30, Fri-Sun 8 pm. Pwyc (must reserve). Secret location, revealed with ticket purchase. Tix@pandemictheatre.ca.

PRIVATE LIVES by Noël Coward (Mirvish). Exes meet at the same hotel while honeymooning with new spouses. Previews Sep 16-24. Opens Sep 25 and runs to Oct 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $35-$175. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King w. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

**RIGOLETTO by Giuseppe Verdi (Canadian Opera Company). A jester avenges his seduced daughter with tragic consequences in this Italian opera. Opens Sep 29 and runs to Oct 22, Oct 5, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20 and 22 at 7:30 pm, Oct 2 and 16 at 2 pm, Oct 8 at 4:30 pm. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen w. 416-363-8231, coc.ca 

**SEX, RELIGION & OTHER HANG-UPS by James Gangl (Gangland Productions). Gangl performs his solo comedy from the fringe about dealing with sexuality and strict beliefs. Previews Oct 4-5. Opens Oct 6 and runs to Oct 22, Tue-Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 7 and 9 pm. $15-$25.Theatre Passe muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, sexhangup.com

SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM (Sonus Stage Productions). This musical revue features well-known and obscure works by Stephen Sondheim. Opens Oct 5 and runs to Oct 23, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20. Walmer Centre Theatre, 188 Lowther. Sonusstageproductions.ca.

THE ODD COUPLE by Neil Simon (Soulpepper). A meticulous man and his sloppy roommate try to coexist in a small apartment in this comedy. Previews Sep 22. Opens Sep 23 and runs to Nov 19, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca 

**THE PRICE by Arthur Miller (Soulpepper). Two estranged brothers reunite in a condemned house to sell their father’s possessions. Previews Aug 29-Sep 1. Opens Sep 2 and runs to Oct 22, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

THOSE WHO CAN’T DO… By Erin Fleck (Theatre Passe Muraille). A sex scandal at a high school forces a teacher to confront her own perceptions of sexuality and shame. Previews Oct 6-8. Opens Oct 11 and runs to Oct 29, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $25-$30, previews $15, mat pwyc. Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca. 

WHITE BITING DOG by Judith Thompson (Soulpepper). A suicidal lawyer on a bridge is advised by a talking dog. Previews Aug 13-17. Opens Aug 18 and runs to Oct 21, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28, rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca 

…And the Rest

ALL MY SONS by Arthur Miller (Amicus Productions). After returning from duty during WWII, a man falls in love with his late brother’s fiancée, but family secrets and tensions intervene. Opens Oct 20 and runs to Oct 29, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mats Oct 22-23 at 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $18. Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-860-6176. fairviewlibrarytheatre.

CABARET ENCHANTÉ (Les Coquettes). The burlesque troupe presents a carnival theme with a twisted take on fairy tales. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Oct 30, sun 7 and 9:30 pm. $15-$30.Revival, 783 College. Lescoquettes.com.

COMPANIA FLAMENCA JOSE PORCEL – GYPSY FIRE Roy Thomson Hall and Attila Glatz concert productions present flamenco music and dance from Andalusia. Oct 17 at 8 pm. $39.50-$69.50. 60 Simcoe. 416-872-4255, roythomson.com. 

DOC WUTHERGLOOM’S HAUNTED MEDICINE SHOW by Eric Woolfe (Eldritch Theatre). A travelling exorcist and his ghoulish puppets perform a Victorian-gothic show. Opens Oct 19 and runs to Nov 6, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$35. Secret venue, location revealed with purchase. Eldritchtheatre.ca.

EIGHT WAYS FROM MARA Zata Omm, Danceworks and Harbourfront Nextsteps present a multidisciplined work by William Yong about people’s tendency to succumb to confusion, temptation or distraction. Oct 20-23, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $28-$33.50, stu/srs $19-$22.50.Enwave Theatre, 231 Qeens Quay w. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

FACTS by Arthur Milner (Beit Zatoun). Two detectives, one Palestinian and one Israeli, investigate the murder of an American in the West Bank in this dramatic play reading. Oct 22-23, sat 7:30 pm, sun 2 pm. $10-$20. 612 Markham. 416-789-5502, beitzatoun.org.

I PROMESSI SPOSI (THE BETROTHED) by Alessandro Manzoni (Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto). Theatre, dance and live music are used to bring the historical Italian novel to life. Oct 18 at 7 pm. $20. Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina. 416-921-3802, iictoronto.esteri.it. 

LAUGHABLE AT UNLOVABLE presents Ian Lynch, Darryl Orr, David Dineen-Porter, Michael Balazo, Tim Polley, Catherine Montgomery, David Heti, Dan Ramos and host Nick Flanagan. Oct 17 9 pm. Pwyc. Unlovable, 1415-b Dundas w. 416-532-6669. Unloveable.

LE DIEU DU CARNAGE (GOD OF CARNAGE) by Yasmina Reza (Théâtre Français de Toronto). Civility turns to hostility when two couples meet to resolve their kids’ dispute in this comedy. Previews Oct 19-20. Opens Oct 21 and runs to Nov 5, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun 2:30 pm, Oct 29, Nov 5 at 3:30 pm. $33-$48, stu/srs $28-$41, Wed pwyc. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com. 

MICHAEL JACKSON THE IMMORTAL WORLD TOUR by Jamie King (Cirque du Soleil). This fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy uses choreography by Jand 10 others to showcase the king of pop’s artistry. Oct 21-23, Fri-Sat 8 pm, sun 4 pm. $50-$250. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay. 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca. 

MIND KONTROL (Mega Magic/z103.5). Mike D’urzo performs an interactive show combining comedy, mentalism, magic and illusions. Oct 20-23, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm. $35. Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina. Megamagic.ca.

MY MOTHER’S ITALIAN, MY FATHER’S JEWISH & I’M IN THERAPY by Steve Solomon (Philip Roger Roy/Dana Matthow/Bud Martin). Solomon performs his solo show about growing up in a wacky, bi-ethnic family. Opens Oct 12 and runs to Jan 1, Wed 7 pm, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $51.50-$56. Bathurst Street Theatre, 736 Bathurst. 1-855-985-2787, italianjewish.ca. 

NAME IN VAIN (DECALOGUE TWO) by André Alexis (Tarragon Theatre). A monk breaks his vow of silence and the second commandment, sending the brotherhood into upheaval. Previews Oct 4-18. Opens Oct 19 and runs to Oct 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sun (and Oct 22, 29) at 2:30 pm. $15-$22. ExtraExtra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com. 

**OFF BATHURST THEATRE DISTRICT MARATHON (Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts). This day of theatre features Those Who Can’t Do… at 2 pm (Theatre Passe Muraille), Hardsell at 4 pm (Factory Theatre), dinner at 6 pm, and In The Other Room Or The Vibrator Play at 8 pm (Tarragon Theatre). Oct 22. $95 (includes 3 shows, dinner and transportation). 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca. 

OPERANATION 8 – A MUSE BALL (Canadian Opera Company). This funder for the COC Ensemble Studio features dance-pop band Austra and Rufus Wainwright. Oct 21 at 9 pm. $150.Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca. 

RETURN ON A SNOWY NIGHT Guangzhou Ballet presents a tragic love story in four acts featuring classical ballet fused with traditional Chinese dance and opera. Oct 18 at 8 pm. $45-$165. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front E. 416-872-2262, sonycentre.ca. 

SHOW AND TELL ALEXANDER BELL by the Company (Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, U of T/Ars Mechanica). This fusion of theatre and technology looks at Bell’s invention and the contraptions it inspired. Oct 20-23, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $10, Sun pwyc. Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College. 416-978-7986. UofTevents

SMASH HIT Opening Night Theatre presents a weekly improvised musical. Sat 8 pm. Pwyc.Augusta House, 152 Augusta. openingnighttheatre.com. 

STRIA Presented in association with the DanceWorks CoWorks Series. Emerging from the beautiful and unpredictable terrain of the Badlands, Chartier invites the audience on a unique and virtuosic physical and theatrical expedition. The latest solo work by award-winning choreographer/performer Marie-Josée Chartier, Stria is a dark, playful and unconventional self-portrait.Oct. 14-15, 8 p.m. Tickets: $20-$28.  Enwave Theatre. chartierdanse.com

TERMINUS (CAFFE): THINGS WHICH HAPPEN ONLY TO THE LIVING by Tony Nardi (Grano). Scenes from Nardi’s play about internment of Italian Canadians during WWII get a reading. Oct 18 at 6 pm. Free. 2035 Yonge. 416-686-5493, grano.ca. 

THE DINNER by Jason Murray (Upstage Productions/pivotal(arts) theatre). Tensions arise between old and new friends at a Thanksgiving dinner. Opens Oct 19 and runs to Oct 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $15-$20. St. Vladimir Institute, 620 Spadina. 416-923-3318, stvladimir.ca.

**THE GENTLEMAN CALLER by James Cunningham and Martin Hunter (Zadkiel Productions). Aging and withdrawn, playwright Tennessee Williams is reanimated when a young stranger breaks into his home. Opens Oct 19 and runs to Oct 22, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $35, stu/srs $18. Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca. 

THE NEAT STRANGE MUSIC OF AHMED HASSAN Abilities Arts Festival presents a multidisciplinary performance with dances by Peggy Baker, Serge Bennathan, Peter Bingham and Robert Desrosiers. Oct 21-22 at 8 pm. $25, stu/srs/disabled $20. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis. abilitiesartsfestival.org.

THE NORMAL HEART by Larry Kramer (Studio 180 Theatre). A group of friends refuse to let doctors, politicians and the press bury the truth about the AIDS epidemic in early 80s NYC. Previews Oct 14-15. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 6, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $25-$35. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, studio180theatre.com.

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW by Richard O’Brien (Lower Ossington Theatre). A newly engaged couple stumble upon a freaky castle in this classic rock musical. Opens Oct 20 and runs to Oct 29, Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 8 and 11 pm, plus Oct 31 at 8 pm. $28.50-$38.50. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com. 

THE SANKOFA TRILOGY by d’bi.young anitafrika (Tarragon Theatre). The stories of three generations of Jamaican women are told in the plays blood.claat, benu and word! sound! powah!, presented in repertory. Previews Oct 22-Nov 3. Opens Nov 4 and runs to Dec 3, Thu-Sat 8 pm (no show Oct 28), some Tue-Wed nights and Sat-Sun mats (call/see website for details). $20-$45. Extra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com. 

THERE’S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT ASHLEY: BIRTHDAY EDITION (AshleyX2 Productions). Ashley Gibson and Ashley Medeiros-Felix present a musical theatre cabaret. Oct 22 at 7:30 pm. $10-$12. Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst. ashleyx2productions@gmail.com. 

TORONTO’S GOT TALENT Byfield Dance Experience presents tap, Afro-Brazilian, hip-hop, urban dance and more by its students and guest performers. Oct 19 at 7:30 pm. $39.Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. mirvish.com.

ZARZUELA GOLD (Toronto Operetta Theatre). This gala benefit for TOT features music from Maria La O, Cecilia Valdes, La Gran Via and others. Oct 23 at 2 pm. $47. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, torontooperetta.com.


 *Listings based on NOW stage listings*