This Week in Theatre: Toronto Fringe Festival, Million Dollar Quartet, Avenue Q, A Midsummer Night's Dream
This week in theatre rounds up the most noteworthy live theatre playing right now in Toronto. It includes just-opened shows as well as productions that are about to close.
Toronto Fringe Festival / Various Venues and Times / $10
The Fringe Festival promises to draw a mixed bag of indie and professional theatre artists alike to venues and found spaces throughout the city for the theatre festival's 24th year. The festival of artistic mayhem plays out at 12 general venues, 14 site-specific locations, and one big happy Fringe tent (where the real experience is to be had). With 155 shows, all pulled out of a hat according to the rules, there's always an incredibly diverse slate of performances. Check out our Festival Preview to plan your own viewing schedule.
Million Dollar Quartet / Toronto Centre for the Arts / 7:30/2:00pm / $60-$100+
Dancap Productions may be slowly making its walk into the horizon, but not before two final shows wrap over the summer. They currently have Beauty and the Beast on stage at the Four Seasons Centre and are set to open Million Dollar Quartet, a musical about one of the greatest rock 'n' roll jam sessions of all time. It's December 1956 and Sam Phillips has assembled Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley together at Sun Records. It's the stuff of music mythology and a no brainer adaptation after the success of Jersey Boys.
Avenue Q / Lower Ossington Theatre / 8:00pm/4:00pm/2:00pm / $45-$60
At the Toronto Fringe, you'll certainly encounter a few puppet shows a part of the Fringe Kids programme. But if you're looking for a puppet show for adults, the Lower Ossington is the place to be. Avenue Q took the theatre world by storm with its debt on Broadway in 2003. It featured puppet adults coming to terms with the harsh realities of life and a catchy, funny score that soon found its way onto ipods around the world. It continues to run Off-Broadway proving its got incredible staying power.
A Midsummer Night's Dream / Todmorden Mills / 7:30pm / PWYC
With its focus on love, magic, and faeries, the Dream is a perennial choice for summer Shakespeare. It's no surprise that two productions of the play will feature in Toronto parks. Driftwood Theatre presents the Bard Bus Tour with its first stop at Todmorden Mills followed by later stops at both the Bradley House Museum, and Withrow Park. The company also offers Shakespeare shorts workshops for youth with a focus on iambic pentameter and performance.
Images courtesy of the Fringe Festival