Toronto Play Listings for the Week of May 18, 2015

Shows That Caught Our Eye This Week

If you’ve got nostalgia for classics or new takes on old tales, then this is a fine week of Toronto theatre for you. There are also plenty of new stage productions debuting this week. I’ve highlighted the shows that our editors Wayne and Megan would love to see this week with two asterisks ** and in red text. Perhaps they’ll also strike your fancy, or you may find something else that’ll tickle your interest.

Already Reviewed by Mooney on Theatre:

The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini (Canadian Opera Company). A barber helps a nobleman woo his true love in this Italian comic opera. Sung in Italian with English subtitles. Opens Apr 17 and runs to May 22, see website for schedule. $12-$424.

**Bluebeard’s Castle / Erwartung by Bela Bartok/Arnold Schoenberg (Canadian Opera Company). Two short operas feature women probing into chilling mysteries and madness in this double bill. Opens May 6 and runs to May 23, see website for schedule. $22-$424. May 6, 8, 12, 14 and 23 at 7:30 pm; May 10 at 2 pm; May 16 at 4:30pm. View Show Info

Creditors by August Strindberg (The Coal Mine). A vengeful manipulator turns a man against his wife in this dark comedy. Previews Apr 26, opens Apr 28 and runs to May 17, Tue-Sun 7:30 pm. $15-$30.

Half a League. by Scott Garland (Rarely Pure Theatre). Three men in a junkyard play at being soldiers and await the return of their “leader” when an unexpected visitor stumbles upon their “outpost”. Opens May 6 and runs to May 31, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20, stu/srs $15. View Show Info

Harvey. by Mary Chase (Stage Centre Productions).  A man with an imaginary friend vexes his social-climbing sister in this comedy. Opens May 14 and runs to May 23, 2015, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat May 17 and 23 at 2 pm. $27.50, stu/srs $22.

** The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis (Unit 102 Actors Company). Mother Teresa, Sigmund Freud and others testify at the trial of the notorious sinner in this comic drama. Opens May 13 and runs to May 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $24, May 19 pwyc.

**Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. by Anne Washburn and Michael Friedman (Outside the March/Starvox Entertainment/Crow’s Theatre). In a post-apocalyptic world, a group of survivors search for food, shelter and classic lines from “The Simpsons” in this show staged without electricity. Previews May 9-12, opens May 13 and runs to May 31, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun 2 pm (except May 10, at 7 pm), see website for other show. $30. View Show Info

Odysseo (Cavalia). Theatre artists and horses create a spectacle combining equestrian arts, stage arts and special effects. Opens Apr 8 and runs to May 10, see website for schedule. $34.50-$264.50.

**Once by Enda Walsh, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (Mirvish). An Irish musician and a Czech immigrant are drawn together by their shared love of music. Previews Feb 10-21, opens Feb 22 and runs to May 31, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $29-$130.

**Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (Tarragon). This Bollywood-inspired adaptation of the classic comedy is set in modern-day Brampton. Previews from Apr 22, opens Apr 29 and runs to May 31, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun (and some Sat) 2:30 pm. $27-$55, rush $15.

The Show That Smells or The Last Temptation of Jimmie Rodgers. by Gemma James Smith and Gil Garratt (Clawhammer). The devil approaches a dying country singer with an offer in this adult puppet show, based on the novella by Derek McCormack. Previews May 13-14, opens May 15 and runs to May 31, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25-$29, mats pwyc. View Show Info

**Soulo Festival 2015.  by SoulOTheatre – an award-winning innovative, interactive program designed to help people create, write, direct and star – in their own One-Person Show by transforming raw material from their lives into creative personal story telling performances. May 21 to 24

Trudeau and Lévesque. by Michael Hollingsworth (VideoCabaret/Soulpepper). The Prime Minister and the father of Quebec separatism bang heads in this history play. Previews from Apr 27, opens May 2 and runs to Jun 13, see website for schedule. $26-$56.  View Show Info

And the Rest….

American Idiot. by Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day (LOT). Three lifelong friends must choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia in this musical based on the Green Day album. Opens May 1 and runs to May 24, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm, Sun 4 pm. $50-$60.

Ballad of the Burning Star (Theatre Ad Infinitum/Acting Up Stage Company/Koffler Centre of the Arts). Armed with music, killer heels and a lethal troop of divas, an enraged Israeli executes a story of victimhood, persecution, aggression and love. Opens May 19 and runs to May 24, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2pm. $20-$50. View Show Info

Burnish. (Erika Batdorf). This performance installation invites the audience to choose elements that affect an ever-changing loop integrating music, digital technology, poetic text, art objects, movement and singing. In a self-contained mini theatre, the artist, attached to bio-sensors, attempts to maintain a deeply authentic process that is altered by every interaction. Opens May 15 and runs to May 21; see website for times. Free.

Brilliant Traces. by Cindy Lou Johnson (Tango Soul). Two strangers in free fall stumble together on a journey of discovery and healing. Opens May 14 and runs to May 23, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25, stu $15. Abrams Studio, 2nd floor.

Days of Wine and Roses by JP Miller (The Renascent Foundation). A young couple’s marriage deteriorates as social drinking becomes alcoholism. Opens May 9 and runs to May 23, Thu-Sat 8 pm (and May 12-13). $40-$45 (supports The Renascent Foundation). 

**Durango. by Julia Cho (fu-GEN Theatre Company/Theatre Smash). A family unravels during a cross-country road trip in this dramatic comedy about domestic embattlement. Previews May 16-17, opens May 19 and runs to May 31, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $20-$37, Sun pwyc at the door.

The Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds. adapted by Anton Piatigorsky (Soulpepper). Otherworldly forces affect a bride in an Eastern European village in this adaptation of the play by S. Ansky. Previews from May 14, opens May 21 and runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $29.50-$94. View Show Info

Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl (Soulpepper). The Orpheus myth is retold from his dead bride’s point of view. Previews from May 19, opens May 28 and runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $29.50-$94. View Show Info

Fever/Dream. by Sheila Callaghan (Seven Siblings Theatre Company). A long-time customer service rep suddenly finds himself in charge of a billion-dollar company in this workplace satire. Opens May 22 and runs to May 31, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $20-$25. View Show Info

How to Kill a Comedian Second City presents its Spring 2015 Mainstage revue.  Tue-Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sun 7:30 pm, plus Sat 10 pm. $25-$45, stu $16-$18.

Of Human Bondage. by Vern Thiessen (Soulpepper). W Somerset Maugham’s novel is adapted for the stage in a tale of loss, lust, obsession and the pursuit of beauty. May 2 to Jun 20, see website for schedule. $29.50-$94. View Show Info

The Imaginary Invalid. by Molière (Théâtre français de Toronto). A hypochondriac pesters doctors and pressures his daughter to marry one in this comedy. Previews May 6, opens May 8 and runs to May 24, see website for schedule and prices. Performed in French with English subtitles Wednesdays May 6, 13 and 20; All other times in French only.

Mahmoud.  by Tara Grammy and Tom Arthur Davis (Pandemic Theatre/Why Not Theatre/The RISER Project). An Iranian engineer swaps stories with passengers while working as a T.O. cabbie in this solo show. Previews May 13, opens May 14 and runs to May 24, see website for times. $12-$22, Sun pwyc at the door.

Miss Julie. Adapted by Neil LaBute (Martha Rose Productions). The August Strindberg play about class, sex and gender is transported into 1920s Long Island. Opens May 20 and runs to May 24, Wed-Sun 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20. View Show Info

Morro and Jasp: 9-5. (U.N.I.T. Productions/Factory Theatre). The sisters look for work in this episode of the popular clown series. Previews May 12-13, opens May 14 and runs to May 31, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $23-$45, Sun pwyc.

Paolozzapedia. by Adam Paolozza (Bad New Days/Why Not Theatre/The RISER Project). Collage of Paolozza’s family stories, surreal images, Italian folk songs and scraps of memory from the old country in a solo show. Previews May 13, opens May 14 and runs to May 24. See website for times. $12-$22  View Show Info

The Play of Daniel. The Toronto Consort presents medieval music theatre that tells the story of the writing on the wall and Daniel in the lions’ den. May 22-24, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 3:30 pm. $21-$61. View Show Info

Sunday Night Live. The Sketchersons’ weekly sketch and live music show. Sundays at 9 pm. $10.  View Show Info

Titanic: the Musical. by Maury Yeston and Peter Stone (Mirvish). The story of the ill-fated ship and its passengers is presented onstage. Opens May 19 and runs to Jun 21, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Wed, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $35-$130. View Show Info


Listings based on NOW! Stage listings.