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The King and I

Two worlds collide in the Lincoln Center Theater production of this “breathtaking and exquisite” (The New York Times) musical, directed by Bartlett Sher. One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, THE KING AND I boasts a score that features such beloved classics as Getting To Know You, I Whistle a Happy Tune, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We Dance and Something Wonderful.  Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. Both are challenged to understand one another and find common ground amidst many cultural differences. The King and I features a cast of more than fifty, among them five-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara from Lincoln Center Theater’s award-winning revival of South Pacific as Anna, and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Inception) as King Mongkut. Winner of the 2015 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival, The King and I  is “too beautiful to miss” (New York Magazine). Plays from July 10 to Aug. 12 at the Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. West. For tickets: 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333.

Andy Warhol Musical
Toronto Fringe

Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory defined an era and launched a movement in many art disciplines — film, visual art, theatre, music, dance, life in general. ANDY WARHOL MUSICAL explores the ethos of the Silver Factory and the people who created that scene. Based on verbatim quotes — sourced from media interviews, documentaries, journals and other materials — ANDY WARHOL MUSICAL  gives us the wild collection of beauties, talkers, artists, poets, musicians, dancers, philosophers, models, drag queens, socialites and amphetamine takers who were at the Silver Factory. ANDY WARHOL MUSICAL is written and directed by Vinetta Strombergs. The songs and music are by Robert Swerdlow and come from his seminal early 1970s musical JUSTINE, which was performed at the Global Village, a warehouse space in Toronto very much in the style of the Silver Factory in New York. The songs and music are from this earlier musical and have been further developed, with new arrangements by Peter Nunn. The 12-member cast consists of: Autumn-Joy Dames, Breanne Dietrich, Chase Winnicky, Christopher Wilson, Devin Chin–Cheong, Duff MacDonald, Jewelle Blackman, Julia Carrer, Kurtis Leon Baker, Sara Hinding, Sarah Gibbons and Stacey Kay. Andy Warhol Musical plays from July 4 to 14 at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace, 16 Ryerson Avenue. Tickets: Available at the theatre box office before each performance and in advance (with $2 service fee) online at fringetoronto.com and by phone at 416-966-1062.

Toronto Fringe

Sky Gilbert (3-time Dora Award Winner, and recipient of the Pauline McGibbon Award and Silver Ticket Winner) teams up with Theresa Tova (RagtimeTough Jews, president of ACTRA Toronto) for a musical collaboration of Cheri An aging courtesan named Lea (Theresa Tova) is performing a musical about her checkered past -- passion, love and the ever important issue: what are the best fashion choices for a woman who is no longer young? During her performance Lea is triggered by the beauty of her young male accompanist (Dustin Peters) who reminds her of a lover from many years ago -- Cheri.  Cheri deals with topics of women’s sexuality and aging while asking; what is the true nature of love? Why does a person fall in love with someone who could potentially hurt them or use them? Is there ever a time when one should intervene? Can you ever really stop yourself from falling for the wrong person, and if so, how? Don’t miss this feverish femme-fatale spectacular! Plays July 04, 10:30pm; Sat. July 07, 12pm; Sun. July 08, 5pm; Mon. July 09, 8:30pm; Tues. July 10, 9pm;Thurs. July 12, 7:30pm; Sun. July 15, 1:45pm at the Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina Ave.

Come From Away

After a sold-out, standing-room only Toronto engagement before heading to Broadway, Come From Away, the “Best Musical” winner all across North America. returns to Toronto due to overwhelming demand!  It’s been called the “edge of the world.” The weather is wild, but the locals never lack for warmth. And it’s here, in Newfoundland, where a remote town became the epicenter of a remarkable true story filled with unusual characters, unexpected camaraderie and uncommon generosity. Come From Away tells the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. On September 11, 2001 the world stopped.  On September 12, their stories moved us all. With Book, Music & Lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein and Directed by Christopher Ashley, and a cast of 18. Twelve more weeks of performances have been added from Oct. 23, 2018 throgh Jan 20, 2019. This new block of tickets will go on sale Monday May 7, 2018. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. West, Toronto. Available online at mirvish.com. By phone 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333.
Photo by Michael Murphy. Canadian Company in Come From Away.

Murder on the Disorient Express

Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre Presents: Murder on the Disorient Express! ALL ABOARD!!! The Great Detective, Hercule Perrier, sifts through a tangled web of clues and evidence, and applies the little grey cells to investigate the psychology of the colourful characters who are your fellow passengers aboard the famous train! Featuring Simon Esley, Tom Melissis, Dannyt Wengle, Pierre Alain Trudel, Michell Regal, and Barb Scheffler. Produced by Brian Caws & Iliki Mahairas, Mysteriously Yours Inc. is a family owned and operated, Canadian theatre company, dedicated to producing and presenting the best interactive murder mysteries. Celebrating 30 years, Mysteriously Yours is the world's largest professional producer of interactive murder mystery entertainment. Please note that the venue at 2026 Yonge St., Toronto is not wheelchair accessible, however we are available for off-site shows for groups. Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre, 2026 Yonge Street, Toronto. (two blocks north of Davisville subway station). For tickets contact: +1 (416) 486-7469 or email: boxoffice@mysteriouslyyours.com. The show runs until the end of June.
Photo by Brian Caws: L to R: The cast L to R is:  Pierre Trudel, Simon Esler, Danny Wengle, Barb Scheffler, Michelle Regal, Tom Melissis.


How many lifetimes does it take to find love? Destined to never age, Orlando’s fantastical journey crosses continents, centuries, and genders to find true happiness. Virginia Woolf’s timeless masterpiece is adapted by one of today’s most celebrated playwrights. The book describes the adventures of a poet who changes sex from man to woman and lives for centuries, meeting the key figures of English literary history. Considered a feminist classic, the book has been written about extensively by scholars of women’s writing and gender and transgender studies.  “I fell in love with the story of Orlando quickly. Virginia Woolf’s prismatic imagination and Sarah Ruhl's ability in honouring that magic make it a mind-bending study of life and desire. The piece bravely looks at how we choose to live, and whether or not that choice is in line with our truth. If time and gender are freed from their definitions, what might we become?” said Director Katrina Darychuk on her connection to the play. Souleppeper Theatre presents the Canadian premiere of Orlando starring Sarah Afful, from July 6 (Opens July 11) to 29 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets: 416-866-8666 or 1-888-898-1188 or https://tickets.youngcentre.ca/

The Phantom of the Opera

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera comes to Toronto as part of a brand new North American Tour. Critics are raving that this breathtaking production is “bigger and better than ever before” and features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and new staging by director Laurence Connor. The production, overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh, boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score - with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade” - will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour. Plays June 7 to 30 at the Princess of Wales Theatre. 300 King Street West, Toronto. Tickets: 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333.
Photo: L to R: Quentin Liverlee, Eva Tavares in The Phantom of the Opera. Photo: by Mathew Murphy.
Click here for the Review of The Phantom of the Opera

Porch View Dances

Dance lovers everywhere will flock to Seaton Village for the sixth year of Porch View Dances. From July 19 to 23, join your neighbours to experience and celebrate the often-quiet stories that make a community what it is.  Kaeja d’Dance, Toronto’s cutting-edge contemporary dance company, brings together professional dance artists with ordinary citizens, creating a truly magical outdoor event in the heart of Toronto. Conceived and developed in 2012, Porch View Dances is an innovative dance festival, engaging members of the community in Seaton Village and surrounding neighbourhoods. Performed by local non-dancer residents in the front yards, porches and courtyards of their own homes, Porch View Dances includes choreographic commissions by local and Canadian talent, including Allison Cummings, Karen Kaeja, Allen Kaeja, Yvonne Ng and Lua Shayenne The audience is guided from dwelling to dwelling throughout Seaton Village by our tour guide Maurycy (played by Allen Kaeja), watching the stories of a neighbourhood unfold. The event culminates at Vermont Square Park, where the audience joins in Karen's Flock Landing. Porch View Dances presented by Kaeja d’Dance starts at 648 Markham Street, ending in Vermont Square Park (819 Palmerston Ave). July 19-22 @ 7pm;July 23 @ 1pm; Tickets: PWYC.

Potted Potter

Returning to Toronto for the fourth time, Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. A Critics’ Pick by the DA Critics’ Pick by the Daily Herald, New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out London, Washington Post, and Boston Globe, the show won the prestigious 2012 Olivier Award nomination for Best Entertainment & Family Show, playing to sold-out houses worldwide. This fantastically funny show features all your favourite characters, a special appearance from a fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props, and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic! This production employs haze, straobe lights and loud noises. Suitable for ages 6 and up. Babes in arms or children under the age of two are not permitted in the theatre. Chldren older than two (2) should be able to sit quietly in their own seats throughout a performance. Plays June 13 to July 22 at the CAA Theatre, 651 Yonge St. Tickets: 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333.

Toronto Fringe

Fresh off her win of the 2018 Cayle Chernin Award for Theatre Production, Lark & Whimsy Theatre Collective presents Briana Brown’s newest play Robert which has its premiere at this summer’s Toronto Fringe Festival, July 4th-15th, 2018 at St. George the Martyr, 197 John Street, Toronto, ON. Tickets go on sale to the general public on June 7th, 2018 at www.fringetoronto.com. Kat and James are waiting for their father to die. Not exactly estranged, but certainly not close, the two struggle to make conversation until James reveals a secret he’s kept from Kat since childhood – a secret that turns their family roles upside down, and forces them both to confront what exactly “family” means. Robert is a witty and graceful new comedy that delivers laughs and heart while taking on difficult questions of identity, grief and loss. With a set of bagpipes. Robert is co-directed by Briana Brown & Rob Kempson, and features Janelle Hanna & Chris Baker. Tickets: At The Festival box office; At-the-door tickets will be sold at the show’s venue starting one hour prior to show time for cash sales only, subject to availability. Visit fringetoronto.com for more information on tickets and festival passes.

The Second City's Mainstage Revue
The Best Is Yet To Come Undone

The Second City's 81st mainstage revue hits the stage starting March 27th, with the official media premiere taking place on April 9th. The newly-unveiled name most definitely reflects the surreal era we're living through: The Best Is Yet To Come Undone. With unflinching honesty, this all-star cast tackles 2018's minefield of crushing clichés and relatable revelations. The upcoming revue gleefully delves into how North American society has evolved in recent months, exploring everything from the #MeToo movement to micro/macro aggressions to feminist and minority groups to what it means to be an ally. Toss in a handful of musical numbers, plus a touch of magic, and the end result is a biting and uncompromisingly funny show for everyone to enjoy. The Best Is Yet To Come Undone is written and performed by The Second City Toronto Mainstage cast, and features new members Sharjil Rasool, Stacey McGunnigle, and Chris Wilson. They will join returning cast members Allana Reoch, Nadine Djoury, and Brandon Hackett. The show is led by two Second City alums, Carly Heffernan as Director and Paul Bates as Assistant Director. Opens April 9, 2018. for 51 Mercer Street. (416) 343-0011; www.secondcity.com
Second City Cast Photo: by Racheal McCaig. Clockwise from left: Stacey McGunnigle, Allana Reoch, Brandon Hackett, Chris Wilson, Nadine Djoury, Sharjil Rasool


When Dorothy famously triumphed over the Wicked Witch, we only ever heard one side of the story.  Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two young women who first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University: the blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba. Following an encounter with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their friendship reaches a crossroads and their lives take very different paths. Glinda's unflinching desire for popularity sees her seduced by power while Elphaba's determination to remain true to herself, and to those around her, will have unexpected and shocking consequences for her future. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Wicked has show-stopping songs by Academy Award® winner Stephen Schwartz and is adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman. Wicked plays at the Ed Mirvish Theatre  (244 Victoria St.) from June 20 to Aug. 5, 2018. Tickets: 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333.
Photo: by Joan Marcus. Mary Kate Morrissey as Elphaba in Wicked.

Ontario Summer Theatre

Shakespeare in High Park

Canadian Stage’s Shakespeare in High Park will mark 36 seasons of staging open-air theatre in Toronto with adventurous contemporary adaptations of two of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays: the tragic romance Romeo and Juliet and the frolicking comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, running in repertory under the stars from June 28 to September 2 at the High Park Amphitheatre. A pay-what-you-can event, Shakespeare in High Park is Canada’s longest-running outdoor theatre experience, and produced by Canadian Stage in collaboration with the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design at York University. Both plays speak to a profound and age-old dichotomy that continues to challenge us today: the deliciously anarchic power of love as it struggles for release from the conservative or even archaic structures of society.

In this new production of Romeo and Juliet, director Frank Cox-O’Connell, sets the tragedy in contemporary urban society and style with roots in English and Italian soccer’s hooligan culture, with its arbitrary loyalties, and violent expression; a culture poisoned by masculinity, with real consequences. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed byTanja Jacobs, the two young lovers whose attempted elopement sets off the chain of comic (if love-filled) mishaps that make up the dream on that fateful midsummer’s night. Shakespeare’s enchanting comedy of mistaken identity and romantic misadventure, returns to the High Park Amphitheatre in a stylish Fellini-inspired production set in a Roman amusement park in the early 1950s.

The dynamic 12-person repertory cast – which includes seasoned High Park alumni and fresh faces - is comprised of: Gordon Bolan, Jason Cadieux, Rachel Cairns, Frank Chung, Jakob Ehman, Peter Fernandes, David Patrick Flemming, Mac Fyfe, Navtej Sandhu, Naomi Wright, Amaka Umeh, Jenny Young.     
Romeo and Juliet runs from June 28 to September 1 with performances on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 8 pm. Opening night will be July 12 with previews June 28, 30, July 3, 5, 7, and 10. A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs from June 29 to September 2 with performances on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 8 pm. Opening night will be July 13 with previews June 29, July 1, 4, 6, 8, and 11. Both performances run at the High Park Amphitheatre (1873 Bloor St. W). Gates open at 6 pm. 

Along with the two productions, Canadian Stage offers Additional SiHP+ pre-show activities include Backstage Tours, Youth Days, Youth Nights, and Family Storytelling Day. TICKETS
Each performance is pay-what-you can (suggested $20 contribution) and premium cushion seats can be reserved by donation in advance for $25, online at canadianstage.com or by calling the Canadian Stage box office at 416.368.3110..

Ontario Summer Theatre

Crow Hill: The Telephone Play

The 4th Line Theatre presents the remount of Ian McLachlan and Robert Winslow’s Crow Hill: The Telephone Play. When the local country doctor opens the first telephone service in the area, fifteen-year-old Alice takes on the job of switchboard operator. This decision will direct the course of her life for the next thirty years. It’s not long before the potential to make money is clear and into town comes a fast-talking salesman who wants to open a telephone company and bring the town into the modern age. This decision puts him into direct competition and conflict with the doctor and Alice. McLachlan and Winslow began writing the play in the mid 1990s, setting out to write a play based on the stories and experiences of elders in the Millbrook area. The play, which had its world premiere in 1997 and was produced again in 2004, is a poignant and humorous look at love, friendship and community in a world where technological changes can irrevocably alter the fabric of society. Robert Winslow stars as Doc Logie. Crow Hill also features Sarah McNeilly as telephone operator, Alice Cameron, Kait Dueck, Matt Gilbert, Lorna Green, Mark Hiscox, Mark Kreder, Kelsey Powell, Natasha Ramondino and Courtenay Stevens. The Telephone Play is presented from July 3 (Opens July 5) to 28 at the 4th Line Theatre, Millbrook, ON. Tickets: www.4thlinetheatre.on.ca 779 Zion Line, Millbrook, ON L0A 1G0. Phone(705) 932-4445.

Ontario Summer Theatre
Driftwood Theatre's Bard's Bus Tour

Rosalynde (or, As You Like It)

Driftwood Theatre’s Bard’s Bus Tour has been sharing theatre under the stars in places you love for nearly 25 years. Driftwood Theatre presents their 24th annual Bard’s Bus Tour with Rosalynde (or, As You Like It), a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare about one woman’s search for agency over herself, her body and her life.Set in 1918, Rosalynde takes place when Canadian women were finally granted the right to vote in federal elections. When circumstances force Rosalynde, played by Ellie Moon, from her home in the city, she flees into the unknown wilds of the forest where she sets out on a journey of identity, self-discovery and love - learning that to carve her own path, she needs to break the rules. Rosalynde will run from July 13 - August 12, 2018 from Napanee to Ingersoll to Orillia to St Catharines. Directed by D. Jeremy Smith.  Rosalynde is on tour with Driftwood’s annual Summer Shakespearience, a festival of free performances, workshops, talks, performer Q&As and events. See www.driftwoodtheatre.com for events in each city. Previews July 13 at Todmorden Mills, 67 Pottery Rd. Toronto, PWYC; Opens July 14 at Parkwood Estate, 270 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON. PWYC.
See website for inclement weather policies for each show.

Quebec Summer Theatre


Romeo & Juliet: Love Is Love

For its 30th anniversary season, Repercussion Theatre presents Romeo & Juliet: Love is Love from July 5th to August 8th, 2018. The largest Shakespeare-in-the-Park (SITP) tour that Repercussion Theatre has had in a decade—with 30 shows to mark the anniversary—makes the usual rounds of local parks as well as visits to the West Island, the Eastern Townships, the Laurentians, Eastern Ontario and Quebec’s Montérégie with two additional locations: the Olympic Park and Hawkesbury. The Montreal opening is July 6th at Mount Royal Cemetery; the West Island opening is July 5th at Baie d’Urfé’s Fritz Farm, and the Ontario opening is in Cornwall on July 7th at the appropriately named Lamoureux Park. All shows begin at 7pm.

Repercussion’s customary method of “holding a mirror up to nature” creates a unique, current context through which the well-known love tragedy unfolds. A band of thespians is tasked to perform Romeo and Juliet repeatedly until society finally learns that hate not only destroys the subjects of its loathing but also the cherished. The troupe draw lots to decide who plays which roles and as luck would have it this time, Romeo and Juliet will be portrayed by women, among other chance gender-bent character assignations. Timeless themes of rebellion, power, pride, fate, and the passionate and unpredictable nature of love and hate, resonate anew in this 400-year old tale. Juliet’s arranged marriage, built on the business of making powerful alliances through wedlock, and the Friar’s ill-fated letter that could have saved the doomed lovers, ultimately force them to take the most drastic of measures in the name of love.
Photo: Michelle Rambharose (Juliet) on the left and Shauna Thompson (Romeo)on the right.
Photo credit is ©Studio Baron Photo.

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