A balletic retelling of a classic Canadian story and a musical based on a popular graphic novel series are among the highlights of the 2023-24 season at New Westminster’s Massey Theatre.
The theatre has announced its 2023-24 mainstage season with six major productions in an eclectic lineup: the klezmer music of Oktopus; TheaterWorksUSA’s production of Dog Man: The Musical; a live cinematic production from electronic music sensation Kid Koala; the 24th International Guitar Night; Ballet Jorgen’s production of Anne of Green Gables the Ballet; and the world premiere of Over the Ridge, an exploration of the Battle of Vimy Ridge using spoken word, new and traditional folk songs and dance.
“These performances are truly magical as they meld forms and take the audience on a journey,” said Jessica Schneider, executive director of Massey Theatre Society, in a press release. “We’re incredibly proud to be able to present these shows and give the audience an opportunity to travel the world of artistic expression on display.”
New this year, audience members can save on tickets if they see more shows; if you buy tickets for at least three shows in the Massey Presents series, you save 15 per cent on tickets, plus a 15 per cent “friend of a friend” discount for up to three additional tickets per show.
Here’s a closer look at the season, as outlined by Massey Theatre:
Massey Presents: Massey Theatre's 2023-24 season in New Westminster
Saturday, Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m.
The season kicks off with multiple award-winning klezmer band, Oktopus. Oktopus is a major presence on the Canadian world music scene. As a band devoted to klezmer music, they have a unique sound that incorporates various components of classical and Québécois music, with some jazz and Balkan accents thrown in. The eight virtuoso musicians offer joyous, high-energy performances, at once melancholic and profound, sprinkled with humour and spiced with narrative.
Dog Man: The Musical
Saturday, Oct. 28 and Sunday, Oct. 29, 1 and 4 p.m.
TheaterWorksUSA’s production of Dog Man: The Musical is a hilarious production based on the worldwide bestselling series from Dav Pilkey, the creator of Captain Underpants and Cat Kid Comic Club. Dog Man is beloved by many and has more than 50 million copies in print to date in multiple languages. This musical is adapted from the book A Tale of Two Kitties. The stage production brings the lovable hero to life as he fights crime and tries to save the city. This New York City-based tour is just starting its Canadian leg, and Massey Theatre will be the only theatre in the Lower Mainland to present the show.
Kid Koala’s The Storyville Mosquito (A Theatrical Cinema Experience):
Saturday, Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.
The Storyville Mosquito (A Theatrical Cinema Experience) is Kid Koala's latest live production. Performed, filmed, projected and scored on stage at each performance, each show is an entirely unique experience. In the story, a young mosquito leaves his small town in the country to seek fame and fortune in the big city and fulfil his dream of playing in one of the greatest bands of all time at Sid Villa's Music Hall. The audience watches as a team of performers brings this story to life simultaneously on stage and screen incorporating miniature sets, live puppetry, cinematography and live music by Kid Koala and a string trio. A funny, jazz-infused emotive, Chaplin-esque live theatre experience that's sophisticated, yet fun for the entire family.
International Guitar Night 24
Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024 at 7 p.m.
International Guitar Night is the world’s premier touring guitar festival, each show bringing together the most interesting and innovative acoustic guitarists from around the world to exchange musical ideas and wow the audience. This 24th year is no exception, featuring three IGN favorites and an exciting newcomer: Luca Stricagnoli (Italy), Thu Le (Vietnam), Marco Pereira (Brazil) and Minnie Marks (Australia), making her North American debut with IGN 24.
Ballet Jörgen: Anne of Green Gables the Ballet®
Saturday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m.
Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet® is a spirited and youthful production that will transport audiences to the bygone world of Avonlea. Based on the Canadian novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet® follows the adventures of Anne Shirley, an orphan girl sent to live on a farm in the fictional town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. For ballet lovers and Anne-o-philes alike.
Over the Ridge by Brendan McLeod, The Fugitives, with choreography by Jacob Williams
Saturday, April 13, 4 and 8 p.m.
Over the Ridge is the next development of folk/roots band The Fugitives’ concert, Ridge, which through storytelling, spoken word, live music and dance, explores the misconceptions and offers reflections on the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The story is told via letters received by the families of the young soldiers who fought and died in the battle. Over the Ridge further develops this story with the addition of contemporary ballet, choregraphed by Jacob Williams, and performed by a company of professional dancers. The interdisciplinary production stirs the heart and remembers what happened to those young men who gave their lives.