Obsidian Theatre returns to black Canadian history with Consecrated Ground, George Boyd’s play about the destruction of Africville, an historic black community in Halifax razed in 1970 to make way for redevelopment. Produced in association with Factory Theatre, the production is directed by David Collins, with a cast that includes Kevin Hanchard, Shakura S’Aida, Nigel Shawn Williams and Lily Francks. Previews from May 6 and opens May 12 at Factory (125 Bathurst). 416-504-9971.
Thrill of the Chase
Canadian-born choreographer/dancer Sarah Chase is used to telling autobiographical stories through movement, text and music. But in Europe, where she’s a big, big deal, she began meeting people who let her into their homes – and in on their most intimate details – so she could create dance portraits. Now she brings several of these stories, complete with music by frequent collaborator Bill Brennan, to T.O. in a unique program called Portraits, May 6 to 8 at Harbourfront Centre Theatre (231 Queens Quay West). 416-973-4000.
It’s 1918, and the community of Unity, Saskatchewan, is reeling from the effects of the Great War, only to be hit by another calamity, the Spanish flu epidemic that killed millions worldwide. Kevin Kerr’s Unity (1918), winner of the Governor General’s Award, is a dramatic and lyrical look at a town trying to isolate itself from disaster. Chris Abraham directs a strong cast that includes Anne Anglin, Nancy Beatty, Tracy Michailidis, Ngozi Paul and Greg Spottiswoode. Previews begin April 23, opens April 28 and runs to May 16 at Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson). 416-504-7529.
Trey’s très cool
Trey Anthony is one happy womyn. Not only is her ensemble show ’Da Kink In My Hair being remounted next season by the Mirvishes, but she’s also overseeing and hosting ’Dat Girl ’Sho Is Funny!, the second annual urban womyn’s comedy fest. Last year’s laugh-filled estrogen blowout sold out in days, so get your tickets now to see Martha Chaves, Annemarie Woods, Virma, sketch comedy by the Plaitform Comedy Troupe and others, April 17 at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. 416-366-7723.
For its 20th anniversary, Crow’s Theatre remounts its 1990 hit, Brad Fraser’s Unidentified Human Remains And The True Nature Of Love. A darkly comic look at seven people whose loneliness is matched only by their sexual needs and frustrations, the production is directed again by Jim Millan and features Damien Atkins as a sharp-tongued gay man at the centre of the action. Presented in association with Buddies in Bad Times, the show previews April 27, opens April 29 and runs to May 16 at Buddies (12 Alexander). 416-975-8555.
Pees and queues
In the dystopian world of Urinetown: The Musical, the depletion of the earth’s water supply coupled with human greed leads to a ban on private toilets. Canadian Stage and Dancap present the Canadian premiere of the Broadway show by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann – its roots are in the satiric musicals of Brecht and Weill – that looks at what happens when a corporation charges for a basic human need. Previews May 19, opens May 27 and runs to July 11 at the Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front East). 416-368-3110.
Dance artist Peggy Baker thrives on collaboration, and her latest program, with music by pianist Andrew Burashko, lets her work with dancers Kate Alton and Andrea Nann and choreographers Doug Varone and Sarah Chase. Baker, always a magnetic and intense performer, consistently tries to challenge herself and others. As with 2000’s Interior View, the audience gets up close and personal, sitting on the limited Betty Oliphant (404 Jarvis) stage a metre or so from the action. Get your tickets early. May 11 to 16. 416-504-7529.