Toronto Theatre

This Week in Theatre: Dancing With Rage, The Happy Woman, The Night of the Iguana, Frances and Marybeth, Paprika Festival

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.

Dancing With Rage / Theatre Passe Muraille / 7:30pm/2:00pm / $15-$35
When she's not ambushing our current mayor outside his home and running from the police, Mary Walsh can be seen at Theatre Passe Muraille where a collection of her most famous characters — Marg Delahuntey, a Warrior Princess, Dakey Dunn, Miss Eulalia Turpin, Mom Reardon, and Connie Bloor — comment on pop culture and politics. Walsh is a Canadian comic treasure and it's great to see her best work showcased on stage.

The Happy Woman / Berkeley Street Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $22-$46
Presented by Nightwood Theatre, The Happy Woman by Rose Cullis considers what happens when sheer and blinding happiness gets in the way of truth. In this look at the relationships of a family whose members each are seeking salvation — Cassie (Maev Beatty) wants to be normal, Christian (Martin Happer) wants to be perfect and Margaret (Barbara Gordon) just wants to be happy — the veneer is pulled back to reveal what's going on under the surface.

The Night of the Iguana / Hart House Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $15-$25
While not Tennessee William's best known play, The Night of the Iguana features some of the playwright's recurring themes: a character in a major life shift, burgeoning sexuality, and strong metaphors. Featuring David Ferry as Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon, a character whose failings could stand in for those of the playwright, the play follows Shannon as he guides a tour of Baptist women through Mexico. The trouble is that he's recently slept with one of the women, who just so happens to be a minor. Discuss.

Frances and Marybeth
/ Factory Studio Theatre / 8:00pm/2:30pm / $20

Borne out of Alumnae Theatre's annual New Ideas Festival, Frances and Marybeth is the full-length realization of the original one-act play by Neale Kimmel. Inspired by a life moment, Frances decides to get off the couch and seize the day. The tag line touts that the show features "Two sisters. Three men. Fourteen litres of milk. One ultimate date night." If that's not enough to entice you, it stars MuchMusic host Matt Wells.

Paprika Festival / Tarragon Theatre / 8:00pm/2:30pm / $5-$20
The Paprika Festival celebrates the work of young artists who are 21 and under. This year, they've chosen a mature and political subject as a highlight of the festival: the Occupy Toronto Movement. On March 9, a benefit performance featuring a cast of those admittedly not under 21 (Charlotte-Corbeil Coleman, Susan Coyne, Martin Julien, Andrew Kushnir, Haley McGee, and R.H. Thomson) will perform Rosamund Small's new verbatim piece, Performing Occupy. The festival of work features over a dozen plays and runs until March 10.

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