Celebrate 50 Years of Groundbreaking Theatre in Vancouver

photo: artsclub.com

photo: Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata | artsclub.com

Today, Vancouver is celebrated as a cosmopolitan oasis of art and culture on Canadaโ€™s west coast. But it wasnโ€™t always that way.

Just 50 years ago, live theatre was almost unheard of in the city. Thatโ€™s when a little company called the Arts Club opened its doors in a converted gospel hall in a rough-and-tumble section of downtown.

Fast-forward to the present and the Arts Club is Western Canadaโ€™s largest theatre company, staging more than a dozen world-class productions every year at three state-of-the-art venues around the city. Offerings range from timeless dramas and musicals to edgier, alternative shows that represent the cutting edge of the cityโ€™s drama scene.

Hereโ€™s a look inside the Arts Clubโ€™s three stages and whatโ€™s on tap this spring:

  • Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage: Located on trendy South Granville Street, this Art Deco classic was rescued from the wrecking ball and reopened as a swanky, 650-seat theatre in 1998. Grab a seat on the balcony and enjoy the hit musical Dreamgirls this month, which traces the rags-to-riches story of a group of Motown singers. Dreamgirls runs May 9-July 7. Tickets start at $29.
  • Granville Island Stage: This waterfront, 450-seat theatre is located on scenic Granville Island, downtown Vancouverโ€™s hub of food and artisan culture. Premiering later this spring is the decidedly adult Broadway musical Avenue Q, which follows a bright-eyed college grad looking for love, purpose and puppets on New York Cityโ€™s streets. Avenue Q runs June 20-Aug. 3. Tickets start at $29.
  • Revue Stage: Just next door on Granville Island, the Revue Stage is an intimate venue for unconventional, experimental and alternative performances. This spring, catch Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata. This sidesplitting production sets the Internetโ€™s weirdest classified ads to music, exploring humanity in the digital age. Do You Want What I Have Got runs April 18-May 18. Tickets start at $25.
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