I must say, SCTV and Saturday Night Live vet Martin Short deserves better. The guy agrees to headline a fundraiser for the Israel Cancer Research Fund, and do we know about it? Hardly. Only by indirect means and a tiny mention at the bottom of a late, incomplete press release did we find out it's at the Hummingbird (1 Front East) Tuesday (June 12). Hope the show, also featuring Second City alumni like Kathryn Greenwood and Marc Hickox, is better organized than the publicity. Tickets run $58.50 to $198.50. At those prices, there'd better be a reception. 416-872-2262.
The rest of the comedy scene is hot this week, especially with Second City's first-ever Alumni Week starting Monday (June 11). Greats like Colin Mochrie, Robin Duke, Pat McKenna, Linda Kash, Bob Martin, Jennifer Irwin and Janet Van De Graaff join mainstage show Family Circus Maximus all week, then perform en masse in an Alumni All-Star Show June 15. 416-343-0011.
The Drowsy Chaperone refuses to nod off. Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison, Bob Martin and Don McKellar's parody of 1920s musicals broke records during its 1999 Fringe run, then filled Theatre Passe Muraille to capacity at its remount later that fall. Now, expanded and backed by Mirvish money, an upscale version plays the 1,000-seat Winter Garden.
Of interest: the ultra serious Daniel Brooks is directing; only a handful of the original cast members remain, including three of the co-writers (I suppose they were entitled to some immunity). Overall, the show's older cast -- including Mary Lou Fallis, Frank Moore and Judy Marshak -- feels less Queen West hip than Yorkville tea cozy.
The weirdest change is having real-life character Janet Van De Graaff (see above) not played by Van De Graaff but by Karen Hines. Nothing personal, Karen. Opens tonight (Thursday, June 7). 416-872-1212.
doras open doors
The Dora Awards get handed out June 25, but anyone interested in hearing Dora-nominated playwrights read from their work should check out Monday's (June 11) free reading with Chris Earle, Ronnie Burkett, Darren O'Donnell, Adam Pettle and others. NOW Lounge (189 Church). 416-536-6468.