Holiday Theatre Roundup: The Story, Dysfunctional Revue, The Nutcracker, Quidam, The Wizard of Oz, Parfumerie

This week in theatre rounds up the most noteworthy live theatre playing right now in Toronto. There are a number of shows full of holiday cheer that run until the New Year.

The Story / Evergreen Brick Works / 7:30pm/4:30pm / $10-$25
With temperatures lower than usual at this point in the year, there is no excuse to miss The Story, an outdoor walking tour of the Evergreen Brick Works where the nativity story unfolds at each stop. With a different Toronto based choir each night, audience members will meet shepherds, wise men, the angel Gabriel, and the iconic couple. In the style of the mystery plays of Medieval Europe, Martha Ross has created a memorable holiday experience at one of Toronto's environmental gems.

Second City's Dysfunctional Holiday Revue / Second City / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $22
Second City's National Touring company presents the not-so-merrymaking side of Christmas: dysfunctionality. Let's face it, to temper all the good will and "every time a bell rings...", there is inevitably some awkward moments that come with mixing family and the holidays. With sketches about the season of joy, mirth, and holiday shopping, you're sure to see some of your Aunt Pearl or Uncle Charlie reflected in the scenes of wackiness.

The Nutcracker / National Ballet - Four Seasons / 7:00pm/2:00pm / $38+
Ballet lovers have a lot to cheer about this season with the successful launch of the 60th anniversary of the National Ballet of Canada with Romeo and Juliet, followed by the holiday classic, The Nutcracker. The curtain rises on E.T.A. Hoffmann's Christmas tale complete with childhood wonder and set to the incomparable music of Tchaikovski. A perennial holiday favourite, The Nutcracker continues to delight Toronto audiences.

Quidam / Cirque du Soleil - Ricoh Coliseum / 7:30pm / 60+
The latest touring show in town from Cirque du Soleil, Quidam offers its own version of dark magic. The most memorable act is Statue, performed by a male and female who assume impossible positions without any sense of balance. The vignettes between major acts are hit or miss, even though the in-house clown is first rate. The show features some stunning images and acts that do what they're suppose to — make your jaw drop. It doesn't sustain the energy throughout, but there's still enough to enjoy here. Check out our full review.

The Wizard of Oz / Elgin Theatre / 7:00pm/2:00pm / $32-$80
You know it's the holiday season when the annual Ross Petty pantomime, an imported British tradition, hits the stage. This time around The Wizard of Oz is the show of choice, with The Sound of Music's Elicia Mackenzie as Dorothy and Rock of Ages' Yvan Pedneault as the Tin Man. With Petty in tow as, who else, the Wicked Witch of the West, the panto camp will transform the story from heartwarming tale to over-the-top Oz-fest. And that's why audiences love it.

Parfumerie / Soulpepper - Young Centre / 7:30pm / $28-$65
Miklós László's Parfumerie is, by all accounts, a play built for the holidays. Yes, the profile of a perfume shop at the lead up to Christmas sets the mood, but it's the ideals of forgiveness, reconciliation, and good will that anchor the storyline. The Soulpepper production suffers from an exceedingly slow first act, but thankfully, the second act salvages the show with better pacing enhanced by the working out of the tangled love knot. It will leave you with that warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling. Check out our full review.

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