Between Puccini's final work, a drama about the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York, and a refreshing take on Snow White, there's plenty to see on stage.
1. Angels in America: Perestroika
Tony Kushner’s Pultizer-winning drama about the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York has become all the more impactful as society has (slowly) enlightened itself about the cruelty of that era’s ill-informed masses. The second of Angels’ two parts, Perestroika follows Arts Club’s production of Millennium Approaches earlier this year. (Don’t worry if you missed its predecessor—this works as a standalone experience.) September 7 to October 8, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, artsclub.com
Our collective inability to be less in thrall to the internet is the hot-button topic of modern life. Elbow Theatre Society principals TJ Dawe and Itai Erdal present a tragicomic take on, in their own words, “life online and the limits of digital empathy.” October 4 to 14, Firehall Arts Centre, theelbow.ca
3. Vancouver Opera: Turandot
Puccini’s final work (in the gravest sense—he died before it was finished) is arguably also his most accomplished. Set in China, its story of a prince’s doomed love for an indifferent princess is set to music that is a feast for performers and audiences alike. A suitably dramatic beginning to Vancouver Opera’s current season. October 13 to 21, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, vancouveropera.ca
4. Almost, Maine
Upon its 2004 premiere in Portland, Maine, playwright John Cariani’s series of nine romantic vignettes (think of it as Love Actually for the stage) broke local box-office records before making its way to Off Broadway and eventually becoming the most produced play in North American high schools. Now Pacific Theatre is having its way with this feel-good audience favourite. November 24 to December 16, pacifictheatre.org
5. East Van Panto: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Theatre Replacement’s recently established annual tradition, in which a classic fairy tale is relocated to our city and liberally soaked in absurdity, is perhaps the holiday season’s most refereshingly different onstage attraction. Here, the PNE is the setting, and the titular dwarves are has-been members of an ’80s rock band. November 29 to January 6, York Theatre, thecultch.com
Check back for more on the hottest comedy, music and visual arts shows in Vancouver, part of our 2017 Fall Arts Preview!