community

Beloved SFU holiday classic Bah Humbug! returns to bring the theatre home

December 15, 2020
Print

While COVID-19 is doing its best Grinch impersonation, a Simon Fraser University tradition returns virtually this year to bring some timely holiday cheer.

SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs​, in partnership with​ Vancouver Moving Theatre​ and ​Full Circle: First Nations Performance​ is thrilled to announce the holiday classic ​Bah Humbug! ​is returning online from Dec. 15 to 30. The performance is a video recording from a 2019 live performance and will be available for streaming on-demand via Vimeo with pre-recorded bonuses from the cast.

“This has been such a difficult year for all of us. We can’t go to the theatre but we’ve worked incredibly hard to be able to allow families to see this great, feel-good show at home and allow us to still engage with the community,” says Michael Boucher, director of Cultural Programs and Bah Humbug!’s director.

In Bah Humbug!, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is beautifully retold in this contemporary adaptation set within Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Scrooge preys upon his desperate clientele as a heartless pawnshop operator and hotel landlord who displaces people through renovictions, until one dark Christmas Eve he is challenged by three spirits.

Bah Humbug! i​s led by Juno award winner Jim Byrnes, and features Tom Pickett, Kevin McNulty, Savannah Walling, and Margo Kane of Full Circle: First Nations Performance and Talking Stick Festival. The performance also features Sam Bob, a local Indigenous actor and recent survivor of COVID-19. The St. James Music Academy Youth Choir adds their rich voices to this unique adaptation. Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award recipient Stephen Lytton also joins other cast members and musicians.

Tickets are available via CanadaHelps at $10 per person, or $25 per household. All proceeds from the performances will support the actors and musicians directly, as well as Vancouver Moving Theatre’s ​Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival​. To ensure this holiday classic can be seen by all, complimentary tickets are also available for those unable to pay for one by emailing boxoffice.bahhumbug@gmail.com.

2019 was the 10th anniversary of the show, and Boucher said it was filmed for archival purposes with no intention of broadcasting it publicly. But when the pandemic hit and he realized steaming the production could help lift people’s spirits, and support the artists and community, Boucher and his team took on the “massive undertaking” of editing the footage into a fully produced spectacle.

“The singing intermixed with Dickens’ words still resonate beautifully in this streaming event. But it's the stellar performances that are the standout,” he says. “It is truly a visual and aural treat more than ever before. These actors are very vulnerable. Their livelihoods are at stake and COVID-19 has really undermined their futures. Donations will help support them and the arts community.”

For more information, visit the event page here.