The­atre

The Fringe, Sum­merworkS and oTher STage Sen­Sa­TionS are SeT To hiT The boardS

NOW Magazine - Hot Summer Guide - - CONTENTS - JON KA­PLAN

See siz­zling stage shows at the Fringe and Sum­merWorks

An­gels’ re­turn flight

One of the best shows of 2013, Soulpep­per’s pro­duc­tion of An­gels In Amer­ica, flies back with the same ex­cel­lent cast: Troy Adams, Raquel Duffy, Diego Mata­moros, Michelle Mon­teith, Nancy Palk, Gre­gory Prest and Mike Ross. Damien Atkins also re­turns as the linch­pin character, Prior Wal­ter, a gay, HIV-pos­i­tive man who’s de­clared by one of the play’s sev­eral an­gels to be the new mes­siah. That’s an au­da­cious plot twist, given that Tony Kush­ner’s su­perb two-part epic is set dur­ing the 1980s AIDS cri­sis. Di­rec­tor Al­bert Schultz’s pro­duc­tion gives the text both univer­sal res­o­nance and emo­tional im­me­di­acy. Per­for­mances be­gin June 12 and run through July 12 at the Young Cen­tre (50 Tank House). 416-866-8666, soulpep­per.ca.

Siz­zling Sum­merWorks

The an­nual cu­rated the­atre fes­ti­val, now in its 24th year, of­fers mostly new Cana­dian works and other ex­cit­ing com­po­nents such as a mu­sic se­ries and a de­vel­op­men­tal col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween mu­si­cians and the­atre and dance artists. Though shows won’t be re­vealed un­til the June 6 launch at Camp­bell House Mu­seum, the fes­ti­val runs from Au­gust 7 to 17 along Queen West from The­atre Passe Mu­raille to the Sco­tia­bank

Stu­dio The­atre; this year’s hub venue is the new

The­atre Cen­tre. There’ll be 28 main­stage shows, five site-spe­cific events, a dozen live art shows and an eight-hour du­ra­tional pro­duc­tion. Com­pa­nies will be vis­it­ing from Kingston, Guelph, Van­cou­ver, Vic­to­ria, Cal­gary, Mon­treal, St. Catharines and New York. 416-628-8216; sum­merworks.ca.

Ruff­ing it

In only a few years, the re­vived Shake­speare in

the Ruff troupe has made a name for its riv­et­ing spins on the Bard’s work. This year’s en­try, again staged be­tween two large trees in Withrow Park (south of Dan­forth, east of Lo­gan), is one of Shake­speare’s late ro­mances, Cym­be­line, a kind of fairy tale com­plete with be­set princess, evil queen, Machi­avel­lian vil­lain and tri­umphant hero. In the hands of artis­tic di­rec­tor Bren­dan Mc

Murtry- Howlett, the show will draw on some other Shake­speare texts as well as a 1778 ver­sion of the story. It fea­tures a cast of six, among them Hume Baugh, Kaitlyn Rior­dan, Jesse Grif­fiths,

David Pa­trick Flem­ming and A. J. Richard­son. Per­for­mances run Au­gust 12 to 31. shake­speareintheruff.com.

Clas­sic Sond­heim

There’s no more revered name in con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can mu­si­cal the­atre than Stephen Sond­heim, who had his first solo hit with 1970’s Company.

The­atre 20 re­vives the work, whose cen­tral character, Bobby, is a sin­gle man un­able to make an emo­tional com­mit­ment de­spite the help of all his mar­ried friends. Dan Chameroy stars as the skit­tish Bobby, sur­rounded by a galaxy of fine mu­si­cal the­atre artists, among them Brent Carver, David Kee­ley, Nora McLel­lan, Louise Pitre, El­iza-Jane Scott, Carly Street, Steven Sut­cliffe, Jeff Lil­lico, Sarah Slean, Nia Varda­los and Joe Mathe­son. Gary Grif­fin di­rects, with mu­sic di­rec­tion by Scott Christian. Per­for­mances be­gin June 21 and con­tinue to July 13 at the Berke­ley Street The­atre (26 Berke­ley). 416-368-3110, the­atre20.com.

Frol­ick­ing at the Fringe

Toronto’s big­gest the­atre fes­ti­val en­ters its sec­ond quar­ter- cen­tury with another big bash, this year fea­tur­ing 136 shows, in­clud­ing 14 site­spe­cific pro­duc­tions, at 29 venues. In ad­di­tion to the shows there’ll be in­for­ma­tive tent talks, the Visual Fringe art mar­ket, al­ley plays, buskers, un­der­ground par­ties and the 24-hour play­writ­ing contest. New this year is a Fringekids Club, with ac­tiv­i­ties and crafts for pint-sized au­di­ence mem­bers. Among the par­tic­i­pants are com­edy duo

Peter n’ Chris, New Zealand’s You Rung? Pro­duc­tions (who last year brought a very funny one-man Richard III), Mo­men­tum Dance Toronto, Key­stone The­atre, Baby Gumm Pro­duc­tions

and Pea Green The­atre Group. The fes­ti­val runs July 2 to 13. 416-966-1062, fringe­toronto.com.

CanS­tage combo

Cana­dian Stage had such a suc­cess last year ro­tat­ing a pair of works by the Bard at the an­nual

Shake­speare In High Park that they’re re­peat­ing the for­mat. This year’s shows are the for­est-set com­edy As You Like It, which has al­ways been per­fect for the park, and the far darker Ti­tus An­dron­i­cus, a tale of bloody re­venge set in an

cient Rome. Nigel Shawn Wil­liams di­rects As You, and Keira Loughran helms Ti­tus, with an en­sem­ble cast that in­cludes Shauna Black, Gwen­lyn Cumyn, Beau Dixon, Sean Dixon, Chala Hunter, Omar Alex Khan, Alexan­der Plouffe

and Amy Ruther­ford. Per­for­mances be­gin June 26 and run to Au­gust 31 at the High Park Am­phi

the­atre. 416-368-3110, cana­di­anstage.com.

An­gels In Amer­ica

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