I love summer for theatre. It’s not so much that the best shows come here in the summer – though some would argue that – but that the venues and backdrops get more and more spectacular.
Bard on the Beach, that yearly festival of Shakespeare down at Vanier Park, opened in May, and now, with the opening of Theatre Under the Stars last weekend, the summer theatre season is truly underway.
Like Bard, Theatre Under the Stars (or TUTS for short) is a Vancouver tradition, a yearly summertime offering of culture in a beautiful, natural venue. The venue for TUTS is Malkin Bowl, located in the heart of Stanley Park – an open air venue ringed by tall evergreen trees. TUTS isn’t about actors with pedigree – though many have that too – but about providing a venue for aspiring theatre folk to learn, to experience, and to grow their skills.
This year’s lineup includes that seminal summer-time classic, Annie, as well as Thoroughly Modern Millie.
I had the chance to catch Millie on Wednesday, and, as with all TUTS performances I’ve been to, had a blast. The singing and dancing was impressive for sure, but it’s more about the whole experience – curling up with a friend on a blanket, having a glass of wine or a cup of hot chocolate, and watching the blue sky overhead turn into a canvas of stars. The crowd is full of all types – the artists, the students, the couples, the families – but all are there to enjoy the show, celebrating summer in the city.
Tickets available at Tickets Tonight