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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Date Night at Theatre Under the Stars

I'm going to start this post with some love for this place we call home: How lucky are we to have so many amazing things to do and see locally? I love Summer in BC and have a local 'bucket list' of all the things I want to enjoy in this province we call home. I was born and raised  here and I still feel like I have so much to see and do- being a tourist in you own backyard is all sorts of fun and gives you a fresh appreciation for where you live. If you're like me and are just looking for some fun local things to do or are visiting from out of town, going to a performance at Theatre Under the Stars in Stanley Park deserves a place on your Summer to- do list and here's why...

Will and I had the chance to have a date night on Saturday and enjoyed a beautiful evening in Stanley Park at Theatre Under the Stars taking in their production of Beauty and the Beast, one of 2 productions they're running this season for their Summer of Love (West Side Story shows on alternating evenings). I was looking forward to the show, but I'm not exaggerating when I say it surpassed my expectations. By a lot. It was such a fun evening and the show was AMAZING. 

I was so excited to get tickets for one of the shows and left it up to Will to choose (I love that he chose Beauty and the Beast but if WSS is anything like the show we enjoyed, I don't think you'd be disappointed with either choice). We opted to go without the kids so we could enjoy some one- on- one time, but I'd love to bring Ari (and maybe Liam); I think she would have loved it. We saw other families there with young kids- and a few little girls dressed up in princess dresses!- and I thought that would make such a fun family night out, especially since the show is an adaptation of a Disney favourite (not going to lie, I was really excited for 'Be Our Guest' and it was the highlight of the show for me).

Since TUTS is an outdoor theatre and like no other theatre production I've gone to before, I asked another blogger who I know had gone for tips of what to expect. The first thing on her list: bug spray. OK, check (and yes, a very good idea). Anything else? You can also bring in your own food and drinks, which is great to save money and it makes for a fun picnic. Other things to bring: blankets, a sweater, pillow(s) if you want to lie on the grass (like we did), and a rain poncho in case the weather is questionable (the show must go on, even in outdoor theatre!). 

When we got to Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park we had planned to sit in the seats we had tickets for, but when we saw that there was a grassy area off to the right of the stage where others were setting up blankets, we thought it would be a unique/ different way to take in the show. This turned out to be a lot of fun and when we take the kids this is how I'd love to watch future shows. It just added an element of fun that I haven't experienced before at a show and I loved the novelty of it. And before I forget, I want to mention how awesome the staff were. Everyone I encountered were happy, friendly, and smiling; such good (contagious) vibes!

And I can't talk about the night without actually sharing a little about the show, can I?! As I mentioned before, it was amazing. Way beyond my expectations. To say the cast did a great job doesn't do their work justice. Everyone was perfect for their roles (Gaston, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Featherduster, and Mrs Potts were like just out of the Disney movie) and they brought to life characters and the story many of us treasure from our childhoods, along with inserting some laughs into the mix. The energy from the cast was contagious and favourite songs including Gaston, Be Our Guest, and the title song put a huge smile on my face (did you know Beauty and the Beast was the first Disney film to make it's stage debut?). And on a side note: the costumes were just as amazing. If you're into fashion/ costumes, this will elevate the show for you; everyone looked amazing (how many times have I used that word in this post?!?). I'll warn you: your hands will be soar from clapping. It's really that good. If you get the chance, going to a TUTS performance is a fun way to spend a Summer evening here in YVR and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did.

I had never been to TUTS before, but I hope to make this an annual Summer tradition, bringing the kids along when we can so they grow up with an appreciation for the arts (I can't sing or dance to save my life, but I love watching those that can!!!). This year's season runs from July 6 until August 20, with the shows running on alternating evenings (click here to view the 2016 show schedule and for ticket information). 

A big thank you to Theatre Under the Stars for such an amazing evening!  

For more information about Theatre Under the Stars and this year's shows, visit the TUTS website and find them on social media: 

Instagram: @tutsvancouver 
Twitter: @TUTSVancouver

Production photos: Tim Matheson, courtesy of Theatre under the Stars

Disclosure: I received tickets to the performance featured in return for this blog post but all views and opinions are honest and my own.