Toronto’s fab fall the­atre guide

Eight stage pro­duc­tions on the radar from store­fronts to bats and goats

Bayview Post - - Fall Stage Guide - by Ron John­son

LUKUMI (THE WATAH THE­ATRE)

This ex­cit­ing new work is billed as an “Afro-fu­tur­ist Dub-Opera set in postapoc­a­lypse Tur­tle Is­land in 2167” and is penned by award-win­ning lo­cal play­wright and ac­tor d’bi.young an­itafrika. The world pre­miere of Lukumi at the Tar­ragon Ex­tra Space, be­gin­ning Sept. 22, could be one of the most ex­cit­ing theatri­cal events of this sea­son (Tar­ragonthe­atre.com).

CON­SENT EVENT

So this is a bit of a cheat to get a cou­ple of plays men­tioned, but the fine folks at the east end’s Crow’s The­atre are kick­ing off their sec­ond sea­son with back-to­back pow­er­ful works delv­ing into mod­ern sex­u­al­ity. First up is Ask­ing For It, by El­lie Moon, that re­flects on the Jian Ghome­shi scan­dal at CBC, fol­lowed by

Lo (Or Dear Mr. Wells), by Rose Napoli, which in­ves­ti­gates the stu­dent-teacher re­la­tion­ship. Both plays have ma­ture con­tent warn­ings (Crow­sthe­atre.com).

UN­DER­COVER

The An­nex’s beloved Tar­ragon The­atre kicked off its new sea­son on Sept. 19 with Un­der­cover, the lat­est from pow­er­house Re­becca Northan, cre­ator of the award-win­ning Blind Date. Like Blind

Date, an au­di­ence mem­ber is plucked from the lobby to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­duc­tion, this time as part of a who­dunit ca­per as a rookie de­tec­tive fol­low­ing a murder on the Tar­ragon stage (Tar­ragonthe­atre.com).

FLASH­ING LIGHTS

This new pro­duc­tion slated to open at the The­atre Cen­tre on Oct. 7 looks at how dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy im­pacts lives and is re­shap­ing hu­man evolution. And of course, there is a lot of tech­nol­ogy used in Flash­ing Lights, cre­ated by Bad News Days and Ahuri The­atre. The work com­bines an ab­sur­dist nar­ra­tive on a brave new world with phys­i­cal the­atre us­ing tech­nol­ogy (Theatre­cen­tre.org).

RE­FLEC­TOR

The­atre Gar­gan­tua is cel­e­brat­ing 25 years with the world pre­miere of its new work Re­flec­tor, cre­ated by Jac­qui P. A. Thomas. This new work also ex­plores tech­nol­ogy, and more specif­i­cally pho­tog­ra­phy and its role in our lives and our col­lec­tive me­mories. In ad­di­tion, there is tech­nol­ogy blended into the work, with large-scale pro­jec­tions and more. Re­flec­tor opens Nov. 3 at The­atre Passe Mu­raille (Passe­mu­raille.ca).

POI­SON

The east end’s up­start store­front Coal Mine The­atre hit the ground run­ning with The Aliens kick­ing off its new sea­son. Award-win­ning Dutch play Poi­son, by Lot Veke­mans, is up next. The heartwrench­ing drama about love and loss opens Nov. 15 (Coalminethe­atre.com).

BAT OUT OF HELL

With any juke­box mu­si­cal — cre­at­ing some sort of frame­work around a col­lec­tion of hit songs — there are risks. There have been many poor pro­duc­tions, but also some real win­ners. Mamma Mia! any­one? Now we have Meat Loaf ’s hits from his iconic Bat Out of Hell al­bum in mu­si­cal form, set against some sort of dystopian land­scape with a West Side

Story– es­que plot de­vice in­volv­ing two young lovers. Could go ei­ther way, but the re­views have been very pos­i­tive (Mirvish.com).

THE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA?

Soulpep­per has two works by Amer­i­can play­wright Ed­ward Al­bee in its 2017–18 sea­son. A Del­i­cate Bal­ance is set for Jan­uary 2018, but first up on Nov. 8 is The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, which pre­miered in N.Y.C. in 2002, when it won the Tony Award for Best Play. The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? tack­les the topic of mar­i­tal in­fi­delity and its im­pact on fam­i­lies, but in typ­i­cal Al­bee fash­ion, the ob­jec­tive of af­fec­tion is not an­other woman, but a cute barn­yard an­i­mal (Soulpep­per.ca).

From left: The mu­si­cal ‘Bat Out of Hell,’ and d’bi.young an­itafrika takes ‘Lukumi’ to the Tar­ragon

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