Featuring (L to R): Tom McBeath (Ebenezer Scrooge) in A Christmas Carol / Photos by David Cooper

Featuring (L to R): Tom McBeath (Ebenezer Scrooge) in A Christmas Carol / Photos by David Cooper

On Stage: Peter Pan panto, Conrwall’s Christmas and more

‘Tis the season for surprises, and you won’t need to go far to enjoy them. Through Dec. 31, visit the Chemainus Theatre Festival to tag-along on the Cornwalls’ All-inclusive Cancun Christmas. This hilarious, precarious Christmas vacation is packed with family secrets that keep you wondering if they’ll even make it to New Years.

It’s the mid-1980’s, and The Cornwalls are getting ready to celebrate the holidays. But this year, the same-old traditions just aren’t going to cut it. Harry Cornwall has been married to Judy for 25 years, and his beloved wife has dreamt of having a grand adventure for almost as long. He is determined to make her wish come true, and has found the perfect holiday getaway – on sale too! But as Harry’s act of devotion edges toward disaster, he may need a Christmas miracle greater than even Santa could deliver.

Newlyweds Sissy (Cornwall) and Kyle have been summoned to the airport by dad. Arriving with their suitcases packed, and a rather conspicuous carry-on, they decide to wait until Christmas Eve to spring their big news on the family. If a special delivery doesn’t surprise them first. Young Tommy Cornwall is stoked. With his first love at his side (his guitar, Ethel) he’s ready to have a rock n’ roll good time in the sun. When his most precious possession disappears, a frantic hunt begins – and leads him to discover a whole new kind of love.

Be prepared to laugh at the wacky ups and downs, and marvel at the reminders of your own holiday gatherings. Tickets are available now by calling 1-800-565-7738, or online at chemainustheatre.ca.

The Cornwalls’ All-inclusive Cancun Christmas is the second holiday play centered on this quirky family, co-written by local playwrights Nicolle Nattrass and Mark DuMez, and directed by Barbara Tomasic (who last visited the Festival to direct the wildly-popular Footloose). The authors were inspired to revisit the Cornwalls because of the way audiences connected with the family. “While the Cornwalls may be more quirky than most, it is their love and the values of their family that help them face any challenge that comes their way on this All Inclusive Cancun Christmas” says Nattrass.

Playing the perfectly imperfect family are a cast of talented comedic actors: David Adams as Harry the too-frugal, but well-meaning, patriarch; Marlee Walchuk as mom Judy, a soft-hearted artist; Mack Gordon as Tommy their rowdy son who still has a lot to learn; Andrea Pizarro as Dalila, an ambitious resort attendant who catches Tommy’s eye; Emily Henney and Alexander Nicoll as doting newlyweds (with a rather obvious secret) Sissy and Kyle; Alen Dominguez as eager-to-please resort activity leader, Fernando.

All the merriment is boosted by a diverse range of holiday music. Nico Rhodes, on keyboard, directs the live tunes – and is joined by Marisha Devoin on bass, and Brad Shipley on guitar.

Visiting the Cornwalls takes you back to the ‘80s, courtesy of The Festival’s production team whose colourful skills do the decade justice. Designers include: Carolyn Rapanos (sets), Michelle Lieffertz (costumes), Conor Moore (lighting). Stage manager Nicole Lamb and assistant stage manager Koh McRadu complete the experience of bringing joy, music, peace, and love.

Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People presents the classic British pantomime, Peter Pan, running from Dec. 28 to 30 at the McPherson Playhouse. Esteemed director and long-time friend of Kaleidoscope Stephen Andrew brings a long career of pantomime direction back to Kaleidoscope for his second year as the winter production’s director. Last year’s Snow White was a smash hit, and this year promises to be even bigger.

Based on the unforgettable story by J.M. Barrie, their unique adaptation of Peter Pan is suitable for young people of all ages and adults with a love of fun and fantasy, and it features a family story of its own: Astrid Braunschmidt, who takes on the role of Tinkerbell, is joined by her son Tristan on stage. Tristan will be among our volunteers taking on the roles of the Lost Children of Neverland, performing alongside both professional and volunteer actors. “I’m so pleased to return to the stage this holiday season with a wonderful cast of friends,” Astrid says. “To share the spotlight with my son is a particular thrill.”

Astrid and Tristan aren’t the only families working together on the piece. Several pirates face off against their relatives in the Lost Children and Tyger’s Lilies. As family feuds go, this one will be worth watching. In addition to Astrid, Peter Pan stars Victoria Operatic Society actor Jeffrey Stephen as the titular boy who never grew up, with actor/singer Cati Landry as Wendy Darling, Kaleidoscope favorite Scott Clarke as Dame Nanna Nelly, Stephen Andrew in the villainous role of Captain Hook and acclaimed singer and actor Maria Manna as the Singing Mermaid.

Tickets are available through the Royal McPherson box office.

Oak Bay Beach Hotel and KCTS9 hosts the highly anticipated second season premiere of Victoria on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. Season 2 finds Victoria in the 1840s after the birth of her first child, a daughter. Meanwhile, the disaster of the Anglo-Afghan War unfolds abroad, and the catastrophic Irish potato famine begins to wreak havoc. A royal state visit to France is also on the horizon. This evening includes a welcome beverage, passed hors d’oeuvres, three-course plated dinner and a viewing of the two-hour season premiere of Victoria in The David Foster Foundation Theatre. They invite guests to dress to match the period and occasion.

The Civic Orchestra of Victoria performs G.F. Handel’s Messiah and features performances by Eve-Lyn de la Haye, soprano; Eva Rebecca Bild, contralto; Sunny Shams, tenor; Andrew Erasmus, baritone; Dave Flello, trumpet; Michael Cochran, continuo and of course the audience, singing along as the chorus.

A perennial holiday classic, hundreds of audience member voices join together as a chorus inside the beautiful Alix Goolden Hall for our 19th sing-along rendition of Handel’s most famous oratorio. A wonderfully moving musical experience for singers and non-singers alike.

The Civic Orchestra of Victoria has some vocal scores to lend to the Chorus during performance (donations greatly appreciated.) If you have your own score, please bring it with you. The performance is Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Alix Goolden Performance Hall. Visit civicorchestraofvictoria.org for details.

Two weeks into the new year, in a musical collaboration with the renown violinist Kati Debretzeni, Victoria Baroque presents Applausi Festivi. It’s billed as a concert of virtuosic concertos by Italian Baroque masters, full of energy, drama, passion and drive. This concert will be held at the Church of St John the Divine on Friday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

As Vancouver Island’s only home grown, professional period instrument ensemble, Victoria Baroque is unique. Playing on instruments of the 18th century, Victoria Baroque brings audiences closer to the sound world of the Baroque period. Applausi Festivi features baroque strings, flute, bassoon, lute and harpsichord.

At the core of the program is Locatelli’s “Il Pianto d’Arianna” (“the weeping of Arianna”), a dramatic, sorrowful, opera-like tour de force for strings, bringing to life the tragic story of love lost, in which Ariadne awakens on the isle of Crete and realizes that her lover, Theseus, has abandoned her there. Other composers featured in the programme include Vivaldi, Corelli, Geminiani, and Dall’Abaco.

This event marks Victoria Baroque’s fourth collaboration with Debretzeni, one of the most sought-after baroque violinists of our time. Debretzeni is the leader of the English Baroque Soloists under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and is one of the leaders of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with whom she recorded Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as the featured soloist and director. Applausi Festivi by Victoria Baroque with Kati Debretzeni is Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of St John the Divine, 1611 Quadra St. Tickets $5 to $25, available at the door, Munro’s books, Ivy’s Bookshop and Long & McQuade.

More information visit victoria-baroque.com.

The Dave Dunnet Community Theatre fills with Oak Bay High students routinely for song, dance and music. In January 2018 students feature in many productions open to the public. Check out young talent when Oak Bay High offers a drama presentation Jan. 16 and 17 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Evening of Dance hits the stage Jan. 23, 24 and 25 at 7 p.m.

Ballet Victoria brings The Gift, a Christmas ballet to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker score performed by The Victoria Symphony.

Join a flurry of dancing characters and a mischievous young girl who sparks an adventurous world of unexpected wonders when she opens a present early, despite her uncle’s warning.

Ballet Victoria, with the Victoria Symphony present The Gift at Royal Theatre Dec. 28 to Dec. 30. Tickets start at $30 available at the box office and rmts.bc.ca.



On Stage: Peter Pan panto, Conrwall’s Christmas and more

On Stage: Peter Pan panto, Conrwall’s Christmas and more

On Stage: Peter Pan panto, Conrwall’s Christmas and more

Applausi Festivi by the Victoria Baroque with Kati Debretzeni runs Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. (Jan Gates photo)

Applausi Festivi by the Victoria Baroque with Kati Debretzeni runs Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. (Jan Gates photo)

Just Posted

Saanich Neighbourhood Place is hoping to open the doors to its new centre in July, pending final council approval. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich childcare agency awaits final approval on much-needed new facility

Saanich Neighbourhood Place keen to open new centre this summer, expand options for community

A patio built by The Village is shared by three eateries in Estevan. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay eateries sharing communal patio space in Estevan Village

The Village invested $25,000 in streetside patio, hopes to make it permanent

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read