Vancouver International Dance Festival brings dance to city stages

From March 4th to 30th, the 2019 Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) brings the world of dance to Vancouver venues. From across the country, across the Pacific, and right here at home, VIDF proudly presents a 2019 festival season, showcasing exhilarating performances by both internationally revered artists and lauded Vancouver performers, engaging workshops, and a host of interactive dance activities.

Dairakudan’s Pseudo Human Super Human by Hiroyuki Kawashima

The 2019 Dance Festival’s program showcases Canadian premieres from Japan’s sensational Dairakudakan — a VIDF audience favourite — as well as Taiwan’s Tjimur Dance Theatre, appearing in Vancouver for the very first time; three world premieres from Vancouver’s own Vision Impure, Olivia C. Davies, and Lesley Telford; and three West Coast premieres from East Coast artists Daina Ashbee (Montreal), Manuel Roque (Montreal), and 10 Gates Dancing (Ottawa), among many others. With 27 days of free and ticketed events, the VIDF program is sure to include something for every dance fan.

Vision Impure’s Pathways by Erik Zennström

“Dance is a unique and powerful medium that communicates and expresses our deepest, innermost thoughts and emotions, transcending the cultural and geographical constructs of today’s world,” says Barbara Bourget, Co-Producer of VIDF. “The VIDF is a platform for an array of international artists to showcase their vision, honour their customs and traditions, remove barriers, and spark dialogue amongst us. Through a thoughtful, curated program showcasing globally renowned artists from Canada and abroad, our goal is to be a catalyst for meaningful expression, connection, and conversation.”

Vancouver International Dance Festival runs March 4 to 30, 2019 at venues around Vancouver, for the full performance schedule, tickets and more information visit vidf.ca

Join Tasting Plates in Mount Pleasant & Yaletown

As Vancouver Foodster moves into its 8th year of Tasting Plates, a pair of events bring hungry patrons to the neighbourhoods of Mount Pleasant and Yaletown.

Like all Tasting Place events, guests will check-in at their starting location, collect their Tasting Maps & Menus then set off on a flavourful adventure.  Chefs will present tasting plates, dishes and cups that they think best exemplify what their kitchens are all about. It’s your chance to learn from them and mingle with other foodies and friends as you devour the tasting plates offered.

Tasting Plates Mount Pleasant is coming next week, February 27. Restaurants in the Mount Pleasant and Olympic Village area, starting off at Papparoti, include;

Registration Location: Papparoti – 1778 Columbia Street

Maizal – 2815 Main Street

Westcoast Poke – 463 West 8th Avenue

Uma Sushi – 450 West 8th Avenue

Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite: Advance $45 ticket sales close tomorrow, February 22, afterwhich, tickets are $60, GST and Eventbrite fees extra.

Tasting Plates Yaletown takes place March 6, starting at Living Produce Aisle in Yaletown, the restaurants in the neighbourhood include;

Registration Location: Living Produce Aisle – 1168 Hamilton Street

Manoush’eh – 620 Davie Street

Patron Tacos & Cantina – 265 Robson Street

Robba Da Matti – 1127 Mainland Street

Ticket Sales are on sale via Eventbrite: Early Bird $35 tickets are on sale until February 28, Advance $50 tickets are on sale from February 28 – March 3, afterwhich, tickets are $60, GST and Eventbrite fees extra.

Picks of the Week – February 20, 2019

As we come to the final weekend of February, we’re usually thinking of spring but this weather has us wanting to stay indoors, good thing this week’s picks have lots to bring us through the doors.

Vancouver TheatreSport Improv Voyage

Ahoy!: For one night only, February 21st, Vancouver TheatreSport is transformed into a comedy Cruise Ship for Improv Voyage, a 3 hour tour de force fund raiser for VTSL.

Opera: The stellar sets Vancouver Opera’s production of La Bohème, really make you feel like you’re visiting 1920’s Paris, catch it for yourself for the last performances February 21 & 24 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Chopin: Early Music Vancouver welcomes German pianist Tobias Koch for a pair of shows at Christ Church Cathedral; Chopin-The Last Concert on February 22, and The Polish Romantics on February 23.

#YaaasAnd: QueerProv brings a pair of improv comedy games to The Junction on Wednesday night; QueerProv at 7:30pm then On This Day at 9:30pm

Comedy: JFL Northwest continues to bring the world of comedy to stages and venues around Vancouver until February 23rd.

Dolly: It’s your last chance to catch the crafty Dolly Levi in action as she manipulates the love lives other characters’ in The Matchmaker (the inspiration for the iconic musical Hello Dolly!) at The Arts Club Theatre Company Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until February 24th.

Crime: Also closing this week, Torquil Campbell delivers a tour de force performance in the criminal biographical play True Crime at the Arts Club Theatre Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre.

Thief: Go behind closed doors to view the interactions between chronic five-finger discounter and store security in Morris Panych’s comedy The Shoplifters plays at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage until March 9th.

Release: Composer and pianist Vede Hille presents a one night only concert to celebrate the release of the cast album of her King Arthur’s Night, hosted by Niall McNeill and Marcus Youssef on February 24th at The Cultch Historic Theatre

Children of God

Festival: The 18th Talking Stick Festival is now on, celebrating Indigenous art, music, dance and culture throughout the city until March 2nd.

Musical: Part of Talking Stick Festival, Corey Payette’s Children of God is playing at The Cultch York Theatre until March 10th

Home: The 2019 BC Home & Garden Show fills BC Place Stadium with all things for your home renovations, spring gardening and more, February 20 – 24.

Memories: In recognition of Black History Month, The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts brings No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks to the Chan Shun Concert Hall on February 24th

HipHop: Friday night at Rogers Arena join Snoop Dogg & Friends including Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Warren G, Kurupt and Luniz for what’s sure to be a hazy evening of hip-hop and rap.

Pucks: Vancouver Canucks return to Rogers Arena for a pair of games against Arizona Thursday evening and New York Islanders on Saturday

Arts Club announces 2019-2020 Season

Ashlie Corcoran, has revealed her second season as Artistic Director of The Arts Club Theatre Company. For the Company’s 56th season, Ms Corcoran has curated 17 works to play on the three Arts Club stages plus touring shows.

Amongst the works there are 5 collaborations with other Canadian theatre companies, 9 Canadian scripts, 2 world premieres, 2 Canadian premieres, 5 plays created by artists of colour, 8 plays by female playwrights and 135 roles for actors.
“I aim to offer eclectic programming that sparks a connection with the audience and to create theatre that celebrates local talent, emerging artists, and diversity, through this season and beyond”, Ashlie Corocoran says of the season.

Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, by Ursula Rani Sarma, book by Khaled Hosseini
The gripping story of two Afghan women, based on the best-selling novel
September 12–October 13, 2019
In partnership with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Company

WINTER MUSICAL, to be announced Spring 2019
A family-friendly musical masterpiece for the holidays
November 7, 2019–January 5, 2020

NOISES OFF, by Michael Frayn
The classic play-within-a-play farce
January 23–February 23, 2020

CARRIED AWAY ON THE CREST OF A WAVE, by David Yee
A boundary-pushing theatrical journey
March 19–April 19, 2020 

SUMMER MUSICAL, to be announced Spring 2019
A big-hearted modern musical
May 21–July 5, 2020

Granville Island Stage

THE BIRDS AND THE BEES, by Mark Crawford
Love, lust, beekeeping, and the artificial insemination of turkeys meet in this raucous comedy
September 26–October 26, 2019

MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY, by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
The festive Pride and Prejudice follow-up returns
December 5, 2019–January 4, 2020

CIPHER, by Ellen Close and Braden Griffiths
Hipster noir meets corporate thriller—an investigation of a decades-old Vancouver Island cold-case murder
February 6–March 7, 2020
In partnership with Vertigo Theatre 

‘DA KINK IN MY HAIR, by Trey Anthony
A resonant musical celebration of women of colour, set in a vibrant Toronto hair salon
April 16–May 16, 2020

PETER PAN GOES WRONG, by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields
A side-splitting farce for the whole family
June 25–August 22, 2020
The Mischief Theatre Production in partnership with the Citadel Theatre

Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre

COST OF LIVING, by Martyna Majok
The 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about caretakers and the realities of disability
October 10–November 3, 2019
In partnership with Citadel Theatre

IT’S A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS-ISH HOLIDAY MIRACLE, by Marcus Youssef
A new play that embraces the love and foibles of family
November 21–December 22, 2019

THE WEDDING PARTY, by Kristen Thomson
A ringside seat for all the laughs, debauchery, disagreements, and love at a family wedding reception
February 27–March 22, 2020
In partnership with Prairie Theatre Exchange

EVERY BRILLIANT THING, by Duncan MacMillan
A daughter aids her mom through depression by listing everything worth living for, with help from the audience
April 2–April 26, 2020

On Tour

BED & BREAKFAST, by Mark Crawford
A charming comedy about being out and finding home
October 3–December 1, 2019

THE SHOPLIFTERS, by Morris Panych
Comic mishaps for society’s haves and have-nots
January 9–February 9, 2020

KIM’S CONVENIENCE, by Ins Choi
The wildly popular, award-winning play—now a CBC TV series
February 13–March 15, 2020

18th Talking Stick Festival Opens

The 18th Talking Stick Festival, presented by Full Circle: First Nations Performance opens today. The celebration of Indigenous culture through the arts runs until March 2nd at various Vancouver venues.

Margo Kane, Artistic Managing Director of Full Circle: First Nations Performance says, “Our 2019 Talking Stick Festival is an open invitation to Explore Indigenous Culture through the Arts and we welcome back some of our favourite artists and companies who are developing international and national reputations of their own.” 

Speaking about the range of works audiences can expect from the 2019 festival, Kane adds, “This festival of extraordinary Indigenous performance and art features some of the best emerging and established Indigenous artists Turtle Island has to offer. It provides a stage for artists from a variety of artistic expressions – theatre, storytelling, writing, music, spoken word, dance, and visual arts. It celebrates the traditional performance of many communities, as well as the contemporary and interdisciplinary work of Indigenous creators.”

Children of God
Children of God

Highlights from the 2019 Talking Stick Festival include: 

Children of God by Corey Payette (an Urban Ink production, co-presented with The Cultch), a musical story of redemption for a family overcoming the history of residential schools, playing February 20 – March 10, 2019 at York Theatre

Wax hoks en Shqalawin (Open Your Hearts) Opening Gala, a evening of music and dance on February 21 at Roundhouse Community Centre, kicking off the Visual Arts Exhibit on view at the Roundhouse Community Centre throughout the festival run.

Indian Acts: Staged Readings Series features play readings of new works from Kevin Loring, Tai Amy Grauman, Taran Kootenhayoo, Lisa C. Ravensbergen, and Margo Kane

Muyuntsut ta Slulum (Immerse Yourself in Music), a musicseries featuring Snotty Nose Rez Kids with DJ Kookum, Emily Wurramara, and DJ O Show performing throughout the run of the festival. 

Reel Reservations Film Series screening of SGaawaay K’uuna Edge of the Knife (2018 Best Canadian Feature – Vancouver Film Critics Circle), Falls Around Here and Anori (Wind) 

Knowledge Sharing events for public and artists run throughout the festival

2-Spirit Series that includes Looking for Tiger Lily from Anthony Hudon (the human vessel for Portland’s premiere drag clown Carla Rossi).

Family-friendly shows Nanabush Stories, Tee Pee Theatre, and Celebration of Dance are Pay-What-You-Can events for all-ages

Festival Closing Night Celebration: Ab-Original Cabaret, a celebration full of music, comedy, theatre, song, and spoken word from the brightest Indigenous talent March 2 at The Ironworks Studios.

For full details of the Talking Stick Festival, including venues and tickets, at talkingstickfest.ca 

Vancouver Opera La Bohème celebrates Valentine’s

Vancouver Opera celebrated St Valentine’s Day with the opening of Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème at Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

La Bohème photo: Tim Matheson
Ji-Min Park as Rodolfo & France Bellemare as Mimi photo: Tim Matheson

The lush production impresses from the first moment as the curtain rises on Marché aux Puces, Paris’ largest flea market. As tourists explore the stalls, one imagines how the market was in the 1920s. As she and the audience are transported back to the age of The Lost Generation, we are introduced to a group of carefree but impoverished artists. Poet Rodolfo (Ji-Min Park) and Painter Marcello (Phillip Addis) live in a drafty attic room and can barely keep themselves warm let alone fed. Friends Colline and Schaunard help out but life is a struggle for all of them. Rodolfo meets and falls deeply for Mimi (France Bellemare) and Marcello rekindles feelings with Musetta (Sharleen Joynt). Like a classic tragedy we’re treated to the ups and downs of the friends’ lives, centred on Rodolfo’s doomed love of the terminally ill Mimi.

Phillip Addis as Marcello & Ji-Min Park as Rodolfo photo: Tim Matheson

This production of La Bohème was Ji-Min Park 100th turn singing the part of Rodolfo. For a young singer, Ji-Min Park has experience and skills that belie his age, his comfort with the material projected in his powerful performance. In France Bellemare, Park finds an easy chemistry and a beautiful pairing of voices. Playing a star singer within the show, Sharleen Joynt’s Musetta grabs the spotlight as she enters the stage. Everyone in the production fills the theatre with brilliant vocals. The stage is also filled on many occasions during the as performers from Vancouver Opera Chorus join some scenes bringing 50+ players to the stage.

Sharleen Joynt as Musetta photo: Tim Matheson

Directed by Renaud Doucet with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra conducted by Judith Yan, from start to finish, La Bohème’s sound, staging, sets, costumes and performers are polished to perfection. Even without knowing Italian (there are English Surtitles) the show is filled with emotion and passion.

Vancouver Opera presents La Bohème continues at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, February 16, 19, 21 and 24, 2019. For more information, showtimes and tickets visit vancouveropera.ca/boheme

Théâtre la Seizième presents Le Soulier

Théâtre la Seizième is bringing the world premiere of its newest production, Le Soulier, to Studio 16, February 27 to March 9. 

Written by award-winning Quebec playwright David Paquet, and directed by Esther Duquette and Gilles Poulin-Denis, Le Soulier is a dark comedy, full of touching and relatable characters trying very hard to be happy.

Melanie’s son Benoit, age 8, has a pain that won’t go away so she takes him to the dentist. This results in an epic meltdown, from the always difficult young man.  Once in the dentist’s chair, the story unfolds and Benoit turns out to have a lot more than cavities inside his mouth. Melanie – with the help of a kind, alcoholic receptionist and a dentist who prefers plants to people – must face the fact that her son’s problems are much larger than a simple toothache.

David Paquet, recipient of the 2010 Governor General’s Award for French-language drama and the 2017 Prix Michel-Tremblay for his play Porc-épic, has written a hilarious and unsettling play in which empathy triumphs over illness.  While on the surface Le Soulier is a whimsical comedy, the play is actually a drama about mental health issues, addressing an array of topics.  Behavioural disorders, psychological suffering and the empathy it can inspire, exhaustion, and self-medication – are all dealt with in a light but dark and, most importantly, appropriate humour.

Le Soulier comes to the Studio 16 Stage, 1555 West 7th Ave, from Wednesday February 27, to Saturday March 9, 2019. Visit seizieme.ca for more information, showtimes and tickets. 

Le Soulier will be presented with English surtitles every evening of the run except on Fridays.