Summer Theatre Preview – Cool Summer Guide

Click here to see the article as it appears on EYE WEEKLY’s official website, originally published June 1, 2010.

For those who can’t afford a weekend trip to Stratford (or who want to avoid the inevitable Justin Bieber pilgrimages), there are great options for Shakespeare right here in the city. The Canopy Theatre Company is celebrating its tenth year this July by presenting Twelfth Night for two weeks on the Philosopher’s Stage at Philosopher’s Walk, and TD Dream in High Park is presenting Romeo and Juliet at the High Park Ampitheatre for the whole summer.
Twelfth Night, July 13-24. 8pm. Tue PWYC, Wed-Sat $8-$10.
Romeo and Juliet, June 25-Sep 5. 8pm. Tue-Sat, PWYC.

The highlight of this year’s Luminato theatre program is the Africa Trilogy being presented at Harbourfront Centre. Previously shown at Vancouver’s Cultural Olympiad this winter, the Africa Trilogy is the work of three playwrights and three directors from three continents as they look at the meeting of East and West.
June 11-20. $30-$45. Fleck Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W.

John Malkovich is coming to town, starring in the North American premier of The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer – a examination of the life of Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger through a melding of traditional theatre and opera.
June 11-12. $55-$125. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria.

SummerWorks is celebrating 20 years of showcasing cutting-edge independent Canadian theatre this year. This year’s assembly of more than 40 plays, concerts, workshops and tours includes local and national productions from Nina Arsenault, Romeo Candido, the National Theatre of the World and the winners of the Sears Drama Festival.
Aug 5-15. $10/$25 three-show pass. Various venues and times.

After seven Tony Award nominations, Legally Blonde: The Musical hits the road and is coming to the Princess of Wales Theatre. The musical adapts the story of the titular blond, played by Reese Witherspoon in the 2001 movie, as she doggedly pursues her graduation from Harvard Law.
July 7-Aug 8. $28-$124. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King W.

If you’re interested in a more contemporary perspective on Jewish life than the one-week run of Fiddler on the Roof (featuring Harvey Fierstein), A Jew Grows in Brooklyn is for you. Starring writer and co-director Jake Ehrenreich, the musical comedy brings to life the universal story of immigrants to North America, with a distinctive Jewish twist.
Fiddler on the Roof, June 8-13. $60-$120. Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria.
A Jew Grows in Brooklyn, June 3-13. $25-$60. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge.

This year, Toronto’s largest theatre festival has a new home for the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s. Come and meet performers and producers of the 150 shows that range from a Weimar-revival cabaret to a musical comedy about the Avro Arrow. Keep an eye on from the first day as we post reviews of every production within hours of its first performance, and pick up EYE WEEKLY for best bets, survival tips and all 150 reviews.
June 30-July 11. Maximum $10 at the door, festival packages online. Various venues and times.

A week before Pride, the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre will begin what it calls a “festival for the community” featuring a variety of dance and cabaret shows (including Boylesque TO and Pride Cab), sketch comedy (Homo Night in Canada, Bitch Salad) and more.
June 17-July 4. Various prices, times. Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander.

After mining David French’s touching Mercer Trilogy over the last few seasons, Soulpepper is turning to the Newfoundland playwright’s play-about-mounting-a-play, Jitters. Also on this summer: Turgenev’s A Month in the Country, What the Butler Saw and Doc.
June 24-Sep 18. $5-$70. Show runs vary. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill, bldg 49.

On the Shakespeare side, the Stratford Festival includes As You Like It, The Winter Tale and Christopher Plummer in The Tempest. This summer’s schedule also includes Evita, the musical of the life of Evita Peron, and Do Not Go Gentle, a one-man comedy about poet Dylan Thomas.

According to Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell, this year’s Shaw Festival aims to bring some context to our frenetic world with the comedy of The Women and The Cherry Orchard. Of course, it includes the work of festival namesake George Bernard Shaw: The Doctor’s Dilemma and John Bull’s Other Island.


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