Being so close to the theatre district, our guests often that themselves to a show or two when they’re in town. And they have a ton to choose from as Toronto has third-largest English-speaking theatre scene behind New York and London. If musical theatre is your jam, the seven musicals playing in Toronto in December and January should be sweet music to your ears.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Princes of Wales ($180 and up)
Unlike the original movie starring Gene Wilder which received mixed reviews when it was released in 1971, this play set a record for the highest weekly gross in London when it premiered in 2013, and it won two Olivier Awards for costumes and lighting design.
The play features songs from the original film like “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man,” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” and new numbers from the creative team behind Hairspray.
Playing now until January 6th.
Come From Away at the Royal Alexandra ($180 and up)
This most innovative musical tells the story of what happened on September 11, 2001 from the perspective of the people of Gander, Newfoundland where most planes flying in and out of the US were diverted.
The songs are beautiful, the performances are fantastic (some are quite funny) and the storylines are heartfelt and honest. But what’s particularly special about this play is how creative the set design is. With a few tables and a chairs, they seamlessly turn the stage into a plane, a bus, a bar, a church and an airport.
Playing now until January 20th.
The Wizard of Oz at the Elgin Theatre ($45 and up)
Since 1996, Ross Petty has charmed Toronto families with “Fractured Fairy Tales,” his unique take on popular classics that all share two comedic traits: a man in a dress and a breaking of the fourth wall to engage the audience.
This year, Petty and his troupe have recreated the land of Oz, with Petty himself playing the Wicked Witch of the West in a most hilarious performance.
If you’re with kids in Toronto, this musical is perfect. If your crew is all adults, it’s just as much fun. It’s playing now until January 5th.
School of Rock at the Mirvish Theatre ($145 and up)
The Mirvish Theatre is the closest to us, and most nights we can hear the rock ‘n’ roll coming from this Andrew Lloyd Webber masterpiece. And while musical tastes of changed, the dream of the aspiring musician is very much alive and well.
Little-known fact about School of Rock: the original book was written by Julian Fellowes who also wrote Downton Abbey. School of Rock is playing now until January 6th.
Once on This Island at the Lower Ossington Theatre ($101 and up)
This 2018 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Musical is the story of Haiti’s road to a to a brighter future, and a refreshing and quite ingenious style of theatre in that it’s completely immersive.
Its home, the Lower Ossington Theatre, is a bit off the beaten path. But the good news is that Ossington Avenue has some of the best restaurants in the city. Before or after the show, you can’t go wrong with any spot on the strip. It’s playing from January 10th to March 3rd.