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The Globe and Mail

Season scoop: Tear the Curtain! to have Toronto premiere at Canadian Stage

Laura Mennell in "Tear the Curtain!"

Brian Johnson

Yes, it's that time of year once again: season-announcement season.

In Toronto, Theatre Passe Muraille was first out the gate, when artistic director Andy McKim revealed his ambitious plans for fall 2012 on Monday.

With the help of a 50th anniversary grant from the Metcalfe Foundation, the Queen West theatre will produce a whole line-up of site-specific, documentary and "guerrilla-style" plays about its (in)famous neighbourhood – from the taxis to the CN Tower to the 501 streetcar that passes nearby.

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I was particularly pleased to hear about The Queen Street Project, conceived by Canadian theatre artist Deborah Pearson, who was named one of industry magazine The Stage's 100 most influential people in UK theatre a couple years back. Her Passe Muraille show will send audience members "beyond the walls" out into the street wearing headphones – where a dance will begin to take shape that only they will be able to hear the music for. You can read about the full season on the TPM website.

Next up, Canadian Stage is set to reveal its 2012-2013 season on Thursday – and the Globe and Mail has already learned what is sure to be one of the highlights.

I'm very glad to hear that Tear the Curtain!, an innovative live theatre/film hybrid from Vancouver's Electric Theatre Company, will travel to Toronto to open the season.

Directed by Siminovitch Prize recipient Kim Collier, Kevin Kerr and Jonathan Young's award-winning play tells a surreal story about a theatre critic caught up in a rivalry between crime bosses in 1930s British Columbia.

Tear the Curtain!'s premiere at the Arts Club led the nominations at Vancouver's Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards last spring and picked up two wins, including one for Kerr and Young's script.

Collier's multimedia production, which is being reworked to tour, is set to be staged in the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts's Bluma Appel theatre next October. You can read what the Globe and Mail's Vancouver critic Michael Harris thought of the earlier version here. And we'll find out about the rest of Matthew Jocelyn's season plans on Thursday.

Next Monday, Mirvish Productions will announce its 2012-2013 season. What can we expect to see there?

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I floated a few pre-Broadway tryout ideas in today's article about theatre tax credits, of which Flashdance seems the safest bet.

And the producers of Sister Act have already announced that they will launch their North American tour in Toronto at the Canon Theatre in the fall of 2012.

The folks at Mirvish have also confirmed that they are aiming to bring the Beatles musical to the Royal Alexandra theatre next summer.

Which still leaves room for many surprises. What might they be?

Andrew Lloyd Webber told Playbill that he wants to bring his retooled production of The Wizard of Oz to town – but he's a bit of a Toronto tease, so that is far from certain.

What everyone in Toronto tells me they want to see is The Book of Mormon musical – and, as long as the Toronto Star's outlier opinion on the show doesn't scare them away, I'm sure one of the two touring productions will visit at some point.

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Will it be in 2012-2013? Well, we'll find out Monday.

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