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Critic's picks: Dan Mangan, The Debaters, Mark Farina

Dan Mangan and Georgia Harmer play the Royal Theatre on Monday
Vancouver singer-songwriter Dan Mangan. Credit: Jonah Atkins

MUSIC: Dan Mangan with Georgia Harmer

Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St.

When: Monday, May 16, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $42.50-$60 through, by phone from 250-386-6121, or in person at the Royal McPherson box office (3 Centennial Sq.)

Why: Dan Mangan continues to impress, nearly a decade-and-a-half removed from his star-making club performance at Rifflandia in 2009 (he would ascend to greatness in 2012 with a still-discussed mainstage set that all but ensconced his legacy around these parts). The Vancouver singer-songwriter is between albums, but returns to Vancouver Island after an extended absence with three shows on tap: Sunday in Campbell River at the Tidemark Theatre, Monday in Victoria at the Royal Theatre and Tuesday in Nanaimo at the Port Theatre. The two-time Juno Award winner is not to be missed.

COMEDY: The Debaters Live on Tour

Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St.

When: Friday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $50.75-$73.75

Why: Steve Patterson has been involved with CBC Radio’s The Debaters since 2007, a run that has sharpened the host’s comic timing to an impeccable point. Patterson is the star of the show, no doubt, but there are many reasons why audiences continue to support the live debate/comedy spectacle. From its rotating cast of debaters (joining Patterson at the Royal Theatre on Friday are comedians Derek Seguin and Erica Sigurdson) to its of-the-moment topics, unpredictability is a big part of the appeal. Audience participation is encouraged, so come prepared to support your position during this enduring event.

MUSIC: Mark Farina with Kitakaze

Where: Capital Ballroom, 858 Yates St.

When: Friday, May 13, 10 p.m. (doors at 9)

Tickets: $31.93 (including fees and taxes)

Why: There was a period, during the late 1990s, when Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz series was the go-to source for West Coast trip-hop and acid jazz. In the years since, Farina has melded his fondness for Chicago house and Detroit techno into his San Franciscan vibes, which gives his DJ sets a somewhat curious allure — perfect for today’s electronic music environment. He’ll be playing to the faithful at the Capital Ballroom on Friday, but the Dallas-based beatmaker will likely have some surprises in store.