Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of December 19, 2011

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of December 19, 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

2 Pianos 4 Hands by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt (Mirvish). Two boys struggle with lessons, parents and stage fright while dreaming of becoming piano stars. Previews Oct 29. Opens Oct 30 and runs to Jan 5, see website for schedule (no shows Dec 19-26). $49-$69. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 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-Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 8 & 10:30 pm, Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

HAIR by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot (Mirvish). Young bohemian pacifists explore free love, drugs and 60s culture as the Vietnam War draft looms in this musical. Previews Dec 13. Opens Dec 14 and runs to Dec 31, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats Sat 2 pm (no eve show Dec 24); see website for additional days and times. $35-$130. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (Lower Ossington Theatre). This musical reinvents the Biblical story of Joseph and his brothers. Opens Dec 13 and runs to Dec 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm (no show Dec 24), mats Dec 18 at 4 pm, Dec 20-21 & 27-28 at 1 pm. $45-$60, stu $20. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

**Mary Poppins by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman (Mirvish/Disney Theatrical Productions/Cameron Mackintosh). This musical is based on the PL Travers stories and the 1964 Disney film. Previews Nov 10-11. Opens Nov 12 and runs to Jan 8, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm (no eve show Dec 24; see website for other dates). $38-$185. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

**Memphis by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan (Dancap Productions). A white DJ falls in love with a black rock-and-roll singer in the 50s in this musical. Previews Dec 6. Opens Dec 7 and runs to Dec 24, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun 2 pm (see website for more performances). $51-$180. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-644-3665, dancaptickets.com.

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 29, 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.

Parfumerie by Miklós László (Soulpepper). Shop clerks who don’t get along at work exchange anonymous love letters as pen pals. Opens Dec 8 and runs to Dec 31, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

**Seussical by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Young People’s Theatre). This all-ages musical is based on the classic Dr. Seuss books. Previews Nov 7-9. Opens Nov 10 and runs to Dec 30, Sat-Sun 2 pm, see website for other dates and times. $15-$20. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.

The Miracle On Mercer Street Second City presents all-ages seasonal comedy mixing live-action sketches with puppetry and songs. Opens Nov 19 and runs to Dec 17, Sat Saturdays at noon (and Dec 21-23 & Dec 26-Jan 1, 2012 at noon). Dec 21-28, Mon-Fri noon. Opens Dec 29 and runs to Jan 1, Thu-Sun noon. $12, family 4-pack $40. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

The Wizard Of Oz: The Wickedly Wacky Family Musical adapted by Lorna Wright and Nicholas Hune-Brown (Ross Petty Productions). A snowstorm transports a city girl to a wacky new world in this farcical version of the classic story. Previews Nov 25-30. Opens Dec 1 and runs to Jan 6, Tue-Sat 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm (see website for other dates and holiday exceptions). $27-$85. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 416-872-5555, rosspetty.com.

And the Rest

2000 Candles (The Arts Engine). This musical theatre show features vignettes of Christmas celebrations and traditions. Opens Dec 20 and runs to Dec 23, Tue-Fri 8 pm. $16.50-$28. Walmer Centre Theatre, 188 Lowther. 2000candles.com.

A Magical Time Of Year (Famous People Players). The blacklight theatre company presents a holiday musical about kindness, peace and love. Opens Nov 12 and runs to Dec 30, Tue-Sat noon and 6:45 pm. $62, srs $56, child $40 (includes meal). 343 Evans. 416-532-1137, fpp.org.

Disney On Ice: 100 Years Of Magic (Feld Entertainment). More than 60 Disney characters bring stories to life in this family ice show. Opens Dec 23 and runs to Jan 1, daily: Dec 23 at 7 pm, Dec 24-30 and Jan 1 at 4 pm, plus Dec 26-31 at noon. $15-$90. Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way. 416-870-8000, disneyonice.com.

Kensington Market Winter Solstice (Red Pepper Spectacle Arts). Artists and performers participate in this annual outdoor solstice celebration and parade. Dec 21 at 6:30 pm. Free. Kensington Market, corner of Oxford and Augusta. 416-598-3729, redpepperspectaclearts.org.

Occupy Christmas (Friendly Spike Theatre Band). The company presents a pot luck party and performances. Dec 25 from 1 to 4 pm. Free. May Robinson Auditorium, 20 West Lodge Ave. friendlyspike@primus.ca

**Quidam (Cirque du Soleil). A young girl escapes boredom through a world of imagination in this circus show featuring aerial arts, dance, music and more. Opens Dec 20 and runs to Dec 30, Mon-Fri 7:30 pm, mats Dec 23, 29, 30 at 3:30 pm. $50-$100, stu/srs/child/military $40-$85.50. Ricoh Coliseum, 100 Princes’ Blvd. 416-870-8000, cirquedusoleil.com/quidam.

The Christmas Story (Church of the Holy Trinity). Professional musicians and a volunteer cast present a nativity pageant. Opens Dec 9 and runs to Dec 24, Fri-Sat (and Dec 22) 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 4:30 pm. $20, child $5 (suggested donation). 10 Trinity Square. 416-598-8979, holytrinitytoronto.org.

The Nutcracker The National Ballet of Canada presents James Kudelka’s 1995 version of this evergreen seasonal classic. Opens Dec 10 and runs to Jan 1, Wed-Sat 7 pm, mats Sat 2 pm, Sun 1 and 5:30 pm till Dec 18; Dec 21-23 at 7 pm (see website for more dates and times). $38-$133.50. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-345-9595, thenutcracker.ca.

The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue Second City presents a holiday-themed show of scenes and songs. Opens Nov 21 and runs to Dec 21, Mon 8 pm, Wed-Fri 2 pm. Opens Dec 22 and runs to Dec 28, Tue-Fri 2 pm, Mon 2 & 8 pm. Opens Dec 29 and runs to Jan 2, Thu-Fri 2 pm, Mon 8 pm. $15-$22. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

The Story by Martha Ross (Theatre Columbus). The ensemble performs an unconventional telling of the Nativity in an outdoor walk-about show. Previews Dec 13-15. Opens Dec 16 and runs to Dec 30, Tue-Sun 7:30 pm (no show Dec 24, 25, 26) mats Dec 21, 23, 28 at 4:30 pm. $25, stu/srs $20, child/previews $10. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview. 416-504-7529, theatrecolumbus.ca.

Winter Solstice Concert And Celebration (Children’s Peace Theatre). This family-friendly celebration features an outdoor lantern parade, a peace flag ceremony and more. Dec 21 at 6:30 pm. Free. 305 Dawes. 416-752-1550, peacetheatre.org.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*