This Week in Theatre: Buskerfest, White Biting Dog, Come Fly Away, The Winter's Tale, Billy Elliot
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.
Buskerfest / St. Lawrence Market / Thu-Fri 12pm-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-8pm
Taking place outside the quiet, dark theatres of the city is Buskerfest, the annual outdoor festival of impressive and quirky street art. The performance showcase features European street theatre, aerial arts, dance, music, clown—just about everything under the sun. For a taste of what can be found, check out our preview. The annual festival raises funds and awareness for Epilepsy Toronto so be sure to contribute to the hat that's passed around.
White Biting Dog / Young Centre for the Performing Arts / 7:30pm / $22-$65
One of Judith's Thompson's most successful plays gets a new treatment at Soulpepper. In White Biting Dog, a Toronto lawyer about to jump off the Bloor Street bridge is stopped by a talking dog. While it may sound nonsensical, magical realism has served the playwright well. Let's hope this is the start of Thompson remounts similar to the David French series.
Come Fly Away / Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts / 7:30pm/2:00pm / $42-$135
It's written that if you achieve stardom status in the music industry, they'll find a way to package your top songs into a musical with some sort of flimsy narrative pulling it all together. That's the case with Come Fly Away, the Frank Sinatra musical featuring a 14-piece band and original recordings of Ol' Blue Eyes. The music is accompanied by stories of four couples falling in love.
The Winter's Tale / Dream in High Park / 8pm / PWYC ($20 Suggested)
Canadian Stage has taken a gamble in choosing one of Shakespeare's later works, but The Winter's Tale is a summer treat. It straddles both tragedy and comedy, is spread across two different locales, and has 16 years separating the two plot lines. If the summertime location in High Park isn't enough to entice you, it also features a cameo by a bear. The play features strong performances and hints of magic in the final act. There are only a few weekends left to catch the show. It's your best bet this week.
Billy Elliot / Canon Theatre / 7:30pm/1:30pm / $36+
Also exiting Toronto next month is the musical of the boy who loves to dance. You can count on Mirvish for the flashiest, splashiest musicals this side of New York. And Billy Elliot is the cream of the crop. With international accolades in abundance, and high praise from the city's theatre reviewers, this musical will not disappoint. Only two weeks left until it pas de bourrÃ©es its way out of the city.
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