From drama on the high seas to meteor shower-inspired shows, here are 11 of August’s hottest arts shows taking place in Vancouver this August.
A long-time family favourite, Mary Poppins is in full swing under the stars at Stanley Park. The annual TUTS tradition will have you singing along to all of the supercalifragilistic classics of your childhood. This summer, relive the timeless tale of Mary Poppins and her indomitable umbrella.
Straight from Okinawa, Japanese performing group REQUIOS will be bringing their blend traditional folk dance and drumming to Vancouver audiences. Originating from the mid-17th Century to honour ancestral spirits, the art form has transformed over the years to meet changes and challenges in Japanese society. It’s the first time in the troupe’s 20 year history that Okinawan Kodama is touring Vancouver, and will sure to be a memorable experience this summer.
Powell Street Festival has expanded greatly over the years, drawing large crowds over the weekend in celebration of Japanese-Canadian arts and culture. Amidst the takoyaki lineups, there’s plenty of unique arts and culture on display. Fans of Haruki Murakami will be intrigued by a special talk on translating the legendary author’s works, featuring two key translators. Short plays include the well-received Ne.On and a sneak peek about an upcoming play on the Japanese-Canadian experience. Best of all – it’s all free!
A group of young performers, aged between 13-25, is bringing to life the Broadway hit 13. The pop-rock musical is about one small-town boy’s journey into stardom, and also explores adolescent bullying and disabilities. Eternal Theatre Collective is a fresh, youth-led theatre company, committed to developing the next generation of professional theatre stars.
Over 50 films will be screening at the always-popular VQFF this year, which will bring in timely issues for the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. Spotlights include OITNB star Laverne Cox’s interview with activist CeCe McDonald, as well as other filmmakers of colour. Age-old questions are explored in the Intergenerations series, and the Indigenous Cinema Spotlight continues to pay homage to Two-Spirit role models for the queer community.
Burq Off is a coming-of-age comedy out of New York, about a British Pakistani girl finding herself in two madly opposing worlds. It’s all of the weird and wonderful contrasts that make up modern life, and will sure to be a hit in multicultural Vancouver. The autobiographical one-woman show by Nadia P. Manzoor is about “love, lies, a burqa and a bikini” and so much more.
At the peak of Perseid meteor shower season, Blackout: Night Sky Festival will see the MOA transform into an all-ages arts and astronomy celebration. The museum will remain open until midnight, as stargazers enjoy the night sky amidst Indigenous storytelling, special musical performances, and lantern making. To cap it off, local experimental artists will present an immersive, projected arts installation on constellations.
Walk the artistic plank with this timely tale of climate change, brought to life on the stage and scaffolding of a 90-foot Tall Ship. The seaworthy production hails from Victoria, and has toured all over the States and Canada. Vancouverites will gather on the seawall in False Creek and experience original music, soaring vocals, aerial stunts, all backed by awesome lighting and sound effects.
Set a few days before the solar eclipse, Total Alignment blends arts and science in a cosmic celebration of our relationship with the sky above. For one night only, the production will take place in the Planetarium before and after the Centre’s evening shows (included in ticket purchase). Various multimedia performances will be a “sensory exploration” of the momentary darkness created by the perfect alignment of sun, earth, and moon.
One of the longest running Broadway musicals of all time, A Chorus Line is all about the supporting cast. Featuring recent grads of Vancouver’s theatre programs, the show is a fitting tribute to the nameless dancers that make up a production. Fighting Change Productions rounds out their successful 10th season with this beloved entry about the showbiz industry.
Tuesdays with Morrie is one half of two plays from Hong Kong that are part of Gateway Theatre’s Pacific Festival. This production is the Cantonese translation of the Off Broadway play, specifically tailored to resonate with Chinese audiences. The relationship between a career-driven journalist and his declining former college professor is at the forefront of the show. The play will be performed in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles.