VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights. Photo by R. Chan
Ho ho ho! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, with a chill in the air and seasonal festivities filling up the calendar.
Larger-than-life characters encourage singing along in The Magic of Santa! (Dec. 21 to 22).
Irving Berlin classics such as “Blue Skies” and “Sisters” sparkle in White Christmas: The Musical (to Dec. 23), based on the beloved film.
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet puts a uniquely Canadian spin on a Christmas classic in The Nutcracker (Dec. 14 to 16).
David Sedaris reveals the down-and-dirty truth about surviving a job as a Macy’s elf in SantaLand Diaries (to Dec. 22).
The Christmas Carol Project (Dec. 16 to 18) is a musical interpretation of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale about Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim.
The Festival of Lights (Dec. 7 to Jan. 1) fills VanDusen Botanical Garden with more than a million twinkling lights.
Winter Harp celebrates the season with several concerts of harps and rare medieval instruments (Dec. 12, 13, 16, 22).
Click here for more Christmas event listings.—Sheri Radford
Wizard of Oz photo by Tim Matheson
Pull on your sparkliest ruby slippers and practise the words to “Over the Rainbow,” because Carousel Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz is back by popular demand. All the characters you know and love from L. Frank Baum’s timeless book and MGM’s toe-tapping movie musical are travelling down the Yellow Brick Road again, off to see the wizard. It’s a magical time, guaranteed, at the Waterfront Theatre (Dec. 7 to Jan. 6).—Sheri Radford
Jersey Boys photo by Joan Marcus
September 5 to 23
“Sherry.” “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” “Walk Like a Man.” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons racked up dozens of hits, but their path to stardom was rocky. Find out how four blue-collar boys went from the wrong side of the tracks to the top of the charts, in a touring production of Jersey Boys at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre—and just try to keep from singing along.—Sheri Radford
On Friday night, the Calgary Fringe Festival kicks off with uncensored, non-juried performances featuring both local and international playwrights and actors. Where recommends Push in Case of Emergency by local playwrights Kyle Schulte, Brett Gartley and Talore Peterson. This comedy-drama explores the interactions of group of strangers unexpectedly trapped in an elevator. The show begins at 6:30 pm at Lolita’s Lounge, tickets $12.
After opening with a stellar concert lineup at Shaw Millennium Park on Thursday night (more…)
July 28 and 29 - This is the ultimate feel-good romantic comedy featuring timeless and upbeat ABBA songs. MAMMA MIA! unfolds on a Greek island with a daughter’s search for the identity of her long-lost father as her wedding approaches. This lively musical tells the history of a single mom’s love life as her daughter brings back three potential fathers in hopes of finding her dad. Shows start at 8 p.m. Call Ticketmaster for tickets, Centennial Concert Hall, 555 Main St., 1-855-985-5000.
Mary Poppins charms Bert. Photo by Deen Van Meer
You’d better start brushing up on the words to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” because the world’s favourite nanny is popping into town this month. From Jul. 17 to 22, the Broadway Across Canada production of Mary Poppins fills the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with colourful sets, award-winning costumes, lively dancing, and all those songs everyone knows and loves, from “A Spoonful of Sugar” to “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” Get ready to sing along.—Sheri Radford
Daren Herbert as Harold Hill in The Music Man. Photo by Tim Matheson
When the weather is so hot and sticky that even the mosquitoes leave town, there’s no place like Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park for an evening that’s cool in more ways than one.
Vancouver’s legendary summer company Theatre Under the Stars, in its 66th season, sets feet tapping and hands clapping with a stylish production of that good old chestnut, The Music Man. An enormous and energetic cast romps through the story of con man Harold Hill, who sells musical instruments and band uniforms to naïve parents of school children in small-town Iowa, then skips town with the cash before giving a single lesson. (more…)
Xanadu photo by David Cooper
To August 4
What do you get when you take hit songs by Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra, add leg warmers and satin jumpsuits, and put the whole thing on roller skates? Xanadu (pictured), the award-winning Broadway musical based on the cult-classic 1980s movie. It rolls onto the Granville Island Stage this summer. For more musical theatre, check out Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (Jul. 12 to Aug. 26), or Titanic: A New Musical and The Music Man, on alternating nights at Theatre Under the Stars (Jul. 10 to Aug. 18).—Sheri Radford
Rock of Ages photo by C. Scott Suchman
When aspiring rock star Drew meets aspiring actress Sherri, their love is as formidable as a 1980s power ballad. Rock of Ages is sweet, silly and superfluous, but it’s also one heck of a fun Broadway musical, filled with songs by the likes of Journey, Bon Jovi and Styx. Catch all the big hits—and big hair—at The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts (May 8 to 13).—Sheri Radford
The cast of Cats
April 10 to 15
Get ready for a whisker-twitching good time as Cats leaps onto stage for an unforgettable performance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Rollicking characters bring T.S. Eliot’s whimsical poems to life in the only North American production endorsed by Webber. The record-breaking show is one of Broadway’s longest-running musicals, and timeless hits such as “Memory” still cause goosebumps.—Caitlin Dawson
February 8 to 12
Beauty and the Beast photo by Joan Marcus
The beloved Broadway musical rolls into town this winter, filling the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with tunes such as the toe-tapping “Be Our Guest,” the heart-wrenching “If I Can’t Love Her” and the unforgettable title song. Catch Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, Cogsworth and all your other favourite characters in this tale as old as time.—Sheri Radford
W-F 7:30 pm; Sa 11 am, 3:30 and 8 pm; Su 2 and 7:30 pm. $25+. Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Hamilton St. at Dunsmuir. Tickets 1-855-985-5000. www.broadwayacrosscanada.ca