MELANIE MINTY: ‘Love, Sex & the I.R.S.’ will leave you laughing — even at tax time

Also: family-focused event to key on 'Secret Citadel' at Surrey Art Gallery

Sam Gordon (as Floyd) and Jane Mantle (as Vivian) in 'Love

SURREY — Attention everyone: I don’t know what most of you think about our city, our space, our neighbourhoods, our community. We have certainly had our share of sad stories for Surrey lately. So heads up: If you are not part of the solution to the problem of negative image, then you are part of the problem. Share a smile with someone as you pass them on the street. Care about your neighbourhood – and the people in it. Participate in all the good things around you. There are plenty.

Surrey Art Gallery, located in the arts centre in Bear Creek Park, is having a family-focused event and invites you to make art that tells stories. On Sunday, March 13, from noon to 4 p.m., the gallery invites storymakers, big and small, to discover the ideas presented in the current art exhibition, Graeme Patterson’s “Secret Citadel.” Get inspired, then tell your own tales (make them happy ones) through mask-making, puppetry and other art-making activities. Discover how much you can learn about yourself and your story by participating in an interactive arts activity. The event is free to attend. Click here for details.

Making art may be free, but somewhere everyone pays taxes. Sure, it may be a couple of months before income taxes are due, but let’s have fun with taxes in the meantime. “Love, Sex, & the I.R.S.,” from Royal Canadian Theatre Company, may be just the ticket you need to put some laughter into the neighbourhood of tax returns. Directed by Ellie King, this comedy has three performances at Surrey Arts Centre on March 18 and 19. Ticket prices are reasonable; adults can see the show for $28, seniors $18, family pack of four for $85, groups of 10-plus for $15 per ticket, groups 10+ for $10 per ticket.

Sometimes the actions of a community group can have global impact. About 15 years ago, a group of middle-aged ladies decided to (tastefully) pose nude for a calendar to raise funds for their local cancer clinic. The calendar was a global success and has now raised millions for cancer research. “Calendar Girls” became a movie, and a stage play was made from the movie.

In November, Surrey Little Theatre produced “Calendar Girls.” Most nights were sold-out before the show even opened. Now Vagabond Players in New Westminster is holding auditions for its production of “Calendar Girls,” which will run from June 2 to 25 (with possible holdover dates) at Bernie Legge Theatre at Queen’s Park. Drats, I have a dance recital in the middle of the run. Audition dates are Tuesday, March 8 (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.) at the Gallery in the Park (arts council building) and Wednesday, March 9 (same times) at Bernie Legge Theatre. Bring a resumé and current head shot to the audition. Cold reads will be provided from the script. Click here for more details.

I know, New Westminster isn’t our neighbourhood, but Bernie Legge Theatre is so close to us, we are practically family. And “Calendar Girls” is a good story, one filled with love, friendship and what can happen when even a small group of people do something daring to make a difference. For good.

Here is advance notice of what summer is bringing to our neighbourhood: Beach House Theatre is trying out some contemporary theatre with Larry Shue’s popular comedy, “The Foreigner.” It is a simple tale of hope, redemption, kindness and the joy of discovering who you are. We need that. Mark your calendars with this show, Aug. 9 to 14 on an outdoor stage at Crescent Beach in Surrey, under the stars. Tickets go on sale June 21 at 7 a.m.

There you go, smiling already.



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