Enjoy Theatre and Music and Under the Stars in Vancouver

Theatre Under the Stars performance in Stanley Park

Photo: Theatre Under the Stars/Facebook

Take your arts experience outdoors this summer and enjoy musical theatre, symphony, and opera under the stars. It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends enjoying the fresh air, the arts, and some of Vancouver’s beautiful scenery.

 

Theatre Under the Stars

Operating since 1940, Theatre Under the Stars brings musical theatre to Stanley Park every summer. This season the not-for-profit theatre company is staging two shows: Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Cats, which is one of the most beloved Broadway musicals of all time, and School of Rock, based on the 2003 hit film starring Jack Black. This season’s productions run from July 5 to August 24, 2024.

The shows take place outdoors at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park where a stage and seating are set up in a grassy area tucked in between the park’s towering trees. Performances go ahead rain or shine, but you can purchase exchange insurance when you buy your tickets so you can swap them for a different date if the weather doesn’t look great.

In addition to regularly scheduled performances, there are also some special event nights including fireworks nights, a pride night, discounted early-season preview nights, pre-show music performances, and a band tee night. You can also book a VIP Experience that includes premium seats, a private reception area with a bar, early venue access, and a catering package.

If you want to grab dinner before the show, Stanley Park Brewing near the Beach Avenue entrance to the park has craft beer and gastropub fare. Or choose from dozens of restaurants on Denman Street just outside Stanley Park. Jingle Bao has delicious made-to-order Chinese dumplings and dim sum. Or dine at Kingyo, a Japanese izakaya with lots of inventive small plates.

Spectators watch Theatre Under the Stars in Stanley Park

Photo: Theatre Under the Stars/Instagram

 

Symphony in the Park

A 30-year tradition, Symphony in the Park is back on July 13, 2024, at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby. The evening features the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra playing a free outdoor concert on the grassy lawn at Deer Lake. Bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket to enjoy the performance with the gorgeous lake as a backdrop.

This year’s program features a crowd-pleasing program of familiar scores from your favourite films. Listen for Monty Norman’s James Bond Theme and John William’s Harry Potter and Star Wars themes, among others.

Before the main performance, the park will host free family activities including a musical play zone. There will also be food trucks on-site and a prelude performance by Azalea Chinese Music Ensemble.

If you want to spend a day at the lake, (or even listen from the water) rent a boat at Deer Lake Boat Rentals at the east end of the lake. They have canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and pedalboats. Or combine your visit to Symphony in the Park with a trip to Burnaby Village Museum. The 10-acre site includes dozens of historical buildings and exhibits staffed by costumed interpreters.

Spectators at Symphony in the Park at Deer Lake near Vancouver

Photo: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

 

Opera in the Park

Opera in the Park is back for its third year on Sunday, July 14th. Music Director Jacques Lacombe will lead the Vancouver Opera Orchestra through music from Vancouver Opera’s 2024-205 season. Highlights include Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Die Fledermaus from Strauss, and Jonathan Dove’s Flight. Like Symphony in the Park, Opera in the Park is free and takes place on the grass at Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park, so bring your own lawn chair or blanket. Before the performance, there will be free family activities and lots of food trucks.

The stage and spectators at Opera in the Park

Opera in the Park. Photo: City of Burnaby

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