Toronto theatre

This Week in Theatre: Memphis, Parfumerie, The Wizard of Oz, A Very Lupe Xmas, The Life And Times Of Mackenzie King

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.

Memphis / Toronto Centre for the Arts / 7:30pm/2:00pm / $62+
Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical, Memphis arrives on Toronto stages for a holiday run this week. Set in the underground dance clubs of 1950s Tennessee, the musical charts the unlikely relationship between a white radio DJ who has big aspirations and a black club singer looking for fame. Featuring rock n' roll hits and leave it on the floor dance, Memphis should be a more reliable night at the theatre than the theatre's previous tenants, that kooky Addams family.

Parfumerie / Soulpepper - Young Centre / 7:30pm / $28-$65
Miklós Laszló's Parfumerie is an homage to the playwright's hometown of Budapest. The play profiles the affluent citizens of the capital, along with the hardworking clerks and service workers. The most memorable pairing is the two co-workers who can barely tolerate one another, yet have unknowingly been writing love letters to each other for more than a year. A hit from Soulpepper's 2009 season, Parfumerie, set during Christmas, makes its return to the Young Centre stage.

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, starts its run. This time around The Wizard of Oz is the show of choice, with The Sound of Music's Elicia Mackenzie and Rock of Ages' Yvan Pedneault starring as Dorothy and 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.

A Very Lupe Xmas / 918 Bathurst Centre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $15-$25
Another holiday offering, this time courtesy of Lupe, a South American immigrant who has invited guests to watch her play the Virgin Mary in a retelling of the Nativity. Melissa D'Agostino received a Canadian Comedy Award nomination for Best Solo Show for Lupe. Examining the immigrant experience, and specifically religious holidays in diverse and multi-cultural communities, A Very Lupe Christmas looks to the audience to help recast and reinterpret the Nativity.

The Life and Times of Mackenzie King / Cameron House / 8:00pm/2:30pm / $30-$40
An installment of The History of the Village of the Small Huts, The Life and Times of Mackenzie King traces Canada's longest-serving Prime Minister from the end of WWI to the start of WWII. The action covers the Winnipeg Strike of 1919, the One Big Union movement, the King-Byng Crisis, the Great Depression, and features the likes of Bennett, Meighen, and King's cherished dog, Pat. Michael Hollingsworth's series is irreplaceable. If you haven't seen a VideoCaberet show, start now — or book your tickets for the next episode.

Image from The Life and Times of Mackenzie King by Michael Cooper

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