Toronto theatre

This Week in Theatre: Fronteras Americanas, Brown Balls, The River Lady, Festival of Ideas and Creation, The Post Office

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.

Fronteras Americanas / Young Centre for the Performing Arts / 7:30pm / $28-$60
Soulpepper's dedication to presenting Canadian classics (smattered among the canonical fare) allows theatre-goers the opportunity to revisit original plays that struck a chord. Guillermo Verdecchia's Fronteras Americanas is one of those great Canadian works. Originally produced by Tarragon in 1993, the play anticipated the complexity of identity politics in a more globalized world. Verdecchia performs this solo piece, about seeking his identity as an Argentinean-Canadian, until June 12.

Brown Balls / Factory Theatre (Studio) / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $10-26
Your guides for the evening: Bruce Lee, Charlie Chan, and Fu Manchu. Guides may be the wrong word. In this exploration of Asian male stereotypes from Byron Abalos and fu-GEN Asian Theatre Company, the audience is taken hostage by these three iconic figures. The play promises to serve up stereotypes like fried rice in its unapologetic look at Asian masculinity in the West. Directed by Nina Lee Aquino and featuring Sean Baek, Richard Lee, and David Yee.

The River Lady / Theatre Passe Muraille / 7:30/2:00pm / $15 PWYC Matinee
It's hard not to love a good two-hander. In David Widdicombe's The River Lady, a drifter and a dishwasher connect at an all-night diner. Disclaimer: This is not the theatrical version of M. Night Shyamalan's (horrendous) Lady in the Water, but a well-crafted introspection on two people taking stock of their lives. Directed by Matthew Gorman and featuring Arlin Dixon and David Chapman-Smith.

Festival of Ideas and Creation / Canadian Stage / Various times and programs / Free
Canstage's Festival of Ideas and Creation looks to take the pulse of Canadian and international performance practices with over 30 FREE events including public readings, forums, and industry-oriented workshops. The lineup of artists is impressive to say the least: Atom Egoyan, Robert Carsen, Will Power, Weyni Mengesha, Moynan King, Fides Krucker, Allen Cole, Patrice Naiambana, Surahata Susso, Chris Earle and Matthew Jocelyn. With a focus on cross-disciplinary collaboration, Canstage is hoping to advance the discussion on contemporary performance.

The Post Office / Berkeley St. Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $12-$35
Pleiades Theatre presents an enduring story given a fresh translation. The Post Office, by Rabindranath Tagore (the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature) is a one hundred year old tale about an orphaned child who becomes gravely ill. As his illness comes full circle, the play explores the strength of spirit in the child's community. Part of the Indian Government's 2011 Canada-wide celebration of Indian arts and culture, Pleiades continues its mandate to present new translations and intercultural theatre.

Photo by gbalogh in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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