How to find a listing Theatre listings are comprehensive and appear alphabetically by title. New this week lists shows that open or preview this week; Continuing shows have already opened. The rating system is as follows: NNNNN Standing ovation NNNN Sustained applause NNN Recommended, memorable scenes NN Seriously flawed N Get out the hook
ñ= Critics’ pick (highly recommended) How to place a listing All listings are free. Use the event submission form at nowtoronto.com. Listings may be edited for space and style. Deadline is the Thursday before publication at 5 pm. To submit a correction to an existing listing, email: email@example.com.
aNNIe by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, Thomas Meehan (Mirvish). Leapin’ lizards! The sun doesn’t come out for this lacklustre UK production of the family musical about a plucky orphan (Isobel Khan) looking for her parents. The choreography is bizarre, the set a rip-off of the more intriguing designs for Matilda, and the big-name draw (Downton Abbey’s Lesley Nicol) a disappointment as the evil Miss Hannigan. Of the leads, only Alex Bourne and Matthew Hawksley impress as Daddy Warbucks and Rooster. To Jun 3, TueSat 7:30 pm, mat Wed, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm. $29$229. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria. 416872-1212, mirvish.com. NN (Glenn Sumi)
cOMe frOM awaY by Irene Sankoff and ñ
David Hein (Mirvish). With astonishing warmth, Newfoundlanders welcome traumatized passengers on planes rerouted to Gander on 9/11 in this home-grown Tony-nominated musical. The music is rollicking, the lyrics are clever and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show with more heart. The cast, doubling up on roles as Ganderites and travellers, is uniformly excellent, especially Eliza-Jane Scott as a pilot and Kevin Vidal as a Black Brooklynite who can’t believe his hosts’ openness. The show just barrels along – even with some dark content – and you never get a chance to catch your breath. But so what? Go with the flow and enjoy. To Jan 20, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Wed 1:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $39-$169. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King W. 416-8721212, mirvish.com. NNNN (Susan G Cole) dIssIdeNTs by Philippe Ducros (ARC). See review, page 31. To May 20, Thu-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $9-$44. 1251 Bloor W. arcstage. com. NNN (Christopher Hoile)
fuN hOMe by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa ñ
Kron (Musical Stage Company/Mirvish). I can’t imagine a better Canadian cast in this musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir about her closeted dad’s probable suicide. The score is complex, the lyrics alternately funny and poignant and the book as rich as any great play. Robert McQueen’s imaginative direction fills out the massive CAA Theatre, with standout performances by Evan Buliung as the father and Laura Condlln, Sara Farb and Hannah Levinson as Alison at various stages of her life. To May 20, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $39-$89. CAA Theatre, 651 Yonge. 416-872-1212, musicalstagecompany. com. NNNNN (Glenn Sumi) gIrLs LIke ThaT by Evan Placey (Tarragon). This 2013 British play, laden with wisecracks and wisdom, engages both teens and adults. Besties since they were five, a group of highschool girls turn on their pal Scarlett when her naked photo goes viral. Monologues flashing back to the 1920s, 40s, 60s and 80s look at the feminist movement and its con- trast with the present action. The performers do fine physical work as five-year olds and teenaged boys and girls, even if they tend to rush their lines, and expertly execute Alyssa Martin’s elaborate dance sequences. Too bad Shakura Dickson, as Scarlett, can’t sell the play’s climactic speech. To May 27, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun 2:30 pm (see website for other mats). $20-$60. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com. NNN (Susan G Cole) INch Of YOur LIfe: The TrILOgY – epIsOde 2: The MIddLe parT by Massimo Pagliaroli (The Theatre Circuit). Three-part stage sitcom that looks at family, relationships and identity. To May 19, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20-$30. BackSpace. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson. thetheatrecircuit.com.
LuLu V.7: aspecTs Of a feMMe faTaLe by ñ
ted witzel, Susanna Fournier, Helen Yung (the red light district). In deconstructing German fin de siècle playwright Frank Wedekind’s controversial “Lulu” cycle, co-creators witzel, Fournier and Yung craft a critical space to rethink sex, companionship and our bodies in the wake of #MeToo, and the serial killings of gay men in Toronto. The first half features an epic theatre condensation of Wedekind’s wild, sex-and-blood-drenched Lulu saga, about a hedonistic femme fatale (Rose Tuong) and the bizarre constellation of terrible men in her orbit, while the second half turns to a slow-burning series of symbolic monologues engaging in frank, intimate and honest terms with the enduring questions the story raises. To May 20, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $20$40, Sun pwyc. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com. NNNN (Jordan Bimm)
Ma raINeY’s BLack BOTTOM by August ñ
Wilson (Soulpepper). Issues of race and power are hashed out in 1920s Chicago recording studio. (See review, this page.) To Jun 2, see website for times. $32-$96. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House. soulpepper.ca. NNNNN (Glenn Sumi)
MaggIe & pIerre by Linda Griffiths with ñ
Paul Thompson (timeshare). See review, this page. To May 19, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat SatSun 2:30 pm. $17-$22. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre. com. NNNN (Jordan Bimm)
The NIghTINgaLe aNd OTher shOrT ñ
faBLes by Igor Stravinsky (Canadian Opera Company). The COC’s remount of the Robert Lepage-directed one-act opera with a menagerie of other Stravinsky offerings is a theatrically rich program unlike anything you’ll see in an opera house. Lepage employs various forms of puppetry and 67 tonnes of water to create an enchanting, beautifully sung show. Jane Archibald’s crystalline-voiced titular character and the delicately nuanced playing by the COC orchestra are highlights. To May 19, see website for times. $35-$225. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen W. coc.ca. NNNN (Glenn Sumi) paprIka fesTIVaL New plays, dance perform-
ances, workshop productions, experimental art and more by young artists and companies. To May 20, see website for details. Free/pwyc$10. Aki Studio. Native Earth Performing Arts, 585 Dundas E. paprikafestival.com. PerFeCt weDDIng by Robin Hawdon (Village Players). A comedic play about pre-wedding mishaps. To May 19, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat May 6 and 13 at 2 pm. $20-$24. Village Playhouse, 2190 Bloor W. villageplayers.net. PIrAte shIP ADventure Children’s interactive adventure theatre show aboard a 50-foot pirate ship that sails along the harbor. To Oct 8, see website for schedule. $27. Pirate Life Toronto, 333 Lake Shore E. piratelife.ca. toronto CoLD reADs New original scripts are read cold by actors for a supportive audience. Weekly, Sundays 8 pm. Pwyc. The Social Capital Theatre, 154 Danforth. socap.ca. weeFestIvAL Theatre Direct presents the biennial arts, theatre and culture festival geared to children aged 0-6. Aerial arts, theatre, puppetry, music and post-show family parties. To May 21. $12-$25. Various venues, see website for info. weefestival.ca.