ARTSMARTS – Janis La Couvée

Theatre takes us from Camelot to Cabaret

November, traditionally a time for hunkering down, reveals an array of arts-related events. I’ve unearthed the following treasures: William Head On Stage presents, Fractured Fables: The Prison Project – a creation unlike any you have seen before, featuring large-scale shadow puppetry, live blue-grass music, 13 original fables and more than 50 hand-built puppets. WHoS, now in its 32nd year, is the only inmate-initiated and inmate-run theatre program inside a federal institution. Ongoing until Nov. 9. Tickets at TicketRocket.org. Must be 19+.

I’m always searching for ways to stretch my listening repertoire, and was intrigued to learn that the works of computer music innovator David A. Jaffe will be the focus of a festival Nov. 3-10. Events include a free lecture by Jaffe, and a 30th anniversary performance of his iconic work Silicon Valley Breakdown at UVic Nov. 6, followed by a concert Nov. 8 at Open Space, and a UVic Faculty concert Nov. 9. This series features many Canadian premieres of Jaffe’s work. More information at OpenSpace.ca.

Sin City The Live Improvised Serial returns for its fourth season with Kingdom of Thrones, set in the late Middle Ages – the era of Canterbury Tales, Camelot and Robin Hood. This season promises to be the most audacious yet – a medieval castle in a small village populated by peasants. Each week it’s theatre without a safety net. Come once and you’ll be hooked, like so many of us already are. Preview Nov. 5, season opens Nov. 12.  SinCityImprov.com.

Langham Court Theatre celebrates 85 years with a season that includes beloved classics Harvey and Cabaret, alongside more recent works like Heroes (Nov. 14-30) by Gérald Sibleyras, winner of the 2006 Laurence Olivier Award-winner for Best New Comedy.  Take advantage of ticket specials for previews. Student rush tickets have recently been added too. langhamtheatre.ca.

The elegant dinner theatre experience returned to Victoria with the opening of the David Foster Foundation Theatre at the new Oak Bay Beach Hotel. In November and December celebrate the holiday season with It’s Christmas written and produced by Matthew Howe, who has a long history of musical theatre excellence in Victoria. OakBayBeachHotel.com.

It’s been more than 40 years since Michael Ondaatje wrote The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, and more than 20 since I first saw it performed. Originally a series of poems, it was adapted for the stage. Join Victoria’s longest running alternative theatre company, Theatre Inconnu, for this lyrical exploration of a Western legend, Nov. 26-Dec. 14. Tickets through TicketRocket.

Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre moves to the Roxy Theatre in Quadra Village for its 2013/2014 season which opens with True West by Sam Shepard (Nov. 19-Dec. 8). Evening shows (due to the liquor license) are 19+. BlueBridgeTheatre.ca.

Local musical theatre troupe Gotta Getta Gimmick present chorus|line|cabaret 9: Marvin Hamlisch Nov. 25 in the Belfry Theatre Studio. Featuring jump-ups and diva tag, it’s a who’s who of people dedicated to the art form, and serious fans. Tickets sell out regularly and are available through the Belfry.

I first experienced the work of Carmen Aguirre, winner of CBC’s Canada Reads for Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, when she presented her play Blue Box as part of Intrepid Theatre’s UNO Fest in 2012. Join the author for a reading at Open Word, Nov. 20 at Open Space.

Janis La Couvée is a community builder, writer and arts advocate. She is incredibly grateful to be the audience. In 2013 Janis was recognized with an M Award as Biggest Supporter of Local Theatre.

 

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