MELANIE MINTY: Dreamy summer for Surrey favourite in big ‘Les Miz’ show

SURREY — Summer starts officially next week. Unofficially, we have been enjoying summer weather already. We are ready for our summer holiday. We will head for the beaches, cabins, lakes, campgrounds and other exotic locations, and some of us will stay in the city and work.

For Cathy Wilmot, working this summer is the holiday trip of her life, as she is making her professional debut in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Les Misérables.

Surrey audiences know all about the amazing Wilmot from her numerous appearances with Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society. Oh sure, she has done other things all over the Lower Mainland as well, and has won so many awards from the Community Theatre Coalition, it is almost embarrassing. Of course, we also loved her in Legally Blonde (at Theatre Under the Stars).

So congrats, Cathy, and look for lots of Surrey friends in the “Les Miz” audiences this summer. And remember when we were in the same tap dance class together? Still a spot open for you – just sayin’.

Les Misérables runs from July 2 to Aug. 16 at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville St., Vancouver). Call 604-687-1644 for details, or visit Artsclub.com. “I Dreamed a Dream” rings out in a song from the show. Wilmot is living the dream this summer.

Nothing says summer better than strawberries. This sweet and succulent fruit is just coming into season now, and we can get the homegrown product rather than Mexican or California imports. So, strawberry shortcake anyone? SAGA (Surrey Art Gallery Association) is hosting a Strawberry Tea and Tour on Thursday, June 25 from 7 to 9 p.m.

SAGA welcomes the summer with a chance to wear a fun hat and enjoy fresh art and luscious local strawberries. The Mad Hatter’s Strawberry Tea will give attendees a chance to enjoy the red fruit and get a sneak preview of the gallery’s summer exhibition, ARTS 2015, at an informal tour led by the gallery’s assistant curator, Brian Foreman.

Following the 30-minute tour is a shortcake-and-tea reception, with SAGA board members and gallery staff in attendance. In keeping with the Mad Hatter’s theme, guests are encouraged to wear, yes, a “mad hat.” This event is free for SAGA members, and $5 per person for non-members.

The official opening of ARTS 2015 is on June 26 at 7 p.m., with informal tours planned during Surrey’s Doors Open event June 27 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Arts Council of Surrey presents this 31st juried exhibition, which showcases the diverse artistic talents of established and emerging visual artists from across the Lower Mainland. Featured are 51 works in various media, including painting, drawing, glasswork, sculpture, fabric arts and photography. This exhibition is popular with locals and visitors alike, all of whom are invited to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

What a way to kick off summer: A little theatre, strawberries and art. I must go to the mad hatter tea – I have some great hats from my tap dancing costumes.

melminty@telus.net

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