Toronto Theatre

This Week in Theatre: The Normal Heart, Hardsell, Matchbox Macbeth, Murder on Ossington, Show & Tell

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.

The Normal Heart / Buddies in Bad Times Theatre / 8:00pm/2:30pm
Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart debuted in 1985 at a time when AIDS was claiming the lives of a generation of gay men in New York and around the world. It now holds a place in the canon of contemporary theatre. Seen through the eyes of activist Ned Weeks, the founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group, the plays themes are still relevant over twenty-five years later. Studio 180 Theatre and Buddies bring this important work to the stage until November 6.

Hardsell / Factory Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $35
Hardsell is a remount of the 2009 show created by Miller and Brooks, albeit with Miller firmly in the driver's seat. The show has been reworked after a lukewarm reception the first time around. It offers a more nuanced approach to the commodification of, well, just about everything, positioning cynicism in opposition to hope. With occupations in cities around the world in support of the values of which Miller extols, the play is a timely call to action. Check out our review.

Matchbox Macbeth / Mystery Location - Little Italy / 7:00pm/9:00pm / $15
This treatment of Macbeth gets its name from the location that inspired its stripped down small-scale approach: a shed. With a limited audience each night, four performers offer an hour-long Macbeth that begins at a secret location in Little Italy. It's exciting to see a talented young group do something innovative with Shakespeare. Big or small, the timeless tale can stand up to pomo interventions.

Murder on Ossington / Mystery Location / Email to book tickets
Who knew there were two shows in the city set in mystery locations. Pandemic Theatre, whose tagline is Season of Violence, presents Murder on Ossington for a group of ten audience members each night. Little is known about the plot, but it's a horror of sorts promising violence, murder, and...Ossington. October seems like a fitting month.

Show and Tell Alexander Bell / Robert Gill Theatre / 8:00pm / $10
Ars Mechanica experiments with historical narratives mediated through new technology. Their piece Show and Tell Alexander Bell is a post-dramatic meditation on Bell's 1876 invention taking viewers on a journey through his trans-Atlantic circuit. With Blackberry communication suspended last week and users held hostage awaiting messages and emails, the show's homage to Bell is a fitting profile of an invention that has changed everything.

Image from Hardsell


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