Summer is here, and with it comes one of the best times of the year for theatre lovers - Festival season! With the hot weather comes the opening of the region's world renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival and Shaw Festival, as well as The Toronto Fringe, Shakespeare in High Park and many other summer stock productions that keep any theatre goer busy on those long summer nights.
This year BWW is doing something new for the summer season and compiling a list of the Top 5 Shows for the Summer in regions across Canada and the United States. Toronto has so much great theatre coming to it this summer it's almost impossible to narrow it down, but here are our suggestions for the Top 5 Shows to see this summer:
1. The Toronto Fringe Festival
July 4th - 15th, 2012
Toronto's largest theatre festival is back and better than ever this year, with over 150 different productions happening all over the city (and of course, the infamous beer tent!). Don't miss out on this chance to see some of the city's best and brightest, as well as mingle with like-minded theatre goers.
2. 42nd Street: Stratford Shakespeare Festival - Festival Theatre
On Now until October 28th, 2012
42nd Street is a lavish production that marks Cynthia Dale's return to a Stratford stage after a five year absence. Featuring top notch dancing, singing and acting, the show is a toe-tapping delight that showcases Canada's world renowned triple threats.
3. Ragtime: Shaw Festival - Festival Theatre
The musical that was born and got its first legs in Toronto returns to Canada in a new production by Shaw Theatre's Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell. Featuring a critically praised performance by Toronto fave Thom Allison as Coalhouse Walker, Ragtime is shaping up to be one of the hottest tickets this year.
4. A Midsummer Night's Dream: Canadian Stage - High Park Amphitheatre
June 26th - Sept 2nd, 2012
Dream in High Park, Toronto's outdoor summer Shakespeare production, celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year with the classic and much loved tale A Midsummer Night's Dream. It will be the 7th time the company has produced this show, making it the most popular to date and a wonderful way to celebrate 30 years. Experience the beauty of High Park and the glory of Shakespeare performed by some of Toronto's finest in one evening of theatre under the stars!
5. Backbeat: Mirvish - The Royal Alexandra Theatre
July 21st - Sept 2nd, 2012
Direct from London comes this musical about how The Beatles became 'The Beatles', and it features many of the band's hit songs. Toronto has a long tradition of embracing British music and humour, and Backbeat is shaping up to be the feel-good musical of the summer.
A Word or Two: Stratford Shakespeare Festival - Avon Theatre
July 25th - Aug 26th, 2012
After adding an Academy Award to his impressive list of accolades, Christopher Plummer returns home to the Stratford stage for four weeks this summer in a one man show that takes the audience on an autobiographical journey through the literature of his life. Sure to be one of the hottest tickets of the year, don't miss this opportunity to see one of Canada's biggest and most treasured actors perform in an intimate setting.