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 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.

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 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.

Discover New Releases From Shari Ulrich & Mike Bryden

This week finds a pair of artists with record release events, veteran singer/songwriter Shari Ulrich launches her 9th studio album while children’s entertainer Mike Bryden makes his debut.

First up, Shari Ulrich celebrates 45 years as a touring recording artist and player (violin, mandolin, piano, guitar, dulcimer and harmonica) with the Borealis Records release of her 9th solo album Back to Shore, and a special album release concert at North Vancouver’s Centennial Theatre on June 18th.

Back to Shore stands out as one of Ulrich’s finest recordings, featuring 12 new songs that touch on themes ranging from love, infidelity and space travel, to a joyous celebration of Canada, her adopted country. 

A multiple Juno award winner, Shari Ulrich’s rich warm voice, dynamic stagecraft and accomplished musicianship as a soloist and bandleader, as well as with the legendary Pied Pumkin, The Hometown Band, UHF, and BTU, among others, have garnered her enthusiastic fans, awards, and accolades from across Canada and around the world.

Join her for the Back to Shore release concert Tuesday June 18th at Centennial Theatre. Tickets are available online at centennialtheatre.com

Later in the week, children’s entertainer Mike Bryden releases his debut album, Sing Song Sayings at an event at Havana Theatre, Sunday June 23rd.

In Bryden’s previous life he was a successful creative director with his own Vancouver advertising firm. Seeking a new direction for his creativity, as a children’s entertainer he brings his passion for a strong metaphor and has found his calling in “kid-splaining” proverbs through storytelling.

Sing Song Sayings is a beautifully-crafted concept album for children that sets commonly-used expressions to music in a delightful new way. This unique collection of tunes will captivate young listeners and parents alike. Through creative storytelling and catchy melodies, each song sheds a playful light on the lessons hidden within every day sayings. Intelligent, witty (and bilingual), Mike Bryden’s debut album has found the balance between entertainment and discovery. Mike Bryan performances are not your typical children’s concert, entertaining blend of songs, stories, and live drawings that he brings to life through projections and an oversized sketchbook. Mike’s multi-disciplinary performances literally draw everyone in and keeps them humming long after the show is wrapped.

To celebrate the album release, Mike will be performing on Sunday, June 23 at the Havana Theatre with 2 shows, at 11am and 2pm, perfectly timed for family visits. Seating is limited at Havana Theatre so book early.  Find tickets and more information at mikebryden.com

Celebrate the Solstice at HR MacMillan Space Centre & MOV

The recent weather makes it hard to believe, but we still have one more week of spring. The Summer Solstice, next Friday, is a significant day for many cultures worldwide, and the Museum of Vancouver and H.R. MacMillan Space Centre welcome you to celebrate and learn about solstice with a 19+ summer kick-off party; Perspectives on the Solstice.

In honour of the longest day of the year, the two Vanier Park venues open the doors of their unique building for an engaging partnership event filled with activities, lectures, traditional storytelling, Star Theatre shows, exhibitions, drinks, games, music, food and so much more. 

First Nations knowledge holders Woody Morrison and Latash Nahanee will perform Solstice themed storytelling. Participants will learn how the Haida and Squamish approach and celebrate Solstice on this day, one that is now recognized as National Indigenous Peoples Day. Knowledge holders will be joined by Dr. Cecil Konijnendijk, Professor at the UBC Faculty of Forestry and Keely Langford, Park Interpreter at Metro Vancouver Parks to animate biological interpretations of Solstice and seasonal change in our city. 

Grab a drink, wander through MOV feature exhibitions, drift into the Space Centre where you will learn more about why our planet has seasons, how seasons affect other planets in the solar system, and how we will search for life on other worlds in the galaxy. 

Enjoy the featured Planetarium Show, Solstices in the Solar System. H.R. MacMillan Space Centre Astronomer Kat Kelly will take you on a visual journey through with a cosmic perspective on solstices and seasons through the solar system, and what that may tell us in our search for life in the universe.

Demonstrations on how we have exoplanets, their orbits, seasons, solstices, and which of these might be suitable for life will be shown at GroundStation Canada and the Cosmic Courtyard will be animated with art stations and interactive displays.

Tickets includes admission to all this plus access to the special Solstice Planetarium show and all MOV exhibitions. The 19+ event will also feature music, a cash bar, and on-site food truck options, like Roasted Revolution and Taste of Heaven. Do not miss out on this memorable premiere event celebrating the start of Summer!

Perspectives on the Solstice takes place Friday June 21, 2019 from 7pm to 12am, at H.R. MacMillan Space Centre + Museum of Vancouver, at Vanier Park. Tickets are available online at Eventbrite. Today, June 14th, is the final day for early bird $25 tickets, regular fee is $30.

Queer Arts Festival celebrate rEvolution

The 11th Annual Queer Arts Festival (QAF) opens June 17th, celebrating Vancouver’s queer arts, culture and history. Themed rEvolution, QAF 2019 closes on June 28th, the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots which fittingly brought together the queer artists in New York’s Greenwich Village to push back against oppression.

As it’s done for the last decade Queer Arts Festival brings together another line up of stellar parties, artists and events. Multimedia, performing and traditional visual works from emerging and established artists come together at Roundhouse Community Centre.

Art Party! on June 18th features the QAF curated, by Curator Elwood Jimmy, Relational rEvolution exhibition which kicks off the Festival. Guests can also catch a glimpse of the other exhibitions, events and performance that make up the 2019 line up.

Closing on June 28th, QAF features a performance of the Queer Songbook Orchestra before celebrating the half-century since the Stonewall riots, and the start of the modern pride movement, with Stonewall 50 Glitter is Forever. The Vancouver Pride Society, ZeeZee Theatre and The Frank Theatre come together to revel in the queer rEvolution.

Queer Arts Festival runs June 17 – 28, 2019, centred on the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown. For full details of the 2019 line-up and ticket information visit queerartsfestival.com

Picks of the Week – June 12, 2019

We’re into the start of another hot spell, and the weather is pretty good too! Let’s see what hot picks are on this week!

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.

Global: The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra’s (VICO) 2019 Global Soundscapes Festival  wraps up tomorrow, June 13th

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.

Dad: Join Vancouver TheatreSports on Sunday, June 16 at 2:00pm for The SuperDad Show, a special matinee performance in celebration dear ol’ Dad.

Popera: Top-selling solo classical singer Andrea Bocelli performs at Rogers Arena on Thursday June 13th.

Bard on the Beach
Taming of the Shrew

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

Pop: Canadian superstar Shawn Mendes brings his tour to Rogers Arena on Friday June 14th

Aeriosa
Aeriosa – Grand Firs

Aerial: The first-ever Vancouver International Vertical Dance Summit, wraps up June 15th, presented by Vancouver-based dance company, Aeriosa, brings events to SFU Woodwards (atrium), Van Dusen Botanical Gardens (Douglas Firs at Great Lawn), and Guinness Tower (outside).

Ball: The BC Lions football season gets under way Saturday when they play host to Winnipeg Jets at BC Place on Saturday

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

Delia Brett & Daelik MACHiNENOiSY
We Are By Which We Are Moved In Return

Dance: Until June 15, at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, MACHiNENOiSY & SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs co-present We Are By Which We Are Moved In Return which seeks to acknowledge the unseen forces, organic and inorganic, that make us and move us.

Vancouver Foodster Best Taco Challenge 2019 Results

The results are in! People have tasted and voted for their favourites in the 6th Vancouver Foodster Taco Challenge .  Over the past weeks, public and a panel of media judges, including myself, have been tasting and voting for our favourite tacos from a selection of participating eateries around Metro Vancouver.

As with other Vancouver Foodster challenges, chefs were invited to be as creative as they like in order to highlight an already existing menu item or they could create a completely unique dish for their Taco Challenge entry.

Little Mexico Cantina’s
Tacos Gobernador Estilo Sinaloa

For the 2019 Taco Challenge, four chefs rolled into action and wrapped up some tasty tacos, resulting in an array of flavours to sample.  The tacos were served at six different eateries from all across the region, from Chilliwack to Steveston, to North Vancouver and Cambie Village.  The public was encouraged to try any or all the Taco Challenge entries and then vote on Vancouver Foodster’s website for their favourites to be crowned People’s Choice Taco.  The media judges were also busy trying all the selections to choose the Judges’ Choice Winner.  Steveston’s recently reopened Little Mexico Cantina came out on top of both polls with their Tacos Gobernador Estilo Sinaloa , a creative combination flavours familiar to Sinaloa, Mexico.

Check out all the results of the Vancouver Foodster Best Taco Challenge and see make you mouth water by following #TacoChallengeYVR to see the tasty tacos on social media, then head to the eateries to get your own!

Playland Nights returns for 2019

Playland Nights is returning for another summer of adults only entertainment, beginning July 5th. Every Friday evening from 7pm to midnight in July will bring dedicated, 19+ activities and entertainment line-up to make you forget about heading to a night club. 

Dance the evening away to guest DJs spinning tunes under the twinkling lights, while enjoying Playland-inspired adult beverages, specialty cocktails, craft beer and wine to sip while taking in the amusement park’s activities. 

This year, watch out for the roaming Underground Circus crew who are just one of the entertainment features for 2019. They are a roaming group of acrobats who bring with them a roaming Circus a la Carte full of circus menu items. The troupe will interact with guests to show off their best balancing, juggling or acrobatic moves, and maybe even get visitors to join in their acts (where appropriate). 

At 8 pm each Friday-in-July evening, things heat up with Drum N Dirty, a live percussion DJ who drums to reimagined and remixed party music. 

At 9 pm, guests can dance along to Samba Fusion, a group of Brazilian samba showgirls who are known for lighting up an event with their carnival costumes and high-impact energy. 

America’s Got Talent and MTV’s stunt magician, comedian extraordinaire and Instagram influencer Wes Barkerwill be on stage at 10 pm for each of the evenings. Hailing from Vancouver, BC, Barker is known for his ability to interact with the crowd and fool even the best of them including the iconic magician team Penn & Teller– as seen on Netflix.

Finally rounding out the stage entertainment is none other than the Dancing Teasing Fabulousness team whose Dezi Desire and Mister Nickel inspired burlesque show is the perfect evening entertainment cap. 

Of course, a visit to Playland wouldn’t be complete without the rides. More than 20 of Playland’s games and 20 of the park’s favourite rides will be open each evening, including the Flume, with its40-foot drop, The Beast, with its unparalleled g-forces, and the heart-stopping Hellevator. 

New this year is the VIP Experience, VIP ticket holders will have their very-own exclusive magical journeys in the park with a different theme for each of the Fridays in July to choose from. With a VIP ticket pass, they will receive express park entry, access to a VIP bar and the ability to skip-the-line ONCE at Playland’s most iconic rides like the wooden rollercoaster, Atmosfear, The Beast, Pirate Ship, Music Express, Hellevator, Breakdance and even the new Sea to Sky Swin

Find out more and get tickets for Playland Nights at pne.ca/playland-nights