Fall Theatre Toronto

Toronto Fall Theatre Preview 2013

The fall theatre season is upon us in a few short weeks. As always, Toronto stages swell with measured classics and contemporary departures that showcase the talented artists of our city. Here are some of the more notable shows being presented this fall:

PIG / Buddies in Bad Times / September 14 - October 4
Buddies launches their 2013-2014 season with a bold and provocative exploration of the boundlessness of sexuality from UK playwright Tim Luscombe. In PIG, three gay couples explore the lengths to which their intimacy can be expanded through various sexual acts which encompass domination, compulsion, and violence. Brendan Healy directs this discussion-inspiring drama that considers taboo, sex and relationships, and pig culture.

Les Misérables / Mirvish - Princess of Wales Theatre / September 27 - October 20
The big musical this fall is Cameron Mackintosh's re-envisioning of the smash-hit musical Les Misérables, which served as the inspiration for Tom Hooper's 2012 film adaptation. The production was reworked in 2010 on the occasion of its 25th anniversary to include scenery influenced by Hugo's paintings. A predominantly Canadian cast portrays the peasants of France who rise up during the revolution.

Crash / Theatre Passe Muraille / September 26 - October 19
Pamela Sinha's Crash was a major winner at last year's Dora Awards taking home four accolades, including Outstanding New Play and Performance by a Female in a Principal Role. Theatre Passe Muraille offers audiences a second chance to experience this gripping production. At a funeral for her father, a woman negotiates the violent and overwhelming flashbacks of an event she cannot forget but does not want to remember.

The Norman Conquests / Soulpepper / September 27 - November 16
Alan Ayckbourn's trilogy, The Normal Conquests, is a veritable doll's house view of a household drama as the action travels from the dining room, to the living room, and finally settles in the garden. The triptych features six characters and unfolds over the course of one weekend, with each play set in a separate space in the house. The performances can be enjoyed separately but if you'd like to feel like an invited house guest, best to go for all three.

The Double / Tarragon Theatre / October 15 - November 24
Chances are you missed this stellar production from Adam Paolozza and TheatreRUN the first time around. Tarragon Theatre has wisely brought The Double to their stages for a longer run this Fall. Paolozza is joined by Arif Mirabdolbaghi and Viktor Lukawski in this stage adaptation of the Fyodor Dostoyevsky novella, which features a memorable double bass that narrates the highly entertaining physical comedy.

Peter Grimes / Canadian Opera Company - Four Seasons / October 5 - 26
While a new production of La Bohème may be the better known of the two operas at the COC this fall, Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes is a contemporary masterpiece that should resonate with audiences. It's a fitting opera for a Canadian company, with its psychologically-driven portrait of an alienated fisherman living in a village by the sea. The production is helmed by Director Denni Sayers and features Ben Heppner in the title role.

Needles and Opium / Bluma Appel Theatre / November 22 - December 21
A Robert Lepage production is once again on offer this fall and that's reason enough to celebrate. What's more is that the Canadian Stage production is a contemporary retake on Needles and Opium, which originally premiered in 1991. Lepage revisits the journey of Parisian filmmaker Jean Cocteau en route to visit jazzman Miles Davis. In true visual brilliance, no doubt, Lepage traces the creative genius' struggle with displacement and drug addiction.

The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble
/ Factory Theatre / November 2 - December 1

In a co-production with Obsidian Theatre, Factory Theatre presents Beth Graham's The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble. While executing her mother's infamous casserole dish, a woman is confronted with the overwhelming demands of family life set amidst the unchanging laws of the universe. Graham is an Edmonton-based playwright who wrote The Drowning Girls, about three wives of George Joseph Smith, which toured the country in 2010.

Swan Lake / National Ballet / November 9 - 17
The beauty and grace of the most classic of ballets, Swan Lake, arrives on Toronto stages courtesy of the National Ballet. Tchaikovsky's timeless score, a fairy-tale essence, and the talented ensemble of our national dance company make this an enduring performance. It's choreographed by James Kudelka and features set and costume designs from Santo Loquasto.

Once / Mirvish - Royal Alexandra Theatre / November 26 - January 5
Its remarkable success in 2007, taking home the Academy-Award for Best Original Song, ensured the stage adaptation of Once wasn't too far behind. After winning eight Tony Awards in 2012, including Best Musical, the stage version has proven to be just as popular with audiences and critics as was the film. An ensemble of performers, who simultaneously act and play their own instruments, chronicle the romance between a Dublin street musician and the woman who takes an interest in his songs.

Honourable Mentions: God of Carnage, The Gay Heritage Project, Venus in Fur, The Best Brothers, Moss Park, Tainted.

Lead photo from Mirvish's Once

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