10 hottest Calgary arts shows in April: Deep Sea Explorers and David Bowie Tributes

Mar 29 2017, 8:16 pm

This month, Calgary’s arts shows are as variable as April’s showers. From beautiful mainstage opera to sexual games in a snowstorm, this city’s got you covered in pure entertainment.

Oh Canada. Only a True North playwright could come up with Sextet‘s premise – six musicians trapped in a motel during a major snowstorm. That, coupled with an Auzzie breakout hit The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik, a one-man micro-epic under the sea, lead the twisted and bizarre offerings this month.

On the more conventional side, Turandot, Crazy For You, and 1979 are all hitting major stages, along with a fabulous tribute to Davie Bowie from the Calgary Phil.

It’s another rockin’ month of plays, festivals, dance and more, so get out there and see some stuff.

See also

Taking Flight Festival – SCPA

Image: Tim Nguyen

Calgary’s promising artists of tomorrow are coming out in full force for the annual Taking Flight Festival at the University of Calgary. An initiative of the School of Creative and Performing Arts, this year’s standout include the (terror)ifically timely Scientific Americans, exploring the evolving grey area of ethical responsibility in research. There’s a mix of free and ticketed shows, all showcasing interdisciplinary theatre performances, dance and music.

Where: University of Calgary – 2500 University Drive NW

When: March 27 to April 1, April 3 to April 8

Tickets: At Calgary U; Varies

Turandot – Calgary Opera

Image: Trudie Lee

Puccini’s 1926 opera lives on, in this tale about winning the cold heart of original ice princess. Turandot, tragically, was unfinished at the time of Puccini’s death, and completed and performed two years later. Calgary Opera returns to the stage with this timeless tale of love as a battle of wits.

Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons – 205 8 Avenue SE

When: April 1, 5 and 7

Tickets: At Calgary Phil; $25-$85

This Is My City Festival

Image: Wanda Martin

Back for its fifth year, This Is My City Festival features free public performances from the margins. The theme this year is Being Human: On a Small Planet, connects Calgarians from all walks of life, through shared values and interests. Using art as a vehicle, the month-long festival facilitates conversation between audiences and marginalized individuals.

Where: Various Locations

When: April 3 to April 27

Tickets: Free

1979 – Alberta Theatre Projects

Image: Alberta Theatre Projects

Canadian politics used to be boring—before JT and his fabulous hair (and abs) swept into office. New Canadian play 1979 is hoping to capitalize on our newfound patriotic interest by reimagining Prime Minister Joe Clark along similar lines: young, idealistic, and stubborn. A “hilarious battle of wits” inside our corridors of political power, 1979 is timely look into our future through the stories of the recent past.

Where: Martha Cohen Theatre, Arts Commons – 215 8 Avenue SE

When: April 4 to April 22

Tickets: At Arts Commons; $25-$72

Sextet – Verb Theatre

Image: Tim Nguyen

Six musicians are trapped in a motel during a snowstorm. That’s the basic premise of this dark comedy from playwright Morris Panych, and follows the usual expectations of what results, when trapped indoors in close company over long periods of time. Get comfortable with the musicality of love, lust and full moons in this Sextet.

Where: The Big Secret Theatre, Arts Commons – 225 8 Avenue SE

When: April 6 to April 15

Tickets: At Arts Commons; $21

Crazy For You – Theatre Calgary

Image: David Cooper

Musical classic Crazy For You is a crowd-pleaser about a young banker arriving on business in small-town Deadrock. The Broadway rom-com won the 1992 Tony Award for Best Musical and has been delighting audiences ever since with classic musical tunes and energy.

Where: Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons – 240 9th Avenue SE

When: April 18 to May 20

Tickets: At Theatre Calgary; $56-$128

Modern Vaudevillians – DJD Dance Centre

Image: Trudie Lee

Check out the one-year-young DJD Dance Centre through this modern take on classical vaudeville, complete with a three-piece live band. Modern Vaudevillians will feature some of DJD’s best dancers, along with guest performers covering the rest of vaudeville’s renown specialty acts: clowns, magicians, and gravity-defying aerialists. “It will be a boisterous, disorderly, exceptionally fun evening,” promises Artistic Director Kimberley Cooper.

Where: Decidedly Jazz Danceworks – 111 12 Avenue SE

When: April 20 to May 6

Tickets: At Vendini; $29-$69

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer – Vertigo Theatre

Here’s a weird concept that shouldn’t make sense, but that’s the summary of some of the best plays we’ve seen throughout the years. The New York Times called it “…akin to a theatrical Wall-E” after the sold-out, micro-epic show toured there, and now it’s Calgary’s turn to experience humanity’s last hope—deep sea explorer Alvin Sputnik. Creator Tim Watts’ one-man-show uses a mix of puppetry, animation, live action and music for a complicated and oddly touching performance.

Where: The Playhouse – 115 9th Avenue SE

When: April 21 to April 23

Tickets: At Vertigo Theatre; $25

Changes: A Tribute to David Bowie – Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Image: Kevin Persaud

Celebrate David Bowie’s legacy in the powerful hands of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. The Phil’s young resident conductor, Karl Hirzer, pays tribute to over five decades of the ever-iconic musical chameleon, perhaps bringing everyone’s favourite space oddity to life once again. Too soon? Too soon.

Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons – 205 8 Avenue SE

When: April 22

Tickets: At Calgary Phil; $25-$85

The Weir – The Liffey Players

Image: The Liffey Players

It was a dark and stormy night… in Ireland? Let’s see how well these local performers strut their Irish accents in The Weir, a haunting modern drama with a supernatural slant. The play is known for themes of missed connections, and also deals with many of the icons of classical Irish folklore. Get ready for some scary ghost stories from the other side of the sea.

Where: Pumphouse Theatre – 2140 Pumphouse Avenue SW

When: April 28 to April 30; May 3 to May 6

Tickets: At Eventbrite; $20