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Seven things to do (without having to leave your seat)

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Feel the rhythm

NAfro Productions is bringing high-energy, African-inspired dance to the Gas Station Theatre. Kudja is a work by NAfro artistic director Casimiro Nhussi, and it's the biggest cast of dancers the dance company has assembled in a decade. It features three guest dancers from Toronto alongside eight dancers from NAfro. The show runs March 1 to March 3 at 8 p.m. (2 p.m. for Sunday's matinee). Tickets are $25, or $20 for students and seniors.

Feel the rhyme

The Loft Gastropub (774 Corydon Ave.) offers two open mic nights every week. Anything goes at Rock the Loft each Tuesday -- karaoke, comedy, poetry... If you want an audience, the floor is yours. Poetry Open Mic, Thursday nights, is specifically for spoken word poetry. If performing isn't your thing, it's a great place to sit back, grab some good food, and enjoy the talent Winnipeg didn't even know it had.

Get a tune up

The Manitoba Theatre Centre is never a disappointment for a night out. Right now they're showing Ed's Garage, a play about a mechanic who doubles as a therapist for his customers (until a real therapist moves in next door). It's a lighthearted comedy that promises to be fun and engaging.

Single tickets start at $29. The show runs until March 2.

Get on the verge

Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers is presenting its up and coming dancers in Verge. The Emerging Artist Company features dancers either freshly graduated from the School of Contemporary Dancers or in their fourth and final year of the program. This year, eight women will be showing what they've learned in a powerful performance.

Verge runs March 1 to 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Ask "What is it good for?"

This is War, a new play by Hannah Moscovitch, runs until March 10 at Prairie Theatre Exchange. Moscovitch, who has contributed to the CBC Radio drama Afghanada, presents a harsh, stark look at the war in Afghanistan. Through interviews with four soldiers, focusing on one event, the audience is taken into the war zone and the everyday lives and choices of Canadian soldiers. Tickets start at $27. Prairie Theatre Exchange is located downtown, inside Portage Place Shopping Centre.

Experience the talent

Winnipeg is rife with open mic nights, and CaRaVaN is one of the better ones. Every Monday night at 7 p.m., performers of all kinds get three minutes each to strut their stuff and entertain the audience. Located at Frame Arts Warehouse (181 Ross Ave.), CaRaVaN offers a variety show that changes every week, with no cost to those who want to come out and enjoy.

Love Atwood

Margaret Atwood is just one of those writers -- she makes me proud to be Canadian. She's an artist I feel I can point to and say, "There. Canada's made a good contribution to the world. We've made up for certain other celebrities we're maybe not so proud of."

Atwood's play Penelopiad is playing until March 9 at the Manitoba Theatre Centre Tom Hendry Theatre Warehouse (140 Rupert Ave.). The play puts a contemporary spin on the story of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus from Homer's Odyssey. The material is witty, coy, and endlessly entertaining.

Tickets start at $20.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 24, 2013 ??65534

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