Actor, Free Outgoing; writer, Sultans Of The Street
The work of the award-winning Roy, both as actor or playwright, is at the top of most theatregoers' lists. This winter, in the North American premiere of Anupama Chandrasekhar's Free Outgoing, she plays a conservative Indian mother dealing with the viral video of her daughter having sex. She's also scripted Sultans Of The Street, about a quartet of children trying to escape a life of begging in Kolkata, India. Free Outgoing, a Nightwood production, runs January 28 to February 16 at Factory Theatre; 416-504-9971. Young People's Theatre presents Sultans from April 28 to May 15. 416-862-2222.
Co-writer/performer/director, A Brimful Of Asha; co-director, Sea Sick
The effervescent Jain sparks any production in which he's involved. The show he created with his mother about her attempts to get him married, A Brimful Of Asha, returns as part of the Soulpepper season from March 19 to 22 at the Young Centre; 416- 866-8666. He's also co-directing, with Franco Boni, Alanna Mitchell's Sea Sick, a solo performance about how the state of the world's oceans affects us all. Playing March 19 to 23, it's sure to be one of the season highlights at the Theatre Centre's new home. 416-538-0988
Choreographer, The Radio Show
Who better to kick off Harbourfront's World Stage series than Abraham, the dance sensation whose rise in the contemporary scene has been as quick and confident as his choreography. The Radio Show draws on his upbringing in Pittsburgh and the now-defunct urban radio stations that introduced him to Motown and hip-hop. It's also partly inspired by the story of his father's diagnosis with Alzheimer's. Expect a non-narrative piece full of bold, fierce movement and emotional honesty, typical of his work with his Abraham.In.Motion company. And don't be surprised if the score has you wanting to display your own moves after the show. February 5 to 8 at the Fleck Dance Theatre. 416-973-4000.
Stand-up, improv and sketch comic
Adomian is one of the funniest men on the planet, equally adept at sketch, stand-up, improv and celebrity impressions. His weekend of sets at the Comedy Bar includes an improvised show featuring some local troopers and his hilariously campy Sheriff of Naughtyham character (don't worry, Adomian's totally out), two stand-up sets and hosting Sunday Night Live with the Sketchersons. The intimate club, with its comedy-savvy audience, is the perfect venue for his highly personal and razor-sharp act. Friday to Sunday (January 10 to 12) at the Comedy Bar. comedybar.ca.
Actor, The Carousel
Fulton always impresses with her incisive craft and expressive honesty. She shone a few years ago in Jennifer Tremblay's The List, about a woman imprisoned by life's ordinary events. Nightwood presents Tremblay's follow-up to that play, The Carousel, in which the same character, driving to visit her dying mother, relives moments that she hopes will lead to a reconciliation between the generations. Sure to be potent theatre. At Berkeley Street Theatre from March 11 to 30. 416-368-3110.
Toronto-raised Trujillo has a ton of impressive credits, including Jerome Robbins' Broadway and Fosse (as a dancer) and Jersey Boys and Memphis (as a choreographer). Now he helms Arrabal, about a girl digging into the history of her father, who was "disappeared" by the Argentine military junta. In the manner of Tony winner Contact, Arrabal tells its story through movement and music, with a book by John Weidman (who wrote Contact), music by Brokeback Mountain composer Gustavo Santaolalla and choreography by Julio Zurita. With performers and musicians from Buenos Aires, the home of tango, you can expect the temperature to rise at the show's world premiere at the Panasonic, February 4 to April 20. 416-872-1212.
Director, The Country Wife and Minotaur
Talented director Dilworth (Passion Play, La Ronde) is able to tease out a script's nuances and give actors a positive, creative atmosphere. Lucky that the graduating students at George Brown Theatre get to collaborate with him on one of the best Restoration comedies, The Country Wife, from February 5 to 15 at the Young Centre; 416-866-8666. Dilworth then tackles Kevin Dyer's Minotaur, in which a young boy whose soldier father is fighting abroad finds himself transformed into the mythical hero Theseus, who must fight the monstrous Minotaur to save his parent's life. It plays at Young People's Theatre from March 24 to April 13. 416-862-2222.
KEVIN O'DAY and ROBERT GLUMBEK
Dancer/choreographers, The Four Seasons
Veteran dancer/choreographers O'Day and Glumbek aren't letting age stand in the way of expressing themselves. They've each had terrific careers in modern and ballet companies, and their riveting 2010 piece Full Bloom - which they created and performed with Luches Huddleston Jr. - was a revelation, demonstrating that solid technique and life experience add layers of meaning and drama to a performance. Now they're back in a series of duets that, as that title suggests, reflect on the cycle of life. Not to be missed. Part of the DanceWorks season, March 6 to 8 at the Enwave. 416-973-4000.
Actor, Pacamambo; director, Afterplay
Harper's an emotionally resonant artist whose work we see too rarely on local stages. She's back performing in Wajdi Mouawad's (Scorched) Pacamambo, playing the wise grandmother of a young girl filled with rage and denial. The season premiere for Ken Gass's Canadian Rep Theatre, it plays at the Citadel from January 18 to February 2; 416-504-7529. Then Harper takes to the director's chair for Brian Friel's Afterplay, in which two characters from Chekhov meet in a new scenario that explores their unfulfilled lives. At Campbell House Museum from February 19 to March 2.
Director, Così Fan Tutte
Egoyan, of course, is best known as one of the country's premiere film directors. But last season's remount of his Salome for the Canadian Opera Company reminded us how effective he can be on a large canvas, creating dramatic, visceral music theatre. His new COC commission pairs him with Mozart's comedy about two couples and sexual infidelity. Don't expect a frothy version from Egoyan. Beneath the gorgeous melodies sung by some of the world's best singers, look for psychological complexity and dark truths about the human condition. January 18 to February 21 at the Four Seasons Centre. 416-363-8231.