This Week in Theatre: In the Next Room, MacHomer, Tale of a Town, Machina Nuptialis, TOTEM

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.

In the Next Room or the vibrator play / Tarragon Theatre / 8:00pm/2:30pm / $22-$23

If this play didn't have the additional title ("the vibrator play"), you might think you were attending a farcical affair or an English drawing room comedy. Not so. The play is about the early uses of the vibrator by a doctor wanting to induce paroxysms in his female patients. Playwright Sarah Ruhl has penned some successful plays and this one's no different. In the Next Room was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play.

MacHomer / Factory Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm/ $20 - $40

Rick Miller's stage piece is the ultimate marriage of high and low art: Shakespeare and the Simpsons. Miller has toured the show throughout the globe, and it's no wonder the play has been met with incredible acclaim. With 50 of Springfield's most memorable characters doing Shakespeare's text, fans of both the television show and the seminal playwright have reasons to applaud. Miller is an absolute tour de force in the one-man show. In addition to MacHomer, Factory will be presenting Miller's collaborations with Daniel Brooks, Bigger Than Jesus and HARDSELL. You'd be hard pressed to find a better one-two-three punch this fall.

Tale of a Town - Queen West / Theatre Passe Muraille / 7:30pm / $15-$25

The site-specific romp through Queen West is back this season led by the ultra-blonde Lisa Marie DiLiberto. Tale of a Town takes the audience members on a journey through Toronto's most legendary strip — with stops at graffiti alley, a vintage clothing story, and the Cameron House. A mix of oral history, site-specific and site-activated performance, and live music, the diversity of the presentation reflects the street at the centre of its study.

Machina Nuptialis / Casa Loma / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $30 +

Presented in the Carriage Room at Casa Loma is CORPUS' Machina Nupitalis (say that five times fast). The piece takes marriage as its inspiration as three couples dance their way through the exhilarating sequence of events. The presentation, however, is not just a choreographed dance. CORPUS performances pull from fantasy, contemporary dance, and Theatre of the Absurd. Guests will be seated in the round for a chance to catch the proverbial bouquet...rice, presumably, not included.

TOTEM / Grand Chapiteau at the Port Lands / 4pm/8pm / $65+

The world's premier circus troupe, Cirque du Soleil, returns to Toronto with TOTEM, an ambitious presentation that traces the evolution of humankind from amphibian state to its desire to explore the skies. The show captivates with unbelievable acrobatic feats and dazzles with incredible visuals from the first moment an acrobat drops from the rigging. Take a look at my full review of TOTEM for a first look at the show. The price may make you balk, but it only comes to town every few years.

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