Posted in Arts, Top Arts

Five stage shows to see before final exams

Room 2048 (running April 11–15) by Hong Kong Exile features only SFU SCA alumni.
Room 2048 (running April 11–15) by Hong Kong Exile features only SFU SCA alumni.
Image Credits: Remi Theriault

Need a break from dreary weather and textbooks? Take a break before finals to check out one of these performing arts events in Vancouver.

One night only: After the Curtain by Shaping Sound | March 25 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Travis Wall, of So You Think You Can Dance fame, has started his own dance company along with Teddy Forance, Nick Lazzarini, and Kyle Robinson. The company, which got its start on the reality show All the Right Moves, melds various dance styles and musical genres to create powerful and athletic contemporary choreography. After the Curtain follows the story of a man who, after the loss of his true love, is trying to find his creative voice. This is a must-see, one-night-only event for dance fans.

Featuring SFU alumni: Room 2048 by Hong Kong Exile | April 11–15 | Firehall Arts Centre

All of the artists in this multimedia show graduated from SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts. Historical and political, the show explores the Cantonese diaspora with reference to the films of Hong Kong’s Wong Kar Wai. The “room” is described by the artists as “an imaginary site of refuge and of celebration for the Cantonese diaspora,” and 2048 signifies the year after the end of “One Country, Two Systems” that began when the British handed Hong Kong’s sovereignty back to China. Using humour, pop music, and fog to work through themes of nostalgia and loss, the group will engage in a cultural dialogue through their art.  

World class puppets: The Daisy Theatre by Ronnie Burkett | March 21–April 9 | The Cultch Historic Theatre

These are puppets like you’ve never seen them before. Master puppeteer Ronnie Burkett is back by popular demand after selling out multiple runs of this show at The Cultch. Burkett improvises his cast of 40 characters and their voices, putting them through various scenes including monologues and songs. There is sure to be some audience participation, and previous audiences have adored the quirky antics of his unique characters that parody a variety of genres including country, opera, cabaret, Las Vegas showgirls, and vaudeville. Every night is different in this improvised show of eccentric puppet theatre.

International dance: What the day owes to the night by Compagnie Hervé Koubi, presented by DanceHouse | April 7 and 8 | Vancouver Playhouse

DanceHouse is bringing France’s Compagnie Hervé Koubi to Vancouver for the final show of their season, and it’s sure to be an exciting blend of different dance styles and martial arts. The 12 dancers from Algeria and Burkina Faso bring their street and hip-hop dancing to this energetic show. It’s set to a mix of classical scores and traditional Sufi music as well as a piece by Nubian composer Hamza El Din played by the Kronos Quartet. Koubi’s Algerian roots have inspired this work, along with Yasmina Khadra’s novel, Ce que le jour doit a la nuit, in which a young boy is sent to live with his uncle after his family loses their livelihood. Come early for the Speaking of Dance pre-show talk with artistic director Hervé Koubi.

“Gay fantasia”: Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches by Arts Club Theatre Company | March 23–April 26 | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

This epic story of the AIDS crisis in Reagan-era New York City follows eight characters as they try to find common ground with their differing politics, religions, and sexualities. Written by Tony Kushner and directed by Kim Collier, the themes of this play are highly relevant in our current global context. The protagonist, Prior Walter (Damien Atkins), is a gay man whose lover, Louis Ironson (Ryan Beil), leaves him when he is diagnosed with AIDS. The play has been widely acclaimed by critics as a sensitive telling of the struggles during the beginning of the AIDS crisis, while also presenting many sympathetic characters and storylines. The sequel, Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika, will be the first production of the Arts Club’s 201718 season.