Toronto Theatre

This Week in Theatre: Sex, Religion, & Other Hangups, I Send You This Cadmium Red, The Ugly One, Ghosts, His Greatness

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.

Sex, Religion, & Other Hangups / Theatre Passe Muraille / Various Times / $20-$25
James Gangl is looking for a girlfriend. Before you roll your eyes assuming he's a thoughtless dude who spends 70 minutes selling his attributes, think again. Sex, Religion, & Other Hangups is Gangl's lament for a moment of true connection that lead him to an understanding of love and intimacy amidst the backdrop of a staunch Catholic upbringing. Gangl gives a spirited performance in a genuinely funny comedy about vulnerability and reconciling sex and religion.

I Send You This Cadmium Red / Berkeley Street Theatre / 8:00pm / $22-$45
Canadian Stage's second offering of the season is similar to Another Africa in its presentation of two pieces in the course of one evening. Both plays are ruminations on the artistic process. Soudain l'Hiver Dernier follows the evolution of two dancers through the mysteries of human desire. I Send You This Cadmium Red is a two-hander based on correspondence between novelist John Berger and painter and filmmaker John Christie. With Daniel Brooks directing, and a wealth of talent from Art of The Ensemble, Cadmium should be a strong presentation.

The Ugly One / Tarragon Extra Space / 8:00pm/2:30pm / $29
Theatre Smash presents The Ugly One, the Toronto premiere of Marius von Mayenburg's play, directed by Ashlie Corcoran. The play presents an intriguing idea. A successful engineer who is terribly ugly opts for plastic surgery. While the surgery proves to be an absolute triumph, his life becomes a nightmare when the surgeon offers his face to those who can pay. It plays until October 16th, so this week is your last chance before it closes.

Ghosts / Soulpepper - Young Centre for the Performing Arts / 7:30pm/1:30pm / $28-$65
In my opinion, Ghosts is Henrik Ibsen's most interesting play. While The Doll's House and Hedda Gabbler steal much of the attention (and rightly so — they're great plays), Ghosts was once described by an English critic as "a dirty deed done in public" at a time when such topics were unthinkable as the subject of drama. In 1881, you can be sure no one was talking about syphilis onstage. Soulpepper has an incredible track record with Chekhov, let's hope Ibsen gets the same treatment with Morris Panych's new translation.

HIS GREATNESS / Factory Theatre Studio / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $20
You need only mention the name Daniel MacIvor and Toronto theatre fans will purchase tickets. MacIvor is as sure a bet as they come in this city, and his play HIS GREATNESS is garnering critical acclaim wherever it travels. After stints in both Vancouver and New York, the play arrived in Toronto where it's been delighted audiences this past month. In 1980, the Vancouver Playhouse invited Tennessee Williams to be their playwright in residence. MacIvor examines one weekend in the famed playwright's stay in a hotel room with his assistant and a street hustler.

Image from I Send You This Cadmium Red

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