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This week in BC: Enjoy Halloween hijinks, pick a pumpkin, jam for Jess, and more
Don’t let the name fool you: The Great Big Boo! delivers pint-sized thrills that won’t traumatize the tots. How could it, when this kid-friendly musical features cute, not creepy, characters like Vinnie the Vampire, Priscilla the Princess and Wolfgang the Werewolf stirring up Halloween hijinks. And bonus: kids can trick-or-treat with the stars of the show during matinee performances on October 20 and 21 at the PNE Forum in Vancouver. Tickets online at the Great Big Boo or call 604-252-3585.
Heralded as “more than a stand-up — a standout” by Jim Carrey, insult comic Lisa Lampanelli has been described as “a cross between Don Rickles, Archie Bunker and a vial of estrogen.” She won raves from Howard Stern, too, who called her “a brilliant comedy mind who’ll steal the show every time.” See this self-confessed Queen of Mean in action at Boulevard Casino’s Red Robinson Show Theatre in Coquitlam on October 26, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets at ticketmaster and Boulevard Casino.
Fort Langley is known for its family-friendly vibe. But toss all that aside during Halloween season, when expert storytellers will scare you witless on a “Grave Tales” Historic Fort Langley Walking Tour. You’ll hear about mysterious burials, old-school amputations and other grim deeds as you venture into the town’s creepiest corners — from a misty cemetery to a deserted trading post — before warming up around a crackling bonfire. Check it out on weekends until October 28 by calling 604-513-4777 for tickets.
Candy-craving kids aren’t the only ones getting decked out for Halloween. Burnaby Village Museum is also getting into the act by transforming into a fright site from October 26 to 28. But this kid-friendly Haunted Village keeps the fear factor to a minimum, with roving performers, storytelling, a circus sideshow and a chance to trick-or-treat throughout the vintage village. Buy tickets at the gate from 6 p.m. for $14 ($9 for kids), which include unlimited rides on an antique carousel.
Scared of spiders? Enclosed spaces? Heights? Then you might want to take a pass on Fright Nights, held from October 17 to 31 at Playland at the PNE in Vancouver. That’s because this fear fest feels like a waking nightmare, complete with roaming zombies, fog-shrouded graveyards and six haunted houses, including a new one called “Fear” that brings all your worst phobias to life. On the up side, there’s some scare-free fun too, including rides, midway games, a beer garden and performances by Monsters of Schlock and the Kinshira Fire Troupe. Tickets are $28 online and $31 at the gate.
Nothing is constant except for change, which is why so few things stand the test of time. An exception? Oliver Goldsmith’s classic 1773 comedy She Stoops to Conquer, playing from October 18 to November 18 at Vancouver’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. This 18th-century comedy of manners is equally applicable today, thanks to its bawdy romps, romantic tomfoolery and Ashton Kutcher-style pranks.
What would you do if your child were diagnosed with a chronic disease? If you’re local PR maven Marnie Wilson, you don’t take the news lying down. Instead, she’s sticking it to Type 1 diabetes with an October 26 fundraiser to help support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Hosted by Red Robinson, Jammin’ for Jess features stand-up comedy by Erica Sigurdson and live music by House Arrest, at the Backstage Lounge in Vancouver, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person.
Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. Problem is, other folks — and their whining rugrats — often have the same idea. Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about any of that at Takahashi Gardens Waterfront Retreat, an adults-only enclave in Sechelt billed as a place to “relax, unwind and soothe your soul.” Set on the shores of Porpoise Bay, this Zen-style sanctuary features spa services, gourmet meals and cottage-style accommodation, from $149 per night until November 30.
The Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train is rolling out Scary Fairy Tales, where you’ll journey into deep, dark woods to encounter scenes from the world’s best-loved children’s stories, complete with trolls, witches, beanstalks and golden eggs. Catch it nightly from 6 p.m., or check out the matinee trains operating from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays until October 31. Make it even more memorable by booking the Ghost Train Dinner Package at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown.
Haven’t picked your pumpkin yet? Don’t worry: You’ll have hundreds to choose from at the Laity Pumpkin Patch in Maple Ridge, where you can also climb aboard a tractor-wagon for a fall harvest tour, get lost in a corn maze, meander fairy-tale trails, meet and greet farm animals and even explore an interactive frontier town. Call 604-467-4302 for details.
BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for Oct. 20-26