Jan/Feb 2017 Theatre Preview

Warm up with some hot Toronto theatre this winter

The Death of Mrs. Ghandi: Renna Reddie (artistic producer) and Kawa Ada (director/playwright).

The new year is upon us and with it comes a fresh crop of Toronto shows. From east to west, this season's lineup spans the city and boasts genres to suit almost every taste. Here, we round up some of the most promising productions to watch in January and February:

Next Stage Festival (Toronto Fringe)

Produced by the Toronto Fringe, the 10th annual Next Stage Theatre Festival (NSTF) presents an exciting lineup of 10 shows at Factory Theatre including Kawa Ada's new play The Death of Mrs. Gandhi and the Beginning of New Physics (a political fantasy). Featuring a heated beer tent and plenty of buzz, it's winter's premier event for arts lovers in Toronto. Click here for a full NSTF schedule. January 4 - 15, 2017 at Factory Theatre. fringetoronto.com

Sequence (Tarragon Theatre)

Tarragon Theatre kicks off their 2017 season with the Toronto premiere of Arun Lakra's Sequence directed by Andrea Donaldson. The award-winning play about science, luck and faith features a top-notch cast including Kevin Bundy, Jesse LaVercombe, Ava Jane Markus and Nancy Palk. January 3 to February 12, 2017 at Tarragon Theatre. tarragontheatre.com

Alien Creature (Theatre Passe Muraille)

Linda Griffiths' Alien Creature (Winner of Chalmers Canadian Play Award) explores the work of Canadian poet Gwendolyn MacEwen, and questions whether the world of myth and the world of reality are all that different. Beatriz Pizano stars. January 12 to February 5, 2017 at Theatre Passe Muraille. passemuraille.catheatre

The Wedding Party (Crow's Theatre)

Kristen Thomson and director Chris Abraham collaborate to create a new comedy about two families, a wedding and mistaken identities. With The Wedding Party, they invite the audience to take a seat ringside on the big day, while a cast of the country’s leading actors including Jason Cadieux, Virgilia Griffith, Trish Lindström, Moya O’Connell, Tom Rooney, and Kristen Thomson herself, hit the dance floor, drink too much, and try to get along. January 12 to February 11, 2017 at Crow’s Theatre (345 Carlaw Avenue). crowstheatre.com

Unholy (Nightwood Theatre/Buddies in Bad Times)

Nightwood Theatre presents Diane Flack's Unholy, a public debate about religion and misogyny featuring four female panelists (Diane Flacks, Barbara Gordon, Niki Landau, Blair Williams and Bahareh Yaraghi). With opinions flying from a feminist Muslim, an Orthodox Jewish spiritual leader, an excommunicated nun and a lesbian atheist pundit, Unholy delivers a no-holds-barred look at contemporary women in organized religion. January 15 - 29, 2016 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. buddiesinbadtimes.com

Empire of the Son (Factory Theatre)

CBC radio broadcaster Tetsuro Shigematsu tells the dynamic story of his emotionally distant father Akira in Empire of the Son. Factory Theatre presents the Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre production from January 18 - 29, 2016 at Factory Studio Theatre. factorytheatre.ca

The Audience (Mirvish)

Canada’s own Fiona Reid will take the throne as Queen Elizabeth II in this 2013 play by Peter Morgan, the writer of the Academy Award-nominated film, The Queen. The Audience documents 60 years of weekly meetings between Her Majesty and and her prime ministers (including Churchill, Thatcher and Cameron). January 17 to February 26, 2017 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. mirvish.com

The Last Wife (Soulpepper)

Soulpepper remounts Stratford Festival's 2015 revisionist history play The Last Wife by Kate Hennnig. Set in the home of Henry VIII and his new wife Katherine Parr, sex, violence and women’s rights shape a humorous and powerful contemporary take on the tumultuous relationship that sculpted a dynasty. January 20 to February 11, 207 at the Young Centre. soulpepper.ca

Liv Stein (Canadian Stage)

Director Matthew Jocelyn brings this work by acclaimed German playwright Nino Haratischwili to the Toronto stage. Music is the only thing that matters in the life of celebrated concert pianist Liv Stein. When her son Henri dies, she gives it all up—the piano, her career, her marriage, herself. But the unexpected visit of a young promising piano student claiming to have shared Henri's last couple of years forces Liv to face past demons she is trying to forget. January 24 to February 12, 2017 at the Bluma Appel Theatre. canadianstage.com

Divine (The Storefront Theatre)

Natalie Frijia’s new Canadian play, Divine, takes place in an Ontario without water.  A pair of desperate bandits search for their last hope—a water diviner by the name of Penn. But the bandits aren’t the only ones hunting Penn down. Co-Produced by the Storefront Arts Initiative’s resident company, the Red One Theatre Collective, Divine features an all-female cast directed by Storefront Theatre's Claire Burns. January 20 to February 5, 2017 at the Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor St. West). storefronttheatre.com

Superior Donuts (Coal Mine Theatre)

Ted Dykstra directs a new production of Superior Donuts by American playwright Tracy Letts (August: Osage County). Set in the historic Uptown neighbourhood of Chicago, a donut proprietor and his young employee swap smart jokes and social commentary as they navigate their cross-racial, cross-generational friendship. February 8 - 26, 2017 at the Coal Mine Theatre (1454 Danforth Avenue). coalminetheatre.com

My Night with Reg (Studio 180)

Studio 180's Joel Greenberg directs the Canadian premiere of Kevin Elyot’s Olivier Award-winning comedy, My Night With Reg. Originally staged in 1994 at the Royal Court Theatre in London, the play is a witty drama about gay manners and morals in the age of AIDS. February 10 - 26, 2017 at the Panasonic Theatre. mirvish.com



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