7. Get stage fright

21 ways to beat the winter blahs


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Grey days and cold weather getting you down? Warm up with some hot theatre.

Like its zombies, Evil Dead: The Musical simply refuses to die. Based on Sam Raimi’s campy horror films and winner of last year’s audience choice award, the over-the-top show, again featuring Ryan Ward as the demon-fighting hero, gives you some bloody good laughs. Starts February 14 (ohhh – sweet Valentine’s gift!) at the Diesel Playhouse. 416-971-5656.

There’s blood of a different sort on the menu in Abattoir, loosely inspired by dancer/choreographer Allen Kaeja’s childhood experiences working in his father’s abattoir. It’s Kaeja d’Dance’s most genre-busting piece yet, with text by Jason Sherman and contributions by opera singer Fides Krucker. From March 25 at the Premiere Dance Theatre. 416-973-4000.

While many of Neil Simon’s plays go for easy yuks, his 1965 hit The Odd Couple touches the heart and the funnybone. The solid piece about mismatched roommates gets a starry Soulpepper production featuring Diego Matamoros and Albert Schultz as neat-freak Felix and slobby Oscar. Starts February 11 at the Young Centre. 416-866-8666.

How about some Canadian history with your entertainment? VideoCabaret offers Laurier, the eighth chapter in Michael Hollingsworth’s outsized, outrageous look at our past. This episode focuses on the public and private life of the prime minister who was the pirouetting, bird-flipping Trudeau of his day. From February 5 at the Cameron House. 416-703-1725.

Tasty Rhubarb! always chases away the winter blahs. This year’s 30th festival of experimental installations, performances and interdisciplinary hybrids includes Gideon Arthurs’s Marxist/Brechtian interpretation of Where The Wild Things Are A Minor Symphony In Bees, which explores the link between the decline of the bee population and cellphone towers (it’s lit entirely by cellphones) and Hannah Moscovitch’s dark comedy Post-Democracy, in which a CEO tries to contain a co-worker’s sexual indiscretions. The crop’s ready for tasting February 20 at Buddies. 416-975-8555.

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