The Global ComedyFest corrals some of the best and brightest comedians on the international circuit into Vancouver for a marathon of laughs, fun, and moderately uncomfortable first dates. Big names such as zany former MTV staple Tom Green perform alongside up-and-comers in more than 30 performances throughout the festival. Eschew the everyday monodimensional comedy with a combination stand-up and comedy 3-D video show featuring Canada's own Reza Peyk, Jy Harris, and Gary Fong, or opt for a night of “it’s funny because it’s true” laughs at the Gerry Dee show. The Edge of the Fest performance pushes the festival’s edgiest artists to the limits of social acceptability, while the Best of the Fest showcases top comedians such as Greg Behrendt and Peter Chao.
Legendary actor, singer, author, philanthropist, and force of nature William Shatner captains generations of fans on a warp-speed ride through seven decades of his wild career in How Time Flies: An Evening with William Shatner. A fixture of television more vital than the remote control, Shatner has owned acreage in the hearts, minds, and living rooms of fans since the times of phaser prohibition. Best known for his seminal roles as James Tiberius Kirk, T.J. Hooker, and Boston Legal's Denny Crane, Shatner's inimitable chops, charming machismo, and genuine love of his fan base permeates this special evening of memoirs and bon mots. An unparalleled raconteur, Shatner enchants audiences with his live autobiography, recanting Star Trek secrets, Esperanto anecdotes, and possible dirt about Adrian Zmed, gifting the audience with his unique singing chops between orations of memories and monologues.
David Gray's soothing folk-rock sounds and heartfelt lyrics have serenaded fans for nearly 20 years, earning the artist accolades and chart-topping hits in the United States and U.K. Gravelly voiced Gray mixes poetic introspection with ethereal guitar melodies to create songs that plumb soulful depths like existential octopuses. On his successful Lost and Found tour, Gray will supercharge his signature acoustics with live-performance electricity, performing a bevy of songs including numbers from his recent album Foundling. Groupon-holding spectators will sate aural appetites from level 3 seats—located in the outer banks of the orchestra and loge levels and in parts of the balcony—of the historical Orpheum Theater, with quadruple tier seating that provides ample views of every note as they flutter away from the stage and into the embrace of a nearby eardrums.
Indie electropop duo Uh Huh Her lights up the stage with hypnotic, pulsating beats on a night that celebrates the release of its new album, Nocturnes, and draws attention to October’s National Breast Cancer Prevention Month. The pair’s dance-friendly vibe and swoon-friendly looks belie the sophistication of the melodies featured on their debut LP, a collaboration that draws from their former jobs as piano movers and diverse musical backgrounds. While ivory-tickler Camila Grey channels her classical training into soft and seductive synth phrases, Leisha Hailey keeps the rhythm with aggressive bass licks honed during her time in ‘90s indie duo The Murmurs. Supporting songsmith Jarrod Gorbel kicks off the night with a set of earnest tunes that will have punks pogo-ing in slow, poetic cadences while he recites lyrics of quiet lament tattooed across his arms.
Founded in 1919, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra enriches Vancouver with interpretations of classical and popular music at 13 performance venues. Music lovers get to hear the sonorous synchronization of the VSO's musicians and conductors throughout a diverse schedule of performances, including pops concerts and celebrations of Bach and Haydn. An army of woodwinds, strings, and brass joins forces with special guest musicians throughout May, including violinist Augustin Hadelich tackling Sibelius on May 1 and 2 and pianist Alessio Bax interpreting Mozart on May 7 and 9. Most shows take place at the VSO's home in the historic Orpheum Theatre, a former vaudeville house and designated National Heritage Site where many a prime minister got a start in ventriloquism.
The Vogue Theatre presents listeners with an evening of poetic lyrics, high-octane guitar playing, and euphonic melodies from three talented acts. Hailing from Vancouver's east side, The Fugitives combine intricate songwriting with folksy musical accompaniment to craft hypnotizing live performances that tickle ears and help uptight pocket watches unwind. C.R. Avery dazzles audiences with deftly flowing spoken-word poetry, percussive beatboxing, and ear-tickling harmonica riffs, and guitar-picking mastermind Wil shreds six-stringed music makers with moody, intense songs of love and loss. In addition to individual acts, a group performance will combine all three acts into an intoxicating musical melange that, like a pig with pterodactyl wings, is greater than the sum of its parts.