There are some pretty big arts shows coming to Vancouver this month, including Motown The Musical, Legally Blonde and Romeo + Juliet.
As if that wasn’t enough, an acclaimed graphic novel featuring a lesbian protagonist gets the stage treatment. And can Chinese shopping malls help us decide the difference between the foreigners and the Canadians?
Go big or go home—here are the 10 biggest arts shows coming to theatres this February.
Everyone’s favourite sorority queen turned corporate lawyer is back. This crowd-pleasing rendition of Legally Blonde will feature local stars and up-and-coming talent. The nostalgic trip back to Reese Witherspoon’s initial breakout role will have digging pink all over again, in this musical celebration of brains and beauty.
The House of Yes is a stylish, independent production put on by a first-time director, Missy Cross, who also performs in the play. Described as a mashup of The Addams Family and Long Day’s Journey into Night, this black comedy will delve into a dysfunctional family’s ultimate need for love and connection.
The abridged history of Motown is brought to life through this Broadway musical, featuring label icons like Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. Featuring a total of 66 songs from the era, Motown is not only one man’s legacy (the musical based on founder Berry Gordy’s autobiography), but the triumph of African-American music and artists through the historic record label.
Chinese shopping malls are in the fluorescent spotlight, in this joint collaboration between local Hong Kong Exile and Toronto’s fu-GEN Theatre. The theatre companies see malls as “racialized spaces of cultural creation and clash,” and uses multidisciplinary performance, along with both Cantonese and English, to explore what No Foreigners really means to Canadian society today.
As relevant as when it was first performed eight years ago, My Funny Valentine is back for a remount at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. Written by local playwright Dave Deveau in response to the 2008 fatal shooting of Lawrence King by a fellow classmate, the one-man show catches the community during the aftermath of the hate crime.
Women are in every aspect of this Canadian premiere, based on an acclaimed graphic novel with a lesbian protagonist. The coming-of-age, coming-out musical won the Tony Award for Best Musical – and was the first show written entirely by women to do so. Fun Home looks back on a young woman’s memories of her dysfunctional family, and especially of her relationship with her closeted, funeral-directing father.
Paying homage to award-winning playwright Sam Shepard, who passed last summer, an “ad hoc” collective of artists get together in the retelling of a classic. The prolific playwright is known for his bleak, poetic settings on the outskirts of American society, and Fool About Love is no different. About two transient lovers in a seedy motel out in the Mojave desert, ABB Collective brings Shepard forward for a new generation.
You may have never heard of French-Canadian classic Salt-Water Moon before now, but that’s kind of the point with this minimalist interpretation. The timeless love story has been completely re-imagined (with the addition of a new singing narrator), and has won acclaim in theatre houses across Canada. Coming to the Gateway Theatre this month, this is one that the theatre buffs will have their eyes on.
It’s hard to mount such a notorious play like A Steady Rain (the breakout play establishing the career of TV writer Keith Huff), but the rarely-seen private rooms above the Penthouse will more than help set the mood. The ambitious production is a no-holds-barred back and forth between the two leads, made famous through the Broadway performances of Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman. Pressure’s on, gents.
It won’t be cupid’s month without Romeo + Juliet, but here’s a fresh retelling by French cheoreographer Medhi Walerski. The press release states: “Reflecting on the divisions that persist in today’s world…[Romeo + Juliet] will offer a thought-provoking contemporary take of the classic that profoundly resonates today.”