Curtain Call: 10 Vancouver arts shows to check out in May

May 2 2023, 8:37 pm

Time to get cultured, Vancouver!

From stages to galleries and unique spaces in between, here are 10 great arts events to check out in Vancouver in May. The World of Mythic Creatures, Cats and more.

And for more fun things happening around town be sure to visit our Listed section.

Boca del Lupo’s VR Salon: The Man Who Couldn’t Leave and Goliath

Boca del Lupo

Boca del Lupo/Submitted

What: Boca del Lupo presents VR Salon, two innovative and award-winning Virtual Reality and 360 immersive experiences at The Fishbowl on Granville Island. The Man Who Couldn’t Leave spotlights political dissidents imprisoned in Taiwan, and is the winner of the Venice Immersive Best Experience Award at the Venice Biennale 2022.

Goliath is an animated VR experience about schizophrenia, gaming and connection, and is narrated by Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton. Both works are part of Boca del Lupo’s LivePerformance360 series.

When: May 24 to 28, 2023
Various time slots
VR Salon at The Fishbowl, Granville Island – 100-1398 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
Cost: $15-$25, purchase online

Shalem’s Fair

What: Youtheatre Movement Society presents Shalem’s Fair, a heartfelt comedy about death, dementia, and the true heroes of yesteryear. The audience will meet Rhoda P. De’Gleeze and follow along as she encounters a series of endearing characters supposedly on the way to a county fair.

When: May 5 and 6 (previews), May 10 to 14, May 17 to 20, 2023
Time: 7:30 pm (with Sunday matinees at 3 pm)
Where: Jericho Arts Centre — 1675 Discovery Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Various prices, purchase online

Giants, Dragons, & Unicorns: The World of Mythic Creatures

What: Giants, Dragons, & Unicorns: The World of Mythic Creatures is an exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History filled with unique cultural artifacts. The Museum of Surrey exhibit spotlights the similar and different ways that people around the globe depict mythic creatures.

When: May 6 to September 16, 2023 (Closed on Mondays and statutory holidays)
Time: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (Tuesday to Saturday), noon to 5 pm (Sunday)
Where: Museum of Surrey — 17710 56a Avenue, Surrey
Admission: Free though donations are appreciated

Vancouver Art Gallery – Free First Friday Nights

Vancouver Art Gallery/Facebook

What: The Vancouver Art Gallery was founded in 1931 and is renowned as one of North America’s leading visual arts institutions. There are a variety of exhibitions currently on display at the largest public art museum in western Canada, including The Children Have To Hear Another Story: Alanis Obomsawin, Shary Boyle: Outside The Palace Of Me, and a spotlight feature on Heiltsuk artist KC Hall.

When: The first Friday of every month starting on May 5, 2023
Time: 4 to 8 pm
Where: 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free

The Sacrifice by Dada Masilo

What: South African choreographer Dada Masilo uncovers the minimalism and connection with nature and animals of Tswana dance in The Sacrifice. The 65-minute production uses the lens of Pina Bausch’s interpretation of Igor Stravinsky’s iconic Rite of Spring.

When: May 5 and 6, 2023
Time: 8 pm
Where: Vancouver Playhouse – 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Various prices, purchase online


What: Zee Zee Theatre Company’s Unexpecting introduces audiences to Annie and Josephine, a married couple who have been trying to start a family for the past five years. Just as they begin to lose hope and start second-guessing their desicions, an opportunity literally bursts through their front door. Starring Elizabeth Barrett, Jessica Heafey, Melissa Oei, and Rahat Saini with direction by Cameron Mackenzie.

When: Various dates from May 5 to 21, 2023
Time: 8 pm (with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 pm)
Where: Studio 16 — 1555 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver
Tickets: Various prices, purchase online

Broadway Across Canada – CATS


“CATS” (Broadway Across Canada/Matthew Murphy)

What: The record-breaking musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber tells the story of an extraordinary tribe of felines who gather for their annual ball to rejoice, dance, and sing while deciding which cat will be reborn.

Cats has been performed in over 30 countries and 15 languages around the world and is the winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.

When: May 23 to 28, 2023
Time: 8 pm (Tuesday to Saturday), 2 pm (Saturday), 2 and 7:30 pm (Sunday)
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre — 630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Cost: Various, purchase online starting Monday, February 13 at 10 am

Show Your Teeth

What: Twisted Tassels presents a lineup of local and internationally acclaimed burlesque and drag performers at East Vancouver’s York Theatre. The second annual event is headlined by Johnny Nuriel, two-time winner of Mr. Nude Portland, along with Carmen Caliente, EmpeROAR Fabulous, Rye, Honey Lustre, Mx. Bukuru, Scarlet Delirium and host Sparkle Plenty.

When: May 20, 2023
Time: 8 pm
Where: York Theatre – 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Tickets: $45-50, purchase online

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

What: Ctora Theatre presents an action-packed mythical adventure based on the best-selling book by Rick Riordan. The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical features an original rock score that amps up the thrilling story of the half-blood son of a Greek god.

When: May 18 to 28, 2023
Time: 7 pm (with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 pm)
Where: York Theatre – 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Tickets: $18-$58 plus fees, purchase online

The Show at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

What: The Show is a hybrid exhibition of over 350 of Emily Carr’s art, media and design graduates. Works on display during the free event include fine arts, photography and film, animation, industrial design and illustration. Visitors can explore the showcased pieces in-person at the East Vancouver campus and online.

When: May 11 (opening night), May 15 to 25, 2023. Closed on May 22 for Victoria Day
Time: 7:30 am to 11 pm (Monday to Friday), 8 am to 11 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: Emily Carr University of Art + Design – 520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Cost: Free

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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