May YVR Game Plan

The 10 best things to do in Vancouver this month.

Laugh it Up

JUST FOR LAUGHS VANCOUVER
Wed., May 25 – Sun., May 29
Various theatres
Jflvancouver.com

Caleb Hearon Takes the Stage at Western Canada’s Biggest Comedy Festival

Caleb Hearon is impossible to miss. The Missouri-born, L.A.-based comic and online creator skyrocketed to viral fame through the addictive character skits he posts to his Twitter account, @calebsaysthings; the clips, usually shot on an iPhone front camera, showcase his inimitable ability to do spot-on impressions of the kinds of personalities you didn’t even know you knew (one of his biggest hits is a video entitled “pov: you’re a close friend venting to me about a situation where you were entirely in the wrong”). He’ll be playing JFL Vancouver on May 28 with his best friend, Holmes Holmes.

You recently tweeted: “when gay boys turn 13, the universe assigns them one woman working in entertainment… from that point forward their purpose on earth becomes supporting this woman.” Who are these women for you?

Oh my god. Julia Roberts. Queen Latifah. Monique. Sandra Bullock. I think on the comedy side, I was drawn to Monique especially because she was fat and she did material about being fat. And she was so powerful on stage — like if you watch the Queens of Comedy tour, Monique is like, like, she walks out in a leather suit and she’s like, “Y’all better make some fucking noise for me.” That’s so fucking iconic. And then I think on the, like, actress side, it was like actresses my mom loved. Any movie my mom liked always had Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Sally Field. When you’re gay, you’re like, “Oh my god, they’re so cool. They’re, like, getting hot guys and having a career in the big city.”

What’s the vibe of your shows?

Well, you know, it’s beautiful. It’s with my best friend [Holmes Holmes]. Usually, the two of us will start the show together and talk about, you know, whatever … gay shit, gay stuff … we’ll talk about our sex lives and how bad they’re going, and we’ll talk about our families. And then we each do a half hour. And our half hours are pretty much about the same stuff. You know, our dating lives are a mess.

Do you ever worry that if you were to get into a fulfilling relationship, you’d miss out on material?

I would never allow myself to do that.

Doc Films Fest Brings Back Live Screenings

REEL LIFE DOXA Documentary Film Festival
Thurs., May 5 – Sun., May 15
Various theatres
doxafestival.ca

After two years of virtual operation, one of Vancouver’s most groundbreaking film fests returns with 10 days of online and in-person programming. It will be screening its roster of thought-provoking films in theatres across the city, and most of those titles will also be available online throughout Canada for select durations. Don’t miss Colin Askey’s Love in the Time of Fentanyl, a portrait of a community fighting through the opioid crisis (May 10 – 11, Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema and Vancity Theatre) and Landscapes of Resistance, by Marta Popivoda, the story of 97-year-old Sonja who fought against Nazism in the 1940s (May 14, Vancity Theatre).

Waving the Black Flag

IN CONVERSATION: Henry Rollins Good to See You Tour
Thurs., May 19, 7 pm
$206 (VIP meet-and-greet tickets only)
Rio Theatre, 1660 E. Broadway
riotheatre.ca

Punk legend, spokenword artist, author, world traveller and more, Black Flag frontman and cultural icon Henry Rollins is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating figures in alternative music history. Get the chance to meet him during his spoken-word tour in a deluxe package offered by the Rio Theatre.

No Debating the Laughts

EAST VAN LAUGH RIOT
Fri., May 13, 6:45 pm
$17
Rio Theatre, 1660 E. Broadway
riotheatre.ca

Another comedy classic in the heart of East Van. This monthly show at the Rio is hosted by Debaters regular Charlie Demers and features Vancouver’s top standup comedians from CBC, Netflix, Just For Laughs and more.

Van Dusen Doozy

VANCOUVER CREATIVE EXPERIENCE AT VANDUSEN BOTANICAL GARDENS
Sun., May 15, 7 am
$10
Van Dusen Botanical Gardens,
5251 Oak St.
bit.ly/3rKvmyn

The gorgeous Van Dusen Botanical Gardens has teamed up with Canon Creator Lab to offer a community-focused creative experience like no other. A ticket gets you private access to the Van Dusen Garden (including a rare blooming of Laburnum trees) as well as borrowable top-of-the-line Canon equipment to practice your camera skills.

Getting Night Right

Richmond Night Market
Every Friday (7 pm – 12 am),
Saturday (6 pm – 12 am) and
Sunday (7pm – 11 pm)
Free
8351 River Rd.
richmondnightmarket.com

The Richmond Night Market, a luminous summer fair with shopping, live entertainment and lights displays, is on all summer long starting has recently returned! Make sure to go on an empty stomach since the market’s crowning glory is its one-of-a kind collection of some of the finest food in North America.

Send in the Clowns

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL ALEGRIA
Until Sun., June 5
$65 – $75
Under the Big Top, Concord
Pacific Place, 811 Carrall St.
cirquedusoleil.com/alegria

Alegria is globally adored circus company Cirque du Soleil’s first show in Canada since the start of the pandemic, and it’s not one to miss — this production is an all-time classic Cirque show, reimagined for new audiences, that tells the story of a kingdom in crisis with fantastic tricks and death-defying acrobatics.

El Movimiento on View

Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers / Soñadores + creadores del cambio
Premieres Thurs., May 12
$15; free for UBC students and Indigenous peoples
Museum of Anthropology, 6393 NW Marine Dr.
moa.ubc.ca

The newest and most dynamic exhibit at UBC’s famed Museum of Anthropology is Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers / Soñadores + creadores del cambio. This expansive project explores the rich and colourful art, activism and heritage of 33 Xicanx artists, as well as the larger history of El Movimiento, the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s spurred by people of Mexican descent.

Rotating Riots

JOKES PLEASE!
Thursdays at The Beaumont (326 West 5th Ave); Fridays at Cambrian Hall (215 East 17th Ave.), 8 pm
$19
@jokesplease

Indie comedy production Jokes Please! was a Vancouver staple before its venue, Little Mountain Gallery, was forced to close. Luckily, it’s back with small-room shows in new venues that are as intimate as they are hilarious (and they sell out quick, so stay sharp).

Lean on Me

rEvolver Festival 2022
Wed., May 25 – Sun., June 5
3-show pass is $51; one ticket is $22
Various venues
upintheairtheatre.com

Upintheair Theatre’s annual theatre fest, rEvolver, is back for its 10th anniversary and better than ever. With a theme of “interdependence,” its shows deal with community, connection and sharing. For 10 days starting, you can catch unique, unorthodox productions from local and touring companies that explore queerness, cooking, friendship and much more in venues across Vancouver.

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