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The top theatre shows in Toronto February 2014

Posted by Keith Bennie / January 30, 2014

theatre toronto january 2014Each month we round up the most noteworthy live theatre playing in Toronto.

World Stage / Harbourfront Centre / Various Times / $10-$39
Harbourfront's annual series showcases celebrated artists and their latest obsessions in contemporary performance modes. This year's festival launches with the #artlive Vogue Ball presented by the House of Nuance, an inclusive jam that hearkens back to the golden days of queer balls. Performances that kick off the series in February include The Radio Show (Kyle Abraham), UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW (Young Jean Lee), and Major Tom (Victoria Melody). Check out our full World Stage preview.

Idiot's Delight / Soulpepper - Young Centre / January 30 - March 1 / $23-$74
Robert E. Sherwood's 1936 Pulitzer Prize winning play is set in the Italian Alps where the luxury Hotel Monte Gabriele plays host to a collection of international guests. With tourism on the decline in the latter part of the decade, the arrival of a Switzerland-bound train provides some much needed excitement in the hotel halls, even as the impending war marches ever so close to the retreat. Albert Schultz directs a large ensemble of twenty.

/ Royal Alex Theatre / February 2 - March 9 / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $25-$99

There's nothing that quite compares to the comically dark open line of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis: "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect." Not figurative, without hyperbole or irony, Gregor is full insect. Kafka's wildly imaginative and influential literature has been adapted for the stage by British playwright and director David Farr and actor/director Gisli Örn Gardarsson.

Firebrand / Mackenzie House / February 6-22 / 8:00pm / $20
Single Thread Theatre continues to unearth the seminal stories of Toronto's heritage through engaging, site-specific productions. Their past performances, The Campbell House Story and The Loyalists, have encouraged audiences to look differently at the city by revisiting moments that have shaped Canadian history. The Mackenzie House museum is the setting for Firebrand, a play profiling William Lyon Mackenzie, the city's first mayor.

Tribes / Berkeley Street Theatre / February 6 - March 2 / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $22-$49
Arriving for its Canadian premiere is Nina Raine's Tribes, winner of the 2012 Drama Desk and New York Theatre Critics Circle awards. Raised by his family without knowledge of sign language, Billy navigates his deafness the only way he knows how. That is until he meets a woman slowly going deaf who opens up his world to a language and culture all their own. Under the direction of Daryl Cloran, the play should be another strong Canadian Stage offering alongside London Road.

The Daisy Theatre / Factory Theatre / February 12-23 / 9:30pm / $30
Renowned puppetmaster Ronnie Burkett returns to Factory with The Daisy Theatre, which first premiered at last summer's Luminato Festival. Inspired by Czechoslovakia's underground "daisy" puppet displays during Nazi occupation, the play features monologues and variety acts from a collection of fantastic characters. Burkett and his marionettes bare all in a bold and daring cabaret.

The Rhubarb Festival opens at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre on February 12. We'll take a closer look at the festival next week.



Jer / January 30, 2014 at 09:38 am
I saw Metamorphosis last night and I thought it was really well done. Very intense even if it is a relatively short 80-90 minute show with no intermission. Glad I saw it. Parts of it reminded me of LePage's latest production of Needles and Opium.
Simon / January 30, 2014 at 04:39 pm
I'm going to see Ravenscroft tonight at Sterling Studio Theatre, only running til Feb 8 but sounds worth making time for-- and no, I have nothing to do with the production!
Mark / February 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm
When I go to the theatre, I want to have my emotions taken out and exercised...all of them, and Kafka's Metamorphosis presents a theatre company with the opportunity to excel in this respect. The Royal Alex production however was a flat line failure with less interest generation than a self-directed children's play. The amazingly shallow and vision-lacking direction left the players, who may have had some acting skills if they learned to project their voices into the audience, no opportunity to strut their stuff. Thors as Gregor has great athletic skills, and his character was left obscured as the director departed from the story to modify it downward. Stefansdottir was the only real performer in the piece. Kristisansson must have been to the dentist prior to the performance, as he spoke as though his mouth was full of dental packing...when one could make out what he was saying at all. Give the Icelandic cast full marks for learning to present the play in English, but bring them to our city to check out some real theater prior to their future performances here so they can notice that Torontonians are accustomed to excellent theater and then perhaps they can try to match up to our expectations. This was a veritable clunker, and not worth seeing at all.
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