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Top Ticket: Three shows to see Aug. 28 to Sept. 3

Come What Mayhem!

Watch this if: You need a laugh after the year so far.

2016 has had its fair share of bad news: mass shootings, terrifying political candidates, social media harassment and some major losses to the global music scene. That’s just to start. But the comedians at the Second City feel your pain and are transforming it into good times in their new show Come What Mayhem! It officially opens this week. Kyle Dooley and Becky Johnson return from the last mainstage sketch show, The Hotline Only Blings Twice, and promising new cast members include Roger Bainbridge and Ann Pornel. And because it plays until Jan. 2, hopefully this means lighter news in 2017.

The Glass Menagerie

Watch this if: You love unicorn figurines, shoe factories and family strife.

Tennessee Williams’ breakout play remains a classic of North American theatre, though it hasn’t been done in Toronto very recently. Even if you’ve never seen a production of The Glass Menagerie, this one will likely be worth the visit to the dysfunctional Wingfield family apartment. It’s a drama, but the cast has some serious comedic chops (cast members Tracey Hoyt and Hannah Spear are known best in comedy circles) and director Philip McKee is known for taking classic plays like King Lear in unexpected but very exciting directions.

Toyt Fun a Seylsman

Watch this if: You think you know Death of a Salesman well enough.

If you’re into another twist on a classic play, the Ashkenaz Festival is presenting an acclaimed off-Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, performed entirely in Yiddish with English surtitles. Actor Avi Hoffman, who also directs the Toronto transfer, earned a 2016 Drama Desk Award nomination for playing Willy Loman, the doomed family patriarch. He returns to the role along with most of the New York cast, including Suzanne Toren as Willy’s wife Linda. The language change should be impactful enough, but this sounds like a solid production with great performances that should do Miller’s script justice.


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