West Coast

Theatre Under the Stars 2022 Season: Something Rotten! and We Will Rock You

Theatre Under the Stars has been a summer tradition here in Vancouver since the 1940s, and after two long years, TUTS is back! One of the best things about summer nights in Vancouver is bringing the family to musical performances in the open air amphitheatre at Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl. If you haven’t picked up your tickets yet, what are you waiting for?

TUTS’ 2022 season showcases two sensational musicals that epitomize all of the best qualities of the beloved theatrical genre: elaborate set design, dazzling costumes, and show-stopping musical numbers. This year’s audiences will indulge in a hilarious love letter to Broadway and revel in a worldwide sensation of Queen’s most beloved rock-and-roll hits when Theatre Under the Stars presents Something Rotten! and We Will Rock You, running alternate evenings July 2–August 27, 2022.

TUTS tip: Don’t forget to dress in layers or bring a blanket. It can get chilly when the sun goes down!

Something Rotten!

In the streets of Elizabethan England, William Shakespeare is a Renaissance rock star while playwright siblings Nick and Nigel Bottom are stuck in his shadow. Desperate to write a hit show, the Bottom brothers enlist the aid of a mysterious soothsayer who foresees they can beat the Bard’s success by creating a brand new form of theatre… the musical!

Photo Credit: Emily Cooper

Hilarity ensues and absurdity reaches new heights, in this satirical spectacle that pokes fun at everything audiences adore about Broadway. Featuring show-stopping song and dance, a wacky cast of characters, and gut-busting comedy, Something Rotten! is a love letter to the sequined, splashy, and spectacular form called the musical.

An irreverent homage to Broadway, Something Rotten! is a whimsical satire that both celebrates and pokes fun at everything audiences adore about Broadway. With clever lyrics and a vibrant, colourful songbook, Something Rotten! warmly embraces the musical theatre genre and all of its absurdities, referencing such timeless classics as West Side Story, South Pacific, and Les Misérables. Full of love and playfulness, the production ultimately reminds us that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Returning to the stage for his fifth TUTS season is Daniel Curalli (William Shakespeare), joined by Kamyar Pazandeh (Nick Bottom) and Vicente Sandoval (Nigel Bottom), as playwright siblings. Katie-Rose Connors returns after her debut TUTS performance in 2019, as Nick’s wife, Bea. Cassandra Consiglio – who recently starred with musical theatre legend Kristin Chenoweth and 2022 Academy Award-winner Ariana DeBose in Apple TV+’s Schmigadoon! – will make her TUTS debut as Nigel’s love interest, Portia. Jyla Robinson returns for her third TUTS season as soothsayer Nostradamus.

Award-winning director Rachel Peake will make her TUTS directorial debut, transporting audiences to the bustling London streets of 16th century England, layered with visual aesthetics reminiscent of the musical theatre heyday of the late 20th century. Peake has directed works for numerous theatre and opera companies, including Vancouver Opera, Citadel Theatre, Gateway Theatre and Persephone Theatre. Choreography is by Nicol Spinola, with Brent Hughes as Music Director, Shizuka Kai as Set Designer, Stephanie Kong as Costume Designer, Robert Sondergaard as Lighting Designer, and Bradley Danyluk as Sound Designer.

Something Rotten! will be in previews on July 5 and 7, opening on July 9. Something Rotten! will run on odd days in July and even days in August until August 26.

We Will Rock You

It is 300 years in the future. A post-apocalyptic world is ruled by the Globalsoft Corporation and its sinister leader Killer Queen. But a pair of dreamers – Galileo and Scaramouche – are ready to ‘break free’ from this control and mount a rock-and-roll fueled revolution!

Photo Credit: Emily Cooper

Featuring more than 20 hits from Queen’s iconic songbook including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Are the Champions”, “Another One Bites the Dust”, and many more – the fist-pumping, foot-stomping anthem to individuality arrives in Stanley Park having rocked more than 16 million audience members around the globe!

Blending the excitement of a musical with the electricity of a concert, We Will Rock You is a high-octane feast for the senses and a triumphant tribute to one of the greatest bands of all time. This breathtaking spectacle of Queen’s most iconic rock-and-roll hits and electrifying dance is packed with heart-stopping numbers and a heartfelt underdog story that will leave audiences buzzing with hope. A celebration of music and art, We Will Rock You shows us the power of banding together to fight for what is right.

Playing the lead roles of Galileo and Scaramouche are Danny Malena and Jessica Spenst, who both make their TUTS debuts. Steffanie Davis will return for her fourth TUTS season as the villainous Killer Queen and Jennifer Suratos for her fourth TUTS season as Bohemian Oz. TUTS will welcome for the first time Tim Howe as Killer Queen’s second-in-command (Khashoggi) and Tanner Zerr (Brit) and Simon Auclair-Troughton (Buddy), as members of the Bohemian rebel gang. Christopher King is Music Director, with Shay Kuebler as Choreographer, Robert Sondergaard as Set & Lighting Designer, Brian Ball as Costume Designer, and Bradley Danyluk as Sound Designer.

Also making her TUTS directorial debut is actor and director Saccha Dennis, who will enhance the incredible music and eclectic rock garb of We Will Rock You – which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022 – with contemporary thematic elements, infusing the show with commentary on climate change, gender fluidity and binarism, as well as modern pop references to Harry Styles, Justin Bieber, selfies, and TikTok. Dennis was most recently seen on stage in the hit musical Come From Away, and has toured across North America, most notably as a member of the first U.S. national tour of We Will Rock You in 2013/14.

We Will Rock You will be in previews on July 6 and 8, opening on July 10. We Will Rock You will run on even days in July and odd days in August until August 27.

Special TUTS Events

Theatre Under the Stars has some special events happening this season, including a sing-along performance of We Will Rock You. Check out what else is happening at TUTS this summer!

Relaxed Performance – Monday, July 25
This year TUTS is proud to partner with the Canucks Autism Network to host a relaxed performance of Something Rotten! A Relaxed Performance is designed for anyone who may need a more casual environment to enjoy the theatre, including (but certainly not limited to) people on the Autism Spectrum, people with sensory or communication disorders, neurological disorders, or people with a learning disability. We will have a more relaxed attitude about how our audience experiences the performance and ask all audience members to be aware of people’s needs to move or make noise.

Pride Night – Tuesday, July 29
TUTS is thrilled to host its fourth annual Pride Night, the official kickoff event for this year’s Vancouver Pride Week! Audiences will enjoy all the hard-rocking international phenomenon, We Will Rock You, celebrating Queer icon Freddie Mercury and QUEEN’s iconic songbook. Join in for a high-octane feast for the senses! All seat cushion and programme donations from the night will be matched by TUTS in support of Vancouver Pride Society.

We Will Rock You Sing-Along Night – Wednesday, August 3
Feeling like “[You] Want to Break Free?” Blending the excitement of a musical with the electricity of a concert, join us for a special We Will Rock You Sing-along Night on August 3 for some fist-pumping, foot-stomping fun. Featuring more than 20 hits from QUEEN’s discography, “We Will Rock You” arrives at the Malkin Bowl having rocked more than 16 million audience members around the globe! Come sing your heart out dressed like your favourite rock stars for this special evening of rock-and-roll.

About the TUTS 2022 Season

Dates: Nightly from July 7 to August 27, 2022. Something Rotten! and We Will Rock You play alternate evenings.

  • Previews: July 2-5, 2022
  • Opening Nights: July 7 (Something Rotten!) + July 8 (We Will Rock You)
Time: All shows start at 8:00pm, except on Fireworks Nights (July 23, 27 & 30) when shows begin at 7:00pm.
Address: Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, 610 Pipeline Rd., Vancouver, BC.

Ticket prices:

  • Early Bird tickets: $20-$55 until June 16
  • Regular tickets: $30-$65

Box Office: Buy tickets online or call 604-631-2877.

Visit the TUTS website to learn more. Connect with Theatre Under the Stars on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Disclosure: I received media tickets to this event in exchange for sharing this information.

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