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.