Seven things to do May 4-10: Wet, Mamma Mia!, Playland, more

Wet

When: May 8 -27, 8 p.m.

Where: The Russian Hall

Tickets and info: From $25,

The mental, emotional and physical repercussions of war on civilians are well documented. But it’s really only recently that combatants have been put under the same level of observation. In playwright David James Brock’s play Wet, a Canadian soldier returns home from Afghanistan to her husband and young daughter and is anything but her old self. As the family unravels, things get much worse as a former war comrade turns up. Slowly things ramp up in intensity, an intensity that the audience will be all the more aware of as the show takes place in the basement of the Russian Hall, where actors and the audience will be very close. The immersive experience is meant to heighten the already heated material. In-your-face theatre presented by Itsazoo.

The cast of Mamma Mia!  PNG

Mamma Mia!

When: May 10-Aug. 12

Where: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

Tickets and info: From $29, or

This is ABBA-solutely one of the best jukebox musicals. With its story of love and marriage set in the Mediterranean marvels of a Greek isle, this enormously successful musical stars Warren Kimmel, Michael Torontow, Jay Hindle, and Stephanie Roth, with Michelle Bardach playing the daughter Sophie. Dance, sing, clap along — really sing along at the singalong performances on July 28 — and get down to the hits of Sweden’s very own Fab Four. One of the longest-running musicals on both Broadway and in London, Mamma Mia! is scheduled to be the longest-running musical produced in the Stanley Theatre.

Marlborough in New Zealand’s South Island is one of the world’s foremost Sauvignon Blanc growing regions.  PNG

International Sauvignon Blanc Day

When: May 4

Where: All over the world

Info:

The promo lit asks “do you love Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc?” And all over folks are happy to lift a glass of this celebrated white wine and toast the vintners behind it. The New Zealanders are guiding the show on this particular day and have mounted tastings at snazzy spots all over. If you drop by the Garden Terrace at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia — and if you haven’t, you are missing out on one of the nicer spots in the whole Lower Mainland — they have a special deal on the award-winning Matua Sauvignon Blanc, which hails from Marlborough in New Zealand.

Weaves is fronted by lead singer Jasmyn Burke, front. PNG

Weaves

When: May 5

Where: Biltmore Cabaret

Tickets and info: $14-$16,

Since blowing up with its debut album, this Toronto band fronted by the powerful and soulful vocals of singer Jasmyn Burke has been on an impressive upward trajectory. The sophomore Wide Open was Juno nominated in the Alternative Album of the Year, but didn’t win. No matter, it has won over the ears of fans all over the land and beyond. Songwriting as bouncy and driving as Walkaway is certain to find a solid following.

 

Musician Tariq Hussain reads at the Dead Poets Reading Series. TBA / PROVINCE

Dead Poets Reading Series

When: May 6, 3 p.m.

Where: Vancouver Central Library, Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level

Free

One of the great challenges to literature is how to keep it alive after its creators are gone. While fiction books do make the rounds for ages after the author’s passing, poetry often relies on that personal touch. The literary form’s adherents are used to attending readings and engaging with the verses creators. When they are gone, sometimes their work can be far less often enjoyed. Solution: revisits the work of such names as Michael Bullock, Gord Downie, Madho Lai Hussain, and Vera Manual with very alive readings courtesy of locals Laifong Leung, Tariq Hussain, Fauzia Rafique, and Wanda John-Kehewein. 

Thrill seekers ride the wooden roller coaster. Jenelle Schneider / Vancouver Sun

Playland

When: May 5-Sept. 16

Where: PNE Vancouver, Hastings St.

Tickets and info: from $26, 

Over 35 rides to enjoy and all kinds of other fun are why people flock to Playland year after year. From The Beast’s 5 g force pull, to the awesome rapid rising Hellevator, there are plenty of reasons to roll down the midway to take in some fun and all that healthy fried food. This year marks the 60th birthday of the King of the Midway, too. That would be the spectacular Playland wooden roller coaster which has given thrill seekers what they wanted since 1958. It’s a very special ride. 

 

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg

When: Until May 6

Where: Vancouver Art Gallery

Tickets and info: 

The first major retrospective of the paintings of acclaimed Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami in Canada includes more that 50 works as well as assorted extra sculptures. Not only are his massive monumental early works in the exhibit, but so are a number of  new pieces. The show is curated to showcase both the iconic artist’s imagination and where his work is coming from. It’s been hugely popular during its run, packing the gallery pretty much every weekend. This is your last chance.

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