Bah Humbug! has brought Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol into modern-day East Vancouver since 2010. The annual production returns to SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts for its 10th and final year, with evening and matinee performances from December 5-21.
This year, Bah Humbug! is directed by Michael Boucher, director of SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, and celebrated actor and Juno award-winning blues musician Jim Byrnes returns in the starring role of Ebenezer Scrooge. Joining Byrnes is a diverse and exceptional cast of professional and community artists.
Through song, the performance addresses modern-day realities of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Yet hope shines through this resilient community. Embedded throughout this adaptation is the need for reconciliation, based on truth and mutual respect.
“Bah Humbug! deals with important social themes and touches on pressing issues, but it is, above all, a great family story, sometimes bittersweet, but filled with humour, compassion and a celebration of community resilience,” says Boucher. “This season we have both familiar and fresh faces to bring this long-loved, local holiday tradition to a close.”
At the darkest hour of a winter’s night, Scrooge, a miserable pawnbroker, wakes to confront ghosts of the past, present and future. Coast Salish spirits emerge from the streets of today, bringing Scrooge face-to-face with buried memories of his past.
The Downtown Eastside is thematically illustrated through the colourful animations of award-winning artist Richard Tetrault, renowned for his depictions of the area’s unique urban landscape.
The cast includes Kevin McNulty, a prolific film and television performer, Tom Pickett, a gospel and blues singer/actor, and the return of Margo Kane, artistic director of Full Circle: First Nations Performance and an Order of Canada recipient, as narrator. Indigenous artists include Sam Bob, rising star Olivia Lucas, and Stephen Lytton, recipient of the Governor General Award for Caring (2016).
With musical direction by Bill Costin, Bah Humbug! includes more than 30 musical numbers ranging from traditional Christmas carols to blues, Indigenous songs, soul, and rock, from such artists as Buffy-Sainte Marie and Nine Inch Nails. The production also features the acclaimed Downtown Eastside-based Saint James Music Academy Youth Choir.
Bah Humbug! runs from December 5-21, with three student matinees from December 3-5 at 1:00 pm. Tickets are available for evening performances at 7:30 pm, plus select matinees at 2:00 pm.
Tickets are $39 (general) and $24 (youth/students), and can be purchased online at www.sfuwoodwards.ca. Group discounts are available.
WHY IT MATTERS:
Commissioned and co-produced by SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs and the Vancouver Moving Theatre, in partnership with Full Circle: First Nations Performance, Bah Humbug! supports the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival, which partners each year with 50-plus Downtown Eastside arts and non-arts organizations. Proceeds from the show support the festival.
ABOUT SFU WOODWARD’S CULTURAL PROGRAMS
SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs (SFUW) aim to enable and promote creativity and leading-edge practices in the contemporary arts as well as public community discourse. By supporting professional activities through partnerships, SFUW engages the immediate inner-city community through unique cultural initiatives with the ultimate goal to create, provoke and transform better ways of community building through the arts.
ABOUT VANCOUVER MOVING THEATRE
Vancouver Moving Theatre (VMT) is a multiple award-winning Downtown Eastside-based professional arts organization founded (1983) by Terry Hunter (Executive Director) and Savannah Walling (Artistic Director). VMT is dedicated to art creation that celebrates the power of the human imagination and spirit; builds shared experiences that bridge cultural traditions, social groups and artistic disciplines; and gives voice to the residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and beyond. The mandate of VMTs flagship Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival (established in 2004), produced in partnership with over 50 community partners, is to promote the artists, art forms, cultural traditions, heritage, activism, people and great stories about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
ABOUT FULL CIRCLE: FIRST NATIONS PERFORMANCE
Full Circle: First Nations Performance was founded in 1992 by Margo Kane (Cree/Saulteaux), an interdisciplinary artist and Indigenous arts leader. Her vision has made a profound contribution to the development of Indigenous performance in Canada. The company creates opportunities for Indigenous artists to express themselves across many artistic disciplines with their annual Talking Stick Festival and programs such as the Ensemble training program and the Indian Acts. Full Circle shares Indigenous values with many audiences so that people of all races and ages have a better understanding of First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture and the artistic expressions that celebrate all Indigenous peoples.
ABOUT SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY:
As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 155,000 alumni in 143 countries.
Ian Bryce, University Communications and Marketing, 236-880-2187, firstname.lastname@example.org