live theatre toronto november

The top live theatre shows in Toronto November 2014

Each month we profile a collection of shows opening soon in Toronto.

Macbeth / Monarch Tavern / November 18-23 / $17
Having made waves on the indie theatre scene with clever and contemporary adaptations of The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, and Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare BASH'd returns to present the playwright's dark, macabre tale, Macbeth. This time around, the Monarch Tavern serves as the site-specific setting for their immersive, bare bones adaptation which aims to portray the dissolution of a loving relationship between the title character and his Lady, brought down by greed and ambition. The company proves that beer and the Bard is a natural fit.

NSFW / Theatre Centre / November 7-30 / $15-39
In our technologically-driven lives, a deluge of shared media glides effortlessly across our touchscreens and feeds. Some such posts are definitely Not Safe For Work. Riffing off the ever-popular acronym, which at once tempts and warns, playwright Lucy Kirkwood explores the world of digital media and the lack of personal integrity it sometimes takes to get eyeballs on content. The play considers two opposing magazines--an attention-seeking men's magazine and a refined women's publication--and whether or not their constructions of ideal femininity differ or are in fact equally as destructive.

Spoon River / Soulpepper - Young Centre / November 4-15 / $23-$89
What may get lost among solid adaptations of seminal dramatists and the presentation of Canadian classics at Soulpepper are their more experimental performances gleaned from great poetry, such as (re)Birth: E.E. Cummings in Song and Alligator Pie. Their latest poetic foray, in an adaptation from Mike Ross and Albert Schultz, explores Edgar Lee Masters' poems of the dead featuring stories of love, loss, and personal truth. In Spoon River, residents of the town generously share stories from their lives weaving together a patchwork portrait of rural America.

Arcadia / Royal Alex Theatre / November 4 - December 14 / $25-$99
Tom Stoppard's Arcadia is one of the playwright's finest achievements and has been hailed as a contemporary masterpiece. On the grounds of Sidley Park, a Derbyshire country home, Stoppard layers his characters across time and space, going back and forth between 1809 and the present day, as they engage with the mysteries of sex, mathematics, and truth. The production is directed by Eda Holmes and arrives in Toronto after a successful run at the Shaw Festival.

Sextet / Tarragon Theatre / November 5 - December 14 / $23-$55
The various elements at play in Morris Panych's Sextet sound like the setup for a good joke: a blizzard, six stranded musicians, six instruments, and not enough beds. Panych pens his characters thoughtfully so each member of the sextet is struggling with something that's not in correct alignment -- their careers, marriages and unrealized desires. Panych directs a stellar cast including Damien Atkins, Rebecca Northan, Laura Condlln, Bruce Dow, Matthew Edison, and Jordan Pettle.

Take Me Back to Jefferson / Factory Theatre / November 5-23 / $35-$45
Theatre Smith-Gilmour's multi-narrative adaptation of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying follows the Bundrens on their 40 mile funeral procession across the Mississippi. After the death of their mother, the family must surmount a number of challenging obstacles on their way to the grave site. The blend of tragicomic elements--one part funeral, one part calamity--makes this a fitting story for the Canadian clown and movement-based artists.

Also on stage for a short November run at Canadian Stage is Opus, featuring the legendary Australian performance troupe Circa accompanied by the world-renowned Debussy String Quartet.

Photo by David Cooper


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