Real City Matters

Join us for a series of panel discussions about the state of our city, and how we can have more honest, constructive conversations about its future.

Stratford Festival Roundup: We’re Crazy in Love With These Shows

Jonathan Goad as Titania (sharing the role with Evan Buliung) and Stephen Ouimette as Bottom with members of the company in Chris Abrahama's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Jonathan Goad as Titania (sharing the role with Evan Buliung) and Stephen Ouimette as Bottom with members of the company in Chris Abrahama's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Michael Cooper.

  • Multiple venues
  • Wednesday, August 6–Sunday, October 19

Only about two hours away from Toronto, madness is infiltrating the town of Stratford, Ontario—but fortunately, it’s the kind that produces delightful results. Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino has designed this year’s season around the theme “Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge,” and explores it through everything from jukebox musicals to Shakespearean tragedies. And with the festival’s increasingly popular twice-daily bus service to and from downtown (in its second year), it’s easy to get a taste of what the mania is all about. Here’s Torontoist‘s take on a sampling of this year’s festival offerings—Ira Glass and his opinions notwithstanding, a whole lot of people would welcome a chance to spend some time with the Bard and some of Canada’s most esteemed artists.

Details: Stratford Festival Roundup: We’re Crazy in Love With These Shows

Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios Creates Steampunk Wonderland

GCiampini_Kurios-8864
  • Grand Chapiteau (51 Commissioners Street)
    • Friday, August 29–Tuesday, December 23

Cirque du Soleil is magical. Across from T&T Supermarket on Cherry Street, the pop-up striped tent transforms Polson Pier into a scene of fantastical fun—it’s a better location than any Las Vegas hotel or Orlando strip mall. And when you walk into the Grand Chapiteau venue, you’re welcomed into a bizarro steampunk contortionist dream.

Kicking off its North American tour in Toronto, Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities is Cirque du Soleil’s latest show. The official plot explanation is abstract and boring: there’s a Seeker in his own imaginary world called Curiosistan finding inventions with robots that smell like leather. It’s confusing to even layer a narrative over the spinning, jumping, flying and balancing. No one had no idea what was going on–but everyone loved the show. Details.

Details: Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios Creates Steampunk Wonderland

Our Country’s Good

Our Country's Good. Photo courtesy of Mirvish Productions.

Our Country's Good. Photo courtesy of Mirvish Productions.

  • Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West)
    • Saturday, September 13–Sunday, October 26

These days, vacationers flock to Australia for the outback, the Great Barrier Reef, and, of course, kangaroos. But back in 1788, the only people travelling Down Under were the thieves, murderers, and prostitutes exiled from Britain. Our Country’s Good tells the story of some eager convicts who decide to make the best of their situation by putting on a play, unintentionally humanizing themselves in the eyes of their captors.

Details: Our Country’s Good

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon First National Tour Company. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The Book of Mormon First National Tour Company. Photo by Joan Marcus.

  • Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West)
    • Tuesday, September 16–Sunday, November 30

To the delight of those who fell victim to ticketing website crashes last year, The Book of Mormon is back! The brainchild of South Park‘s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez, this expectedly crude musical follows two 19-year-old Mormons as they travel to Uganda in hopes of converting the inhabitants of a small village. As one might imagine, hilarity ensues (with the help of some pretty catchy songs).

Details: The Book of Mormon

The Mountaintop

Kevin Hanchard stars as Martin Luther King Jr. in The Mountaintop.  Photo by David Cooper.

Kevin Hanchard stars as Martin Luther King Jr. in The Mountaintop. Photo by David Cooper.

  • Aki Studio Theatre (585 Dundas Street East)
    • Saturday, September 27–Sunday, October 19

It’s 1968 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. takes solace in his room at the Lorraine Motel as a storm rages outside. Exhausted, having just delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, he orders room service. The Mountaintop gives a sneak peek into the mind of this iconic leader as he launches into an intimate conversation with the young and mysterious maid that arrives with his meal.

Details: The Mountaintop

The Thing Between Us

  • Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue)
    • October 2–19

Everyone’s had someone in their life who inspires affection and frustration in equal amounts. To Linda Small, Shannon is that person. The Thing Between Us explores that tricky interconnection between love and hate, and why we remain in the toughest of relationships.

Details: The Thing Between Us