Tired of slipping around on slushy, icy streets? Then get your booty and your salt-stained boots over to one of the city's theatres, where the onstage action will heat you up. Here are more ways to love the season.
MARJORIE CHAN CAN
You probably know Marjorie Chan from her intense acting in shows like You Are Here and Mother Tongue. Now she debuts as a playwright with the full-length China Doll . At its centre is a young foot-bound Shanghai woman who sees the possibility of a different future when she reads a translation of Ibsen's A Doll's House. The Nightwood production opens February 19 in the Tarragon Extra Space (30 Bridgman). 416-531-1827.
LOCK HAS THE KEY
A new piece choreographed by the rock star of the dance world, Édouard Lock , and La La La Human Steps is always an event. So far, the Montreal troupe has confirmed a single performance (February 10) of Amelia , which has been acclaimed from Moscow to Munich. The piece, for nine dancers and a live musical trio, explores the possibilities of the human body. Get yours to the Hummingbird (1 Front East) box office ASAP. 416-872-2262.
Had enough problems with your own relatives? Spend some time with the darkly comic family unit in playwright Michael Healey 's latest, Rune Arlidge , which explores three generations of women at the family cottage who can't get along yet can't escape from each other. Performances begin February 24 at the Tarragon (30 Bridgman). 416-531-1827.
HIPHOP DANCE ROMEO AND JULIET
Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers are always ready for radical revisioning, and now there's Rome & Jewels , a hiphop dance version of the tragedy from Philadelphia's Rennie Harris and his Puremovement Dance Company . The show mixes movement, music, spoken word, narration and three DJs to re-spin the story of love and death within two warring street gangs. February 24 to 29 at the Elgin (189 Yonge). 416-872-5555.
Ever want to look both forward and backward at the same time? The latest Rhubarb! will do just that, as curators Franco Boni and Moynan King give a retro look to the 25-year-old festival by scheduling hits from the past as well as new works. Begins February 4 at Buddies in Bad Times (12 Alexander). 416-975-8555.
This winter the dance scene takes it to the street. After its acclaimed T.O. debut two seasons ago, Arab-influenced French troupe Compagnie Käfig returns with Corps Est Graphique , a look at social conditions using street-inspired dance. Expect lots of bravura one-upmanship and bodies of all shapes and sizes strutting to audience cheering. Must be seen to be believed. March 2 to 6 at the Premiere Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay West). 416-973-4000.
Canadian Stage makes effective use of colour-blind casting by alternating two first-class stage artists, white actor Caroline Cave and black actor Yanna McIntosh , in Pamela Gien 's solo piece The Syringa Tree , about a black and a white family living in 60s South Africa. Shows start February 23 at the Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front East). 416-368-3110.
Clown-oriented Theatre Smith-Gilmour taps the grim humour of hospitals - and continues its superb stage adaptations of Chekhov 's fiction - with Dr. Chekhov: Ward Six , set in an insane asylum where the patients have more smarts than their caregivers. The co-pro with Factory opens February 28 at Factory's Mainspace (125 Bathurst). 416-504-9971.