A return to Chelsea Hotel : The Songs Of Leonard Cohen

Adrian Glynn McMorran
Photo: Emily Cooper

As the Firehall Arts Centre celebrates its 35th Anniversary, it brings back one of its most popular shows, Chelsea Hotel : The Songs Of Leonard Cohen.

The musical follows a writer who has checked into the famed Chelsea Hotel seeking inspiration and the words to his next prose. As he reminisces about his past romances to find his muse he is haunted by a love that he cannot, but longs to, forget.  The writer’s memories and hotel room are brought to life through Leonard Cohen’s poetic lyrics.  Creator Tracey Power and musical arranger/director Steve Charles allow the audience to enter the writer’s thoughts play out like a lucid dream.

l-r: Kayla, Steve, Ben, Marlene, Krystle
Photo: Emily Cooper

Adrian Glynn McMorran is the perfect embodiment of the writer’s angst,From tender lullabies to full out rock opera he is able to project the emotions of each tune whether he’s being sung to or singing.  Ben Elliot stands out as the writer’s conscience, helping him keep striving to find the words he’s seeking. Kayla Nickel, Krystle Dos Santos playing his various lovers, from flirtatious minxes to sultry sirens, while Marlene Ginader is the love he can’t forget. Along with Steve Charles all the actors sing and play seventeen different instruments on stage, immersing the audience in the musical.

Marlene Ginader + Adrian Glynn McMorran Photo: Emily Cooper

The first remount since the bard’s passing, the show packs an added emotion when hearing the memorable and thought-provoking lyrics from Everybody Knows, and Closing Time, to First We Take Manhattan, and Bird On A Wire, any many more. Of course no omnibus of Cohen’s music would be complete without the inclusion of Hallelujah.  With JUNO Week in Vancouver celebrating Canadian Music, it seems especially appropriate for the Firehall Arts Centre to remount this love letter to Cohen’s music

Chelsea Hotel: The Songs Of Leonard Cohen plays at Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E. Cordova St. until April 21, 2018. Visit firehallartscentre.ca for showtimes and ticket information.

Made On Salt Spring comes to Vancouver

For many visitors to Salt Spring Island, the Saturday Market is a favourite destination on the Gulf Island. However, it’s not always simple to get away to check out the market and island but this weekend there’s good news, as Made On Salt Spring comes to Heritage Hall in Vancouver.

Made on Salt Spring, a curated indoor market, visits Vancouver tomorrow March 23 until Sunday March 25, featuring the products of dozens of makers, creators and designers bringing a piece of the “Rock” with them.

Made on Salt Spring provides a unique opportunity to meet a talented community of inspirational creators the week before the Saturday Market opens, for the season, on the Island.  “We’re very excited to bring Made on Salt Spring to the city to showcase the best of the Island to a mainland audience,” says Made on Salt Spring organizer and artisan Álvaro Sánchez. “We live in a close-knit, supportive community and this is an opportunity for Vancouverites to enjoy the charm of Salt Spring’s rural ambience at a relaxed indoor market where there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

Here’s your chance to discover the wares of woodworkers, designers, jewellers, weavers, and artisans.

Some of the featured Salt Spring artisans include:

·      Wheel-thrown, hand-painted functional stoneware from B’s Pottery
·      Original oil paintings, limited edition prints and cards by Stefanie Denz
·      Salt Spring Wild Cider from local wild apples;
·      Traditionally fermented vinegars from Salt Spring Island Artisan Vinegar
·      Organic baby clothes & kids’ tees from Boogaloo Bubbywear
·      Hand-crafted all-natural soaps and shampoos from The Bubble and Squeak Soapery
·      Handcrafted, small batch vodka and gin from Salt Spring Shine Craft Distillery 

plus many more unique Made On Salt Spring fine finds.

Made On Salt Spring runs March 23 to March 25 at Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street.
Doors Open:
4pm – 9pm Friday, March 23
10am – 6pm Saturday, March 24
11am – 5pm Sunday, March 25

Admission is $5 for adults, and free for kids under 12 years. The first 25 people through the door each day will take home goodie bags filled with samples and coupons from island vendors, with 10 additional bags up for grabs throughout the day.  

Dining Out For Life 2018 Tonight

What’s for dinner? Why not eat out tonight and do good while dining out.
Today, Thursday March 22, 2018 Dining Out For Life from Fraser Valley to Whistler and all across Metro Vancouver helps support people living with HIV/AIDS in your community.

From Bravo Restaurant in Chilliwack, El Santo in New Westminster, to Bowen Island Pizza in North Vancouver, The Reef Restaurant on Commercial Drive in Vancouver to HY’s Steakhouse, or Avalanche Pizza in Whistler,  plus dozens of restaurants are taking part in BC’s largest restaurant fundraiser. Visit the Dining Out For Life website to see all the participating restaurants near you.

You can give just by eating, dine out at one of the participating restaurants, and the restaurant in turn donates 25% of their day’s food sales to A Loving Spoonful.  The proceeds of Dining Our For Life go towards providing A Loving Spoonful’s free programs and services like delivering meals to those affected by HIV/AIDS, nutrition and meal planning, Easter Sunday Chef Dinner, Family Pantry Program, Snack Packs and more.

Picks of the Week – March 21, 2018

Spring has sprung in Vancouver, let these picks put a lively spring in your step as you get out and about this week.

Wine: Vinoscenti Vineyards is celebrating the Spring Equinox & German style wines tonight with a special evening of tasting and entertainment at the Surrey winery

Junos:  The 2018 JUNO Awards fill the city with music and celebrations throughout the week.

Film: The Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film brings the best of BC Film to Maple Ridge ACT Centre this weekend.

Kicks: Vancouver Whitecaps FC play host to LA Galaxy on Saturday March 24 at BC Place

Comedy: The Gateway Theatre presents the romantic comedy I Lost My Husband, already sold out until March 24th

Market: Made On Saltspring brings Saltspring Island’s famed Saturday market to Vancouver’s Heritage Hall this weekend, explore the artisans, crafters, designers and builders March 23-25

Country: Canadian country singer/songwriter Brett Kissel comes to the Vogue Theatre on Saturday night

Cohen: The Firehall Arts Centre celebrates its 35th Anniversary with its award winning Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen playing until April 21st.

Dance: It’s the last chance to catch world class dance before the Vancouver International Dance Festival wraps up this Saturday.

Reel Wheels
Sequence L-R: Jake Anthony, Amy Amantea, Krista Skwarok, Byron Noble
Photo: Tim Matheson

DNA: Realwheels Theatre presents Sequence, a thought provoking drama, at Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver until March 24th

Haida: Until June 15, Museum of Vancouver has a new exhibition, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture.

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s new exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th.

Family: As one show closed another opens at The Arts Club,  the emotional new family drama, Forget About Tomorrow, from a creator of Mom’s The Word, wraps up at Goldcorp Stage at BMO Theatre Centre on Sunday, while another family drama opens, the Tony-Award winner, The Humans takes to the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.

Fabulist Theatre brings Once On This Island to Vancouver

Fabulist Theatre, a local company known for diverse casting of its shows, is bringing Once On This Island to Vancouver this Spring.  This is the first Vancouver production of Once On This Island, a revival is currently playing on Broadway at Circle In The Square Theatre.

“The Godsquad” L-R: Yoo Ra Kang, Ricardo Pequenino, Alexandra Quispe, Sari Rosofsky
Photo: Tina Clelland

Based on the 1985 novel “My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl” by Rosa Guy, Once On This Island is a one-act musical, set in the French Antilles.  With elements of Romeo & Juliet and a magical touch of The Little Mermaid, the musical tells the story of Ti Moune, an orphaned local girl, who, with a little help of the Island’s local Gods, uses the power of love to bring together the island’s different classes.

In casting this production, director Damon Bradley Jang drew from Vancouver’s diverse talent pool to find his actors. Jang says “we wanted to cast based on the culturally diverse community of performers who make up Greater Vancouver and might otherwise be underrepresented in the city. We fully acknowledge that the story is a largely set in Haiti but we wanted to use the story as a platform to address the more universal themes of love, death, and social prejudice. In the agreement, the writers have stipulated that the show can be done with a multi ethnic cast as long as these themes are presented.

Michael Gnansounou and Brianna Clark
Photo: Tina Clellan

Traditionally, the show focuses heavily on the division of class indicated by paleness of skin.  The native islander ‘peasants’ were  darker skinned and the French “Grand hommes” were lighter skinned.  However, in our version, our Ti Moune (Brianna Clark) is ‘pale skin’ in comparison to our Daniel (Michael Gnansounou) who is ‘darker skin’ which is a bit of a nontraditional casting choice.”

Fabulist Theatre presents Once On This Island at the Redgate Revue Stage on Granville Island,  from April 6th to 14th, 2018.  Tickets are available now online at brownpapertickets.com

2018 JUNO Week In Vancouver Begins

This week, music fills the streets and venues of Vancouver as the 2018 JUNO Awards come to the city.  Returning to Vancouver for the first time since the 2009 Junos, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS) brings a week of music and celebrations back to the city. Starting with the JUNO Cup Jam at The Imperial, the week caps off with Michael Bublé hosting the 2018 JUNO Awards, broadcast on CBC Sunday evening.

Events will appeal to all ages and budgets as CARAS makes the JUNOS accessible for all members of the family.

Events taking place during JUNO Week include:

March 22: JUNO Cup Jam – local faves, The Odds lead an all-star hootenanny at The Imperial in support of MusiCounts.

March 23: JUNO Cup celebrity hockey game supporting MusiCounts at Bill Copeland Sport Centre, Burnaby

March 23 – 24: JUNOfest  presented by CBC Music offers nearly 100 acts performing in over a dozen venues around Vancouver for two nights of unparalleled entertainment from the nominees and local performers. 

March 23- 24: Let’s Hear It! Live at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza is a free all-ages event to let everyone get the opportunity to take in the music of the JUNOS

March 23 – 25: Let’s Hear It! @ The Carnegie free lunchtime performances at The Carnegie Community Centre brings free music to the Downtown Eastside.

March 25: JUNO Songwriters Circle is a unique opportunity for fans to hear stories behind the song of JUNO nominated performers; Iskwe, Jim Cuddy, Rose Cousins, Ruth B, Scott Helman. Joined by hosts Jann Arden, Bob Rock, Sunday afternoon at The Orpheum.

March 25: The 2018 JUNO Awards, Micheal Bublé hosts the awards show on Sunday at 5pm at Rogers Arena with performances schedule by Arkells, Arcade Fire, Lights, City & Colour and more.

Realwheels Theatre presents Sequence

As luck would have it, Realwheels Theatre is presenting Sequence by Arun Lakra at the Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver, until March 24th.

It’s not uncommon for a piece of theatre to be inquisitive, Sequence asks many and leaves us with even more questions.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Is our luck and destiny predetermined by our genes? Is there such a thing as coincidence?

Sequence is a face-paced combination of science and comedy, that leaves you thinking.  The play is told in two parallel and possibly intersecting scenes.  On one side, the “Luckiest Man Alive” (Byron Noble) questions his luck when he is met by a young lady (Krista Skwarok) who think she’s figured out his secret.  In the opposite scene, a scientist (Amy Amantea) attempts to determine if she has found the “luck” gene when she confronts possibly the unluckiest student (Jake Anthony), who believes in God’s plan.  In both stories, the debate leads us to question what we think we understand.  The final twist in the show leaves us the conclusion of Sequence up to the audience to determine, like choose your own ending theatre.  Your interpretation of the ending may change with each viewing, with Arun Lakra’s  script having so many intricacies and each question offering multiple points of view.

Reel Wheels
L-R: Jake Anthony, Amy Amantea, Krista Skwarok, Byron Noble
Photo: Tim Matheson

Reelwheels Theatre is a inclusive, non-profit Vancouver theatre company that offers opportunities and integrates disabilities on and off the stage. Disabilities are an important thread of the script that weaves seamlessly into the DNA of the play,  Amy Amantea, a legally blind actor playing a character losing her eyesight, and Jake Anthony, who is on the autism spectrum, plays a wheelchair-bound student,  the actors lending added authenticity to their characters and in the process, deepening the audience’s understanding of the disability experience.

You’ll be lucky, or will you, if you can catch Sequence, playing at Presentation House Theatre, 333 Chesterfield Ave, North Vancouver until March 24, 2018.  For more information and to purchase tickets visit realwheels.ca