Let the Cock Fight Begin

Jessica Greenberg and Andrew Kushnir in Mike Bartlett's Cock. Photo by Kari North.

Jessica Greenberg and Andrew Kushnir in Mike Bartlett's Cock. Photo by Kari North.

  • The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West)
    • April 15–27

Despite its provocative title, there’s actually very little that’s controversial about Mike Bartlett’s Cock, making its Canadian premiere at the Theatre Centre. Its subject matter might have been viewed as more controversial in 2009, when the play premiered at the Royal Court in London—but after five years, this story of a love triangle between two men and a woman has lost part of its taboo-challenging appeal. Luckily, though, its emotional appeal has endured.

Details: Let the Cock Fight Begin

Soliciting Temptation: First Impressions and Misguided Missions

Derek Boyes and Miriam Fernandes in Soliciting Temptation by Erin Shields. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Derek Boyes and Miriam Fernandes in Soliciting Temptation by Erin Shields. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space (30 Bridgman Avenue)
    • Tuesday, April 15–Sunday, May 4

Erin Shields’ Soliciting Temptation, premiering now at Tarragon Theatre, was highly anticipated—it’s the first new play since 2010 from the eminent female playwright, known for the Governor General Award-winning If We Were Birds. In some respects, it lives up to the hype. It deals with the difficult, often-overlooked subject of child sex tourism, and it does so thoughtfully and with nuance. The overall experience, though, is somewhat underwhelming, because the compelling ideas explored are undercut by an implausible premise.

Details: Soliciting Temptation: First Impressions and Misguided Missions

The Gigli Concert: Therapy Through Music, Comedy, and Sex Stories

Diego Matamoros and Stuart Hughes as JPW King and Irish Man. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Diego Matamoros and Stuart Hughes as JPW King and Irish Man. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane)
    • Wednesday, April 9–Friday, May 16

Up until Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez made that movie, the word “Gigli” was associated with images of beauty, the splendour of the opera, and, more specifically, the renowned Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli. In Irish playwright Tom Murphy’s The Gigli Concert, originally written in 1983 and on stage now at Soulpepper Theatre, the singer’s voice represents not only beauty, but hope itself—the one saving force that can pull its two central characters from deep depressions. And, thankfully, the journey to the other side is infinitely more watchable than the previously mentioned Hollywood film.

Details: The Gigli Concert: Therapy Through Music, Comedy, and Sex Stories