Toronto Theatre

This Week in Theatre: Caroline, or Change, The Penelopiad, Cruel and Tender, Red Snow, Hamlet Live

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.

Caroline, or Change / Berkeley Street Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $18-$45
As far as accolades go, Caroline, or Change is one of the most decorated new musicals of the young century — it has won a Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel and Obie award. Caroline is a maid for a Southern family. When the loss of their mother hits the family hard, especially the young son Noah, Caroline must soldier on amidst the upheaval around them. It's one of the strongest new musicals in recent memory.

The Penelopiad / Buddies / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $28
In a co-production between Nightwood Theatre and Buddies in Bad Times, Kelly Thorton directs a production of Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad. The play, originally a novella, is a revision of Homer's Odyssey. In The Penelopiad, Penelope looks back on events during the Odyssey, life in Hades, her relationship with her parents, and the murder of her twelve handmaidens by her husband Odysseus. The play closes this week so it's your last chance to see it.

Cruel and Tender / Canadian Stage / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $35+
Martin Crimp's Cruel and Tender marks a turn to the stage for Atom Egoyan and features, for the first time on-stage, a collaboration with his partner Arsinée Khanjian who plays Amelia, a woman eagerly awaiting her husband's return from battle. With direction from one of Canada's most accomplished film directors, a script from one of Britain's most acclaimed living playwrights, and Khanjian on stage, this one has the makings of a strong show.

Red Snow/ Theatre Passe Muraille / 7:30pm/2:00pm / $15-$30
2012 marks the 75th anniversary of the Rape of Nanking, and Diana Tso's play Red Snow explores the violence that still reverberates. A woman's recurring nightmare of Chinese opera drives her to search for her family's silenced story connecting her with three generations of hatred and love. Toronto ALPHA and Aluna Theatre present this work on-stage until Saturday.

Hamlet Live / Annex Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $5-$40
In this version of the Bard's Denmark tale, it's 2080 and solar flares caused nuclear meltdowns leading to mass death. It's hard to predict how the post-apocalyptic world will colour the Hamlet on offer at the Annex Theatre, but, if you'd like to skip the snow-trek, the play is available on live stream. The production team promises multiple cameras and live editing, so you have to applaud the experimental nature of mixing theatre and social media.

Photo of Denyse Karn and Kelly Thornton of The Penelopiad by Tanja-Tiziana

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