Some major organizations are presenting their last productions of the 2017/18 season this month, but certainly not their least. We Loons are very much looking forward to the National Ballet of Canada’s world premiere of Frame by Frame. A collaboration between director and filmmaker Robert LePage and the NBC’s choreographic associate and principal dancer Guillaume Cotė, Frame by Frame is a multidisciplinary production that uses several different forms of media to explore the life and work of legendary Canadian filmmaker and animator Norman McLaren. Visit the NBC’s site for details, video clips, and news on which of your favourite dancers have featured roles, and see it onstage at the Four Seasons Centre from June 1 – 10. Following that, from June 16 – 22, the NBC presents a collection of three varied short ballets, including the hugely entertaining Cacti. Cacti had us laughing out loud when it premiered here in 2016.
Peter Oundjian concludes not only the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s season, but his 14-year term as Music Director on June 30th with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. He and the orchestra will be joined by an all-Canadian cast of soloists and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Prior to that, on Friday, June 22nd at 12:30 p.m., Mr. Oundjian and the TSO will present a free, one-hour Thank You, Toronto! concert of audience favourites. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
Musicals will be onstage all summer at the Mirvish theatres. This month, a brand-new touring production of The Phantom of the Opera, featuring a new scenic design, takes to the stage from June 7th to the 30th at the Princess of Wales Theatre, which just turned 25 on May 26 and celebrated with an open house for its fans (thanks Mirvish). The Toronto premiere of the mega-musical opened the newly restored Pantages Theatre (now the Ed Mirvish Theatre) back in 1989 starring the incomparable Colm Wilkinson. Now in its 32nd year and still going strong, many renowned performers have had the thrill of wearing the Phantom’s mask, both in North America and in productions around the world, since it premiered in 1986. Who is your favourite Phantom? Take our Phavourite Phantom poll here.
The Luminato Festival, an annual June event now in its 12th year, runs from the 6th to the 24th and offers a wide assortment of creative offerings, including theatre, dance, music, illusion, conversation, and probably anything else you can imagine. Prices vary, but some events are free, and shows are presented at locations all around the city.
Over at the CAA Theatre, the Harry Potter parody, Potted Potter, returns to Toronto for the fourth time from June 13 – July 8.
And at the Winter Garden Theatre, Grease is still the word until June 17th.
On June 25, the Winter Garden Theatre welcomes the presentation of the 39th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in Toronto theatre. It will be hosted by Astrid Van Wieren of the Broadway production of Come from Away.
But before we get to the local theatre awards, on June 10th the 72nd Annual Tony Awards will recognize achievement in Broadway productions. This is the one televised awards show we Loons never miss because it features performances by some of the best performers on Broadway in the best plays and musicals of the past year. It also provides a preview of some of the shows that we might expect to see in Toronto in the near future. And this year, the Tonys also answer the burning question: “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” It’s this year’s top musical theatre nominee, Spongebob Squarepants, with 12 nominations, including for Best Musical.
The shows noted above represent a small sampling of the great theatre, music and dance happening throughout Toronto in June, in theatres large and small. Which show(s) did you enjoy seeing? Share your thoughts below and if you were at one of Toronto’s large theatres, please help us build our theatre database by submitting a review of the view from your seat on our Homepage.