BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for October 23 – 29

This week in BC: Spook your pooch, unplug on the Drive, see a Hitchcock spoof, meet Yann Martel and more

Hitchcock spoof The 39 Steps plays at the Stanley Theatre until November 21

What to do in BC this week

See   The 39 Steps at the Stanley Theatre – Oct 21 to Nov 21
Hitchcock meets hilarious in The 39 Steps, hailed by the New York Post as “the most entertaining show on Broadway.” Nominated for six Tony Awards, this Monty Python-esque spoof re-enacts Hitchcock’s classic 1935 film nearly verbatim, but with only four gifted actors playing over 150 zany characters — along with the odd inanimate object. See it at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville St., Vancouver) from October 21 to November 21 and be prepared for what’s been described as a “mad, wonderful” journey that will transport you from urban London to the rustic hills of Scotland. For more details, go to artsclub.com or call 604-687-1644 for tickets.

See Vancouver Opera’s Production of Lillian Alling
 – until October 23
In 1924, a young Russian named Lillian Alling arrived at Ellis Island, part of a post-war crush of immigrants seeking a fresh start in America. The penniless woman, who was reportedly searching for someone, spent the next three years trekking on foot across the continental U.S., with only the clothes on her back and a lead pipe for protection. She was last spotted navigating the Telegraph Trail in northern B.C. before disappearing forever, surviving only in local legend. This remarkable true story is the subject of Vancouver Opera’s new production, Lillian Alling, featuring eight principal singers, a chorus of 40 and a 60-piece orchestra, at Queen Elizabeth Theatre only until October 23. Tickets start at $29; book by phone at 604-683-0222.

Unplug on Commercial Drive – Wednesday nights in October
An easy way to get plugged into the scene? By checking out Unplugged on the Drive, taking place on Wednesday nights throughout October. If you guessed it’s all about acoustics, you’re only half right: it’s also an eco-friendly initiative that celebrates Power Smart Month by dimming the lights at a number of restaurants and cafés along Vancouver’s Commercial Drive. So, along with a candlelit dinner set to a soundscape of live music, you can also fill out a ballot for a chance to win a Power Smart prize package that includes gift certificates from participating Commercial Drive establishments including Havana, The Reef, Lombardo’s, Me & Julio, Memphis Blues and Waazubee. 

Take Your Dog to Pooch Spooks – October 23 & 30
Why should kids have all the fun on Halloween? For people passionate about their pooches, dogs are the furry equivalent, making them fully deserving of treats, too — at least that’s the thinking behind Three Dog Bakery’s third annual Pooch Spooks. For a $5 minimum donation, you can take your favourite furball trick-or-treating at participating merchants at Suter Brook Village, home of the dog-friendly bakery’s Port Moody branch, on October 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Or, on October 30 swing by the Kitsilano store at 4548 W. 10th Avenue from noon to 2 p.m. to pick up your treat bag before making the rounds at surrounding retailers. Proceeds benefit Little Paws Rescue Group. Call 604-737-3647 for more details.

See The Shadow Machine at W2 Storyeum – Oct 20-23 & Oct 27-30
Ever since the Industrial Revolution, humans have had an ambivalent relationship with machines, seesawing between attitudes of gratitude and suspicion. Now, Vancouver’s Co.ERASGA, an internationally acclaimed dance troupe, dramatizes this theme with The Shadow Machine, a major new multimedia and dance show that explores our conflicted relationship with technology. Catch it at W2 Storyeum (151 W. Cordova St., Vancouver) from October 20 to 23 and October 27 to 30. For tickets, call 604-684-2787 or visit ticketstonight.ca

Take a Ride with Haunted Horsemen – October 22-23 & 29-30
Are you afraid of the dark? Better get over it quick so you can hop aboard the Haunted Horsedrawn Trolley Tours in Victoria, which clip-clop through some of the spookiest neighbourhoods on the West Coast. The 45-minute tour is fully narrated by a ghostly guide and, upping the fear factor, every terrifying tale told is true! Tours depart on October 22, 23, 29 and 30 between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Belleville and Menzies streets in the Inner Harbour. Tickets are $20 per adult, $15 for seniors/students and $10 for kids under 12. Call toll-free 1-877-663-2207 or visit victoriacarriage.com to book.

Meet Yann Martel – October 24

Unless your name is Oprah, you probably don’t have any big-name authors in your book club. That’s set to change on October 24 when a special Writer’s Salon takes place at a private Vancouver home with internationally acclaimed novelist Yann Martel, the Booker Prize-winning author of Life of Pi. After reading from his provocative new work Beatrice & Virgil, he’ll draw back the curtain on his inspiration and goals in writing this “dark but divine” novel about the Holocaust. Tickets are $118, and include a cocktail reception, a signed copy of Beatrice & Virgil and a partial tax receipt. For more details on this event, running from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., visit jewishbookfestival.ca or call 604-257-5111.

Check out the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival – Oct 27 – Nov 7
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is known for many things, most of them not good. On the up side, the community is home to hundreds of talented artists, whose work will be on full display at the seventh annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival, a cultural blitz that features more than 80 events at over 25 locations from October 27 to November 7. Most events are free or pay as you can, with a spectrum-spanning roster that includes everything from music, drumming and art talks to outdoor festivities, theatre and history walks.

Go Shopping at Lüt Boutique
 – October 27
Most women don’t need an excuse to go clothes shopping, but here’s one anyway: Lüt Boutique (4219 Main St., Vancouver) is celebrating its grand opening with a vignette-style fashion show, swag bag and even a treasure hunt for grand prizes valued at over $500. Taking place on October 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., this shopping party celebrates both fashion and philanthropy, with profits from a cash bar benefiting the Vancouver Food Bank. And if you’re among the first 45 people through the door, you’ll go home with a canvas Lüt bag filled with chocolate and salon goodies. For more information, call 604-568-1188. 

Pick Your Pumpkin – until October 31
Haven’t picked your pumpkin yet? You’ll have thousands to choose from at the Laity Pumpkin Patch (21145 128th Avenue) in Maple Ridge, where nature lovers can also climb aboard a tractor-wagon for fall harvest tours. But that’s not all: You and the tots can meander in a corn maze, poke around in an educational veggie garden and get friendly with farm animals too. Even if your name isn’t Linus – remember his pumpkin patch fixation in Charlie Brown? – you’ll still have bushels of fun at the farm, open daily until October 31. For info and hours call 604-467-4302.

Have Autumn High Tea at The Butchart Gardens – until November 30
It may be low season at The Butchart Gardens, but it’s always high time for tea. That’s especially true when you’re talking about the new Autumn High Tea served in the Dining Room Restaurant, surrounded by a 55-acre garden aglow in tones of red, russet and gold. The feast, available until November 30, is equally satisfying, with a menu of sweet and savoury flavours ranging from warm scones and lemon cheesecake tart to vol-au-vent and Cornish pasties. Cost for the tea, which also includes admission to the gardens, is $41.60 until October 31, then $37 through November, not including HST. For more details, call 250-652-8222 to make a reservation.

Head to Tofino with the Gals – until December 22 

You don’t have to be a woman of a certain age to check out the Men-on-Pause package at Tofino’s Pacific Sands Beach Resort (1421 Pacific Rim Hwy, Vancouver Island), a high-end hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean. However, you do have to be a woman to enjoy this gals-only getaway that includes two nights in a luxury villa, two bottles of wine, SoBo Gourmet to Go dinner, continental breakfast and unlimited DVD rentals and popcorn, plus 15 per cent off all Surf Sisters surf lessons. The package, available through December 22, is priced at $449 per night based on quadruple occupancy. For more information or reservations, call 1-800-565-2322.

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