December 6 to 22 at SFU Woodward’s
Actor, writer, theatre director, and musician Renae Morriseau takes the helm of this year’s Downtown Eastside–set A Christmas Carol. And she’ll be doing double duty, reprising her role as the narrator of this reimagining of the Charles Dickens tale. Blues master Jim Byrnes returns as pawnbroker Scrooge, with a music-driven script that constantly updates ultra-relevant issues—including everything from housing and gentrification to the opioid crisis wracking the streets right outside the theatre doors. Added draws: songs that range from soul to rock, plus atmospheric paintings evoking the Downtown Eastside by well-known local artist Richard Tetrault.
Little Dickens: The Daisy Theatre
To December 22 at the Cultch Historic Theatre
If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the eclectic, rowdy little crowd at the Daisy Theatre, then you’re in for a treat. But there are strings attached: puppet master Ronnie Burkett tells the story using marionettes. Hilarity meets vulgarity as he improvises a slightly different show every night, complete with favourite characters like faded diva Esme Massengill playing Scrooge and little wingless fairy Schnitzel as Tiny Tim.
To December 8 at the Orpheum Annex
If you’ve had it up to here with tinsel and glad tidings and you’re craving a black comedy, you’ll find no more raucously subversive place than Pi Theatre’s rendition of Taylor Mac’s play. On one level, it’s about a deeply dysfunctional household, which includes a patriarch who wears a nightgown and fright wig. On another, it’s about the fluidity of gender and the absurdity of rigid institutions. In a word: fearless.