10 best winter performing arts shows

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Anyone else sick of old-fashioned Christmas shows yet? These 10 performing arts shows are unique twists on tried and true winter classics.

From theatre to concerts to film, there are plenty of shows in Vancouver that don’t fall under the ‘traditional’ holiday category. All hold up for adult audiences, but a few also have the added benefit of being appropriate for young children.

Give the indies and out-of-the-way productions a chance to shine this holiday season, and be pleasantly surprised by what you discover!


10 Best Winter Performing Arts Shows

By Vancity Buzz

These performing arts shows are unique twists on tried and true winter classics. Celebrate the holiday season with a bit of theatrical fun!

  • All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

    By Vancity Buzz

    Chor Leoni’s twist on the traditional male vocal ensemble – a fully staged theatrical production of the Christmas Truce in the words and songs of the men who lived it.

  • Chelsea Hotel

    By Vancity Buzz

    Leonard Cohen’s powerful and inspirational music is the heartbeat of Chelsea Hotel, as six performers play seventeen different instruments in a rollicking tribute at DTES’ Firehall Arts Centre.

  • Wide Awake Hearts

    By Vancity Buzz

    A writer, an actress, an actor, and an editor stumble through the nightmarish landscape of love and fidelity while trying to make a movie in which art imitates life.

  • The Shortest Day

    By Vancity Buzz

    A FREE funny and family-friendly mix of short films by Canada’s most talented filmmakers during the holiday season, held in locations across the Lower Mainland.

  • Crazy For You

    By Vancity Buzz

    A toe tapping good time at Gateway Theatre in Richmond. 1930s New York swings to life in this high-octane, tap dancing musical!

  • Cinderella – East Van Panto

    By Vancity Buzz

    Now an East Vancouver tradition! Amiel Gladstone, Veda Hille, and Charles Demers return to the York with a way beyond Disney retelling of sweet little Cinderella.

  • Little Women

    By Vancity Buzz

    Fighting Change Productions’ brings Little Women to life as an exhilarating new musical filled with glorious music, dancing and heart. 

  • A Christmas Story

    By Vancity Buzz

    Juno-nominated Musica Intima couples traditional holiday favourites with contemporary marvels. 5 Christmas concerts across the Lower Mainland.

  • It’s a Wonderful Life

    By Vancity Buzz

    Pacific Theatre’s beloved holiday classic brought to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast.

  • James and the Giant Peach

    By Vancity Buzz

    Carousel Theatre, the theatre for young people, brings this new, heartwarming musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic.

 

All Is Calm: Christmas Truce of 1914

ALL IS CALM 900X600

Chor Leoni’s twist on the traditional male vocal ensemble – a fully staged theatrical production of the Christmas Truce in the words and songs of the men who lived it.

  • When: December 19 to 21
  • Where: Vancouver Playhouse – 600 Hamilton Street
  • More Info: Chor Leoni

Chelsea Hotel

Chelsea Hotel - Steve Charles & Lauren Bowler credit David Cooper.

Leonard Cohen’s powerful and inspirational music is the heartbeat of Chelsea Hotel, as six performers play seventeen different instruments in a rollicking tribute at DTES’ Firehall Arts Centre.

  • When: December 13 to January 3
  • Where: Firehall Arts Centre – 280 E Cordova Street
  • More Info: Firehall Arts Centre

Wide Awake Hearts

Wide Awake Hearts_Hardline Productions and Twenty Something Theatre_Claire Hesselgrave as D_Photo by David Cooper

A writer, an actress, an actor, and an editor stumble through the nightmarish landscape of love and fidelity while trying to make a movie in which art imitates life.

  • When: December 3 to 20
  • Where: Little Mountain Gallery – 195 E 26th Avenue
  • More Info: Brown Paper Tickets

The Shortest Day

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A FREE funny and family-friendly mix of short films by Canada’s most talented filmmakers during the holiday season, held in locations across the Lower Mainland.

  • When: December 19 to 21
  • Where: In community spaces including cultural centres, schools, public libraries and hospitals
  • More Info: The Shortest Day

Crazy For You

Crazy For You - L-R Kate Blackburn, Gaelan Beatty (western dip) Photo Credit David Cooper

A toe tapping good time at Gateway Theatre in Richmond. 1930s New York swings to life in this high-octane, tap dancing musical!

  • When: December 4 to 31
  • Where: Gateway Theatre – 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond
  • More Info: Gateway Theatre

Cinderella – East Van Panto

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Now an East Vancouver tradition! Amiel Gladstone, Veda Hille, and Charles Demers return to the York with a way beyond Disney retelling of sweet little Cinderella.

  • When: December 3 to 28
  • Where: The York – 639 Commercial Drive
  • More Info: The Cultch

Little Women: The Musical

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Fighting Change Productions’ brings Little Women to life as an exhilarating new musical filled with glorious music, dancing and heart.

  • When: December 4 to 21
  • Where: Studio 1398 – 1398 Cartwright Street (Granville Island)
  • More Info: Tickets Tonight

A Christmas Story

MI Photo

Juno-nominated Musica Intima couples traditional holiday favourites with contemporary marvels. 5 Christmas concerts across the Lower Mainland.

  • When: December 13 to 20
  • Where: Across the Lower Mainland
  • More Info: Musica Intima

It’s a Wonderful Life

14-WL-Page-Web

Pacific Theatre’s beloved holiday classic brought to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast.

  • When: December 5 to 30
  • Where: Pacific Theatre – 1440 12 Ave W.
  • More Info: Pacific Theatre

James and the Giant Peach

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Carousel Theatre, the theatre for young people, brings this new, heartwarming musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic.

  • When: December 6 to January 4
  • Where: Waterfront Theatre – 1412 Cartwright Street (Granville Island)
  • More Info: Carousel Theatre

 

Watching a performance via Shutterstock

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About the author

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Cecilia Lu Arts & Culture Editor at Vancity Buzz. Cecilia a sucker for great indie theatre and anything really geeky. Lethal drink of choice: single malt whisky. cecilia[at]vancitybuzz[dot]com
@CeciliaLu

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