apple or cherry?
You might know Sonja Mills as a comic writer, the author of Dyke City. She shows audiences another side of her talent in The Danish Play, about Mills's great-aunt, Agnete Ottosen, a Danish poet and Nazi resistance fighter who helped organize the underground smuggling of Jews to safety. Kelly Thornton directs Kate Hennig, Christine Brubaker, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Erika Hennebury, Eric Goulem and Bruce Hunter in a Nightwood production that opens November 19 at the Tarragon Extra Space (30 Bridgman). 416-531-1827.
A young actor performing Hamlet gets caught up with the woman playing his mother, Gertrude, in the late Carole Corbeil's celebrated novel In The Wings, adapted for the stage by Nicky Guadagni. Layne Coleman directs a starry cast, including David Fox, Michael Healey, Deborah Hay, John Jarvis and Brooke Johnson in this Theatre Passe Muraille production. It's the right venue, given that one of Corbeil's inspirations was a Passe Muraille Hamlet starring Coleman. Previews from November 5 and opens November 8. 16 Ryerson. 416-504-7529.
Three generations of strong black women channel the passion of Michael Miller's El Paso, Factory Theatre's season opener. It's a play about the search for home and security, as a 52-year-old dealing with cancer (Satori Shakoor) escapes from the present by remembering a past that holds its own tensions. Among the all-black cast are David Collins, Lili Francks, Jeff Jones and Kim Roberts, with actor Philip Akin making his mainstage directing debut. Previews from September 28 and opens October 4. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971.
Seems like only yesterday that the cable channel with the best-ever slogan -- "Time well wasted" -- first appeared. But the Comedy Network's been around for five irreverent years, and to mark the anniversary there's a blowout gala headlined by Daily Show host Jon Stewart, with Mike Bullard, Jessica Holmes, Jeremy Hotz, Derek Edwards and host Elvira Kurt. Not one clunker on the lineup, and a rare opportunity to see and hear Stewart, one of the smartest social satirists around, as well as Holmes, whose new Carol Burnett-style variety show debuts at the end of September. October 5 at Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe). 416-872-4255.
all about eve
There are lots of reasons to go check out The Satie Project, Serge Bennathan's new full-length dance work inspired by the French pianist. One of the strongest is hearing concert pianist Eve Egoyan -- yes, she's filmmaker Atom's sister -- perform with the Dancemakers crew. Egoyan, a strong interpreter of contemporary music, is releasing a disc of Satie's stuff this fall, and her live presence -- most modern dance uses recorded tracks -- should add texture to the work, which has already wowed audiences across the country. October 8 to 19 at the Premiere Dance Theatre (207 Queen's Quay West). 416-973-4000.
Poochwater goes sniffing for new audiences in this revival of one of SummerWorks' biggest hits. The high-energy comedy-drama by Mike McPhaden -- why don't we see more of his work on Toronto stages? -- brings together an amnesiac war vet trying to return a lost wallet and a second man who thinks the vet is an intruder. The production reunites the original team, director Patrick Conner and actors McPhaden and Brendan Wall. The Poochwater Co-op production previews November 6 and opens November 7 at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson). 416-504-7529.
hello, mr. robinson
Ask local dance artists who's inspired them and the name Tedd Robinson keeps coming up. The Ottawa dancer/choreographer brings two works to town, a solo called Rigmarole and a fascinating duet with breakdancer Ru Padolsky called Recruiting Recalcitrance. The pieces are influenced by everything from silent movies to the East/West divide. November 22 and 23 at the Du Maurier Theatre Centre (231 Queen's Quay West). 416-973-4000.