Season Announcement: TO Live 2019-2020

Photos courtesy of TO Live.

TO Live has announced its 2019 – 2020 season!

This season is delivering on its promise to reflect Toronto’s diversity in its productions while connecting audiences throughout. Among the varied productions, TO Live has announced the Toronto premiere of the Mandela: Struggle for Freedom exhibition which is a rich, sensory experience of imagery, soundscape, digital media and objects delivered from the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, at at the Meridian Arts Centre (formerly Toronto Centre for the Arts).

“We are proud to present a season of top artists from around the world and around the City all of which reflect the dynamic diversity of Toronto,” said Clyde Wagner, President and CEO, TO Live. “Our new season builds on our commitment to celebrate, inspire and connect our audiences by showcasing a wide variety of innovative creative expressions.”

TO LIVE’s 2019-2020 Season

Mandela: Struggle for Freedom

Created by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in collaboration with the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

October 10, 2019 – January 7, 2020 at Meridian Arts Centre.

Mandela: Struggle for Freedom is an exploration of Nelson Mandela’s legendary fight for justice and human dignity in South Africa. Among the many original artifacts and dramatic visual features, the exhibition replicates Mandela’s eight-foot by seven-foot prison cell. When audiences enter the cell, it will become a digital theatre whose walls tell a story of resilience and repression, sure to invoke emotions within all.

Photo courtesy of TO Live.

The Kingdom Choir

November 5-6, 2019 at Meridian Arts Centre.

Seen by a global audience of over two billion people at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, The Kingdom Choir’s show and heart-stopping performance will be remembered for years to come. Back with a debut recording, “Stand By Me” features 15 songs. Songs like Beyonce’s “Halo,” John Legend’s “All of Me,” Stormzy’s “Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2” in addition to their own celebrated take on Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”, will be featured. Renditions of songs of love, hope and inspiration are sure to take your breath away.

The Kingdom Choir | Photo courtesy of TO Live.

Jazz at the George

Jazz at the George is a collection of amazing concerts featuring multi-talented performers. Being held at the George Weston Recital Hall, performances feature the Flamenco Legends – The Paco de Lucía Project (October 17, 2019), created by the 10-time Grammy-winning producer and composer Javier Limón. Virtuoso pianist Hiromi (April 3, 2020) that brings the whole group for a celebration of Paco and his legacy. Joining them will be the winner of the esteemed Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition Award, New Orleans-based vocalist Quiana Lynell (February 15, 2020).

Hiromi | Photo courtesy of TO Live.

A Man of Good Hope

Created by award-winning South African theatre company Isango Ensemble.

November 13-18, 2019 at Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

A feast of music and dance with an impassioned political thread woven throughout. These performances will help amplify and diversify the experience during the three-month run of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom.

Uncovered: Stevie Wonder & Prince

Presented by The Musical Stage Company with arrangements by Reza Jacobs.

November 8-9 2019 in the George Weston Recital Hall.

The 13th annual signature concert by The Musical Stage Company highlights hit songs from Stevie Wonder and Prince, with wildly imaginative arrangements by music director Reza Jacobs.

Hyprov – Colin Mochrie and Asad Mecci

January 24, 2020, in the George Weston Recital Hall.

Bringing together improv and hypnosis, comedy legend Colin Mochrie and Master Hypnotist Asad Mecci, comes a mind-blowing, jaw-dropping and side-splitting show. Uniting hypnosis and improvisation –  these artists masterfully bring these art forms together to create a unique theatrical experience.

Th’owxiya: The Hungry Feast Dish

April 8, 2020, at the Lyric Theatre.

Indigenous storytellers spin a tale from the Kwantlen First Nations Village of Squa’lets. It’s about Th’owxiya, an old and powerful spirit that inhabits a feast dish. Her dish holds beautiful foods from around the world but be careful, stealing from her is dangerous! Th’owxiya has developed a taste for children!

Socalled Sings DiFrosh

March 3, 2020 at the George Weston Recital Hall.

This is Josh “Socalled” Dolgin’s attempt to present some incredible songs from the Yiddish Theatre, art songs, Hassidic melodies, Klezmer, folksong and more, all arranged for a string quartet.

Discover Dance and Uptown Moves includes:

TO Live’s popular Dance Collection

Presented by BMO Financial Group, TO Live Dance Collection includes Spirit from the internationally-acclaimed Australian company Bangarra Dance Theatre (November 8-9, 2019); Radical Vitality, Solos and Duets choreographed by Marie Chouinard (February 5-9, 2020); and the world premiere of Crypto (April 22-26, 2020) choreographed and directed by Guillaume Côté all co-presented with Canadian Stage at the Bluma Appel Theatre.  In addition, the Dance Collection includes:

Nederlands Dans Theater 

March 21, 2020 at Meridian Hall.

Returning to Meridian Hall in the Spring, Nederland Dans Theater is one of the world’s leading contemporary dance companies that was named one of the “Top 10 dance shows that moved Toronto in 2016” by The Globe and Mail. The program will feature “The Statement” by renowned Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, “Vladimir” by Israeli choreographer Hofesh Schecter and “Singulière Odyssée” by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot.

Drum Tao 2020

February 27, 2020 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Internationally acclaimed Japanese drum and dance ensemble Drum Tao combine music and dance to reflect Japanese tradition while also incorporating Korean, Maori, and Indonesian influences. Most songs are modern compositions created by members of the troupe while others are traditional.

Drum Tao | Photo courtesy of TO Live.

Artists in Motion & Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata (Student Matinee)

November 16-17, 2019 in the Lyric Theatre, in association with dance Immersion.

Montreal’s world-renowned Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata make their Toronto debut. The performance weekend not only includes a masterclass workshop with Zab Maboungou, but also a pre-show lecture and demonstration with Collette Murray, a post-show artist talk and more!

The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito (Student Matinee)

April 20, 2020 at the Lyric Theatre.

In this story of a misfit searching for her place in the world, Mary Jane is a mosquito who doesn’t have wings. After many adventures, Mary Jane learns to make friends through sharing her language, her kind heart, and her songs with the world. Tomson Highway has woven Cree words and phrases throughout Mary Jane’s songs and story that are taught to the audience through playful interaction.

Fall for Dance North

October 2-6, 2019 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Co-presented by TO Live, FFDN is sure to transfix you with a diverse mix of incredible performances from local favourites: The National Ballet of Canada and Toronto Dance Theatre. Joining them are global sensations from Brazil, Sweden, New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia, and India. Also, experience a dedicated world Indigenous program at the Ryerson Theatre.

NDT and other dance programs in the 2019/2020 season have been made possible in part by the Government of Canada

Nederlands Dans Theater | Photo courtesy of TO Live.

Meridian Hall highlights also include the Films in Concert series including:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert 

October 31 – November 2, 2019

The Harry Potter Film Concert Series returns with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince the sixth film in the Harry Potter series. Conducted by Evan Mitchell, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra will perform Nicholas Hooper’s incredible and popular score live while the entire film plays on a 40-foot high-definition screen in the background. This concert series is co-presented with Attila Glatz Concert Productions. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in Concert will be live on May 29-31, 2020.

Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue

November 23 – December 1, 2019

With songs composed by the legendary and Academy-Award winning composer A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), Taj Express explodes with the incredible sounds of India. Through a fusion of film, dance, and music, Taj Express takes audiences on a live cinematic journey through modern Indian culture and society.

Taj Express | Photo courtesy of TO Live.

Bend It Like Beckham – The Musical

December 5 – 24, 2019

Based on the smash-hit movie featuring Keira Knightley, Parminder Nagra, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Bend it Like Beckham – The Musical is a feel-good musical comedy written by original screenwriter Gurinder Chadha. Co-presented with Starvox Entertainment.

The SpongeBob Musical

December 17-22, 2019

The SpongeBob Musical erupts with energy. Featuring an original rock-infused original pop score by a legendery roster of Grammy Award-winning songwriters. Visionary director and Tony-Award nominee, Tina Landau along with a Tony Award-winning design team bring this critically acclaimed, award-winning musical of the beloved animated character to Canadian audiences.

Photo courtesy of TO Live.

About TO Live: TO Live is Canada’s largest multi-arts organizations. It operates three venues that present a full range of performing arts, theatrical, and concerts in downtown and uptown Toronto at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (soon to be named Meridian Hall), St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and the Toronto Centre for the Arts (soon to be named Meridian Arts Centre).


Written By

Mariam is Associate Editor at Intermission. Mariam earned her Honours BA in English literature from York University and recently completed a Graduate Certificate program from Centennial College in Book and Magazine Publishing. When she's not busy reading books and plays, she takes pictures of books for her "Bookstagram", watches as many movies and shows as she can, and is a self-proclaimed Chocoholic.