October is going to be a busy month at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, featuring everything from comedy to music and dance.
First up on Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. is Josephine: A Cabaret Burlesque Dream Play that is restricted to those 19 years of age and up, as it includes mild sexuality and partial nudity.
It is a on-woman biographical musical that tells the story of the iconic Josephine Baker, the first African Amerian international superstar. Her life is the stuff of legend.
“Born in St. Louis in 1906, Josephine Baker achieved only moderate success in the United States, but became an international superstar after moving to France in the early 1920s,” says a press release for the show. “She starred alongside white romantic leading men in films in the ’30s, had multiple interracial marriages and homosexual relationships, and performed in men’s clothing before the term “drag” existed in the lexicon. She was also a spy for the French Resistance, a civil rights activist, and the mother of 12 adopted children from four continents. Her success in France and Europe often gave her the opportunity to live freely without the racial oppression of her home nation, though she never stopped yearning for acceptance in America.”
The Pierre Komen Quartet will provide live accompaniment for the show.
Tickets are $42.
Next up are the Comic Strippers, also in a 19-plus show, on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
If you haven’t heard of this show, it’s billed as a “male stripper parody and improv comedy show”, with “no extreme nudity, just extreme hilarity.”
“Constantly grooving and gyrating in between scenes they banter with the crowd and perform their hilarious twist on improv sketches,” says a press release for the show. “They sing, they ‘dance’, and they are ready to make you laugh. Semi undressed and completely unscripted, The Comic Strippers take off their shirts and take on your suggestions to create a whole new genre of comedy.”
Tickets are $48.
Then on Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. it’s a whole lot of music with Downchild Blues Band.
The band is described as “roaring through bracing, high-octaine performances since 1969” under the direction of founder Donnie Walsh.
Now, the band boasts that each member has at least 20 years in the blues business.
Tickets are $52.
Get into the Halloween mood with Norman Foote: The Howl, A Musical Masquerade on Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m.
This one is designed for families, as Juno winner Norman Foote “brings out the fun and musical side of the Halloween tradition.”
The show is described as a concert where “singers, costumes and Halloween all come together. Attendees are invited to dress up in their own Halloween garb for the event.
Tickets are $36 for adults, $18 for children, and $90 for a family pass (two adults and two children).
Next up is Dancers of Damelahamid: Minowin on Oct. 22, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Dancers of Damelahamid is an Indigenous dance company founded upon over five decades of extensive work of song and dance revitalization, says a press release for the show.
“For countless generations Indigenous dance played an integral part in defining art and culture. In response to the lifting of the Potlatch Ban (1884 – 1951), was the resurfacing of dance and the awakening of an art form that was outlawed for almost 70 years. The Dancers of Damelahamid emerged in the 1960s out of an urgency to ensure that these artistic practices were not lost.”
In Minowin, the group integrates “narrative, movement, song, performance and new multimedia design”, to “connect landscapes and Coastal form line with contemporary perspectives of customary Indigenous dance forms.”
They “draw from origin stories and explore ways to translate these perspectives through a contemporary lens.”
Tickets are $46 for adults, and $5 for students in grades 8 through 12.
Then on Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Washboard Union hits the stage with their Everbound Tour.
Washboard Union is the three time reigning CCMA Group of the Year and five time CCMA Roots Artist/Album of the Year, so you know this show is going to be one of the best in the country.
The band is led by step-brothers Aaron Grain and Chris Duncombe, along with their best friend David John Roberts.
“On their latest album Everbound, released in April 2020, The Washboard Union keeps the good times rolling with an irresistible blend of roof-raising anthems and poignant ballads, coupled with their impeccable three-part harmony and top-notch musicianship,” says a press release for the show.
Raquel Code will be the special guest.
Tickets are $49.50.
The music continues with Completely Creedence on Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
This Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) tribute band aims to transport you back in time to “an era of incredible music” the will “put a spell on you.”
Hear favourites like ‘Proud Mary’, ‘I Put a Spell on You’, ‘Suzie Q’, ‘Fortunate Son’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and more.
The band features Jamie Roberston on vocals and rhythm guitar, Todd Smiley on drums, Murray Atkinson on guitar and Lance Lapointe on bass guitar.
Tickets are $50.
Rounding off the month is a show by a big Canadian star: Mary Walsh.
An Evening With Mary Walsh takes the stage on Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
“Canadian cultural icon, comedienne and social activist Mary Walsh will perform some of her best comedic bits and most popular characters from Dancing With Rage, CODCO and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, along with up-to-the-minute local political satire,” says a press release for the show.
Walsh has 25 Gemini awards, the Order of Canada and in 2012 shw recieved the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
Tickets are $38.
Get tickets for this or any of the other shows at CPAC on the website cowichanpac.ca, or call the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 250-746-2722.