Toronto Theatre November

This Week in Theatre: Dying City, Jesus Chrysler, The New Groundswell Festival, Topdog/Underdog, and Mary Poppins

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.

Dying City / Toronto Free Gallery / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $20-$25
Acclaimed playwright Christopher Shinn has been called one of "the most provocative and probing of American playwrights today" by the New York Times. Shinn's work gets a treatment by Dora-nominated director Peter Pasyk at the Theatre Centre. Dying City is about Kelly, a young therapist made a widow after her husband dies in the Iraq War. A year later, his identical twin brother, shows up at her apartment unannounced.

Jesus Chrysler / Theatre Passe Muraille / 7:30pm/2:00pm / $15-$30
Praxis Theatre and TPM present this story about Toronto activist and director Eugenia "Jim" Watts and poet Dorothy Livesay. Art and politics are explored through profiles of these two significant Canadian women. Watts was a controversial Toronto theatre artist before becoming the sole female ambulance driver in the Spanish Civil War and Livesay went on to become a two-time Governor General Award winner for poetry.

The New Groundswell Festival / Berkeley Street Theatre / 8:00pm/ 2:00pm / $20-$45
Nightwood Theatre launches an expanded Groundswell this week, now a national festival of contemporary women's theatre. The mini-festival presents three workshop productions over 11 days: Between the Sheets by Jordi Mand, The Aftermath by Lisa Codrington, and The Debacle by Ann-Marie Kerr and Susan Leblanc-Crawford. In addition to the three shows, there are also workshops, readings, and masterclasses.

Topdog/Underdog / Theatre Centre / 7:00pm/2:00pm / $20-$30
A 2002 Pulitzer Prize winning play, Topdog/Underdog explores the dog-eat-dog challenges of contemporary life. Presented in association with Obsidian Theatre and directed by Philip Akin, the drama focuses on two brothers as they work through their past, present, and futures in the city that most pulses with competitive energies, New York. The play positions race as a contradiction between dreams of a possible life and the present.

Mary Poppins / Princess of Wales Theatre / 7:30pm/2:00pm / $38-$100+
The world's most famous nanny touches down in Toronto for a dash of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious fun. Am I the only one that thinks she's a bit creepy — what with the flying and the feeding kids medicine? Regardless, all the songs you know are there along with some tricked out flying over the audience that's sure to be the highlight. With Disney and Cameron Mackintosh involved, it's sure to be a big show.

Image from Mary Poppins by Joan Marcus

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