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Concerts & Shows
What travellers are saying
- We attended a Gordon Lightfoot show and the theater was great. It's older but sight lines are all good and it's small enough you don't have to worry about spending half an hour getting out after the show.Written October 27, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Brilliant, professional start to the 2022/23 season. 'Intimate Apparel' bodes well for a GREAT season! CongratulationsWritten October 16, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- The McPherson Playhouse is a treasure of Victoria. First opened in 1914, this historic social and cultural hub has had a storied history, having changed ownership numerous times over its 105 year existence. Today, it stands as an important beacon and testament to the evolving role of art and architecture in our fair city. Originally built for Vaudeville performances, the theatre has evolved to that of a contemporary playhouse while still managing to maintain its important Neo-Baroque auditorium and other historic characteristics. An illustration of how this magnificent theatre has evolved with time is evidenced by the performance M and I attended at the tail end of 2019: “A Wonderheads Christmas Carol.”
A Wonderheads Christmas Carol is a whimsical, imaginative retelling of Dickens’ classic story in 70 minutes (no intermission). Giant masks, puppets and music are used to convey the tale while the actors play out each scene mime-like; that is to say, without uttering a single word. The end result is one of pure magic and wonder. Between the performances and the music, one feels as though they’re being transported into another world – another dimension. The ghosts of Ebenezer’s Christmas dream haunt the souls of those watching from the stage. It’s a powerful scene and one the Campbell River Mirror aptly described as “Pixar meets Jim Henson.”
We watched the show from the theatre’s upper balcony. The views were good, but I found the seating to be a little tight. As well, the climb up the upper balcony stairs seemed a little steep to me, but that’s more of a personal thing. Those minor issues notwithstanding, the venue was a treat as was the Wonderheads performance. If you get a chance to take in a show at this beautiful venue, I highly recommend taking one in!Written March 11, 2020This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- We have enjoyed several productions in this theatre and always find them to be thoroughly engaging and entertaining. The theatre group is very professional and shine in this venue.Written August 19, 2018
- Hmmm. . .dinner and a movie at a 5-star luxury hotel for approximately $24 (plus tax)? Sign me up! I mean, what could be better than taking your loved one out for a romantic evening, one that promises "After experiencing a movie night at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, you may never want to go back to watching movies any other way." Sounds good to me. . .
Anyway, the ticket price is a little more than your standard movie ticket, but I don't mind because a portion of the proceeds goes to a good cause -- the David Foster Foundation, and the rest, no doubt, helps to pay for the movie and the food you a re served; so, I definitely feel the price is more than justified. That said, I did feel that parts of the experience were not up to expectations.
First off, you're promised (as per the ad) "gourmet theatre fare" and "house-made popcorn." The "gourmet theatre fare" was, in my view, anything but. We arrived promptly at 6pm, which was the recommended time for dinner. Upon arrival, we were simply told that there was a chili bar on the side. That's it? Just chili? Nothing else? I guess not. So that was the first negative. A single option for dinner. . .and I'm not even a fan of chili. But, since I was paying for it and I was hungry, I had some. It reminded me of Tim Horton's classic chili in a bread bowl. We were none too pleased with this (very) limited option. So, my partner and I rushed off to The Snug (Oak Bay's in-house bar) for a bite to eat. . .
Okay, so that was really the only negative of the whole experience, but it's a big one, especially when you're promised a "gourmet" dinner and a movie. Maybe Oak Bay switches it up from time to time, but that chili in a bread bowl was underwhelming. As for the actual movie experience, we loved it! Hosted in the David Foster Theatre, there isn't a bad seat in the house -- and, hey, the seats are comfortable! Nice audio -- an overall quality operation. We also loved the cute containers of popcorn!
So, yes, I think the verdict is in: We would definitely return for Oak Bay's dinner and a movie presentation; however, we're likely to skip the actual dinner and just come in for the movie. It's not that the food was bad. . .it just wasn't what we expected.
RECOMMENDATION: For a relaxed, intimate experience, far different than that of Cineplex, please do yourself a favour and check this place out. Makes for a great date night (well, maybe less the dinner. . .unless they switch it up!)Written January 22, 2017
- We heard about this from our daughter, a Theatre Major at University of Victoria and we bought tickets. They were inexpensive (only $20 per ticket) and we got there about 20 minutes early. The place was nearly sold out but the theatre is well designed and there was not a bad seat in the house.
The production was outstanding. A celebration of Fado music, in the face of Portuguese history and their diaspora escaping poverty and dictatorships, it featured great writing, superb acting, lovely music (I am now a fan), and a simple set design, costumes, lighting that perfectly set the mood for the various scenes without spending a ton of money or special effects.
Run, don't walk, to see this production. If you miss it in Victoria, they are having a longer run in Vancouver.
loved it!Written November 15, 2019
- We have been to this facility for different events. There are large meeting rooms, open greeting spots and theatre/stage areas. This is all good if you come for a conference but there is beauty here for a simple stroll from the sidewalk on Government to a sidewalk on Douglas. It's part of the famous Empress hotel with it's tea room and all that. Lovely wide hallways guide you to a beautifully lit atrium style foyer. Sit for a while in the sunlight or escape from the rain. Leave no trace of your brief visit.Written October 15, 2017
- We went here for three concerts that formed part of the Pacific Baroque Festival. The performances were very impressive, particularly the concert on Saturday evening which featured the Victoria Children’s Choir. The hall, in which the congregation of Metropolitan United Church used to meet, was adequate for the purpose. The acoustics aren’t perfect, but the sight lines are very good. I found the seats I had to be uncomfortable, but my wife found no reason to complain.Written March 9, 2020
- This is a great little theatre in the heart of Fernwood. They present plays that stimulate discussions and understanding of the diversity of human experience.Written February 9, 2016
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