Next Stage Toronto

This Week in Theatre: The Golden Dragon, The Next Stage Festival, Kim's Convenience, The Blue Dragon, The Penelopiad

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 Golden Dragon / Tarragon Theatre / 8:00pm/2:30pm / $21-$24
I'd see anything written by Roland Schimmelpfennig at least once. His play Peggy Pickit Sees the Face of God, as part of Another Africa, was one of the strongest plays this past fall. The Golden Dragon takes place inside a busy restaurant where an illegal immigrant searching for his lost sister is kept a secret by the kitchen staff. Schimmelpfennig writes characters with a brutal honesty in situations that force them to display their true colours.

Next Stage Festival / Factory Theatre / Various Times / $10-$15
Now in its fifth year, the Next Stage Theatre Festival showcases the best of independent work, culled from the stages of Fringe, Summerworks, and everything in between. This year, there are ten shows running in the three spaces at Factory Theatre from January 4-15. Most of the shows have proven themselves in other venues, so choose blind to have your expectations exceeded. Check out our festival preview.

Kim's Convenience / Young Centre - Soulpepper / 8:00pm / $32-$51
The unequivocal hit of the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival, Kim's Convenience gets a well deserved remount, at Soulpepper no less. The connection with Soulpepper, who is not exactly known for producing new Canadian work, is Ins Choi and Weyni Mengesha are who Soulpepper Academy alumnus. The play, about a family forgiving the past, is set in a Regent Park Korean convenience store.

The Blue Dragon / Mirvish - Royal Alex / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $39-$99
You don't want to miss whatever Robert Lepage's current project is...ever. Whether it's a piece that creates a sublime theatregoing experience or one that overdoes it with visual boundary pushing, Lepage's plays are never dull. They reflect a unique and unparalleled theatrical aesthetic in this country. The Blue Dragon focuses on an expat Canadian who engages with two women in Shanghai — one from his Western past and one from his Asian present.

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.

Photo from Hypnogogic Logic at the Next Stage Festival

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