Welcome to Victoria’s artistic season

Take a splash of symphony, add flash of opera, a campy musical, bounce in some modern dance and you have a fabulous Victoria arts season.

It’s a season of celebration as the Belfry Theatre honours the 40th anniversary of this exceptional, surprising, intimate and well-respected theatre.

The adventure begins with David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow, continuing to Oct. 11. Hot on the heels of the comedy comes Chelsea Hotel – The Sons of Leonard Cohen, an eclectic cabaret conceived and directed by Vancouver Island-born Tracey Power from Oct. 20 to Nov. 15. The Belfry rings in the holidays with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Dec. 1 to 20.

The blockbuster season continues Feb. 2 to 28 with Joan MacLeod’s drama, The Valley while March features the annual SPARK Festival. Springtime is ushered in with a reprise of the musical that started it all, Irving Berlin’s Puttin’ On The Ritz, a timeless revue, featuring incredible dancing and tunes like Always, Count Your Blessings, Blue Skies, and Cheek To Cheek, it’s a real treat for everyone.

The Canadian College of Performing Arts begins its season Oct. 22 to 25 with Company C’s presentation of the bloody, unrelenting Marat/Sade, a historical drama set during and post French Revolution. Dec. 3 to 6, student performances continue with The Great Gatsby; followed by Into the Woods, a musical interpretation of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, Jan. 28 to Feb. 6.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Two Gentlemen of Verona run March 10 to 12 and the season culminates with Mary Poppins, April 22 to 30.

More excellent student theatre continues with UVic’s Phoenix Theatre which begins Oct. 14 to 24 with its spotlight on alumni production LOON, featuring alumna Kate Braidwood and Andrew Phoenix. The Threepenny Opera runs Nov. 5 to 21 and Wild Honey, adapted from the original, unfinished play by Anton Chekhov goes Feb. 11 to 20. The students tackle Tennessee Williams’ passionate Summer and Smoke, March 10 to 19, a bittersweet exploration of love and longing with unforgettable characters.

Long-running Langham Court Theatre begins with the “batty” family comedy You Can’t Take It With You, to Oct. 17. Doubt, A Parable runs Nov. 18 to Dec. 5 and after the holiday break, Langham begins the new year with Stepping Out, a warm, funny comedy about the lives, laughs and loves of a group of women (and one man) attending a weekly tap dance class. From March 2 to 19, Female Transport, a look at six women convicted of petty crimes enduring a six-month voyage from 19th Century England to a penal colony now known as Australia, takes the stage.

Escape From Happiness runs April 20 to May 7 and the busy season ends with She Stoops to Conquer, June 8 to 25.

Kaleidoscope Theatre, Vancouver Island’s resident professional theatre company for young people, starts with a benefit showing of Little Shop of Horrors, Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 at the McPherson Playhouse. Munsch-ercise Nov. 20 to 29, and Robinson and Crusoe April 15 to 24, are both on stage at the Roxy Theatre.

Four Seasons Musical Theatre presents A Christmas Carol in the fall and My Son Pinocchio in the spring at the Isabelle Reader Theatre in Langford.

St. Luke’s Players present its 68th season of community theatre beginning with the comedy Opening Night, Oct. 14 to 25 and continuing with the comedy thriller Cliffhanger March 9 to 20. The much-anticipated Christmas panto Mother Goose, Dec. 18 to Jan. 2, brings well-known nursery rhyme characters such as Mother Goose, Jack and Jill, Bo Peep, Mary Mary and Little Miss Muffet to town with plenty of local references and laughs. Bull In A China Shop, May 18 to 29, brings a hint of mystery with it as six old ladies – presumed sweet until they prove otherwise – create a unique solution to the problem of getting a handsome homicide detective, Dennis O’Finn to pay them a visit.

Young Paper Street Theatre is on the map with a fifth season of fully improvised shows inspired by playwrights, movies and authors. Oct. 14 to 16, Improv’s For Closers is inspired by the works of playwright David Mamet and tackles the ball-busting world of business. Inspired by 1980s films like Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, Lethal Christmas runs Dec. 16 to 19 and the season ends Feb. 16 to 20 with a view into a dystopian future inspired by Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

Intrepid Theatre brings renowned Canadian artist Ronnie Burkett to Victoria for the first time in nearly 20 years: unleashed, unscripted, by the seat of his pants, manipulating and voicing a cast of 40 marionettes Nov. 19 to 22. Uno Fest is North America’s longest-running festival of one-person shows, featuring solo performers and original theatre from around the world. Uno Fest will celebrate its 19th season of outstanding live theatre May 18 to 29. Intrepid’s YOU show takes place monthly and the annual Fringe Festival happens in August.

Theatre Inconnu presents If We Were Birds, to Oct. 17. Local playwright and novelist Charles Tidler’s Spit Delaney’s Island runs Dec. 1 to 19 and Alien Creature – A Visitation from Gwendolyn MacEwen runs Feb. 17 to March 7. Closing the season is Cock, May 5 to 23, by Mike Bartlett. Bartlett is an acclaimed new British playwright who examines with wit and sensitivity, the confusion around sexual identity.

Blue Bridge at the Roxy returns to its roots with a full season of summer theatre launching May 12 to 22 with Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night. July 5 to 17, The Importance of Being Earnest hits the Roxy stage with high farce and witty dialogue. A hallmark of Marx Brothers lunacy, Animal Crackers brings Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and their perennial foil Mrs. Rittenhouse to life with anarchic fun and song, Aug. 2 to 14.

Over the Malahat, join Chemainus Theatre for Jeeves Intervenes, to Oct. 3. From the stories of P.G. Wodehouse comes this British comedy of witty, wealthy, wandering Bertie Wooster, who heads to London with an ingenious new scheme and his iconic valet Jeeves. Grace and Glorie, Oct. 16 to Nov. 7 is followed by Elf: The Musical, a fun, family show starring Buddy the Elf, Nov. 20 to Dec. 31.

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