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Gateway Theatre offers a $10 deal for Hey Viola! show, but it comes with a catch

Hey Viola! by David Cooper
Krystle Dos Santos plays Viola Desmond in Hey Viola1 at Gateway Theate. Photo by David Cooper.

Many Canadians know the story of civil-rights activist Viola Desmond. Nearly a decade before Rosa Parks insisted on sitting in the whites-only area on a bus in Alabama, Desmond did the same thing in a Nova Scotia movie theatre.

It landed the businesswoman on the $10 bill, marking a first for a Canadian woman.

Now, Gateway Theatre is inviting patrons to see the critically acclaimed musical, Hey Viola!, for just $10 on Friday (April 21). But there’s a catch—to get into the theatre, people must present one of those $10 bills with Desmond’s face.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m., featuring jazz and blues singer Krystle Dos Santos in the title role. Desmond’s story comes to life through the music of Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, the Mills Brothers, Sister Rosette Tharpe, Richard M. Jones, and other songwriters of the era.

The show was created by Tracey Power and Dos Santos, who also directs Hey Viola! It also features Steve Charles on bass and guitar, Mary Ancheta on piano, and Chris Davis on drums and trumpets.

The show is presented in English with surtitles in Traditional and Simplified Chinese script. Its closing night is on Saturday (April 22).

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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The Society of We Are Canadians Too created Pancouver to foster greater appreciation for underrepresented artistic communities. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.