toronto theatre

This Week in Theatre: Hiding Words for you, Queen West Project, Cancer Can't Dance Like This, Julie Sits Waiting, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

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.

Hiding Words (for you) / Enwave Theatre / 8:00pm / 3:00pm / $15-$24
A secret language called nushu, developed in China around 400 AD when women weren't allowed to write or read, stands at the centre of Hiding Words (for you). The interdisciplinary theatre piece examines the relationship between two women. It's set not in the century when the language was originally created, but in three different locations: China during rebellion, contemporary Canada in a state of immediate national security, and Hong Kong directly before the Beijing Olympics.

Queen West Project / Theatre Passe Muraille / $25
We've all taken a stroll down Queen West before, admiring the sights and enjoying the day. But picture being joined by a group of dancers while you listen to a soundscape that only you can hear. That's the idea behind Queen West Project, conceived by Deborah Pearson and Allison Cummings. Audience members wear headphones through which they hear text, music, and instructions. The narrative is not all fun and games — it delves into the street's history with homelessness, mental health concerns, and regeneration.

Cancer Can't Dance Like This / Red Sandcastle Theatre / 8:00pm / $15-$20
On Thursday and Friday of this week, Daniel Stolfi brings his energetic Cancer Can't Dance Like This back to the stage after touring the show and raising tens of thousands of dollars for cancer research. Stolfi was developing a Toronto Fringe show in 2008 when he was diagnosed with lymphoma. So he did what any courageous artist would do — he wrote about his experience. Complete with characters that represent the various aspects of himself during treatment, Stolfi's play is a brave portrait of triumph in the face of adversity.

Julie Sits Waiting / Theatre Passe Muraille / 7:30pm / 2:00pm / $40-$45
Billed as a different kind of love-at-first-sight story, Julie Sits Waiting is a raw and passionate Canadian opera from librettist Tom Walmsley and composer Louis Dufort. In one foul swoop, Julie and Mick find a bond that threatens to tear their worlds apart. You see, he's an Anglican priest and she's married to a police officer. Performers Fides Krucker and Richard Armstrong negotiate the sweat-and-flesh-driven opera.

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea / Sterling Studio Theatre / 8:00pm / $10-$15
Playwright John Patrick Shanley has a knack for exploring the deeper, darker side of our actions. In Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, two characters struggling with disappointment meet in a hole-in-the-wall bar in the Bronx. While it takes some time to understand that the other may be someone with whom they can share something real, the possibility of a meaningful relationship eventually begins to present itself.


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