July sees arts going outdoors, taking advantage of longer daylight hours with some inspired outdoor locations. See the city with fresh eyes through the month’s booming arts and culture shows.
From aerobatic tree scalers at Stanley Park to unconventional indie performances on the back alleys of Gastown, here are our picks for the hottest arts shows this July.
- Surreal Theatre's Gastown romp is categorically normal
- The boys are back in Disney's Newsies
- Movements No. 1&2 seamlessly flows between reality and dreams
- Drama, Violence and Dirty Jokes: Binge-watch live at Ensemble Theatre's summer festival
The first instalment of Surreal, from newcomer Surreal Theatre, takes you, walking-tour style, through the backstreets and alleys of Gastown. Audience and bystanders blend together in this modern-day love story of two childhood friends catching up and questioning life choices, all set on the streets of Vancouver.
When: Now to September 30, Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 pm
Where: Gastown (secret location will be revealed to audience members beforehand)
Book of Mormon and Hamilton might get all of the headlines, but Disney’s Newsies is no slouch. The cult following of the underdog film of New York newspaper delivery boys took home Best Score and Best Choreography at the Tony Awards in 2012.
When: July 5 to 10
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Musical fans! Tassle fans! Musical tassle fans? Local cabaret act The Wet Spots is bringing back SHINE: A Burlesque Musical to Vancouver. Hailed as the Muppet Show for grown-ups, the original musical features 18 songs and is filled with sexy, bawdy bits.
When: July 6 to 16
Where: The Wise Hall – 1882 Adanac Street
Summer’s long-running tradition in the park, TUTS, is back with a timeless Disney classic. Relive favourite moments of your childhood with talking candlesticks and enchanted roses at the gorgeous outdoor stage in Stanley Park. Beauty and the Beast runs on alternating nights opposite West Side Story.
When: July 6 to August 20
Where: Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park
Where most theatre shows this month adopt lighter themes or settings, Movements No. 1 & 2 is a “dream-like exploration into the personal and collective ideas of revolution.” The first full-length feature from local playwright James Gordon King, the performance is held at a found space in East Van – an run-down, million-dollar listing by the looks of it.
When: July 6 to 9, July 13 to 16
Where: 1326 East Georgia
The Bond Girls feature heavily in this production’s homage to femme fatales. The show features elements of contemporary burlesque, comedy, cabaret and jazz, includes a special guest performer from Toronto and a special intimate pre-show featuring local burlesque troupe The Orchid Club.
When: July 7 to 9
Where: Fox Cabaret – 2321 Main Street
The long-running Dancing on the Edge Festival (now in its 28th year) returns an intriguing afternoon at the heart of Stanley Park. New work Pseudotsuga – Earth to Sky is a collaboration between vertical dancers and musicians – all set outdoors among a grove of tall trees.
When: July 13 to 14
Where: Garden of Remembrance, Stanley Park
17th century play The Country Wife was once declared “the most licentious play in the English language.” While still a staple of the modern theatre stage, the jury is out on whether the play still has power to shock our modern-day Game of Thrones audiences. Come and see for yourself at this or the other two Ensemble Theatre Festival’s summer plays of warfare.
When: July 16 to August 18
Where: Jericho Arts Centre