>A century-old fascination with orchids grafts together Victorian and modern stories in Dave Carley's Orchidelirium, a seductive blend of fact and fiction involving two powerful women, a no-nonsense contemporary ethnobotanist and her great-great-aunt, an industrial heiress with romantic tendencies. Sue Miner directs a strong cast that includes Tanja Jacobs, Patrick Galligan, Anne Page and Joel Hechter. The Pea Green/Theatre Voce co-pro opens February 21 at the Factory Studio (125 Bathurst). 416-504-9971.
through the roof
>It's hard to think of a stronger or more eclectic lineup of Canadian comics than this year's gala bill for the annual Raising The Roof fundraiser. Seán Cullen, Sandra Shamas, Carla Collins, Ryan Belleville, Pete Zedlacher and the entire revamped cast of the Second City are sure bets to make us laugh over a good cause (the show raises funds to combat homelessness), while hosts Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson of the ubiquitous Royal Canadian Air Farce should draw the 905 set. February 9 at the Second City (56 Blue Jays Way). 416-481-1838.
world's a stage
>South African culture puts its stamp on a major segment of the ninth World Stage Festival, which opens April 1 and runs all month. Indaba -- Zulu for gathering place -- includes a take on Georges Bizet's Carmen, a multi-language version of a medieval English play cycle, a celebration of Zulu women and a play about a black and a white family in 60s South Africa. Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre makes its Canadian premiere with a revival of Glengarry Glen Ross, while Scotland's Traverse Theatre visits with the award-winning Outlying Islands. The Canadian participants include Carbone 14, Crow's Theatre, Tapestry New Opera Works, Autumn Leaf Performance, Necessary Angel and CanStage. Also part of the month-long event is the AfriCanadian Playwrights Festival. Various venues. 416-973-4000.
>It's hot, it's hip, it's biblical. Say what? Montreal company Foqué dans la Tête, in association with the Tarragon, brings back Fringe hit Job: The Hip-Hop Musical, a seemingly crazy idea that turns out to be true to both its musical and narrative roots. Playing all the parts, Eli Batalion and Jerome Saibil turn the Old Testament tale of a suffering man into a piece about life in the corporate office of a record company. High energy, clever rhymes and non-stop action make this a not-to-be-missed show, even for those whose musical interests runs to Mozart or Garth Brooks. Opens February 25 in the Tarragon Extra Space (30 Bridgman). 416-531-1827.
>Droll, deadpan stand-up Steven Wright will never get laugh lines. (Have you ever seen the guy crack a smile?) But count on laughing lines of fans -- including most of our best local stand-ups -- forming round the block to catch a rare appearance by this monotone-voiced original, who's anything but monotonous. He plays the Hummingbird (1 Front East) March 5. 416-872-2262, 416-870-8800.
>How do you stay hot in the winter? Check out Grupo Corpo, Brazil's most flamboyant, colourful dance export. Always a crowd-pleaser (I remember audiences going hysterical during the troupe's last performance, in 2001), the Latin dancers capture the ritualistic aspect of movement with their earthy, passionate moves. They bring two new pieces to town starting March 4 at the Premiere Dance Theatre (207 Queen's Quay West). 416-973-4000.