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Critic's picks: Letters Home; Frankenstein; Pastel Blank

Our critic picks his fave upcoming events in Victoria and beyond, including Letters Home, a Pacific Opera Victoria fundraiser for Ukrainian Village Transition House on Friday

LETTERS HOME

Where: Baumann Centre, 925 Balmoral Rd.
When: Friday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m.
Tickets: Pay What You Can (suggested donation of between $10 and $75)

Why: Letters Home is a Pacific Opera Victoria fundraiser supporting Ukrainian Village Transition House, a free Vancouver Island housing initiative for Ukrainians fleeing war. The event (which features traditional music from Ukraine) will include performances by Ukrainian lute players Georgiy Matviyiv and Maria Smolinska, pianist Robert Holliston, and acclaimed soprano Natalya Gennadi, who is currently onstage as Gerhilde in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Die Walküre. Highest recommendation.

FRANKENSTEIN

Where: Craigdarroch Castle, 1050 Joan Cres.
When: Oct. 19-28
Tickets: $33.21 from eventbrite.ca or 250-592-5323

Why: Victoria actor Jason Stevens is tapped to deliver a dozen performances of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at Craigdarroch Castle through Halloween, one of the pre-eminent solo showcases on any stage in the city each year. Stevens, who is classically-trained, will inhabit 10 characters in his abridged version of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel. Frankentstein will inhabit the fourth floor of the castle twice nightly on specific dates this month, but be warned — not only is it borderline scary, it’s very popular with audiences, so those wanting to attend a performance would be advised to purchase tickets well in advance. Note: Tickets to Frankenstein do not include a tour of the Castle.

PASTEL BLANK, THE BANKES BROTHERS, AND VOX REA

Where: Wicket Hall, 919 Douglas St.
When: Friday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30)
Tickets: $22.59 from eventbrite.ca

Why: Wicket Hall is home to an early show Friday that will kickstart your weekend off right. Co-headliners Pastel Blank and The Bankes Brothers, both of which are making waves at the moment, will be joined by Vancouver’s Vox Rea in the support slot, but each act is capable of great things in concert. National and international tours, U.S. press attention, and buzzed-about festival appearances make this a triple-bill no discerning indie-pop has any business skipping.

mdevlin@timescolonist.com