Somewhere between Glee and Broadway, you’ll find Vancouver’s Theatre Under the Stars.
Generations of Vancouverites have passed a toe-tapping summer evening at Malkin Bowl, the outdoor stage located inside Stanley Park. Like Bard on the Beach, the Shakespeare festival at Kits Point, TUTS is a real rite of summer in the city by the sea.
On the theatrical scale, TUTS productions fall smack in the middle between low-budget, high-energy high school musicals and big-talent, big-ticket touring shows. Every show features a handful of pros and a whole bunch of keen (read unpaid) up-and-comers.
Locals love ‘em as much for the family-friendly ticket pricing (from $19) and open-air setting as for the hummable tunes and accessible themes. (The alternating shows in 2011 are Bye Bye Birdie and Anything Goes.)
Doors open at 6:30 pm for an 8 pm show; many people make a night of it and picnic in the park beforehand. Or, for those who’d rather not eat with their hands, it’s an easy walk into the park from the Denman Street restaurants in the West End, or the restos along the Coal Harbour seawall.
Shows run from early July to late August. Be sure to bring a coat or warm blanket–even at the height of summer it cools off quickly once the sun goes down. (Some people claim to need bug spray, but I’ve never found it necessary.) Refreshments are available on-site.