Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for May

From musicals to outdoor festivities and more, here's what to add to your calendar this month

From musicals to outdoor festivities and more, here’s what to add to your calendar this month

1. Unexpecting – Friday, May 5 to Sunday, May 21

Celebrate queer love, female relationships and modern motherhood in this fully staged, female-led comedy. Written by emerging Vancouver playwright Bronwyn Carradine, the story is set in East Vancouver and explores queer relationships and the nuances of growing into a family. This heartfelt piece was inspired by Carradine’s love for romantic comedies and features a cast of mostly queer actors.
Zee Zee Theatre, 1551 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver; Tickets from $15; Details online.

2. Festival of Israeli Culture – Sunday, May 14

This one-day festival is entirely free, and will offer playful activities like community drumming, Israeli dance, belly dancing, intuitive painting and calligraphy workshops. For the karaoke-lovers, there will also be a singalong with the well-known Israeli musician Elad Shtamer. Most activities are family-friendly, but there is a 19+ program featuring wine and Arak-based cocktail tasting. Immerse yourself in Israeli culture and explore the local vendors and food trucks.
Jewish Community Centre, 950 W. 41st Avenue, Vancouver; Details online

3. The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical – Thursday, May 18 to Sunday, May 28

This musical adaptation of the best-selling YA novel by Rick Riordan stars emerging actors, presented by CTORA Theatre. A full-stage performance with live orchestra, The Lightning Thief tells the story of Percy Jackson and his journey in recovering Zeus’s lightning bolt to prevent war amongst the gods. This inspiring story is an engaging adventure for children and adults alike.
JCC Norman Rothstein Theatre, 950 W. 41st Avenue, Vancouver; Tickets from $18; Details online

4. Jurassic World Live Tour – Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21 and Friday, May 26 to Sunday May 28

Watch the dinosaurs of Jurassic World come to life in this arena production at the Pacific Coliseum. The combination of Jurassic World’s iconic musical score, on-site projection and practical scenery is sure to make audiences feel like they’re right in the scene of a movie. The production features over 24 film-accurate, life-sized dinosaurs operated by animatronics and performers. Ticket-holders can arrive one hour early to enjoy a special pre-show experience to see dinosaurs and vehicles close up and take advantage of fun photo opps.
Pacific Coliseum, 100 N Renfrew Street, Vancouver; Tickets from $20; Details online.

5. The Sleeping Beauty – Tuesday, May 23

Coastal City Ballet presents this classic fairy tale in a whimsical ballet performance to close off its 2023 season. The cast features 50 dancers from all around the world to tell the tale as old as time. The performance will also have celebratory dances by characters like Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Puss in Boots, White Cat, and the Blue Bird.
The Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver; Tickets from $29.95; Details online.

6. Intuitive Paintings by Stephen Arthur – Wednesday, May 3 to Saturday, May 27

Presented by non-profit society Outsiders and Others, this public art display is part of the Strathcona Art Walk. Stephan Arthur, a retired senior and someone who identifies as being “on the spectrum”, is showing off his work for the first time as he aims to help people “feel beyond their conventional assumptions”. Immerse yourself in this creative space and check out Stephen’s Artist Talk, happening on May 20. Reserve a seat via email to
Outsiders and Others Art Society, 716 East Hastings Street, Vancouver; Details online.

7. Spot Prawn Festival 2023 – Sunday, May 28

Calling all foodies! Chefs’ Table Society of BC is hosting its annual Spot Prawn Festival at the end of the month. What better way to celebrate the start of spot prawn season than to enjoy a brunch tasting menu with six spot prawn dishes? Table service is offered in two time slots: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Takeout prawn bisque bowls are also available for those of you who want something a little more low-key. Just curious about this delicacy? You can watch the chefs’ cooking demos on the docks, free of charge.
False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf, 1505 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver; Prices from $10; Details online.

8. Bring Back The ’90s! – Thursday, April 20 to Saturday, May 27

The Improv Centre (TIC) on Granville Island is launching its spring show with a performance that takes you straight back into the ’90s! The event runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and features characters that are created from audience suggestions. Take a trip down memory lane this month, to a time when neon scrunchies and Dunkaroos were the norm.
The Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver; Tickets from $26.50; Details online

9. CATFISH – Wednesday, May 24 to Thursday, June 1

This ASL- and English-hybrid play was created with Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing artists, and the show has both languages built in to ensure an inclusive environment for all audiences. The story explores a deaf Punjabi high school student’s journey of self-love and acceptance. If you want to delve deeper into the minds of the show’s writer and director, there will be a post-show discussion on May 31. $2 from every ticket goes to the Greater Vancouver Association of the Deaf.
Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver; Tickets from $15; Details online.

10. útszan – Friday, May 5 to Saturday, May 13

Immerse yourself in the art of first language reconnection and reclamation through this one-woman play by playwright and actor Yvonne Wallace. “útszan” means to make better in the first language ucwalmícwts. This story follows a woman at the end of her days who refuses to speak English as an effort to reclaim her first language.
Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver; Tickets from $15; Details online.