Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of February 6, 2012: ** 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
A Brimful Of Asha by Asha and Ravi Jain (Why Not Theatre). An Indo-Canadian man discovers that his Indian vacation is actually a wife-seeking scheme by his parents. Previews Jan 24-25. Opens Jan 26 and runs to Feb 18. $18-$22, stu $15-$19. Tarragon Theatre, ExtraExtra Space, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Cruel And Tender by Martin Crimp (Canadian Stage). A general fighting a war in Africa sends a local woman back home to his pampered wife in this modern update of Sophocles’ Trachiniae. Previews Jan 21-25. Opens Jan 26 and runs to Feb 18. $22-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.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. Opens Jan 19 and runs to Feb 1, Feb 14 7 & 9:30 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
Hughie by Eugene O’Neill (The Alley Theatre Workshop). A night clerk at a NYC hotel hears a small-time hustler’s tale of woe in this one-act play. Previews Feb 7. Opens Feb 8 and runs to Mar 3. $25, stu/srs $20. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988.
In The Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes (Dancap Productions). Theatre, music and dance are used to tell the stories of residents of a hip Latino neighbourhood in NYC. Opens Feb 7 and runs to Feb 19. $51-$165. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-644-3665, dancaptickets.com.
Love From Afar by Kaija Saariaho (Canadian Opera Company). A 12th-century French troubadour has a long-distance love affair with a woman in Tripoli through a pilgrim who takes their messages back and forth. Opens Feb 2 and runs to Feb 22. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
Penny Plain by Ronnie Burkett (Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes). A reclusive old woman’s sanctuary is disrupted by a chaotic outside world. Previews Jan 20-22. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Feb 26. $38-$55. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
**The Blue Dragon by Robert Lepage (Mirvish). The life of a Canadian expat living in Shanghai is turned upside down by two women in this multilingual dance-theatre piece. Previews Jan 10. Opens Jan 11 and runs to Feb 19. $25-$99. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. mirvish.com.
The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky (TheatreRUN). A man tries desperately to fit in with a grotesque society in this multidisciplinary adaptation. Previews Feb 2. Opens Feb 3 and runs to Feb 19. $20-$28, Sun pwyc. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, theatrerun.wordpress.com.
The Golden Dragon by Roland Schimmelpfennig (Tarragon Theatre). A restaurant’s kitchen staff help an illegal immigrant search for his lost sister. Previews Jan 10-17. Opens Jan 18 and runs to Feb 19. $20-$51. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
Tosca by Giacomo Puccini (Canadian Opera Company). A passionate woman is caught in a web of corruption, lust and betrayal in this Italian opera. Opens Jan 21 and runs to Feb 25. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
Visiting Mr. Green by Jeff Baron (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). A court orders a young executive to visit an elderly widower after he nearly runs him down in his car. Previews Jan 28-30. Opens Jan 31 and runs to Feb 18. $39.50-$69.50. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, hgjewishtheatre.com.
And the Rest
A New Hope by Shelley Hamilton and Stan Christie (Shelley Hamilton Productions). Hamilton performs her solo play about the first African-Canadian communities in Canada in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation Arts Fund. Opens Feb 5 and runs to Feb 26. $25. ING Direct Café, 221 Yonge. 416-826-6855.
A Night For The Innocents (Tango Co). This funder for Daniel Karasik’s upcoming play features live music and a party. Feb 13. $10. Supermarket, 268 Augusta. tangoco.net.
**Beckett: Feck It! (Queen of Puddings Music Theatre/Canadian Stage). Samuel Beckett’s shorter plays are combined with contemporary classical music from Irish composers inspired by Beckett’s appreciation for the absurd. Opens Feb 17 and runs to Feb 25. $22-$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
CoexisDance Series #44 presents dance improvisers performing with AIM Toronto musicians. Feb 18 at 8 pm. $10. Arraymusic Studio, 60 Atlantic. coexisdance.wordpress.com.
Dani Girl by Christopher Dimond and Michael Kooman (Talk is Free Theatre/Show One Productions). A young girl with leukemia goes on a magical journey to reclaim her health in this musical. Previews Feb 16-17. Opens Feb 18 and runs to Mar 4. $33. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, tift.ca.
Divisadero: A Performance based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje (Necessary Angel/the Film Farm). A family is forever changed by a violent event in this musical adaptation about memory, identity and love. Previews Feb 8. Opens Feb 10 and runs to Feb 26. $25-$35, preview $10, Sun pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, necessaryangel.com.
Everything Under The Moon by Shary Boyle and Christine Fellows (Harbourfront World Stage/Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery). Multimedia and visual artist Boyle and musician Fellows combine live drawings, projections and music in an all-ages show. Opens Feb 18 and runs to Feb 23. $15, child $10. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
Fleurette Africaine wind in the leaves collective presents a collection of poetry and dance narratives exploring identity. Feb 17 at 7:30 pm. $20, stu $15. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. fleuretteafricainefebruary.eventbrite.com.
Funkyland (Famous People Players). The blacklight theatre company presents a twist on Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. Opens Jan 24 and runs to Apr 28. $62, srs $56, child $40 (includes meal). 343 Evans. 416-532-1137, fpp.org.
High Life by Lee MacDougall (Soulpepper). An unlikely group of masterminds plan ‘the perfect crime,’ with dangerous and comic results. Previews Feb 13-20. Opens Feb 21 and runs to Mar 28. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22/stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
iLove – A Romantic Dot Comedy Second City presents a comedic play about relationships in the age of social networking. Mon 8 pm. $12. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
Laurentina’s ODDyssey (Lauren Stein). Stein performs her solo show about a woman who turns to witchcraft to find her self in this funder for her Australian tour. Feb 16 at 7 pm. $15-$20. Waterfalls, 303 Augusta. indiegogo.com/laurentinas-oddyssey.
Le Patin Libre (Reg Hartt). The contemporary skating troupe presents a video and spoken word performance followed by a live performance of excerpts from its ice show at a nearby rink. Feb 19-21. $15-$20. Cineforum, 463 Bathurst. lepatinlibre.com.
Les Cheminements De L’Influence (Pathways Of Influence) Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie presents a solo dance work created and performed by Laurence Lemieux as a tribute to her father. Opens Feb 15 and runs to Feb 25. $25. The Citadel, 304 Parliament. 416-364-8011, colemanlemieux.com.
Lift Out Loud (Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto). Two short screenplays get a reading. Feb 16 at 7:30 pm. $5. Xpace, 58 Ossington. lift.on.ca/mt/liftoutloud.html.
**Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill (Soulpepper). O’Neill’s story of isolation, addiction and despair reveals a day in the life of his own family. Previews Feb 14-22. Opens Feb 23 and runs to Mar 28. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22/stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti (Toronto Opera Repertoire). This story of tragic love, set during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, is performed in Italian with surtitles. Opens Feb 15 and runs to Mar 3. $25, stu/srs $15. Bickford Centre Theatre, 777 Bloor W. 416-978-8849, toronto-opera.com.
Marathon ’33 by June Havoc (Ryerson Theatre School). Fading celebrities and the jobless looks for cash prizes at marathon dance competitions in the 1930s. Opens Feb 8 and runs to Feb 15. $18, stu/srs $14. Ryerson Theatre, 43 Gerrard E. 416-979-5118, ryersontheatre.ca.
Mosaic Storytelling Festival (The Open Door East End Arts Collective). Sandra Whiting presents West African mythologies, folklore and traditional tales from the Caribbean for all ages. Feb 19 at 3 pm. Pwyc ($5 sugg). St David’s Anglican Church, 49 Donlands. 416-466-3142, stdavidstoronto.ca/mosaic/mosaic.html.
No Sweetheart Required (Cabbagetown Theatre Company). This alternative Valentine’s cabaret features comedy, dance, music and theatre by Kim Sprenger, Brent Barkley and others. Feb 9-14. $20, Thu & Mon $10. Whistler’s Grille, 995 Broadview. 416-653-5870.
Obeah Opera by Nicole Brooks (b current Performing Arts/Theatre Archipelago). Based on historical texts about the Salem witch trials, this opera tells the story of five women accused of abominable spiritual acts. Previews Feb 16-19. Opens Feb 22 and runs to Mar 4. $25, stu/srs $20. 918 Bathurst Cultural Centre, 918 Bathurst. 416-533-1500, bcurrent.ca.
PlayGround (Theatre @ York). This juried festival presents new plays and works-in-progress by students. Opens Feb 14 and runs to Feb 17. $7. York University, Joseph G Green Studio Theatre, 4700 Keele. 416-736-5888, yorku.ca/finearts/theatre.
Pomme Is French For Apple by Liza Paul and Bahia Watson (Paul Watson Productions). Paul and Watson perform a series of vignettes about women and their most embarrassing and empowering moments. Previews Feb 13. Opens Feb 14 and runs to Feb 18. $20. Tranzac, 292 Brunswick. pommeisfrenchforapple.com.
Potted Potter by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner (Starvox Entertainment/Potted Productions). Clarkson and Turner use costumes, props and music to perform all seven Harry Potter books in 70 minutes. Previews Feb 11-12. Opens Feb 14 and runs to Mar 4. $29.95-$99.95. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 1-800-461-3333, mirvish.com.
Pvt. Wars by John McLure (Red One Theatre Collective/Hinson’s Radio Co-op). Three Vietnam vets at an army hospital discuss their physical and emotional wounds. Previews Feb 8-9. Opens Feb 10 and runs to Feb 19. $20. Studio 561, 561 Bloor W. redonetheatre.com.
Reasons To Be Pretty by Neil LaBute (Theatre Bassaris). A quartet of friends and lovers confront issues of image, identity, love and betrayal. Previews Feb 14. Opens Feb 15 and runs to Feb 18. $10, preview pwyc. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. theatrebassaris.com.
Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). The new works festival features plays, dance, performance art and more by Damien Atkins, Adam Lazarus, Natasha Mytnowych, the Independent Aunties, Cara Gee and others. Opens Feb 8 and runs to Feb 19. $20 evening pass, Sun pwyc. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
Risky Business & Rebel Yells Dance Matters presents boundary-pushing works by Geneviève Bolla, Emmalie Ruest & Karenne Gravel, Ofilio Portillo, Simon Renaud and Kelly Gammie. Feb 18-19 at 4 pm. $12, stu/srs $10. Pia Bouman Studio, 6 Noble. 416-556-0347, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sanctuary Song by Abigail Richardson-Schulte and Marjorie Chan (Theatre Direct). This opera for young people looks at the journey of an Asian elephant from captivity to freedom. Opens Feb 10 and runs to Feb 20. $10-$20 (ZooCheck benefit $50-$100 at zoocheck.com). Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie. 416-537-4191, theatredirect.ca.
Seeds by Annabel Soutar (Crow’s Theatre/Porte Parole). A Canadian farmer battles a biotech giant in court in this documentary play about the future of food. Previews Feb 18-21. Opens Feb 22 and runs to Mar 10. $10-$35. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, crowstheatre.com.
SENSES Bridge to Artists presents a journey through the five senses with choreography by Vlad, Linda Garneau and Julia Cratchley. Feb. 18th 7:30 pm and Feb. 19th 2pm and 7:30pm. $35-$40. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis. bridgetoartists.com.
Sonnets For An Old Century by José Rivera (Column 13 Actors Company). In a waiting room for the afterlife, souls have one chance to concisely relate the story of their lives. Opens Feb 14 and runs to Feb 25. $12. Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston. 416-536-0048, column13.org.
Speakeasy (Les Coquettes). The cabaret theatre company presents burlesque, music and more inspired by vintage NYC nightclubs in a dinner theatre show. Feb 14. Feb 20. $35-$85. Revival, 783 College. lescoquettes.com.
Spring ’12 Mainstage Revue Second City presents previews of the upcoming revue, featuring a collection of sketches, songs and improvisations. Tue-Sat 8 pm (plus Fri-Sat 10:30 pm), Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
Tango Pasion Sony Centre for the Performing Arts presents stories about Argentine society and culture choreographed by Hector Zaraspe. Feb 18 at 8 pm. $45-$80. 1 Front E. 1-855-872-7669, sonycentre.ca.
Temenos York Department of Dance presents MFA thesis projects from Shannon Roberts, Ilse Gudiño Barthold and Nancy Latoszewski. Opens Feb 15 and runs to Feb 17. $20, stu/srs $10. York University Accolade East Bldg, 4700 Keele. 416-736-5888.
The Great Mountain by Tracey Power (Red Sky Performance). Drama, dance and movement are used to tell the story of a girl who discovers the power of nature and the importance of courage. Opens Feb 11 and runs to Feb 19. $15-$20. Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.
The Man Of Mode by George Etherege (George Brown College Theatre School). This Restoration drama satirizes the behaviour of the libertines, courtiers and wits of 17th-century London. Opens Feb 8 and runs to Feb 18. $18, srs $12, stu $7. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666.
The Merry Widow by Franz Lehar (Toronto Opera Repertoire). A rich widow’s trip worries those who want her money in this comic operetta. Opens Feb 17 and runs to Mar 4. $25, stu/srs $15. Bickford Centre Theatre, 777 Bloor W. 416-978-8849, toronto-opera.com.
The Process Revealed: Four At The Winch Quebec Toronto Dance Theatre presents bilingual discussion and excerpts from the upcoming works by Estelle Clareton, Lina Cruz, Deborah Dunn and Jean-Sébastien Lourdais. Feb 13 at 7 pm. Free. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-967-1365, tdt.org.
Toronto Dances With The Stars 2some Dance presents a weekend of workshops and gala performances featuring celebrities from Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. Feb 18-19. $99-$249. Grand Victorian Convention Centre, 175 Derry E. 416-368-3006, 2somedance.com.
U Of T Drama Festival (U of T Drama Coalition). This competitive showcase features plays written, directed and performed by students. Opens Feb 15 and runs to Feb 18. $12, stu/srs $10 (uofttix.ca). Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, harthousetheatre.ca.
**War Horse based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford (National Theatre of Great Britain/Mirvish). An English boy sets out to find his horse after it’s sold to the cavalry and shipped off to France during WWI. Previews Feb 10-27. Opens Feb 28 and runs to Jun 30. $35-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
What Are You Doing BACK There?! Winter Arts Festival (Back Burner Productions). Playwrights, musicians, comics, dancers, poets and others showcase their work, featuring Socratic Theatre Collective, Evelyne Russell, random acts of dance and others. Opens Feb 9 and runs to Feb 18. $5-$10 sliding scale. Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen E. facebook.com/events/245691598839371.
Zero Hour by Jim Brochu (Lia and Danna Matthow). This solo show looks at the art, humour, temper and wit of Jewish artist Zero Mostel. Previews Feb 8. Opens Feb 9 and runs to Mar 11. $59-$69.50. Bathurst Street Theatre, 736 Bathurst. 1-855-985-2787, zerohourshow.com.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*