10 hottest Vancouver arts shows in February: Kinky Boots and Little Mermaids

Jan 31 2017, 6:53 am

Temperatures might (optimistically) be on the rise, and so too is Vancouver’s performing arts scene. In February, sample productions both large and small at a variety of Vancouver’s top venues.

Burnaby is an arts destination this month, featuring the first-ever The Little Mermaid musical production in the province, as well as a quirky drinking party / world symposium pop-up all the way from Halifax.

While you’ve got your typical blockbusters (Kinky Boots is on tour again), there are also some great feminist shows on at Pacific Theatre and Firehall Arts Centre.

On the dance stage, a Buddhist-inspired invention caught our eye: Kwan Yin’s personal piece about the relationship between parent and child, featuring her own 77 year young father.

Get toasty and thoughtful at your local theatre in February – here are the 10 hottest arts shows in Vancouver this month.

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You Will Remember Me – Ruby Slippers Theatre

Image: Tim Matheson

It’s human nature to fear the death and decline that typically comes with aging. The play tackles the mental side of this fear, in a compassionate drama about family, memory, and the struggle for identity. The English translation of a provocative work by Quebecois playwright Francois Archimbault, You Will Remember Me is sure to be the tearjerker of the month.

Where: Gateway Theatre – 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond

When: February 2 to 11

Tickets: At Gateway Theatre, $29-$55

42nd Street – Studio 58

Image: David Cooper

Local theatre school Studio 58 is starting off the year with a musical that mirrors the hopes and dreams of its professionally trained students. Peggy Sawyer, a starry-eyed young dancer, arrives in New York to pursue her Broadway dreams. When the leading lady can’t go on, the novice takes over and becomes a star. 42nd Street is considered to be a musical comedy classic, and features many recognizable Broadway standards including, of course, the titular title track.

Where: Studio 58 – 100 West 49th Avenue, Langara College

When: February 2 to 26

Tickets: At Tickets Tonight, $20-$30

The Little Mermaid – Align Entertainment

Image: Nathalie De los Santos

Look at this stuff… isn’t it neat! Relive your childhood and introduce your kids to one of the classic Disney standards, based oh-so-loosely on that much darker fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. This is the province’s first large-scale production of The Little Mermaid musical, and you can bet that plunging under the sea with Ariel and her steadfast companions will warm up your month. Finding Nemo was great and all, but this is the original talking marine duo in action. Let’s hope they do it justice.

Where: Michael J. Fox Theatre – 7373 MacPherson Avenue, Burnaby

When: February 3 to 18

Tickets: At VTix, $20-$30

Corleone: The Shakespearean Godfather – Classic Chic Productions

Image: Emily Cooper

In light of the recent Women’s March demonstrations, there is no better time for this twist on The Godfather, reimagined as a Shakespearean drama. The all-female production, as typical of all Classic Chic’s work, will add one more gender-bendy level to some of our most traditional masculine archetypes.

Where: Pacific Theatre – 1440 W 12th Avenue, Vancouver

When: February 3 to 25

Tickets: At Pacific Theatre, $24-$35

Foreign Radical – Theatre Conspiracy

Image: Robert Dewey

Vancouver’s favourite audience participation experiment is back for a one-week run on Granville Island. Up to 30 willing participants will engage in a game of secrets in Foreign Radical’s unique mix of multimedia elements and varying outcomes. It’s a game of security, profiling, freedom of expression and privacy – all wrapped up in the overarching theme of cybersurveillance.

Where: Studio 1398 – 1398 Cartwright Street, Granville Island

When: February 6 to 11

Tickets: At Theatrewire, $14-$30

Kinky Boots – Broadway Across Canada

Image: Matthew Murphy

The infectious ‘Cindy Lauper musical’ is back, with having toured the world during its four-year life, spanning several translations in Korean and Japanese. In one of those vague ‘inspired by true events’ stories, fabulous performer Lola dances into town and into the fortunes of a struggling gentlemen’s shoe factory. The quest for the perfect stiletto is fierce in this Grammy Award-winning Broadway staple.

Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street

When: February 7 to 12

Tickets: At Ticketmaster, $50-$150

Pop-Up Love Party – Zuppa Theatre Co.

Image: Mel Hattie

Pop-Up Love Party at the Shadbolt will be a philosophical feast, pairing the quiet contemplation of Plato’s Symposium with… a drinking party? From Halifax’s Zuppa Theatre Co., performers will battle over ideas through a long list of seemingly implausible aids: nostalgia, aerobics, a kangaroo court, conspiracy theories, and infectious pop music. For an additional $15, partake in a special seven-course snack menu designed specifically around the themes of the show.

Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts – 6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby

When: February 8 to 11

Tickets: At Shadbolt, $15-$35

Crawlspace – Boca del Lupo Theatre

Image: Gary Mulcahey

In this tale of ‘buyer beware,’ dream house turns into nightmare ordeal for performer Karen Hines, a Dora Award-winning performer from Toronto. This ‘Theatre of Realty’ is all too plausible, as a cute coach house is riddled with hidden problems and threatens to drain the artist’s life savings. What’s better, the two-tier ticket pricing further pokes fun at the difference in experiences between homeowners (plush seating, premium vodka) and renters/everyone else (adequate seats, passable vodka).

Where: The Fishbowl – 100-1398 Cartwright Street, Granville Island

When: February 8 to 18

Tickets: At Eventbrite, $15-$40

Elle – Theatre Passe Muraille

Image: Michael Cooper

Canada’s national narrative gets a shake up with Jacques Cartier’s niece taking centre stage. Abandoned off the coast of Newfoundland for the crime of taking a lover during the voyage, the unlikely heroine encounters Canadian wilderness and spiritual/actual bears. Elle was based off of a Governor General’s Award-winning novel, and shows there is ample room for reinvention and women in the country’s early history.

Where: Firehall Arts Centre – 280 E. Cordova Street, Vancouver

When: February 8 to 18

Tickets: At Firehall Arts Centre, $23-$28

The Mars Hotel – dumb instrument Dance

Image: David Cooper

Love and compassion are at the heart of this series of dance vignettes from one of Vancouver’s rising stars, Kwan Yin. The humourous and irrelevant pieces of The Mars Hotel drew sold-out shows at last year’s Dancing on the Edge Festival. But it’s the premiere of her self-entitled new work, Kwan Yin, that is likely to steal the show. Kwan will be joined by her 77-year-old father in his first-ever dance performance, in this Buddhist-inspired performance about the relationship between parent and child.

Where: Firehall Arts Centre – 280 E. Cordova Street, Vancouver

When: February 22 to 25

Tickets: At Firehall Arts Centre, $23-$28