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Sunday, August 25, 2013

This Week in Theatre: Next to Normal, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Anton in Show Business

Toronto theatreThis 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.

Next to Normal / Lower Ossington Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $49-$59

Presented in support of CAMH, the Pulitzer Prize winning Next to Normal considers how mental illness changes the makeup of a suburban family. The musical has been championed for its honest portrayal of a woman wrestling with bipolar disorder and its effects on those around her. The Lower Ossington Theatre production is directed by Heather Braaten with musical direction from Paul Moody.

The Merchant of Venice / Red Sandcastle Theatre / 7:00pm/2:00pm / $15-$20

Ale House Theatre has been busy this summer mounting two Shakespearean plays. The company endeavours to present each text with the use of Elizabethan stagecraft, replicating the conditions in which the play was originally performed. Their second treatment of the summer is The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare's finance and legal driven drama which centres in on money lender Shylock and his dealings with spiteful Christians.

Macbeth / Shakespeare in High Park / 8:00pm / PWYC

It's the last week of Shakespeare in High Park so if you've been putting off some outdoor Bard, now is your final chance. In an ambitious move, Canadian Stage went repertoire this summer with two plays, one comedy and one tragedy. While it's undoubtedly challenging to mount a drama under the stars, Ker Wells' Macbeth, full of darkness, deceit and witchcraft, has been touted as the stronger of the two productions.

Anton in Show Business / Sterling Studio Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $10-$20

An all female cast of seven brings to life Anton in Show Business, a backstage comedy that follows three actresses in their pursuit of presenting Chekhov in Texas. The comedy depicts the trials of getting a successful play up and running, all while introducing us to the enchanting personalities that grace the footlights. Jane Martin's play is a past winner of the American Theatre Critics Steinberg New Play Award.

We Can Be Heroes / Second City / 8:00pm / $24-$29

Second City launches a new mainstage performance this month, We Can Be Heroes. The show will feature a collection of new sketches and songs and, as always, room for a lot of improvisation. There's very little description as to what the new show is about, superhero tights perhaps? It's written and performed by Craig Brown, Jan Caruana, Stacey McGunnigle, Allison Price, Connor Thompson and Kevin Vidal.

Photo of the cast of Next to Normal

by Keith Bennie via blogTO

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