This Week in Theatre: SummerWorks, Da Kink in My Hair, Macbeth, The Railway Children, The Winter's Tale

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.

SummerWorks Festival / Various Venues and Times / $15

The 2011 SummerWorks Festival continues this week with new plays from a number of talented Canadian writers. The festival is under the spotlight even more so this year after losing its federal funding, which had amounted for 20% of its annual budget. Take a look at my festival picks which include premieres from playwrights Nicholas Billon, Hannah Moscovitch, Christopher Stanton, and Matthew Mackenzie.

Da Kink in My Hair / Enwave Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $37-$77

One of Toronto's most successful Fringe to mainstage productions of recent memory, Da Kink in My Hair returns to Toronto for a limited run at the Harbourfront Centre. This time around, the play has a new musical score, but is still set in a Caribbean hair salon. Originally a hit at the 2001 Toronto Fringe, Da Kink went on to a run at Theatre Passe Muraille in 2003 and Mirvish in 2005. If you haven't been swept up by this compelling story, now is your chance.

Macbeth / Withrow Park / 7:30pm / $15-$18

The Bard's Bus Tour makes a stop in Toronto this weekend for a production of Macbeth. Offering yet another opportunity for Shakespeare under the stars, Driftwood Theatre presents the Scottish tragedy with a small cast of eight. Peter van Gestel plays the title role of Macbeth, the Scottish soldier who rises to power with the help of his scheming wife and three witches. The show's final stop is Toronto, so it should be a spirited tragedy.

The Railway Children / Roundhouse Theatre / 7:30pm/2:00pm / $25-$100+

It's your last opportunity to see the big giant train (and rail station) mounted behind the Rogers Centre entirely for this play. The Railway Children, a story about the Waterbury family and their love of trains, rolls out of the station after this week. The main draw here is the 86-ton vintage steam engine that rolls into the playing space.

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.

Photo of Oracle playing at SummerWorks

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