Gateway Theatre Presents Hey Viola!

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Gateway Theatre presents the critically-acclaimed musical Hey Viola! on the Mainstage Theatre April 13 to 22, 2023. Featuring Canadian jazz and blues singer Krystle Dos Santos, this is a musical exploration of civil rights trailblazer, Viola Desmond.

Krystle Dos Santos and Steve Charles in Hey Viola!
Krystle Dos Santos and Steven Charles on bass, photo by David Cooper

Gateway Theatre Presents Hey Viola!

  • When: April 13, 2023 pay- what- you-will: April, 14-22, 2023
  • Where: Gateway Theatre Mainstage, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond)
  • Tickets: Available online now
    • On April 21 you can get a ticket for just $10 when you bring and use a $10 Viola Desmond bill. This applies to a seat of any price at the 7:30pm performance. This incredible price is valid for only ONE DAY before Hey Viola! closes on April 22 and goes on its next tour.

Vancouver songstress and actor Krystle Dos Santos, with the support of live musicians, brings the life of Viola Desmond to the stage using the dynamic and inspirational music that filled the home of this trailblazer of the civil rights movement. Hey Viola! takes the audience on an extraordinary journey through Viola’s life and the events that shaped her, from the 1917 Halifax explosion to the civil rights struggles of the 1950s. Featuring hot jazz, gospel, and traditional spirituals, this eye-opening new musical brings bold, new energy to the life and times of a remarkable woman.

Who is Viola Desmond, other than the newest face on the Canadian ten-dollar bill? She is best known for her courage in refusing to leave the whites-only section of Nova Scotia’s Roseland cinema in 1946, a decision that made history. What was the fire within this successful black Canadian businesswoman that gave her the courage and confidence to stand up to systemic racial injustices in Canada? Her story is told through music and song featuring brilliant hits of the era from Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, The Mills Brothers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Richard M. Jones, and more—plus songs that influenced history including Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, A Change is Gonna ComeSinnerman, and Mississippi Goddam.

This eye-opening musical was created by Tracey Power (Glory, Chelsea Hotel, and The Songs of Leonard Cohen), Co-creator and Director, and Krystle Dos Santos, an extraordinary actor, blues, jazz and soul singer and creator of “BLAK”, exploring Canada’s Black history.  

Related: Hey Viola! Viola Desmond – the Soundtrack of a Life

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