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).