There’s No Place Like the Theatre Centre’s New Home

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  • 11 a.m.

On April 30, 1909, the Carnegie Library at Queen and Lisgar opened its doors for the first time, giving the Toronto Public Library a permanent home after two decades of renting a space on Ossington Avenue. This week, over one hundred years later, the Carnegie Library is ready to open its doors once again to give another very different cultural institution the security of a facility to call its own.

The Theatre Centre, one of Toronto’s most esteemed theatre companies, known for co-producing and developing innovative and multidisciplinary work, has been renting spaces since its inception in 1979. Through its history, the Theatre Centre has moved through about 10 different locations, entering and exiting a neighbourhood or building as the process of gentrification dictates. But finally, this Wednesday morning, after a long year of planning and a $6.2-million renovation, the Theatre Centre’s artistic director, Franco Boni, will unveil the Carnegie Library as its new headquarters for cultural and artistic development and performance.

Details: There’s No Place Like the Theatre Centre’s New Home

Eunoia

Toronto dancers make up the cast of Eunoia. Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh.

Toronto dancers make up the cast of Eunoia. Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh.

  • Harbourfront Centre, Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West)
  • 8 p.m.

Christian Bök’s poem, Eunoia, plays by a certain rule: each chapter uses only one vowel throughout. Eunoia, the dance production based on the poem, works with similar restrictions. The piece explores how certain sounds create moods that influence movement. Dancer and choreographer Denise Fujiwara is at the helm of this show, which makes its world premiere at Harbourfront’s World Stage.

Details: Eunoia

Into the Woods

  • George Ignatieff Theatre (15 Devonshire Place)
  • 8 p.m.

We grew up with stories that ended with “and they lived happily ever after,” but what actually happens during that glossed-over period of time? Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine answer this burning question in their musical Into the Woods. The Trinity College Dramatic Society brings this re-imagining of “Cinderella,” “Rapunzel,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and other such fairy tales to the small stage for a short run of just five nights.

Details: Into the Woods

People City

  • Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West)
  • 9:30 p.m.

If you weren’t around to see Toronto in 1974, Bad Dog Theatre can help you catch up. For three weeks, its completely improvised serial, People City, will introduce you to the characters and stories that made up our fair city during its boom years. Craig Anderson, Jess Bryson, Kyle Dooley, Colin Munch, Etan Muskat, Evany Rosen, Hannah Spear, Sean Tabares, and Anders Yates make up the population of both fictional and notorious Hogtown citizens.

Details: People City

Ongoing…

A Journey Into the Forbidden City

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  • Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park)
  • All day

If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace.

Details: A Journey Into the Forbidden City

Dressing for Downton: The Costumes of Downton Abbey

See the costumes of Downton Abbey in real life at Spadina Museum. Image courtesy of Carnival Films.

See the costumes of Downton Abbey in real life at Spadina Museum. Image courtesy of Carnival Films.

  • Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Road)
  • All day

If a period drama has ever inspired you to visit the past, but you couldn’t because you didn’t have access to a time machine, listen up! The Spadina Museum is taking history, television, and fashion fans alike back to the Edwardian era with its “Dressing for Downton: The Costumes of Downton Abbey” exhibit. Twenty pieces from the hit show will be on display, along with the City of Toronto’s own collection of garments from the time. Attendees will also be treated to Downton Abbey–themed tours of the century home.

Details: Dressing for Downton: The Costumes of Downton Abbey

The Art of Dr. Seuss

Some of the many characters in the Dr. Seuss universe. Image courtesy of Seussville.com.

Some of the many characters in the Dr. Seuss universe. Image courtesy of Seussville.com.

  • Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace)
  • 9:30 a.m.

You should not, would not miss this event if you’ve ever read Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or Green Eggs and Ham. Why? The Art of Dr. Seuss is coming to Casa Loma! Presented by Liss Gallery, the exhibit features over 30 paintings, drawings, and sculptures showcasing the mind of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Come during March Break (March 8-15) to take advantage of extra-Seussy programming, including storytelling, arts and crafts, and live performances.

Details: The Art of Dr. Seuss

From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru

Ichimaru playing the shamisen. Image courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Ichimaru playing the shamisen. Image courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

  • Textile Museum of Canada (55 Centre Avenue)
  • 11 a.m.

Ichimaru—once one of Japan’s most famous geishas—left the profession in the 1930s to pursue a career in entertainment. Never really leaving her past life, she became known for adorning herself in the traditional geisha garb when performing in concert or on television. “From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru” exhibits several decades’ worth of outfits and personal effects, shedding light on the woman behind the makeup.

Details: From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru

Arrabal

Juan Cupini and Micaela Spina star in Arrabal. Photo by Eugenio Mazzinghi.

Juan Cupini and Micaela Spina star in Arrabal. Photo by Eugenio Mazzinghi.

  • Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street)
  • 8 p.m.

Told through South American music and dance, Arrabal is the story of a young girl desperate to find out what happened to her father after the Argentine military made him disappear when she was just a baby. Her search leads her to the Tango clubs of Buenos Aires, where she discovers both the truth, and herself.

Details: Arrabal

Bare Bones and Up Front Indie Music Series

  • Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street)
  • 8 p.m.

The Toronto Centre for the Arts is stripping away the glossy layers of the music industry with their Bare Bones and Up Front Indie Music Series. Every Wednesday for eight weeks, two local musicians will be given the chance to show off their songs and skills in an intimate setting. Some of the featured acts include Rehan Dalal (March 12), Meredith Shaw (March 26), and Lindy (April 9).

Details: Bare Bones and Up Front Indie Music Series

The Wanderers

  • Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander Street)
  • 8 p.m.

You can be taken out of a war, but can you truly remove the war from within you? This question is posed in Kawa Ada’s The Wanderers, a Buddies in Bad Times production about a father and son who flee a battle-worn Afghanistan. Though they start a new life in Canada, the horrors from their homeland refuse to be left behind.

Details: The Wanderers

Lungs Is a Breath of Fresh Air

Brendan Gall and Lesley Faulkner in Lungs at Tarragon Theatre. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Brendan Gall and Lesley Faulkner in Lungs at Tarragon Theatre. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue)
  • 8 p.m.

In Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs, on now at the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace, two people—a man and a woman in their late twenties to mid-thirties—stand on an empty stage and talk. They talk at each other, mostly, about themselves and about more abstract thoughts, as time shifts in the script propel them from pivotal moment to pivotal moment. It’s a style of theatre that can go wrong in an instant—but it can also produce a work that invigorates, or even inspires, a passion for the art form.

Fortunately, this one does the latter.

Details: Lungs Is a Breath of Fresh Air

New Ideas Festival

  • Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley Street)
  • 8 p.m.

For three weeks straight, the Alumnae Theatre will be obsessing over freshness even more than your local grocery store. The New Ideas Festival is taking over for another year, bringing 15 new, developing, and experimental works to the stage. Each week of the festival, five new plays with a variety of themes will find themselves on the marquee, each one ranging from 10 to 60 minutes in length.

Details: New Ideas Festival

Lord of the Flies

  • Annex Theatre (730 Bathurst Street)
  • 8 p.m.

Before Lost took over our lives, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies exposed the ugly side of human nature by marooning children on a deserted island, following a plane crash. The Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts brings the Nigel Williams adaptation of this classic novel to the Toronto stage for just five nights—get tickets while you can!

Details: Lord of the Flies

Marry Me a Little Not Quite Enough

Elodie Gillett and Adrian Marchuk play ill-fated lovers in Marry Me a Little. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Elodie Gillett and Adrian Marchuk play ill-fated lovers in Marry Me a Little. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue)
  • 8 p.m.

In line with Tarragon Theatre‘s theme for it 2013/2014 season– “Love, Loss, Wine and the Gods”—the company is currently presenting two one-act plays that document the journey of two very different romantic relationships. The first, in the Tarragon Extra Space, is Duncan MacMillan’s brilliant Lungs, which receives an equally brilliant production from director Weyni Mengesha and actors Lesley Faulkner and Brendan Gall. Lungs is a touching and entertaining portrayal of a couple in love—but above all, it’s honest. It’s that honesty that the show next door in the Tarragon Mainspace, Stephen Sondheim’s song cycle Marry Me a Little, is lacking.

Details: Marry Me a Little Not Quite Enough

Scratching Our Heads Over 6 Essential Questions

Mina James, Richard Zeppieri,  Elizabeth Saunders, and Maggie Huculak. Photo by Joanna Aykol.

Mina James, Richard Zeppieri, Elizabeth Saunders, and Maggie Huculak. Photo by Joanna Aykol.

  • Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street)
  • 8 p.m.

Going into a play with no prior knowledge of the characters, plot, setting, or theatrical style can be a very liberating exercise—most of the time. However, for 6 Essential Questions, on now at Factory Theatre, that approach is highly discouraged.

The play is the theatrical debut of author-turned-playwright Priscila Uppal, and has been adapted from her acclaimed memoir Projection: Encounters With My Runaway Mother, which recounts a trip to Brazil during which she briefly reunited with the mother who’d abandoned her 20 years before. The play follows the same basic storyline, but that becomes clear only about halfway through the 90-minute performance. Uppal’s approach to playwriting appears to be heavy on the poetry and metaphor, and light on context and basic exposition. That can be fine, as long as the audience has a basic understanding of the world being explored, which sadly isn’t the case here.

Details: Scratching Our Heads Over 6 Essential Questions