Picks of the Week – June 26, 2019

It’s already the end of June but brings us to the first long weekend of Summer and all the entertainment that Canada Day brings to the week’s picks.

Wu Tang Clan plays Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Jazz: The 34th Vancouver International Jazz Festival runs until July 1st with hundred of artists, performances and events, many free, taking place all over downtown Vancouver’s parks, theatres, restaurants and other venues

Arts: The 11th Annual Queer Arts Festival continues through June 28th at Roundhouse Community Centre

Dance: Let’s Hear It For Yaletown brings free Jazz and Dancing to Bill Curtis Square from noon – 2pm & 5-7:30pm Monday to Friday, the perfect way to spend your lunch time or relax after work.

Musical: Adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel about the precocious, pint-sized, imaginative student, Matilda the Musical is running at Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until July 14th.

Moms: A play you and your mom can enjoy Mom’s The Word 3 – Nest Half Empty, is playing at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, until July 20th

Pride: Surrey Pride is celebrating 20 years with Pride Party on the Plaza, a family-friendly festival at Surrey Central City, Saturday June 29th 3pm-8pm

Bard On The Beach
Bard On The Beach

Tents: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer

Diva: Thursday, stage legend & Golden Globe-winning actress Bernadette Peters joins the VSO, at the Orpheum, for a show filled with classic Broadway tunes, delivered in Peters’ unique and inimitable style.

Queen: The VSO presents a 100th anniversary gift to the community with a free outdoor concert, featuring Queen Latifah alongside the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Saturday at Deer Lake Park.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Symphony In The Park

Park: On Sunday, June 30th the VSO and Music Director Otto Tausk return to Deer Lake for its 32nd annual free summer performance Symphony in the Park

Bats: Vancouver Canadians host a 6 game home stand against Spokane and Hillsboro from June 28 – July 3, including Fireworks nights on June 29 and Canada Day.

Puppets: Museum of Anthropologie’s Shadows, Strings and Other Things features a broad array of puppets, old and new, from 15 countries across Asia, Europe, and the Americas until October 14

SoapOpera: Vancouver TheatreSports presents its newest show, Improv Mondays with Michelle – Fake Stories, Real Improvisers hosted by the character Michelle from the popular web comedic soap opera Michelle’s.

Canada Day Fireworks over Canada Place

Dominion: Celebrate Canada Day at any of the community celebrations around Metro Vancouver; including Canada Day at Canada Place, O Canada Day at Granville Island, Surrey Canada Day at Bill Reid Millenium Amphitheatre, Steveston Salmon Festival, West Van Canada Day at John Lawson Park, Historic Canada Day at Burnaby Village Museum, to name just a few of the events.

Discover Robert Rauschenberg at Vancouver Art Gallery.

Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980
Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980

This summer, the Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist. The presentation features billboard-sized prints, intimate drawings, collages, sculptural works and large-scale fabric constructions from one of the most experimental periods of Rauschenberg’s career.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery is fortunate to count many significant works by important international artists in its permanent collection, and our considerable holdings of Robert Rauschenberg are a highlight,” says Daina Augaitis, Interim Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Rauschenberg’s radical approach to art making blurred the lines between mediums, demonstrating his incredible ingenuity in mixing materials and imagery. We are pleased to share a selection of influential works by this artist, with a focus on his collages and mixed-media pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, many of which paved the way for his own thoughts around art making and inspired others to follow his experimental trajectory.” 

This exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery features a number of significant examples of Rauschenberg’s collages and multi-faceted prints. Such works combine newspaper and magazine clippings, material salvaged from the streets of New York, and his own photographs to create fragmented, layered compositions that unravel the cultural and political milieu of the time. Key works include Autobiography (1968), a monumental three-panel composition from the Gallery’s collection that represents the culmination of the aesthetics and methodologies that occupied Rauschenberg for a decade. The work, which details his biographical history through overlapping self-portraits and objects of personal significance, was the first fine art print made on a billboard press. Another important print is Sky Garden (1969), also from the Gallery’s collection, the largest work in his Stoned Moon series, which emerged from an invitation by NASA to witness the launch of the Apollo 11 Mission. Also included are examples of work Rauschenberg produced after relocating to Captiva Island, Florida, in 1971, when he began to investigate the natural and the handmade, and embrace a more overtly abstract aesthetic, as well as works that use fabric as a support for printed imagery.

See these works and more when Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980 opens July 6th, on show at Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby, until October 27, 2019.

Bard On The Beach : Shakespeare In Love

Shakespeare in Love Charlie Gallant & Ghazal Azarbad Image: Emily Cooper

Most patrons of Bard On The Beach, have a love for Shakespeare but for the 30th Anniversary season, the Festival has flipped the script to present Shakespeare In Love.

Directed by Daryl Cloran, (director of The Beatles themed As You Like It from Bard’s 2018 season), this adaptation of the 1998 Academy Award-winning film of the same name, Shakespeare In Love takes the audience behind the scenes to look, with creative historical liberties, at a period in Will Shakespeare’s life. Suffering from writer’s block while trying to write his next play, “Romeo & Ethel The Pirates Daughter”, Will must overcome battling producers, actors egos, and noble rivals for the love of his muse. Although Shakespeare In Love is not written by the Bard, Lee Hall has adapted the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard into a fast-paced comedy, filled with the familiar tropes and themes found in original works. The play within the play unwraps the script of Romeo & Juliet, as it’s supposedly being written by Will, corresponding with his love affair with muse Viola.

Shakespeare In Love
l-r: Chirag Naik, Jennifer Lines & Paul Moniz de Sá
Photo: Tim Matheson

When remaking a well known and acclaimed work, it can often be difficult to not be compared to the original actors in the source material, but the company of Bard on the Beach makes these characters, both historic and fictitious, their own. Charlie Gallant is charming as befuddled but romantic leading man, Will Shakespeare. In her dual turn as Will’s love interest, Viola de Lessep and her male alter-ego Thomas Kent the actor, Ghazal Azarbad makes you forget about Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Actress performance. Regal Jennifer Lines channels Dame Judy Dench as her majesty Queen Elizabeth I. Bard vets Scott Bellis, Warren Kimmel, Andrew McNee, Kamyar Pazandeh and Chirag Naik chew up the scenery to provide some great comedic moments in contrast to Will and Viola’s Romeo & Juliet love story.

Ghazal Azarbad & Charlie Gallant Photo: Tim Matheson

Shakespeare In Love incorporates enough of Romeo & Juliet to keep Bard lovers happy while bringing a contemporary take on Shakespeare to the BMO Mainstage at Bard on the Beach.

Shakespeare In Love plays in repertoire with Taming of the Shrew at Bard on the Beach, under the Tents at Vanier Park (behind Museum of Vancouver) until September 18, 2019. Information and tickets are available online at bardonthebeach.org.

Indian Summer Festival brings local & international arts together

The 9th annual Indian Summer Festival returns to Vancouver, from July 4 to 14, bringing locally and internationally renowned artists to venues around the city. With the provocative theme of ‘Tricksters, Magicians, and Oracles,’ the 2019 festival lineup features futurists, novelists, stand-up comedians, musicians and storytellers from around the world.

“What we need more than ever in the world today is a way out of the tumult that seems to surround us. For our ninth edition, we’ve invited an incredible range of artists who do that, and who are either tricksters, magicians or oracles in their own way. So they give us a way out through laughter, or conjure up a new reality for us to reach for, or light a path forward with their prophecies,” says Sirish Rao, Indian Summer Festival’s Artistic Director. “Our roster this year includes some of the most influential artists in the world. The festival, as always, is a model for what the world could look like, if we came together with all the power of human diversity, innovation, creativity, and wisdom.”

Indian Summer Festival

From Grammy award-winning classical guitarists to genre-bending DJs, razor sharp comedians, and award-winning novelists this year’s programming spans literary dialogues, debates, performance art, musical collaborations, interactive public art, and culinary experiences.

Indian Summer Festival has made its mark on Vancouver, becoming one of the city’s leading cultural events with a reputation for unusual pairings of the local with the international and the traditional with the contemporary. By creating a space in Vancouver for local and global conversations, and dissolving cultural borders, Indian Summer Festival challenges and invites artists and audiences to come together in the spirit of dialogue. 

The festival begins with much sought after Indian Summer Festival Opening Party on July 4th at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Wrapping up July 14th with Transformation Tea Party at Museum of Vancouver. In between the festival packs in dozens of events, talks, art installations, concerts and more. 

Find out more details and the full schedule for Indian Summer Festival 2019 visit on line at indiansummerfest.ca

Get Jazzed for Vancouver International Jazz Festival

The Roots

Get ready for another spectacular 10 days of world class music as TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival – turns 34 tomorrow! The Festival is British Columbia’s largest music and arts event, with 1,800 artists, 300 performances, 35 venues, and 150+ free shows, taking place June 21 to July 1, 2019.

This year’s Festival lineup includes: Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, Herbie Hancock, The Comet Is Coming, Jonathan Wilson, Marquis Hill Blacktet, The Suffers, Elisapie, Patricia Barber, Makaya McCraven, Jacob Collier, Melissa Aldana, Five Alarm Funk, Too Many Zooz, Donny McCaslin, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, plus many more.

Wu-Tang Clan

Many performances are free or by donation, and the majority are under $40, taking place in venues range from small intimate locales like the new The 2nd Floor at Water Street Café, to midsized halls like The Imperial, and larger Queen Elizabeth Theatre stages. In addition the entertainment finds its way to two spectacular outdoor stages, downtown and at David Lam Park to make sure the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is accessible to everyone.

 For show details, artists bios and tickets visit coastaljazz.ca

Picks of the Week : June 19, 2019

The first official weekend of summer kicks the season off with a bounty of entertaining picks

Eat: Tonight, take a bite out of central Richmond as Tasting Plates; Richmond Edition, visits 75 West Coast Grill, Cavu Kitchen Bar, Harold’s Bistro & Bar & 38 Sampal Korean BBQ.

Arts: The 11th Annual Queer Arts Festival continues through June 28th at Roundhouse Community Centre

Musical: Adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel about the precocious, pint-sized, imaginative student, Matilda the Musical is running at Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until July 14th.

SoapOpera: Vancouver TheatreSports presents its newest show, Improv Mondays with Michelle – Fake Stories, Real Improvisers hosted by the character Michelle from the popular web comedic soap opera Michelle’s.

Reggae: Friday night, the River Rock Show Theatre welcomes the distinctive voice of Shaggy to the stage.

Moms: You don’t have to be a mom to enjoy Mom’s The Word 3 – Nest Half Empty, playing at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, you just have to have one.

Summer: Celebrate the Solstice at Museum of Vancouver and H.R. Macmillan Space Centre’s Perspectives on the Solstice summer kick-off event on June 21st.

Jazz: The 34th Vancouver International Jazz Festival runs June 21 to July 1st with hundred of artists, performances and events, many free, taking place all over Vancouver

Songwriter: Saturday singer/songwriter Josh Ritter plays Vogue Theatre with guests Penny and Sparrow

Bard On The Beach

Tents: Another season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer

Match: Whitecaps FC return to BC Place to play host to Colorado Rapids Saturday evening

Country: Award winning country artist Terri Clark performs Sunday night at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver

Puppets:Museum of Anthropologie’s Shadows, Strings and Other Things features a broad array of puppets, old and new, from 15 countries across Asia, Europe, and the Americas until October 14

Bard On The Beach : Taming Of The Shrew

The 30th Season of Bard on the Beach is underway, with Taming of the Shrew starting the season under the tents at Vanier Park. There are few spots in Vancouver nicer to spend a summer evening, add in a new adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s classic comedies by a brilliant company and it’s a near perfect theatre experience.

Bard on the Beach Taming of the Shrew Image: Emily Cooper

Taming of the Shrew tells the story of the fair Bianca and her sister, foul Katherine (Kate), and their suitors. Lady Baptista, the sister’s mother, has decreed that Bianca may not marry until after the elder Katherine is suitably married, much to the chagrin of Bianca’s many admirers. Seeing mutual benefit from working together, Bianca’s beaus conspire to find a husband for the shrewish Kate. Success comes with the arrival of Petruchio, who, in need of her large dowry, steps up to the challenge. Upon marriage, Petruchio ‘breaks’ Kate with a series of psychological gamesmanship and returns to Padua victorious in his taming of the shrew…or was he?

Shifted from late 16th Century Italy to the late 1800s America West, Director Lois Anderson has created a play that fits well into its new era. Costume Designer Mara Gottler and Set Designer Cory Sincennes have crafted a look straight out of Gunsmoke.

Jennifer Lines & Andrew McNee | Photo: Tim Matheson
Taming Of The Shrew
Jennifer Lines & Andrew McNee
Photo: Tim Matheson

Leading the cast, Jennifer Lines and Andrew McNee play off of each nicely as Kate and Petruchio. Ms Lines’ intense and dramatic Kate contrasts with McNee’s comedic skills and mugging. Kate Besworth’s sweet, giggling Bianca was a contrast to Line’s abrupt character. Kamyar Pazandeh’s Lucentio, stood out amongst Bianca’s many suitors. Portraying his servant Triano, Chirag Naik is always dependable, both the character and actor.

At 2.5 hours, the light comedy is nicely paced to keep the show moving and manages to avoid feeling long. See for yourself why Taming of the Shrew makes for an enjoyable Spaghetti Western / Shakespearean mash-up.

Taming of the Shrew runs, in repertoire with Shakespeare In Love, until September 21, 2019 at Bard on the Beach tents at Vanier Park (behind Museum of Vancouver). Information and tickets are available online at bardonthebeach.org.