Shows That Caught Our Eye This Week
It’s the first “real” week, so to speak, of the 2015 theatre season in Toronto. The holidays are as over as they’re going to be, and we haven’t started having Valentine’s Day-themed shows pop up, just yet. We of course still have the Next Stage Theatre Festival going on, but there’s a lot to see outside of the fest, as well! See if anything strikes your fancy. If it’s red, and got two asterisks before it, it’s been recommended by Samantha, our Editor.
Already Covered By MoT…
Avenue Q by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty (Lower Ossington Theatre). A college grad moves to NYC and copes with grown-up problems in this adult musical puppet play. To Feb 1, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $50-$60. Lower Ossington Theatre 100A Ossington. http://lowerossingtontheatre.com/
**Big Shot by Jon Lachlan Stewart (Surreal SoReal Theatre/Next Stage Theatre Festival). A 12-year-old boy’s account of a shooting he witnessed is delivered in the style of an action movie. Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 18, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$90. Factory Theatre Studio, 125 Bathurst. http://fringetoronto.com/
Delimax by Harvey Ostroff (TEATRON Theatre). A Holocaust survivor is troubled by ultra-nationalism in Quebec. Opens Jan 7 and runs to Jan 18, Tue-Thu and Sat-Sun 8 pm, mat Sun 2 pm, Jan 7 preview 1 pm. $26-$48, preview $19. Toronto Centre for the Arts 5040 Yonge.http://www.teatrontheatre.com/
**Dink by Caroline Azar (Theatre-a-go-go/Next Stage Theatre Festival). A family unravels as hidden desires and secrets come to light in this punk-pop musical. Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 18, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$90. Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. http://fringetoronto.com/
For A Good Time, Call Kathy Blanchard by Michael Ross Albert (Outside Inside/Next Stage Theatre Festival). A family teeters on the brink during game 4 of a playoff hockey game in this tragic comedy. Opens Jan 7 and runs to Jan 18, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$90. Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst.http://fringetoronto.com/
Graham Clark Reads the Phonebook by Graham Clark (Laugh Gallery/Next Stage Theatre Festival). Clark mines his comedy show from the pages of the now-obsolete printed directory. Opens Jan 7 and runs to Jan 18, see website for schedule. $10, passes $48-$90. Factory Theatre Antechamber, 125 Bathurst. http://fringetoronto.com/
Lungs by Duncan Macmillan (Tarragon Theatre). A man and a woman discuss the ethics of having a child in today’s world. Opens Dec 31 runs to Jan 25, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $37-$52, rush $15. Tarragon Theatre 30 Bridgman.http://tarragontheatre.com/.
Mine by Jenna Harris (Discord and Din Theatre/Next Stage Theatre Festival). Two women in a bar try to navigate each other and their relationship in this play about our need to belong. Opens Jan 7 and runs to Jan 18, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$90. Factory Theatre Studio, 125 Bathurst. http://fringetoronto.com/
**The Myth of the Ostrich by Matt Murray (Offside Productions/Next Stage Theatre Festival). One mother confronts another about their teenage kids’ relationship after finding a letter. Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 18, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$90. Factory Theatre Studio, 125 Bathurst. http://fringetoronto.com/.
Pulse (Jasmyn Fyffe/Next Stage Theatre Festival). This contemporary dance show is inspired by the music of Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and other legends of Motown. Opens Jan 7 and runs to Jan 18, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$90. Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. http://fringetoronto.com/
Rebel Without A Cosmos – The Second City presents its fall mainstage revue. Tue-Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 7:30 & 10 pm, Sun 7:30 pm. $25-$29, stu $16-$18. Second City, 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
Snack Music by Ingrid Hansen and Steve Chmilar (SNAFU/Next Stage Theatre Festival). The duo create live improvised songs based on audience members’ true stories. Opens Jan 7 and runs to Jan 18, see website for schedule. $10, passes $48-$90. Factory Theatre Antechamber, 125 Bathurst. http://fringetoronto.com/
Unbridled and Unstable by Gwynne Phillips and Briana Templeton (the Templeton Philharmonic/Next Stage Theatre Festival). The sketch comedy duo perform popular bits from their repertoire as well as new material. Opens Jan 7 and runs to Jan 18, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$90. Factory Theatre Studio, 125 Bathurst.http://fringetoronto.com/
And the rest…
Acis and Galatea by GF Handel (Toronto Masque Theatre). The pastoral opera is based on Ovid’s tale. Jan 15-17, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $20-$50. Enoch Turner Schoolhouse 106 Trinity. http://www.torontomasquetheatre.com/
Alex in Wonderland (Solar Stage Children’s Theatre). A boy follows a White Rabbit into a crazy world in this play for ages 3-10. Opens Jan 17 and runs to Feb 1, Sat-Sun 11 am & 2 pm. $16. Solar Stage Children’s Theatre 4950 Yonge. http://solarstage.on.ca/
**Antiman by Riel Paley (Unit 102 Theatre Co). Paley plays out scenes from his life growing up on the island of St Croix with his hippie mom and her abusive boyfriend. Opens Jan 2 and runs to Jan 16, daily at 8 pm. $25 (adv $20), pwyc Jan 5 & 10. The Theatre Machine 376 Dufferin. http://facebook.com/events/1515334152049526
Boom by Rick Miller (Kdoons/Wyrd Productions). Miller journeys through 25 years of turbulent history and portrays the world’s most influential politicians, activists and musicians. Opens Jan 15 and runs to Feb 1, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm (and Jan 21). $25-$79. Panasonic Theatre 651 Yonge. http://mirvish.com/
Danceweekend 2015 – Dance Ontario and Harbourfront NextSteps present various genres performed by hundreds of dancers and troupes, including YMI Dancing, Ritmo Flamenco, Kaeja d’Dance, Hanna Kiel, City Dance Corps, Arabesque, Sashar Zarif Dance Theatre, Tziporah Productions, Gadfly Dance, Newton Moraes Dance Theatre and others. Jan 16-18, Fri 7 pm, Sat-Sun 1 pm. $10 sugg donation. Fleck Dance Theatre 207 Queens Quay W. http://danceontario.ca/
Frank and Marty’s Puppet Frenzy! – Frank Meschkuleit and Marty Stelnick present two adult puppet shows. Jan 14-15 at 8 pm. $15-$20. Supermarket 268 Augusta. http://brownpapertickets.com/event/1017487
Holidazed & Confused – The Second City presents sketches, songs and improvisations to celebrate and satirize the holiday season. $22. Nov 17 – Jan 16, various days and times, see website. Second City 51 Mercer. secondcity.com.
I’ll Crane For You – Toronto Dance Theatre presents Christopher House performing his adaptation of a new solo by Deborah Hay. Jan 15-18, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $26, stu/srs $20, Sun pwyc. Winchester Street Theatre 80 Winchester. http://tdt.org/craneforyou
**Jesus Christ Superstar by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Lower Ossington Theatre). Judas makes a choice between Jesus and the Roman rulers in this musical. Opens Dec 4 and runs to Jan 24, 2015, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun 4 pm, Sat 2 pm (no shows Dec 25-26). $50-$60. Lower Ossington Theatre 100A Ossington. http://www.superstarmusical.ca/
**The Heart of Robin Hood by David Farr (Mirvish). Robin and his crew steal from the rich and keep it for themselves until Marion steps up for the poor in this version of the tale. Previews Dec 23-Jan 6, 2015. Opens Jan 14 and runs to Mar 1, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 1:30 pm. $35-$130. Royal Alexandra Theatre 260 King W.http://mirvish.com/
**Her2 by Maja Ardal (Nightwood Theatre). Seven women with breast cancer undergo a clinical trial of a new drug and express their hopes and fears. Previews Jan 13-14, opens Jan 15 and runs to Feb 1, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $39-$45, preview $25, Jan 20 pwyc. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 12 Alexander. http://www.nightwoodtheatre.net/
Into The Woods In Concert – Beyond Boundaries presents a musical theatre concert with Ryan Kelly, Lisa Kisch, Stephanie Roth, Anwyn Musico, Gabi Epstein, Dana Jean Phoenix and others. Jan 17 at 8 pm. $20 (benefits the AIDS Committee of Toronto and MCC Toronto Refugee & Immigration Program). Metropolitan Community Church 115 Simpson. http://brownpapertickets.com/event/932675
Oh What A Lovely War by Joan Littlewood, Theatre Workshop and Charles Chilton (Theatre @ York). Inspired by the stories of her own family, directing student Autumn Smith places the WWI-themed play in a factory setting. Previews Jan 18-19, opens Jan 20 and runs to Jan 24, Sun-Fri 7:30 pm, mat Wed and Fri 1 pm, Sat 2 pm. $7-$17. In the Joseph G Green Studio Theatre, Centre for Film and Theatre. York University 4700 Keele. http://theatre.finearts.yorku.ca/
The Other Place by Sharr White (Canadian Stage). A successful neurologist’s life seems to be falling apart, but things are not as they seem. Previews Jan 18-21, opens Jan 22 and runs to Feb 7, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Fri 7pm, mat Sat-Sun 1 pm. $30-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre 27 Front E. http://canadianstage.com/
**Perfect Wedding by Robin Hawdon (Stage Centre Productions). A man awakens on his wedding day with a strange girl in his bed and his bride-to-be on the doorstep in this comedy. Opens Jan 15 and runs to Jan 24, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Jan 18 and 24 at 2 pm. $27.50, stu/srs $22. Fairview Library 35 Fairview Mall. http://www.stagecentreproductions.com/
Piece by Piece by Alison Lawrence (mcguffin company/Next Stage Theatre Festival). Six people are drawn together in a hospital in this play about moments of love in times of loss. Opens Jan 8 and runs to Jan 18, see website for schedule. $15, passes $48-$90. Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst. http://fringetoronto.com/
**The Seagull by Anton Chekhov (Crows Theatre/Canadian Stage). Unrequited love, dreams, family feuds and devotion to art are part of this drama set in 1890s Russia. Previews Jan 11-14, opens Jan 15 and runs to Feb 8, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun 1 pm. $22-$49.
Seussical the Musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Lower Ossington Theatre). This all-ages musical is based on the classic books of Dr. Seuss. Open Jan 10 and runs to Jan 25, Sat-Sun 11 am and Sun 1 pm. $30-$50. Lower Ossington Theatre 100A Ossington. http://lowerossingtontheatre.com/
**Small Axe by Andrew Kushnir (Project: Humanity/Theatre Centre). A queer white documentary theatre-maker learns a lot about himself while investigating homophobia in Jamaica. Previews Jan 17-20, opens Jan 21 and runs to Feb 1. $25, stu/srs $22, previews $17 (Jan 18 benefit for Black CAP $40). Theatre Centre 1115 Queen W. http://theatrecentre.org/
**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 Jan 14 and runs to Jan 24, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm. $20, stu/srs $17. In the Backspace. Theatre Passe Muraille 16 Ryerson. http://artsboxoffice.ca/
This Is The Worst – Fully improvised musical comedy w/ Matty Burns, Nicole Dunn, Caleigh Le Grand, Stephanie Malek, Eric Miinch, Amy Zuch and others. Jan 12, 9:30 pm. $10. Bad Dog Comedy Theatre 875 Bloor W. http://thisistheworstcomedy.com/
Troubadour – Competitive musical improv every Wed in Jan. 8 pm. $10, stu $5. Comedy Bar 945 Bloor W. http://comedybar.ca/
**Waiting Room by Diane Flacks (Tarragon Theatre). A doctor embarks on a medical experiment despite the objections of his colleagues while a couple wonder if the doctor has what it takes to save their child. Previews from Jan 6, opens Jan 14 and runs to Feb 15, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm (and some Sat). $29-$55, previews $23-$27. Tarragon Theatre 30 Bridgman. http://tarragontheatre.com/
Play listings based on NOW! Stage listings.