This Week in Theatre: Catalpa, The Wizard of Oz, Robin Hood, Eating with Lola, Final Savage Land
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.
Catalpa / Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace / 7:30pm/2:00pm / $15-$20
Toronto is oh so fond of tales about the people and places of Ireland, as well as the playwrights who produce them. Maybe it's that unmistakable brogue that's so appealing. Catalpa takes us to 1875, where a band of Irish ex-pats in the United States cook up a plan to sail across the world to Australia and free six of their comrades held captivate. The most impressive aspect of the play is that it all takes place inside the imagination of a screenwriter who performs the tale solo.
The Wizard of Oz / Ed Mirvish Theatre / 7:30pm/1:30pm / $35-$100+
A brand new production of The Wizard of Oz, with additional music and lyrics from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, is a beefed up version that wisely doesn't stray too far from the film. The most notable elements are those that contribute to the stage spectacle — sets, projections, costumes — where it seems no expense has been spared.
Robin Hood: The Legendary Musical Comedy / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $15-$25
Cue those men in tights, it's the last week to catch Robin Hood: The Legendary Musical Comedy at Hart House Theatre. Developed by Halifax's Shakespeare by the Sea, this irreverent comedy features all the familiar characters, Friar Tuck and the Merry Men, from the world of that do-gooder Robin Hood. With an eye on interrogating our desire for status and the distribution of wealth, the collective has written a number of clever songs.
Eating With Lola / Glad Day Bookstore / 9:00pm/2:00pm / $10
Catherine Hernandez's Eating With Lola showcases the power of sharing stories between generations. Hernandez plays Grace, a young woman dedicated to waiting on her sick grandmother (called Lola in Filipino). The subject of food inspires Lola to unfold stories from her childhood, right up until the present day. Directed by The Puppetmongers' Ann Powell, the eight show run will raise funds for Brave New Girls Retreats.
Final Savage Land / Oz Studios / 8:00pm / $20
Presented by Sore for Punching You (who deserve kudos on a clever name choice), Final Savage Land is a site-specific dance piece about how co-dependency operates in a relationship and how it begins to inevitably affect the coupled pair. Directed by Allison Cummings and featuring dancers Linnea Swan and Luke Garwood, the Oz Studios (134 Ossington Ave.) serve as the site for this examination of human relationships.
Production photo from Robin Hood