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NORTH OF THE BORDER

The season begins
Other local companies kick off their 1999-2000 seasons during this period, too, and all have subscriptions available.

Beautiful music from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra begins with the gala season opening Thursday, featuring soprano Kathleen Battle followed by a Beethoven Festival from Saturday to Oct. 17. Call (416) 593-4828. The Canadian Opera Company moves toward the millennium with productions of Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore" and Verdi's "La Traviata" in repertory Thursday through Oct. 9. Call (416) 872-2262.

Reprise, a company that presents Broadway musicals in concert form, initiates its season with "Guys and Dolls" Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 at the Jane Mallett Theater. The concert format offers costumes and a basic set, but simplicity keeps tickets at $47 or less. Call (416) 366-7723.

"The Road to Hell," a pair of comedies co-written by Canadian playwrights Michael Healey and Kate Lynch, premieres at the Tarragon Theater's opener through Oct. 24. Call (416) 531-1827. Theater Passe Muraille revives "The Drawer Boy," a hit of last season, Tuesday through Oct. 24. Call (416) 504-7529. The Canadian Stage inaugurates the new season with its own version of last year's Broadway hit "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" by British playwright Martin McDonaugh. It runs Sept. 27 to Nov. 6 at the Bluma Appel Theater. Call (416) 368-3110.

Visitors interested in saving theater money should check out T.O. TIX. Recently even tickets to "The Phantom of the Opera" and some Shaw Festival performances have been offered. The half-price ticket outlet has moved to the bottom level of the Toronto Eaton Center next to the Ontario Tourism Store. The T.O. TIX hot line, (416) 536-6468, Ext. 1, still delivers recorded discount information daily from noon on.

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