Want a shot of artistic estrogen? Buddies in Bad Times and Nightwood collaborate on the second annual Hysteria: A Festival Of Women , a multidisciplinary event curated by Moynan King and Kelly Thornton that this year features an international component, with participants from California and Sweden, the latter a drag king troupe called The Lion Kings . Also look for a group from Montreal's Edgy Women - a lesbian cabaret that's like Buddies' Strange Sisters - and installations and performances by Sherry Hay , Jennifer Fawcett , Erin Dace Trudell , Claudia Moore , Shoshana Sperling and Teresa Pavlinek . Opens November 4 at Buddies (12 Alexander). 416-975-8555.
The Theatre Centre launches its newly refashioned space with a fascinating double bill of Beckett and Brecht . Theatre Extasis's Jennifer Tarver directs five brief, seldom performed works by existential writer Samuel Beckett, with Paul Fauteux , Barbara Gordon and David Jansen . It runs in rep with Theatre Asylum's BéBé - directed by Jennifer Capraru , with Keira Loughran , Ruth Madoc-Jones , Camille Stubel and Severn Thompson - a look at the women in playwright Bertolt Brecht's life who inspired, and perhaps wrote, some of his most famous works. Previews from November 10 and opens November 12. 1087 Queen West. 416-538-0988.
Whoopi Goldberg cancelled her September 30 gig, but the fall's abuzz with appearances by three more of the funniest female comics in the business, all of them Canucks. Sandra Shamas (October 30) showcases new material, and the always hilarious Elvira Kurt plays a double-header November 19 with Brigitte Gall , a gut-bustingly witty stand-up who's better known these days for her fix-it-up TV shows. Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge). 416-872-1111.
Yvonne Ng and Robert Glumbek have that certain je ne sais quoi that separates good dance partners from great ones. She's small, he's tall; she's of Asian background, he's European. Fading Shadows/Returning Echoes pairs the two in new duets by Dominique Dumais and Glumbek himself. Then the two reprise an acclaimed duet by master choreographer Tedd Robinson . October 28 to 30 at the Winchester Street Theatre (80 Winchester). 416-504-7529.
Writer David Young (Glenn, Inexpressible Island) returns to the stage with an adaptation of Alistair MacLeod 's award-winning novel No Great Mischief , about the Scottish MacDonald clan's 1779 emigration to Cape Breton and a contemporary family's attempt to reconcile past and present. Young's frequent collaborator, Richard Rose , directs a cast that features R. H. Thomson , David Fox , Nancy Palk , Stephen Guy-McGrath , Geoffrey Pounsett , Jody Richardson and Mike Ross . Previews begin November 3 and opens November 9 at the Tarragon (30 Bridgman). 416-531-1827.
Taking advantage of the fact that we've got some of the best female dance talent in the country, Kaeja d'Dance presents 6 Women, 6 Solos , a series of pieces - five of them world premieres - for women. Nova Bhattacharya and Megan Andrews dance works by Karen Kaeja , while Kaeja herself dances a new piece by Toronto Dance Theatre's Jessica Runge . Susan Lee and Tanya Crowder perform their own solos, and the thrilling Marie-Josée Chartier reprises the challenging piece Allen Kaeja created for her in 2001 called Descent . An embarrassment of riches. October 21 to 23 at Dancemakers Studio (55 Mill). 416-516-6030.
We all know stand-up comedy's a guys' game, but you'd think there'd at least be a token woman on the Just For Laughs Comedy Tour lineup. Nope. It's a good show anyway, headed by our own Jeremy Hotz , the always reliable Russell Peters and singing duo the Doo Wops as well as the UK's Adam Bloom and the U.S.'s Todd Lynn , who scored a development deal with ABC. October 23 at 7 and 9 pm. Massey Hall (178 Victoria). 416-872-4255, 416-870-8000.
Murders, she wrote
West Coast playwright Marie Clements responds to a series of aboriginal women's murders in 80s Vancouver with The Unnatural And Accidental Women , a sometimes chilling, sometimes playful look at the characters not as statistics but as human beings. Native Earth and Buddies collaborate on the production, directed by Yvette Nolan and with a superb cast that includes Muriel Miguel , Gloria May Eshkibok , Sarah Podemski , Michelle Latimer and Valerie Buhagiar . Opens November 18 at Buddies (12 Alexander). 416-975-8555. Now critics' picks