Eye-Catching Toronto Theatre for the Week of April 30, 2012

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of April 30, 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 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.

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.

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

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 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.

**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

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.

And the rest…

A LITTLE BIT OF VAUDEVILLE Kaeja d’Dance presents its annual Kaeja Lounge fundraiser featuring 25 performers in various disciplines, a silent auction and more. May 5. $35, stu $20.Dovercourt House, Ballroom, 805 Dovercourt. kaeja.org.

AGWA/CORRERIA Harbourfront World Stage and Compagnie Käfig present an all-ages double bill featuring a blend of hip-hop and urban dance from Brazil. Opens May 2 and runs to May 5. $15-$45. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

ALIEN-NATION (Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts). Spoken word artists Truth Is…, Lishai and Ritallin perform pieces about workers’ struggles, discrimination and injustices. May 5 at 8 pm. $10-$15 sliding scale. Rivoli, 332 Queen W. mayworks.ca.

BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL by Jeff Whitty, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green (Mirvish). This musical comedy looks at high school rivalries and friendship in the world of competitive cheerleading. Opens May 2 and runs to Jun 3. $35-$119. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria. mirvish.com.

BROTHERS KARAMAZOV by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Wordsmyth Theatre). Four women play the roles of the brothers in this adaptation of the Russian novel. Previews Apr 26. Opens Apr 27 and runs to May 20. $29, preview $20. Odyssey Studio, 636 Pape. wordsmyth.ca.

CIS DANCE FEST Conference of Independent Schools presents a performance by private school students from grades 6 to 12. May 6 at 2 pm. $10. Havergal College, 1451 Avenue Rd. ourkids.net/blog/tag/cis.

**CRASH by Pamela Mala Sinha (Theatre Passe Muraille). The death of her father triggers a girl’s long-suppressed memories of an unresolved crime. Previews Apr 27-28. Opens May 1 and runs to May 12. $25-$30, previews $15, mat pwyc. 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.on.ca.

CRAZY FOR YOU by Ken Ludwig, Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin (Toronto Youth Music Theatre Company). Youth aged 11-17 perform this high-energy Gershwin musical comedy. May 5-6. $25, stu/srs $20. St Michael’s College School, 1515 Bathurst. torontomusictheatre.com.

**GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES by Rajiv Joseph (Birdland Theatre). This drama about wounded friendships follows the lives of two childhood pals over 30 years. Previews May 2. Opens May 3 and runs to May 13. $20-$30. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen W. 416-538-0988, birdlandtheatre.com.

HALLELUJAH PEPPERPOT (The Heritage Singers). This performance explores the diverse religious music of Jamaica through singing, drumming and dance. May 6 at 6 pm. $25. Revival Time Tabernacle, 4340 Dufferin. 416-447-0135, heritagesingerscanada.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.

HISTOIRE D’AMOUR DanceWorks and Harbourfront NextSteps present performance vignettes by BoucharDanse that look at love through the ages, from ancient Greece to modern times. May 3-5. $28-$33.50, stu/srs $19-$22.50. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD (Studio 60 Theatre). This revue features musical hits from classic and Disney films. Opens May 4 and runs to May 12. $20. 60 Six Point. 416-354-2479, studio60theatreboxoffice.com.

I BEAT CANCER (AND SO CAN YOU) Tyson Breuer presents his story as a cancer survivor, performed by improvisers Ashley Botting, Mandy Sellers, Rob Norman, Jan Caruana and others. May 5 8 pm. $10 (benefit for the Sunshine Dreams for Kids Foundation). Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. comedybar.ca.

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

LOST LOUNGE by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver (Split Britches). Forgotten iconic lounge acts are recreated in this show about the effects of gentrification on history and culture. May 3-5. $20. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.

MAN OF LA MANCHA by Dale Wasserman, Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion (Alexander Singers and Players). The imprisoned Cervantes reenacts the misadventures of his novel’s protagonist in this musical. Opens May 4 and runs to May 13. $27, stu/srs $22. York Woods Library, 1785 Finch W. 416-324-1259, alexandersingers.com.

MOMENTUM 2012 School of Toronto Dance Theatre presents students performing works by Sharon B Moore, Jennifer Dallas, Christopher House and others. Opens May 3 and runs to May 12. $19, stu/srs $15; gala $60. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-967-6887, schooloftdt.org.

PLAYWRIGHTS GUILD CANADA 40TH ANNIVERSARY READING SERIES (Playwrights Guild Canada). Maja Ardal, Drew Taylor Hayden, Hannah Moscovitch, Brad Fraser and Marcia Johnson read from their plays. Opens Apr 30 and runs to May 4. Free. Chapters Festival Hall, 2nd floor, 142 John. playwrightsguild.ca.

ROCK.PAPER.SISTAHZ (bcurrent). This arts festival features theatre, dance, comedy, spoken word, visual art and more by Naomi Abiola, Sandra Brewster, Mason Haigh and others. Opens May 4 and runs to May 11. Artscape Wychwood Barns, Studio 251, and other venues around the city, 601 Christie. bcurrent.ca.

SLEEPING BEAUTY Etobicoke School of the Arts presents original choreography by Gabby Kamino and Colleen Friedman, set to the music of Michael Jackson. Opens May 2 and runs to May 4. $15-$30. 675 Royal York. esainfo.ca.

THE INNOCENTS by Daniel Karasik (Innocents Collective/Tango Co). A lawyer meets a young man with a bright future who’s confessed to a senseless murder. Previews Apr 26 at 8 pm. Opens Apr 27 and runs to May 13. $22, stu/srs $17. Tarragon Theatre, Near Studio, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tangoco.net.

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 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.

**THE TENNESSEE PROJECT (The Tennessee Project). Seven one-act plays by Tennessee Williams will rotate through different neighbourhoods, with productions by Theatre Caravel, Red One Theatre Collective, Red Light District, Birdtown and Swanville, Afterglow Theatre and others. Opens May 1 and runs to May 7. $18, passes $45-$85. tennesseeprojecttoronto.com.

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.

WRONG FOR EACH OTHER by Norm Foster (Encore Entertainment). A chance meeting draws a divorced couple into flashbacks. Opens Apr 27 and runs to May 6. $28-$29.50. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge. encoreshows.com.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*