1. Billy Elliot at the Jubilee Auditorium (Opening Tuesday, March 26)
A Northern England mining town in the 1980s isn’t the most accepting place for an aspiring male ballet dancer. But young Billy Elliot perseveres in this touching, award-winning Broadway musical with music by Elton John. John first saw the film version in 2000 at Cannes, and was so struck by its powerful story that he wanted to make it into a musical, as he tells Katie Couric in this CBS interview above.
2. Hair Snares for Grizzly Bears at Alberta Wilderness Association (Tuesday, March 26)
To mark their territory, bears rub up against trees and other hard objects (I imagine there’s an additional back-scratching benefit derived from this as well). The Southwest Alberta Grizzly Bear Monitoring Project is a non-invasive, population-monitoring pilot program. Hear Andrea Morehouse speak about the benefits of this program taking advantage of the creatures’ natural behaviour.
3. The Bitterweed Draw, Wayfarer, Robot Workers, Luke Thomson & The Howl and Kris Whiteway at Dickens Pub (Thursday, March 28)
Local music fans have a tough decision to make Thursday night. The up-tempo folk group The Bitterweed Draw headlines one concert at Dickens. You can hear “Train Rollin” off their great, year-old release The Heart of the New West above.
4. Cowpuncher, HighKicks and Napalmpom at The Republik (Thursday, March 28)
Or you could go and see cowboy punkers Cowpuncher at The Republik. Jacquie Moore has the lowdown on the show in the Cheap Date from Friday’s magazine.
5. This Is How I Left at Living Spirit United Church (Opening Thursday, March 28)
Calgary’s queer theatre company Third Street Theatre presents an original production about trans issues, This Is How I Left, starting Thursday. The play tells the story of Sam, a 40-year-old lesbian writer, whose wife is a military pilot who dies in an accident right before the military repeals its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Sam enters a grief centre, where she encounters a transgender ghost who wants her story told. Tickets are at the door. —Jon Roe