In the Spotlight

Composer Philip Glass takes centre stage at the Chan. Plus: precocious spellers hit the Belfry, and Ballet BC finds new life at the QE

MusicSolo recital by Philip Glass Although perhaps best known for the haunting music behind dramas such as The Hours, Kundun and Notes on a Scandal, Philip Glass is no John Williams or Danny Elfman, a cloistered composer of the silver screen. The breadth of Glass’s accomplishments and his influence on the classical musical genre reach far beyond: in addition to his almost 40 film scores, the 73-year-old Baltimorean has written more than 20 operas, eight symphonies, eight concertos and various solo works. This concert at the Chan Centre sees the minimalist master focusing on the latter, with Glass on piano performing his recent études, among other works. Chan Centre, April 5,

TheatreThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee There is something both charming and frightening about young people in competition. Whether it’s a beauty pageant, basketball championship or spelling bee, the story of overachieving youth becomes intertwined with the story of manipulative adults: parents and teachers competing vicariously through their charges. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a mouthful of a musical comedy that won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, follows a similar narrative: a fictional spelling bee in some fictional Middle American school, with six quirky preteens battling for the mantle of best speller. In the Broadway version, random audience members were invited on stage to compete alongside the six youngsters; we’ll see if they follow suit in Victoria. Belfry Theatre, Victoria, April 13 to May 16,

DanceRe/Naissance by Ballet BC It’s been a rocky road back from bankruptcy, but Vancouver’s flagship dance company, Ballet BC, officially relaunches this month with a dynamite triple-header. Re/Naissance features Vancouver premieres of works from three internationally renowned artists: Herman Schmerman, by ex-Ballet Frankfurt choreographer William Forsythe; Things I Told Nobody, by Israeli hotshot Itzik Galili; and Short Works: 24, by crowd-favourite local girl Crystal Pite. Under the new artistic direction of Emily Molnar, Ballet BC is making one thing clear: while the classics still have their place, the company will be carving a niche for itself with current and edgier fare. April 15 to 17, Queen Elizabeth Theatre,