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10 Don’t-Miss Productions

CHRISTMAS CHEER At the newly renamed Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Irving Berlin’s beloved White Christmas casts a snowy glow upon the city from November 20 to January 5. The romantic story follows two friends who find love in wintry Vermont. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Thursday to Saturday 8 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday and Saturday 2 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m., $37 to $100; call 416-872-2262 for tickets.

DINNER AND A SHOW Re-live the decade of bell-bottoms, platform shoes and the Bee Gees while enjoying a meal at Stage West‘s dinner theatre production of 70’s Fever, from November 22 to February 3. Tuesday to Saturday dinner 6:30 p.m., show 8:15 p.m., Wednesday lunch 11 a.m., show 12:30 p.m. Sunday lunch 11 a.m., show 12:30 p.m., dinner 5 p.m., show 6:45 p.m., $57.46 to $79.01; call 905-238-0042 to buy. If you’re in the mood for a more interactive theatre experience, Mysteriously Yours presents It’s a Wonderful Death, opening October 5. Wednesday to Saturday dinner 6:30 p.m., show 8 p.m., $40 to $90; call 416-486-7469 for tickets.

TIME OF YOUR LIFE Recognized as being the largest theatre company in Toronto, Mirvish Productions has premiered many acclaimed plays. The company’s newest season continues with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street . Running from November 6 to December 9, this play about revenge follows a barber through his transformation into a serial killer. Beginning October 31 Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage, is the love story of Baby and Johnny. Also, We Will Rock You, based on the songs of Queen, will be on stage until January 6. Various theatres; call 416-872-1212 to for times and tickets.

CHOREOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT The National Ballet of Canada presents three short works by American-born choreographer Jerome Robbins from November 8 to 18. Together on one program, each work reflects a different facet of Robbins’s style. West Side Story Suite is inspired by the Broadway musical; Glass Pieces features music by composer Philip Glass; while the romantic In the Night is set to scores by Chopin. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Wednesday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., $45 to $200; call 416-345-9595 for matinée performance dates and tickets.

GET A HANDEL ON IT The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has been delighting audiences since 1923. This season, the TSO brings George Friderick Handel’s Messiah to Roy Thompson Hall from December 15 to 21. This performance of the famed oratorio is conducted by Nicholas Kroemer and performed by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, with solo vocalists Susie LeBlanc, Laura Pudwell, Michael Schade and Stephen Morscheck. Roy Thompson Hall, Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m., $35 to $125; call 416-593-4828 for tickets.

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA The Canadian Opera Company, the largest producer of opera in the country, kicks off its new season with two classic shows. The Marriage of Figaro, running from October 2 to November 2, tells the tale of a couple’s road to marriage—though another man covets the bride-to-be. The Spanish Inquisition provides a backdrop for Don Carlos, from October 12 to November 3, as a love triangle unfolds between a father, his son and a French princess. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Tuesday to Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $60 to $275; call 416-363-8231 to buy.

FAMILY FARE Presenting family-friendly shows since 1966, the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People‘s latest season continues to educate and entertain. On stage from October 1 to 13, me me me…, is the story of an overly precocious classmate who always raises her hand to answer questions. The land of Oz is the setting for a new adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, running from November 4 to December 30. Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, $15 to $20, call 416-862-2222 for times and tickets.

FESTIVE FARE Famous People Players gets into the holiday spirit as Deck the Halls with!… opens in November. Elves, penguins and a nutcracker spread holiday cheer following dinner. Phil Collins Theatre, Tuesday to Saturday dinner 7 p.m., show 8 p.m.; call 416-532-1137 for tickets.

HERE COMES THE BRIDE The new kid on the theatre block, Dancap Productions, makes its debut this season with six shows. The Drowsy Chaperone kicks off the season, running through to October 14. In this musical created by Toronto’s own Bob Martin, a celebrity bride deals with comedic chaos her wedding day. Elgin Theatre, Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Wednesday and weekends 2 p.m., $50 to $100; call 416-872-5555 for tickets.

SEASON’S END Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Shaw Festival , which presents the works of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries, wraps up its 2007 season on November 11. Some shows to catch before the curtains close are: Shaw’s Saint Joan, Somerset Maugham’s The Circle; and Michael Stewart’s Mack and Mabel. Various theatres, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Tuesday to Sunday at 2 and 8 p.m., $45 to $95; call 1-800-511-SHAW to book. The prestigious Stratford Festival ends its season on November 4. Catch The Bard’s King Lear, Othello and The Merchant of Venice, as well as the musical Oklahoma, the dramatic To Kill a Mockingbird, and Oscar Wilde’s comedy An Ideal Husband. Various theatres, Stratford, Tuesday to Saturday 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $26 to $108, call 1-800-567-1600 to reserve.

—Mario Cywinski

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