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Critic's picks: The Slackers, Nat King Cole Christmas, and Cat & Nat

New York ska ensemble The Slackers return to Victoria to celebrate their 30th anniversary. credit: Joelle Andres


What: The Slackers

Where: Capital Ballroom, 858 Yates St.

When: Thursday, Dec. 2, 9 p.m.

Tickets: $23.50 from

Why: Manhattan six-piece The Slackers are touring North America to celebrate their three decades as a unit, and have a stop in Victoria pencilled-in for tonight. That a local show made it onto their itinerary was a forgone conclusion, given that they have been playing Vancouver Island for the better part of their time together. Led by longtime members Vic Ruggiero (keyboards, vocals) and Dave Hillyard (saxophone), The Slackers return to the Capital Ballroom for a show that won’t necessarily be rambunctious — it is capped at 250 people, per provincial health rules — but is expected to be memorable.


What: Home for the Holidays – A Nat King Cole Christmas

Where: Charlie White Theatre, 2243 Beacon Ave., Sidney

When: Tuesday, Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $45.15 from or 250-656-0275

Why: If you’re going to celebrate the mellifluous music of the one and only Nat King Cole, the month of Decemeber is an opportune time in which to do so. Cole is a Christmas staple, which makes Home for the Holidays – A Nat King Cole Christmas the perfect tonic for weary shoppers. James Rich, a Connecticut-bred, New York-based performer who played Cole in an Off-Broadway production based on the singer’s life, will give the Mary Winspear Centre stage a celebratory sheen on Tuesday, with a seasonal soundtrack unlike many others. The show is also scheduled for Nanaimo’s Port Theatre on Sunday.


What: Cat & Nat — In Real Life & Real Clothes

Where: McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Sq.

When: Monday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m. (doors at 7)

Tickets: $32 from or 250-386-6121

Why: The duo of Catherine Belknap and Natalie Telfer — Cat & Nat to their legion of fans — are the bad moms of social media, with videos about drinking (which they dubbed “quarantini” during the COVID-19 lockdown), parenting, drinking, relationships, and more drinking. The longtime friends are on the road with a multi-media show that mixes music, dancing, and party-themed antics aimed at supporting and celebrating women. With seven kids between them, there’s plenty of truth mixed into their humour.