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Rock tributes, ‘Mary Poppins Jr.’, dance, comedy, and more on Cowichan stage this April

St. John’s Academy present three performances of Mary Poppins Jr. on April 19 and 20

The Cowichan Performing Arts Centre isn’t fooling around as they hop into the month of April with an eclectic mix of events starting right after April Fool’s Day. With opera, tribute concerts, laugh out loud comedy, singing ensembles and nannies, a night at the movies and dance are reasons enough to get in step with this lineup of entertainment.


On April 2, start your Tuesday morning off on a high note with award-winning performances as the Metropolitan Opera brings ancient Babylon to life with the classic Nabucco, with staging of biblical proportions. Baritone George Gagnidze makes his Met role debut as the imperious king Nabucco, alongside soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska reprising her turn as his vengeful daughter Abigaille. Mezzo-soprano Maria Barakova and tenor SeokJong Baek, in his company debut, are Fenena and Ismaele, whose love transcends politics, and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy repeats his celebrated portrayal of the high priest Zaccaria. Daniele Callegari conducts Verdi’s masterpiece, which features the ultimate showcase for the great Met Chorus, the moving “Va, pensiero.” Beginning at 10 a.m. this opera is broadcast in HD from New York City. Tickets are $36 for adults or $32 for seniors.


On April 9, the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre provides laugh out loud entertainment. With 25 years of bringing his comedic stylings from coast to coast, newly minted senior citizen Ron James hits the CPAC stage with his Not Nearly Done Yet tour starting at 7:30 p.m.

“With his trademark poetically charged alliterative rants, performed with razor sharp timing, this award-winning comedian and best-selling author takes audiences on a marathon roller coaster ride in the language of laughs, charting a course through a politically polarized world out of whack,” said a press release for the show.

Attendees can expect James to delve into topics such as the dating woes of Baby Boomers, embattled public health care, aging parents, food fads, exercise addiction, nostalgia, information overload, tropical vacations gone awry, New Age divas, homelessness crisis, climate change, corporate monopolies, gambling ads in hockey, and the rise of AI’s robot revolution. Tickets are $73.50.


On April 13, the vocal ensemble musica intima bring their voices to the Duncan United Church at 7:30 p.m. From grass-root beginnings to becoming internationally known, musica intima has pushed the boundaries of traditional choral performance and new perspectives on ensemble singing which has made them one of Canada’s most unique vocal ensembles to date, said a press release for the show. Tickets are $38, $35 for seniors and $10 for children.


It would almost be criminal for country rock fans to miss out on Folsom Prison Revisited as it hits the CPAC stage April 14 at 4 p.m. Johnny Cash fans can bet their bottom dollar that this production featuring one of the most iconic artists in history is the real deal.

Cash’s “persona transcended music to make him a cultural icon” with his recognizable voice and lyrics that spoke to the poor, downtrodden, and working class, said a press release for the show. Cash’s album recorded at Folsom Prison reached No. 1 on both on the country and pop charts.

Featuring Devon Brayne from Million Dollar Quartet along with a group of award-winning musicians, Cash groupies “will be taken on a musical journey through that legendary concert with gripping stories, iconic music, and multimedia” and will hear hits from the man in black including ‘Folsom Prison Blues’, ‘Jackson’ plus rarely performed songs by Cash including ‘25 Minutes to Go’ and the heart wrenching ‘Greystone Chapel’ which was written by a Folsom Prison inmate. There will be no hurt feeling at this epic concert as those in attendance will also be sure to hear Cash classics such as ‘Hurt’, ‘A Boy Named Sue’, and ‘Ring of Fire’. Tickets are $50.


St. John’s Academy present a production sweeter than a spoonful of sugar with Mary Poppins Jr., which will have 7 p.m. performances on April 19 and 20 as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on the latter. Based on the award-winning Broadway musical and the classic Walt Disney film, everyone’s favourite zany nanny takes audiences to new heights with a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious adventure. Tickets are $25 or $20 for seniors and children. Look for feature article in an upcoming edition of the Cowichan Valley Citizen.


On April 22, Reel Alternatives brings film buffs back to the movies with their 7 p.m. showing of Jules — a tale that is truly out of this world. “ A man’s quiet life gets upended when a UFO crashes in his backyard in rural Pennsylvania. As he befriends the mysterious extraterrestrial, things start to get complicated when two neighbours discover it and the government quickly closes in,” a press release describes the plot. This comedic drama directed by Marc Turtletaub stars Ben Kingsley and Jane Curtin.

Reel Alternatives is a monthly fundraiser that brings Toronto Film Festival’s critically acclaimed films to the Cowichan Valley, and all proceeds go directly to benefiting individuals and families through Cowichan Hospice by ensuring hospice services are available when they need them. Tickets are $17 and concession will be available for purchase.


Music lovers of the ’70s and ’80s will want to check into Hotel California: The Original Eagles Tribute hitting the CPAC stage on April 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Hotel California began their tribute to the beloved music of the Eagles shortly after the original band stopped to catch their breath a few decades back after selling over selling more than 100 million records, and collecting six Grammy’s while enjoying the success of six No. 1 albums.

Paying tribute to the original rock band this tribute band takes it to the limit as they have thrilled hundreds of thousands of Eagles fans across the globe since starting this musical journey back in the ’80s. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of The Doobie Bros., Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gretchen Wilson, REO Speedwagon, and many more. Tickets are $50.


For fans of classic crooning, The Best is Yet to Come takes the CPAC stage on April 25 at 7:30 p.m. as platinum award-winning warbler Matt Dusk shines a light on the best of Tony Bennett while paying homage to the musical legend.

“Renowned for his remarkable vocal range and talent, Dusk brings to life the essence of Bennett’s style and honors his musical legacy with classic hits such as ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’, ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, and ‘The Good Life’,” said a press release for the show.

It has certainly been a good life for Dusk as he has four certified Gold albums with Two Shots, Good News, JetSetJazz and Sinatra Vol. 2 as well as his four certified platinum albums: My Funny Valentine, Just The Two of Us, Old School Yule!, and Sinatra Vol. 1.

Opening for Dusk will be Vancouver Island’s Raymond Salgado who first began singing at the age of 11 and found fame as a finalist on Canada’s Got Talent. In 2023 out of 6,000 applicants, Salgado was a finalist in the Top 8 of Season 2 of the show. Since, he has been recognized online for his talents by celebrities who include Adele, Demi Lovato, Sam Smith, and Charlie Puth, to name a few. Tickets are $55.


On April 27 a 7:30 p.m., it will be poetry in motion with Montreal’s dance troupe RUBBERBAND as they bring Vic’s mix — a “compilation of Victor Quijada’s exploratory creative territory, featuring jewels from the choreographer’s immense repertoire” to the CPAC stage, said a press release for the show.

RUBBERBAND has become renowned world-wide “for its innovation and development of a new contemporary style inspired by break, classical ballet, and dance theatre”. Tickets are $40, $36 for seniors, and $10 for children.


To purchase tickets for shows, go to or call the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 250 -746-2722 or visit in person in the lobby of the Cowichan Community Centre on James Street in Duncan.

About the Author: Chadd Cawson

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