This week in theatre

This Week in Theatre: The War of the Worlds, More Fine Girls, The Time of Your Life, Songs for a New World, paper SERIES

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.

The War of the Worlds / Art of Time Ensemble / Harbourfront Centre - Enwave Theatre / 8pm / $25-$59
Experience the drama that changed radio forever, Orson Welles' The War of the Worlds. Presented to honour the centenary birthday of film composer Bernard Herrmann, who wrote scores for Hitchcock and Welles, the radio drama is presented with a live band, live sound effects, and live film mix. Featuring Nicholas Campbell and Don McKellar, this rare staging of such a brilliant performance should not be missed. Running March 31 - April 3.

More Fine Girls / Tarragon Theatre - Main Space / 8:00pm/2:30pm / $23 - $38
In this sequel to The Attic, the Pearls and Three Fine Girls, sisters Jayne, Jojo and Jelly retreat to the basement indeed of much needed familial reflection. This collaboratively written play, by Jennifer Brewin, Leah Cherniak, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Alisa Palmer and Martha Ross (and featuring MacDonald, Ross, and Severn Thompson), tackles middle-age issues that have arisen in the fifteen years since we've last seen these endearing characters. Written and performed by some of Canada's best female theatre artists, the calibre of talent is first-rate.

The Time of Your Life / Soulpepper Theatre / Young Centre for the Performing Arts / 7:30pm / $30-$50
A remount of Soulpepper's 2008 production, which garnered Doras for Stuart Hughes and Joseph Ziegler, The Time of Your Life is set in a hole-in-the-wall saloon in San Francisco where a cascade of loathsome characters congregate. Oscillating between moments of hilarious stage business and sober introspections on life, Saroyan's play is given a nostalgic treatment by director Albert Schultz. If you're looking for a sure bet, Soulpepper usually delivers, and you can hang your hat on first-rate performances. Shows on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Songs for a New World / Angelwalk Theatre / Toronto Centre for the Arts / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $25 - $45
If you've never heard a track from Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World, do yourself a favour and take a listen. The musical was originally workshopped in Toronto and then given an off-Broadway debut in 1995. Since then, it has garnered critical acclaim for the richness of its songs and the poignancy of its "moments." Four performers deliver an array of characters--from the deck of a 1492 Spanish sailing ship to 57 stories above Fifth Avenue and situations in between. Opens March 30. Go for the music.

paper SERIES / Cahoots Theatre / Young Centre for the Performing Arts / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $10-$30
Written by Governor General's Literary Award nominee David Yee, paper SERIES is a collection of six vignettes that focus on paper. A young orphan creates paper dolls as stand-ins for her dead parents, a group of immigrant cab drivers replace licenses with medical certifications, and one controversial fortune cookie leads to a Mexican standoff in a Chinese restaurant. Boasting a solid cast, an award-winning playwright, and a proven director in Nina Lee Aquino, Cahoots' initial offering is worth adding to your list.

Writing by Keith Bennie


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