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Justin Hawkins of British rock group The Darkness receives the award for Best British Group on stage at the Brit Awards in London, February 17, 2004. (Stephen Hird/Reuters)
Justin Hawkins of British rock group The Darkness receives the award for Best British Group on stage at the Brit Awards in London, February 17, 2004. (Stephen Hird/Reuters)

What to do in Toronto from Jan. 19 to 25: See the Darkness, experience the Happy Show and much more Add to ...

A self-loving lothario works his way through seven women in Arthur Schnitzler’s 1920 Viennese romance, here adapted as a saucy, contemporary comedy by Morris Panych. To Feb. 10. $27 to $53. Tarragon Theatre Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827.

The Penelopiad

Megan Follows stars as Penelope, the long-suffering wife of Odysseus who, in Margaret Atwood’s audacious re-imagining of Homer’s The Odyssey, retells the epic from the perspective of the home front – reliving the 20 years she spent waiting for her hero to return from the Trojan war to Ithaca. To Feb. 10. $38 to $45. Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander St., 416-975-8555 or nightwoodtheatre.net.

A Woman of No Importance

Lord Illingworth, a devoted flirt and witty Wildean dandy, is confronted with his scandalous past involving a respected widow in Oscar Wilde’s dark comedy about English upper class society. Jan. 25 to Feb. 9. $20. Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley St., 416-364-4170.

DANCE

Dance Weekend

Think of this as a speed-dating approach to acquainting yourself with the city’s varied dance troupes and artists. Two days of one-after-the-other performances shed light on 32 companies, with two world premieres and dance films adding to the attraction. Jan. 19 and 20, 1 to 7 p.m. $10 (minimum donation). Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000 or danceontario.ca.

Shen Yun

The Chinese Communist Party might shun the Shen, but the New York-based company is a hit elsewhere. Established in 2006 by expatriate Chinese artists and connected to a spiritual sect banned in China, the troupe’s mandate is to “restore and revive Chinese traditional culture,” which it does in flashy sound-and-vision fashion. Jan. 19 (2 and 7:30 p.m.) and Jan. 20 (2 p.m.). $67 to $208.75. Sony Centre, 1 Front St. E., 1-855-872-7669 or ticketmaster.ca.

The Body in Question

The acclaimed American choreographer Deborah Hay has a pair of her solo pieces – News (2006) and At Once (2009) – adapted and danced by the highly capable Christopher House. Jan. 19 (8 p.m.) and Jan. 20 (2 p.m.). $20 to $26. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester St., 416-967-1365 or tdt.org.

COMEDY

Gavin Crawford’s Bits & Pieces

Why this comedian isn’t bigger internationally is one of show biz’s most confounding mysteries. For the second night of a two-night stand, the gifted Canadian does this and that on Downton Abbey, Rufus Wainwright and Hugh Jackman. Jan. 19, 7 p.m. $15 to $20. Flying Beaver Pubaret, 488 Parliament St., 647-347-6567.

Altered States

Has anyone ever hypnotized a chicken into thinking it’s a human? The mind-blowing comedic hypnotist Brandon – not “The Great Fundini,” or anything like that – reaches into subconscious minds and pulls out hilarity and hijinks. Jan. 20, 7 p.m. $10 to $15. Flying Beaver Pubaret, 488 Parliament St., 647-347-6567.

LITERARY and LECTURE

Kama Reading Series

The theme of this edition of the popular series, which is dedicated to erasing poverty through literacy, is O Canada, with authors James Laxer, Samantha Nutt and Noah Richler discussing topics inherent in their new books Tecumseh & Brock: The War of 1812; Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies & Aid and What We Talk About When We Talk About War, respectively. Jan. 23, 6:30 p.m. $60 ($275 for five-part series). Park Hyatt, 4 Avenue Rd., 416-977-0008.

EVENT

Wanna See a Casino on the Toronto Waterfront?

Round and round the discussion goes – where it stops, nobody knows. Concerned citizens gather for a community discussion on the merits of a local place for slots, Wayne Newton and roulette. Jan. 19, 1 to 4 pm. Free. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge, toronto.ca.

Monster Jam

How much road rage to the gallon do you think a vehicle called “Grave Digger” gets? Pulverizing, fearsomely named behemoths with tires the size of condominiums run wild and entertain the type of crowds turned off by the sophistication of stock car racing. Jan. 19 (7 p.m.) and Jan. 20 (2 p.m.). $29.05 to $66.85. Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, 1-855-985-5000 or monsterjamcanada.ca.

Come Up To My Room

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