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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The top live theatre shows in Toronto May 2014

top live theatre torontoEach month we round up the most noteworthy live theatre playing in Toronto.

East End Performance Crawl / Various Venues / May 21-June 1 / $15-$40

Billed as a theatrical love letter to Toronto's east end, Crow's Theatre is set to unleash an innovative performance crawl throughout Leslieville and Riverdale. Curated by Mitchell Cushman, the festival features over 20 productions - solo, site-specific, and community building performances - staged at 14 neighborhood locations. Highlights include Mike Daisey's Dreaming of Rob Ford; Tease, a one-on-one encounter at infamous strip club Jilly's; Who's Your Daddy, directed by Aaron Willis; and the SOULO Theatre Festival of one-person shows.

The Road to Mecca / Soulpepper - Young Centre / May 5-28 / $23-$74

David Storch directs South African playwright Athol Fugard's humanist tale about the struggle of personal fortitude in the face of an intolerant society. The Road to Mecca profiles a character who, in critique of her conservative village, transforms her home into a unique and personal work of art. Best known for his 1982 play "Master Harold"...and the Boys and ensuring conflicts with the national government due to the nature of his writings, Fugard has become one of the country's most celebrated literary figures.

Vitals / 149 Roncesvalles Ave. / May 1-25 / $25-$30

Outside the March has presented dynamic site-specific work to much acclaim at various locations throughout the city. Vitals, their most recent production, is set to be the most alarming. Based on interviews conducted with Toronto EMS personnel, the play takes audiences on an emergency 9-1-1 call alongside a paramedic named Anna. Written by playwright-to-watch Rosamund Small, directed by Mitchell Cushman, and starring Katherine Cullen, Vitals first unfolds at the corner of Roncesvalles and Garden Aves.

A God in Need of Help / Tarragon Theatre / April 16-May 25 / $27-$53

Playwright Sean Dickson considers healthy functions at the dawn of the age of reason in his newest play A God in Need of Help. The historical drama takes place in 1606 at a time when four of Venice's strongest men have been tasked with transporting a priceless piece of art all the way across the Alps. When the journey is interrupted, their ensuing escape becomes wrapped up in the story of miracles. Richard Rose directs on an inventive set from Camellia Koo.

Bingo! / Factory Theatre / May 8-June 1 / $30-$45

One of our most cherished theatrical scribes, Daniel MacIvor, set out to write Bingo! for his brother, who he endearingly describes at home in Sydney, Cape Breton. It's a nostalgic play about five friends who reunite on the occasion of their 30th high school reunion. A portrait of midlife reconciliation and regrets of the past, Bingo! examines bonds of deep friendship and past conflicts that creep to the surface.

The Lion King / Mirvish - Princess of Wales Theatre / April 30-June 15 / $35-$100+

One of the most spectacle-driven musicals ever produced, The Lion King first thrilled Toronto audiences in 2000 with its lifelike puppets and vibrant set pieces, the vision of director Julie Taymor. With the distinction of being the highest-grossing Broadway production of all time, there's no doubt that the musical, with its classic songs from Elton John and Tim Rice, is a surefire fan favourite. It arrives in Toronto for a six week engagement at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

What did I miss? Add your live theatre picks to the comments below.

Photo of The Road To Mecca via Soulpepper.

by Keith Bennie via blogTO

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