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Here's an outline to plan your ticket-foraging with. Scatter a few of these evenings through the season like little culture outposts and absorb some of the talent --- both local and bussed in --- at hand this season. The show's about to begin.

For dance, you're in a hotspot: the quality dance program at SUNY Brockport (www.brockport.edu, 395-2797) schedules several concerts throughout the year. Catch Jane Comfort and Company sharing its "dance theater" on February 16 and 17 and the Dance Awareness Days, with events scattered throughout studios, classrooms, and theaters, on February 23 and 25.

NazarethCollege (www.naz.edu, 389-2170) brings the Trinity Irish Dance Company --- people can't get enough of that percussive Irish step --- on January 28 and MOMIX --- dancers engaging props, light, and shadow --- on March 3. And for the first time, the Rochester City Ballet will dance at Nazareth on March 25 and 26. The ballet?Peter and the Wolf.

At the Center for the Arts at UB (www.ubcfa.org), the Neglia Ballet Artists will perform Don Quixote on March 18, and Elisa Monte Dance --- with its intense, physical style of modern dance --- will perform on Friday, March 24.

In theater: Geva (www.gevatheatre.org, 232-4382) has opened Vigil, by Canadian Morris Pynch, and it will continue through February 5. The "vigil" is a deathbed one, a nephew by his dying aunt's side, but don't expect the Movie of the Week. After that (February 21 through March 19) is Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's 1955 Inherit the Wind, an American classic still relevant: a high school science teacher is jailed for teaching evolution. And Geva Comedy Improv continues bring the laughter on Geva'sNextstage one weekend a month for mere pennies (700 of them).

Blackfriars Theatre (www.blackfriars.org, 454-1260) will open the perspective-shifting comedic drama Nickel & Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America,by Barbara Ehreneich, March 10 through 25. Shipping Dock (232-2250, www.shippingdocktheatre.org) will have Soldier's Heart March 3 through April 2, about a WWI veteran who, six years after coming home, has to talk about the war to save his relationship with his 16-year-old son. And the JCC Centerstage presents two musical winter shows: Berlin and Bernstein February 2 through 5 and A Class Act in March. (461-2000, www.jccrochester.org)

Downstairs Cabaret Theatre has scheduled musical comedies The Water Coolers and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change to continue, along with appearances by the Nuts & Bolts comedy improv group. www.downstairscabaret.com

There's an exciting season at the Auditorium Theatre. George Carlin on January 20; David Copperfield on February 2; that wacky Australian, the one and only, Dame Edna February 14 through 19; and... drumroll... finally, finally, The Lion King on a healthy local run at the Aud, March 9 through April 16. (www.rbtl.org, 222-5000)

For the family: The Harlem Globetrotters never get old, they're at Blue Cross Arena February 11. (232-1900) Geva's Big Theatre for Little People program continues with Noodle Doodle Box --- about two clown friends who need to learn to share --- February 7 through 19.

Two old favorites: RAPA (325-3366)will perform The Wizard of Oz January 27 to February 12. The School of the Arts (242-7682) has Our Town February 9 through 12; and the Dazzle Theater (288-0050) --- home base for the Dazzle School of Performing Arts --- presents a Christian family musical called Stop the World, I'm Getting Off February 3 through 5. A Magical Journey Thru Stages (935-7173), a multi-generational community theater group, starts a new season of its Broadway Musical Revue, January 27 through March, upstairs at the Auditorium Theatre. Each performance benefits a different charity.

Sesame Street Live is at the Auditorium Theatre February 10 (www.rbtl.org, 222-5000) Rochester Children's Theater will perform And Then They Came For Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank March 18 and 19 at NazarethCollege. Also at Nazareth is Berenstein Bears on Stage on April 1, by the visiting Omaha Theater Company. (www.naz.edu)

In This Guide...

    Winter Guide 2006

    City Newspaper breaks it down for you
    In this year's guide to the winter season, we've focused on things to do. Much like the government's odd, grammatical anti-obesity campaign ("VERB: It's what you do"), City wants you to get out and get moving.

    Hear

    Yup, it's DVD, CD, and fireplace weather for the next few months. But if you live alone, you might get a little lonely.

    Celebrate

    The heartiest and most enterprising souls among us realize winter can be not only a time of fun, but a time of tourism! Why not get the people out of their huts and into the open, they reason, if only for a brief while?

    Look

    After some brief holiday downtime, local galleries and museums are back in full force. So you have an array of culture to choose from, if you're into that kind of thing.

    Play

    Spanking new year, same old story: we all peer outside from the warmth of our homes for a couple weeks and then, realizing that winter ain't going anywhere anytime soon, concede that if we want to stave off cabin fever, we're going to have to make with the bulky coats and really unattractive boots. So when you finally achieve acceptance (the final stage of grief), there are a number of activities you can participate in to make the cold-weather months tolerable, and possibly even enjoyable.

    Listen

    Hear that? Because so many local organizations and institutions go all out planning them for this slow time of year, winter is a great time to attend lectures.

    Shelter from the storm

    Winter skills
    If you've lived in Rochester for any length of time, you've probably muttered nasty words under your breath about the weather. And during the five months we call "winter," one of those words was probably "arctic."

    City's winter choices

    City's winter choice: dancing There are plenty of ways to raise your body temperature this winter and have some fun doing it (i.e. you don't have to use words like "cardio," "reps," or "ow") That's right, you should be dancing. Many local groups and venues offer dance nights in their genre of choice, often at low cost and with some sort of basic instruction.

    Frozen in pictures

    Winter Guide photo contest
    Our inaugural Winter Guide photo contest has been a success. We had great response to our call for photos of winter in the Rochester area.

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