Skip to main content

There’s plenty to see onstage this summer on Canada’s west coast. Here are three top picks, including a Broadway sensation and a classic Shakespearian comedy.

Hamilton

Broadway Across Canada

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s game-changing genius of a musical is finally making its way to Western Canada. There’s not much to be said about Hamilton that hasn’t been raved about before, yet the raves feel like an understatement when you’re finally confronted with this extraordinary show. Even having pandemic-watched the musical multiple times on Disney+, it is next level to experience it live in the room where it’s happening: immersive, exciting, non-stop lyrical and melodic brilliance. This touring company includes the excellent Julius Thomas III as Alexander Hamilton and Donald Webber Jr. as Aaron Burr. Vancouver until June 19; Edmonton June 21-July 10; Calgary July 12-31; broadwayacrosscanada.ca.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

After two long, dark summers, Bard on the Beach returns to Vancouver’s Vanier Park with this dreamy, kooky play about love and magic. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the first play staged by this festival back in 1990, and it feels exactly right for this moment: a blissful escape from reality set in an enchanted forest. This mainstage production stars Christopher Allen, Emily Dallas, Heidi Damayo and Olivia Hutt as the young lovers, and Sarah Roa as the mischievous fairy Puck. And it’s directed by veteran Bard on the Beach director and actor Scott Bellis. Previews begin June 8, opening is June 16, runs until Sept. 24; bardonthebeach.org.

Kinky Boots

Arts Club Theatre Company

Kinky Boots, with words and music by Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein, is based on a true story. Charlie Price (Sayer Roberts) must give up his big-city London dreams to save his father’s shoe factory in Northern England. With the help of fabulous drag queen Lola (Stewart Adam McKensy), Charlie finds a way to turn the business around. The Arts Club had scheduled this show for its 2019-2020 season before COVID-19 put the ultimate kink in all plans. This revived production, directed by Barbara Tomasic, is a new interpretation with dance numbers by choreographer Julie Tomaino and a seven-piece live band led by Ken Cormier. Sounds like the party we all need. Previews begin June 9, opening June 15, runs until July 31; artsclub.com.

Keep up to date with the weekly Nestruck on Theatre newsletter. Sign up today.