This Week in Theatre: Shakespeare in the Park, Emma Hunter Live, BuskerFest, Memory in the Mud
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.
Richard III / Shakespeare in the Ruff - Withrow Park / 7:30pm / PWYC
This young Shakespeare company burst onto the scene last year in Withrow Park with The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Things get a little darker this time around as they tackle the Bard's portrait of the complex and conniving monarch Richard III, who rose to power on the tide of ambitious and devious deeds. It's directed by the accomplished Diane D'Aquila and stars Alex McCooeye in the title role.
Emma Hunter Live / Buddies in Bad Times / 7:30pm / $15
Actress and comedienne Emma Hunter has been making waves of late on the Toronto comedy scene for her dead-on celebrity impersonations. She's always a highlight at the annual Bitch Salad Pride, where this year her Suri Cruise and Paula Deen brought the house down. Buddies gives this funny gal her own platform on August 23 alongside a collection of special guests.
BuskerFest / Various Locations / Various Times / PWYC
Each and ever year the downtown core becomes activated with local and international performers seeking to thrill and delight. BuskerFest features all kinds of presentations—European street theatre, aerial arts, dance, music, clown—that embrace the sponteniaty of an outdoor playing space. If you join among the spectators, be ready to contribute into the passed hat to reward these hardworking entertainers.
Memory in the Mud / Evergreen Brick Works / Various Times / $10
Site-specific plays rarely align so closely with their performance space as Memory in the Mud, a historical walking tour of the Evergreen Brick Works that considers the past inhabitants of the Toronto landmark. A tour guide leads an audience throughout the various sites, which feature vignettes on Canadian geologist Arthur Coleman, German POWs employed during their internment, a window into the process of making bricks, and a portrait of the homeless of the great depression.
The Taming of the Shrew / Shakespeare in High Park / 8:00pm / PWYC
The characters that inhabit Canadian Stage's production of The Taming of the Shrew are primarily a tacky, upper-class sort, obsessed with iPhones, Starbucks, and ridiculing the hardened Kate. Director Ted Witzel is successful at sketching out a playful pop kingdom from the Bard's language, think a contemporary Clueless, where social media meets Elizabethan verse. The modern treatment tends to muddle though when the gender battle goes awry and conventions become tired.
Photo of Shakespeare in the Ruff