What do you get when you move a critic from the audience to the other side of the footlights? In our case, two people both excited and humbled by the prospect of directing. Beyond The Byline is a Factory Theatre fundraiser in which eight local reviewers direct a short scene from a Canadian play of their choice. Glenn Sumi leads Jonathan Fisher and Irene Poole in a selection from The Gap, a new play by Ian Ross (fareWel), while Jon Kaplan works with Steve Cumyn and Catherine McNally in a scene from Leah Cherniak, Robert Morgan and Martha Ross's The Anger In Ernest And Ernestine. Michael Healey hosts the evening (so we know we're going to be sent up), Monday (December 3), 8 pm. $100, including a tax receipt. 125 Bathurst. 416-504-9971.
Need to find that unusual gift for the holidays? Buddies in Bad Times holds its 11th annual auction, featuring items both traditional -- theatre tickets, holiday getaways, dinners -- and exotic, including erotic art, leather luxuries and Ellen-Ray Hennessy's pussy. Hosted by Fiona MacCool (Strange Sisters) and Marc Richard (When We Were Singing), the auction happens tonight (Thursday, November 29), starting with a 7 pm preview and hot and heavy bidding at 8 pm. 12 Alexander. 416-975-8555.
Margaret Cho's Notorious C.H.O. Tour filled up Roy Thomson Hall last Friday. The Korean-American stand-up's act has matured since her breakthrough show (and film), I'm The One That I Want. She's more relaxed and grounded. Cho began on a serious note, admitting that she was in New York City on September 11. Within a minute she had us howling at her unique combination of self-affirming sincerity and forthright sexuality -- a theme that continued with bits about looking for her G spot, being fisted ("I felt like one of the Muppets") and why she hates getting flowers from straight men.