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Where to Go Vancouver

Les Misérables Comes to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

By SHERI RADFORD

Les Misérables plays at the QE Theatre from Jul. 10 to 15, 2018 (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Jul. 10 to 15, 2018 “Do you hear the people sing?” Chances are good you’ve heard Jean Valjean and Cosette, because Les Misérables is the world’s second-longest-running musical. The story of how a corrupt society turns people into beggars and criminals is as relevant now as when Victor Hugo wrote the novel that the show is based on, back in 1862. At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

One Direction’s Harry Styles Plays Solo Show in Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

Harry Styles performs at Rogers Arena on July 6 (Photo by Helene Pambrun)

Jul. 6, 2018 In 2016, teens and tweens around the world plunged into a period of mourning when One Direction went on hiatus. Happy times are here again, at least for fans of 1D’s Harry Styles. The singer-songwriter released his first solo album last year, and this month his tour rolls into Rogers Arena. Expect to hear his mega-hit “Sign of the Times,” along with 1D chart-toppers such as “What Makes You Beautiful.” Music fans, rejoice!

Canada Day 2018: How to Celebrate in Vancouver

By CHLOË LAI

Perfectly punny cup from Indigo

Jul 1, 2018 Canada Day kicks off festivities across the city, many of them glorious and free. Swing over to Granville Island for live music courtesy of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, or to Creekside Park, where hopeful percussionists attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for most nationalities in a drum circle. Then dance your way down to Canada Place for crowd-pleasing concerts and a fireworks finale. Need Canuck swag? Indigo is a treasure trove of True North–themed souvenirs, from fun pillows to campsite-ready mugs.

Sounds of Summer: TD Vancouver International Jazz Fest

By CHLOË LAI

Crowds gather to enjoy free concerts at David Lam Park, one of the festival venues (Photo by Jon Benjamin Photography)

Jun. 22-Jul. 1, 2018 For 10 days and nights, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival puts a swing in the city’s step, with more than 1,800 musicians playing 300 concerts—150 of which are free. Get down to the legendary sounds of heavy hitters like Robert Plant (Jun. 29), Macy Gray (Jun. 28) and the undeniably sax-y Kamasi Washington (Jun. 24), or fall head-over-dancin’-feet for one of the many hot up-and-comers. Groove on.

Seaside Stage: Bard on the Beach

By SHERI RADFORD

Photo by David Cooper

Jun. 6-Sep. 28, 2018 If the last time you experienced Shakespeare was while dozing through a high school English class, then it’s time to give his plays another try. Every summer, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival breathes new life into classics such as Macbeth and As You Like It (pictured), this year’s two mainstage productions, by incorporating music and costumes from different eras. As You Like It has been transported to 1960s Vancouver, complete with more than 20 classic Beatles tunes. This just might be the summer of love.

Truck Stop Concert Series: Coleman Hell

By CHLOË LAI

Gather beneath the water tower at Red Truck Beer for live music and craft beer on Jun. 16

Jun. 16, 2018 Want to party with the locals? You’ll find 1,800 of them at Red Truck Beer’s Truck Stop Concert Series. This month, catch headliner and Juno-nominated artist Coleman Hell, creator of the impossibly addictive multi-platinum hit single “2 Heads.” Warming up the crowd for Hell’s latest dance-inciting tracks are Seattle-based Pickwick, self-described as “space soul,” and local rising stars Sam the Astronaut. Don’t miss Aviator Shades, winners of the 2018 Truck Stop Talent Search and cheerful ambassadors of classic rock. Two stages, top-notch tunes, food trucks and craft beer aplenty—this is how Vancouver does summer.

Brilliant Burlesque: Dita Von Teese and the Copper Coupe

By SHERI RADFORD

Catch burlesque legend Dita Von Teese’s new show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 15

Jun 15, 2018 Glamour and seduction combine in Dita Von Teese and the Copper Coupe, an over-the-top creation by the queen of burlesque. A fully crystallized gown, bespoke fetish boots by Christian Louboutin, and 1,200 pearl balloons floating down from the sky are just a few of the highlights. Dita Von Teese brings her very revealing show to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

C’mon Angie! World Premiere at Firehall Arts Centre

BY SHERI RADFORD

Photo by Bold Rezolution Studio

Jun 1 to 9, 2018 When does sexual fantasy become sexual violation? That’s the hot-button topic at the heart of C’mon, Angie!, a new play making its world premiere this month at the Firehall Arts Centre. In the aftermath of a one-night stand, when questions of consent arise, Angie and Reed disagree on the truth of what actually happened. This thought-provoking play is sure to generate discussion.

Douglas Coupland Makes Waves at the Vancouver Aquarium

BY CHLOË LAI 

Douglas Coupland’s “Vortex” is on display at the Vancouver Aquarium until spring 2019 (Photo courtesy Vancouver Aquarium)

To spring 2019 Decades ago, when Vancouver-based artist Douglas Coupland first started working with plastic, the material seemed “eternal, shiny and happy.” That changed when Coupland discovered plastic bottles from Tokyo washed up on the remote beaches of Haida Gwaii. His newest exhibit, Vortex, uses plastic marine debris collected along BC’s coast to reimagine the Pacific Trash Vortex—also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—in a series of playful, thought-provoking installations. The centrepiece, a small Japanese fishing boat set adrift in the 2011 tsunami, is now home to four figures, including a tweed-jacketed Andy Warhol. In a tank nearby, tiny fish dart through a multi-coloured LEGO “reef.” Across the room, blue blubber jellyfish and yellow-capped plastic bottles bob and drift in perfect harmony. Long shelves showcase assorted flotsam and jetsam, such as a plastic Snapple bottle cap emblazoned with the company’s slogan: “Made From the Best Stuff on Earth.” Intrigued? Dive into this thought-provoking exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium.

 

Mamma Mia! Hits Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

Mamma Mia! fans will be chanting “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” until Aug 12 (Photo by David Cooper)

To Aug 12, 2018 “Mamma mia, here I go again.” Leave your cynicism at home, because every ABBA fan’s favourite musical is back in all its superbly silly and sequinned glory. It’s impossible not to smile and sing along when the first bars of “Dancing Queen” or “Does Your Mother Know” fill the air—but to truly join in, you’ll have to wait until the two sing-along performances on Jul. 28. This fun-in-the-sun musical is getting toes tapping at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Fun fact: the 15-week run of Mamma Mia! is the theatre’s longest-running production ever. “My my, how can I resist you?”

One to Watch: Actor Diana Bang

By SHERI RADFORD
May 2018

Diana Bang’s savvy bargain-hunting skills fuel her fun style (Photo by KK Law)

Diana Bang isn’t a household name—yet. For years the local actor and sketch-comedy artist has been appearing in filmed-in-Vancouver movies and TV shows such as Bates Motel. Her big break came when she landed the role of Sook in The Interview, alongside another funny Vancouver actor, Seth Rogen. Not content to just wait around for her next big role, Bang is also writing her own scripts, hoping one day to produce and direct as well: “You’ve got to create your own material,” she says. “That’s always the most fulfilling.” Her favourite collaborator is her sister, Andrea, who currently stars in the TV show Kim’s Convenience.

When Bang isn’t on a film set or at one of her many part-time jobs, she can be found working on her writing at The Birds & the Beets, a cozy cafe in Gastown, or picking up a steamed pork-and-vegetable bun or coconut bun from New Town Bakery, in Chinatown. She loves trying out new restaurants, which Vancouver has in abundance, or stopping for a drink at R&B Brewing, Pourhouse, Martini’s or Grapes & Soda.

Most of all, Bang loves making people laugh. Look for her in upcoming sketch-comedy performances with The Lady Show. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this rising star.

To find out more about Diana Bang, check out her website

Vancouver’s Craft Beer Circuit

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
May 2018

From left: Craft Lager, Filthy Dirty IPA, Trash Panda IPA and Ruby Tears NW Red Ale, at Parallel 49 (Photo by KK Law)

From easy drinking to just plain experimental, a bevy of brews can be found around Vancouver. Explore the options in hop-heavy neighbourhoods like Brewery Creek or East Village, where craft breweries are all a hop, sip and jump away. Start with local stalwarts like Brassneck and Parallel 49. For an even larger concentration of breweries, tap into Vancouver Craft Beer Week (May 25 to Jun. 3). This frothy celebration of beer, live music and special events culminates with a festival where 100 breweries pour over 300 beers and ciders. We’ll raise a glass to that.