Bygone Theatre’s Top 10 2019 Fringe Picks!

Well here we are again, Fringe time! With over 150 shows in less than 2 weeks it can be hard to narrow down what you want to see, so we’ve put together a list for all you Bygone lovers – shows featuring artists we’ve worked with or those we hope to. Enjoy!

1. Friend of Bygone Jada Rifkin

Jada has performed as Bob Burnhart’s lovely assistant in The Couples’ Game, as well as a fabulous version of the Grinch in our co-pro with Thomas Finn, The Cab(aret) Before Christmas. This Fringe, see her in two shows; Clitoria: A Sex-Positive Superhero! and Every Silver Lining.

CLITORIA: A SEX-POSITIVE SUPERHERO!

A sexually repressed high school science teacher accidentally turns herself into a sex-positive Vixen of Kink through a science experiment gone wrong. As the sex ed curriculum is scrapped in Ontario, Clitoria’s transformation wreaks havoc on her square life and her square fiancé. Musical comedy unfolds in hot, steamy, and unexpected ways!

EVERY SILVER LINING

Every Silver Lining is an original, dramedic, coming-of-age musical about illness and the perseverance of life; juxtaposing the joyful naiveté of youth, and the crushing discovery of mortality.

2. Friends of Bygone Sean Jacklin and Kevin Forster

Fringe’s Cyrano de Bergerac features 2 Bygone buddies; Sean Jacklin who played Walter Burns in His Girl Friday and Kevin Forster who played Hal in Loot.

CYRANO DE BERGERAC

Cyrano, Christina, and the Comte de Guiche vie for the affection of Roxanne, one using their wit, another their beauty, and the third . . . well any trick in the book. In the tradition of street theatre of the past, The Leslieville Players invite you to lay back on a patch of grass and watch us barrel through this new family friendly adaptation of a beloved classic. Sure Shaw and St. Lawrence are doing the show too, but we’re more fun! (and cheaper.)

3. Friends of Bygone Wesley Babcock & Whitney Hewitt

Wes Babcock was our fabulous lighting designer for our most recent production, The Rear Window. It’s hard to find a photo that does his work justice, but he managed to create chilling, dynamic lighting for a series of apartments in this thrilling suspense. Whitney Hewitt also worked on our show as our invincible stage manager! She is getting in the SM booth again for Deep End.

DEEP END

Carina’s turning 18 and is hosting the Birthday POOL Party of the year! Everyone’s invited, even Lilly. When do adults intervene in harmless harassment? What happens when life throws you into the deep end? This site specific show that happens in and around a Swimming Pool asks when does “kids will be kids,” go to far?

Please note that as this is a site specific Production the Audience will be required to remove their shoes and enter the pool deck where they will be seated on benches for the duration of the production!

4. Friend of Bygone Sarah Marchand

Sarah played The Dancing Girl in The Rear Window, but this Fringe she is working behind-the-scenes as the producer of Drink of Choice.

DRINK OF CHOICE

You walk into a bar, someone comes to take your order, and what happens next is your choice. Join us at the bar for a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure storytelling experience where the drink you order leads to personal tales about sexuality, romance, and total loss of reality. A hilarious solo show about what it means to be asexual as you navigate dating and seeking connection.

5. Friend of Bygone Nicole Byblow

Nicole was a regular staple of our Retro Radio Hour series and also performed in our Vaudeville Revue. She is doing music direction for Friendly Fire at this year’s Fringe.

FRIENDLY FIRE: THE ART AND EXECUTION OF FRIENDSHIP

Friends are great, aren’t they? Wait, are they? They must be. Otherwise we wouldn’t try so hard to make them. Or keep them. Or avoid them. Until we can cut them out… hmm. Sketch revues are great, aren’t they? This one is! Grab some pals and join us for a romp amongst the minefields of friendship. Or, come alone. We’re easy.

6. Friend of Bygone Cass Van Wyck

Cass played Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday and this summer is in another show by popular playwright Michael Ross Albert (so buy in advance!).

THE HUNS

The morning after a break-in at a tech company, three co-workers assemble for a conference call to discuss the burglary. What starts as a civilized, professional meeting swiftly devolves into a brutal showdown that puts everyone’s careers– and their hopes for future happiness– in jeopardy.

Written by Dora-nominated playwright Michael Ross Albert (“Anywhere,” Best of Fringe 2018/Patron’s Pick) and directed by Marie Farsi (associate artistic director, Crow’s Theatre), “The Huns” is a new, menacing workplace comedy about millennial anxieties, minor revolutions, and modern-day barbarians.

7. Friend of Bygone The Vintage Taps

Tapping trip The Vintage Taps performed in our Vaudeville Revue, see them in an extended show with a bigger cast in The Laundry List at this year’s Fringe.

THE LAUNDRY LIST

It’s 1919, and Frankie’s Laundry is gunning to be the number one bootlegger in Toronto. His competition thinks otherwise, and a group of chorus girls find themselves in a showdown of guns…..and tap shoes. The Laundry List will whisk you back to the golden age of jazz, flappers and gangsters. With live music, singing, and tap dancing, this cast of 12 will leave you with a song in your heart and a skip in your step.

8. Friend of Bygone Rob Sapienza

We’ve just started working with Rob Sapienza as he is one half of Sapling theatre, the company we have teamed up with (along with Larry Silverberg) to produce Something For The Buoys this October. He is directing Tales of a Cocktail at the Fringe.

TALES OF A COCKTAIL

The classic story of an innocent man wrongly, but deliberately sent to his demise and his brilliant strategy for revenge against those who betrayed him. Dashing young mobster Edward is a guileless and honest young man whose plans to marry the beautiful Mercedes and live a better life are abruptly shattered when his best friend who wants Mercedes for himself, deceives him. Told through a Chicago 1920s lens this dance adaptation brings to life the tale of The Count Of Monte Cristo.

9. A Quirky Victorian Comedy

This one caught our eye, and although Bygone hasn’t worked with David DiFrancesco before, our AD Emily Dix has, and is sure this will be hilarious.

THREE MEN ON A BIKE

From the company that brought you the award-winning Toronto Fringe smash hit Three Men in a Boat. Based upon the further writings of Victorian author Jerome K. Jerome. Pea Green Theatre Group proudly presents Three Men on a Bike! (Being the further adventures of three Victorian gentlemen as they embark upon a disastrous bicycling trip to the continent.) Not to be missed!

10. A New Look at Reefer Madness

Being a company that produces 20th century shows that are often closely linked to cinema, Reefer Madness the musical is of course on our to-do list. We’re intrigued by this new look at a story many of us know from the stage and screen.

REEFER MADNESS: ORIGINS

During the Depression, a time when hope and prosperity is far from the American mind, a common enemy is created: the Mexican weed with roots in hell, marijuana. Known as hemp and cannabis and used industrially and medically across the globe, “marijuana” is promoted as the cause of moral depravity among young people and societal decay. With the support of powerful allies with various interests, economic or otherwise, the Federal Commissioner of Narcotics Harry Anslinger will stop at nothing to warp the image of cannabis into what will shape international drug scheduling for generations to come.

Click on any of the show titles in this list for more info like show dates & times. Be sure to check out the Fringe website for a complete list of this season’s shows.

 

Bygone Theatre’s 2018 Toronto Fringe Picks

Bygone Theatre | 2018 Toronto Fringe

It’s almost that time again! The Toronto Fringe is running this summer from July 4-15th and we can’t wait to see some of our favourite actors up onstage. Here’s our must-see list (in no particular order) for the 2018 Toronto Fringe. Note: blurbs come from the productions themselves.

Final Exam.

 

Written by Eric Petersen, directed by Gillian Armstrong
The students of Mr. Miller’s class are troubled by the thought of their upcoming exams … while others are more worried their minds will soon be hooked up into a new group-mind by aliens.

The students debate the pros and cons of gaining instantaneous knowledge by suddenly having the ability to access anyone’s mind. Does privacy really matter? How do we maintain our identity? Will we still have to take exams?

See friend of Bygone Elizabeth Rose Morriss (Rope, His Girl Friday, Vaudeville Revue and many Retro Radio Hours) in this quirky site-specific play the Matty Eckler Recreation Centre. Get your tickets here.

Anywhere

 

Written by Michael Ross Albert
directed by David Lafontaine

A young businesswoman returns to her AirBnB to find that her host has been waiting up for her. What started as a cordial relationship between strangers begins to steadily escalate into a tense and unnerving battle for control.

In this new thriller by Dora-nominated playwright Michael Ross Albert, two women face off against each other in a struggle for meaning, connection, and power.

See friend of Bygone Cass Van Wyck (Hildy in His Girl Friday) in this startling new thriller at the Factory Theatre. Tickets available here.

 2018: A Sex Odyssey

 

Written & directed by Theresa Ramirez

2018: A Sex Odyssey re-imagines life in space, Big Brother style, as we careen towards a post-climate change future – focussing on sex, relationships and the interpersonal dramas of six twenty-somethings living together on a spaceship. It begins three months into a two year journey to populate the planet Mars, due to the near total destruction of planet Earth as a direct result of human caused climate change and the wars that ensued. Still, no one really cares about climate change.

Check out friend of Bygone Alex Clay (McCue in His Girl Friday) in this re-imagined comedy/sci-fi playing at St.Vladimir’s Institute – tickets available here.

A Kev ‘n Cal Mystery

 

Written by Allan Turner and Christopher L. Hedrick
Directed by Nigel Downer

Kev ‘n Cal are two mystery solving brothers, boy adventurers on the trail of trouble across dimensions ending up on the wrong side of reality. Danger! Foul play! Puberty! Whatever the risks, Kev ‘n Cal can always count on each other. Or can they?

See friend of Bygone Allan Turner (who performed as his alter-ego, Mullet in our Vaudeville Revue) in what’s sure to be a comedy riot. Tickets available here.

The Queen’s Eulogy

 

Written by Rachel Ganz
Directed by Tanua Rintoul 

Set in a garbage world. Performed in a garbage dump. A play about women who refuse to be trash. We are literally building a theatre in a garbage dump. You gotta check it out! Book. your ticket, share this event. Come get TRASHY.

Written by friend of Bygone Rachel Ganz (the brilliant playwright behind Joe, a play that has been being workshopped this season) this production is sure to be brilliant and outrageous. Get your tickets here.

The Girl in the Photograph

 

Written by Joel Pettigrew
Directed by Victoria Urquhart

“The Girl in the Photograph” is a play based on a true story set in Mexico, telling the story of Paula, who gets caught up in a forbidden first love amidst a whirlwind of emotion and drama. The play leads us by the hand as we witness the development of a teen relationship with intricate consequences that have on everyone it touches. More than the sum of its parts as a drama, there are also several themes and thought-provoking subjects being explored: how can love develop even when circumstances would forbid it? What is that strength that carries us through moments of manipulation, how does it activate, and how did it come to be in us? In addition to the story being set in Mexico, this show is a proudly latino production with a Hispanic cast, boasting the well-established actors and artists of Toronto and Canada.

Friend of Bygone David Chinchilla (who performed in our first ever Retro Radio Hour) is performing in this new drama. Get your tickets here.

Want to see what else is on at this year’s Fringe?
Check out the program guide on their website.

Bygone Theatre’s Top 5 Toronto Fringe Picks 2017

As always, here’s our round-up of the Top 5 2017 Toronto Fringe shows we think you should see – we know they’re gonna be great because they feature past Bygone artists! Check it out:

32 Short Sketches About Bees (Shannon Lahaie)

32 Short Sketches About Bees - 2017 Toronto Fringe

Synopsis: It started out as a bet: could this team put together a sketch comedy show with thirty two sketches about bees – any kind of bees, from honey bees to the letter B to Bea Arthur (if we can get the impression right) – in sixty minutes? Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. Let’s find out!

Featuring: Created by Andrew Bushell (Bad Dog), Leigh Cameron (Second City), Claire Farmer (Dame Judy Dench), Jessica Greco (Dame Judy Dench), Shannon Lahaie (Dame Judy Dench), Chris Leveille (Dame Judy Dench), and Cameron Wyllie (O Dat Dum), and directed by Paul Bates (Second City).

Shannon Lahaie: You may remember Shannon as Susy in Wait Until Dark. While she did a stunning job as a young, blind housewife in this suspense drama, Shannon’s greatest strength is in comedy. I saw her last year in Everything Else Is Sold Our and it was absolutely brilliant. With many of the same faces onstage this year, I know this show will be a hit.

 

Caitlin & Eric Are Broken Up (Caitlin Robson, Eric Miinch)

Caitlin And Eric Are Broken Up - 2017 Toronto Fringe

Synopsis: Newly-Singles Caitlin and Eric walk into a bedroom… and go on a painfully funny rebound to look back on their past relationships.

Featuring: Misery loves company! At a story-telling event in 2015, Eric Miinch (Fratwurst Comedy, Behold the Barfly Fringe 2016) told the audience a funny story from his personal heartache, and Caitlin Robson (Karenin’s Anna, Fringe 2014) countered with one from hers. Realizing what they had, they teamed up with Director Jess Beaulieu (Crimson Wave Comedy & Podcast), and through some improv, roleplay and imagination, they devised this candid, laugh-til-you-cry dialogue about love lost, and the art of moving on.
#CEBrokenUp

Caitlin Robson: You may remember Caitlin from her role as Miss Jeffries in our 2015 production of Rope. While this was another drama, Caitlin showed off her comedic timing at our Retro Radio Hour – Suspense! fundraiser, and I can’t wait to see her in this original show.

Eric Miinch: Eric played the sinister Mr.Roat in last year’s production of Wait Until Dark. While he made for an excellent villain, it was very against his character, and almost felt like a waste not giving him a chance to show off his comedic improv skills. Eric shines in comedy, I can’t wait to see him in this.

Confidential Musical Theatre Project (June 9 – Elizabeth Rose Morriss)

Confidential Musical Theatre Project - 2017 Toronto Fringe

SynopsisOur casts are given their scripts and scores and asked to familiarize themselves with their roles – but not to reveal the show title or their role in it to anyone. With no rehearsals, the cast and crew meet for the first time one hour before the performance begins. The audience shows up with no knowledge of what show they’re about to see. The only rule: don’t stop. No matter what.

Featuring: It varies, but we recommend the June 9th performance as it features the lovely Elizabeth Rose Morriss!

Elizabeth Rose Morriss: Liz has been a Bygone staple from the beginning. You may remember her from her role as Miss Kentley in RopeGertrude Baldwin in His Girl Friday, her performances at our Vaudeville Revue, or from one of our many Retro Radio Hour shows. CMTP is an ambitious project at any time, but doing them for a Fringe sounds incredibly challenging. Liz is a wonderful actor and a beautiful singer, so you know that, regardless of what the show is, the June 9th performance is going to be great.

On The Inside (Ryan Kotack)

On The Inside - 2017 Toronto Fringe

Synopsis: On The Inside is a docutheatre production inspired by Ashley Smith, a young female inmate from New Brunswick. Convicted of a minor infraction, Ashley later spent nearly three years in solitary confinement. This piece takes a close look at the effects of solitary on a young person and the hunger for relationships. Shame and vulnerability reveal themselves at different moments in the lives of an inmate, nurse and two prison guards. Each character journeys through the contrast between a harsh penal system and the reality of our universal desperation to be felt, heard and seen.

Featuring: Harry Lavigne, Ryan Christopher Kotack, Marnie Wohl Bennett, Kelechi Ofoha.

Ryan Kotack: Ryan was recently seen as Murphy in His Girl Friday, and before that as a cop in Wait Until Dark. In both of these roles, as well as others I’ve seen him in, he plays a gritty, disillusioned tough guy, and with the sound of this show I think he’s well cast and will be right at home – can’t wait.

Grey (Kenton Blythe)

Grey - 2017 Toronto Fringe

Synopsis: Twelve years ago Richard Buttle killed Jayden Alexander. Today is the day of his parole hearing. Jumping through time, the circumstances that lead to the crime begin to unravel. Who is really to blame? Not everything is as black and white as one would like to perceive.

Featuring: Kenton Blythe, Andrea Carter, Kion Flatts, Mandy Roveda, Asante Tracey and Veshone Cunningham.

Kenton Blythe : You may remember Kenton from way back in 2013, when we mounted our second ever production, Dial M For Murder. Kenton played loveable crime-writer Max. Since then he’s gone on to perform in a tour of Evil Dead; The Musical and to do a season at the Shaw Festival. Can’t wait to see him onstage here at home!

 

The Toronto Fringe Festival has an amazing 160 ticketed events, as well as over 50 free, drop-in events – so get out there and get Fringing!

-E.

Cast Spotlight: Elizabeth Rose Morris

elizabeth-rose-morriss-headshotElizabeth Rose Morriss plays uptight Gertrude Baldwin in His Girl Friday. You may remember Liz from her role as Miss Kentley in Rope and as a performer in our Vaudeville Revue, as well as numerous Retro Radio Hours. She is also currently on the Bygone Theatre Board of Directors.

Bio: Elizabeth Rose Morriss most recently performed as Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music (Confidential Musical Theatre Project), as Adella in The Little Mermaid (Lower Ossington Theatre), and as Margot Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank (Plain Stage Theatre Company). Previous Bygone Theatre roles include Miss Kentley in Rope, singer in the Vaudeville Revue, and a regular performer in their Retro Radio Hour shows.
She has degrees in Music Theatre (Acadia University) and Education (Nipissing University), is currently on the Board of Directors of Bygone Theatre, and does Marketing for the Toronto Confidential Musical Theatre Project. Keep up with Elizabeth online: Twitter and Instagram @lizrosemorriss, and facebook.com/elizabethrosemorriss.

screenshot-2016-06-23-23-41-49

How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?

Emily Dix directed a play I was in with Newborn Theatre, and I’ve been happy to be involved since the beginning of Bygone Theatre! I’m currently on the Board of Directors, and was intrigued from the first time Emily announced His Girl Friday as the next mainstage play.

What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?

I love the snappy, very stylized 1940s dialogue. The whole script is so witty and fast-paced, it’s a lot of fun!

What’s your favourite old movie?

I love a lot of old movies, mostly musicals, but my favourite has to be Singin’ in the Rain.

Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?

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Ian McGarret as Mr. Kentley and Elizabeth Rose Morriss as Miss Kentley in Rope, 2014.

In 2014, I played Miss Kentley in Bygone Theatre’s production of Rope—different decade and not a comedy, but also a period piece, and also a play with a classic movie version. Most recently I played Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music (Confidential Musical Theatre Project), Adella in The Little Mermaid (Lower Ossington Theatre), and was a singer in Bygone’s Vaudeville Revue.

Why should people come and see the show?

For fun, entertaining vintage comedy!

See Liz live onstage this March in His Girl Friday – tickets available online.

Retro Radio Hour – Creature Feature

Kicking off our 2016/17 season is Retro Radio Hour – Creature Feature! Join us for an evening of vintage radio plays, oldies music, magic AND our season announcement – learn how you can get involved in our mainstage productions.

Show is on Monday October 24th at the Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas St. E. Doors open at 8pm, and as always tickets are only $5. Check out our Facebook event for more details.

Hope to see you there!

Retro Radio Hour – Nifty 50s

It’s almost that time again! Retro Radio Hour is back, this time celebrating all things 1950s! Join us and the cast of our next show, Wait Until Dark, on Friday March 25th at the Imperial Pub for an evening of vintage radio plays, oldies music, magic, classic cinema trivia and more! Doors open at 8pm, tickets are only $5 at the door (cash please!). All proceeds go to support Wait Until Dark, running April 14-16th in the rehearsal hall at Tarragon Theatre.

Hope to see you there!

Retro Radio Hour Nifty 50s

Retro Radio Hour – Hollywood!

Another in our popular radio series, this month we do a tribute to some Golden Age Hollywood classics! Join us for a night of vintage radio plays, oldies music, magic, & classic cinema trivia! All for only $5. All proceeds go towards our next production, Wait Until Dark.

WHEN: Friday February 26th, doors at 8pm
WHERE: The Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas St. E (right near Yonge/Dundas Square)
WHY: To support our next mainstage production
HOW: simple! Tickets are $5 cash at the door

PLUS
We have an exciting silent auction, with items like…
* Pair of tickets from Theatre Passe Muraille
* Gift certificate from Doll Factory clothing
* Dance lessons from Metro Movement
* Tickets from Confidential Musical Theatre Project
* A pair of passes for general family admission to a Toronto Historic Site
* Starbucks gift pack
* Belly dancing lessons
* A pair of tickets to a Nightwood Theatre performance
* Pair of tickets to a Factory Theatre performance
and more!

See you there!
#BTradio

Retro Radio Hour – Winter Wonderland

Retro Radio Hour – Winter Wonderland is just around the corner! This is the 7th in our radio series, another fun-filled evening of vintage radio plays, oldies music, magic & a Christmas sale all in support of our mainstage season. The show is playing at the Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas St. E (Yonge & Dundas) Friday November 27th; doors open at 8pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

This month’s show features…

Elizabeth Stuart-Morris – Bygone’s Chair
Elizabeth makes her Bygone performance debut this week. Come see the lovely lady who’s been hard at work behind the scenes. You may have seen her in other performances in Toronto, like the recent Summerworks production of Seams.

Leete Stetson – Bygone’s Vice Chair & Past Performer
Leete has been a part of Bygone since its beginning. He starred as Tony in Dial M For Murder and as Brandon in Rope, as well as having participated in past radio shows.

 Emily Dix – Bygone’s Artistic Executive Director
Emily usually works behind-the-scenes, directing and producing Bygone’s shows, but she has performed in every one of our radio shows to-date.

Matt McGrath – Bygone Founding Member
In addition to working on the production side of Bygone’s shows, Matt has been seen onstage in previous radio shows, and as Kenneth in Rope.

Ian McGarrett – Past Performer
Ian made his acting debut as Thompson in Dial M For Murder and since then has been a staple of Bygone’s radio series. He also played the role of Dr. Kentley in Rope.

Leigh Beadon – Past Performer
Leigh has been involved in the last few radio shows, performing his incredible magic/mentalist routine!

Michael Zahorak – Past Performer
Mike first joined Bygone as the composer for Kill Sister, Kill. Since then he has performed for several of our radio shows.

#BTradio #WinterWonderland

Retro Radio Hour – Spring Fling!

On Thursday May 14, 2015, Bygone will be presenting the 5th show in the retro radio series, Retro Radio Hour – Spring Fling. We are back at the SoCap and as always, tickets are only $5 cash at the door. This week’s show features; Emily Dix, Matt McGrath, Elizabeth Rose Morriss, Ian McGarrett, Mikey Zahorak, Peter Grant Mackechnie, Nicole Byblow, Astrid Atherly and Joseph Vita with magic by Leigh Beadon.

Rope – Cast Spotlight – Leete Stetson

Leete Stetson has worked on every Bygone show to date; he was music director and part of the choir in Doubt: A Parable, played Tony Wendice in Dial M For Murder and has performed in each of the Retro Radio Hour shows. Leete joins us again as the sinister Brandon Wyndham in Rope.

1. What first attracted you to  Bygone Theatre and this production of Rope?
The lovely and talented Emily Dix. To date, I think I’ve been involved in just about everything Bygone Theatre has done. Emily and I have many interests in common, one of which is Alfred Hitchcock who did a film adaptation of this play.

2. What challenges have you faced/OR/ what is your favourite part of working on a site-specific play that runs in real time?
My favorite part of working on play that runs in real time is that you don’t have to make up what happens to the character in between scenes. The biggest challenge of working on a play that runs in real time is that you don’t get to make up what happens to the character in between scenes.
3. What have you done to prepare for your role?
I’ve sat in the dark late at night and had deep conversations with the air about death and the futility of existence. Then, I’ve turned on the lights and read the script until I could say almost all of my lines in the right order.
4. What has been your favourite part of the rehearsal process so far?
I like the parts where I’m waxing philosophic with Rupert/Jamieson Child. He’s a good listener. My second favourite part of the rehearsal process is yelling at Emily when I disagree with her.
5. Why should everyone come and see Rope?
It’s not very often that you get to see a play in as beautiful a location as the Gibson House museum. It’s not very often that you get to see a play whose scope is as pinpoint-focused as one room, one evening. It’s not very often that you get to see a play with as talented a group of actors as Nicholas Arnold, Jamieson Child, Caitlin Robson, Elizabeth Rose Morriss, Matt McGrath, Chelsey MacLean and Ian McGarrett

 

Want to see more of Leete? Get your tickets to Rope through TO Tix.