the­atre list­ings

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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 F = Fes­tive event

Crit­ics’ pick (highly rec­om­mended) How to place a list­ing All list­ings are free. Use the event sub­mis­sion form at nowtoronto.com. In­clude ti­tle, au­thor, pro­ducer/com­pany, brief syn­op­sis, venue name & ad­dress, dates & times, ticket prices and box of­fice/info phone num­ber or web­site. List­ings will be edited for space and style. Dead­line is

the Thurs­day be­fore pub­li­ca­tion at 5 pm. To sub­mit a cor­rec­tion to an ex­ist­ing list­ing, email: fix­[email protected]

New this week

BEN­E­FITS LAPSED by Mor­gan Frey (Tree of Life The­atre Com­pany). An am­putee strug­gles to write an es­say on what be­ing “dis­abled” is like. Dec 6 at 7:30 pm. $20. Ar­ray Space, 155 Wal­nut. eventbrite.ca/e/52536364681. F A CHRIST­MAS CAROL by Charles Dick­ens (Soulpep­per). Michael Shamata’s adap­ta­tion of the clas­sic hol­i­day ghost story gets a stag­ing. Opens Dec 7 and runs to Dec 24, see web­site for sched­ule. $35-$95. Young Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts, 50 Tank House. 416866-8666, soulpep­per.ca. F A CHRIST­MAS CAROL orig­i­nal text by Justin Haigh (The Three Ships Col­lec­tive/Soup Can The­atre). New and im­mer­sive adap­ta­tion of Charles Dick­ens’s clas­sic tale. Pre­views Dec 12, opens Dec 13 and runs to Dec 22, Dec 1215 and 18-22 at 7 & 9 pm, Dec 16 at 5 & 7 pm. $20-$30. Camp­bell House Mu­seum, 160

Queen W. christ­mas­carolto.com. F THE CHRIST­MAS STORY Pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians and a vol­un­teer cast present the story of the birth of Je­sus in this na­tiv­ity pageant. Opens Dec 7 and runs to Dec 23, see web­site for times. $25, child $5 sugg do­na­tion. Church of the Holy Trin­ity, 10 Trin­ity Square. 416598-4521 ext 301, thechrist­masstory.ca. F COCK­TAILS & CANDY CANES Toronto Mu­si­cal Con­certs presents a hol­i­day show by mu­si­cal the­atre per­form­ers. Dec 10 at 8 pm. $20. Jazz Bistro, 251 Vic­to­ria. jazzbistro.ca. CORTEO (Cirque du Soleil). A clown imag­ines his funeral in a car­ni­val at­mos­phere in this show fea­tur­ing ac­ro­bats, mu­si­cians, singers and ac­tors. Opens Dec 12 and runs to Dec 16, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 1 & 5 pm, see web­site for mats. $48-$169. Sco­tia­bank Arena, 40 Bay. cirque­du­soleil.com/corteo. F FINN & FRIENDS: A RATPACKED CHRIST­MAS By­gone The­atre presents a fes­tive mix of Christ­mas mu­sic and sketch com­edy. Dec 12

at 7:30 pm. $25. Lower Oss­ing­ton The­atre, 100A Oss­ing­ton. by­gonethe­atre.com. FROM THE WA­TER by Will King (Seven Sib­lings The­atre). This sci-fi thriller uses crea­tures and

clones to de­fine what it means to be hu­man and to fight against an un­stop­pable force. Pre­views Dec 12, opens Dec 13 and runs to Dec 16, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2:30 pm. $17-$32. Ex­traS­pace. Tar­ragon The­atre, 30 Bridg­man. sev­en­si­b­lingsthe­atre.ca. F GIRL GANG CABARETS – HOL­I­DAY EDI­TION Fem­i­nist va­ri­ety show with com­edy, sto­ry­telling, po­etry, dance and mu­sic plus an open stage cabaret and jam. Dec 9 from 6:30 pm. $10-$12. The Painted Lady, 218 Oss­ing­ton. face­book.com/events/278672939668705. F IF ON A CHRIST­MAS NIGHT… / SE UNA NOTTE A NATALE… by Daniele Bar­tolini (DopoLa­voro Teatrale). Im­mer­sive show that looks at the cel­e­bra­tion of Christ­mas through the lens of Ital­ian cul­ture. In pre­views, opens Dec 7 and runs to Dec 23, see web­site for sched­ule. $2040. Colum­bus Cen­tre, 901 Lawrence W. vil­lachar­i­ties.com/christ­mas­night. JACK & THE BEANSTALK – A NEW CANA­DIAN MU­SI­CAL Work­shop read­ing of a new work by com­poser and lyri­cist Wil­liam Lav­i­gne. Dec 8 at 3 pm. $20. Royal Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic, 273 Bloor W. 416-458-5090, rc­mu­sic.com. F JIN­GLE BABZ Mu­si­cal the­atre artists Bar-

bara John­ston per­forms a hol­i­day cabaret. Dec 8 at 9 pm. $20. Tran­zac, 292 Bruns­wick. face­book.com/events/522174568298968. F JOHN D. HUS­TON: A CHRIST­MAS CAROL Hus­ton per­forms the clas­sic sea­sonal tale in the role of Charles Dick­ens him­self, with mu­si­cal ac­com­pa­ni­ment by the MadriGALS. Dec 12 at 7:30 pm. $25, stu/srs $20. Red Sand­cas­tle The­atre, 922 Queen E. dick­ensper­former.com. F MERRY LIT­TLE CHRIST­MAS V: IN SEARCH OF THE REAL SANTA (Wood­bine Heights Drama Club). All-ages show that goes back to 4th­cen­tury Tur­key to find the ori­gin of St. Ni­cholas. Dec 7-9, Fri 8 pm, Sat 4 & 7 pm, Sun 11 am. Free. Wood­bine Heights Bap­tist Church, 1171 Wood­bine. wood­bine­heights.ca. MUNSCH GOES TO SCHOOL (Ge­orge Brown The­atre). The­atre for young au­di­ences based on the sto­ries of Robert Munsch. Dec 8 at 10:30 am and 1 pm. $25, srs $20, stu $10. Young Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts, 50 Tank House. tick­ets.young­cen­tre.ca. NAKED CITY STO­RIES Me­gan Fahlen­bock and Gare Joyce host sto­ries of the ter­ri­ble beauty and aw­ful truth about our city. Dec 11 at 9:30 pm. $5. The So­cial Cap­i­tal The­atre, 154 Dan-

forth. so­cap.ca. F THE NA­TIv­ITY Mu­SI­CAL (Chris­tian Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre). Fast-paced, comedic ren­di­tion of the story of Christ’s birth with mu­sic, dancers and spe­cial ef­fects. Dec 8-9, Sat 3 & 7 pm, Sun 4 pm. $5. Church on the Queensway, 1536 The Queensway. cpacen­tre.org. F OpERA pub – A NOT-SO-SILENT NIgHT Against the Grain The­atre opera pub show. Dec 6 at 9 pm. Free. Amsterdam Bi­cy­cle Club, 54 The Es­planade. again­st­the­grainthe­atre.com.

pEARLE HAR­bOuR’S AgIT-pOp (Pearle ñ

Har­bour Pro­duc­tions/TPM). Evening of songs, sto­ries and so­ciopo­lit­i­cal tirades in this one-night spe­cial of Pearle’s old favourites and new works. Dec 12 at 8 pm. $15-$25. The­atre Passe Mu­raille, 16 Ry­er­son. passe­mu­raille.ca.

pE­TER pAN by JM Bar­rie (Soulpep­per/Bad ñ

Hats The­atre). Mu­si­cal reimag­in­ing of the clas­sic chil­dren’s tale for ages 3 and up. Pre­views from Dec 8, opens Dec 12 and runs to Jan 5, see web­site for sched­ule. $25-$55. Young Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts, 50 Tank House. 416-866-8666, soulpep­per.ca. THE pHILOSO­pHER’S WIFE by Su­sanna Fournier

(Paradigm Pro­duc­tions). A man hires a dog trainer to con­trol his wife’s be­hav­iour. Opens Dec 6 and runs to Dec 16, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $25-$35. Aki Stu­dio. Daniels Spec­trum, 585 Dun­das E. em­pire­tril­ogy.com. REvERSIbLE (7 Fingers/Mirvish). Mix of the­atre, cir­cus, dance, mu­sic and ac­ro­bat­ics about the ex­pe­ri­ences and sto­ries of our grand­par­ents. Opens Dec 11 and runs to Jan 6, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Wed 1:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm. $69-$79. CAA The­atre, 651 Yonge. mirvish.com. 6 guITARS by Chase Pad­gett (Mirvish). Pad­gett per­forms his mu­si­cal mulit-char­ac­ter solo show from. Dec 6-7 at 8 pm. $39-$50. CAA The­atre, 651 Yonge. mirvish.com. SkY­LINE (Don’t Look Down The­atre Com­pany). Darkly comedic tale of three young adults on the verge of los­ing them­selves. Pre­views Dec 6, opens Dec 7 and runs to Dec 16, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $20-$25. Back­S­pace. The­atre Passe Mu­raille, 16 Ry­er­son. 416-504-7529, dont­look­downthe­atre.ca. F SLAvA’S SNOWSHOW by Slava Pol­unin (Show One Pro­duc­tions/Civic The­atres Toronto). A scruffy, dis­arm­ing troupe of clowns take you on a spell­bind­ing ad­ven­ture. Opens Dec 7 and runs to Dec 16, Thu-Sat 8 pm (and Dec 16), mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $59-$129. Bluma Ap­pel The­atre, 27 Front E. tick­et­mas­ter.ca. TpM’S 50TH bIRTH­DAY bASH The­atre Passe Mu­raille cel­e­brates its his­tory as the old­est the­atre in Canada de­voted to de­vel­op­ing and pro­duc­ing new Cana­dian plays. Drinks & DJ party. Dec 10, doors 8 pm. Free. The­atre Passe Mu­raille, 16 Ry­er­son. passe­mu­raille.ca. vENuS IN FuR by David Ives (Edge Pro­duc­tions). De­ter­mined to land the lead, an ac­tor plays a cat-and-mouse game with the play’s di­rec­tor. Dec 7-9, Fri 8 pm, Sat 2 & 8 pm, Sun 1 & 7 pm. $25-$35. The­atre français Stu­dio 21, 21 Col­lege #610. edge­pro­duc­tions.ca. THE WIzARD OF Oz by Harold Arlen, An­drew Lloyd Web­ber, EY Har­burg, Tim Rice (Lower Oss­ing­ton The­atre). A farm girl trav­els over the rain­bow in this mu­si­cal based on the 1939 film. Opens Dec 8 and runs to Jan 27, Fri 7:30 pm, Sat 3:30 & 7:30 pm, Sun noon & 4 pm. $35-$70. Randolph The­atre, 736 Bathurst. 416-907-0468, loweross­ing­tonthe­atre.com. Con­tin­u­ing AL­ICE THE MAg­NET by Erin Court­ney (The­atre An­i­mal). A self-help guru’s fol­low­ers are led away by the teach­ings of a fear-mon­gerer. To Dec 9, Tue-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, mat Sat 2 pm, Sun 1 pm. $15-$25. The Com­mons The­atre, 587a Col­lege. bit.ly/al­ice­mag­net. ASHEq: RIT­uAL Mu­SIC TO CuRE A LOvER by Shahin Sayadi (One­light The­atre). Story of for­bid­den love, fam­ily se­crets and find­ing bal­ance be­tween tra­di­tion and the mod­ern world. To Dec 8, Thu-Fri 8 pm, Sat 4 & 7 pm. $18.85-$24.50. Har­bourfront Cen­tre The­atre, 231 Queens Quay W. one­lightthe­atre.com. F A CHRIST­MAS CAROL COM­EDY by Katie Lea­men (No Por­poise Pro­duc­tions). See re­view, page 35. To Dec 23, Wed-Sat 8 pm, mat SatSun 4 pm. $20-$30. Wy­ch­wood The­atre, 76 Wy­ch­wood. no­por­poise­pro­duc­tions.com. NNN (Deb­bie Fein-Gold­bach) CHAR­LIE AND THE CHOCO­LATE FAC­TORY by David Greig, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman (Mirvish). See re­view, this page. To Jan 6, TueSat 7:30 pm, mat Wed, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm. $69$179. Princess of Wales The­atre, 300 King W. mirvish.com. NN (Michelle da Silva) THE CODE by Rachel Aberle (YPT/Green Thumb The­atre). A stu­dent-in­sti­gated protest brings un­ex­pected fall­out. To Dec 14, see web­site for times. $19-$24. Stu­dio. Young Peo­ple’s The­atre, 165 Front E. young­peo­plesthe­atre.ca.

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 Tonynom­i­nated 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, TueSat 8 pm, mat Wed 1:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm. (Run con­tin­ues at El­gin The­atre, Feb 5-Jun 30). $39-$169. Royal Alexan­dra The­atre, 260 King W. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com. NNNN (Su­san G Cole)

Ev­ERY bRIL­LIANT THINg by Dun­can Macñ

mil­lan with Jonny Don­a­hoe (Cana­dian Stage). See re­view, page 34. To Dec 16, TueThu & Sat 8 pm, Fri 7 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $49-$79. Berke­ley Street The­atre, 26 Berke­ley. cana­di­anstage.com. NNNNN (Glenn Sumi) F IT’S A WON­DER­FuL LIFE: A LIvE RA­DIO pLAY adapted by Joe Landry (Lower Oss­ing­ton The­atre). An an­gel helps a des­per­ate man in this hol­i­day clas­sic. To Dec 30, Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 3:30 pm, Sun noon & 4 pm. $55-$65. Lower Oss­ing­ton The­atre, 100A Oss­ing­ton. 416-907-0468, loweross­ing­tonthe­atre.com.

MARY pOp­pINS by Richard Sher­man, ñ

Robert Sher­man, Ju­lian Fel­lowes (YPT/ Cameron Mack­in­tosh). YPT’s pro­duc­tion of Mary Pop­pins is a win­ner with a top-notch cast, an abun­dance of mem­o­rable songs and a kid-friendly run­ning time of 90 min­utes. As Mary Pop­pins, Vanessa Sears lends warmth and whimsy to the se­verely proper mag­i­cal nanny. The show is great for first-time the­atre-go­ers since di­rec­tor Thom Al­li­son uses old-fash­ioned theatri­cal ef­fects rather than pro­jec­tions and elec­tron­ics to cre­ate the show’s magic. It’s an ex­u­ber­ant, warm­hearted pro­duc­tion sure to cheer adults and chil­dren alike. To Jan 6, see web­site for times. $10-$54. Young Peo­ple’s The­atre, 165 Front E. 416-862-2222, young­peo­plesthe­atre.ca. NNNN (Christo­pher Hoile)

THE MES­SAgE by Ja­son Sher­man (Tar­ragon). ñ Fea­tur­ing a bravura lead per­for­mance by R.H. Thom­son, this por­trait of leg­endary Cana­dian me­dia the­o­rist Mar­shall McLuhan in his fi­nal years shifts be­tween points in time and states of con­scious­ness. Its play­ful ver­biage, in­spired by Sa­muel Beck­ett and James Joyce, is rife with rep­e­ti­tion, el­lipses and baroque puns but does noth­ing to al­le­vi­ate the play’s sen­so­rial as­sault. It’s a mes­mer­iz­ing re­lay of bi­og­ra­phy and phi­los­o­phy that piv­ots on the ques­tion of whether com­plex, paradigm-shift­ing the­o­ries lend them­selves to re­duc­tion. To Dec 16, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sun (and some Sat) 2:30 pm. $22-$60. Tar­ragon The­atre, 30 Bridg­man. 416-531-1827, tar­ragonthe­atre.com. NNNN (José Teodoro) NO TIME TO kILL! A TIME-TRAv­EL­LINg MuR­DER MYS­TERY (Mys­te­ri­ously Yours Din­ner The­atre). In­ter­ac­tive & comedic who­dunit set at a science sym­po­sium. To Dec 15, Sat 6:30 pm. $119. Chelsea Ho­tel, 33 Ger­rard W. 416-4867469, mys­te­ri­ous­lyy­ours.ca.

ObAAbER­IMA by Taw­iah Ben M’Carthy ñ

(BIBT). See re­view, page 32. To Dec 9, Thu-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $20-$40, Sun pwyc. Bud­dies in Bad Times The­atre, 12 Alexan­der. 416-975-8555, bud­diesin­bad­times. com. NNNN (Lisa McKeown) THE ROCkY HOR­ROR SHOW by Richard O’Brien (Lower Oss­ing­ton The­atre). A newly en­gaged cou­ple land in the home of a mad sci­en­tist in this schlocky cult clas­sic. To Dec 23, Thu-Sun 8 pm. $35. Lower Oss­ing­ton The­atre, 100A Oss­ing­ton. loweross­ing­tonthe­atre.com.

THE RuN­NER by Christo­pher Mor­ris (Huñ

man Cargo/TPM). See re­view, page 32. To Dec 9, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2 pm. $17-$38. The­atre Passe Mu­raille, 16 Ry­er­son. passe­mu­raille.ca. NNNNN (José Teodoro) SCHOOL OF ROCk by An­drew Lloyd Web­ber, Glenn Slater, Ju­lian Fel­lowes (Mirvish). Mu­si­cal based on the 2003 film about a wannabe

rock star turned sub­sti­tute teacher. (See re­view at nowtoronto.com/stage.) To Jan 6, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Wed, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm. $25-$215. Ed Mirvish The­atre, 244 Vic­to­ria. 416-872-1212, mirvish.com. NN (Glenn Sumi)

F scrooGe: the mu­si­cal (Civic Light-Opera Co). Mu­si­cal ver­sion of Charles Dick­ens’s time­less ghost story. To Dec 16, Wed 7 pm, ThuSat 8 pm, mat Sun (and Dec 15) at 2 pm. $28. Zion Cul­tural Cen­tre, 1650 Finch E. mu­sicthe­atre­toronto.com. toroNto colD reaDs Read­ings of new writ­ing for film, the­atre & ra­dio. To Dec 16, Sun­days 8 pm. Pwyc. The So­cial Cap­i­tal The­atre, 154 Dan­forth. 416-903-5388, so­cap.ca. what i call her by El­lie Moon (In As­so­ci­a­tion/ Crow’s The­atre). Kate (Char­lie Gould) toys with the idea of post­ing a re­venge obit about her dy­ing mother and out­ing her as a vi­cious child abuser, while her part­ner Kyle (Michael Ayres) tries to talk her out of it. Kate’s sis­ter (El­lie Ell­wand) shows up and they clash over whose ver­sion of the fam­ily his­tory is right. Ayres is ex­cel­lent and Ell­wand does well with a role that’s un­der­writ­ten. But this is re­ally Gould’s show. She’s a whirl­wind of emo­tion in a very good play that is tough and of­ten dis­turb­ing. To Dec 8, Mon-Sat 8:30 pm, mat Sat 2:30 pm. $45-$50. Street­car Crowsnest, 345 Car­law. crow­sthe­atre.com. NNN (Su­san G Cole) the wizarD oF oz – a toto-ly twistereD Fam­ily mu­si­cal (Ross Petty). Swept away in a storm, Dorothy and her dog must find their way back home in this fam­ily-friendly mu­si­cal. To Jan 5, see web­site for times. $27-$99. El­gin The­atre, 189 Yonge. rosspetty.com. F the woN­Der paGeaNt by Kayla Lorette and Ron Ped­er­son (Coal Mine). Un­scripted night of im­prov com­edy, merry mu­sic, ugly sweaters and hol­i­day mir­a­cles. To Dec 23, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2 pm. $42.50. Coal Mine The­atre, 1454 Dan­forth. coalminethe­atre.com.

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