Vancouver’s Theatre Under the Stars Returns with Two Beloved Musicals

L-R: Image of Sheryl Wheaton as Rosie, Lori Zondag as Tanya and Caitriona Murphy as Donna in Mamma Mia! with Adam Charles as Jack, Caleb Lagayan as Race and Graeme Kitagawa as Mush in Disney’s Newsies. Photo by Lindsay Elliott

A Vancouver summer tradition is fast approaching once again: ever-popular Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS).

In the heart of Stanley Park, audiences have been gathering at Malkin Bowl for 79 years in order to experience TUTS’ spirited musical theatre productions. This year’s season promises to be full of exuberance, talent, and fabulous singing and dancing.

Early bird tickets are now available until June 15, 2019, for performances of this season’s TUTS, which will run July 5 to August 17, 2019.

TUTS has selected two musicals that are all about joy and energy: Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies, which will appear on alternate nights.

L-R: Image of Lori Zondag as Tanya, Caitriona Murphy as Donna,and Sheryl Wheaton as Rosie in Mamma Mia!. Photo by Lindsay Elliott

The first is a massively popular musical, which was turned into a Hollywood movie starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, among others. It takes place on a idyllic Greek island where Sophie Sheridan lives with her mother Donna. Sophie is intent on finding out who her father is (with multiple potential candidates in the running!).

Comically funny misunderstandings ensue, all set to the classic tunes of ABBA, such as “Take a Chance on Me” and “Dancing Queen.” The musical is an incredible crowd pleaser due to its heart warming narrative and infectious music.

The veteran TUTS cast includes Keira Jang (Sophie Sheridan), Caitriona Murphy (Donna Sheridan), Lori Zondag (Tanya), Sheryl Anne Wheaton (Rosie), Matt Ramer (Bill Austin), Peter Monaghan (Sam Carmichael), and Stefan Winfield (Harry Bright).

L-R: Image of Vinny Keats as Ensemble Member, Adam Charles as Jack, Julia Ullrichas Katherine, Nathan Piasecki as Ensemble Member, Caleb Lagayan as Race, and Graeme Kitagawa as Ensemble Member in Disney’s Newsies. Photo by Lindsay Elliott

Disney’s Newsies is also a well-known musical, one premised on the power of a youthful collective to resist injustice. It takes place in New York City and is based on an actual strike in 1899. The “newsies” are a group of kids who deliver newspaper and eke out a living based on the meager pay they receive. Their mobilization to strike and resist the owners’ attempts to raise distribution prices forms the basis of the story. It’s a hopeful tale of underdogs rising to challenge and overcome their oppression. Songs include “Carrying the Banner” and “King of New York.”

The cast for Newsies features Adam Charles (Jack Kelly), Jordyn Bennett (Les Jacobs), Daniel Curalli (Davey Jacobs), Jovanni Sy (Joseph Pulitzer), and Julia Ullrich (Katherine Plumber).

Overall, this 2019 season of TUTS is bound to be tons of fun, with superb production value. Recent seasons have been incredibly enjoyable. Specials nights to look forward to are Pride Night (July 29); Date Nights (July 17 and 24), Mamma Mia! Super Fan Sunday (July 21), and Super Monday (August 5).

More information and tickets can be found on-line. Early bird tickets are $25-$50, while regular tickets (starting June 16) will be $30-$55.

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