Calendar Girls Mirvish

This Week in Theatre: Forests, Seasons of Wrath and Play, Calendar Girls, The Monument, Guineapigging

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.

Forests / Tarragon Theatre - Extra Space / 8:00pm/2:30pm / $22-$46
Wajdi Mouawad is a force to be reckoned with on the Canadian theatre scene. In addition to being the Artistic Director of French Theatre at the National Arts Centre, his play Incendies/Scorched (which took Toronto by storm in 2007) was given a treatment for the big screen that received the Genie for best motion picture as well as an Oscar nomination for best foreign feature. Tarragon hosts the premiere of his latest play, translated by Linda Gaboriau. Mouawad presents bold and gripping portraits of familial suffering that defy categorization and interrogate the human condition. For my money, he's Canada's most compelling playwright.

Seasons of Wrath and Play / Lower Ossington Theatre / 8:00pm/3:30pm / $22-$27
The AfriCan Theatre Ensemble presents a double bill this week. The Engagement is an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Marriage Proposal, which takes us to the impending union between a hypochondriac farmer and the daughter of his neighbour. In Flood!, a father and son bicker over motives and intentions while the world washes away around them. Playwright Femi Osofisan is the most performed writer in Nigeria, and the Lower Ossington Theatre is the place to check out his work.

Calendar Girls / Royal Alexandra Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $30-$85
The big-budget crowd-pleaser of the week is Calendar Girls direct to the city from a successful premiere in London. You've heard the premise before--a women's club does away with bake sales and bonnets by posing with doilies over their naughty bits for a charity calendar. With two Fionas, Highet and Reid, leading an impressive ensemble, the feel-good factor should be through the roof. It conveniently coincides with Mother's Day next month.

The Monument / Harbourfront Centre - Brigantine Room / 8pm/2pm / $45
Colleen Wagner's play feels like a kick to the stomach. Long after the blow, The Monument lingers in the pit and inspires pangs of nausea. The play offers an unflinching look at the relationship between the perpetrator of evil and their bound victim. ISÔKO Theatre is an intercultural company which uses theatre to contribute to civil society, social development, and the creative arts in Rwanda. Rarely are we offered a thoughtful drama set in such a relevant context.

Guineapigging / Alumnae Theatre / 8pm/2pm / $20 PWYC Sunday
We've all seen those ads tempting us with thousands of dollars to participate in medical drug testing. Catherine Frid explores the phenomenon in her newest play at the Alumnae Theatre. Judging by all advance material, this premiere could either be a delightful romp or a big guinea pig fail. Black comedies are tough to pull off, but as long as it doesn't involve any Richard Gere jokes, it should be safe. With a 2 for 1 Wednesday and a PWYC Sunday, it may be worth a look.

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