Bard on the Beach – Theatre Under the Stars
For Vancouver theatre-goers, nothing gets the excitement going like the red and white festival-style tent village that pops up along the shores of Kitsilano’s Vanier Park every summer. It’s here, in two theatre tents, that Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare Festival takes place, known as Bard on the Beach. Now in it’s 28th year, Bard on the Beach has grown from 6,000 patrons in 1990, to over 100,000 last year. And it’s no wonder – the productions are of rich quality, with top caliber performances and sometimes wildly imaginative sets.
This year, Bard on the Beach presents The Winter’s Tale and Much Ado About Nothing, which will alternate performance nights on the BMO Mainstage, throughout the summer, from June 8 to September 23.
The Winter’s Tale, a magical story of jealousy, judgment, love and redemption, is directed by Bard veteran Dean Paul Gibson. His unique interpretation of Shakespeare’s epic adventure story promises to deliver a powerful live theatre experience, full of wonder and magic. The play, set in Sicily and Bohemia, begins with a cruel punishment, and ends with a miracle. The stunning set transforms from the Greco-Roman kingdom of Sicilia to a Cubist-inspired countryside in Bohemia. Costumes summon up an ancient fantasy world, using rich fabrics, masks and specific colours to differentiate between the two kingdoms.
On alternate nights, Much Ado about Nothing, is a family-friendly production set in 1950s Italy. One of Shakespeare’s most popular plays bubbles over with humour, glamour and romantic tension. Directed by John Murphy, the high-spirited and stylish show runs from June 15 to September 23. About a group of actors and filmmakers celebrating the wrap of their latest movie, the story blends romance with battles of wit, woo and ego. With hilarious consequences, the play asks the eternal question: Can love really conquer all?
Bard on the Beach tickets begin at $21 for all regular performances. Early booking is recommended. For performance schedule, site information, special events details, or to book tickets check out bardonthebeach.org. Or call the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559.
High flying hilarity
Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) is set to dispense a delightful dose of entertainment into summer with Mary Poppins and The Drowsy Chaperone. Running July 7 – August 19, outdoors at spectacular Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl, the Broadway blockbusters will run on alternating evenings.
“Last year was our most successful summer on record – more than 45,000 guests passed through our gates!” says Naveen Kapahi, TUTS Board President.
Mary Poppins, one of the most popular Disney movies of all time, captures hearts in a whole new way. The irresistible story and unforgettable songs are back, as everyone’s favourite nanny swoops in to teach the Banks family a lesson or two about love and imagination. Childhood favourites like “A Spoonful of Sugar”, “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, and “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” come to life.
Making her TUTS debut as Mary Poppins is Ranae Miller, who is joined by Victor Hunter (Bert), and nine-year-old TUTS newcomer Nolen Dubuc performs as Michael Banks alongside 11-year-old Lola Marshall (Jane Banks) in her third TUTS production. Shel Piercy directs.
The Drowsy Chaperone is bursting with song and dance. This Canadian musical parody and five-time Tony Award-winner whisks audiences away on a Jazz Age journey of love, and laughter. Alone in his modest, one-bedroom apartment, a musical theatre fan puts on his treasured cast recording. As the record spins, colourful characters of a fictitious 1928 musical spring to life – filling his living room with movie stars, gangsters, divas, and more.
Early Bird Tickets are available until June 17, save $5 off regular priced tickets when purchasing online (tuts.ca) or by phone (1-877-840-0457).