Art Smarts: Spring blooms with renewal

Theatre columnist Janis La Couvée's monthly rundown from visiting spoken word stars to Shakespeare it's all happening on stage this May

Prepare for a very merry month of May filled with music, theatre, art and dance for all ages.

Just before the month begins, I’ve noted the following:

Ballet Étoile Victoria presents Art in Motion at Berwick House Theatre April 26/27. If, like me, you are new to dance or ballet, or wish to introduce a young person to this beautiful art form, these performances are perfectly suited, with small snippets of dance woven into a comprehensive program. Ticketrocket.org.

Open Space Artist-in-Residence Cameron Kidd hosts Reclaim the Streets: A Symposium on Public Art and Public Space: April 25-27. Admission is by donation. Join the conversation and share your stories about community and art as you explore the issues of street art, public art, and public space in Victoria. openspace.ca.

As part of Intrepid Theatre’s YOU Show for emerging artists, Pick-of-the-Fringe winners Blood Theatre Productions presents a one-man comedy, The Princess Rescue Force, May 3. Ticketrocket.org.

Kaleidsocope Theatre returns with the second Family Theatre Festival May 1-4 at Centennial Square, with plays by Snafu Dance Theatre, Theatre SKAM and Kaleidoscope’s Teen Ensemble, and May 7-11 at Fort Rodd Hill with Robinson and Crusoe by Urban Arts Productions. It’s the perfect way to introduce your children and grandchildren to theatre. kaleidoscope.bc.ca.

Theatre Inconnu, Victoria’s longest running alternative theatre company, brings Jean Anouilh’s modern classic Antigone to life (May 6-24). Rarely have both sides of a moral issue been so deeply enacted – at its premiere in occupied France both Nazis and the Resistance felt the play depicted their interests. TicketRocket.org.

Can you believe it? Atomic Vaudeville turns 10! This indie theatre company with an enviable list of hits (Legoland, Qualities of Zero, Ride the Cyclone) has influenced the new wave of young Victoria-based theatre and performance artists. Collaborators have gone on to found their own companies, write award-winning plays and tour across Canada. The spring cabaret May 8-10 will be a very special reunion. There’s also a special event party planned. TicketRocket.org.

Hexaphone is a unique, award-winning six-voice a capella ensemble. Mermaid in the Parlour (May 10 in Victoria, May 24 in Sidney) is Hexaphone’s version of a ‘house concert’ with songs by Schumann, Finzi, Brahms, Elgar and others, plus a new composition by Nicholas Fairbank. hexaphone.org.

Gotta Getta Gimmick’s Chorus line Cabaret (May 12) highlights the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, at the Belfry Theatre. When I attended the last cabaret in January, the place was packed with musical-theatre fans and practitioners, so be sure to get tickets early if you’d like to hear the great hits and lesser-known tunes of these fabulous writers. gggarts.org.

Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate, Morgan Purvis, has been hard at work securing legendary spoken-word artist Buddy Wakefield, who performs his World Tour May 16 at Alix Goolden Hall. Joining him are musical acts Mike Edel and Fish&Bird. Wakefield also offers a workshop May 17. Tickets at Eventbrite.ca – search Buddy Wakefield.

Founded in 2012, Fear No Opera is Victoria’s opera company for emerging artists. Its main goal is to help people love opera as much as they do. As a relative opera neophyte, I appreciate their approach to the discipline. On May 24 they stage Mozart’s well-known Cosi Fan Tutte or School for Lovers. Hilarity is promised. Fearnoopera.com.

The Belfry Theatre’s 2013/14 season – dedicated to Shakespeare – ends with Equivocation (April 22-May 25), a co-production with Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach that promises palace intrigue and backstage comedy in an ode to art and politics. Belfry.bc.ca.

Margaret Atwood’s excellent retelling of the Odyssey – from Penelope’s point of view – is featured at Langham Court Theatre (April 23-May 10). Langham’s considerable pool of talent makes casting large shows like this possible. Langhamtheatre.ca.

Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre finishes its first regular season at the Roxy Theatre in Quadra Village with a Canadian classic – the Tex/Mex retelling of Shakespeare’s Othello – Làgrimas Crueles/Cruel Tears, originally written in the 1970s, and lovingly reworked by Puente Theatre’s artistic director Mercedes Bátiz-Benét. (April 29-May 11) Tickets at TicketRocket.org.

 

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