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November brings chills, thrills and lots of music to stages around town

Three theatre pieces have now opened here, too recent to review, but with great credentials so I don’t hesitate to list them as must-sees.

Swan Song of Maria stars the incredible Ranee Lee exhibiting her acting chops to supplement her well-known singing and dancing skills.

In this show, which marks the 40th anniversary of the Black Theatre Workshop, Lee portrays a woman struggling with Alzheimer’s and memories of love. Actor-teacher Joel Miller is the husband. Dance and music (with a Latin twist) are integrated into the performance. Tyrone Beskin, fresh from his key role in Inherit The Wind, directs this “tragic fairy tale” by the award-winning Carole Cece Anderson.

Swan Song of Maria is at MAI, 3680 Jeanne Mance, until November 22. Info: 514-932-1104, ext. 226. *** Death and the Maiden brings back former Centaur director Gordon McCall in this proven political thriller by Chilean-born Ariel Dorfman. It deals with memories of torture and demons from the past, all told in a tight, gripping manner. Death and the Maiden is at Centaur Theatre, 453 St. François Xavier, until December 6. Info: 514-288-3161. *** Be My Baby deals with teenage girls giving up their babies for adoption in the ’60s. Directed by MECCA winner Gabrielle Soskin, this touching story features music from the period and a cast of six, including the versatile Nadia Verrucci. Be My Baby continues at Monument National, 1182 St. Laurent, until November 14. Info: 514-871-2224.

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