The best outdoor theatre to see Labour Day weekend

Before the summer ends, here are five shows to see this holiday weekend that will bring back the magic of live, in-person theatre

Many outdoor performances will continue for a month or two, but there’s something about Labour Day that symbolically marks the end of summer. So why not treat yourself to an al fresco show while you still can? As I discovered recently, after more than a year of shutdowns, seeing live theatre in person can be a very emotional experience. Here are five shows that are sure to bring back that stage magic.

Is My Microphone On?

With the west coast in flames and the U.S. east coast flooded by Hurricane Ida, the issue of climate change is more urgent than ever. Jordan Tannahill’s bold new play about young people and the effects of the climate crisis features a group of youths aged 12-17 confronting adults about the choices they’ve made and the future of the planet.

September 3-5 at 7:30 pm. High Park Amphitheatre (1873 Bloor West). $5-$50.

La Bulle

CORPUS, Théâtre français de Toronto and Jamii present an outdoor solo performance by the classic dell’arte character of Pierrot, performed by the artist in a unique bubble tent. The run is sold out, but perhaps there will be a waiting list.

September 3-5 at 8 pm (doors 7:30 pm). Berkeley Castle Courtyard (2 Berkeley). Free.

Towards Rebirth

Shakespeare-inspired theatre is alive and well and being performed in the east end’s Withrow Park. Shakespeare in the Ruff celebrates its 10th year with a trio of plays by past and present Ruffians, all to explore timely and relevant ideas of rupture, resilience and rebirth. See review here.

September 3-5 at 3 and 6:30 pm. Pay-what-you-can (pre-registration mandatory). Withrow Park (725 Logan).

R + J

In one of the most buzzed-about productions at Stratford, Shakespeare’s classic tale about star-crossed lovers has been radically reimagined and is accessible to blind, low-vision and sighted audiences alike. Ravi Jain, Christine Horne and Alex Bulmer’s adaptation is meant to show how we experience the world when we use only our eyes.

September 4 at 11 am and 3 pm, September 5 at 11 am. $75. Festival Theatre Canopy, Stratford.

Gatsby’s Jazz, Baldwin’s Blues

During a summer in which we’re all longing to travel, the Shaw Festival provides a trip back in time – to America in the 1920s and 50s. Those are the settings for two literary classics, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s flapper-era novel The Great Gatsby, and James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues, a story partly set in the jazz clubs of Greenwich Village. Some of the festival’s most talented artists read excerpts from the works and sing songs evoking the eras. Chilled martinis are optional.

September 4 at 3 pm. $30-$35. BMO Stage, Niagara-on-the-Lake.


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