11 hot November arts shows to ward off the winter chill

Oct 17 2017, 8:41 am

This chilly November, get your inner fangirl on with the large-scale musical production of Jersey Boys. Or head out to the ever-popular Eastside Cultural Crawl for the very best of the city’s local artists.

On the smaller stage, there’s plenty of intelligent material for you to chew on, as brave productions work through race and privilege in new and thought-provoking ways.

Here are 11 of November’s hottest arts shows.

See also

Program 1 – Ballet BC

Image: Michael Slobodian

Ballet BC’s opener focuses on “visual storytelling” through the work of two choreographers. The company’s resident choreographer, Cayetano Soto, will premiere a piece incorporating movement, costume, and lighting. The other premiere, by Johan Inger of Walking Mad fame, brings new work B.R.I.S.A. to this side of the world for the first time ever.

  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: November 2 to 4
  • Tickets: Via Ticketmaster; $30-$100

Smart People – Mitch and Murray Productions

Image: Shimon Photo

Set on the historical night of Obama’s first election, this underdog production of Smart People explores race and identity in the best way possible—controversially, of course. Four ‘intellectuals’ (doctor, actress, psychologist, neurobiologist) embark on a modern-day comedy of manners, with one crucial twist: what happens when race is tossed into the mix?

  • Where: Studio 16 – 1555 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: November 3 to 18
  • Tickets: Via Brown Paper Tickets; $26-$31

Missing – City Opera Vancouver

Image: Emily Cooper

Getting up close and personal with a story you probably knew but never thought too deeply about, Missing honours over 1200 murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls. The first-ever opera libretto by Canadian Métis playwright Marie Clements, the story is set in both the Downtown Eastside and the notorious Highway of Tears. Highlighting the devastation to communities of First Nations, Inuit and Métis, the opera is sung in both English and the First Nations language of Gitxsan.

  • Where: York Theatre – 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • When: November 3 to 11
  • Tickets: At The Cultch; $22-$65

Two Views from the Sylvia – Kol Halev Performance Society

Image: Ben Nelms

Ever wondered about the stories behind the moss-covered, venerable Sylvia Hotel in English Bay? Here’s your chance to relive a part of Vancouver legacy, with two original one-act plays that trace the origins of the 100+ year old hotel. You might recognize more than a few of the characters, including lifeguard extraordinaire Joe Fortes and the immortalized Sylvia Goldstein.

  • Where: Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island – 1412 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
  • When: November 8 to 12
  • Tickets: At Theatrewire; $28

The Ridiculous Darkness – Alley Theatre

Image: Wendy D

A satirical modern mashup of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, this German play has swept across Europe and will be having its North American premiere right here in town. Understanding ‘the other’ in a comical journey of discovery by two soldiers, the play begins on Remembrance Day and ends, fittingly, on the UN-sanctioned World Toilet Day.

  • Where: The Annex – 823 Seymour Street, Vancouver
  • When: November 11 to 19
  • Tickets: At Theatrewire; $29-$36
See also

Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth – Firehall Arts Centre

Image: Drew Hayden Taylor

Back in the sixties, Aboriginal kids were taken away from their families and ‘adopted’ into white households and schools. Thus followed a systematic (and state-sanctioned) obliteration of Native language and culture, coupled with themes of abuse, abandonment and identity. Written by Indigenous playwright Drew Hayden Taylor, the play was originally produced by the Firehall in the nineties and is now back for another go-around.

  • Where: Firehall Arts Centre – 280 E. Cordova Street, Vancouver
  • When: November 11 to December 2
  • Tickets: At Firehall; $20-$33

Jersey Boys – Broadway Across Canada

Image: Joan Marcus

Before boy bands were a thing, there was Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The original heartthrobs from Jersey are at the core of this award-winning musical, bringing their classic radio hits to a whole new generation. Get ready for some magical harmonies and off-stage drama with this timeless hit about crooners from the wrong side of the tracks.

  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: November 14 to 19
  • Tickets: At Ticketmaster; $30.50-$120

Eastside Culture Crawl

Image: Lee Roberts

In this long-running Eastside tradition, 500+ artists will welcome 30,000 visitors to their studios over the course of four days. Stretching across 80 different buildings around East Vancouver, the bustling festival environment is a great way to discover new local artists in the hood.

  • Where: Various Locations in East Vancouver
  • When: November 16 to 19
  • Tickets: Free

Satellites – Solo Collective Theatre

Image: Emily Cooper

In a direct reflection of the times, Satellites touches our tangible anxieties about local housing and real estate. Abound with cheating realtors, housing activists, and teenagers living in monster mansions, the play examines the disappearing soul of our city, and the loneliness of the people living within it.

  • Where: Performance Works, Granville Island – 1218 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
  • When: November 16 to 26
  • Tickets: At Ticketwire; $28

Wilderness – Studio 58

Image: Studio 58

Six teens are sent off for ‘rehabilitation’ at a remote therapy camp in the great outdoors. In every teen’s worst cellphone blackout nightmare, Wilderness is all about connection—or the struggle to connect—between parents and their kids. Each story deals with the universal pressures of growing up in modern society, including mental health, addition, gender, and sexual identity.

  • Where: Studio 58, Langara College – 100 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: November 16 to December 3
  • Tickets: At Tickets Tonight; $14.50-$25

The Shipment – SpeakEasy Theatre

Image: SpeakEasy Theatre

Looking unlike anything else on stage this month, The Shipment will shake up your perception of race and identity. Five Black actors play out a host of bad cliches, challenging our traditional narratives of Black culture. Raw, challenging, and decidedly unpreachy, The Shipment might just be the production our city needs at this particular time.

  • Where: The Cultch – 1985 Venables Street, Vancouver
  • When: November 22 to December 2
  • Tickets: At The Cultch; $31.25
See also
Cecilia LuCecilia Lu

+ Arts
+ Concerts