Only a few days left in October… and only a few more chances to see some of the awesome shows playing in town. Some will be here for a while longer – but in any case, check our play listings for the week below to see what’s playing when! Anything highlighted in red with two asterisks comes highly recommended by our Editor, Samantha.
Already Covered By MoT…
**Alcina by GF Handel (Opera Atelier). A sorceress collects the souls of her lovers and a Christian knight seeks to set them free in this Baroque opera. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Nov 1, see website for schedule. $38-$181 (ticketmaster.ca).Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge.1-855-622-2787, operaatelier.com.
The Art Of Building A Bunker by Adam Lazarus and Guillermo Verdecchia (Factory Theatre/QuipTake). Elvis finds himself surrounded by a diverse group of characters as he endures workplace sensitivity training. Previews Oct 11-15. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 2, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $23-$45. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst.416-504-9971, factorytheatre.ca.
** Bang: Les Coquettes Farewell Show (Les Coquettes). The cabaret theatre company performs a final show featuring dance, cirque, live music and elements of burlesque. Oct 26-30, Thu and Sun 7 and 10 pm. $15-$35. Revival, 783 College. lescoquettes.com.
Bookworms by Bernard Farrell (Toronto Irish Players). A women’s book club experiments with inviting the husbands to the gathering, with disastrous results. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Nov 8, Thu-Sat 8 pm, 2 pm. $18-$21, opening night $50.Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley. 416-440-2888, torontoirishplayers.com.
Evita by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Lower Ossington Theatre). Eva Duarte rises from poverty to become the Argentine president’s wife in this musical. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 23, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, mat Sat 2 pm. $50-$60. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi (Canadian Opera Company). Falstaff’s life of pleasure comes crashing down when he attempts an ill-advised seduction scheme. Opens Oct 3 and runs to Nov 1, see website for schedule. $12-$339.Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
**Helen Lawrence by Chris Haddock, Stan Douglas (Canadian Stage/Arts Club Theatre Co/Banff Centre/NAC). Vancouver struggles to reorganize itself after World War II in this drama combining visual art, theatre, live-action filming and computer-generated simulations. Previews Oct 12-15, Sun 1 pm, Tue-Wed 8 pm. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 2, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 1 pm. $30-$99. BlumaAppel Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
**Hold Mommy’s Cigarette (Shelley Marshall). Marshall performs her solo dark comedy about life, mental illness and survival. Opens Oct 1 and runs to Oct 28, 8 pm every day. $20. The Full Bawdy Loft, 290 Carlaw, unit 202. 416-821-1754, holdmommyscigarette.com.
Lobby Hero by Kenneth Lonergan (Unit 102 Actors Company). This dark comedy looks at futility and the quest for standing up for what’s right. Opens Oct 22 and runs to Nov 8, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $20-$25, Wed pwyc. The Theatre Machine, 376 Dufferin. email@example.com.
**Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini (Canadian Opera Company). A geisha marries an American naval officer in this tragic Italian opera. Opens Oct 10 and runs to Oct 31, see website for schedule. $12-$339.Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. 416-363-8231, coc.ca.
**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.
What Makes A Man by Jennifer Tarver (Canadian Stage/Necessary Angel). Four actors portray different aspects of the life and songs of poet/singer Charles Aznavour. Previews Oct 5-8, Sun and Tue-Wed 8 pm. Opens Oct 9 and runs to Nov 2, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, Sat-Sun and Wed 1 pm. $15-$49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley.416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
Wicked by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman (Mirvish). The hit musical about the backstory of The Wizard Of Oz returns. Previews Sep 3. Opens Sep 4 and runs to Nov 2, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun and Wed 1:30 pm. $36-$139. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria.416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
And the rest…
The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow (East Side Players). This comedy whodunit is based on the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Nov 8, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $22, stu $15. Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery. 416-425-0917, eastsideplayers.ca.
**The Bakelite Masterpiece by Kate Cayley (Tarragon Theatre). An artist must prove that he forged a Vermeer painting he tried to sell in WWII-era Holland. Previews Oct 21-28. Opens Oct 29 and runs to Nov 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $15-$53. Extra Space, 30 Bridgman.416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.
**30 People Watching by nishaahuja and Amelia Sargisson (Subtle Vigilance). Teens assault a South Asian classmate in BC in this play based on the murder of Reena Virk. Previews Oct 25-26. Opens Oct 28 and runs to Nov 14, Tue-Sun 8 pm. $15-$25, previews $10-$15. Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas E. subtlevigilance.com.
Beef by Michael Musi (Sorry Goat Productions). A couple break up following a visit to a burger shop in this play about insecurities and acceptance. Opens Oct 21 and runs to Nov 2, see website for schedule. $18-$20.The Box, 89 Niagara. beeftheplay.com.
Bella: The Colour Of Love by Mary Kerr and Theresa Tova (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). Inspired by the life of Bella Chagall, this show uses words, songs and Marc Chagall’s art to look at the nature of love and creativity. Previews Oct 15-19. Opens Oct 21 and runs to Nov 2, Tue-Thu and Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, mat Sun 2 pm, Wed 1 pm. $63. Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge.416-733-0545, hgjewishtheatre.com.
Bonspiel! Creepy Scary Night of Death Bonspiel! Theatre presents a three-act comedy cabaret w/ improvisers Rob Baker, Ashley Botting, Jan Caruana, Alastair Forbes and James Gangl. Oct 29 9 pm. $10. No One Writes to the Colonel, 460 College. bonspieltheatre.com.
**The Book Of Mormon by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone (Mirvish). Two naive missionaries go to a volatile region in Uganda in this religious satire musical. Previews Sep 16. Opens Sep 17 and runs to Nov 30, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm, Sun 1:30 pm. $49-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
**The Bruised Spirits Of Southern Ontario by Caroline Azar (Opera Arcana). Post-punk multimedia terror set in Kensington Market. Oct 31-Nov 1, Fri-Sat 8:30 pm. Pwyc. Videofag, 187 Augusta. facebook.com/events/819866891397293.
The Carnegie Hall Show: Halloween Special The National Theatre of the World presents the improv variety show w/ Matt Baram, Naomi Snieckus, Chris Gibbs, Carly Heffernan, Emma Banigan, Colin Mochrie and others. Oct 29 8 pm. $18-$20, stu $10. Drake Hotel, Underground, 1150 Queen W. octcarnegiehallshow.bpt.me.
The Foolish Cabaret (Foo Productions). This bimonthly cabaret for physical theatre artists features bouffon, clown and mime with host Foo. Oct 27 at 8 pm. $10. Unit 102 Theatre, 376 Dufferin. fooproductions.com.
Don’t Stop Believin’ (Mirvish/Actors’ Fund of Canada). An evening of song and dance by cast members from Wicked and The Book Of Mormon raises funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and for the Actors’ Fund. Oct 27 at 8 pm (reception from 6:30 pm). $55-$250. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
Drink With Death: A Morbid Cabaret (RomanaSoutus/Christopher Weatherstone). The dead rise to tell the stories of their untimely ends through songs and storytelling. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Oct 30, Wed-Sat 8 pm. $18, stu $10. Cameron House, 408 Queen W. drinkwithdeath.com.
Eden by Pastel Supernova (Love Letters Cabaret). This burlesque revue looks at shipwrecked sailors and the mystical creatures they encounter. Oct 28 at 8 and 10:30 pm (and Oct 30). $25-$35. Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas W. 416-588-0307, eventbrite.ca/e/13021759433.
**Evil Dead – The Musical by Christopher Bond, George Reinblatt, Frank Cipolla and Melissa Morris (Starvox Entertainment). The musical based on the Evil Dead film franchise returns. Opens Oct 31 and runs to Nov 9, Tue-Thu 7 pm, Fri-Sat 7 & 10:30 pm, Sun 3 pm. $40-$70. Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst. starvoxent.com.
Frankenstein’s Boy by Eric Woolfe (Eldritch Theatre). This bloody, dieselpunk, gothic romance features puppets, people and dark parlour magic. Previews Oct 23. Opens Oct 24 and runs to Nov 8, Tue-Sat 8 pm (plus late show Nov 1 at 11:30 pm), Sun 4 pm. $25. Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen E. eldritchtheatre.ca.
Intimate Experiences: The Composers (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Members of the Graduate Company present mini-personal cabarets with hosts Bruce Dow and Jeff Madden. Nov 2 at 7:30 pm. $15-$20. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
The King And I by Rodgers & Hammerstein (Scarborough Music Theatre). An English school teacher goes to Bangkok to work for the King of Siam in this classic musical. Opens Oct 30 and runs to Nov 15, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun 2 pm (and Nov 15). $27, stu/srs $25.Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston.416-267-9292, theatrescarborough.com.
La Gran Via by Chueca and Valverde (Toronto Operetta Theatre). This zarzuela combines comic fantasy, social comment, political satire in a story about Madrid’s grand avenue. Nov 2 at 2 pm. $46-$63. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 416-366-7723, torontooperetta.com.
Last Days (U of T Faculty of Music). The carefree music of pre-war Europe segues into wartime songs of despair, anger and loss in this theatrical commemoration of the centenary of WWI. Oct 29-30, Wed-Thu 7:30 pm, mat Thu 2:30 pm. Free.Hart House, Music Room, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-408-0208, music.utoronto.ca.
Les Zinspirés 3D (Théâtrefrançais de Toronto). Five shows written by teens and reworked and performed by professionals will be presented in French with English surtitles. Opens Oct 24 and runs to Nov 1, see website for schedule. $18-$25, limited pwyc Wed. Berkeley Street Theatre, Upstairs, 26 Berkeley. 416-534-6604, theatrefrancais.com.
Midsummer Nightmare (Leroy Street Theatre). Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Opens Oct 28 and runs to Nov 8 at 8 pm, Oct 30, 8 pm & midnight , Tue-Sat. $20. The Great Hall, 1087 Queen W. 416-826-3330, leroystreettheatre.com.
My Treasure Island!!! by Karen Woolridge (Johnson Girls). A woman reevaluates her dull life after reading Treasure Island in this adaptation of Sara Levine’s novel. Previews Oct 24-26. Opens Oct 29 and runs to Nov 16, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm (and Oct 28), mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $17-$33, mat pwyc. Theatre PasseMuraille, Backspace, 16 Ryerson.416-504-7529, johnsongirls.ca.
**Nine The Musical by Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston (Victoria College Drama Society). Musical adaptation of Federico Fellini’s semi-autobiographical film 8 1/2, set in 1960s Venice. Oct 30-Nov 1, Thu-Sat 8 pm. $15, stu/srs $10. Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles W. 416-978-8849, uofttix.ca.
OUTrageous! With Robert Keller: The Witch, Please! Halloween EditionYuk Yuk’s presents a queer-friendly stand-up comedy show w/ Martha Chaves, Emma Hunter, Gareth Lloyd, host Keller and pre-show music by DJ Kris Steeves. Oct 29 8 pm. $15.224 Richmond W. 416-967-6425, yukyuks.com.
Perfect 10 Comedy: The Anonymous Show Audience members and comics will wear Guy Fawkes masks in this show inspired by the hacker movement. Nov 1 10:30 pm. $15. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W. 416-551-6540, comedybar.ca.
Play In A Pub: William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back (Driftwood Theatre). Jonathan Goad, RH Thomson, Sarah Wilson and others read from Ian Doescher’s book about what Star Wars would have been like if it had been written by the Bard. Oct 27 at 7:30 pm. $25.Clinton’s, 693 Bloor W. 647-381-6537, driftwoodtheatre.com.
Rebel Acts (Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at U of T). Imaginary Activism, a solo performance by Guillermo Gómez Peña of La Pocha Nostra. Oct 28 at 8 pm. Free. Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College. 416-978-7987, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rocky Horror Halloween Cabaret by Richard O’Brien (Lower Ossington Theatre). Jim Sharman’s cult-classic 1975 film is presented as an interactive musical. Costumes encouraged. Opens Oct 16 and runs to Nov 1, Thu 8 pm, Fri-Sat 8 & 10 pm. $20. 100A Ossington. 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.
Sea Sick by Alanna Mitchell (The Theatre Centre). Mitchell discovers the secrets of the ocean, faces demons and finds hope in this solo show. Opens Oct 29 and runs to Nov 2, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25-$30. 1115 Queen W. 416-538-0988, theatrecentre.org.
Seismology AnandamDancetheatre Public participatory production with dance artists and designers. Opens Oct 28 and runs to Nov 1 at 8 pm. $15-$25. Collective Space, 221 Sterling, Unit 5.seismology. eventbrite.ca.
Spoon River adapted by Mike Ross and Albert Schultz (Soulpepper Theatre). A forgotten town comes back to life in this show inspired by Edgar Lee Masters’s 1915 poetry collection. Previews Oct 29-Nov 3. Opens Nov 4 and runs to Nov 15, see website for schedule. $23-$89. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane. 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
Standing on the Danforth: The Post-Mayoral Election Edition Eton House presents Alex Nussbaum, Steven Patrick Adams, Barry Taylor, Jen Sakato, Jordan Foisy, SandroVeri, Ryan Horwood, Jeff Paul, Phil Luzi, Fraser Young and host Sandra Battaglini. Opens Oct 28 9 pm. 710 Danforth. 416-466-6161.
Stealth Shotgun Juliet presents a physical theatre/dance piece about four women who have vowed to be silent and hidden until one wants out. Opens Oct 28 and runs to Nov 1, Tue-Sat 8 pm. $17. 8-11, behind 233 Spadina. facebook.com/shotgunjuliet.
The Skriker by Caryl Churchill (Red One Theatre Collective/Theatre Brouhaha). An ancient fairy takes on many forms as it pursues two young women. Opens Oct 23 and runs to Nov 9, see website for schedule. $15-$25.The Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor W. secureaseat.com.
**Tainted by Kat Lanteigne (Moyo Theatre). A family fights to stay intact when tragedy strikes in the wake of Canada’s tainted blood scandal. Oct 27 at 8 pm. Free. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, studio 313, 9 Trinity. moyotheatre.com.
**To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Young People’s Theatre). Racial injustice in Depression-era Alabama is seen through the eyes of a child in this adaptation of the novel. Previews Oct 6-8. Opens Oct 9 and runs to Nov 2, see website for schedule. $15-$30.165 Front E. 416-862-2222, youngpeoplestheatre.ca.
What I Learned From A Decade Of Fear by Beatriz Pizano, Lyon Smith and Trevor Schwellnus (Aluna Theatre). A ritual to atone for repression, war and paranoia becomes a eulogy for the human costs of collective safety through the use of security technology. Opens Oct 30 and runs to Nov 29, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $12-$20. 1 Wiltshire, unit 124. alunatheatre.ca.
Play listings based on NOW! Stage Listings.