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Toronto Theatre Previews:

|A & R Angels |Bat out of Hell (Extended) |Barra MacNeil's An East Coast Christmas |Beauty and the Beast |Cake | Candide | A Christmas Carol |The Christmas Story |Disgraced |Dublin Carol | Elf the Musical |The Final Clue (Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre) | The Goat or Who is Sylvia? | Godot Has Come |Jurrassic Park Live in Concert |The Magic Victrola |Manwatching |Mimico Vice: Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre | Dance: Nijinsky |Mr. Shi and His Lover |My Name is Asher Lev |Pinocchio: A Merry Magical Pantomime | Poison | Post National |The Second City's The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Sweater |The Second City's Miracle on Mercer Street |The Second City's Party Today, Panic Tomorow |The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee l This is the Point | trace | Unholy |Dance: The Winter's Tale | The Wonderful Wizard of Oz |
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Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario Theatre Previews:
A Christmas Carol - at the Shaw Festival

Ottawa, Ontario Theatre Previews: A Christmas Carol; Building the Wall;
Blind Date
London, Ontario Theatre Previews: Once (Extended).
Montreal, Quebec Theatre Previews: Playing with Fire
The Hockey Sweater (Extended)
|Bad Jews|

A & R Angels

Crow's Theatre presents Kevin Drew's stage premiere A&R ANGELS written by and starring Drew alongside Billy Talent's Ben Kowalewicz. Written by and starring Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew, with Graham Cuthbertson, Ngozi Paul, Maurice Dean Wint, and Billy Talent’s Ben Kowalewicz. At once a heartfelt tribute to the great rock and roll anthems that have saved our very souls and an irreverent send-up of the music industry, A&R Angels will be on stage November 20 – December 9 at Streetcar Crowsnest (345 Carlaw Avenue) in the Guloein Theatre. Drew is joined on stage by Graham Cuthbertson, Ngozi Paul, Maurice Dean Wint and co-stars Billy Talent’s multi-talented frontman, Ben Kowalewicz. Straddling our world and the afterlife, Loud Angel (Kevin Drew) and Soft Angel (Ben Kowalewicz) have been pulling people back from the brink with their music for decades. But times have changed. Their tunes just aren’t connecting like they used to, their numbers are down, and the universe is out of balance. Have they lost their touch? Or is something else going on? The A&R Angels have to write a hit or be eternally benched by the higher-ups: can they write that killer song that will give life to the living? Get online information and make ticket purchases at crowstheatre.com.

Barra MacNeil's An East Coast Christmas

The Barra MacNeils, one of Canada’s favourite bands, will bring a taste of Christmas on the East Coast to the heart of Toronto just in time for the holidays. Known as Canada’s First Family of Celtic Music, the five MacNeil siblings will perform “An East Coast Christmas” at Roy Thompson Hall on Thursday, Dec. 21st as part of a cross-country tour, continuing a national holiday tradition. Hailing from Sydney Mines, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, the Barra MacNeils are deeply rooted in Celtic music, culture, dance, language and history. Over the course of 30 years performing together, the family band has earned a reputation as one of the greatest live concert acts in the Celtic world. Families around the world love the passion and artistry they bring to the stage, featuring multiple lead vocalists, beautiful sibling harmonies and prowess on a wide variety of acoustic, stringed, percussion and wind instruments. Their live shows blend dancing, storytelling, Gaelic songs and an unforgettable journey through an ancient culture. To book tickets for the Barra MacNeils’ East Coast Christmas on Dec. 21st at 8 p.m. at Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall - 60 Simcoe Street - please click here.

Bat out of Hell

Bat out of Hell The Musical, with book, music & Lyrics by Jim Steinman and featuring Meat Loaf’s Greatest Hits is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland.  Strat, the forever-young leader of The Lost, has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian. For the stage musical, the legendary and award-winning Jim Steinman has incorporated iconic songs from the Bat Out Of Hell albums, including You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth, Bat Out Of Hell, I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, as well as two previously unreleased songs, What Part of My Body Hurts the Most and Not Allowed to Love. Bat out of Hell The Musical, with book, music & Lyrics by Jim Steinman, will begin performances on October 14, 2017. The show as been extended to end its Toronto run on January 7, 2018 at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre. Tickets at www.mirvish.com or by phone at TicketKing at 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333. Tickets can also be purchased in person beginning at 12 Noon at the Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King Street West

Beauty and the Beast

Young People’s Theatre (YPT) has become known for their joyous Holiday shows and this season’s offering couldn’t be better! YPT is thrilled to present the beloved musical, Beauty and the Beast. Originally produced by Disney Theatrical Productions with Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice, Book by Linda Woolverton, this timeless classic will be presented on the Mainstage from Nov. 6 to Dec. 31. YPT’s stage version of Beauty and the Beast will feature a stellar cast of 14, featuring Celine Tsai as Belle and Stewart Adam McKensy as Beast. The original Broadway production (Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice, Book by Linda Woolverton) ran for over thirteen years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Directed by Allen MacInnis, Beauty and the Beast Plays on the Mainstage from Nov. 6 to Dec. 31, 2017.Recommended for Ages 5 & up. Runs Approx. 85 min.Performances: Tuesdays to Sundays at various times, with 8 performances during Holiday week. All performances open to the general public.
Schedule: http://www.youngpeoplestheatre.ca/shows-tickets/beauty-and-the-beast/
Young People’s Theatre . 165 Front Street East, Toronto

Photo: by Cylla von Tiedemann. L to R: Damien Atkins at Lumiere and Celine Tsai as Belle.


Oba is holding on to the last threads of his old life and is determined to maintain what he can by any means necessary. Cake is a story about the things we use, how we are used, and what happens when we are all used up. Written by Governor General’s Award nominee DM St. Bernard the play is a stark and poetic musing on the nature of survival. Cake is a part of the 54ology: St. Bernard’s commitment to create one performance work drawn from each country in Africa. The show is written in reference to Niger’s uranium mining. Written by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard with Direction by Clare Preuss and Performances by Jamie Robinson, Yolanda Bonnell, Ash Knight, and Tsholo Khalema, Cake plays at Theatre Passe Muraille from November 17 (Opens Nov. 21) to December 3.  16 Ryerson Ave. Tickets: By Phone: 416.504.7529. Online: passemuraille.ca.
Photo: by Graham Isador


Toronto Operetta Theatre presents Candide by Leonard Bernstein in a full production at the St. Lawrence Centre, opening on Dec. 28, with subsequent performances on Dec 30, 31 (mat at 3 pm), 2017 & Jan.  5, 6 and 7 (mat at 3 pm), 2018.   “Candide is an undoubted operetta masterpiece for the modern age,” said TOT’s General Director Guillermo Silva-Marin. “Bernstein’s brilliant tunes and the unwavering idealism of Candide in a world gone mad, make this work both timely and timeless.” Leading a diverse cast of talented young Canadians is debuting tenor Tonatiuh Abrego in the title role, with Cunegonde, sung by Vania Chan.  The saucy and well-seasoned Old Lady will be TOT favourite, Elizabeth Beeler and Dr. Pangloss, the loving couple’s cynically naïve professor will be Nicholas Borg. Rounding out the cast will be Patrick Bowman making his TOT Debut as Maximilian,Cian Horrobin as the Argentine Governor and Mikhail Shemet at Cacambo. Derek Bate returns to conduct the TOT orchestra, cast and chorus, and Guillermo Silva-Marin directs.  All performances are at the wheelchair accessible St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front Street East – Box Office (416) 366-7723 or 1-800-708-6754 and online at www.stlc.com or www.torontooperetta.com

A Christmas Carol

Ross Petty Productions is delighted to present the world premiere of A Christmas Carol, The Family Musical wlth a Scrooge Loose! Holiday hilarity will ensue as this timeless tale is fractured to Ross Petty specifications. It's Christmas Eve, 1850s London (Ontario) and Scrooge has discarded his humbug credo for some new big plans to own the holiday season Cratchit, Marley and all the Ghosts of Christmas are joined by newly minted lovebirds Jane and Jack, a girl group, and a gang of Ghostdusters to teach Scrooge the real meaning of Christmas. With hit songs, high-energy dancing, silly jokes, up-to-the-minute topical references, and hilarious ad-libs, Mr. Scrooge may indeed be won over to the bright side. Starring are audience favorite Dan Chameroy, A.J. Bridel , Eddie Glen, Kyle Golemba, David Lopez and Cyrus Lane as Ebenezer Scrooge.  Plays November 24 to Dec. 31 at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre.Tickets can be purchased online at rossspetty.com;by phone at 1.855.599.9090; or in person at the Elgin Theatre Box Office, 189 Yonge Street, Toronto.

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story returns for its 80th year at the Church of the Holy Trinity. Start December with the true spirit of the holiday season: joy, open hearts, kindness, and hope - and a reminder of our shared humanity. Please join us for the 80th season of The Christmas Story, playing December 8-24 at the historic Church of the Holy Trinity, located on the West side of the Eaton Centre. The Christmas Story shares the magic of the first Christmas aided by masterful musicians, the genuine excitement of its 100+ volunteer cast members (including a real baby in the role of Jesus!), beautiful costumes, and professional sound and lighting.  The Christmas Story is one of Toronto's most beloved holiday traditions and is guaranteed to help you connect with the spirit of the season. The Christmas Story has endured for 80 years through fires, blizzards, ice storms, and renovations! Tradition, community, innocence, trembling nerves, miracles and soaring choral music: this not-to-be-missed nativity play is a calming antidote to a hectic season and a troubled world. Reservations or Advance Bookings are recommended via our new booking system  at www.thechristmasstory.com (or you may call 416-598-4521 Ext. 301 to reserve via telephone).Sign language interpretation (ASL) for two performances:  Sunday December 10th at 4:30pm, and Saturday December 16th at 7:30pm. The church is Wheelchair Accessible.


A New York dinner party. A shattering cultural collision. When discussion turns to politics and religion, the match is lit on a combustible powder keg of identity politics. David Mirvish is proud to announce the return of Disgraced to the Panasonic Theatre for a strictly limited encore engagement, November 11 to 26, 2017.This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama had its Canadian premiere in a well-reviewed production in the spring of 2016.  Disgraced was seen by more than 10,000 theatregoers in Toronto, setting a box office record for a drama in the Panasonic Theatre’s history (the venue opened in 2005 with the avant-garde entertainment Blue Man Group, which played until 2007).Raoul Bhaneja, Karen Glave, Ali Momen and Birgitte Solem from the original cast will reprise their roles. They will be joined by Alex Poch-Goldin. Disgraced  is directed by Robert Ross Parker. Panasonic Theatre Box office is located at 651 Yonge St or Tickets at www.mirvish.com or by phone at TicketKing at 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333.
Photo: Raoul Bhaneja and Karen Glave in Disgraced.
Click here for the Review of Disgraced.

Dublin Carol

Fly on the Wall Theatre continues its exploration of the works of acclaimed Irish playwright, Conor McPherson, with the Canadian professional premiere of Dublin Carol, Nov. 14-26, 2017, at Toronto’s Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street. Dublin undertaker, John Plunkett, is a man haunted by his past – a past he would sooner forget. It’s the morning of Christmas Eve and he’s back in his office with his new assistant, after overseeing an early morning funeral. Then an unexpected visit from his estranged daughter throws his daily routine into turmoil. It’s a visit that forces him to confront the ghosts of his past, and one that offers him a final opportunity to make things right. Directed by Fly on the Wall’s Co-Artistic Producer, Rod Ceballos, Dublin Carol features David Mackett, James Wallis and Julia Nish-Lapidus Tickets: www.DublinCarol.brownpapertickets.com, www.flyonthewalltheatre.ca.
Photo: by Richard Van Dine. L to R: Julia Nish-Lapidus, David Mackett

Elf the Musical

ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF. Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit, ELF The Musical features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer) and Chad Beguelin (Disney’s Aladdin, The Wedding Singer), with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) andBob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). The production will feature direction by Sam Scalamoni and choreography by Connor Gallagher. Casting is by Stewart/Whitely. ELF The Musical coming to Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre, November 21 - 26, 2017. 300 King Street West, TorontoOnline www.mirvish.com By Phone 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333;
Groups of 10 or more 416-593-4142 or 1-800-724-6420.
Photo: byJoan Marcus. L to R: Connor Barth; Matt Kopec, Drew Pulver.

The Goat or Who is Sylvia?

Soulpepper Theatre presents Edward Albee's 'The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? Directed by Alan Dilworth, The Goat or Who is Sylvia is a shocking play about marital infidelity and the devastation of a family. America’s great provocateur, Edward Albee, invites us to a contemporary Greek tragedy with his trademark subversive humour. Martin—a hugely successful architect who has just turned fifty—leads an ostensibly ideal life with his loving wife and gay teenage son. But when he confides to his best friend that he is also in love with a goat (named Sylvia), he sets in motion events that will destroy his family and leave his life in tatters. Said Albee, "the play is about love, and loss, the limits of our tolerance and who, indeed, we really are.” The cast includes Derek Boyes, Raquel Duffy, and Albert Schultz. The play won Drama Desk Award for Best New Play, 2002, Tony Award for Best Play, 2002 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2003. The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? runs from November 1 to 19, 2017. Opening night is November 7 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts; 50 Tank House Lane. Distillery District. For Tickets: 416-866-8666 or soulpepper.ca.
Photo: by Cylla von Tiedemann. Albert Schultz and Raquel Duffy in The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?
Click here for the Review of The Goat or Who is Sylvia?

Godot Has Come

What would happen if Godot, the mysterious unseen character in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, actually turned up? Why Not Theatre, in association with fu-GEN Theatre Company, brings the work of one of Japan’s more foremost playwrights, Minoru Betsuyaku to Toronto for one night only to present Theatre Office Natori’s Godot Has Come. Betsuyaku, who has established the Theatre of the Absurd in Japan, wrote this brilliant play as homage to Beckett. Performed in Japanese with projected English translations, this is a slapstick comedy – much more comic than the original by Beckett. Godot Has Come is Betsuyaku’s critical look at what it means to actually experience something – and whether, in our modern context, we can surpass indifference to exist in the present moment.  Directed by K. Kiyama | Starring Yuga Yoshino, Genjiro Mori, Mitsushi Matsumoto, Tsuginobu Honda, Shingi Yamaguchi, Jun Arai, Chikako Hashimoto, Ayaji Miyauchi, Mai Morio, Yuko Fukami.  Saturday December 9th, 7:30PM at Factory Theatre Mainspace | 125 Bathurst Street. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can-Afford and area available at factorytheatre.ca/book-tickets/ or by calling 416 504 9971.

Second City's
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Sweater

The Second City presents two holiday shows this season with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Sweater, perfect for family outings or office holiday parties; and the return of Miracle on Mercer Street, holiday fun for ages 4 and up! There are two kinds of people in the world, those with holiday cheer and those with . . . out. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Sweater will make fun of all the washed up, broken down traditions that tend to plague the holiday season. On stage November 20, 2017 to January 5, 2018, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Sweater will serve up a delightful mix of satirical sketches and songs to keep Saint Nicks and Scrooges alike in a jolly mood from now until the snow melts. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Sweater is written and performed by The Second City Touring Company (TourCo), featuring Sharjil Rasool, Jillian Welsh, Clare McConnell, Phatt Al, Josh Murray and Natalie Metcalf, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Sweater is directed by Karen Parker. Tickets available online at secondcity.com or The Second City box office at 416-343-0011

Young People's Theatre

Young People’s Theatre (YPT) is pleased to welcome back Montreal’s Geordie and their acclaimed production of Instant by Governor General Award -winning playwright Erin Shields. A timely teen piece on the need to be noticed and the impact of social media, Instant will be presented in The Studio from November 28 to December 15. Meredith is a singer-songwriter intent on stardom. Jay is her friend, a gifted hockey player who aspires to play in the NHL. Rosie is raising money to pay for her father’s expensive medical needs. All three are competing to get noticed…and then the lightning-fast world of social media triggers an avalanche of controversy. How far will they go to achieve their ambition? Click here to view a clip from Instant. Instant is directed by Geordie’s former Artistic Director Dean Patrick Fleming, recipient of the 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal  for his contribution to the Arts, and features Leah Fong, Michelle Rambharose and Dakota Jamal Wellman. Instant recently received four nominations for the upcoming Montreal English Language Awards. Instant runs Nov. 28 to Dec. 15, 2017. Recommended for ages 12 & up | Runs approximately 50 min. at Young People’s Theatre | 165 Front Street East, Toronto. Tickets Online: youngpeoplestheatre.ca. Box Office: 416.862.2222 x2

Jurassic Park Live in Concert

Welcome… to Jurassic Park! One of the most thrilling science fiction adventures ever made will be presented at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on December 29, 2017. A full symphony orchestra will perform one of composer John Williams’ most iconic and beloved musical scores LIVE in sync with the picture! Masterfully directed by Spielberg and based on the best-selling novel by Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park transports us to a secluded island where scientists have succeeded in reviving the age of dinosaurs in a brand new, immersive theme park, the likes of which has never been seen before.  Renowned paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are part of an exclusive group invited to the island for a sneak preview of the park’s wonders. When things go terribly wrong, they must fight for their lives against unimaginable dangers in a desperate attempt to escape from a world gone mad… a world in which dinosaurs once again rule the earth. Tickets for Jurassic Park in Concert will go on sale on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 at 10AM via www.sonycentre.ca and by phone at 1-855-872-SONY (7669). Sony Centre is located at 1 Front Street East, Toronto.

Second City's
Miracle on Mercer Street

On stage from December 16, 2017 to January 5, 2018, The Second City Family Company performs holiday favourite Miracle on Mercer Street! Featuring The Second City’s adorable puppet troupe and their funny human friends, Miracle on Mercer Street tells the story of a 13 year old girl who spends the winter holiday visiting her grandmother in the town of Hollydale. But the town is being torn apart as the residents clash over their different traditions, and a dastardly mayor’s plan to chop down the town’s oldest tree! Miracle on Mercer Street is written and directed by Reid Janisse, and will star Miriam Drysdale, Sheri Godda, Tom Hearn, and Rundeep Khaira. Musical Direction by Ayaka Kinugawa and Stage Management by Sam Polito. Tickets available online at secondcity.com or The Second City box office at 416-343-0011.

The Magic Victrola

The Magic Victrola brings opera characters to life in this joyful exploration of "opera's greatest hits". Gracie and Sam, two mischievous children, discover a magical world of opera hidden in their grandfather's attic. With the help of Papageno—and some of his famous friends—they embark on an unforgettable adventure. It's a perfect opera for families! Recommended for ages 5 to 95! Friday, December 1; 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m; Saturday, December 2; 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.Sunday, December 3 10:30 a.m; Join us before all performances, including both shows on the December 1 PA Day Special, for a variety of activities: interactive gallery and play space, dress-up and photo booth area, puppet making, miniature set design, and more!  Music by Bizet, Delibes, Donizetti, Mozart, Offenbach, and Puccini . Libretto by David Kersnar and Jacqueline RussellLocation: Imperial Oil Opera Theatre, 227 Front Street East, Toronto, ON. Tickets; Call box office to purchase at 416-363-8231.


Tarragon Theatre announces Manwatching, a new addition to the 2017/18 season from the Royal Court Theatre in London, England. Written by an anonymous woman and performed by an unprepared man, Manwatching was originally directed by Royal Court Associate Director Lucy Morrison with original Lighting Design concept by Jamie Spirito. Manwatching will run for 10 performances in the Extraspace on Friday and Saturday nights at 10:00PM from November 17 - December 16, 2017. Each performance begins with a different male comedian being given a script they have never seen before. They read the script out loud, sight unseen, in front of an audience. This is a show about what one woman thinks about when she thinks about sex with men. Comedians (listed in order of appearance) Arthur Simeon, Gavin Crawford, Colin Mochrie, Craig Lauzon, Chris Gibbs, Faisal Butt, Ryan Belleville, John Catucci, Seán Cullen and Nile Séguin will each be performing Manwatching in Tarragon Theatre’s Extraspace on Friday and Saturday nights at 10:00PM from November 17 - December 16, 2017. Manwatchng is written by an anonymous woman, whose work includes several credits. However, they cannot be disclosed as she chooses to remain anonymous. With direction from Lucy Morrison. Tickets can be purchased online at www.tarragontheatre.com, or by phone at 416-531-1827.

Mimico Vice!
Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre

Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre and their signature, witty, interactive-mystery shows presents its newest murder mystery inviting you to Travel Back 30 Years to 1987! Hard-nosed detective Sonny Crockett has his hands full, dealing with the notorious "Breakfast Club Gang".  Life ain't easy when you work for the toughest police force around... Mimico Vice! Written by Ken MacDougall, Brian Caws & the Cast, directed by Brian Caws and featuring Tom Melissis, Danny Wengle, Pierre Trudel, Michell Regal and Victoria Murdoch, Mimico Vice plays Friday and Saturday nights, Dinner from 6:30 p.m.; Mystery starts at 8 p.m. Select performances on Thursdays, and select Wednesday matinees at Toronto's Old Mill Inn & Spa. Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre, 2026 Yonge Street, Toronto  (two blocks north of Davisville subway station). For dinner and show tickets please call (416) 486-7469 or  email: boxoffice@mysteriouslyyours.com. Launched in 1987 in Toronto, Mysteriously Yours Inc. is a commercial 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.

Mr. Shi and his Lover

Tarragon Theatre presents Mr. Shi and His Lover. The work by Wong Teng Chi and Njo Kong Ki returns to Toronto in Tarragon’s Mainspace after its celebrated world premiere at the SummerWorks Performance Festival in the summer of 2016. An espionage scandal rocks the political world in this intriguing contemporary opera about the delusion of love. Featuring performers from Toronto and Macau, Mr. Shi and His Lover illuminates the real-life affair of a French diplomat in China who falls in love with a mysterious opera singer. But is she who she says she is? This classic tale is told through music inspired by Chinese opera and vintage pop from both East and West.Mr. Shi and His Lover is performed in Mandarin with English surtitles. The piece tells a story reminiscent of M. Butterfly - a French diplomat falls in love with a mysterious opera singer he believes to be a woman, but is she?.  Mr. Shi and His Lover features the opera’s original cast in their Tarragon debuts, with performances by Jordan Cheng, and Derek Kwan, with direction by Tam Chi Chun. Mr. Shi and His Lover runs at Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto) from November 7 to December 17, 2017, opening officially Wednesday, November 15. Following its Toronto run, Mr. Shi will travel to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa from Jan 3 - 13, 2018. Tickets can be purchased online at www.tarragontheatre.com, or by phone at 416-531-1827.
Photo: Jordan Cheng in Mr. Shi and his Lover.

My Name is Asher Lev

The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company and Studio 180 Theatre present My Name is Asher Lev, written by Aaron Posner and adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok. My Name is Asher Lev tells the story of a young Jewish artist torn between his Hasidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his creative promise. As his genius threatens to destroy his relationship with his parents and community, he must make a difficult choice between art and faith. This stirring adaptation of a modern classic presents a triumphant and heartbreaking vision of what it means to be an artist. Directed by Joel Greenberg, co-founder and Artistic Director of Studio 180 Theatre, and starring Jonas Chernick, Ron Lea and Sarah Orenstein. Plays at The Greenwin Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts (Greenwin Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street) from November 4 to 26. Tickets can be purchased online at www.hgjewishtheatre.com, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-2787, or in person at the box office of the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
Photo: by Dahlia Katz. L to R: Jonas Chernick, Ron Lea, Sarah Orenstein.
Click here for the Review of My Name is Asher Lev.



The National Ballet of Canada presents John Neimeier’s triumphant ballet  based on Vaslva Nijinsky, one of ballet’s most legendarily complex figures. Renowned for his unforgettable stage presence, his astonishing technique and his groundbreaking approach to choreographic expression, Nijinsky shattered for all time not just the prevailing notions and expectations of the male dancer, but the limitations that convention had imposed on the range of dramatic possibilities in dance itself. Neumeier’s Nijinsky is partly a biographical narrative, focusing on the key events and relationships of his life, but also a form of memory-ballet, in which we enter Nijinsky’s own fevered reflections on his art, his identity as a man and artist, and the perilous, tumultuous times in which he lived. The opening night cast features Principal Dancers Guillaume Côté as Vaslav Nijinsky, Heather Ogden as Nijinsky’s wife, Romola, and Evan McKie as Serge Diaghilev. The National Ballet will tour Nijinsky to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa January 25 – 27, 2018 and to San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House April 3 – 8, 2018. In Toronto, Nijinsky is onstage November 22 – 26, 2017 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the Four Seasons Centre or over the phone at 416 345 9595 (toll free 1 866 345 9595). The National Ballet of Canada Box Office is located at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street West, Toronto.
Photo: by Bruce Zinger. Guillaume Côté and Heather Ogden in Nijinsky.

Party Today, Panic Tomorrow

The Second City presents its 80th Mainstage Revue, Party Today, Panic Tomorrow, opening Wednesday, August 23, 2017 for an extended engagement.  Party Today, Panic Tomorrow expresses the absurd dilemmas of life in 2017. This hilarious, all-new sketch revue reflects suffering from political exhaustion, screaming over board games, settling scores with dance-offs, and taking life advice from a giant banana. The Second City Mainstage cast will help audiences spin, sing and laugh their troubles away. Party Today, Panic Tomorrow is created and performed by The Second City Toronto Mainstage cast, featuring new cast members Allana Reoch and Nadine Djoury who will join returning Mainstage cast members Ann Pornel, Brandon Hackett, Colin Munch, Uncand Devon Hyland. Party Today, Panic Tomorrow is directed by The Second City alum Leslie Seiler and assistant to the director Karen Parker, making them The Second City’s first all-female directing team. Party Today, Panic Tomorrow plays at 51 Mercer Street (at Blue Jays Way), Toronto. Opening Night: Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Tickets available online at secondcity.com, or The Second City box office at 416-343-0011.
Second City Group by Rachael McCaig: Top: Ann Pornel, Brandon Hackett; Nadine Djoury: bottom: Allana Reoch, Colin Munch.
Clieck here for Review of Party Today, Panic Tomorrow

Pinocchio: A Merry Magical Pantomime

Something exciting is returning to the East End of Toronto this holiday season: Torrent Productions is thrilled to announce Pinocchio: A Merry Magical Pantomime premieres at the Royal Canadian Legion #001/042 (Coxwell Ave at Gerrard St East),  opens on Friday, December 22 at 7pm and runs until Sunday December 31 (12 shows only).  A fantastic holiday treat for the entire family. Pinocchio:: A Merry Magical Pantomime is packed with action and zingers with a couple of magical surprises tossed in for good measure. Come see Pinocchio, Gepetto and the gang for a fun night of laughs and sing-songs. Produced by long-time residents of Toronto’s East End —  Rob Torr and Dora Award winning choreographer Stephanie Graham of Torrent Productions, Featuring a sparkling cast of award winning musical theatre veterans with credits from across the country: Kevin Aichele, Ryan Brown, Greg Campbell, Stuart Dowling, Cameron Francis, Cynthia Hicks,  Kelsey Verzotti, and Daniel Greenberg. For more information about Torrent Productions please visit their website: www.torrentproductions.com. Tickets are available via 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2937916, or at the door.


The Canadian Premiere of Euro-hit POISON by award-winning Dutch playwright Lot Vekemans with translation by British writer Rina Vergano, marks the first commissioned translation by Coal Mine Theatre. Running November 12 - December 3, 2017POISON is directed by Peter Pasyk and stars Ted Dykstra and Fiona Highet.  Alone in a room for the first time in years, a couple is brought back together again after a harrowing breakup. As old wounds are re-opened, new truths surface and the real reason behind their separation is learned. Tender yet hard-hitting, POISON holds up a (hopeful) mirror to humanity where love and humour can still be found in the midst of so much brokenness. Lot Vekemans’ award-winning 2009 drama is widely considered one of the most successful plays to come from the Netherlands. It received its American premiere at the Beckett Theater in New York in 2016. Director Peter Pasyk returns to the Coal Mine after helming the Coal Mine hit and Dora Award-nominated Killer Joe in the 2015-16 season.Coal Mine Co-Chief Engineer Ted Dykstra co-stars with Fiona Highet in this taut two-hander. The Coal Mine Theatre, 1454 Danforth Avenue, Toronto. November 12 (Opens November 15) December 3, 2017. Tickets: brownpapertickets.com/TheCoalMine

Post National

Theatre @ York launches its 2017-18 season with Post National, a new work devised by students under the mentorship of an international collaboration between UK-based artist Deborah Pearson and Toronto based theatre company Volcano, An innovative exploration of Canadian identity and citizenship in an increasingly populist world, Post National previews Nov. 19 and 20, opens Nov. 21, and continues to Nov. 25 in the Joseph G. Green Theatre on York University’s Keele campus (See number 38 on the Map (Maps & Directions). Inspired by the prime minister’s comment that Canada is “the first post-national state,” Post National is a double bill. Continuing the tradition of shows that feature guest performers, Volcano is creating an instruction-based piece from and about Canada. The first part of the evening consists of 12 guest performers between the ages of 18 and 24 from the York community answering live questions on stage about their relationship to nationhood and protest. The second part of the evening features the fourth-year acting students from York, performing the piece they devised with Pearson and Volcano, exploring the same topics from a different perspective. Tickets are available online or over the phone at 416-736-5888.

Tale of a Town

Since 2014, FIXT POINT has travelled to every province and territory in Canada. In over 150 communities, they have documented the living memories of over 3000 people, presenting the stories back to local communities through multimedia presentations. From podcasts, to an interactive online story portal, to a ten-episode TVO series - these tales have been shared across the country, and now culminate in a nationally touring theatre production. Created by husband and wife duo, Charles Ketchabaw and Lisa Marie DiLibertoThe Tale of a Town – Canada features some of the thousands of voices recorded on their three-year story-gathering tour of the country. This multimedia performance is presented alongside personal anecdotes from this epic family adventure peppered with humour, nostalgia and moments of madness. This Toronto performance includes a choir, a live band, and surprise appearances from local notables. After touring Canada in their storymobile, FIXT POINT is thrilled to bring the Tale of a Town - Canada back home to Theatre Passe Muraille, where the project had its first presentation in 2011, with The Tale of a Town - Queen West. Plays from December 13 to 17 at Theatre Passe Muraille. 16 Ryerson Ave. Tickets: By Phone: 416.504.7529;Online: passemuraille.ca; In Person: The Arts Box Office located at 16 Ryerson Avenue

This is the Point

Ahuri Theatre and The Theatre Centre present the limited return engagement of the award-winning production of This is the Point, which addresses headfirst the many misconceptions about disability through the ordinary and extraordinary stories of two real-life couples. This is the Point is a joyous and unflinching portrait of parents raising a disabled son, and a romantic couple with cerebral palsy, dealing with how society views them and judges their love and sexuality. Written by Tony Diamanti, Dan Watson, Christina Serra, Karin Randoja and Liz MacDougall and Directed by Karin Randoja.  Winner at the 2016/17 Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Ensemble in the Independent Division, the show plays December 1-3, 2017 The Theatre Centre, Franco Boni Theatre, 1115 Queen Street WestFriday, December 1 @ 8pm Saturday, December 2 @ 8pm | ASL interpreted performance. Sunday, December 3 @ 2pm | Audio Visually described performance.


Factory Theatre, in association with
b current performing arts presents the world premiere of trace, a one-man-two-piano-play written, composed and performed by former Factory Artistic Associate Jeff Ho and directed by Factory Artistic Director Nina Lee Aquino. A painfully personal story of family and genealogy, trace follows the footprints taken by Jeff’s great grandmother who fled the Japanese in WWII by escaping to Hong Kong, losing one of her two sons during the trek; his mother’s similar pilgrimage to Canada, also with two sons in tow; and by Jeff himself, when he too embarked on a journey, moving from Markham to Montreal to pursue an uncharacteristically Chinese life. Spanning 100 years and three generations, and featuring virtuosic original piano compositions composed by Jeff, trace is a chamber play structured as a piano sonata with a prelude, three movements and a coda. A convergence of theatrical and symphonic storytelling, trace celebrates the courage and strength of his matriarchal forebears while acknowledging the lasting implications of familial sacrifice. Trace plays from November 11 (Opens on November 16) to December 3, 2017 at the Factory Studio Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street. Purchase in person at Factory, 125 Bathurst Street, visit factorytheatre.ca or call 416.504.9971.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Hart House Theatre is p-l-e-a-s-e-d to present the fan favourite and long-titled, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Directed by Hart House Theatre alum, Cory Doran,and starring a stellar cast of emergent talent, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee  promises to tickle the funny bones of our audience. This charming, Tony Award winning musical looks at a small-town spelling bee and uncovers the universal truth that winning is not, in fact, everything. With quirky contestants vying for the prize and some unconventional teachers running the show, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is sure to be the definition of hilarity and higher learning...used in a sentence! Performers: John Walmsley, Erin Humphrey, Kevin Forster, Hugh Ritchie, Braelyn Guppy, Vanessa Campbell, Amy Swift, Art Carlson and Carson Betz. Joining Cory on the production team are Music Director Giustin MacLean and Choreographer Sabrina Hooper. Playing Nov. 5 to 25 at Hart House Theatre, University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle. Tickets 416-978-8849; tickets.harthouse.ca


Due to popular demand and sold-out performances in its 2016-17 season, Nightwood Theatre Diane Flacks’ Dora Award-nominated hit Unholy will be remounted in an exclusive return engagement this season. Unholy will run onstage at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre,12 Alexander Street, from November 23 – December 10, 2017. Unholy stars Diane Flacks, Barbara Gordon, Niki Landau, Blair Williams and Bahareh Yaraghi. Kevin Bundy will be appearing in the role of Richard from November 23-26. Inspired by the YouTube debates of Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and other pundits, Unholy sets up a similar conceit, where four female panellists face off in a wild, whip-smart public debate about religion and misogyny, posing the loaded question “Should women abandon religion?” With opinions flying from a progressive Muslim lawyer, an Orthodox Jewish spiritual leader, an excommunicated Catholic nun and a lesbian atheist pundit, Unholy delivers a hilarious, no-holds-barred look at contemporary women in organized religion. Nightwood is also programming compelling conversations with leaders in progressive religious thought, as well as audience talkbacks with the cast and creative team. Tickets: Buddies in Bad Times Box Office, 12 Alexander Street, 416-975-8555 or at nightwoodtheatre.net or buddiesinbadtimes.com


Cirque du Soleil's VOLTA tells a spellbinding story about the freedom to choose and the thrill of blazing your own trail. Inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of action sports, the show weaves acrobatics in a visually striking world driven by a stirring melodic score. VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and the power of the group to make that possible. It celebrates freedom as a movement. WAZ, a popular gameshow host, has lost touch with his inner self in the pursuit of fame. But as doubt sets in, WAZ is enlightened by childhood memories as he encounters FREE SPIRITS who open doors to his inner soul he has long kept shut. On his high-voltage search for meaning, will WAZ find the courage to relinquish his fame, reconnect with his true self, and shine bright? VOLTA is presented from Sept. 7 (Opens Sept. 19) to Nov. 26 at the Grande Chapiteau, Toronto Portlands, Cherry Street, Under the Big Top. https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/canada/toronto/volta/buy-tickets.

The Winter's Tale

The National Ballet of Canada opens its 2017/18 season on November 10 season at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto with The Winter’s Tale by Christopher Wheeldon, A co-production with The Royal Ballet (UK). Based on the play by Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale is a story of loss and redemption, a meditation on love, jealousy and the nature of family. Combining elements of fairy tale, comedy, tragedy and fantasy, The Winter’s Tale, by renowned British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and  features an original score by Joby Talbot, designs by Bob Crowley and lighting by Natasha Katz.  The opening night cast will feature Principal Dancer Piotr Stanczyk and First Soloist Hannah Fischer who reprise the lead roles of Leontes and Hermione.  The Winter’s Tale is the second co-production between the National Ballet and The Royal Ballet, the first being the smash hit Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The Winters’ Tale plays from November 10 to 19 at the Four Seasons Centre. Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the Four Seasons Centre or over the phone at 416 345 9595 (toll free 1 866 345 9595). The National Ballet of Canada Box Office is located at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street West, Toronto.
Photo: by Karolina Kuras. Jurgita Dronina and Evan McKie in The Winter's Tale.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Civic Light Opera Company presents the return of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, its most requested production, playing from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10 at the Zion Cultural Centre in North York. With book, music and lyrics by Joe Cascone and James P. Doyle, this new musical version honors L. Frank Baum’s original vision, with homage to the legendary Broadway musical, the famous MGM film and even more modern adaptations like The Wiz and Wicked. Set at the turn of the 20th century, the story unfolds, as told by Baum himself (played by Cascone) and his band of traveling players. The cast features 12 year-old Nicole Burda as Dorothy with David Haines as the Lion, Peter Loucas as the Tin Woodman and Peter Ridgeway as the Scarecrow.  The Good and Wicked Witches are played by Sandi Horwitz, Mickey Brown and Katie Richardson, with other CLOC players filling a myriad of roles. Performances are: Wednesdays at 7 pm; Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 pm; Matinees:  Dec. 3, 9 and 10 at 2 pm, at the Zion Cultural Centre, 1650 Finch Avenue E. (at Don Mills); Tickets: Visa and Mastercard. ($2 per ticket service charge for phone orders); Box Office:  416-755-1717 or online at www.civiclightoperacompany.com

The Royal George Theatre

The Shaw Festival
A Christmas Carol

Christmas arrives in Niagara-on-the-Lake on November 15 with the first preview of Charles Dickens's classic A Christmas Carol at the Royal George Theatre. Adapted for the stage and helmed by Artistic Director Tim Carroll, the Shaw Festival’s production stars Michael Therriault as Scrooge, the miser who humbugs the holidays. "Michael is not just one of the best actors I have ever worked with, he is one of the great comedians," says Tim Carroll."His Scrooge will be probably the most energetic Ebenezer of all time." Helping Scrooge on his journey to festive cheer are Shaw Festival ensemble members Patty Jamieson, Andrew Lawrie, Emily Lukasik, Marla McLean, Jeff Meadows, Sarena Parmar, PJ Prudat, Graeme Somerville and Jonathan Tan. This magical holiday experience features set and costumes by Christine Lohre, lighting by Kevin Lamotte, music direction by Paul Sportelli, and movement and puppetry by Alexis Milligan. A Christmas Carol previews November 15, opens November 25 and plays through December 23. Tickets are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW and online at www.shawfest.com. Group rates are available.

The National Arts Centre

A Christmas Carol

Back by popular demand! Wander through snow-filled forests, smell the Christmas goose and figgy pudding, then take your seat for the NAC’s breathtaking production of the beloved classic A Christmas Carol, brought to life by Andy Jones in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s Christmas Eve and Scrooge is on his own, rich but miserable, until the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-to-Come offer him a last chance at redemption. A perfect holiday show for the whole family!In bringing this production to life, Directed by Jillian Keiley, The experience begins as the audiences step through a winter wonderland featuring ornate, historical models for each of the sets for A Christmas Carol. Once the show begins, with these objects fresh in your mind, the story plays out on a snowscape of memory – a white-canvas version of what you saw as you entered, offering a rewarding and exciting way to experience an old and familiar story. A Christmas Carol is December 5– 24, 2017 at the  NAC Babs Asper Theatre. Tickets are available: Pay-What-You-Can Performance: Dec. 5, Previews: Dec 6 & 7. Opens Dec. 8; A.S.L Presentation Dec. 17 at 2pm.

The Great Canadian Theatre Company

Blind Date

There’s nothing like the thrill of a blind date … anything can happen! Direct from critically acclaimed, sold-out runs in Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Calgary, The Great Canadian Theatre Company presents the fast and funny fusion of improvisation, theatre, and social experiment, Blind Date. A Spontaneous Theatre Creation by Rebecca Northan, Blind Date will have you falling in love with Mimi and celebrating her audience-member-turned-romantic-hero! The perfect holiday date night, Blind Date will run on the GCTC stage from November 28 – December 17. When Mimi’s date for the evening fails to show up, one willing audience member is invited to step into his shoes! What happens next is a thrilling, unscripted theatrical adventure offering a unique experience for the artist and audience each night — you’ll want to see it more than once! Adults only, please. On December 9 and 16 at 8:30pm, GCTC will be offering two queer performances of Blind Date: the fast and funny fusion of improv, theatre, and clown. For these two nights, Blind Date will celebrate and explore the particulars of queer romance.  Tickets are on sale now at GCTC’s Box Office at 1233 Wellington West at Holland, 613-236-5196 or GCTC.ca.
Photo: Rebecca Northan in Blind Date.

The Gladstone

Building the Wall

The Canadian premiere of a powerful, politically charged drama that couldn’t be more timely, by one of America’s top playwrights. It’s 2019, and the Trump administration has carried out its campaign promise to round up and detain millions of illegal immigrants. Now, a history professor interviews a prison warden awaiting sentencing for carrying out the federal policy that has escalated into the unimaginable. Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan’s Building the Wall is a terrifying and gripping exploration of the nature of complicity, and of what happens if we let fear win.This provocative and in-demand new play is getting multiple productions across the US, including an Off-Broadway New York City premiere in May! Directed by Sean Devine and starring Brad Long and Cassandre Mentor. Building the Wall plays at The Gladstone theatre , 910 Gladstone, from November 30 to December 3, 2017 (previews Nov. 28 & 29)
910 Gladstone.  boxoffice@thegladstone.ca.

The Segal Centre

The Hockey Sweater

Lace up your skates! The Segal Centre is proud to announce the cast and creative team of their upcoming world premiere, The Hockey Sweater: A Musical based on the short story by Roch Carrier, with Book and Lyrics by Emil Sher (Hana’s Suitcase, The Boy in the Moon, and Beneath the Banyan Tree), and Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Monro. The Segal is honoured to continue the legacy of this treasured Québec story by reinventing the classic tale into a modern musical for the whole family. Commissioned and produced by the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, this original Canadian production is directed and choreographed by Stratford Festival hit-maker Donna Feore. Sharing the role of Young Roche will be Andrew Allesandro Gabrielle and Jesse Noah Gruman. Richard Jutras will be playing the part of an adult Roch Carrier looking back on his childhood. Also featured are Claire Lautier, Ian Simpson, Scott Beaudin and Kate Blackburn. As part of the official programming of Montréal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, The Hockey Sweater: A Musical will run at the Segal Centre from October 19 to November 19, 2017, at The Segal Centre, 5170 ch. de la Côte-Ste-Catherine,Montreal, H3W 1M7Metro: Côte-Ste-Catherine, Snowdon.. Bus: 129, 51, 17. Tickets: www.segalcentre.org

The Segal Studio

Bad Jews

When three cousins gather in a cramped Manhattan apartment to mourn the death of their beloved grandfather and fight over a precious family heirloom, they learn there is much more at stake than who gets what. Bursting with crisp, fast-paced dialogue, Bad Jews is an exciting exploration of faith, family and legacy that is as poignant as it is viciously funny. The Segal Centre proudly welcomes back the uproarious and thought provoking Bad Jews, written by Joshua Harmon and directed by Lisa Rubin. Having received critical and public acclaim when it premiered in Montreal in 2016, Bad Jews is returning to the Segal Studio from November 8 to November 26, 2017. The Segal is thrilled to welcome back three members of the vibrant young cast which made the production such a success the first time around, including former Montrealer Jamie Elman, Jake Goldsbie, and Sarah Segal-Lazar as their more traditional and fiery cousin. Joining the cast as Liam’s “shiksa” girlfriend, Melody, is Ellen Denny. 5170 chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montreal. Tickets : 514.739.7944; www.segalcentre.org
Photo: by Andree Lanthier. Jamie Elman and Sarah Segal-Lazar in Bad Jews.

La Chapelle

Ruminant Ruminant

Ruminant Ruminant is presented in the form of sketches, skill testing games and pastiches in which words, dance, music and cinema form a subtle and joyous unidentified dancing object. It’s not about bovines, it’s not about love, it doesn’t speak the Alsace dialect, but it’s about everything and nothing, at home, in your studio, on stage. And there’s dancing too, and maybe some singing. “It” is born from the conceptual union of Karina Iraola and Brice Noeser for a festival of games and interactions that are adopted for the sake of seeing where they might lead us. Iraola and Noeser are interested in con/founding and de/constructing speech, thought and movement. With a common strategy of wit and non-sense, they obstruct each other, become entangled, overlay their bodies and minds with tension, vibration, constraining positions and circuitous themes. Premieres Thursday, November 30 at 8pm and plays Friday December 1, 2017 at  8PM, Monday December 4th at 7pm and Tuesday December 5th at 8pm. La Chapelle is located at 3700 Saint-Dominique. Box Office 514-843-7738. lachapelle.org

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