Victoria Prepares for Beautiful: The Carol King Musical

Presented by Broadway In Victoria Beautiful—The Carole King Musical is the Tony & Grammy Award-winning Broadway musical about the early life and career of the legendary and groundbreaking singer/songwriter, premieres at the Royal Theatre, Victoria for 5 performances, January 31 – February 2, 2020. 

“Carole King might be a native New Yorker, but her story of struggle and triumph is as universal as they come – and her music is loved the world over,” producer Paul Blake said, “I am thrilled that Beautiful continues to delight and entertain audiences around the globe, in England, Japan and Australia and that we are entering our fifth amazing year of touring the U.S and CANADA. We are so grateful that over five million audience members have been entertained by our celebration of Carole’s story and her timeless music.”

Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of Carole King’s rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.   Beautiful features an array of the greatest hits from the American songbook, written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” as well as the title song.

Tickets for Beautiful – The Carole King Musical are on sale now. Visit rmts.bc.ca, call 250-386-6121 or visit The Royal or McPherson Theatre Box Offices in person.  Broadway In Victoria presents the show for 5 performances only: Friday 8pm (Jan. 31st), Saturday 2pm & 8pm; Sunday 2pm & 7:30pm.

For more information and a video sneak peek, please visit BeautifulOnBroadway.com

Vancouver TheatreSports Welcomes the World of Improv

A world of laughter is coming to Vancouver from October 14 to 20 as Vancouver TheatreSports (VTS) hosts the 2019 International Theatresports Institute Conference and Festival

The International Theatresports Institute (ITI) is the largest improv network in the world, representing 90 improv companies, schools and universities from 22 countries on six continents. Every two years, ITI convenes a conference and festival that brings together improvisers from around the globe.

In addition to delegate-only workshops, the week includes more than 50 public performances in an International Theatresports Festival across three Granville Island venues – VTS’ home theatre The Improv Centre, The Waterfront Theatre, and intimate studio space The Nest. 

Currently, improvisers from as far away as India, Norway, Japan, Brazil, and New Zealand have signed up to attend the week-long Vancouver conference and perform in the Festival.

The Festival celebrates how the improv art form has evolved around the world to reflect the influences it receives from different cultural terroirs, showcasing signature shows/formats by some of the world’s leading improvisers and improv companies. 

The Toys Strike Back

One of the signature shows, The Toys Strike Back, by Norway’s Det Andre Teatret – a matinee show for families with children – creates its content from the toys that the kids bring with them to the performance. Another show, Lugares (Places), originally created by an international team of improvisers, will be directed in Vancouver by Patti Stiles (Australia) and Felipe Ortiz (Colombia).  Lugares invites members of the audience to describe a special setting and the cast creates exciting new stories and parallel worlds that will change the way we see the special places around us. For the El Jaguar Fiesta Tour of Vancouver, the audience jumps on a bus with masked Mexican luchador El Jaguar (Derek Flores, New Zealand) for a hilarious tour of the city where the focus is on fiesta, not facts. OK Tinder brings together a cast made up of VTS ensemble members and international delegates for a global take on the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of dating in the digital age. The Theatresports Summit explores the Theatresports format in the ‘four pillar’ companies – from Calgary’s Loose Moose Theatre, to variations as performed at Vancouver TheatreSports (Vancouver), Rapid Fire Theatre (Edmonton), and Unexpected Productions (Seattle). 

El Jaguar Fiesta Tour of Vancouver

“Vancouver TheatreSports turns 40 in early 2020 and we are excited to kick off our anniversary celebrations by sharing so much laughter with the people of Vancouver,” says Artistic & Executive Director Jay Ono. “It will be a fabulous opportunity for the public to see the different styles of improv as performed by the visiting delegates. Many Vancouverites do not realize that VTS is renowned globally as being a leader in the improv art form, with some of the best improvisers in the world being part of our company. It will be inspiring and instructive for all the improvisers, our own as well as the international delegates, to perform together and explore new formats and ways of playing. At the same time, the public will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see companies and improvisers who do not normally perform outside of their home country.”

For the full lineup of all the Festival shows; descriptions, locations, dates, and times visit vtsl.com/iti-conference/overview

Picks of the Week – October 9, 2019

Thanksgiving Weekend is upon us, time for us to give thanks to friends and family (and you readers), along with the plethora of entertainment and activities in the picks of the week.

Oktoberfest at Vancouver Alpen Club

Alpen#DasOriginal Oktoberfest continues the fun this weekend, and the the next at Vancouver Alpen Club

Spooks: The most frightful time of the year, Fright Nights at PNE, fills the fair with haunted houses, thrilling rides and ghoulish ghosts until Halloween

Trolley: Get spooked and learn some of the dark side of Vancouver’s history on the Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour, from October 11 – 31

Pucks: Vancouver Canucks home opener brings LA Kings to Rogers Arena tonight, then Saturday night Philadelphia Flyers make a visit.

Transform: A Cabaret Festival – Virago Nationi

Fest: Transform: A Cabaret Festival continues, through this weekend, to take over the three stages of The Cultch with a multi-disciplinary festival of indigenous, local and international works

North: Take off and see the Great White North meets the Land of Fire and Ice as Flyover Canada welcomes Flyover Iceland to the cinematic adventure until October 20

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil brings their latest show, Luzia to the Big Top at Concorde Pacific Place, continuing through the end of the year

Pop: Friday night the Jonas Brothers : Happiness Begins Tour brings the trio, supported by Bebe Rexha and Jordan McGraw to Rogers Arena.

Suns: The Arts Club Theatre Company season begins with A Thousand Splendid Suns at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, running until October 13th.

Bedrooms: The Arts Club Granville Island Stage opens The Birds & the Bees is a Canadian bedroom comedy about love, lust, beekeeping, and the artificial insemination of turkeys.

The Shipment

Stereotypes: Speakeasy Theatre’s production of the provocative work The Shipment by Young Jean Lee moves to Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver until Oct 12th

Jazz: Friday Jazz is live at Tyrant Studios, this week featuring Nick Bracewell Trio.

Comedy: Saturday Comedy takes the stage at Tyrant Studios, this week’s stand-up finds Jacob Samuel and Chris Griffing supporting headliner Simon King

Improv: It’s your last chance to hit the books and laughs at The Improv Centre on Granville Island with Back to School Theatresports  closing October 12.

Rock: Local legends 54-40 make their annual visit to the Commodore Ballroom for two shows, Friday and Saturday night.

Icon: Sunday night, spend An Evening with John Fogerty: My 50 Year Trip, as the legendary musician revisits the sounds of 1969 – Woodstock and his Creedence Clearwater Revival songbook, at Rogers Arena

Spooky Action comes to Firehall Arts Centre

Vancouver-based choreographer Lesley Telford brings Spooky Action, her interdisciplinary dance project, to Firehall Arts Centre October 16th to 19th. 

Company of Spooky Action photo: David Cooper

Though appropriately titled for Halloween season, Spooky Action is actually inspired by Einstein’s theory referring to particles that are so closely linked, they share the same existence, yet they could be an entire universe apart. He called the phenomenon, “spooky action at a distance.” 

A collaboration with poet/performer Barbara Adler, this interdisciplinary work weaves together visual art, contemporary dance, poetry and original music, extending the provocative theory to human connections, exploring the mysterious ways we act on each other’s lives.

Spooky Action: Lucas Wilson-Bilbro & Eden Solomon photo: David Cooper

Firehall Arts Centre Artistic Producer Donna Spencer is thrilled to host the piece. “Firehall has been privileged to program the work of many of Vancouver’s most exciting contemporary choreographers,” she says.  “Each season when I program our dance presentations, I am looking for work that explores new ideas and challenges “status quo” themes often seen in contemporary dance. Lesley’s Inverso Dance work has a history of doing that. For Spooky Action, she has chosen very talented and accomplished creators to realize her concept and her choreography.”

The work is a combination of spoken word, group movement and duets for five dancers, as well as text performed live by Adler, portraying how we influence and affect each other in both conscious and unconscious ways. The narrative of the movement shows how we are all connected on a particle level that works magic in our everyday lives. An alumna of Nederlands Dans Theater and Madrid’s Compañía Nacional de Danza, Vancouver-born Lesley Telford’s choreography is gaining acclaim, as she tackles deep issues like quantum physics and presents them in ways that are relevant, effective, and enjoyable.  Spooky Action was first developed and premiered during an artist residency at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in 2017.

Spooky Action runs for four performances at Firehall Arts Centre from Wednesday, October 16 to Saturday, October 19, 2019.  Tickets and more information available online at firehallartscentre.ca

Spooktober starts with Fright Nights 2019 at PNE!

It’s Spooktober! Time for Vancouver’s most hallowed halloween haunt to scares up some fun as Fright Nights rises from the grave at Playland

On select nights from tomorrow, October 4th through October 31st, visitors will carefully creep through 20 hair-raising rides, astounding live shows, and eight haunted houses, all guaranteed to make this Halloween season the scariest ever. 

Thrilling live shows from fan favourites, the Monsters of Schlock, as well a host of ghouls and monsters roaming throughout the park are sure to chill and thrill visitors. If your stomach can handle it stop for food from Playland vendors, for some liquid courage hit up the Sanitarium Bar. If adrenaline isn’t enough, get a sugar rush stop by the Candy Shoppe for some sweets before hitting the thrill rides.

General admission tickets  are on sale at the gates, or save by purchasing in advance online.  Tickets include all the haunted houses, live shows and 20 night rides; including The BeastPirate Ship,Hell’s Gate, Hellavator, Atmosfear, Wooden Roller Coaster and more

Guests also have the option to purchase a Rapid Pass, which offers the same access as a regular gate pass PLUS access to one expedited entry to each of the eight houses and some night rides. 

Due to the overwhelming demand and to ensure a quality guest experience, Fright Nights is capping the number of tickets sold per day. Tickets must be purchased for a specific date. Each night of Fright Nights have limited availability and may sell out so book early. 

Playland warns that this event is not recommended for ages 12 and under, seniors 65+, people with sensitivity to strobe lighting or fog machines, people with high blood pressure, heart conditions, pregnant women or scaredy-cats. Absolutely no guest costumes or guest costume face make up allowed.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit frightnights.ca.

Picks of the Week – October 2, 2019

We move into the first week of October there’s a fest of activities in the picks.

Indie: Aussie act Boy & Bear play the Commodore Ballroom, supported by Stu Larson on Wednesday October 2

Oktoberfest at Vancouver Alpen Club

Alpen: #DasOriginal Oktoberfest gets underway this weekend, and the following three weekend’s of October at Vancouver Alpen Club

Race: Challenge your perceptions of race and culture as Speakeasy Theatre’s The Shipment wraps up its run at Firehall Arts Centre this weekend.

Pop: Multi-hyphenate pop sensation Charli XCX brings her hits to the stage at Commodore Ballroom on Saturday night

Fest: Transform: A Cabaret Festival takes over the three stages of The Cultch with a multi-disciplinary festival of indigenous, local and international works

Pigskin: BC Lions play host to Toronto Argonauts at BC Place on Saturday evening

North: Take off and see the Great White North meets the Land of Fire and Ice as Flyover Canada welcomes Flyover Iceland to the cinematic adventure until October 20

Skerryvore

Celtic: Multi-award-winning Scottish band SKERRYVORE make their Vancouver debut: Saturday, October 5, at North Vancouver’s Centennial Theatre.

Balls: Whitecaps FC bring their season to a close playing host to Real Salt Lake at BC Place on Sunday afternoon.

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil brings their latest show, Luzia to the Big Top at Concorde Pacific Place, starting October 3rd.

Suns: The Arts Club Theatre Company season begins with A Thousand Splendid Suns at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, running until October 13th.

Bedrooms: The Arts Club Granville Island Stage opens The Birds & the Bees is a Canadian bedroom comedy about love, lust, beekeeping, and the artificial insemination of turkeys.

Focus Cia de Dança photo: Fernanda Vallois

Dance: Brazil’s Focus Cia de Dança makes its West Coast debut with Still Reich, a program of thrilling contemporary dance at The Scotiabank Dance Centre October 2 – 4

Jazz: Friday Jazz is live at Tyrant Studios, this week featuring Tiny Islands’ NOLA-style classic sounds.

Comedy: Saturday Comedy takes the stage at Tyrant Studios, this week’s stand-up finds headliner Jon Gagnon supported by Byron Bertram  and Gavin Clarkson 

Prepare for Vancouver Opera 2019-2020 Season

Verdi’s La Traviata

The Vancouver Opera 2019/2020 season gets underway with Verdi’s La Traviata opening October 17th at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The remainder of the season consists of two more full-scale opera produc­tions plus the 4th annual Vancouver Opera Festival. In addition to La Traviata, Vancouver Opera also presents Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and the West Coast premiere of Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera, based on lyrics and music of Roger Waters’ The Wall.

“Never has there been a more exciting time for Vancouver Opera as we prepare to welcome traditional and new work to our stages with two opera classics and a West Coast premiere,” said Kim Gaynor, Vancouver Opera General Director. “We will celebrate Canadian artists and emerging talent alongside international talent with our three productions and the Vancouver Opera Festival. Our 2019-2020 season will appeal to traditional audiences as well as entice and engage new audiences broadening the reach of opera’s ability to tell theatrical stories through music.”

“We will also present a new opera designed for young audiences; The Flight of the Hummingbird, which will be touring British Columbia from January to April 2020,” adds Gaynor. “Our investment in opera for young audiences is central to our mission.”

Vancouver Opera will take The Flight of the Hummingbird on a school tour between January and April 2020. Based on an indigenous parable from the Quechuan people of South America, the story of the brave hummingbird travelled through pre-contact trade routes to become well known within Haida culture. This opera is influenced by the graphic novel written by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and will include elements of his dramatic Haida-manga illustrations.

Gaynor adds, “with its 2019-2020 season, the Vancouver Opera continues to create extraordinary experiences that engage, inspire and entertain audiences. We continue to be committed to the development of young artists as they transition into their professional careers. Our Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program is a proven springboard for emerging Canadian singers and opera professionals.”

The five emerging Canadian artists participating in this year’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program are Irina Medvedeva, soprano, born in Russia (Canadian citizen) living in Toronto, Gena Van Ousten, mezzo-soprano from Montreal, Daevyd Pepper, tenor and Nicholas Borg, baritone, both from Toronto, and Andrea Van Pelt, pianist from Burlington. Performers will participate in the opening production, La Traviata, which is part of a collaboration between five Canadian opera companies.

The Vancouver Opera 2019 / 2020 Season includes:

La Traviata by Guiseppe Verdi
Thursday, October 17, Saturday, October 19,
Thursday, October 24 & Sunday, October 27, 2019 (matinée)

The Barber of Seville

The Barber of Seville By Gioachino Rossini
Thursday, February 13, Saturday, February 15,
Thursday, February 20 & Sunday, February 23, 2020 (matinée)

2020 Vancouver Opera Festival
April 23—May 3, 2020
The 4th annual Vancouver Opera Festival will include two mainstage operas, special events, speakers, family events, and more. Additional festival event details will be announced in spring 2020.

Another Brick In The Wall:The Opera

Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera Based on the lyrics and music of Roger Waters’ The Wall. Operatic version composed by Julien Bilodeau Concept & stage direction by Dominic Champagne
Thursday, April 23, Saturday, April 25 & Sunday, April 26 (matinée)
Wednesday, April 29, Thursday, April 30, & Saturday, May 2, 2020

Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Friday, April 24 & Wednesday, April 29, 2020 (matinée)
Saturday, May 2 (matinée) & Sunday, May 3,
Wednesday, May 6, Thursday, May 7, Saturday, May 9, 2020

Tickets and season subscriptions are available online from vancouveropera.ca