Toronto Playlistings for the Week of February 17, 2020

Shows that Caught Our Eye in Toronto for the Week of February 17, 2020

The last couple of weeks have been pretty gray and overcast. And if you’re like me you’ve probably been struggling a bit with the February blahs. I haven’t had much motivation to get to work on my big stack ‘To Do’s’ that I know I’ve mentioned before. The list that I know you all have too! Family Day weekend was a great break from the usual routine, and shook out the cobwebs (the sunshine helped too!) We even got out to see some theatre – although with so many great options right now it was hard to choose what to go see.

Even though the weekend is over with, you can still pop out to see a show and shake up the routine and get rid of those February blahs! This week it’s up to Megan to let you know what has caught her eye and has her excited about heading out to the theatre. Take a look through the listings below to check out her picks highlighted in ‘red’. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed!

Already Reviewed by MoT:

bug (Theatre Passe Mureille, 16 Ryerson) by Yolanda Bonnell (Manidoons Collective/Native Earth Performing Arts). Poetry, prose & song explore an Indigenous woman’s journey through cycles of addiction and inter-generational trauma. Previews from Feb 7 opens Feb 13 and runs to Feb 22, see website for times. $17-$38 with PWYC option for matinee shows.
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Come From Away (Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge) by Irene Sankoff and David Hein (Mirvish). Newfoundlanders open their homes to stranded passengers following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Continuing at the Elgin after an 11-month run at the Royal Alex: Dec 13, 2019 to Mar 1, 2020, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Wed 1:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm (see website for holiday performance schedule and other schedule exceptions). $39-$169, limited rush $25 (premium tickets also available).
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Hamilton (Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria) by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Jeffery Seller/Mirvish). The hit musical about the American Founding Fathers comes to Toronto. Feb 11-May 17, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm (see website for schedule exceptions/additions). $50-$250, premium $500.
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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 Mar 1: 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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Jesus Hopped the A Train (Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House). When justice locks you up, what sets you free? Two notorious men await trial for murder, only to discover justice and goodness where it is least expected. Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Adly Guirgis delivers an uncompromising drama about contradiction, contrition, and hypocrisy. Previews Jan 23, opens Jan 30 and runs to Feb 23, see website for showtimes. $25 – $98.
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The Second City Totally Likes You (Second City, 51 Mercer). The Second City aims Cupid’s bow at dating, sex, meet-cutes and meet-uglies in this hormone-charged show that marries classic archive material with brand new swipes at relationships. Jan 11-Mar 30, Mon 8 pm, Sat-Sun 4 pm.
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Secret Life of a Mother (Streetcar Crowsnest, 345 Carlaw). Crow’s Theatre, Theatre Centre and SLOM Collective present a play by Hannah Moscovitch with Maev Beaty and Ann-Marie Kerr. A playwright writes an exposé of modern motherhood; one of her real-life friends performs the story, and through it her own motherhood secrets surface. Previews from Feb 6, opens Feb 8 and runs to Feb 23, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20-$55.
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This Was the World (Tarragon Theatre Extraspace, 30 Bridgeman) by Ellie Moon. A play about old power and new ideas, academia and decolonization, language and authority. Directed by Richard Rose, featuring R.H. Thomson. Previews from Jan 28, opens Feb 5 and runs to Mar 1, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $22-$65.
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And Everything Else:

AF (Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley). Red Sky Performance merges explosive contemporary dance with innovative physical theatre storytelling. Direction and concept by Sandra Laronde, choreography by Thomas Fonua. Previews Feb 18, opens Feb 19 and runs to Mar 1, Tue-Thu & Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $49-$79.
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The Art of Magic (Super Wonder Gallery, 584 College). The Toronto Magic Company presents Lucy Darling headlining two nights of art and illusions. February 19 & 20 at 8 pm (doors 7:30 pm). $25.
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Asian Comedy All-Stars (Rivoli, 344 Queen W). Stand-up by Anto Man-Ming Chan, Big Norm Alconel, Carolina DG, Zeeshan Ansar, headliner Cassie Cao, host Rush Kazi and others. Feb 19 at 8 pm. $15 adv, $20 door.
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Black and Funny Festival: 4 (Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, 875 Bloor W). The Black and Funny Festival is back for its fourth edition featuring an all-Black comedian lineup, including headliners: Tallboyz, Coko & Daphney, Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Anthony Engelbrecht; and featuring: Definition of Knowledge, Zabrina Douglas, Nigel Downer & more. Every Friday in February at 8 and 9:30 pm, $20, advance $15.
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Children of Chemistry (The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance, 304 Parliament). Citadel + Compagnie present choreography by Sébastien Provencher that tackles stereotypes of masculinity. Feb 20-22 at 8 pm. $25.
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Disgraced (The Papermill Theatre, 67 Pottery Rd.). East Side Players presents a Pulitzer-prize winning play about Amir Kapoor, whose life is unraveled over the course of a dinner party with close friends. The conversation navigates through faith, race and politics as everyone’s beliefs are challenged and truths are revealed. This incredibly thought-provoking play will have the audience talking long after the curtain comes down. Feb 21 – Mar 7. Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25.
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The Ethnic Rainbow: QPOC Comedy Showcase – 2-Year Anniversary (Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen W). Live comedy show featuring exclusively queer comedians of colour. Featuring Tamara Shevon, Anasimone George, Bobbi Summers, Selena Vyle, headliner Brandon Ash-Mohammed and hosts Ben Sosa Wright & Brendan D’Souza. Feb. 20, doors at 8:30 pm. $15-$20.
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Grounded (Streetcar Crowsnest, 345 Carlaw) by George Brant (theatreSix). Reassigned during her pregnancy, a female fighter pilot deals with drone duty and family obligations. Previews from Feb 13, opens Feb 14 and runs to Feb 29, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $20-$29.
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Hansel & Gretel (Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W) The Canadian Opera Company presents Engelbert Humperdinck’s classic with a modern twist on his winter favourite with innovative digital storytelling and video projections that usher this classic straight into present-day Toronto. Feb 6 – 21, see website for show times. $45 – $350.
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How To Fail As A Popstar (Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley) by Vivek Shraya (Canadian Stage). Multidisciplinary artist Shraya chronicles their journey to “not quite” stardom in this musical solo show. Previews Feb 18, opens Feb 19 and runs to Mar 1, Tue-Thu & Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $49-$79. In the Upstairs theatre.
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Jacqueline (Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis) by Royce Vavrek and Luna Pearl Woolf (Tapestry Opera). This opera dives in the story of celebrity virtuosic cellist Jacqueline du Pré and her real-life struggle with multiple sclerosis. Opens Feb 19 and runs to Feb 23, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm. $50-$95.
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Jungle Book (Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E) by Craig Francis & Rick Miller (Young People’s Theatre/Kidoons/WYRD Productions). Multimedia adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story for ages 5 & up. Feb 13-Mar 21, see website for schedule. $10-$43.
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Lady Sunrise (Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst) by Marjorie Chan. Set in Canada’s condo and casino playground of Vancouver, this hard-hitting new play is a tale of social climbing and the fraying social fabric among the wealthy and hangers-on of Vancouver’s Asian Canadian community. Inspired by the modern classic, Sunrise by Cao Yu, this world premiere features a cast of six powerful Asian Canadian women, and examines the damning effect of today’s hyper-consumerist society. Previews from February 15, opens February 30 and runs to March 8, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm (Sun Feb 16 at 7 pm). $40-$50, previews $20.
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Many Young Men of Twenty (Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley) by J.B. Keane (Toronto Irish Players). A small-town Irish pub is the site of discussions on emigration, alcoholism, women and politics. Previews Feb 13, opens Feb 15 and runs to Feb 29, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $25-$27, preview PWYC (min $15).
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Mixed Repertory P rogram: A.I.M. (Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W). Harbourfront Centre’s TORQUE series presents choreographies by Kyle Abraham, Trisha Brown and Keerati Jinakunwiphat. A.I.M. Artistic Director and choreographer Kyle Abraham blends classical, contemporary, hip hop and urban dance in five sensual and provocative works. Feb 21-22, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Fri 12:30 pm. $20-$45.
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The Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander). Canada’s longest-running new works festival once again transforms Buddies into a hotbed of experimentation, with artists exploring new possibilities in theatre, dance, music and performance art. Feb 12-22, Wed-Sat 8 pm, see website for details. Evening pass $20, rush tickets PWYC.
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Shade (Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen W). Comedy show celebrating performers who are Black/Indigenous/People of Colour, women, and LGBTQ2S+. Featuring Hoodo Hersi, Fay & Fluffy, Amian Black, Zabrina Douglas and more. Hosted by Anasimone George. Feb 20 from 8-11 pm. $20.
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Tabanka Dance Ensemble: Limbo (Meridian Arts Centre, 5040 Yonge). dance Immersion presents the Tabanka Dance Ensemble from Norway, performing African and Caribbean dance developed by dancer/choreographer Thomas Prestø. Feb 21 at 8 pm. $35-$45.
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Taking Liberties (Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen W). Taking Liberties Collective presents a play by Dave Carley. Taking Liberties looks at five decades in the life of a city, when ordinary citizens make extraordinary choices. The drama focuses on civil libertarian issues, including censorship, freedom of expression and journalistic ethics. Previews from Feb 5, opens Feb 7 and runs to Feb 23, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 4 pm, Sun 2 pm. $20-$30. In the Ballroom.
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Trixie Mattel: Grown Up (Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth). Live all-ages show by the singer/actor/drag performer & “Skinny Legend.” Feb 22, doors 7 pm. $42.50-$200.
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Watching Glory Die (Grand Canyon, 2 Osler). LOVE2 Theatre and impel Theatre present a play by Judith Thompson. Watching Glory Die depicts the final days of a young woman experiencing mental illness while incarcerated. Three women, inextricably tied to one another, wrestle with the slow and undeniable realization that despite their efforts, they cannot escape the system which has brought them to this brink, and won’t release them. Inspired by a true story. Opens Feb 19 and runs to Feb 29, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm. $15-$35.
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You And I (Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front E) by Maja Ardal (Young People’s Theatre). Multi-sensory, playfully interactive adventure that engages little explorers (and their adults) in discovery through colour, sound, touch and movement. Feb 11-23, see website for schedule. $5-$20.
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Zingara (Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity). Echo Chamber Toronto presents music of Eastern European origin and influence plus dance choreographed by Hannah Kiel and Brendan Saye. Music by John Corigliano, Zoltán Kodaly and George Enescu. Feb 22 & 23 at 7:30 pm. $30-$40.
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Some listings based on NOW! Stage Listings.