Picks of the Week – June 5, 2019

June begins, bringing us ever closer to the start of summer. The last official week’s of spring bring us plenty of entertainment and attractions in our picks of the week.

Tacos: It’s the last days to taste and vote for the entries in Vancouver Foodster’s Taco Challenge. Try them all, like I have, and choose your favourite before June 9th.

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) presents the 2019 Global Soundscapes Festival from May 31st to June 13th at venues around Vancouver plus Ucluelet.

Vitaly

Magic: Wednesday night at River Rock Show Theatre be amazed by the magic and illusions of Vitaly: An Evening Of Wonder

Pop: New Jersey’s A R I Z O N A bring their The Find Someone Tour to the Commodore Ballroom Wednesday night

ETC’s bare photo: Sasha Aleshchenko

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports gives audiences the ending of their choosing at Throne and Games – The Last Laugh featuring some familiar characters, but no dragon breath, along with a myriad of unexpected plot twists as suggested by the audience, until June 15th.

Folk: Thursday June 6th, UK act Bear’s Den bring their folk rock sound to Commodore Ballrooom

Youth: Eternal Theatre Collective (ETC), Vancouver’s youth theatre company is bringing the acclaimed Off-Broadway musical bare, to the Unitarian Church of Vancouver from May 29th to June 8th. 

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, 2019

Electro: Montreal electro-funk duo Chromeo, with guests The Beaches, will have the audience dancing when they play outdoors at Malkin Bowl on Friday night.

Billy Gardell

Comedy: Emmy nominated actor (Mike and Molly) and comedian Billy Gardell brings stand-up comedy to the River Rock Show Theatre Friday night.

Solo: Singer-Songwriter, Author, Performance Artist Amanda Palmer supports her recently released album; There Will Be No Intermission, as well as artbook, at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC on Thursday

North: Hosted in Vancouver June 1 – 9, 2019, Magnetic North Festival is Canada’s only national theatre festival, bringing developing works of theatre from across the country to various stages around the city.

The Cult

Rock: British rock legends The Cult celebrate the 30th Anniversary of their massive Sonic Temple album at The Vogue Theatre on Sunday June 9th

Pigskin: The BC Lions final preseason game welcomes Calgary to BC Place on Friday June 7th

Water: Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways until October 2, 2019

Aerial: June 9 – 15, the first-ever Vancouver International Vertical Dance Summit, 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).

Here We Go Again, Cher!

Cher – Rogers Arena – May 30, 2019

The Goddess of Pop, Cher, brought her “Here We Go Again” tour to Vancouver.

Rogers Arena was abuzz with excitement as Nile Rogers and Chic, legends in their own right, took the stage in support. With a songbook covering a wide range of genres, decades and artists, Nile Rogers and Chic were a perfect pairing with Cher, and the perfect openers to get the party started.

After a short break, filled with more upbeat disco tunes and a chance to see the audience’s stellar styles, filled with sequin, boas and glitz. Even more style was on display as the curtain fell to reveal a montage, of Cher through the ages; from early hippy days with Sonny, the glam of Bob Mackie gowns for TV, Academy Award recognized roles, over the top Vegas and concert tour costumes. As though descending from the heavens, the Goddess of Pop appeared, as expected, in another magnificent costume and wig, from that moment on it was this Woman’s World, and we were invited to witness another extravaganza concert.

Closing off the North American leg of the “Here We Go Again” tour, the tour moved along like a finely choreographed work. A multi-media show always had something happening, even when the icon wasn’t onstage. Dancers, video, trapeze artists, and a stellar band, all kept the 90+ minute show on point. Even though it’s been 14 years, two tours and two Las Vegas residencies since her “Farewell Tour” the 73 year old finds boundless energy to keep entertaining. In her sixth decade of performing Cher has perfected her showomanship and the ability to create a magnificent spectacle. There are no half measures in a Cher show, it’s All or Nothing.

The “Here We Go Again” tour is in support of her latest album of Abba covers, and features Waterloo, SOS and Fernando, reminiscent of the Mamma Mia movie set that inspired the album. This tour also featured her biggest hits, from I Got You Babe, sung with Sonny Bono on video, to If I Could Turn Back Time, to Believe. The setlist kept the demographically diverse audience on their feet, and in (or out of) tune throughout the evening. As with all spectacular shows, After All is sang and done it must, all, come to an end, leaving the audience wanting more. Thankfully Cher will sooner or later return to the stage to Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! another over-the-top tour.

Spend An Evening of Wonders with Vitaly

Fresh from performing Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre in New York City, Vitaly Beckman brings his latest and most ambitious production to the stage with An Evening of Wonders on Wednesday, June 5th, to the River Rock Show Theatre.

Hailed as one of the most unique and innovative illusionists in the world, Vitaly Beckman’s acts are so astounding that he has fooled famous Las Vegas duo Penn & Teller in their hit TV show Fool Us. The Westside Theatre also connects Vitaly to the famed duo, as they got their break performing at the New York venue in the 1980s.

Every illusion in Vitaly’s performance is original and represents an ‘impossible dream’ that he has set out to accomplish. From making drawings and paintings come to life to teleporting playing cards from one audience member to another, Vitaly’s illusions defy logic and belief. 

“Vitaly: An Evening of Wonders”

Never one to rest on his laurels, Vitaly is constantly inventing new illusions. He is willing to risk arrest and imprisonment for identity theft by promising that he will channel his powers to make the photo from your driver’s license disappear. So, if you’re brave enough to surrender your ID to him, you will have to expect the unexpected.  Will he restore your photo, or will it come back with a different face, say of Marilyn Monroe or George Clooney? Is it magic or trickery? The only way to be sure is to catch one of Vitaly’s increasingly popular performances before all of the tickets have disappeared into thin air. 

An Evening of Wonders stars Vitaly Beckman, brings the Vancouver-based back home after performing Stateside for most of the year. Be prepared for an evening of wonderment and witty banter.  Tickets are still available for the show on Wednesday at 8pm in the River Rock Show Theatre. For more show information visit eveningofwonders.com.

Take a bite out of June with a trio of Tasting Plates

Vancouver Foodster has a planned a tasty June for fans of Tasting Plates, with three delicious events lined up for the month.

If you don’t already know, Tasting Plates are roaming food tours, visiting diverse neighbourhoods around the city, or focusing on one style of cuisine served in diverse ways. Tasting Plates patrons are sure to find something to savour when they roam the cafes and eateries that Vancouver Foodster has curated. Guests will check-in at the central registration location then head out with Tasting Plates map in-hand to try each restaurant, which will serve up a ‘tasting plate’ or ‘tasting cup’ from their menus. Since everyone has a love of food in common it’s easy to meet some new foodie friends in the line-ups or at the next table, also often the chefs and proprietors are on hand to answer questions and help visitors learn about their establishments.

For June, Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates is exploring three neighbourhoods, North Vancouver – Lonsdale, Richmond, as well as an all vegetarian edition in East Vancouver.

June 12, 2019 – Tasting Plates North Vancouver Lonsdale
Explore the new Shipyards District and surrounding Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood in North Vancouver. The ever changing area is filled with great restaurants, cafes and markets waiting to be explored.

June 19, 2019 – Tasting Plates Richmond
The heart of Richmond can be overwhelming for choice, so take some time to visit the Richmond area, centered around Westminster Hwy and No. 3 Road to see what’s on offer.

June 26, 2019 – East Van Vegetarian Summer Edition
After a successful all Vegetarian tasting tour last fall, Tasting Plates brings a Summer all Vegetarian edition to the plant-based restaurants in East Vancouver between Commercial Drive and Main Street

Tickets for all three editions of Tasting Plates are on sale now via Eventbrite (click links above).
If it’s your first visit, get an idea of what’s in store for your Tasting Plates experience from a recap of the recent Tasting Plates Main & Fraser Street
On Social Media follow along with @tastingplatesyvr #tastingplatesyvr to see what the bites are all about!.

Magnetic North Theatre Festival is back for 2019

Following two hiatus years, Magnetic North Theatre Festival is returning to the stage, hosted in Metro Vancouver June 1-9, 2019. Canada’s only national theatre festival focuses on Canadian work and engaging participants from across the country, including invited guests from abroad. The renewed festival will no longer be strictly focused on theatre. As the lines blur between disciplines in the works that artists are creating, the festival will be focused on the live performing arts in whatever form that may take.

Magnetic North Board Chair Heather Redfern says, “The festival has had an incredible amount of fundraising support from our national arts community and long-time MagNorth supporters, with our Vancouver community especially keen to be featured in this year’s festival. There are over a dozen performances, as well as workshops and symposiums throughout the nine-day festival, presented with our partners the Shadbolt Centre, Presentation House Theatre, Progress Lab 1422, Touchstone Theatre and The Post at 750, as well as The Cultch.”

“One of our colleagues coined the phrase ‘potluck programming’,” says Redfern. “Where the indie theatres would bring their projects to the table if Magnetic North would be an umbrella for those shows and host the work in the homes we found for those projects.”

“The other change to the programming model,” says 2019 Festival Producer Amy Lynn Strilchuk , “is that we didn’t want to only feature full-scale productions that had been previously done. It felt important to also utilize the time in our host venues to support and showcase the development of new work in progress. There is so much new work being created across Canada, and rather than only program what’s ‘finished’, why not – in our national theatre festival – celebrate theatre making? So festival audiences will be let-in on the creation process – either through open-studios or sample showcase readings – whatever phase the artists are at that day.”  

Festival passes to all workshops, symposiums, and select shows are either $160 or $60 – participants pick the fee they want to pay.

Magnetic North Festival Mainstage Performance: Straight Jacket Winter by Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis

MAGNETIC NORTH THEATRE FESTIVAL 2019 LINEUP INCLUDES:

·       The Body Project  (Tara Cheyenne Performance, Vancouver)

·       Chicken Girl by Derek Chan (rice & beans theatre, Vancouver)

·       Culture Capital from Milton Lim and Patrick Blenkharn (Vancouver)

·       Eloise by Jeanette Kotowich (Vancouver)

·       HIVE 2019 (Produced by the Hive Performance Collective in association with Presentation House Theatre, North Vancouver)

·       Inheritance: A pick-the-path-experience by Daniel Arnold, Darrell Dennis, and Medina Hahn (Alley Theatre, Vancouver)

·       In Tune: New Musicals in Development (Touchstone Theatre, Vancouver)

·       Me Love Bingo from Kyle Loven (Vancouver)

·       Mermaid Spring Co-Created by Kyla Gardiner, Barbara Adler, and James Merger (10,000 Wolves, Vancouver)

·       New Work from Nadia Ross (STO Union, Farrellton

·       Peter Tripp Project from Jayden Pfeifer & Johanna Bundon (Regina)

·       rEvolver Festival (UpintheairTheatre, Vancouver)

·       Straight Jacket Winter by Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis (2PAR4, Montreal)

·       Stray – Co-created by Tanya Marquardt, Tim Carlson, and Mallory Catlett (Theatre Conspiracy, Vancouver)

·       Svaha (Nova Dance, Toronto)

·       Tucked & Plucked Created by Dave Deveau & Cameron Mackenzie (ZeeZee Theatre, Vancouver)

·       Undivided Colours – a collection of dance works by Peter Chin, William Lau, Hari Krishnan, and Alvin Erasga Tolentino (Co.ERASGA, Vancouver)

·       Unscripted: Kuroko Hosted by Tetsuro Shigematsu (Playwrights Theatre Centre, Vancouver)

Heather Redfern notes, “We (the board) always said we’d only keep the festival going if our community wants it. So the future of Magnetic North really is in our participants’ hands. We’re excited to hear what they have to say.”

Have your say about the festival by attending a performance or more.  Magnetic North Theatre Festival runs June 1 – 9, 2019, at venues around Vancouver, for full programming and schedule are available at magneticnorthfestival.ca

Picks of the Week – May 29, 2019

As expected from Gemini season, it seems there’s double the entertainment on offer as we move into June’s first picks of the week

Seven Tyrants : At Steady Rain

Rain: Seven Tyrants closes their first season at Tyrant Studios with the remount from last season’s award-winning “A Steady Rain” from May 23rd – 31st.

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.

Dance: Friday evening at The Dance Centre, 12 Minutes Max showcases six eclectic dance works by some of Vancouver’s most exciting and innovative up-and-coming choreographers

Diva: Goddess of Pop, Cher , supported by Chic’s Nile Rodgers, at Rogers Arena for the Here We Go Again Tour on Thursday evening.

Global: The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra’s (VICO) presents the 2019 Global Soundscapes Festival from May 31st to June 13th at venues around Vancouver plus Ucluelet

Colin Mochrie at VTS

Fundraiser: Prepare for loads of laughter when Colin Mochrie, Vancouver TheatreSports (VTS) alumnus and star of Whose Line Is It Anyway, returns to Vancouver TheatreSports for three benefit performances, May 30, 31 and June 1st.

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports gives audiences the ending of their choosing at Throne and Games – The Last Laugh featuring some familiar characters, but no dragon breath, along with a myriad of unexpected plot twists as suggested by the audience, until June 15th.

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, 2019

Magnetic North Festival Mainstage Performance: Straight Jacket Winter by Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis

North: Hosted in Vancouver June 1 – 9, 2019, Magnetic North Festival is Canada’s only national theatre festival, bringing developing works of theatre from across the country to various stages around the city.

Water: Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways until October 2, 2019

Champs: Join Vancouver Whitecaps for the 40th anniversary celebrations of their 1979 Soccer Bowl championships, as they play host to Toronto FC at BC Place on Friday night.

Solo: Former Barenakes Ladies member Steven Page brings his solo show to the Commodore Ballroom on Friday night

Development: Zoning Out, May 31st at Presentation House Theatre, is a free presentation of a play, in development, telling the story of an Iranian single mother immigrating to Canada with her child who is on the autism spectrum.

ETC’s bare photo: Sasha Aleshchenko

Youth: Eternal Theatre Collective (ETC), Vancouver’s youth theatre company is bringing the acclaimed Off-Broadway musical bare, to the Unitarian Church of Vancouver from May 29th to June 8th. 

Orchestra: May 31, June 1 & 2, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra presents Debussy & Ravel: Colour and Images, Maestro Tausk conducts in a sumptuous, Romantic French program.

Outdoor Music Festivals 2019

This week, Victoria’s Rifflandia Festival announced that it was unfortunately not returning for 2019, joining a number of other festivals taking a break due until 2020. However, there are still lots more acts coming to music festival stages around the Pacific Northwest to fill our summer with great music. 

Here’s a list of some of the multi-artist festivals and outdoor shows right here at home, or within easy reach to make a great short music break.
(Note: not all the festivals have their artist line-up announced but genre and some featured artists are listed where available)

Victoria International Jazz Festival – Multiple Venues, Victoria, BC, June 21 – June 30, 2019 – Jazz – Marquee Series at Macpherson & Royal Theatres include; Raul Midón and Lionel Loueke & Laila Biali, The Suffers, Patricia Barber Trio, Joey Alexander Trio, Jesse Cook…  

Wu Tang Clan plays Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Vancouver International Jazz Festival – Multiple Venues, Vancouver, BC, June 21 – July 1, 2019 – Jazz – BC’s largest music and arts event features; Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, Herbie Hancock, Marquis Hill Blacktet, The Suffers, Patricia Barber, Makaya McCraven, Jacob Collier, Melissa Aldana, Five Alarm Funk…

Malkin Bowl Concerts – Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, Vancouver BC – Rock/Pop/Blues – June 7: Chromeo. August 31: Anjunadeep Open Air. September 5: Death Cab For Cutie. September 6: Said The Whale. September 10: Gary Clark Jr. September 21-22: Mother Mother with guests Tokyo Police Club, The Zolas, and Sam Lynch

FVDED in the Park – Holland Park, Surrey, BC July 5 – 6, 2019 – Electronic/ Dance/Pop – Khalid, Zedd, Tory Lanez, French Montana and many more. 

Calgary Stampede 2019 – Multiple Stages, Calgary, AB July 5 – 14, 2019 – Rock/Country – In addition to nightly music throughout the Stampede the Virgin Mobile Stampede Series headliners are July 12: Zac Brown Band. July 13: Sugerland. July 14: Tim McGraw.

The Hamiltones perform at Harrison Festival of the Arts, plus Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Salmon Arm Blues & Roots Festival, and Vancouver Island Musicfest

Vancouver Island MusicFest – Comox Valley Fairgrounds, Courtenay, BC July 12 – 14, 2019 – Folk/Rock – Colin James, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Asleep at the Wheel, Sue Medley and more

Harrison Festival of the Arts – Multiple Stages, Harrison Hot Springs, BC July 12 – 21, 2019 – World/Folk/Rock – Harry Manx, Tal National, The Hamiltones, Veda Hille, Daniel Lapp, and more

Vancouver Folk Music Festival – Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver, BC July 19 – 21, 2019 – Folk – Basia Bulat, Corb Lund, Sam Roberts Band, and more

Capital Hill Block Party – Capital Hill, Seattle, WA July 19 – 21, 2019 – Pop/Rock – RL Grime, Lizzo, Phantogram plus more

Mission Folk Music Festival – Heritage Park, Mission, BC July 26 – 28, 2019 – World/Folk – Beaton-Plasse, Geoff Berner, Irish Mythen, Railyard Youth Open Stage Project and many others.

The Phillips Backyard Weekender – Phillips Brewery Backyard, Victoria, BC July 26 – 28, 2019 – various artists(pending)

Squamish Constellation Festival – Hendrickson Field, Squamish BC, July 26 – 28, 2019 – Pop/Rock – Jesse Reyez, Bahamas, Serena Ryder, Wintersleep, plus more

Merritt Rockin’ River Music Fest– Merritt, BC August 1 – 4, 2019 – Country – Jason Aldean, Old Dominion, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Brett Kissel and many more

Sunfest Country Music Festival – Laketown Ranch, Youbou, BC August 1 – 4, 2019 – Country – Jason Aldean, Maren Morris, Kip Moore, Terri Clark, Randy Houser and others. 

Harmony Arts Festival

Harmony Arts Festival – Multiple Stages, Ambleside, West Vancouver, BC August 2-11, 2019 – Multi-Genre – various artists (pending)

Deer Lake Festival Lawn – Deer Lake Park, Burnaby BC – Rock/Pop/Blues  – August 10: Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival featuring Feist, Lord Huron, Dan Mangan and more. August 28: The National. September 25: Vampire Weekend.

Shambhala Music Festival – Salmo River Ranch, Salmo, BC August 9 – 12, 2019 – Electronic – Bonobo, Kascade, Silk City (Diplo + Mark Ronson), Zeds Did and more

Salmon Arm Blues & Roots Festival – Salmon Arm Fairgrounds, Salmon Arm, BC August 15 – 18, 2019 – Blues/Roots – Jim Cuddy Band, Ruthie Foster, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, Dawn Pemberton, Valdy, plus more

Rock Ambleside Park – Ambleside Park, West Vancouver, BC – August 16 – 18, 2019 – Classic Rock – Headpins, Honeymoon Suite, Saga, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Quiet Riot, Blue Oyster Cult and others

Too Many Zooz play Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and Cumberland Wild

Cumberland Wild– Cumberland, BC August 17 – 18, 2019 – Pop/Rock – Too Many Zooz, The Sorority, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Dirtwire and other live acts, plus numerous Silent Disco DJs 

Bumbershoot Festival – Seattle Centre, Seattle, WA  August 31- September  2, 2019 – Multi-Genre – various artists (pending)