More than 50 years of musical Canadiana will hit the stage at Surrey Arts Centre this month as Surrey Civic Theatres celebrates Canada 150 – and the launch of its own 50th anniversary season.
Oh Canada, We Sing For Thee (Sept. 22, 8 p.m. at the SAC Main Stage, 13750 88 Ave.) is an unabashed tribute to Canadian music legends created and performed by acclaimed singer-actor Leisa Way, noted for her performances in the Anne of Green Gables PEI Festival.
Hits by such iconic entertainers as Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray, The Guess Who, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Michael Buble and Shania Twain will evoke nostalgia and national pride in a heart-warming show that has won critical raves across the country.
Joining Way is a seasoned backup group, The Wayward Wind Band, including pianist Bruce Ley (a veteran of The Tommy Hunter Show and the Ronnie Prophet Show); and singer-guitarist Fred Smith (who has worked with everyone from Vince Gill to Chuck Berry, The Supremes and The Mamas and the Papas.
Rounding out the group are singer-violinist Nathan Smith (The Barrel Boys bluegrass band), singer-bassist-Broadway actor Bobby Prochaska (noted for productions of The Buddy Holly Story and Crazy For You) and drummer Sam Cino (whose credits include working with King Cob Steelie, Kinnie Starr and Fiddlestyx).
Tickets ($29-49 including all fees) are available from the box office at 604-501-5566 or at tickets.surrey.ca
New to Surrey Civic Theatres this season is a collaboration with South Surrey-White Rock-based Peninsula Productions, who will be presenting a series of staged readings at the new Centre Stage venue at Surrey City Hall (13450 104 Ave.).
These will include For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, Canadian playwright Michel Tremblay’s homage to his colourful, down-to-earth mother and their loving, if tumultuous, relationship (Oct. 18, 8 p.m.); and Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy, a searing exploration of how the Nazi regime co-opted French officialdom during World War Two, assisted by the apathy, fear and denial of ordinary people (Nov. 15, 8 p.m.).
Other season highlights will include the Arts Club’s Mom’s The Word 3: Nest Half Empty (Oct. 10-22, Main Stage) , a continuation of the ribald yet touching comedy series which finds the five women protagonists with grown kids, ‘evolved’ marriages and backfiring bodies; and God Is A Scottish Drag Queen (Oct. 26, 8 p.m., Centre Stage) in which comic genius Mike Delamont – as God in a floral power suit – comes to earth to skewer religion and pop culture.
For the full season schedule, visit www.surrey.ca/theatre