Culture: Elton John, Vancouver Folk Festival, Glengarry Glen Ross, & Cirque du Soleil “Kooza”

Will Truman meets David Mamet and Emily gets aerated. Plus: Sir Elton John pays a call to Prince George (no really!)? Music // Elton John

Don’t miss Elton John on his visit to B.C.

Will Truman meets David Mamet and Emily gets aerated. Plus: Sir Elton John pays a call to Prince George (no really!)

Music // Elton John

Tickets to Elton John’s first-ever Prince George appearance sold out in minutes and are now on offer from dodgy online touts for prices nearing $1,000. Which just goes to show there’s nothing more popular up north than a flamboyant homosexual pounding away on the old joanna. Of course, Elton is a more reserved, Disney-certified entertainer these days, suitable for an evening out with your gran in a way that he wasn’t back during his golden days of back-to-back pop hits, onstage duck outfits and mountains of backstage coke. This tour is entitled Rocket Man: the Greatest Hits Live, so expect some of that classic-era showmanship to surface. And if he does throw in a taste of his newer material, don’t rush for the washrooms; ol’ Reg Dwight has actually been on a creative upswing in recent years, putting out solid collections that prove he’s not ready to rest on his laurels just yet. July 16, CN Centre, Prince George; July 17, Prospera Centre, Kelowna,

Festival // 33rd Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

The Folk Fest has a Twitter account now, but that doesn’t mean that the old clichés no longer apply. Chances are you will still see dancers who resemble helicopters in distress, will still find yourself in close proximity to pungent blond dreadlocks and will still end up eating a veggie burger in a cloud of patchouli. And you’ll hear some Valdy. Other highlights announced so far on the typically eclectic bill include Haiti’s Boukman Eksperyans, soul survivor Bettye LaVette, the country/spaghetti-western/Mexican-radio swirl of Calexico, and Malinese electric-disco-ngoni outfit Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba (pictured right). Plus, inevitably, Connie Kaldor. July 16 to 18, Jericho Beach,

Theatre // Glengarry Glen Ross

Glengarry Glen Ross

When people talk about Glengarry Glen Ross these days, they usually talk about that scene – Alec Baldwin’s mesmerizingly brutal motivational speech – and with good reason: Baldwin is monstrously good, and he delivers an endlessly quotable précis of the evil that lies at the heart of commission-based free enterprise. But Mamet wrote that scene especially for James Foley’s film – it doesn’t appear in the original play – and in a fair world it wouldn’t overshadow the rest of the piece quite so much. It is, above all else, Mamet’s most entertaining work, loaded with juicy parts and juicier pre-parodic Mamet dialogue, and in its portrait of competition and despair in the world of high-pressure real estate sales it never seems to stop being relevant. Also of interest in this Arts Club production: seeing if ex-Will and Grace star Eric McCormack can play tough and amoral. July 22 to Aug. 22, Stanley Theatre,

Art // In Dialogue with Carr

Emily Carr at Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery finds another way to air out its Emily Carr catalogue, in this case juxtaposing the West Coast icon with contemporary artists from the region, including Douglas Coupland, Evan Lee, Liz Magor and Marianne Nicolson. Love her or consider her wildly overrated, there’s no denying the fact that she “had an important effect on establishing a visual identity for the province,” as the VAG puts it, and her imagery is something that almost every following visual artist on the coast has had to respond to in one way or the other. July 1, 2010, to Jan. 3, 2011, Vancouver Art Gallery,

Event // Cirque du Soleil “Kooza”

The venerable Cirque’s latest production is an attempt at de-Vegasification, returning to its roots as a touring road company and reducing its reliance on elaborate stage sets and special effects. Instead, the focus in Kooza is back on astounding feats of physical derring-do, and it climaxes with a showstopper in the second act called the Wheel of Death, which sounds suitably old-timey hair-raising. Of course, this is the Cirque, so there’s a story to be told and Felliniesque vignettes to unfold, but the leaner, faster approach of Kooza is getting Cirque some of its best reviews in years. July 15 to Aug. 22, Concord Place,

(A special offer to BCBusiness readers: corporate groups of 20 or more people can enjoy the following benefits: 35% off ticket prices, no service charges, priority reservation, and group seating  There are also Tapis Rouge (red carpet) opportunities for premium business events, which includes hors d’oeuvres, drinks and full service hospitality in an exclusive Cirque setting.)