Toronto theatre

This Week in Theatre: Arigato, Tokyo, This, The Whipping Man, La Ronde, A Hand Of Bridge & No Exit

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.

Arigato, Tokyo / Buddies in Bad Times Theatre / 8:00pm/2:30pm / $37
A Daniel MacIvor/Brendan Healey collaboration is one I'm excited to see, regardless of the project. That said, Arigato, Tokyo sounds interesting. Set in the late-night clubs of Tokyo and in the audience of the revered Noh Theatre, a traveling Canadian author finds himself pulled into the deep, dark, depths of the foreign land which surrounds him. The play features Michael Dufays, Cara Gee, Tyson James and David Storch.

This / Berkeley Street Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $22-$49
You might say that Canadian playwright Melissa Jane Gibson's This is written for a generation of "30-somethings" newly doing battle in the role of adulthood. The play profiles a group of friends negotiating young children, the death of a spouse, relationship challenges, and adultery. Gibson's play promises a fresh "unromantic" take on these contemporary issues. It's directed by Matthew Jocelyn and features Laura Condlin, Christian Laurin, Yanna McIntosh, Alon Nashman, and Jonathon Young.

The Whipping Man / Toronto Centre for the Arts / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $42-$62
Philip Akin directs The Whipping Man, a collaboration between Obsidian Theatre and the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company. Set in 1865, directly after the end of the Civil War, a confederate officer returns home to find his family missing and only two of his former slaves remaining. While waiting for the family to return, past relationships come to the surface, along with a host of long-buried family secrets.

La Ronde / Soulpepper - Young Centre / 7:30pm/1:30pm / $51-$68
It's hard to consider what a shock Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde was to audiences when it premiered not long after it was written in 1897. A daisy chain of bed hopping raised the ire of censors, quickly endowing it with an enduring cult status (it always pays to be the first). Soulpepper's production is adapted by Jason Sherman and features a large cast including Maev Beaty, Stuart Hughes, Brenda Robins, and Mike Ross.

A Hand of Bridge & No Exit / Ernest Balmer Studio / 7:30pm/2:00pm / $19-$25
Soup Can Theatre presents a pairing of pieces: a compact contemporary opera from Samuel Barber and an existential tour of the afterlife from Jean Paul Sartre. No Exit is certainly the most popular of the two with its premise that, for Garcin, Inès, and Estelle, "hell is other people." A Hand of Bridge features infidelity and unrequited love, all of which is revealed during a game of bridge between two refined couples.

Photo from Arigato, Tokyo by Jeremy Mimnagh

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