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.

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)

Matilda The Musical, Mesmerizes

“Children Are Maggots”, that is the motto of the Crunchem Hall Primary School, run by grim headmistress Miss Trunchbull, in Matilda The Musical. Now playing at The Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Matilda the Musical is based on Roald Dahl’s children’s fantasy novel, adapted by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin.

Matilda The Musical

Matilda The Musical is a riot from start to finish, at times quite literally, as Matilda the 5 year old title character declares ‘sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty’. Well played by Georgia Acken, who alternates the role with Thailey Roberge, both making their Arts Club debuts, Matilda is a smart-as-a-whip, bookworm, bullied by her parents and more comfortable in the library than home. As she starts school, she finds herself allied with the other students, played by a mix of newcomers and up-and-coming young local actors, who are bullied by Miss Trunchbull. While the young ensemble all bring a smile to your face as they sing and dance their way through the insults and tyranny of the headmistress, it’s the adults who really bring the laughs. Lauren Bowler plays Mrs Wormwood with the comedic flair of a classic Carol Burnett character. As Mr Wormwood, Ben Elliott brings cartoon-like physical comedy with a dancer’s lightness to the stage. However, the real stand-out is John Ullyatt playing Miss Trunchbull, the former Olympic hammer thrower now rules Crunchem with an iron fist as its headmistress, who finds children revolting. Ullyatt gives an over-the-top performance that would fit in perfectly at St Trinian’s, able to bring the audience to tears of laughter without saying a word, a scowl or raised eyebrow is all that’s needed.

The Arts Club’s Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran noted that Matilda was on her wish list for a dream season when she interviewed for her position. Now, in partnership with Citadel Theatre and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, her dream is a reality. Matilda The Musical is directed by Citadel Theatre’s Daryl Cloran, who also brought is the amazing Beatles-inspired As You Like It to Bard On The Beach last season, and brings his creative brush to Roald Dahl’s whimsical creation. While Dahl’s story of being able to change your story to get more out of like was written more than 3 decades ago, the theme is timeless. Even though the musical runs a lengthy 2 hours 35 minutes (with intermission) you’ll leave the theatre wishing you had more time with these eccentric characters and brilliant young Matilda.

Matilda The Musical runs until July 14, 2019 at The Arts Club Industrial Alliance Theatre. For tickets and showtimes visit artsclub.com

2019 PNE Summer Night Concerts

The line-up has only just been announced, but already the 2019 PNE Summer Night Concert Series is building anticipation. Once again, each summer night at 8:30pm the Pacific National Exhibition will come alive with the sounds of music, and this morning is your chance to get tickets to the PNE Summer Night Concerts, the summer’s best entertainment value.

Boyband 98 Degrees, Motown’s Smokey Robinson, Canadian legends Blue Rodeo and Burton Cummings, rock icons ZZ Top, Vince Neil and Billy Idol, Hip Hop stars Bobby Brown, TLC and so many more are coming to the PNE Amphitheatre stage throughout the 15 Summer Night Concerts (note PNE is Closed Mondays August 19 & 26)

PNE Summer Nights Concerts

The 2019 Summer Night Concerts are included free with admission, with 2000-4000 general admission tickets available each day at 11am from the Amphitheatre Box Office or online ($3 service charge) but be aware that seating is first come-first seated so you’ll want to make sure you arrive early.  Beer Gardens around the PNE Fairground usually show the concerts on big screens so you can still enjoy the shows even if the Amphitheatre is already at capacity.  If you don’t want to wait, limited reserved seating is available from $25 + admission.  Reserved seats go on sale today, May 24, 2019 at 10am.

In addition you can gather your friends and family to reserve a private party suites  that cater to groups of 12 or 14 including the private suite, gate passes, concert tickets, food & beverage service, plus parking passes.

The 2019 Summer Night Concerts line-up includes:

  • Saturday, August 17: Blue Rodeo
  • Sunday, August 18: ZZ Top – 50th Anniversary Tour
  • Tuesday, August 20: 98 Degrees
  • Wednesday, August 21: Burton Cummings and Band
  • Thursday, August 22: Vince Neil the Legendary Voice of Mötley Crüe
    Performing All The Mötley Crüe Hits
  • Friday, August 23: Smokey Robinson
  • Saturday, August 24: Now’s The Time Tour – Collective Soul and Gin Blossoms
  • Sunday, August 25: STYX
  • Tuesday, August 27: UB40 – For The Many – 40th Anniversary Tour
  • Wednesday, August 28: Colin James
  • Thursday, August 29: I Love the 90’s featuring Vanilla Ice, Montell Jordan, Biz Markie, Rob Base
  • Friday, August 30: Hammer’s House Party – MC Hammer with Special Guest Bobby Brown
  • Saturday, August 31: Billy Idol
  • Sunday, September 1: The Beach Boys
  • Monday, September 2: TLC – 25th Anniversary Tour

Get your tickets online at PNE now.

Picks of the Week – May 22, 2019

With Victoria Day behind us, we move into the summer entertainment season and plenty of picks of the week…

Festival: The Arts Umbrella Theatre & Music Department’s 2019 Expressions Theatre Festival, continues to bring entertainment to the stage until May 25 at Waterfront Theatre

MOA : Shadows Strings & Other Things

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

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

Fairytale: Presentation House Theatre brings the comedic spin on ‘The Princess and the Pea” Once Upon A Mattress to the stage until May 26

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.

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.

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir Photo: Alex Law Photography

Noise: Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir presents the final concert of their season, The Return of Soul Gospel, May 25th at Christ Church Cathedral.

Country: Award-winning, country superstar Carrie Underwood brings The Cry Pretty Tour to Rogers Arena Saturday night.

Spoken Word: Canadian poet Shane Koyczan takes the stage at The Vogue Theatre Friday May 24

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.

Dance: The Dance Centre presents the Global Dance Connections series Davida Monk’s Ashes for Beauty, three varied and beautiful contemporary dance works May 23 – 25

Whitecaps Pride Match

Pride: Whitecaps FC host Dallas FC at BC Place for their annual Pride match on Saturday afternoon.

Punk: Manhattan punk act Gogol Bordello brings their punk & dub sounds to the Commodore Ballroom on Friday night.

Rap: Chinese hip-hop / trap group, Higher Brothers, bring beats and rhymes to the Commodore stage on Saturday night

Eternal Theatre Collective presents, the musical, bare

Eternal Theatre Collective (ETC), Vancouver’s youth theatre company is bringing Off-Broadway to Off-Oak St when they present their next musical bare, at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver from May 29th to June 8th. 

ETC's bare 
photo: Sasha Aleshchenko
ETC’s bare
photo: Sasha Aleshchenko

An acclaimed Off-Broadway musical, bare is a pop opera that focuses on coming out and growing up, told from the perspective of Catholic school students as they navigate the complexities of their own sexuality, identity, and future. Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which is also featured as the play-within-a-play, the story follows young lovers Jason and Peter as they struggle to be true to themselves, and to each other, in an environment where acceptance is not guaranteed. 

Providing a fresh and utterly honest take on the coming-of-age story, while touching on the perils of gossip, innuendo and knowing who to trust with your truth, bare gives insight on the dangers of baring your soul, and the consequences of continuing to hide. 

ETC's bare 
photo: Sasha Aleshchenko
ETC’s bare
photo: Sasha Aleshchenko

Eternal Theatre Collective’s production of bare is site specific, taking place at the beautiful Unitarian Church of Vancouver – mirroring the overlying pious presence within the play.

Eternal Theatre Collective is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to providing young people with hands on, paid experience in theatre. As with every production by ETC, bare is produced and performed by young people aged 13-25.

This production of bare is directed by Seamus Fera, choreographed by Alexandra Ewert and stars Caleb Lagayan, Robbie Hébert, Katrina Teitz, Ashlyn Tegos, YooRa Kang, Hannah Myers, Avidor Manor, Ricardo Pequenino, Jessica Wong, Colin Doig, Jeremy Cruz, Oliver Spilsbury, Shelby Armstrong, Allegra Wright.
The band; Caleb Chuang, Beulah Lee, Nick Range, Felix J.C. Dick, Marshall Henderson, Hannah Myers, and Seth Kitamura, is led by Caleb Chuang. 

Eternal Theatre Collective’s bare plays May 29, 2019 to June 8, 2019 at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 949 W 49th Ave (at Oak St). For tickets visit eternaltheatre.com/bare