A Knockout Queer Diasporic Show and 4 Other Must-Sees at PuSh Performing Arts Festival

1. She, Mami Wata and The Pussy Witchhunt

The Frank Theatre (Canada)

Dancehall-inspired DJ loops, a burlesque pole, and scorching subject matter—get ready to be captivated and challenged by She, Mami Wata and The Pussy Witchhunt. This multidisciplinary show is written and performed by Jamaican-Canadian D’bi Young Anitafrika, a triple Dora award-winner acclaimed for her artistic and activist work on and off-stage. The show is centred around black voices, and explores the complex relationships between four friends living in present-day Jamaica.

Date: January 28 – 31 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Performance Works Theatre (Granville Island)
Price: $39
More Info: pushfestival.ca

2. Skyborn: A Land Reclamation Odyssey

Savage Production Society (Canada)

This is the world premiere of Musqueam artist Quelemia Sparrow’s epic odyssey. Skyborn: A Land Reclamation Odyssey is rooted in the cosmology and teachings of Sparrow’s Musqueam heritage, and follows her journey by canoe to the land of the dead to recover her own lost soul. The show uses inter-Indigenous sound and puppetry and Musqueam/Sto:lo visual storytelling and animation—it’s the first show in Savage Society’s first full season of production.

Date: January 23 – February 1 (select days, see website for details)
Venue: The Cultch’s Historic Theatre
Price: From $26
More Info: pushfestival.ca

3. Agit-Pop!

Pearle Harbour (Canada)

Three words: Tragicomic cabaret concert. Drag innovator Pearle Harbour takes years of live performance at venues across Canada and rolls them into Agit-Pop!, one crazy-cool show. Audiences can expect reenactments, renditions, and tirades, and maybe a whisper (or a scream, who knows) of politics and eco-catastrophe. The PuSh website warns you to expect to be “part of the fun,” so yeah, bring your shiest friend.

Date: February 1 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Central Studios
Price: $25
More Info: pushfestival.ca

4. Ikigai Machine: A Disability-Arts Vaudeville Experience

Myles De Bastion/CymaSpace (USA)

This is the opening weekend party for PuSh, and everybody who’s anybody is going to be there. Seriously: accessibility and inclusivity are major vibes in this multi-platform performance from deaf curator, advocate and artist Myles de Bastion. Music is combined with visual effects to create a one-of-a-kind concert experience that all can get funky with.

Date: January 25 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
Price: Free
More Info: pushfestival.ca

5. Cuckoo

Jaha Koo (South Korea/Belgium)

Yes, that’s a talking rice cooker, thank you for asking. Cuckoo is bittersweet play about economic disaster and mental health after the market crash of 1997, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t funny—how serious can a talking rice cooker really be? Despite dark subject matter, this show delivers on hope and humour. (And maybe hunger—rice, anyone?)

Date: February 3-5 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Waterfront Theatre (Granville Island)
Price: $39
More Info: pushfestival.ca