Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of April 23, 2012

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of April 23, 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 Reviewed by MoT

**CLYBOURNE PARK by Bruce Norris (Studio 180 Theatre/Canadian Stage). A battle over race and real estate rages over two generations in a suburban Chicago neighbourhood. Previews Apr 2-4. Opens Apr 5 and runs to Apr 28. $22-$49, limited Mon pwyc. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, studio180theatre.com.

COSI by Louis Nowra (Alumnae Theatre). A theatre director looks to stage Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte with a cast of mental patients in 1970s Australia. Apr 13-28. $20, Wed 2-for-1, Sun pwyc. 70 Berkeley. 416-364-4170, alumnaetheatre.com.

**DANCING QUEEN by Sky Gilbert (The Cabaret Company). This fusion of theatre and dance looks at gay romance in an intergenerational love triangle. Previews Apr 18. Opens Apr 19 and runs to Apr 29. $25-$30, stu $20-$24, preview $20, Sun pwyc ($18-$20 adv). Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, ticketweb.ca.

HEART STRINGS, THE MUSICAL (Reynold Nathaniel). In 1908, an Italian apprentice goes to Ireland to deliver an anniversary gift from Germany. Opens Mar 23 and runs to Apr 28. $20-$25. The Annex Live, 296 Brunswick. 416-929-3999.

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

THE MELVILLE BOYS by Norm Foster (Panfish Productions). Two pairs of siblings have their cottage getaway plans changed by a chance meeting in this comedy. Opens Apr 12 and runs to Apr 28. $25. Alumnae Theatre, Studio, 70 Berkeley. 647-401-9727, panfishproductions.ca.

OIL AND WATER by Robert Chafe (Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland/Performance Spring Festival). This theatrical retelling tells the story of Lanier Phillips, the only black survivor of a 1942 shipwreck off the coast of Newfoundland. Opens Apr 18 and runs to May 6. $30-$40. Factory Theatre, Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

PRISONER OF TEHRAN by Marina Nemat (Contrary Company). Nemat’s memoir of being imprisoned on false charges, a forced marriage and family tension is adapted for the stage. Previews Apr 10. Opens Apr 11 and runs to Apr 28. $30-$35, stu/srs $20, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.ca.

**THE TALES OF HOFFMANN by Jacques Offenbach (Canadian Opera Company). The dark reminiscences of a drunken poet come to life as he recalls his lost loves. Opens Apr 10 and runs to May 14. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.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 Sep 30. $35-$130. Princess  of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

**WAS SPRING by Daniel MacIvor (Tarragon Theatre). Three women from different generations confront each other about an incident in their shared past. Previews Mar 27-Apr 3. Opens Apr 4 and runs to May 6. $24-$51. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

And the Rest

A BLOCK TO BROADWAY! BENEFIT (Beyond Boundaries). Musical theatre talents perform to raise funds to send the musical drama Living With Henry to the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Apr 23 at 8 pm. $35, stu $25. Bathurst Street Theatre, 736 Bathurst. 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.ca.

A FLORENTINE TRAGEDY/GIANNI SCHICCHI by Alexander Zemlinksy/Giacomo Puccini (Canadian Opera Company). Zemlinsky’s satire based on an unfinished Oscar Wilde play is presented with Puccini’s comedy about a greedy family members scheming over a will. Opens Apr 26 and runs to May 25. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.

A MONTH OF SUNDAYS Aimee Dawn Robinson presents a performance series that features art, video, dance and more with Dawne Carleton, Evan Webber, Victoria Cheong and others. Opens Apr 1 and runs to Apr 29. $10. Halo Halo Village, 208 Christie. wix.com/aprilisamonthofsunda/aprilisamonthofsundays.

AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner (Theatre Smith-Gilmour). A family hauls their matriarch’s corpse across the Mississippi countryside to honour her dying wish in this workshop production. Opens Apr 19 and runs to Apr 29. $15 (Apr 26 fundraiser gala $45, stu $22). Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, theatrecentre.org.

ATLAS OBSCURA DAY (Comedy Bar). Host Mysterion the Mindreader presents a collection of oddities, featuring Mental Floss Side Show, burlesque performers and more. Apr 28 at 10 pm. $20. 945 Bloor W. atlasobscura.com.

BABY REDBOOTS REVENGE by Philip Dimitri Galas (Lynne Griffin). This performance of the avant-vaudeville piece will raise funds for its run in New York. Apr 27-29 at 7 pm. $10. Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas E. 416-486-8513, babyredbootsrevenge.wordpress.com.

DREAMDANCE presents improvised music and dance with Claudia Wittman plus musicians. Mar 14 at 8 pm. Apr 25 at 8 pm. $8. Somewhere There Studio, 227 Sterling. coexisdance.wordpress.com.

EROS, THANATOS & THE AVANT-GARDE – The Cabaret SeriesRivoli presents music, dance and more with Jimmy Danger, Giada Salvi, Hip Kik, Winston Spear and others. Apr 25 at 9 pm. $12-$15. Back Room, 332 Queen W. PedestrianThrashDC@hotmail.com.

FANTASTIC TAIWAN 2012 – Taiwan Heritage Day Taiwanese Canadian Assoication of Toronto and Taiwanese Canadian Community Network present an arts and culture event with Da-Guan Dance from Taiwan. Apr 28 at 7 pm. $35, under 14 $15. Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge. bit.ly/fantastic-taiwan-ticket.

FOREVER PLAID by Stuart Ross (Lower Ossington Theatre). Four young singers get a posthumous chance to fulfill their dreams in this musical revue. Opens Apr 13 and runs to Apr 28. $45. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

FROM CHELM TO CHOLLYVOOD by Morris Jacobs (Medina Theatre Ensemble). This funder for the company features a comedic ride through the history of Jewish humour. Apr 23 at 7:30 pm. $10. Temple Sinai Congregation, 210 Wilson. 416-638-2716.

H.M.S. PINAFORE by WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan (Toronto Operetta Theatre). The popular high-seas comic opera gets a staging. Opens Apr 24 and runs to Apr 29. $66-$95. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, torontooperetta.com.

HEAD A TETE by David S Craig and Robert Morgan (Theatre Direct). Two strangers who speak different languages take shelter from a storm under a magical fruit tree. Opens Apr 21 and runs to May 6. $12-$15. Wychwood Theatre, 76 Wychwood. 416-537-4191, theatredirect.ca.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, Willie Gilbert and Frank Loesser (Toronto Youth Theatre). A man schemes his way to the top in this musical. Opens Apr 18 and runs to Apr 28. $17.50-$37.50. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, tythowtosucceed.eventbrite.ca.

L’EMMERDEUR by Francis Veber (Théâtre français de Toronto/Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui). A suicidal oddball jeopardizes a hit man’s task in this comedy. Previews Apr 18-19. Opens Apr 20 and runs to May 5. $33-$100, srs $28-$100. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.

MACBETH by William Shakespeare (Shakespeare in Action). This adaptation sets the classic tragedy in a post-apocalyptic world. Apr 28 at 7:30 pm. $18, stu/srs $15. Central Commerce CI Theatre, 570 Shaw. 416-703-4881, shakespeareinaction.org.

PAPER LACED WITH GOLD by Maggie MacDonald (Paper Laced Productions/HATCH). A waitress recognizes the man trying to steal her car as a kid she used to babysit in this folk-rock musical. Apr 28 at 8 pm. $15, stu/srs $12. Harbourfront Centre, Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

PARIS 1994/GALLERY Harbourfront World Stage and the Dietrich Group present choreography by DA Hoskins exploring longing, desire, memory and our reconstructions of the past. Opens Apr 25 and runs to Apr 28. $15-$35. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

PHYRO-GIANTS! by Michael Blieden (Unit 102 Actors Company). Four 30-somethings discuss ghosts, religion, family and marriage over dinner. Opens Apr 19 and runs to Apr 28. $20, adv $15 (by email). Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. unit102tix@gmail.com.

RIVERS Harbourfront Centre NextSteps and Toronto Dance Theatre present new work by Christopher House set to the music of Canadian composer Ann Southam. Opens Apr 25 and runs to Apr 28. $15-$40. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, tdt.org.

ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare (Shakespeare in Action). This adaptation for young audiences sets the story in a modern, culturally diverse city. Apr 28 at 2 pm. $18, stu/srs $15. Central Commerce CI Theatre, 570 Shaw. 416-703-4881, shakespeareinaction.org.

THE ADAPTATION PROJECT Dancemakers presents a re-imagining of works from the company’s 38-year repertoire, choreographed by Michael Trent. Previews Apr 18. Opens Apr 19 and runs to Apr 29. $25, stu/srs $20. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 55 Mill, bldg 58, studio 313. 416-367-1800, dancemakers.org.

THE ELEPHANT MAN by Bernard Pomerance (The Bench Theatre Initiative). Appearance versus reality and the limits of charity are explored in this drama about the life of John Merrick. Opens Apr 20 and runs to May 12. $12-$15. Sanctuary, 25 Charles E. thebenchtheatre.com.

THE EXQUISITE HOUR by Stewart Lemoine (The Theatre Department). A seemingly happy bachelor finds his life altered when an alluring stranger enters his backyard and asks a simple question. Previews Apr 18. Opens Apr 19 and runs to Apr 29. $17, Sun pwyc at the door. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.

THE GAME OF LOVE AND CHANCE by Marivaux (Canadian Stage/Centaur Theatre). A betrothed couple who have never met trade places with their servants in order to spy on each other in this 18th-century romantic comedy. Opens Apr 16 and runs to May 12. $20-$99, limited Mon pwyc. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.

THE REAL WORLD? by Michel Tremblay (Tarragon Theatre). A playwright draws on his family as the raw material for his first work. Previews Apr 24-May 1. Opens May 2 and runs to Jun 3. $21-$51. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

THE WAY OF WATER by Caridad Svich (Alameda Theatre Company). Svich’s play about the aftermath of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill gets a reading, followed by Q&A. Apr 29 at 2:30 pm. Free. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. alamedatheatre.com.

THE WHEEL presents a pagan beltane masquerade featuring the Dragon Ritual Drummers and allegorical dance performances. Apr 27 at 8 pm. $10-$14. El Mocambo, 464 Spadina. thewheel.ca.

THE WOOLGATHERER by William Mastrosimone (Dayle McLeod Productions). This play about two neurotic people searching for love is staged in a Chicago-style storefront theatre space. Opens Apr 28 and runs to May 12. $17-$25. Empty Storefront, 3087 Dundas W. secureaseat.com/woolgatherer.

TORONTO MONOLOGUE SLAM (Trane Studio). Upcoming actors deliver intimate and energetic performances. Apr 29. $10-$15. 964 Bathurst. toslam.com.

TOUGH CASE by David S Craig (Roseneath Theatre). This performance showcase fundraiser features Craig’s courtroom drama about restorative justice, plus a reception. Apr 28 from 2 to 6 pm. $40. 651 Dufferin. 416-686-5199, roseneath.ca.

TWELFTH NIGHT, OR, WHATEVER by William Shakes (Snobbish Theatre). Wear neon and become part of the play at this rave-inspired party adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy. Opens Apr 16 and runs to Apr 25. $15, stu $10. Breakout Studios, 1541 Bayview. snobbishtheatre.com.

Y ENAMORARSE Nur Productions present the Domingo Ortega Flamenco Company featuring Delara Tiv, Carmen Romero and others. Apr 26 at 8 pm. $50. Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front W. 416-872-4255, nurflamenco.com.

YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU by George S Kaufman and Moss Hart (Soulpepper). An eccentric clan experiences unusual order when their daughter finds a fiancé from a conservative family. Previews Apr 19-25. Opens Apr 26 and runs to Jun 20. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22/stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.


*Based on NOW stage listings*