Music, dance, original writing, film, theatre - the Showcase of the Performing Arts (SOPA) has it all.
SOPA opens its fourth annual season at the Heritage Playhouse this July 8 with a gala event that gives the audience a taste of classical music.
While guests enjoy wine and appetizers in the lobby, pianist Angela Johnson will play. Local clarinetist Lyle Carter will host a musical show that includes such groups as the Coastal Winds, a quintet performing the world première of an original Carter composition, Portrait for Winds. Carter also joins viola player Erin MacDonald on a duet. The Syrinx Trio of two flutes and a bass, featuring Sarah Harding, Kelly Smit and Gerry Millar, will perform works from Haydn. If you missed the Dance Into Spring show this year, featuring Sylvain Brochu and the Coast Contemporary Dancers, you have another chance to see this critically acclaimed performance on Saturday, July 9. "It's great to have a chance to remount the spring production," says Brochu. The dancers still have fresh memories of the pieces. "It's still in the body," as Brochu puts it. The performance includes three original dances from the level two and three dancers who have studied with Brochu. One of the group pieces was choreographed specifically because he loved the music - from the Wyrd Sisters. Brochu will dance two solos: one of them called Novum that he has choreographed himself. The Latin name indicates that the piece of music is based on the unusual beat of nine. Sink, written especially for him in 1989, is about a funny little character who displays a theatrical fervour. It was part of a kids' show and Brochu found that adults can enjoy it, too. He will also appear in a duet with Anne-Marie Lindell called Teatime. The characters begin in an abstract fashion dancing to classical music but it becomes obvious that a tension lies between the two. "This show is a nice mix," he says. "It works for the audience to laugh a little then watch pure movement."
DSDanse will also perform that evening, creating a full value show.
SOPA continues on July 10 with a children's music show at 2 p.m. hosted by Graham Walker.
A July 13 performance showcases creative writing night including selections from Marilyn Browning's play, Sue Carson's monologue and Jasing Hamilton's one-woman play.
Some of the Driftwood Players will take to their own stage on July 14 and 16 to present the revue, Here and There Again, which organizer Colleen Elson explains is mostly British-style humour. The players include Elson, Nest Lewis, David Short, Diedre Palmer, Ed White, Melina Cassidy, Rick Quesnel and Meghan Stewart. Joining them for the first time is Coast comedienne Jenica Vaneli who takes on the persona of Relic's daughter to give the audience a laugh between acts. Danny Hart and trio and the ever-popular fiddle music appear on July 15.
The SC Film Society is back at its accustomed time again on Tuesday, July 19, with a film that honours the craft of acting, Stage Beauty, a look at the emergence of women as stage performers during Elizabethan times.
John Thompson and Ten Bear get together for traditional blues on July 21, while bluegrass night on July 22 features Celtic sounds from former Coast musician Serena Eades and her quintet Anagram. On the bill with her is Vancouver's Pernell Reichert picking and singing contemporary folk music.
SOPA closes on July 23 with jazz night from the Blaine Dunaway Trio and vocalist Karin Bergen. Most performances begin at 8 p.m., except for the gala at 7 and the children's music show at 2. All performances benefit the Heritage Playhouse. Tickets cost $12.50 except for the opening gala at $25 and the children's show at $6. Tickets are available at Coast Books and Hallmark in Gibsons, Talewind Books in Sechelt and at the Gibsons and Sechelt Visitor Info Centres.