12 hot Vancouver arts shows to brighten up your September

Aug 29 2017, 6:26 am

Summer might be coming to a close, but Vancouver’s biggest season for performing arts is just around the corner.

Here are 12 of September’s hottest arts shows.

See also

FAÇADE Festival

Facade mockup on Vancouver Art Gallery/FAÇADE Festival

Kicking off the fall arts season, FAÇADE will bringing the digital art of projection mapping to downtown. The free festival will see the facade of the Vancouver Art Gallery lit up for 10 days by as many artists. It’s the second year of the festival, which last year saw 35,000 people enjoy the new media festival in the heart of downtown.

  • Where: Georgia Street facade of Vancouver Art Gallery – 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
  • When: September 4 to 10
  • Tickets: Free

Shylock – Bard on the Beach

Image: David Blue

BC writer Mark Leiren-Young’s 20-year old play returns Bard on the Beach, which originally premiered the work back in 1996.  Shylock’s one-man monologue about censorship, racism and the role of theatre still strikes many chords today. The provocative contemporary work has been updated to tie directly into our current political and social climate.

  • Where: Vanier Park – 1000 Chestnut St, Vancouver
  • When: September 6 to 15
  • Tickets: At Bard on the Beach; $21-$43

Vancouver International Fringe Festival

Image: Clayton Wong

Taking over most of Granville Island and beyond each year, VIFF is a wacky festival for theatre-lovers. From novices to veterans, it’s luck of the draw for all shows, which means you can see literally anything on stage. From one-person shows to musicals to the truly experimental, it’s a great way to take in up-and-coming work and new ideas—frequently in a raw, bootstrapped format.

  • Where: Various Venues across Vancouver
  • When: September 7 to 17
  • Tickets: At VIFF; $14, plus $5 membership

Vancouver International Flamenco Festival

Image: Edward Olive

All things flamenco are at this annual festival of dance, featuring both ticketed performances and free events. The traditionally Spanish art form takes on new multicultural meaning with both Canadian and international artists. The festival’s big draw this year is La Moneta at the Vancouver Playhouse, a dancer who mixes contemporary and traditional flamenco styles.

  • Where: Various Venues across Vancouver
  • When: September 11 to 24
  • Tickets: At Flamenco Festival; Varies

The Sound of Music – Broadway Across Canada

Image: Matthew Murphy

The hills are alive in this new production of the timeless musical classic, featuring the most perfect family ever yodelling away in the Austrian countryside. The Sound of Music film adaptation is now over 50 years old, and this touring production will be a great way to revisit those “favourite things” of your childhood. Love it or hate it, we still have “Doe, a deer, a female deer” stuck in our heads…

  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: September 12 to 17
  • Tickets: At Broadway Across Canada; $40-$145
See also


Image: Craig Foster

Six guys take to the stage, mixing ballet with street in this piece about loss, memory, and the longing for something unattainable. Set to a haunting cello score by Hildur Guðnadóttir, Saudade is by BC choreographer Joshua Beamish, whose past portfolio contains as many international accolades as it does local.

  • Where: Scotiabank Dance Centre – 677 Davie Street, Vancouver
  • When: September 20 to 23
  • Tickets: At Tickets Tonight; $32

Embrytrophic Cavatina – Kokoro Dance

Image: Peter Eastwood

This local dance company specializes in contemporary butoh, a “Japanese philosophy of movement.” Embrytrophic Cavatina pushes the form further, stripping bare four dancers in this primal and provocative piece. The “pure emotion and anguish[ing]” score is a cheeky 69-minutes long, and everything about this production promises butoh like you’ve never seen it before.

  • Where: Roundhouse Arts Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
  • When: September 20 to 29
  • Tickets: At Arts People; $30

Japanese Problem – Universal Limited Theatre

Image: Universal Limited Theatre

75 years ago, over 8000 Japanese-Canadians were detained in barns where the PNE now stands today. Site-specific theatre takes on new meaning in Japanese Problem, shedding light on this little-known dark moment of Vancouver history. Set in a recreated stall within the original building of the Japanese-Canadian incarnation, the intimate performance incorporates interviews with survivors and their descendants, many of whom are still dealing with the ramifications today.

  • Where: The Livestock Building, Hastings Park – 188 N. Renfrew Street, Vancouver
  • When: September 22 to 30
  • Tickets: RSVP at Eventbrite; By Donation

A Steady Rain – Share Productions

Image: Share Productions

The writer behind A Steady Rain used to write medical journals by day, penning his own original plays at night for over 20 years. That tenacity paid off when Keith Huff eventually sold the two-man play, prompting offers to write for Mad Men and House of Cards. Now, some Vancouver TV actors are putting on the show at the Havana Theatre, reprising the roles of Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig of the original production. Apparently it’s go big or go home for these Hollywood North veterans.

  • Where: Havana Theatre – 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • When: September 26 to 30
  • Tickets: At Brown Paper Tickets; $15

Happy Days – UBC Theatre and Film

Image: UBC Theatre and Film

Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play has this tagline: “A Human Comedy on the Slope of Existence”. Coming out of the theatre school at UBC, the play is funny and bittersweet all at once. To seal the deal, cake, champagne and bubbly discussion will follow each performance.

  • Where: Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC – 6354 Crescent Rd, Vancouver
  • When: September 27 to 30
  • Tickets: At UBC Theatre; $15

Feasting on Famine – Firehall Arts Centre

Image: Shay Kuebler

Everyone knows someone like Shay Kuebler’s character in Feasting on Famine. The pro-supplement, obsessive-compulsive, hyper-masculine culture of bodybuilding takes to the stage in at the Firehall’s season opener. Exploring the blurred lines between passion and addiction, the #eatclean movement finally gets its moment under the critical lens.

  • Where: Firehall Arts Centre – 280 E. Cordova Street, Vancouver
  • When: September 27 to 30
  • Tickets: At Firehall; $33

13: The Musical – Bring on Tomorrow Co

Image: Anita Alberto

These 18-and-under stars all have major network credits under their belts, from the CBC to Disney to Netflix. Now they’re coming together to triple-threat their way through 13, the Broadway teen musical about growing up. It’s refreshing to see teenagers portrayed by actors of that age group, many of whom will act, sing and dance to a live band.

  • Where: Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island – 1412 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
  • When: September 28 to October 8
  • Tickets: At Eventbrite; $13-$34
See also
Cecilia LuCecilia Lu

+ Arts