Live theatre is one of Vancouver’s most popular cultural lures. The city has more than 30 professional troupes, several major theatre festivals and more than 20 performance venues. Granville Island is a hotbed of theatre activity, with several theatres. The Arts Club Theatre Company (www.artsclub.com) performs here on the Granville Island Stage as well as its Stanley Theatre on South Granville. For slightly edgier fare, check out the Firehall Arts Centre (www.firehallartscentre.ca).
Vancouver also hosts several annual theatre events. Theatre Under the Stars (www.tuts.ca) offers al fresco summer romps through a couple of popular musicals at Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl, while the Vancouver Fringe Festival (www.vancouverfringe.com) and Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (www.bardonthebeach.org) are two of the city’s biggest annual live theatre events. The former showcases eclectic comic, dramatic and musical short plays from around the world, while the latter offers a roster of Shakespeare plays every year in a dramatic tented venue in Vanier Park.
Regular priced tickets as well as day-of-performance, half-priced tickets for shows across the city are available from Tickets Tonight (www.ticketstonight.ca), which has a desk inside Tourism Vancouver's downtown Visitor Centre.
Opened in 1927, the grand Orpheum Theatre was once part of a large chain of vaudeville venues centered on Chicago. Stars who have hit the stage here over the years include Bob Hope, Shirley MacLaine and B.B. King. Check out the Walk of Fame outside the theatre: a series of sidewalk plaques honouring mem-bers of the B.C. Hall of Fame, from Randy Bachman to Diana Krall.