Is there a better time of year to celebrate with song, dance, and theatre than during the holidays? From traditional ballet like The Nutcracker to symphony celebrations aimed at the preschool set, there’s no shortage of holiday shows to help celebrate the season. More importantly, it’s a great way to carve out some family time – and maybe even create a new annual tradition.
Here’s a roundup of some of the events happening around the region in the coming weeks:
When: November 23 to December 5
Where: Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island, Vancouver
What: This Carousel Theatre production of Bad Hats Theatre’s Peter Pan premiers in BC this month. With the full contingent of pirates, Lost Boys, a ticking crocodile and a child who never wants to grow up, this adaptation of the J.M. Barrie classic is a playful and magical romp. Best for children four and up (including grown-ups of course) the show runs at Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island, itself a great holiday destination – make a day of it with a bit of shopping and dinner, too.
Web: Check out carouseltheatre.ca for more information.
It’s a Wonderful Life
When: December 19 to January 5 with evening and matinee shows
Where: Anvil Centre, New Westminster
What: Patrick Street Productions brings the beloved holiday movie to stage as a new classic musical. Reminding audiences that “no man is a failure who has friends,” this new adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life brings an updated version – complete with songs – to audiences throughout the holiday season.
Web: Check out patrickstreetproductions.com for more information.
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
When: December 10 to 22
Where: Vancouver and New Westminster, various locations
What: There’s more than one choice for families with the Vancouver Symphony this time of year. A Traditional Christmas offers families a classic Christmastime concert, running December 10 to 14 at various venues around the Lower Mainland and one show at the Orpheum on December 22. The VSO also celebrates with The Snowman, an Oscar-nominated animation for children that has been delighting children for more than 40 years. The film will be screened as part of a family holiday concert in the Orpheum in December, with music performed live by the VSO and guest soloists. For a more modern (and comic) take on holiday fun, consider their Home Alone in Concert, showing on December 18 and 20. The audience will enjoy the full film on the big screen with the score (by renowned composer John Williams) performed live in accompaniment by the VSO. And last but not least, little ones can enjoy a sing-along (and move-along) of holiday songs with the Holiday Hooray show, running on December 6 at Pyatt Hall in Vancouver and Anvil Centre in New Westminster on December 7. The show is part of the Tiny Tots four-concert series that runs through the year, for toddlers to children up to five.
Web: Check out vancouversymphony.ca for more information.
The Sound of Music
When: On now until January 5
Where: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Vancouver
Where the Wild Things Are
When: November 29 to December 15
Where: Presentation House Theatre, North Vancouver
What: This much-loved adaptation of the Maurice Sendak book, Where the Wild Things Are, returns by popular demand to Presentation House Theatre this month. Best for kids ages 3 to 6, the audience will jump right in to help Max transform his bedroom into the many landscapes of his adventures and then sail together to the land of the Wild Things. The interactive production is a guided play experience and was originally adapted for the stage by TAG Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland.
Web: Check out phtheatre.org for more information.
The Nutcracker – Royal City Youth Ballet
When: December 7, 14, 15, 21 and 22
Where: Duncan, North Vancouver, Surrey and New Westminster
What: The Nutcracker is synonymous with the holidays and the Royal City Youth Ballet has been running a full production of the classic ballet for 30 years with their unique non-profit ballet company. Bridging the gap between dance schools and professional dance companies, the Royal City Youth Ballet features youth dancers from around the region in a professional production complete with stunning sets and costumes.
Web: Check out royalcityyouthballet.org for more information.
The Nutcracker – Goh Ballet
When: December 20 to 22
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver
What: This holiday classic, performed each year by the renowned Goh Ballet, provides aspiring dancers the opportunity to perform with the best local talent and principal dancers from around the world each year. The traditional ballet is a journey through Clara’s dream come to life as she embarks on a magical journey through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets where she is greeted by the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy.
Web: Check out gohballet.com for more information.