Spring is about to start and with the inevitable rainy weather indoor activities are high our list. Here’s what’s playing on Vancouver stages in March and April including a few shows with LGBTQ content.
|Tops and Bottoms Queer Improv Show
Every Monday through 16 September
The Improv Centre, Granville IslandThe Queer Improv show relaunches on April Fool’s Day. The show has been an award-winning fixture of the West End community and bars for seven years. However, the fully licensed Improv Centre, which was designed specifically for improv comedy, offers comfort, style, and great sightlines. Visit the group’s Facebook page for more information.
|The Prince’s Play
29 March – 21 April 2013
Jericho Arts CentreLife is not a bit funny for Scotty Scott, the court’s funny man, as he tries to protect his daughter from the lusty advances of His Majesty. Based on Victor Hugo’s notoriously anti-monarchical Le Roi s’Amuse, which inspired Verdi’s Rigoletto, and which was banned in France on its opening night. Here it is given a trenchant, rhyming couplet update by Tony Harrison, the UK’s leading verse playwright, and transposed to the corrupt 19th century British court where power and privilege get you anything you desire, no matter how scandalous and no matter whose life is wrecked in the process. Visit http://www.unitedplayers.com for tickets and information.
|Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov
3 – 20 April 2013
The Cultch Vancity Culture LabWritten in 1900, Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters tells the story of the four aristocratic Prozorov siblings — Olga, Masha, Irina, and their brother Andrei — as their dreams of returning to social prominence slip away over the course of four years. A turn-of the-20th-century play about dreams that don’t come true, Three Sisters is surprisingly funny and hopeful throughout. The play is remarkably relevant despite the great distance between a czarist Russian village and today’s Vancouver. Visit http://www.facebook.com/ThreeSistersInVancouver for more information.
|My Turquoise Years
4 April – 4 May 2013
Arts Club Granville Island StageBased on M.A.C. Farrant’s memoir of her fourteenth summer, My Turquoise Years is a comic coming-of-age story set in 1960, a time of postwar optimism, when plastic reigned and the colour turquoise was the height of chic. Marion, raised by Aunt Elsie in sleepy Cordova Bay, has grown up hearing tales of her glamorous, globe-trotting mother, Nancy. Just as Marion is blossoming into womanhood, Nancy suddenly announces a visit to Canada, throwing everyone into a tizzy. Visit http://artsclub.com for tickets and information.
10 – 27 April 2013
White Rock PlayersLeon Tolchinsky has landed a teaching job in an idyllic Russian hamlet. Terrified, he arrives to find people sweeping dust from the stoops back into their houses and people milking upside down to get more cream! The chronically stupid town becomes Leon’s curse which he instead of breaking he falls in love and begins to succumbs to a brainless lifestyle of his own. Visit http://www.whiterockplayers.ca for tickets and information.
11 – 27 April 2013
Gateway Theatre, RichmondDon Juan is like any modern libertine: he womanizes, lives large, and subscribes to no God; his “moral code” is his alone. His servant Sganarelle constantly warns him about the consequences of this self-centred attitude, yet the Don is unwavering. But as victims of his amorous past pile up, the Don can’t hide from the ghostly repercussions of his unfaithful ways. Visit http://www.gatewaytheatre.com for tickets and information.
|Seascape With Sharks and Dancers
11 – 20 April 2013
CBC Studio 700The dynamic tragi-comedy explores the nature of emotional wounds, interdependence, and love, through the story of a writer who rescues a drowning woman from the ocean. Visit http://www.shifttheatre.ca for more information.
11 – 27 April 2013
Massey Theatre, New WestminsterCelebrate the 70th Anniversary of the musical of all musicals! Royal City Musical Theatre presents Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, one of the all time great musicals filled with songs we all know and love. Visit http://www.masseytheatre.com for tickets and information.
|Arthur: Boy King
12 – 28 April 2013
Waterfront Theatre, Granville IslandA new spin on the fantasy classic of young King Arthur, the play takes place in one night after Arthur is wounded by his greatest oppressor, King Lot. In a state of anger and fear Arthur is presented with three quests: to observe his own betrayal by his step brother Sir Kay, watch his beloved Guinevere fall in love with his best friend Lancelot, and to face the feared Dark Knight to avenge a wrong-doing. If Arthur fails in any of these quests, his place in history will be relegated to stories and legends; if he succeeds he will become the greatest King to ever rule Great Britain. Arthur must reach inside himself and find courage and compassion. Visit http://www.carouseltheatre.ca for tickets and information.
|Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata
18 April – 18 May 2013
Revue Stage, Granville IslandNow returning home to Vancouver, this smash hit from composer Veda Hille, the CBC’s Bill Richardson, and playwright and director Amiel Gladstone, explores what humanity has to offer and turns it into comic musical fare. Who wouldn’t want a broken time machine, for free? Visit http://www.artsclub.com for tickets and information.
|Love! Valour! Compassion
19 – 27 April 2013
Havana TheatreEight men venture to the country over three weekends in the summer for fun and relaxation. Infidelity, flirtation, soul-searching, AIDS, truth-telling and skinny-dipping mix monumental questions about life and death with a wacky dress rehearsal for Swan Lake performed in drag. Love! Valour! Compassion! was popularized by the movie and is in the spirit of The Boys In The Band. Visit http://www.ghostlightprojects.com for tickets and information.
|How to Write a New Book for the Bible
26 April – 25 May 2013
Pacific TheatreWhen Bill is sent home to take care of his ailing mother, he realizes that his family story, in all its messiness, is a perfect fit with those families that make up the stories in the Bible. Visit http://pacifictheatre.org for tickets and information.
|Vancouver TheatreSports League
Now through June 16, 2013
Improv Centre, Granville IslandWith six different shows to choose over five nights, there is an improv show for everyone. At its purpose-built Improv Centre on Granville Island. Visit http://vtsl.com for tickets and information.
Previously in March & April:
|The Life Game
10 – 14 April 2013
Studio 1398, Granville IslandThe Life Game is a show that reminds us all, however ordinary, that we all have an extraordinary life story to tell. Each night a different guest is interviewed on stage about their life. The show takes the bare bones of the guest’s life story and then transforms that information, then and there, into a magical piece of improvised theatre using renowned improvisation artist Keith Johnstone’s Life Game technique. Visit http://www.thelifegamevancouver.com for more information.
|Us & Everything We Own
5 – 13 April 2013
PAL Studio TheatreTwenty Something Theatre is back and excited to bring you another great season of theatre. Starting off our 2013 season is a World Premiere from the playwright who brought you Prodigals. Us & Everything We Own centers around a young couple whose hunger for home ownership and meaningful careers threatens to destroy their relationship. Visit http://www.twentysomethingtheatre.com for tickets and information.
|Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical
4 – 14 April 2013
Presentation House, North VancouverUnder the fluorescent lights of real life, obligations and social niceties loom large. But in the world of day-dreams, all things are possible. Stationary explores the lives of six young people at a moment when big dreams meet reality checks. It’s a musical for the generation that has stepped out – bachelor degree in hand – to discover that the world isn’t quite what they were promised it would be. Visit http://www.phtheatre.org for tickets and information.
|2 Pianos 4 Hands
14 March – 14 April 2013
Stanley TheatreThe Dora Award–winning creators/stars, Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, propel you through comically poignant vignettes of their childhood piano lessons—complete with virtuoso displays of technique—and share the triumphs and tortures of being extraordinarily good failed musicians. Not just for music nerds, 2 Pianos 4 Hands is for anyone who has ever strived to achieve a goal. Visit http://artsclub.com for tickets and information.
|Brave New Play Rites
3 – 7 April 2013
Dorothy Somerset Studio Theatre, UBCEighteen playwrights, twelve directors, twenty actors, and twelve designers will be working together to create twelve short productions and a staged reading series of an additional six original plays, all of which are under fifteen minutes in length. This year’s festival includes a raccoon couple trying to find affordable real estate, an exploration of two sisters in the wake of a tragedy, and an investigation to determine, once and for all, why the chicken actually crossed the road. Visit http://www.bravenew.ca for more information.
2 – 7 April 2013
Queen Elizabeth TheatreBilly Elliot the Musical is the joyous celebration of one boy’s journey to make his dreams come true. Set in a small town, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a surprising talent that inspires his family and his whole community and changes his life forever. Visit http://www.BillyElliotTour.com for more information.
|Balm in Gilead
21 March – 7 April 2013
Studio 58Described as “an explosive amalgam of realism and theatrical illusion,” Balm in Gilead takes us to an all night coffee shop on a New York street corner in 1965. Lanford Wilson reveals an understanding and compassion that is both witty and humorous as the audience is introduced to a group of hustlers, drug addicts and lost souls who are finding their way on the streets of the big city. Visit http://www.studio58.ca for tickets and information.
21 March – 6 April 2013
Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC”Lizzie Borden took an axe…” begins the classic schoolyard rhyme that sets the stage for Sharon Pollock’s award-winning psychological thriller. In 1892, Andrew and Abigail Borden were brutally murdered in their Fall River home. Their daughter Lizzie, though acquitted in court, was the only suspect ever charged. Debate as to her guilt continues to this day. Instead of a whodunit, Pollock has crafted a ‘whydunit’, examining life in the Borden household and in the world around it, to discover what might drive a spinster daughter to send her parents into the great beyond in such a memorable fashion. Visit http://www.theatre.ubc.ca for tickets and information.
|Mother May I
22 – 30 March 2013
Havana TheatreIt tells the story of Peter, a man returning to his prairie home after fifteen years. A coming of age story which focuses on alcoholism, racism, abuse and overcoming childhood bullying, but accompanied with a hearty dose of comedy. Visit http://ghostlightprojects.com for tickets and information.
16 – 23 March 2013
PAL Studio TheatreIt’s Matt and Tim’s 10 year anniversary. Tim has something to propose. So does Matt. Outside their cozy home, a war rages. But when the proverbial knock at the door arrives, Matt and Tim must re-examine not only their proposals, but their entire relationship. Their guest of honour ignites a tornado of doubt, as the three spend the night exploring the rocky terrain of monogamy, sex and love. Visit http://www.screamingweenie.com for tickets and information.
|Broken Sex Doll
13 – 24 March 2013
The CultchThe rapid pace of technological advancement in 2136 has only been matched by a dramatic decline of morality. Embedded at birth with sensory implants, people can now record and share experiences with one other. Robots have become lifelike, humans are robotic, and the two intermarry. When an ordinary man named Daryl wakes up from routine implant upgrade surgery, he discovers that he has unexpected sensory skills…and a crush on his mysterious nurse, Ginger. Visit http://www.thevirtualstage.org for tickets and information.
8 – 24 March 2012
Firehall Arts CentreTheatre for Living, formerly Headlines Theatre, the company that brought you after homelessness… and Us and Them is proud to present their new forum theatre play, maladjusted, created and performed by mental health patients and caregivers. This innovative theatre project and two-day Dialogue Series will confront the barriers to patient centered care within our maladjusting mental health system. Visit http://www.theatreforliving.com for tickets and information.
|The Cat in the Hat
2 – 24 March 2012 (Public Performances)From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that the Cat in the Hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he is certainly fun to play with, and he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will happen when Mom comes home?! Visit http://www.carouseltheatre.ca for tickets and information.
|Mother Teresa is Dead
Through 23 March 2013Immediately after giving birth to her first child, Jane is inundated with pleas from charities around the world reminding her that while she cradles her sleeping child in her arms, other mothers will bury theirs. In secret, Jane makes a decision: her son will be okay without her, these other children will not. The question remains: is she right? Visit http://pacifictheatre.org for tickets and information.
|How Has My Love Affected You?
Arts Club Revue Stage
Through 23 March 2013Marcus Youssef has a “difficult” relationship with his mother, Roleene. When the playwright discovers a storage locker full of her journals, he begins to delve into her history—and his own. Filled with humour, tension, and affection, How Has My Love Affected You? questions the nature of familial obligation: what do we owe to each other, and what do we owe to ourselves? Visit http://www.artsclub.com for tickets and information.
Through 17 March 2013A serial killer dreams of singing Bette Midler tunes, a teacher races to save a former student from a barbarous gang, and a young woman finds love in the arms of a demon. Visit http://pitheatre.com for tickets and information.
Richmond Gateway Theatre
7 – 16 March 2013Harvest tells the true story of a retiring couple who rent out their farmhouse, only to discover their tenant has turned it into a marijuana grow-op. When their insurance broker refuses to cover the resultant damage, they find themselves faced with financial ruin. With only each other to turn to, they rediscover and renew their love for one another. This theatrical account of the playwright’s parents’ real-life experience is distinctly Canadian and very, very funny. Visit http://www.gatewaytheatre.com for tickets and information.
|Four Dogs and a Bone
7 – 16 March 2013Brenda and Colette play two rivaling actresses who relentlessly pursue their goal of starring in Victor’s first feature film. Victor is an inexperienced writer from off-off Broadway who not only has to deal with the two “starlets,” but also with Bradley the film’s cut throat producer. While Victor struggles with his mother’s sudden death and his threatened artistic integrity, Bradley is desperate to bring the film in on time and on budget, and somehow must placate these dogs in their fierce pursuits. Visit http://eggtheatre.brownpapertickets.com for tickets an dinformation.
|The Rimers of Eldritch
Jericho Arts Centre
5 – 16 March 2013The Rimers of Eldritch takes place in the mid 20th century in a small, aging bible belt town in Missouri which had previously been prosperous but has since fallen into decay. The story deals with the murder of a local hermit; in discovering the culprit and the reasons for the murder the story delves into the darkness of the town and its inhabitants. Part murder mystery, part examination of midwestern American life. Visit http://fightingchanceproductions.ca for tickets and information.
|Holmes & Watson Save the Empire!
Deep Cove Shaw Theatre
Through 16 March 2012Once again the fate of the British Empire lies in the hands of the greatest crime fighting team in literature. Holmes and his faithful friend Watson have until midnight to solve the fiendish Moriarty’s deadly puzzle. Where is the QV2? What is Victoria’s secret? How on earth did Holmes end up on the stage of the Gaiety Music Hall? Who is the mysterious Nightingale of Nuremburg? And why is Watson wearing her dress…? Visit http://firstimpressionstheatre.com for tickets and information.
|My Funny Valentine
Through 2 March 2013
Firehall Arts CentreA death goes far beyond its immediate surroundings: it echoes through a community. On February 11, 2008, in California, 14-year-old Lawrence King asked his classmate Brandon McInerney to be his valentine. The next day, McInerney shot King twice in the head. After being declared brain-dead, King passed away on February 14, 2008–Valentine’s Day. Visit http://www.zeezeetheatre.ca for more information.
Through 2 March 2013
The CultchAgokwe is a star-crossed, queer love story about two teenage boys from neighbouring reserves, bound by their mutual love for movement. Part of the Talking Stick Festival. Visit http://www.fullcircle.ca for tickets and information.
|The Girl in the Frame
Studio 1398, Granville Island
Through 2 March 2013This show perfectly marries a universal message with comedic influences. The Girl In The Frame will leave you thinking about the message you may not have caught because you were laughing so hard. Featuring the writings of Jeremy Desman, this “frisky fantasy” is one not to be missed! Visit http://intimatetheatreproductions.com for tickets and information.
|Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
Through 2 March 2013
Presentation HouseBrel’s complex use of language and how simply it seems to unfold is a trademark of his brilliance and artistic talent. Jacques Brel is just as relevant now as it was in 1968. Its timeless themes reflect on war and peace, life and death, and of the divisions between the young and the old, the rich and the poor. Visit http://www.phtheatre.org for tickets and information.