BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for April 10 – 16

This week in B.C. see a play, learn to cook Thai, shop an island market, get your dance on and celebrate spring

Burn the Floor has 18 award-winning dancers bring a sexy edge to the ballroom basics

See the Original Dance Show Burn the Floor
Years before Dancing with the Stars turned ballroom dancing into must-see TV, Burn the Floor was setting stages ablaze around the globe. This two-hour adrenaline rush of a dance, conceived as a sexy centrepiece for Elton John’s 50th-birthday bash has been branded “athletic, sensual and rocket-fuelled” by The NY Daily News. That means fans should be in for a blast from April 13 to 18 at the Vogue Theatre (918 Granville St., Vancouver), where a troupe of 18 award-winning dancers, including Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev from So You Think You Can Dance, brings a sexy 21st-century edge to all the ballroom basics. Read our review! Tickets are available for $59 to $89 by calling Ticketmaster at 604-280-4444 or visiting ticketmaster.ca

See Bat Boy: The Musical

Talk about high praise! Not only is Bat Boy: The Musical regarded as “one of the funniest and most imaginative musicals in years,” the Off-Broadway smash was also named an “instant classic” by the New York Post and a “giggling cult hit” by The New Yorker. So you can pretty much expect an evening of entertainment in this tale ripped from the tabloids about the discovery of a half-bat, half-boy hybrid in West Virginia. This must-see show is peopled with outrageous small-town characters, witty dialogue, tabloid-worthy twists and moments of Simpsons-style irony, all set to songs ranging from pop, rock and tango to gospel, country and rap. Check it out April 8 to 18 at Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 W. 41st Ave, Vancouver). For further information, visit patrickstreetproductions.com.

Attend the Tremors Arts Festival

If you’ve got upright sensibilities, Tremors just might give you the shakes. This emerging arts festival, showcasing a new generation of contemporary performance, runs from April 6 to 17 with works created by some of Canada’s most innovative new companies. Some of the shows in store include Theatre Melee’s Cozy Catastrophe from April 6 to 10 and 13 to 17; Why Not Theatre’s I’m So Close . . . from April 6 to 10; and the Chop Theatre’s Kismet one to one hundred from April 13 to 17, all at the Vancity Culture Lounge (1895 Venables St., Vancouver). And that’s not even including the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly, and the grand finale showcase on April 17. Tickets for all main stage shows are $10 by calling 604-251-1363. For more details visit thecultch.com or rumble.org.

Shop Local at the Salt Spring Island Market
What makes the legendary Salt Spring Island Saturday Market so unique? It’s the “homespun guarantee,” that’s what. All of the 140-plus vendors at Canada’s favourite outdoor market are required to make, bake or grow their goods themselves. And coming from a place dubbed the Island of the Arts, you know the products have gotta be good. From organic food and pottery to jewelry and soap, you’ll find no shortage of Island-style ingenuity at this Ganges-based market, located in Oceanside Centennial Park, and operating every Saturday from early April through late October from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. For further information, visit saltspringmarket.com or call 250-537-4448.

Keep the Arts Party Going with Brief
 Encounters 14
Vancouver’s arts community has impressed Olympic visitors with its world-class talent, and the party hasn’t stopped now that the international athletes and journalists have headed home. The same rollicking electricity that wowed audiences is on display in Brief Encounters 14, where artists from a range of media will collide in whirlwind creative collaborations from April 15 to 17 at Performance Works (1218 Cartwright Street, Granville Island), starting at 8 p.m. This multidisciplinary mash-up features a roster of talent ranging from comedian Riel Hahn and aerialist Keely Sills to hip-hop dancer Yoshi Hisanaga and African drummer Aboubacar Camara. Tickets are $20 at the door or $17 in advance at ticketstonight.ca or 604-684-2787.

Learn to Cook Thai with Maenam’s Angus An

If you’re wondering about the source of the delicious aromas emanating from Cookworks (1548 W. Broadway, Vancouver) on April 12, we’ll tell you: it’s Angus An sharing simple techniques for cooking Thai cuisine in the Western Living Test Kitchen. Formerly the chef/owner of Gastropod, An has converted the space into Maenam, where he now dishes up Vancouver’s best Thai food. His workshop is just part of a series of culinary classes featuring a collection of B.C.’s best-known chefs, affording foodies a great chance to pick up professional cooking tips along with kitchenware. Each class is $89 and runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more details or to book online, visit cookworks.ca or call 604-731-1148.

Be Enchanted by Songstress Lea Salonga

Even if you’ve never heard the name Lea Salonga, you’ve most likely heard her voice. The multi-award-winning songstress — who holds Tony, Olivier and Drama Desk statuettes — has enchanted audiences worldwide as the singing voice behind such Disney heroines as Mulan and Princess Jasmine. But there’s nothing cartoonish about the entertainer who’s not only considered a national treasure in her Philippine homeland but is equally loved by fans around the globe, selling out venues from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Hong Kong’s Opera House. So better book your tickets now for her next gig on April 16 at River Rock Show Theatre (8811 River Rd., Richmond) by calling 604-280-4444 or visiting ticketmaster.ca. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show range from $49.50 to $59.50, exclusive of service charges.

Celebrate Spring at the Bradner Flower and Garden Show
In a sure sign that spring has officially sprung, the Bradner Flower and Garden Show is unveiling its first blooms of the season from April 9 to 11. Displaying the kind of perfection only Mother Nature can muster, this garden-variety festival features floral displays, plant sales, a tearoom, and, on Saturday and Sunday, art, pottery and horticultural displays as well. Catch it from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bradner Community Hall (5305 Bradner Road, Abbotsford), with admission $20 per person, and children under six free. For more information, visit bradnerflowershow.com or call 604-626-4222.

Blade or Bike the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve
With bathing-suit season just around the corner, there’s no time like now to get a jump on your summer shape. Grab your rollerblades or hop aboard your bike and give your legs a workout they’ll never forget at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, an unspoiled 5,668-hectare site in North Vancouver. The fleet-of-foot will have the place (practically) all to themselves — so much better than blading or biking along the bumpy, pedestrian-packed Stanley Park seawall. The reserve is open 365 days a year, from dawn to dusk. For additional information, call 604-990-0483. Don’t forget your kneepads!

Book the Peninsula Package at the Sidney Pier Hotel
In a time when even a no-frills Vancouver Special can cost almost a million, waterfront digs are out of the question for all but the elite. So where else can you lounge like a zillionaire in a seaside suite but at the splashy Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa (9805 Seaport Place), now featuring a special Peninsula Package from $299 that treats duos to a one-night stay, a leisurely tasting at Sea Cider Farm and passes to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, The Butchart Gardens and Butterfly Garden. But that’s assuming you’ll even want to step foot off the grounds of this haute hotel, nestled in the lush pastoral landscape of the Saanich Peninsula, and offering such activities as yoga classes, bicycle rentals and nature walks in and around the quaint community of Sidney-by-the-Sea. Call 1-866-659-9445 or visit sidneypier.com for info.

Have an Alice in Wonderland-style Tea Party

Don’t be late for a very important date! Thankfully, there’s no need to tumble down a rabbit hole to enjoy a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Just head to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (900 W. Georgia) for an afternoon of Alice in Wonderland-inspired eats until April 30. From 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, grownups can dine on Tweedledee’s raisin scones, white and red queen sandwiches and tea pastries, along with a range of signature brews for $36 per person. There’s also a kid-friendly version, which includes such fare as Bubblegum Tea, finger sandwiches, cupcakes and cookies for $16 per child 12 years and under. P.S. For a 10 per cent discount, show your movie ticket stub from Alice in Wonderland or wear your favourite tea party hat. For more info call 604-662-1900.

Stage a Stag at the River Rock Casino Resort

Staging a stag? Round up the boys and head to the River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Rd., Richmond), now offering a Guys’ Night Out package where you can recreate your very own version of The Hangover. Picture six buds kicking back in a two-bedroom penthouse, sipping a case of Sleeman’s Tall Boys and scarfing down two large gourmet pizzas, before heading down to the casino to test their poker prowess. Other tempting tidbits include a $100 gift card, welcome gift, free breakfast buffet, access to the health club, swimming pool and water slide and free parking. Book this package, priced from $699 and valid until December 30, by calling 1-866-748-3718 or visit riverrock.com for more details.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.