TUTS tackles some timely subjects with its 2023 season productions of The Prom and Matilda

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      If one thing binds this summer's two Theatre Under the Stars productions together, it’s the idea of sticking it to the intolerants and deplorable in our midst. And, lord knows, there are seemingly more of those people on the planet today than any other time in recent memory. 

      TUTS 2023 season in Stanley Park will feature The Prom and Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, both onstage at Malkin Bowl from July 6 to August 26.

      From the “What’s wrong with the world” files comes the backstory behind The Prom, in which “four down-on-their-luck Broadway actors rally behind Emma, a teenager whose prom has just been cancelled because she planned to attend with her girlfriend.” The stage production was inspired by Constance McMillen, a 2010 Itawamba Agricultural High School senior in Fulton, Mississippi who announced she’d be bringing her girlfriend—wearing a tuxedo—to senior prom.

      When the school board banned her from attending, McMillen challenged the ruling, which led to the whole ceremony being cancelled. And which then led to Green Day, Cat Cora, and others coming out in support of McMillen,which then led to.....well, actually why not check out TUTS staging of The Prom for a stylized idea of what then transpired. And, while you’re making plan for TUTS, think about watching the 2020 Netflix film adaptation of the musical by Ryan Murphy.

      Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical also deals with the idea of good triumphing over those who use their time on the planet to make the lives of others more, um, challenging. Based on a 1988 novel by Dahl, the musical tells the story of a smarter-than-most girl who uses the power reading to deal with her abusive parents and tyrant of a headmistress. Major fans of the story include Danny DeVito (who directed a film version of Dahl’s book in 1996), and Kate Winslet (who headed a BBC Radio 4 reading with narrator Lenny Henry.)

      Subscription packs (including souvenirs and exchange insurance) for both shows are on sale until May 17, with early bird single tickets going on sale May 25. For more information, go here.

      Celebrating its 83rd year, Theatre Under the Stars has been a West Coast tradition since 1940, with the Malkin Bowl setting one of the most stunning not only in Vancouver but, arguably, the world.