Here are all of the shows we wish we could get out and see this week! Take your pick from our list of great theatre escapes for the week of May 5th, 2011:
** Shows marked with the double asterisks and in red are the ones that make Megan, our editor, wish she could clone herself so she could check them all out.
Already Covered by MoT…
**BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL by Lee Hall and Elton John (Mirvish). A boy leaves boxing for ballet while his family struggles with economic troubles in small-town England. Previews Feb 1-28. Opens Mar 1 and runs to Sep 3, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 1:30 pm. $36-$130. Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
**BULLET FOR ADOLF by Woody Harrelson and Frankie Hyman (Children at Play Productions/Starvox Entertainment). Eight characters form friendships, share ideas and deal with secrets, betrayal and a blast from the past in 80s Houston. Previews Apr 19-20. Opens Apr 21 and runs to May 7, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $32 stu/srs $18 (uofttix.ca). Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-8849, bulletforadolf.com.
CALENDAR GIRLS by Tim Firth (Mirvish/Manitoba Theatre Centre). Members of a women’s club make a racy calendar to raise money in this comedy. Previews Apr 15-17. Opens Apr 19 and runs to May 28, Tue-Sat 8 pm (opening night 7 pm), mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm. $30-$94.Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
GHOST STORIES by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman (Mirvish/Lyric Hammersmith/Phil McIntyre Entertainments). This theatrical experience features stories based on real interviews. Previews Apr 1-10. Opens Apr 12 and runs to May 29, Tue-Fri 7:30 pm, Sat 5 & 8:30 pm, Sun 3 pm. $25-$79. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
**I THINK I CAN by Florence Gibson and Shawn Byfield (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People). This dance-theatre piece deals with bullying, cliques and friendship. Previews Apr 4-6. Opens Apr 7 and runs to May 5, see website for schedule. $10-$20. 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, lktyp.ca.
OUR TOWN by Thornton Wilder (Soulpepper). A stage manager paints a portrait of life in a small American town around 1900. Previews Apr 7-12. Opens Apr 13 and runs to May 13, see website for schedule. $45-$65, stu $28; rush $5-$22. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
THE COSMONAUT’S LAST MESSAGE TO THE WOMAN HE ONCE LOVED IN THE FORMER SOVIET UNION by David Greig (Canadian Stage). Cosmonauts stranded in a space station and various people on earth all struggle, in their own way, to communicate. Previews Apr 16-20. Opens Apr 21 and runs to May 14, Mon-Sat 8 pm, mats Wed 1:30 pm, Sat 2 pm. $22-$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
**THE LION KING by Elton John and Tim Rice (Mirvish). The musical based on the Disney film returns. Previews Apr 19. Opens Apr 20 and runs to Jun 12, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 1 and 6:30 pm (no show May 24 & 31; see website for other times). $20-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
**THIS PARTY’S A RIOT! Second City presents a new show poking fun at the ever-changing world we live in. Wed-Sat 8 pm (plus Sat late show 10:30 pm), Sun 7 pm. $24-$29, stu $15. 51 Mercer. 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
…and the rest
**AGOKWE by Waawaate Fobister (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Two teenage boys from neighbouring reservations fall in love in this solo show. Opens May 5 and runs to May 15, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $19-$33, Sun pwyc. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com. (See the Mooney on Theatre review of a previous production)
ARIADNE AUF NAXOS by Richard Strauss (Canadian Opera Company). Strauss’s opera-within-an-opera is performed in German. Opens Apr 30 and runs to May 29, Apr 30 at 4:30 pm, May 3, 12, 18, 21 and 27 at 7:30 pm, May 15 and 29 at 2 pm. $62-$281. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
**BROWN BALLS by Byron Abalos (fu-GEN). Three men disguised as Bruce Lee, Charlie Chan and Fu Manchu tackle Asian male stereotypes. Opens May 3 and runs to May 15, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm, May 6 gala from 6 pm. $10-$26, gala $50. Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, fu-gen.org.
CINDERELLA (LA CENERENTOLA) by Gioacchino Rossini (Canadian Opera Company). The comic opera based on the fairy tale is performed in Italian. Opens Apr 23 and runs to May 25, Apr 23, 28, May 10, 13, 19 and 25 at 7:30 pm, May 1 and 22 at 2 pm, May 7 at 4:30 pm. $62-$281. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
CROOKBACK: AN ADAPTATION OF RICHARD III by Tim Welham (Beacon Theatre). Welham goes into the mind of the famous Shakespearean villain in this solo show. Opens May 5 and runs to May 15, Thu-Sun 8 pm. $15. Unit 102 Theatre, 46 Noble. firstname.lastname@example.org.
**DOUBLE BILL (Soulpepper). The Academy presents (re)Birth: E.E. Cummings In Song and Lab Series creation Window On Toronto. Previews Apr 30-May 8. Opens May 9 and runs to Jun 18, see website for schedule. $28-$65. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
DOUBLE FALSEHOOD (Classical Theatre Project). A man has doomed affairs with two women in this ‘lost’ Shakespeare play based on an episode from Don Quixote. May 5 at 8 pm. $10, stu/srs $7. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-915-6750, shakespearetoronto.com.
EDWARD THE ‘CRAZY MAN’ by Emil Sher (Workman Arts). A boy befriends a homeless man in this drama about mental health, prejudice and society. Opens Apr 28 and runs to May 14, see website for schedule. $15, stu/srs $10. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, workmanarts.com.
**FORESTS by Wajdi Mouawad (Tarragon Theatre). A teenage girl seeks the origins of her mother’s mysterious fatal illness in this drama about family and sacrifice. Previews Apr 19-26. Opens Apr 27 and runs to May 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2:30 pm (no preview mats). $23-$46, rush $10. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
**FRONTERAS AMERICANAS by Guillermo Verdecchia (Soulpepper). Verdecchia perform his solo show about seeking his identity as an Argentinean-Canadian. Previews May 6-9. Opens May 11 and runs to Jun 12, see website for schedule. $28-$65. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
MASQUES OF ORPHEUS (Toronto Masque Theatre). The story of Orpheus’ journey to the underworld is told in baroque and modern versions. May 5-6 at 8 pm. $20-$40. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
ORFEO ED EURIDICE by Christoph Willibald Gluck (Canadian Opera Company). Orfeo goes through the underworld to bring back his wife in this Italian opera. Opens May 8 and runs to May 28, May 8 at 2 pm, May 11, 14, 17, 20, 24 and 26 at 7:30 pm, May 28 at 4:30 pm. $62-$281, rush $22. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
PINKALICIOUS, THE MUSICAL by Elizabeth Kann, Victoria Kann and John Gregor (Vital Theatre). A girl turns pink after eating too many cupcakes in this family musical. Opens Oct 9 and runs to May 29, Sat 11 am, Sun 1:30 pm. $29.50-$39.50. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington. 416-642-8973, vitaltheatre.ca.
**PRECIPICE: DANCES FOR STAIRCASES AND AIR Anandam Dancetheatre presents a combination of aerial arts and dance, choreographed by Brandy Leary. Previews May 3-5. Opens May 6, all shows 8:30 pm. $20-$30, stu/srs $15-$20, standing room $10. Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor W. 416-204-1082, anandam.ca.
**PUSH… ONE MOTHER OF A SHOW (Tarragon Theatre). This all-female show takes an honest and comedic look at modern motherhood. Opens May 4 and runs to May 8, Wed-Sun mat Sun 2:30 pm. $25. 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
**THE ATOMIC WEIGHT OF HAPPINESS Stand Up Dance presents a bicycle-powered theatre/dance mashup by Meagan O’Shea. Previews Apr 22-24. Opens Apr 29 and runs to May 29, Fri-Sun 8 pm. $10-$25. Hub 14, 14 Markham. 416-504-6429 ext 18, standupdance.com.
THE BOOK OF LIZ/THE SANDILAND DIARIES by Amy and David Sedaris/David Sedaris (Ghost Light Projects). A nun ventures into a big city and a man finds work as a department store elf in this double bill. Opens May 7 and runs to May 15, Thu-Sun 7 and 9 pm. $25-$30.Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Tallulah’s Cabaret, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, ghostlightprojects.com.
THE CEMETERY CLUB by Ivan Menchell (Encore Entertainment). Three Jewish widows meet regularly at a cemetery to gossip and reminisce. Opens May 5 and runs to May 15, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $28-$29.50. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge. 416-872-1111, encoreshows.com.
THE POST OFFICE by Rabindranath Tagore (Pleiades Theatre). A sick boy watches and interacts with the world from his bedroom window in India. Previews May 7-9, Sat and Mon 8 pm. Opens May 10 and runs to Jun 4, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mats May 28 and Jun 4 at 2 pm. $35, stu $12, srs $16-$30. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley. 416-368-3110, pleiadestheatre.org.
**THE RAILWAY CHILDREN by Edith Nesbit (Mirvish). Three siblings struggle to survive after their father is imprisoned in Edwardian England. Opens May 3 and runs to Jun 26, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mats Sat-Sun and Wed 2 pm (no shows May 29, Jun 12, 25; see website for other times). $25-$99. Roundhouse Theatre, 255 Bremner Blvd. mirvish.com.
THE RIVER LADY by David Widdicombe (Lonesome Crowded West). A drifter and a dishwasher connect at an all-night diner and search for the meaning of their lives. Opens May 4 and runs to May 14, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $15, mat pwyc. Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529, lonesometheatre.wordpress.com.
**UNDER MILK WOOD by Dylan Thomas (The Empty Room). The inner life of a small Welsh town is revealed in the stage adaptation of the radio play. Opens May 3 and runs to May 7, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $20, limited stu rush $10. Abrams Studio Theatre, 46 Gerrard E. empty-room.com.
URINETOWN THE MUSICAL by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis (Etobicoke Musical Productions). A corporation takes advantage of a water shortage in this musical comedy. Opens Apr 29 and runs to May 14, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun (and May 14) 2 pm. $25, stu $19.Burnhamthorpe Auditorium, 500 the East Mall. 416-248-0410, e-m-p.net.
WONDERFUL by Shannon Blake (The Bench Theatre). Three women struggle to avoid losing their babies to Children’s Aid. Opens Apr 29 and runs to May 21, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $12-$15.Sanctuary, 25 Charles E. 416-922-0628 ext 215, thebenchtheatre.com.
**ZADIE’S SHOES by Adam Pettle (Factory Theatre). Desperate to recoup his losses, a gambler looks to his forgotten synagogue for a miracle. Previews Apr 30-May 4. Opens May 5 and runs to Jun 5, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm (May 1 preview at 7 pm). $15-$45, Sun pwyc. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
*Listings based on NOW stage listings*