With so many sold-out shows at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, there were plenty of people who didn’t get to see many of Torontoist‘s top picks. Not to worry: as they have for several years now, the Toronto Centre for the Arts is presenting Best of Fringe, a two-week additional run for some of the most popular shows at this year’s festival, including Theatre Brouhaha’s Punch-Up, Pea Green Theatre’s Three Men in a Boat, and The Howland Company’s 52 Pick-Up. We strongly suggest double billing shows over an evening (each show runs about an hour) and buying tickets well in advance, as each show gets only three performances.
Some of our city’s favourite plays are being reprised as part of On Stage On Demand. Five days will see the performance of six independent productions, with all ticket proceeds donated to charities of the playwrights’ choice. Catch Cockfight (July 31), Peter n’ Chris and the Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel (August 1), Peter n’ Chris Explore Their Bodies (August 1), Baker’s Dozen (August 2), Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl (August 5), and Myth of the Ostrich (August 6).
Fans of oddball British humour—rejoice! The Lower Ossington Theatre has brought the genius of Monty Python’s Eric Idle to Toronto with their rendition of Spamalot. Watch as flying cows, killer rabbits, and all sorts of bizarre elements come together to tell a twisted version of the legendary story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Volcano Theatre presents a work-in-progress short run of A Moveable Beast, a new interdisciplinary performance work that uses song, dance, projections and more—but no text—to cover more than a century of history through the eyes of a black Canadian protagonist. Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, the performance stars soprano Neema Bickersteth, who’s solo on stage but backed up by musicians (Gregory Oh on piano), choreographers (Kate Alton, the show’s co-creator), and an impressive technical team. It’s a new artistic turn for Volcano and director/co-creator Ross Manson, neither having produced a show without a text-based script before.
If the thought of battling crowds at the Aquarium has you feeling a little crabby, may we suggest an underwater voyage of a different kind? Bring the kids (or your adult friends, whatever) to the Lower Ossington Theatre’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. The classic story of a whimsical mermaid, a land-living prince, and her desire to be part of his world has been specially adapted for younger audiences, and will only be onstage this August.