toronto theatre listings

This Week in Theatre: Othello, C'est Qui, Shakespeare's Nigga, A Craigslist Cantata, Tristan Und Isolde, A Woman Of No Importance

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.

Othello, C'est Qui / World Stage - Enwave Theatre / 8:00pm / $15-$35
Set to launch the 2013 World Stage at the Harbourfront Centre, Othello, C'est Qui is an in-depth consideration of the most famous Black character on the Western stage. Director Monica Gintersdorfer and visual artist Knut Klaßen avoid the trappings of Shakespeare's original by formatting the play more like a provocative conversation about the relationship between Othello and Desdemona. It considers why Othello, this figure we know so well in the West, is barely recognized in Africa.

Shakespeare's Nigga / Theatre Passe Muraille / 7:30pm / 2:30pm / $15-$35
World Stage is not the only theatre considering the construction of Shakespeare's Black characters. Obsidian Theatre's Shakespeare's Nigga, written by Joseph Jomo Pierre and directed by Philip Akin, brings Othello and Aaron, from Titus Andronicus, into dialogue with their literary creator. The confrontation is sure to inspire new questions about the role of race in Shakespeare's texts and how it affects each character's agency.

Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata / Factory Theatre / 8:00pm / 2:00pm / $22-$47
A quick troll of Craigslist will verify that the internet portal is the online mecca for stuff. All kinds of incredible, interesting, sometimes junky stuff. Composer Veda Hille and the CBC's Bill Richardson have created a song cycle that considers just what is on offer for those that contribute to the 50 billion page views per month (no joke). It's a co-presentation between Factory Theatre and Acting Up Stage Company that's sure not to be a missed connection.

Tristan Und Isolde / COC - Four Seasons Centre / 6:30pm / 2:00pm / $45-$100
When acclaimed director Peter Sellars gets hold of a classic opera, you can bet the result is going to be something memorable. Bill Viola has created a visual feast of imagery to accompany Wagner's tonal music, performed by Ben Heppner and Melanie Diener in the title roles. At just under five hours it may seem like a performance for only the most discerning opera enthusiast, but it's a world class presentation for art lovers alike.

A Woman Of No Importance / Alumnae Theatre / 8:00pm / 2:00pm / $20
Oscar Wilde's A Woman Of No Importance may not be the strongest of the playwright's theatrical endeavours, but it does features plot devices utilized in his other work, namely secrets among the upper class. Mrs. Arbuthnot's past catches up to her when she realizes her son Gerald's new employer is the very man she had a dalliance with during youthful days of indiscretion. It won't take a paternity test to reveal the true father. Rather, Wilde works it all out in his signature style.

Photo of Tristan Und Isolde by Michael Cooper

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