Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of March 19, 2012

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

BUS STOP by William Inge (Stage Centre Productions). Strangers get to know each other when a bus becomes stranded in a blizzard. Opens Mar 15 and runs to Mar 24. $27.50, stu/srs $22.Fairview Library Theatre, 35 Fairview Mall. 416-299-5557, stagecentreproductions.com.

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.

LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL by Laurence O’Keefe, Nell Benjamin and Heather Hach (Lower Ossington Theatre). A sorority girl makes it to law school in this musical based on the 2001 film. Opens Mar 9 and runs to Mar 31. $45-$60. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

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

MORRO AND JASP: GO BAKE YOURSELF by Heather Marie Annis, Byron Laviolette and Amy Lee (Up your Nose and In your Toes (U.N.I.T.) Productions). The Fringe-fest famous clown sisters go on a culinary adventure in this new show. Previews Mar 21. Opens Mar 22 and runs to Mar 31. $15, kids’ mats $10, preview pwyc. Cahoots Theatre Company, 388 Queen E. morroandjasp.com.

**NEW IDEAS FESTIVAL (Alumnae Theatre). The annual showcase of new writing, works-in-progress and experimental theatre features plays and staged readings with works by Donna Langevin, Megan Coles, Gerry McBride, Jordan Mechano, Stacy Gardner, Kelly DuMar, Radha Menon and others. Opens Mar 14 and runs to Apr 1. $15, pass $35, Sat readings pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.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 Apr 8. $29.95-$99.95. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 1-800-461-3333, mirvish.com.

**SEX, RELIGION & OTHER HANG-UPS Gangland Productions presents James Gangl in his solo comedy from the Fringe about dealing with sexuality and strict beliefs. Mar 25 10 pm. $15.Second City, 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011. secondcity.com.

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK adapted by Wendy Kesselman (Shakespeare in Action). The story of a Jewish girl and her family hiding from the Nazis is adapted for the stage. Opens Mar 15 and runs to Mar 24. $25, stu/srs $18. Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina. 416-703-4881, shakespeareinaction.org.

THE HAPPY WOMAN by Rose Cullis (Nightwood Theatre). This darkly comic play looks at how a middle-class family suppresses truth to maintain a happy veneer. Previews Mar 5-6. Opens Mar 7 and runs to Mar 24. $22-$46. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, nightwoodtheatre.net

THE SMALL ROOM AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS by Carole Fréchette (Tarragon Theatre). A woman debates entering her husband’s secret room. Previews Feb 29-Mar 6. Opens Mar 7 and runs to Apr 8. $21-$51. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

**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 Sep 30. $35-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

And the rest…

A NIGHT OF LIES (Four Winds Collective). The collective presents a night of theatrical readings. Mar 19 at 8 pm. Pwyc. Tranzac, Tiki Room, 292 Brunswick. fourwindscollective.wordpress.com.

AER TIME (Femmes du Feu/Zero Gravity Circus). This workshop performance series features new works by aerial artists. Mar 24 at 2 pm. $10. Centre of Gravity West, south entrance, 213 Sterling, suite 100. hollytreddenick@gmail.com.

BABYLONIA (Radix Theatre/Free Fall ’12). This workshop presentation starts as an online interactive narrative and unfolds in a live performance. Mar 24-26. $20 (festival pass $23-$45).The Great Hall, Studio 3, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, freefall12.eventbrite.ca.

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.

GCB MONTHLY (Great Canadian Burlesque). The troupe presents a variety show featuring Peekaboo Pointe, Coco Framboise and others. Mar 22. $15-$20. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. eventbrite.com/event/3035700863.

GOODBYE MR BOND: A RETIREMENT PARTY FOR 007 (Mysteriously Yours… Dinner Theatre). Friends, enemies and past lovers celebrate the secret agent’s retirement at this dinner theatre show. Mar 23 at 6:30 pm. $79 (partial proceeds to the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario). 2026 Yonge. 416-486-7469, mysteriouslyyours.com.

INVISIBLE TORONTO: OSSINGTON EDITION (Free Fall ’12). Theatre artist Falen Johnson looks at the neighbourhood from an indigenous perspective in this walking tour. Opens Mar 25 and runs to Mar 31. $15 (festival pass $23-$45). Queen W at Ossington. 416-538-0988, freefall12.eventbrite.ca.

LIVE WRONG AND PROSPER Second City presents its latest revue of sketches, songs and improvisations. In previews. Tue-Sat 8 pm, plus Sat 10:30 pm, Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

**MY GRANNY THE GOLDFISH by Anosh Irani (Factory Theatre). A neurotic man’s Indian grandmother comes to Canada to help him recover from illness. Previews Mar 17-21. Opens Mar 22 and runs to Apr 15. $30-$40, mat pwyc, previews $20. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

NEW OPERA SHOWCASE (Tapestry New Opera). Excerpts from works in development will be performed. Mar 25 at 7 pm. $25. Ernest Balmer Studio, 55 Mill, bldg 58, studio 315. 416-537-6066 ext 243, tapestrynewopera.com.

OUT THE WINDOW by Liza Balkan (The Window Collective/Free Fall ’12). Balkan’s documentary play looks at her journey through the legal system after witnessing a man’s death at the hands of police. Opens Mar 17 and runs to Mar 25. $25, stu/srs $20 (festival pass $23-$45). Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, theatrecentre.org.

**PROUD by Michael Healey (Dancing Without Mary). The third piece in Healey’s trilogy of plays about Canadian values gets a reading. Mar 19 at 7:30 pm. $15-$30. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.

RESTORATION by Edward Bond (Theatre @ York). This drama exposes the harsh truth of life in image-obsessed 18th-century England. Previews Mar 18-19. Opens Mar 20 and runs to Mar 24. $17, stu/srs $12, previews $5. York University, Joseph G Green Studio Theatre, 4700 Keele. 416-736-5888.

RHINOCEROS (UTS Department of Humanities). A man resists conformity as citizens of Toronto turn into rhinos in this adaptation of Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist play. Opens Mar 14 and runs to Mar 24. $12, stu/srs $10. U of T Scarborough Campus, Leigha Lee Browne Theatre, 1265 Military Trail. rhinoceros.eventbrite.ca.

RIVOLI DANCES 3 Carson T Foster and Heather Jones present contemporary works by Niki Wozniak, Arabesque Earth Shakers, Heather Jones, Sharp Kill, Sung-Ah Choi and others. Mar 20. $12. Rivoli, 332 Queen W. rivolidances@gmail.com.

SHREK THE MUSICAL by David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori (Dancap Productions). A swamp-dwelling ogre goes on a journey of redemption in this musical based on William Steig’s book and the DreamWorks film. Opens Mar 20 and runs to Apr 1. $34-$135. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-644-3665, dancaptickets.com.

SPRING AWAKENING by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater (Trinity College Dramatic Society). Teens journey from youth to adulthood in 19th-century Germany in this musical adapted from the play by Frank Wedekind. Opens Mar 21 and runs to Mar 24. $15, stu/srs $10. George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.

TANGLED DANCES York Dance Ensemble presents contemporary works by Darcey Callison, Shae Zukiwsky, Anne Goad and others. Mar 22-24. $20, stu/srs $10. York University Accolade East Bldg, 4700 Keele. 416-736-5888.

**THE CALM BEFORE… The Chimera Project and Harbourfront NextSteps present urban, contemporary choreography by Malgorzata Nowacka about the fear, fight and success of the human condition. Opens Mar 19 and runs to Mar 25. $15-$35, stu mat $5-$10, Sun pwyc.Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

THE GREEN DOOR CABARET SERIES (Lower Ossington Theatre). This series features cabaret performances by Joel Hartt, Randy Vancourt, Kelly Holiff and others. Opens Mar 2 and runs to Apr 7. $20-$30. 100A Ossington. lowerossingtontheatre.com/cabaret.

THE NUN’S VACATION by Tom Walmsley (Doghouse Riley Productions). This play about a nun, an ex-priest turned psychologist and one of his patients looks at the nature of love, god and tolerance. Opens Mar 23 and runs to Apr 8. $20. Toronto Free Gallery, 1277 Bloor W. dhrproductions.com.

THE SEAGULL The National Ballet of Canada presents choreography by John Neumeier, based on the play by Anton Chekhov. Opens Mar 21 and runs to Mar 25. $25-$234. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-345-9595, national.ballet.ca.

THE VINDICATION OF SENYORA CLITO MESTRES by Montserrat Roig (April Productions). A woman who loses her home and family finds salvation in her return to the theatre in this solo show. Opens Mar 21 and runs to Mar 25. $25, mat $18. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.ca.

U OF T FESTIVAL OF DANCE U of T Dance Coalition presents a showcase by students performing a variety of dance styles. Mar 23-24. $12, stu/srs $10. Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.

VARENKA, VARENKA! Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie presents dance solos performed by Laurence Lemieux and Bill Coleman inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel Poor Folk, with live music by Vladimir Sidorov. Opens Mar 21 and runs to Mar 31. $25, stu $15. The Citadel, 304 Parliament. 416-364-8011, colemanlemieux.com.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*