January is the perfect month to kick-start our favourite New Year’s resolution ever—to see more live performances.
Whether you’re into majestic galloping stallions or white collar office politics, Vancouver has plenty to take your mind off of the winter chill.
This month, the heavyweight in town is the ever-enterprising PuSh Festival, which is so extensive that we’ve made a separate list of highlights. Besides that, there are new original indie productions and the return of large-scale favourites.
Here are the hottest arts shows in Vancouver to warm up your January.
War. War never changes. Despite that, our perception of conflict is long due for an overhaul. This new Canadian play sheds light on the unlikely heroes of war. Inspired by the playwright’s own family history, The Fighting Season explores the Afghan war through the relationships between a Canadian field medic, a doctor, and a recovery room nurse.
Where: The Cultch — 1985 Venables Street, Vancouver
When: January 10 to 21
Tickets: At The Cultch, $33
A stylish buddy-buddy cop drama with a twist, And Bella Sang With Us is about Vancouver’s first female police officers. The play transports us back to 1912, where the constables deal with the DTES’ ‘female morality issue.’ Another Canadian original, this darkly humourous underdog story celebrates two of Vancouver’s unsung pioneers.
Where: Firehall Arts Centre — 280 East Cordova Street, Vancouver
When: January 18 to 28
Tickets: At Firehall Arts Centre, $24
Over 100 vibrant characters search for meaning in their lives in Love and Information. Through sex, death, feeling, thinking, taxidermy, and karaoke, they discover each other. MFA Directing Candidate Lauren Taylor explores what it means to be human through this series of vignettes by noted playwright Caryl Churchill.
Where: Frederic Wood Theatre — 6354 Crescent Rd (UBC)
When: January 19 to February 4
Tickets: At UBC Theatre Tickets, $5-$24.50
After a few sold-out nights in Vancouver two years ago, these male ballerinas are back to reinterpret ballet classics with great irrelevance. Get ready for saucy and fabulous versions of Swan Lake, La Esmeralda, and Don Quixote like you’ve never seen them before.
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre — 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
When: January 20 to 21
Tickets: At Tickets Tonight, $29-$129
A classic musical production to chase away those January blues, Sunday in the Park with George is a timeless classic between an artist and his muse. The play has garnered several major revivals and a slew of awards, so we’re curious to see this classic in the experienced hands of United Players. “Universal truths” about the nature of art, love, and passion, with the breadth and depth of art’s most enduring masterpieces.
Where: Jericho Arts Centre — 1675 Discovery Street, Vancouver
When: January 20 to February 12
Tickets: At United Players, $30-$35
Coinciding perfectly with the city’s ongoing housing crisis dilemma, Bull is about the power dynamics at a high-powered sales firm. A trio of conspiring coworkers scheme to trip each other up and avoid the chopping block, in this fast-paced and acid-tongued new work about human nature.
Where: Studio 1398 — 1398 Cartwright Street (Granville Island)
When: January 24 to 29
Tickets: At Made It Productions, $15-$21
Last time the Montreal-based Les 7 Doigts came to town, they dazzled with Séquence 8. The circus company’s small-scale approach to storytelling provides a valuable human counterpoint, especially when compared to large-scale Cirque spectacles. Proving you don’t need an elaborate stage or costumes to tell a story, Cuisine and Confessions playfully combines high-flying aerobatics with live cooking demonstrations.
Where: Vancouver Playhouse — 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
When: January 25 to 29
Tickets: At Tickets Tonight, $45-$60
Sometimes described as “Cirque with horses,” Cavalia thunders back with undeniable feats of aerobatic and equestrian prowess. Featuring a cast of 65 equine stars and 48 human performers, the performances promise to be majestic and over-the-top, and will even feature an actual lake right in the middle of the action.
Where: Under the White Big Top — 299 West 1st Avenue (Olympic Village)
When: January 31 to February 19
Tickets: At Cavalia, $29.50-$119.50