There’s an embarrassment of riches around Vancouver this season when it comes to live performance for children. Here are our holiday must-sees.
Seven family-friendly holiday performances
Carousel Theatre specializes in young people’s theatre, so this one is a must! The magic of Narnia sweeps onto the Waterfront Theatre stage this holiday season as four siblings step through a wardrobe into an enchanted land filled with mythical creatures, talking animals, quests and dangerous secrets. This first installment in C. S. Lewis’ epic Chronicles of Narnia series is one of the best-loved books in children’s literature.
Carousel Theatre for Young People until January 6th, 2018
Vancouver Singing Christmas Tree
Believe it or not, this Vancouver classic features choir members singing from inside a Christmas tree! This year, the Vancouver Singing Christmas Tree celebrates its Golden (50th) Anniversary with 10 entertaining and inspiring family-friendly performances and 100+ voice choir, ensembles, orchestra, actors, dancers, and acrobats. Sadly, it’s such a hit that all shows sold out (tickets are free) in 24 hours. That said, if you show up on the performance night an hour before the show, you will probably get a seat!
Dec 8, 15 at 7:30pm & Dec 9, 10, 16, 17 @ 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm
Broadway Church, 2700 East Broadway, Vancouver
If show tunes and the goofery of the panto are your bag, you’re going to want to check out Climb Every Beanstalk. This live musical event showcases all the pantomime traditions: slightly-twisted fairy tale plotlines, gender swapping, and familiar tunes taken out of context. They also perform songs from the latest Tony hits and wonderfully obscure shows. But the real star of the piece is the 30-plus person cast, beautifully costumed and giving their all in soaring choral arrangements and show-stopping dance numbers.
December 13 – 16 at 8 pm in Performance Works on Granville Island.
December 14 – December 19
Get dressed up and head to the theatre to see The Nutcracker! The Goh Ballet puts on a beautiful performance every year. You’ll watch Clara’s dream come to life as she dances through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets and along the way you’ll meet the Sugar Plum Fairy, the evil Mouse King, and the Nutcracker Prince. There are more than 200 glittering costumes plus dramatic sets and your kids will love seeing kids their age on stage.
The Centre in Vancouver, 777 Homer Street
An uplifting, Christmassy gospel music concert in one of Vancouver’s most historic (and acoustically fabulous) churches. As a special treat, this year, Good Noise will be joined by critically- acclaimed Canadian jazz singer Maureen Washington on stage. Concerts include such holiday hits such as Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Someday at Christmas and Rejoice to name just a few. Singalongs are part of the fun, which always goes down a treat with younger audience members.
Now an established tradition at the funky and mod York Theatre, Theatre Replacement returns with a new tongue-in-cheek take on the panto. Expect an outrageous take on Snow White complete with cross-dressing, 80s rock stars, an adorable kids act, local political commentary, sardonic takes on Vancouver culture and a visit with the PNE’s Superdogs! Suggested for ages 5 and up, though, as ever, you know best if your wiggler can sit still for 90 minutes.
The York Theatre, until January 6th, 2018
Mixed Nuts, by the Arts Umbrella Dance Company, presents the classic holiday The Nutcracker with a twist. Modern and fun, Mixed Nuts incorporates a variety of dance styles from hip-hop, to ballroom, to the classic grand pas-de-deux. This year features old favourites and new pieces choreographed by leading Vancouver and Canadian dancers including Ballet BC and Kidd Pivot company members.
Dec 8-10, Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street
Image credits: Mixed Nuts Banner, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe/Tim Matheson, Snow White & the Seven Dwarves: An East Van Panto/Tim Matheson,