Don't worry about where the next generation of theatre artists is coming from. Performances by young actors on three stages this week demonstrate the developing talent that's out there. The Upper Canada Repertory Company brings the Trojan War up to date in a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's tale of the lovers Troilus and Cressida. Troilus And Cressida Redux , with Duncan McCallum and Zoe Sweet in the title roles, is adapted and directed by Rochelle Douris . Funds raised go to the Shakespeare Youth Zone Scholarship program for the company's Shakespeare Summer Camp. See Opening, page 84.
Toronto Youth Theatre gets into waterworks with Urinetown: The Musical , set in a future marked by economic instability and a gulf between haves and have-nots, where it costs you to pee. Directed by Jeremy Hutton , the show offers young people a chance to develop personal and social skills through theatre. See Continuing, in Theatre Listings.
The Sears Ontario Drama Festival turns 60 this year, making it North America's oldest and largest high-school drama festival. The top 15 one-act plays from more than 300 adjudicated shows, many of them original works, are part of the showcase (three different shows per night) running through this week. And on Saturday (May 13) you can catch a celebration of the 60th anniversary, hosted by fest alumni Kathleen Munroe and Andrew Lamb , featuring excerpts from this year's productions as well as those given over previous decades. See Continuing, in Theatre Listings.
Up your Alleycatz
Sunday nights are a whole lot funnier in the Yonge/Eg district. Alleycatz , better known as a jazz bar and resto, has been hosting a Sunday-night pro comedy show for a few weeks now. They're filling in the gap that Yuk Yuk's left when it moved from uptown to clubland. Hosted by 94.9 FM's "Frenchie" McFarlane , the night has already featured a solid lineup of comics that includes Wayne Flemming, Tony Venditti, Steve Cox, Evan Carter and Meg Soper.
This week's show (May 14) presents two of the best comedy vets, Kenny Robinson and Orson Payne . The comedy starts at 9 pm, with a dinner/show package starting at 7 pm. And, hey, it's Mother's Day, so bring your mom. All mothers get in free when accompanied by a partner. Awww. The show takes a hiatus over the long weekend, but there are possible plans for a patio comedy show in the summer. Now that's cool. www.toronto.com/alleycatz. See Comedy Listings.
A pair of plays that look at breast cancer speak to a wide audience this week. In Breast Cancer Unscripted , Toronto Playback Theatre weaves actual stories of those with breast cancer and those who support them into a compelling narrative; audience members can share their own experiences, which become part of the drama. Beverly Thomson hosts the evening, presented by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation . Immigrant women are the least likely group to utilize breast-cancer screening. To address this problem, the Working Women Community Centre and Sistering collaborate to present a free performance of Tomorrow's Time , a look at five immigrant women who face the possibility of breast cancer. The event includes a free meal and the chance to take advantage of an onsite breast clinic. For both events, see One Nighters in Theatre Listings.
A pair of attractive benefits is on this week's bill. The Fringe offers a benefit performance of NOW cover man Charles Ross 's hour-long One Man Star Wars Trilogy , a sellout at the 2002 festival. Shakespeare And The Queen's Men is a theatre experiment that will present a trio of the Elizabethan company's rarely staged plays next fall, including two that the Bard later turned into his versions of Henry V and King Lear. The project begins with a gala funder of preview scenes with David Fox as Lear and Henry IV and Paul Hopkins as Henry V. See One Nighters, in Theatre Listings.