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

Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of July 23rd, 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 MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare (Canadian Stage Shakespeare in High Park). Lovers and actors meet and mingle in an enchanted forest in this classic comedy performed outdoors. Opens Jun 26 and runs to Sep 2. Pwyc ($20 sugg), 14 and under free. High Park Amphitheatre, Bloor W and Parkside. canadianstage.com.

AVENUE Q by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Lower Ossington Theatre). A college grad moves to NYC and works through the transition to adulthood in this musical puppet show. Opens Jun 22 and runs to Oct 7. $45-$60. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

 **BEST OF THE FRINGE THEATRE FESTIVAL (Fringe Toronto). Encore performances of Help Yourself, Mahmoud, Pomme Is French For Apple, Rare, The Shape Of Things, The Taming Of The Shrew, The Wakowski Brothers and With Love And A Major Organ. Opens Jul 18 and runs to Aug 3. $16.50. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 1-855-985-2787, fringetoronto.com.

HELLO (Huge Picture Productions). The leader of a vigilante group wrestles with existential questions during an alien invasion in this multimedia musical. Opens Jun 21 and runs to Aug 31. $25. Electric Theatre, 299 Augusta. 416-317-8715, hugepictureproductions.com.

ODYSSEO (Cavalia). Theatre artists and horses create a spectacle combining equestrian arts, stage arts and special effects. Opens May 15 and runs to Jul 29. $29.50-$119.50. White Big Top, 324 Cherry. 1-866-999-8111, cavalia.net.

SPEED-THE-PLOW by David Mamet (Soulpepper). Movie industry big shots use sex and schemes to succeed in Hollywood. Previews Jul 5-14. Opens Jul 16 and runs to Sep 22. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22, stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.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, rush $29. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

And the Rest…

ADVENTURES IN SLUMBERLAND (Frolick). This all-ages show about a young boy’s dream world is an adaptation of Winsor McCay’s comic strip Little Nemo In Slumberland. Opens Jul 1 and runs to Aug 26. $10 or pwyc. Olympic Island Lagoon Theatre, near Centre Island ferry dock, over the bridge. frolick.ca.

ALTAR BOYZ by Kevin Del Aguila, Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker (Lower Ossington Theatre). A boy band perform their Christian-themed hit songs in this musical comedy. Opens Jul 20 and runs to Aug 3. $45. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare (Driftwood Theatre Bard’s Bus Tour). Young lovers mingle in an enchanted forest in this classic comedy performed outdoors. Opens Jul 24 and runs to Jul 29. Pwyc. Withrow Park, 725 Logan. 905-576-2396, driftwoodtheatre.com.

BACKBEAT by Iain Softley, Michael Thomas and Stephen Ward (Mirvish). The Beatles seek fame in Germany and lose their original bassist when he falls in love with a local photographer. Opens Jul 21 and runs to Sep 2. $36-$130. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.

BEIRUT by Allan Bowne (Borat Gump Productions). A woman defies the law and sneaks into a quarantined area of New York to be with her lover. Previews Jul 24-25. Opens Jul 26 and runs to Aug 5. $20-$25, Tue pwyc. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. secureaseat.com.

THE BEST OF THE SECOND CITY presents classic and original sketch and trademark improvisation. Jul 16 8 pm, Jul 23 8 pm, Jul 30 8 pm. $14. Second City, 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

CARIBBEAN DREAM adapted by Marvin Trini Ishmael (Speakeasy Productions). Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is set in present-day North York at the time of the Caribbean Carnival festival. Opens Jul 24 and runs to Jul 28. $25, stu $20, child $15. Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst. 647-938-2804, speakeasyproductions.org.

THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller (Soulpepper). A small, devout Massachusetts town is thrown into chaos with accusations of witchcraft in 1692. Previews Jul 25-Aug 8. Opens Aug 9 and runs to Sep 22. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22, stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

**DIVERGENT DANCES FOR WINDOWS AND WALLS. Anandam Dancetheatre presents a choreographic installation featuring dance and aerial arts including performances on the building’s exterior walls. Previews Jul 24. Opens Jul 25 and runs to Jul 28. $30, stu/srs $20, preview $15, closing night gala $75-$125. Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor W. anandam.ca.

DUSK DANCES presents outdoor dance by La Otra Orilla, BoucharDanse, Allen Kaeja & Troy Feldman and Tamla Matthews. Jul 26-28. Pwyc. Neilson Park, Neilson Rd and Finch E. duskdances.ca.

FALL 2012 MAINSTAGE REVUE (Second City) presents a collection of sketches, songs and improvisations. Tue-Sat 8 pm (plus late show Sat 10:30 pm), Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.

FANTASIES AND OTHER POISONS (Fickle Things) presents a full-length work choreographed by Sharon B Moore. Jul 26-28. $17, stu/srs $14. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester. 416-912-8711, fantasiesandotherpoisons.wordpress.com.

MEMORY IN THE MUD (Words In Motion). This movable drama and tour tells the stories of brick makers, POWs and Depression-era homeless people who spent time at the Brick Works. Opens Jul 11 and runs to Sep 29. $20, child $10.Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview. ebw.evergreen.ca/whats-on/memory-in-the-mud.

MICHAEL JACKSON THE IMMORTAL WORLD TOUR by Jamie King (Cirque du Soleil). This fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy uses choreography by Jackson and more than 60 dancers, musicians and acrobats to showcase the King of Pop’s artistry. Jul 27-28. $50-$175. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay. 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux (Dancap Productions). This musical recounts the 1956 impromptu jam session featuring Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley at a record company studio. Opens Jul 10 and runs to Jul 29. $51-$180. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-644-3665, dancaptickets.com.

MINI OPERA FESTIVAL 2012 (Summer Opera Lyric Theatre). The opera training program presents Rossini’s The Barber Of Seville, Mozart’s The Marriage Of Figaro and Darius Milhaud’s La Mère Coupable. Opens Jul 27 and runs to Aug 5. $26, stu/srs $22; three shows $55, stu/srs $50. Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College. 416-978-7986, solt.ca.

ROBIN HOOD (City of Toronto Family Fun Theatre Series). Dufflebag Theatre performs the classic tale in a family show. Jul 26 at 7 pm. Free. Earl Bales Park, Barry Zukerman Amphitheatre, 4169 Bathurst. 416-395-7873.

THE ROYAL COMEDIANS by Mikhail Bulgakov (Soulpepper). This play looks at the life of French dramatist Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière. Previews Jul 24-Aug 6. Opens Aug 7 and runs to Sep 21. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22, stu $5.Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

THE SUNSHINE BOYS by Neil Simon (Soulpepper). Two vaudeville veterans must overcome their mutual dislike to reunite for a TV special. Previews Jul 14-25. Opens Jul 26 and runs to Sep 22. $51-$68, stu $32; rush $22, stu $5. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.

TROILUS & CRESSIDA by William Shakespeare (UC Follies Theatre Company). The romantic tragedy is performed outdoors. Bring your own blanket. Opens Jul 18 and runs to Jul 28. $10, stu/srs $8, Wed pwyc. Hart House Circle, 7 Hart House Circle. uofttix.ca.

VOYAGE TO YOUR MIND (Haim Goldenberg). TV star and mentalist Haim Goldenberg performs mind tricks and games. Opens Jul 26 and runs to Aug 2. $40. George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire. reallifementalist.com/TorontoLiveShow.

*Listings based on NOW stage listings*