At Surrey Arts Centre in February, a “Golden Girls”-tribute puppet show called “Thank You For Being a Friend” is featured as part of the Surrey Spectacular series. The audience advisory calls for “nothing worse than what you’d see on prime time TV in the ’90s.” (Photo: surrey.ca)

‘Surrey Spectacular’ series features puppet show, music and more this year

Annual showcase launches in September with Celtic-rock dance party at Surrey Arts Centre

Twenty-two performances, including some multi-date runs, are promised during this year’s Surrey Spectacular series, the annual showcase of music, theatre and comedy at city-operated theatres from September to June.

The 2018-19 shows will return to three familiar venues: Surrey Arts Centre’s Main and Studio stages and also Surrey City Hall’s Centre Stage.

First up in the series, on Sept. 21, is a dance-party performance by the Celtic-rocking Derina Harvey Band at the Studio Theatre at Bear Creek Park.

The Arts Club Theatre Company again brings three shows to Surrey, starting with The Piano Teacher (from Oct. 10 to 20), continuing with Blind Date (Jan. 9-19) and closing with Circle Game (Feb. 20 to March 2). The shows are brought to the stage by Ashlie Corcoran, the White Rock-raised new artistic director of the theatre company.

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This year’s four-show Coffee Concert series, planned by Surrey musicians Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann, starts on Oct. 18 with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a four-hands, four-strings performance featuring Borealis String Quartet. “You’ll hear Eastern European folk-influenced music by composers such as Dvorak and Shostakovich plus Marcel’s exciting new arrangement for two pianists and string quartet of the iconic song, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen,” says an event advisory at surrey.ca.

In October, city hall’s Centre Stage is the venue for “Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player,” featuring David Scheel. “Imagine a piece by Bach played with one hand while the other hand plays a piece by Andrew Lloyd Webber, or a mini-concerto based on the 20 worst tunes ever written,” an event post raves. “David also pokes fun at modern living and current events using his enormous range of comic voices and accents. Think Victor Borge with a dash of Robin Williams.”

The theatre at city hall is also a mid-November stage for “Love Bomb,” a Shameless Hussy company show that promises to take “an intimate and emotionally brave look at sex trafficking of youth in Canada, which is more common than we think.” The title refers to “love bombing,” which is a manipulative attempt to gain favour and influence with another person by showering them with lavish gifts, attention, and affection.

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Concerts in the Surrey Spectacular series this year include Indian Standard Time (Nov. 2), Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir’s annual Christmas show (Dec. 4), Fred Penner (Feb. 9), Merideth Kaye Clark (performing Joni Mitchell’s iconic Blue album from beginning to end, March 27) and Surrey’s own Pat Chessell Band (April 27).

Comedy options include the annual “I Am Woman! Hear Me Laff!” offering (March 6) and “Thank You for Being A Friend,” a “Golden Girls”-tribute puppet show (Feb. 16) that promises to deliver “all the classic dialogue, razor-sharp gags, and taboo-breaking stories you’d expect from the 1990s hit TV show.”

For more details about the Surrey Spectacular series, including subscription and single-ticket options, visit surrey.ca/culture-recreation/1687.aspx or call 604-501-5566.

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