10 arts shows coming to Vancouver this May

May 1 2018, 9:43 am

From film to ballet to theatre, there are lots of arts shows to see on Vancouver stages this month.

Mamma Mia! is back as the Stanley’s longest-running production, and DOXA has weird and wonderful documentaries about everything under the sun.

Get cultured at these 10 arts shows coming to Vancouver this May.

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DOXA Documentary Film Festival

Image: The Rankin File: Legacy of a Radical

DOXA, for people who take their Netflix binges to a whole new level, is back for the 17th year. Legendary Vancouverite in the spotlight of the opening film (The Rankin File: Legacy of a Radical) and Yayoi Kasuma’s fight to the top of the art world closes out the festival with Kasuma – Infinity.

  • When: May 3 to 13
  • Where: Various Locations
  • Tickets: At DOXA; $15

Bears – The Cultch

Image: Alexis McKeown

A show about the Kinder Morgan Pipeline from out of Alberta, The Cultch presents this relevant Canadian original work this month. Bears is about the toll of economic and corporate greed on the land of Canadian First Nations peoples, and features primarily Indigenous artists.

  • When: May 8 to 12
  • Where: The Cultch – 1985 Venables Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At The Cultch; $22-$49

Des Arbres – Théâtre la Seizième

Image: Suzane O’Neill

Presenting the successful Des Arbres from Montreal, the limited run will be presented with English subtitles on every night except for Friday. This 2016 play grapples with our generation’s struggle between having children and their effects on the environment.

  • When: May 8 to 12 (English subtitles on every night except Friday)
  • Where: Studio 16 – 1555 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Brown Paper Tickets; $26-$30

WET – ITSAZOO Productions

Image: Matt Reznek

Set in the basement of the Russian Hall, WET is about a female Canadian soldier returning from Afghanistan to a husband and young daughter. It’s an unflinching portrayal of the devastating effects of the war close to home, all set within a claustrophobic basement suite.

  • When: May 8 to 27
  • Where: The Russian Hall – 600 Campbell Ave, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Theatrewire; $29

Mamma Mia! – Arts Club

Image: David Cooper

This ageless classic about a daughter’s search for her biological father returns to Granville’s Stanley Theatre this month. Sing along to the infectious tunes of ABBA in this long-running and high-energy musical.

  • When: May 10 to August 12
  • Where: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage – 2750 Granville St, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Arts Club; $29-$137

Program 3 – Ballet BC

Image: Chris Randle

Contemporary Ballet BC’s season closer features, as usual, three short works—BEGINNING AFTER, Bill and an untitled piece by Artistic Director, Emily Molnar. The latter is a new work in collaboration with Vancouver’s Phoenix Chamber Choir.

  • When: May 10 to 12
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Ticketmaster; $35-$100

Tolkien – Pacific Theatre

Image: Pacific Theatre

Pacific Theatre is premiering Tolkien this month—a lovingly-researched, behind-the-scenes look at how the worlds of Middle Earth and Narnia came to be. The play follows the unlikely thirty-year friendship between J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and is written and directed by the company’s long-serving Artistic Director, Ron Reed.

  • When: May 11 to June 9
  • Where: Pacific Theatre – 1440 W 12th Ave, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Pacific Theatre; $38.35

MikMilkLemonade – Awkward Stage Productions

Image: Awkward Stage Productions

MilkMilkLemonade is a queer coming-of-age story about an 11-year-old from Mall Town, USA. With weirdly relatable characters and dealing with questions of gender and sexuality, the play also features a talking chicken named Linda.

  • When: May 23 to 26
  • Where: CBC Studio 700 – 700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Brown Paper Tickets; $20

rEvolver Theatre Festival – Upintheair Theatre

Image: Chris Randle

One of the few events that focuses on live new works from emerging Canadian artists, there’s something for everyone at rEvolver Theatre Festival. This year, all mainstage shows involve women at the creator level.

  • When: May 23 to June 3
  • When: The Cultch – 1985 Venables Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Upintheair; $20

40 Days and 40 Nights – Electric Company Theatre

Image: Electric Company Theatre

Electric Company’s visuals are always in a league of their own, and this new work is all about the sensual, ritualistic celebration of love. Get your feelings on with some magical poetry, philosophical musings, and two lovers on a spiritual challenge.

  • When: May 22 to 23 (Burnaby) / May 31 to June 2 (East Vancouver)
  • Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts – 6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
    Progress Lab – 1422 William St, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Shadbolt (Burnaby); $15
    At Theatrewire (East Vancouver); $25
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