An online-only staging of “Josephine: A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play” will kick off Surrey Civic Theatres’ winter/spring lineup, which is much more focused on in-person performances.
The “digital” musical is available for 48 hours only, starting at noon Thursday, Jan. 20, for $19 per household. To buy, visit tickets.surrey.ca.
“Josephine” comes with an audience advisory, as the production contains adult content and nudity.
The award-winning show, which stars co-writer Tymisha “Tush” Harris as Josephine Baker, was staged twice at Surrey Arts Centre last Oct. 30, as part of a B.C. tour set in motion by Florida-based Dynamite Lunchbox Productions.
The one-woman musical tells the fascinating story of Baker, “the first African American international superstar, and one of the 20th century’s most formidable icons,” according to an event advisory.
Born in St. Louis in 1906, Baker rose to fame after moving to Europe, where she shattered race, gender, and sexuality stereotypes. She shared top billing alongside white romantic leading men in movies, had multiple interracial marriages and same-sex relationships, performed drag, became a spy during the Second World War, was a civil rights activist and mother to 12 adopted children.
Combining cabaret, theatre and dance, the production debuted at the 2016 San Diego Fringe Festival.
As Baker, Harris is a force. Her credits include assistant choreographer and backup dancing for the ’90s pop group N*SYNC, backup dancer for LFO, multiple roles at Universal Studios Orlando, and a featured role in the hit movie series “Bring It On.” More recent endeavors include the national tour of “Rock of Ages,” a European tour with Pilobulus Dance Theater Company and founding member of Orlando-based troupe, VarieTease.
Nine “Winter Shows” are coming to Surrey Civic Theatres stages at the arts centre and city hall in the early months of 2022, featuring a mix of music, comedy, film and theatre from February to June.
The series includes An Evening with Mary Walsh on Feb. 12 (Main Stage at Surrey Arts Centre), the return of the annual “I Am Woman! Hear Me Laff!” comedy night (March 9), a pair of Coffee Concerts in the arts centre’s Studio Theatre, a performance by the eclectic French-Canadian band The Lost Fingers (Feb. 9, Main Stage) and more.
All of the “Winter Shows” are detailed on the city’s website (surrey.ca).
Also featured is “Blindside” (March 3), billed as “an eye-opening multi-award-winning comedy about resilience, empathy, and self-acceptance,” starring one-eyed cancer survivor and Moth storytelling champion, Stéphanie Morin-Robert.
The film “Los Hermanos/The Brothers,” about musical Afro-Cuban brothers who live parallel lives in New York and Havana, will be screened April 29 at Centre Stage at Surrey City Hall.
Josh Feinberg, a “a cutting-edge sitar player raised in New York,” will perform a concert May 13 at Surrey Arts Centre, followed by a June 17 screening of the documentary film “Someone Like Me” (about a gay asylum seeker from Uganda and a group of strangers from Vancouver’s queer community who are tasked with supporting his resettlement in Canada).
The evening with Mary Walsh will have the Canadian comedian/social activist performing “some of her best comedic bits and most popular characters from Dancing With Rage, CODCO and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, along with up-to-the-minute local political satire,” according to Surrey Civic Theatres. “As well as an exclusive preview reuniting with some of Walsh’s beloved characters, you can expect to enjoy some film as well an exclusive preview of Mary’s new novel.”
For all Surrey Civic Theatres’ in-person events, proof of vaccination and government-issued photo ID is required, and everyone five years and older must wear a mask.
The box office phone number is 604-501-5566, or visit tickets.surrey.ca.