Dominik Heins, seen here in White Rock several years ago, is the musical director of “Who Gets Grandma: A Dysfunctional Post-Christmas Cabaret,” staged on Dec. 27 and 28. (file photo)

COLUMN ON THE ARTS

MINTY: Bring grandma to ‘A Dysfunctional Post-Christmas Cabaret’ in White Rock

Two-night show promises post-holiday cheer with a lighter look at the holiday season

By Melanie Minty, arts columnist

Here we are, facing another new year on the timeline of life. While we can celebrate the last of the darkest days of the year with parties, celebrations, family gatherings, lots of outdoor lighting spectacles and toasts to the new year, there is one inescapable fact: We are getting older, and did we forget anyone? All this celebrating does have some stress involved. Let’s look at the light side with Peninsula Productions.

At the company’s studio theatre, on North Bluff Road in White Rock, things are getting a little bit wild. A show called “Who Gets Grandma: A Dysfunctional Post-Christmas Cabaret” promises an evening of music, comedy and post-holiday cheer with a lighter look at the holiday season, on Friday, Dec. 27 and Saturday, Dec. 28, 7 p.m. nightly.

Dominik Heins, the composer and musical director of Peninsula’s 2017 smash hit, Sea of Stories, made the music for this fun cabaret, and the cast includes comedienne, writer, singer, and storyteller Riel Hahn. Directed by Rebecca Walters, with musical direction by Heins, this sterling cast also includes John Halliday, Val Dearden, Uma Kaler, Bryna McGarrigle and Ryan Kniel. There is original material by Noel Bentley, Matthew Bissett and Hahn.

Show tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, with a limited number of four-person cabaret tables available.

I loved Sea of Stories,and I’m sure thisproduction will also be brilliant. For more information visit peninsulaproductions.org. Please don’t forget grandma!

Ah, yes. There is a good new year’s resolution. Don’t forget grandma – and all the seniors in our city. While seniors are on limited incomes, we often get left out of the deck while city officials argue over policing and canals. Issues like hiring more teachers or safety officers – and looking after seniors – get left off the list.

(column continues below)

Well, it seems that seniors have some creative ways of dealing with low incomes – and here is another senior-oriented presentation you won’t want to miss: Arts Club on Tour is stopping in Surrey with The Shoplifters, a Canadian comedy by Morris Panych. The play follows Alma (Patti Allan), a career shoplifter who prefers the “five-finger discount” over any senior citizen’s deal. When a grocery store theft with her anxious sidekick (Agnes Tong) goes awry, her elaborate life of petty crime is halted by an overzealous security guard (Raugi Yu) and his affable mentor (Dean Paul Gibson).

Director and playwright Paynch says, “The Shoplifters is about small people with small lives—people who want something and will do anything to get it. I’m really fascinated with what’s happening in the world right now, with people being left behind, and I wanted to write about that.”

See, Morris doesn’t forget grandma. Just a reminder for locals: Gibson (larger than life in real life) grew up in South Surrey, graduated from Earl Marriott Secondary and greatly benefited from contact with choreographer Carol Seitz (my tap teacher). D.P.G. found his path in life when he came into contact with Shakespeare and drama at EMS. More teachers, please; it is just as important as grandma.

The Shoplifters is on Surrey Arts Centre’s Main Stage from Jan. 15 to 25. Tickets range from $29 to $49 at the box office (604 -501-5566, tickets.surrey.ca). Also, take some time to view the Surrey Civic Theatre events on the city’s website, surrey.ca.

ALSO READ: Dr. Jane Goodall’s talk in Surrey includes ‘VIP Meet & Greet’ seats for $230.

So, I guess that one of the roles of seniors is to pass along tips to the next generations – even if they are unwilling to listen. It is tough to get modern children out of their digital space. Here is an opportunity to inspire kids through art as a volunteer docent at Surrey Art Gallery. The application deadline is Jan. 13.

“Docents play an incredible role,” said Chris Dawson-Murphy, volunteer program co-ordinator at the gallery. “They encourage elementary school students to engage with art from a young age, helping them make connections between art and ideas.” Experience is not required, but this seems ideal for seniors as they have the time (perhaps) to volunteer.

Training begins Jan. 31 – you are never too old to learn something new. To learn more and apply, visit surrey.ca/artgallery (scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Volunteer Now”) or contact Dawson-Murphy by email to artsvolunteer@surrey.ca or call 604-501-5198.

Easy. Seems like it is less easy to “forget grandma” if grandma (and grandpa) is an essential part of our arts community.

Happy 2020.

Melanie Minty writes twice monthly for the Now-Leader. Email: melminty@telus.net.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rainfall warning says significant showers forecast for entire region

Rain moving across Howe Sound, The Fraser Valley and northern parts of Metro Vancouver this morning.

Two Surrey women win BC Sports Hall of Fame awards for inspired service

Jane Blaine and Wendy Pattenden recognized during virtual summit

OUR VIEW: Way too many Surrey COVID-19 cases

We all need to take this threat seriously

Horgan says Surrey mayor opened ‘hornets’ nest’ with Surrey policing transition

Surrey election battle heating up over Doug McCallum’s controversial cop transition

Semiahmoo Bottle Depot part of hybrid-electic compaction truck pilot program

Return-It launches program at 16 B.C. bottle depots with aim to reduce emissions

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Return-It depots change beverage container deposits from 20 to 10 cents

Change will be implemented on Oct. 1, with a transition period being held until Oct. 11

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Young man assaulted, left for 12 hours until help called in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park

Vancouver police are looking to identify the victim as they investigate an assault on Monday evening

Most Read