9 December arts shows for people who hate the holidays

Nov 27 2017, 3:04 am

If Jingle Bells and eggnog are far from your favourite things, then check out our list of anti-holiday shows this month.

Without a single reindeer in sight, these arts shows offer a much-needed respite from the most wonderful time of the year. Well, for a few hours at least.

For the Scrooges in all of us, here are 9 anti-holiday events to escape the malls and that god-awful festive music.

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Bibish de Kinshasa – Théâtre la Seizième

Image: David Ospina

Set as far away from winter wonderlands as humanly possible, this French-language play (with English surtitles) is about a journalist leaving her native Congo for a brighter future. Enjoy a traditional Congolese fish dish, prepared live on stage as storyteller Marie-Louise Bibish Mumbu paints a new picture of Africa through her personal memories. Baby, you’ll forget it’s cold outside.

  • Where: Studio 16 – 1555 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: November 28 to December 2
  • Tickets: At Brown Paper Tickets; $26-$30

You Are It – Boca del Lupo

Image: Boca del Lupo

BFFs forever? Do you ever feel like you’re doing female friendship “wrong”? Join two local artists in exploring how women relate to each other, and how the rules are totally made up in our heads. If you’ve ever wondered how female friendship works, come out to this participation-heavy night and see if everyone else is feeling the same. Get in loser, we’re going shopping (for friends).

  • Where: The Fishbowl – 100-1398 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver
  • When: November 29 to December 9
  • Tickets: At Eventbrite; $15-$20

How Star Wars Saved My Life – Some Assembly Theatre Company

Image: Flick Harrison

Lightsabers meet… memories of childhood sexual abuse? Breaking the silence through the power of Star Wars, this Canadian play confronts our hangups around abuse and blame. Jedi mind tricks are put to the test in this journey of healing and transformation. Take note, Disney.

  • Where: Performance Works, Granville Island – 1218 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
  • When: December 6 to 10
  • Tickets: At Brown Paper Tickets; $20-$25

The Realistic Joneses – The Mint Collective

Image: Nancy Caldwell

Keeping up with the Joneses goes to new extremes, as two couples with identical homes battle it out through domestic mundanity. When your last name has become emblematic of the struggle to keep up appearances, then what’s left at the end of the road? Sad, weird and funny, The Realistic Joneses hits too close to home, through the heroism of everyday life.

  • Where: The Cultch – 1985 Venables Street, Vancouver
  • When: December 7 to 17
  • Tickets: At The Cultch; $20-$33

Beauty and the Beast – Arts Club

Image: David Cooper

Inspired casting puts this version of Beauty and the Beast as a bright spot on our list. Avoid candy cane saturation with this timeless Disney musical from your childhood. Sure the whole Stockholm syndrome thing may be outdated, but you’ll come around the instant Be Our Guest’s dancing candlesticks hit the stage.

  • Where: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage – 2750 Granville St, Vancouver
  • When: December 7 to January 13
  • Tickets: At Arts Club; $29-$119
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How I Met My Mother: A Back to the Future Parody Musical – Geekenders

Image: Geekenders

The very antithesis of wholesome family-friendly entertainment, this burlesque homage is the perfect anecdote to grumpy old men in scratchy red suits. It’s eighties time travel like you’ve never seen it, with talented performers of all shapes and (tassel) sizes. Featuring original parodies of your favourite showtunes, escape the season in the most inappropriately awesome way possible.

  • Where: The Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • When: December 8 to 10
  • Tickets: At Rio Theatre; $20-$25

Public Disco – Lumiere Festival

Image: Luna the Lumiere Whale/XX

Malls may be off-limits due to crazed holiday shoppers, so head outdoors for a massive dance party. See all of the arts installations of the Lumiere Festival while you’re at it, plus live DJs and art projections. And not to mention, a free winter sparkle station. Bringing “it’s lit” back for another around, dress up in your most ridiculous outfit and take back the streets.

  • Where: Jim Deva Plaza – 1200 Bute Street, Vancouver
  • When: December 9
  • Tickets: Free

Mad Max: Yellow Brick Road

Image: Julia Lank

Mad Max X The Wizard of Oz. Post-apocalyptic war boys meets the Wicked Witch of the East? Someone obviously came up with this under influence, but we kind of really want to see how it all plays out. The weirdest holiday mashup of the year you’ll see in Vancouver, Mad Max: Yellow Brick Road might be just the thing to make you forget Christmas ever existed.

  • Where: Havana Theatre – 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • When: December 13 to 16
  • Tickets: At Eventbrite; $15-$20

Chinese Lantern Festival – PNE

Image: Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

Escape Western depictions of the holidays with this gigantic homage to Lunar New Year. With 35 giant lanterns illuminating 14 acres of Hastings Park, the culturally significant tradition will be coming to Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition as a spectacular outdoor festival for five weeks, starting mid-month.

  • Where: PNE Grounds – 2901 E Hastings St, Vancouver
  • When: December 15 to January 21
  • Tickets: At TicketLeader; $13.50-$19
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