Starting Tuesday, July 15, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) will be performing two shows at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park. This year’s shows are Legally Blonde and Shrek.
Since around 1940, TUTS has produced operettas and musicals at Malkin Bowl and was originally founded under the auspices of the Vancouver Park Board. TUTS shows are featured in a comfortable park setting, family orientated and are reasonably priced.
Not only does TUTS provide entertainment for theatre goers, but they also give performers and technical staff a chance to work in a theatrical venue alongside seasoned professionals.
“It’s a training ground for new performers and the technicians,” said TUTS president Naveen Kapahi. “There’s a whole group of future stars that are getting their starts at TUTS.”
Shrek: The Musical will be based on the DreamWorks animation motion picture and the book by William Steig. The show will follow the storyline of the movie quite closely, but audiences can expect some fun and interesting twists.
You are allowed to bring your own food to the show and a photo booth will be on site for those who would like to dress up and take a pictures before, during intermission and after the show.
We had a chance to sit down with Naveen Kapahi and talk to him about TUTS.
You’re the president of Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), what does your job entail?
I’ve been on the board for about seven years and what I do, and what the board does, is we oversee the whole operation. One half is the show and production and on the other side we [are] involved in marketing both the show and TUTS in general and helping to get sponsors.
Do you choose the shows for TUTS? If not, who does?
We (the production committee) come up with a long list of potential shows then we check with the rights holders to see how many of those shows are available in Vancouver.
Why did the production committee choose the shows, Legally Blonde and Shrek?
Both of those are iconic shows, they’re very fun to watch. They’re family oriented shows that are also connected with people because of the messages they deliver. TUTS is about coming out and having a really fun night with your family and both those shows really fit the bill.
What is the difference between a broadway show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and a show at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park?
I think that TUTS is a one of a kind theatre experience – you do have fantastic shows of absolutely the highest quality like you do any other broadway show, but the difference is that our shows are in a far more relaxed setting. Not only are we in the park (Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park), but people will have their picnic dinner while they’re watching a fantastic production. The entire environment is a very inviting, relaxed environment. For some folks the Queen Elizabeth or a more formal theatre can be intimidating because they’re just not used to going.
Why should Vancouverities come to TUTS instead of Bard on the Beach, Cirque du Soleil, a Broadway show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre or others?
Over 75 per cent of our audience has come to a TUTS show before, we have close to 30 per cent who have been coming for 10 or more years. Once you get to feel the TUTS experience you tend to want to come back and see it again. It’s appealing to all ages.
Tickets are $45 for adults and $30 for children and youth.
For a list of show dates and to purchase tickets, visit www.tuts.vancouversymphony.ca.
Feature Image: Tim Matheson