Toronto Playlistings for the Week of December 16, 2019

Shows that Caught Our Eye in Toronto for the Week of December 16, 2019

With school ending for the year at the end of this week, I am in full-on Holiday prep mode. And, two kids at home ramps up the excitement to a whole new level! There is just so much to do to get everything ready for a great family holiday season, that I need to remember to take some quiet time for myself. And the best place for quiet is the theatre!

If you’re like me and want some time off from the bustle of the season, check out one of the shows that caught our eye this week. This week our editor Samantha is letting you know what shows she thinks are noteworthy this week – check out her recommendations in holiday-festive ‘red‘!

Already Reviewed by MoT:

The Adventures of Pinocchio (Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E) by Brian Hill and Neil Bartram (YPT). This new musical follows the much-loved marionette on his mischievous quest to become a real human being. Ages 5 & up. Opens Nov 11 and runs to Jan 5, see website for schedule. $10-$54.
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Anastasia (Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria) by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Opera Atelier). Romantic musical, inspired by the films, about the twilight of the Russian empire and a young woman’s quest to discover the mystery of her past. Opens Dec 3 and runs to Jan 12, see website for schedule. $39-$175.
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Between Riverside and Crazy (Coal Mine Theatre, 1454 Danforth) by Stephen Adly Guirgis (Coal Mine Theatre). A man tries to hang on to one of Manhattan’s last rent-stabilized apartments in this drama about the effects of social prejudice. Previews Nov 24, opens Nov 27 and runs to Dec 22, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2 pm. $47.50-$55.50, previews/rush $25.
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Cats (Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W) by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Mirvish). Talented felines frolic at the Jellicle Ball in this classic musical. Opens Nov 27 and runs to Jan 5, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Wed, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm – see website for additional performances. $39-$175.
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Cash Me If You Can (Berkeley St. Theatre, 26 Berkeley) by Patrick Combs (Horse & Hound Productions). The incredible true story of a down-on-his-luck man who cashed a $100,000 phony, junk-mail cheque as a joke, and fought the world’s biggest bank when it actually cleared. Previews from Dec 10, opens Dec 13 and runs to Dec 21, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $49-$69.
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A Christmas Carol (Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen W). The Three Ships Collective & Soup Can Theatre present an adaptation of the holiday classic with original text by Justin Haigh. This original and immersive theatrical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ story includes brand new scenes, characters, dialogue and songs. Opens Nov 30 and runs to Dec 22, Tue-Sat 7 & 9 pm, Sun 5 & 7 pm. $25-$35, preview $20.
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Figaro’s Wedding (Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity). Against the Grain Theatre’s classic adaptation of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro modernized, translated into English and re-staged as one of Toronto’s millennial weddings in the historic Enoch Turner Schoolhouse with the audience attending as wedding guests. Dec 3-20. See website for showtimes. $35-$95.
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If I Could #Throwback Time (Second City, 51 Mercer). Second City’s 83rd sketch comedy revue basks in the neon glow of nostalgia, mining comedy gold from ancient treasures like old school video games, Power Rangers and Canada’s long, complicated history of sweeping social injustices. Previews from Sep 10. Opens Oct 10 and runs to Jan 9th: Tue-Thu 8 pm; Fri 7:30 pm; Sat 7:30 & 10 pm. See website for more days and times, exceptions and to buy tickets. $28 & up.
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Lil’ Red Robin Hood (Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge) by Matt Murray (Ross Petty Productions). Family-friendly holiday musical set in Sherway Gardens Forest featuring pop tunes, ad libs and audience participation. Previews from Nov 29, opens Dec 6 and runs to Jan 4, see website for schedule. $27-$99.
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Peter Pan (Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House). Soulpepper and Bad Hats Theatre present a musical reimagining of JM Barrie’s classic tale, suitable for ages 3 and up. Opens Dec 6 and runs to Dec 24, see website for schedule. $25-$45.
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The Second City’s Improv Showdown @ Hotel X (Hotel X, 111 Princes’ Blvd). The Second City cast brings a holiday-themed, family-friendly version of the improv competition to Hotel X Toronto. Dec 13-Jan 5, see website for schedule. $15-$35.
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Toronto, I Love You (Bad Dog Theatre Company, 875 Bloor W). Bad Dog Theatre Company presents the return of the unscripted comedy about unexpected connections, set in a variety of neighbourhoods in the 6ix. Audience suggestions guide the spontaneously -crafted storylines that intertwine and intersect in surprising ways through longform improv. Previews Dec 10, opens Dec 11 and runs to Dec 21, Wed-Sat 8 pm (preview 9:30 pm). $30, stu/artists $20.
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Unconventional Holiday Revue (Second City, 51 Mercer). Second City presents a heaping serving of seasonal satire that’s the perfect alternative to those same old holiday shows. Nov 18-Jan 5, evening and matinee shows, see website for schedule. $24-$39.
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The Ward Cabaret (Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W). Small World Music Society and Harbourfront Centre present a musical show by David Buchbinder and Marjorie Chan about Toronto’s first immigrant neighbourhood. Previews from Dec 12, opens Dec 14 and runs to Dec 22, Tue-Sat 8 pm (and Dec 15), mat Dec 21-22 at 2 pm. $25-$60.
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And Everything Else:

The 12 Dates of Christmas (Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen W). Tinder Tales presents 12 comedians sharing true dating stories, hosted by Patrick Fishman. Dec 17 at 8 pm (doors 7 pm). $15 online, $20 at door.
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Bend It Like Bekham: The Musical (Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front E). Starvox Entertainment, Bend It Films, Kintop Pictures and TO Live present the musical based on the hit film. In West London, a teen girl from a South Asian Sikh family desperately wants to play soccer, against the wishes of her traditional immigrant parents. Book by Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges, with lyrics by Charles Hart and music by Howard Goodall. Previews from Dec 7, opens Dec 17 and runs to Jan 5, see website for times. $50-$300.
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Buster Canfield and His Amazing Fleas (Streetcar Crowsnest, 345 Carlaw). Eldritch Theatre and Crow’s Theatre present a play by Eric Woolfe. A shy, bullied boy in 1800s Ontario befriends a mysterious old man in this children’s show featuring puppets, masks and magic. Dec 21-22 at 11 am, 2 and 4:30 pm. $10-$20.
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A Christmas Carol (Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House) by Charles Dickens (Soulpepper). Michael Shamata’s adaptation of the classic holiday ghost story gets a staging. Opens Dec 6 and runs to Dec 24, see website for schedule. $35-$95.
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A Christmas Story (Lower Ossington Theatre, 100 Ossington). Based on the perennial holiday movie favorite, A Christmas Story chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Nov 8-Dec 29. See website for showtimes. $60.
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Cinderella Panto (Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst). TYT Theatre presents a family-friendly musical experience adapted from the classic fairy tale. Opens Dec 14 and runs to Jan 5, see website for schedule. $30.
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Cocktails and Candy Canes (Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria). Toronto Musical Concerts presents a festive evening of holiday song featuring professional musical theatre talent. Featuring Lana Carillo, Gabi Epstein, Ryan Kelly, Lizzie Kurtz, Jeremy Lapalme, Joseph Levesque, Kevin Morris, Anwyn Musico, Chris Tsujiuchi, Erica Peck, Sarah Strange and Christopher Wilson. Dec 16 & 17 at 8 pm. $20.
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Dishonour on Your Cow (The Social Capital, 154 Danforth). Silvi Santoso previews her solo show of sad and heartwarming stories. Santoso’s personal journey to self acceptance, recovery, and the discovery that the most fulfilling life she can lead is by her own merit. Dec 19 at 8 pm. $10.
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Fairy Tales: A Queer Comedy Showcase (Rivoli, 334 Queen W). Headliner Andrew Johnston, Olivia Stadler, Dan Udy, Laura Di Labio, Breton Lalama, host Rush Kazi and others. Dec 17 at 8 pm. $15.
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Glad Day Drag Bingo! (Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church). Every third Saturday of the month join our drag performers and bingo caller Glitter Dunn for a night of music, food, performances, prizes and fun. We spin the bingo cage on a rotating lineup of kings, queens and performers for a queer-positive, inclusive, and affirming evening, with all proceeds from bingo card sales going to charity. Dec. 21, doors at 6:30 pm, games and show at 7 pm. $15.
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Hilary Duff Fanclub: The Musical (Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, 875 Bloor W). Five spunky young ladies (+ special guests), use an audience suggestion to inspire this improvised show. Dec 19 at 9:30 pm. $10.
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Jack and the BeansTalk: A Merry Magical Pantomime (Royal Canadian Legion 1/42, 243 Coxwell). Rob Torr (Torrent Productions). Fairy-tale inspired family holiday show with laughs and singalong songs. Opens Dec 20 and runs to Dec 29, Fri-Sat 7 pm, mat Sat-Tue & Dec 26-27 at 2 pm. $28-$38.
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Merry Janes of Comedy Stand-up Showcase (Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor W). All female stand-up showcase hosted by Lianne Mauladin. Headliner Natalie Norman plus Lucy Gerviais and Rachel Lauzon, with guest spots from Nicole Witherall, Linda Camacho and Liz Myers. Dec 20 at 10 pm. $10.
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The Nonna Monologues (Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence W). DopoLavoro Teatrale presents a production by Daniele Bartolini. Performers tell stories of their Italian grandmas, family recipes and compete for the honour of being voted as the winner of ” the Nonna Challenge” at the end of the show. Previews from Dec 4, opens Dec 6 and runs to Dec 22, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$40. Partial proceeds support Villa Charities Foundation.
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The Nutcracker (Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen W). The National Ballet of Canada presents its annual holiday tradition, with choreography by James Kudelka. Dec 12-Jan 4, see website for schedule. $45 & up.
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Scrooge! The Musical (Zion Cultural Centre, 1650 Finch E). The Civic Light-Opera Co. presents a musical version of Charles Dickens’s timeless story of redemption. Opens Dec 11 and runs to Dec 22, Wed 7 pm, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun 2 pm. $28.
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The SpongeBob Musical (Meridian Hall, 1 Front E). by Kyle Jarrow (TO Live). All-ages musical based on the Nickelodeon cartoon and characters. Opens Dec 17 and runs to Dec 22, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 6:30 pm, mat Sat 2 pm, Sun 12:30 pm. $55-$180.
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What the Elf?! (Second City, 51 Mercer). Second City presents a musical extravaganza about the holiday season for kids, parents, grandparents, siblings and reindeer of all ages. Includes brand new scenes for 2019, improv and original songs by Jay McCarrol. Nov 30-Jan 3, matinee performances at 2 and 4:30 pm, see website for schedule details. $18, child $14.
Show Info

Some listings based on NOW! Stage Listings.

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