Arts Club remounts hit play Onegin for 2017.

Last season, The Arts Club Theatre Company debuted Onegin, an ambitious new work based on the verse Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin and the opera by Tchaikovsky.   This season, the cast remains the same but the home of Onegin changes to Granville Island for a run until December 31st.

Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille have written the book, music, and lyrics that covers all the emotions in the two hour show; light-hearted comedy, romance, drama, tragedy.  The musical is mostly sung-through with very little dialogue and most of that dialogue is directed at the audience, when the players break the fourth wall. The pop-rock infused songs are strong enough to stand alone, and with the band (Jennifer Moersch, Barry Mirochnick & Marguerite Witvoet) onstage throughout, suggest the whole show could be performed in concert without set or costumes and still be brilliant.  However, Drew Facey’s set filled with chandeliers, books and candles and Jacqueline Firkins’ Imperial Russian costumes do great work to place Onegin in 19th century St. Petersburg, Russia.

The whole theatre is the stage as players regularly step into the aisles to interact and bring the audience even closer to the production.  Sharing laughter, drinks, chit chat and passing notes, the casual atmosphere is like a visit with friends that you don’t want to end, the two hour show passes all too quickly.  In their second season in these roles the actors and characters mesh as one, allowing them to deliver the adlibs and scripted lines with equal comfort.  The cast is filled with veterans of Vancouver stage and screen and no one performer stands out because they are all equally brilliant in delivering one of the best new shows that has crossed our stages in recent years.

Onegin plays at The Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage until December 31, 2017.  Visit artsclub.com for tickets and more information.

Picks of the Week – November 29, 2017

We’re into the one month countdown to Christmas with more festive flair popping into the picks of the week.

Market: The Christmas Market season is in full swing with the Vancouver Christmas Market opening today, running until December 24, at Jack Poole Plaza plus Toque, River District craft fairs as well.

Snow: Until January 6th, help Snow White and the Seven Dwarves evade the Evil Queen in East Van Panto at The Cultch York Theatre

Flamenco Rosario

Dance: The Dance Centre’s Discover Dance Series presents Flamenco Rosario on Thursday November 30th honours the traditions of dance with a lunchtime performance

Twinkle: Light up your nights with the Festival light displays all around Metro Vancouver; Lights of Hope, Canyon Lights, Bright Nights, Heritage Christmas, Glow Christmas, Lights at Lafarge all bring a little Christmas Spirit.

Oratorio: The spirit of the season and the sound of music fills the air as Early Music Vancouver presents Handel’s Messiah, November 30th in White Rock and December 1st & 2nd at Vancouver Playhouse.

Wheel: Take a ride on the Sky Wheel on the Pier at the Annual Shipyards Christmas Market December 2nd in North Vancouver; artisan market, family activities, entertainment, tree lighting and the weekend-only observation wheel sponsored by the Lower Lonsdale BIA.

Rock: American rockers, The National plays a two-night stand at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on December 1st and 2nd.

Sax: December 3rd, Kenny G plays some of his hits and holiday favourites at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company’s dramedy  The Day Before Christmas is onstage at the Goldcorp Stage until the day before Christmas, while fan favourite Onegin remounts the Arts Club, Granville Island Stage, until December 31st.

Scoop: At Firehall Arts Centre, until December 2nd,  Only Drunks And Children Tell The Truth tells the tale of the 60’s Scoop of indigenous children with truth and humour

Drag: The Christmas Queen is back to ruin Christmas for Vancouver Theatresports League and on Saturday nights, anything can, and will happen,  when Vancouver drag diva the Unstoppable Connie Smudge joins the stage,  it’s two queens for the price of one at Christmas Queen Drag Race.

Narnia: Carousel Theatre, invites families to step through the wardrobe as C.S Lewis’  The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe comes to the stage until December 31st.

Pucks: The Toronto Maple Leafs make a rare Western appearance as they visit Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday night.

St Nick: Santa Claus is coming to town as the 14th Annual (and newly renamed) Telus Santa Claus Parade makes it way through downtown Vancouver on Sunday afternoon. 

The Tenors – Christmas Together Tour

The Tenors – Queen Elizabeth Theatre – November 24, 2017

The Tenors are inviting fans to spend “Christmas Together” with them as they tour North America this season.  Friday night, the trio brought their smooth vocal style to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for an evening of Holiday cheer in support of their new Christmas Together album.  Filled with Christmas carols, classic holiday season favourites and some new tunes, the 2 hour show brought the Christmas spirit to the audience.

Joined on stage with the BC Girls and BC Boys Choirs for some Christmas joy on some tracks.  Add-in many of Fraser Walter’s family and friends being in the audience for extra emotion, especially on his solo. Smiles were all around as Victor, Clifton and Fraser ventured into the audience to play a game of complete the lyrics with fans, and found Frasers young nephew to adorably join in the reindeer games.  The evening had a feel of a sing-a-long as all the songs were mostly tried and true favourites and The Tenors invited fans to join in on some carols.  Even the new track from Christmas Together, Santa’s Wish (Teach the World), is based on the familiar, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing”.

The Tenors’ Christmas Together Album is available now and the Tour continues throughout North America, with a stop in New York next week, to appear on NBC’s Christmas In Rockefeller Center, airing November 29th.

And…Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas…

Polygon Gallery anchors Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver

The Polygon Gallery
Photo: Ema Peter Photography

After nearly 30 years of planning, The Polygon Gallery has opened to the public on the Waterfront at Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver.  Since 1976, the Presentation House at 3rd and Chesterfield has been a community art space that for the last three decades has had a focus on photographic arts.

Now in its new space next to Lonsdale Quay, the stunning $20million gallery provides an anchor to the evolving Lower Lonsdale precinct.  The Polygon Gallery joins the new residences, bistros, restaurants, pubs and shops that have replaced the industrial spaces that were North Vancouver staples for decades.  The Patkau Architect designed Gallery is constructed to the highest standards for sustainable building.  The Gallery is a bright, open, light-filled space, with a fully-glazed ground floor and exterior cantilever, jutting over the boardwalk offers shelter from the weather.  The new building’s lower floor boasts a welcoming Gallery lobby and gift shop, a café, and a multi-purpose exhibition and event space. 

The second level features four exhibition spaces and a large exterior terrace overlooking Burrard Inlet, which, even on a recent dreary night, the sparkling skyline of Greater Vancouver, and the city’s busy harbour create a magnificent work of art of its own.  While the exhibition space is vast but feels intimate to not overwhelm the art within, the all white interior is a blank canvas to highlight whatever work fills the space.  

The Polygon Gallery’s inaugural exhibition N. Vancouver, is on display until Spring 2018.  N. Vancouver honours the Gallery’s home with photographic works capturing its rich and varied history from Coast Salish village, to industrial port city to the emerging urban metropolis of today.  Pieces reflect the industrial port, concrete grain terminals, docks and rail yards, all set against lush coastal mountains and natural beauty of the Skwxwú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh territories. The most ambitious project in the Gallery’s history, N. Vancouver features commissioned works by more than fifteen artists, including Andrew Dadson, Gabrielle Hill, Althea Thauberger, Stephen Waddell and Tracy Williams, paired with existing work by Stan Douglas, Greg Girard, Fred Herzog, Curt Lang, and Jeff Wall, among others. 

Polygon Gallery Now Open

The Polygon Gallery is located steps from Lonsdale Quay, at 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver.
The Gallery is open 10am – 5pm, Tuesday – Sunday (closed Mondays)
Admission is by donation.

2018 PuSh Festival Program Launches

This week, 2018 PuSh Festival debuted its program guide with a party at The Fox Cabaret, home of Club PuSh during the festival.

Since 2003, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival has become one of Vancouver’s premier events, bringing life to our stages and venue through  three dreary weeks each winter.  From January 16 to February 4, 2018, PuSh Festival brings world class performing arts to Vancouver.  Local performers and companies take the stages along with those from 11 other countries around the globe who are scheduled for PuSh 2018, including acts from Taiwan, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, USA, and Canada.  Theatre, dance, multimedia, film, talkbacks, conversations and workshops are all on deck for this year’s festival, in venues all around Vancouver.

Check out this year’s Festival trailer to see what’s in store for the 2018 Festival.

Visit pushfestival.ca to purchase passes and explore all that PuSh Festival has to offer during the three weeks or pick up a PuSh Festival Guide and start planning your Festival experience now.

Picks of the Week – November 22, 2017

The last weekend is here and the spirit of Christmas is lighting up the city, literally. Find light displays and more in these picks of the week.

Market: The Christmas Market season is in full swing with the Vancouver Christmas Market opening today, running until December 24, at Jack Poole Plaza. This weekend looks for the West End, Dunbar, Strathcona, River District and Portobello markets in all corners of Vancouver.

Jodi Proznick
photo: Michele Mateus

Jazz: Frankie’s Jazz Club welcomes Juno award nominated jazz bassist Jodi Proznick on Thursday night for a release of her new album, Sun Songs

Narnia: Carousel Theatre, invites families to step through the wardrobe as C.S Lewis’  The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe comes to the stage.

Comedy: Brianne Nord-Stewart launches her new comedy web series The Dangers of Online Dating with a special screening at Penthouse nightclub on November 23rd

Swim: At the Gateway Theatre in Richmond experience a witty, engaging evening with Beverley Elliott’s one-woman show Sink or Swim until November 25th.

Carols: Friday night, The Tenors take the stage for their Christmas Together tour at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Air: Join the great Bernard Cuffling for an Orwellian one-man show Coming Up For Air at Kay Meeks Centre until November 25th.

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company  The Day Before Christmas is onstage at the Goldcorp Stage until the day before Christmas, while fan favourite Onegin returns to the Arts Club, Granville Island Stage, until December 31st.

Ice: Through the weekend follow your heart to the world of Disney On Ice at Pacific Coliseum

Scoop: At Firehall Arts Centre, from November 11 to December 2nd, Only Drunks And Children Tell The Truth tells the tale of the 60’s Scoop of indigenous children with truth and humour

Solo: At Performance Works, Vanishing Vancouver comes to life in Solo Theatre Collective’s Satellites, playing  November 16 – 26.

Drag: The Christmas Queen returns to ruin Christmas for Vancouver Theatresports League and on Saturday nights does double duty against Vancouver drag diva the Unstoppable Connie Smudge

 

 

Holiday Light Displays for the 2017 Season

As the Holidays draw near, Metro Vancouver twinkles as people and places put up light displays all around the City. Some of the brightest and most festive displays are opening to the public in the coming weeks, here’s a list of light displays to enjoy the twinkle of the Holiday Season:

Lights of Hope at St Paul’s Hospital – Celebrating 20 years, St Paul’s Lights of Hope have illuminated the West End helping to raise much needed funds for the hospital. The 2017 Lights Of Hope lit up last week with a public event featuring fireworks, food trucks and family entertainment at St Paul’s Hospital on Burrard Street. Stroll past, admire the lights, look for the sponsor’s stars – Free Admission

Bright Nights
Bright Nights at Stanley Park

Bright Nights, Stanley Park Christmas Train– Two million lights twinkle throughout the plaza and Miniature Train. Ride the train, watch the dozens of festive displays while strolling the plaza sipping a hot cocoa, from November 30, 2017 to January 6, 2018 opening hours vary for Matinee and Night Trains. – Matinee Train tickets are $6 for all ages, Night Train tickets are $12(Adults) or $9(Children/Seniors). Admission Bright Nights Train Plaza only, is by donation (suggested $4, proceeds to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund)

Canyon Lights

Canyon Lights Winter Festival at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park opens November 23rd, 2017 and runs until January 28th, 2018. Thousands of lights spread throughout the Park, the bridge, Treetops Adventures, with 8 of the tallest living Christmas Tree. – All-day Adult park admission is $42.95, includes the holiday activities, crafts and entertainment beginning at 4pm each day.

Heritage Christmas presented by Concord Pacific at Burnaby Village Museum – Celebrating a Heritage Christmas with the Holiday traditions of a century ago at Burnaby Village. Explore the illuminated Village looking for clues on the 12 Days of Christmas scavenger hunt, November 25th 2017 until January 5th, 2018 – Free Admission / Carousel Rides $2.65

Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Garden
Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Garden

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden run December 1st, 2017 to January 7th, 2018 opening at 4:30pm. Over a million lights turn the botanical gardens into sparkling winter wonderland.  Carolers, dancing gnomes and the popular Dancing Lights show (on the half hour) make this one of the city’s most popular and Instagramable #vandusenFOL Christmas Light displays – Adult Admission $15.24 (in advance) or $18.10 (at door)

Christmas at Canada Place – Port Metro Vancouver presents the 30th annual Christmas at Canada Place holiday event, from November 23rd to December 31st, 2017, stroll the festive fun along The Canadian Trail (west promenade) to see the new Canada’s North light display at the North Point of Canada Place, glimpse the iconic Woodward’s department store holiday windows, take in the Christmas fun at Fly Over Canada and don’t forget to look up to the Canada Place Sails of Lights. – Free Admission

Glow Christmas – For the first time, Milner Village Garden Centre in Langley sets the Fraser Valley aglow with a half-million lights over four Christmas Gardens, Food Trucks & Bar, Craft Market and more from 4-10pm, November 23rd to December 30th, 2017 – Admission – Adults: $19.99 (in advance) $25 (at door)

Lights at Lafarge – Coquitlam’s Winter Light Festival is the largest free light display in the Lower Mainland, Town Centre Park is illuminated with hundreds of thousands of lights, with roving performers, hot chocolate & cookies, a Holiday Market and of course Santa are all just steps from Lafarge Lake – Douglas Skytrain Station, from November 25th, 2017 to January 21st, 2018 – Free Admission

Chanukah in the City – Celebrate with music, hot chocolate, doughnuts and gelt as the Silber Family Menorah, Canada’s tallest, lights up the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza from December 12th to celebrate the first of the 8 Days of the Chanukah Festival Of Lights