I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Chicken plays in Surrey on Aug. 14.

Monsoon washes onto the stage

South Asian performing arts festival on from Aug. 11-21 in Surrey and Vancouver.

The South Asian Arts Society is hosting the inaugural Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts: Welcome the Storm from Aug. 11-21 in Surrey and Vancouver.

Along with opening acts and receptions, the festival spotlights South Asian culture with three plays:

• HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan. Actress Dipti Mehta solo features a fun and poignant look at the exotic, dangerous life of Mumbai’s real-life brothels. The show plays on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. at The Cultch (Vancouver Cultural Centre), 1895 Venables St., Vancouver.

• I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Chicken. No topic is out of bounds in this racy, fast-paced live sketch comedy. The show runs on Aug. 13 at 8:30 p.m. at The Cultch and on Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Surrey Arts Centre Main Stage, 13750 88 Ave.

• Meena’s Dream: Anu Yadav performs a tale of Meena, 9, who wishes her mother had the medicine she can’t afford. By night, Hindu God Lord Krishna begs her to battle the “Worry Machine” to save the universe from destruction. With original music. The show takes place Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Surrey Arts Centre.

• Kehar Singh Di Maut (The Death of Kehar Singh), performed in Punjabi, presented in partnership with Surrey-based Rangmanch Theatre. The play is based on a Punjabi folk tale of a young man, Kehar Singh, whose death is orchestrated by his greedy mother-in-law and her two sons. The show takes place Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144 St.

Photo by Jessica Mentis: Dipti Mehta in her one-woman play HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan.

The opening night reception takes place on Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at The Cultch. Two events on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Surrey Arts Centre have yet to be scheduled. The closing night party takes place Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. in the Surrey Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre.

Organizers say that In future years, audiences can look forward to a multidisciplinary arts festival inclusive of dance, music, visual, experimental and interdisciplinary arts, showcasing Canadian South Asian artists, along with a few handpicked international productions.

The festival is produced by Gurpreet Sian and Rohit Chokhani.

Tickets are $20, and packages are available.

For more information or tickets, visit monsoonartsfest.ca

Alternately, for tickets to The Cultch, visit tickets.thecultch.com or 604-251-1363. For tickets to the Surrey Arts Centre, visit tickets.surrey.ca call 604-501-5566. For tickets to the Bell Performing Arts Centre, visit tickets.bellperformingartscentre.com or call 604-507-6355

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