Picks of the Week – July 17, 2019

Mid-July finds the summer entertainment season heating up, so don’t let showers dampen your spirits, get out and enjoy these picks of the week.

Movie: Downtown Vancouver presents free movies Wednesday nights throughout the summer, tonight Zoolander is on at at šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square (formerly, Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza)

Donna & The Dynamos Front Row L-R: Lori Ashton Zondag as “Tanya,” Caitriona Murphy as “Donna Sheridan,” Sheryl Anne Wheaton as “Rosie.” photo: Lindsay Elliott

Stars: The 2019 season of Theatre Under The Stars presents the entertaining musicals Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies on alternating nights until August 17th.

Kicks: In the midst of a heavy schedule, Whitecaps FC hope to earn some points, and respect, at BC Place when they host

Moms: It’s your last chance to enjoy Mom’s The Word 3 – Nest Half Empty, at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, before it closes July 20th

Playland: Playland Nights returns Friday evening bringing dedicated, 19+ activities and entertainment line-up from 7pm to midnight every Friday in July

SUPERIOR DONUTS Back: Franco Wicks (Chris Francisque) (c) Emily Cooper Photography

Repertory: The third play, Superior Donuts, in the Ensemble Theatre Company’s 7th Annual Repertory Festival opens this week, with the trio of plays in repertoire at the Jericho Art Centre until August 16th.

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

Folk: The Vancouver Folk Music Festival takes over Jericho Beach Park, July 19 – 21, 2019 featuring Basia Bulat, Corb Lund, Sam Roberts Band, and more

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

Shakespeare in Love Charlie Gallant & Ghazal Azarbad Image: Emily Cooper

Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage, and All’s Well That Ends Well on now at the Howard Family Stage.

Pitch: The Vancouver Canadians kick off a 6 game home stand on Saturday against Tri-City followed by a fireworks extravaganza

Disney’s Newsies Seize The Day & Hearts at TUTS 2019

After soaking rain all day, the skies cleared just in time for Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) opening night of Disney’s Newsies, of the 2019 season.

The cast of Disney’s Newsies photo: Lindsay Elliott

The stars, moon and birds came out to help Disney’s Newsies reach for the sky. Starting from their ‘penthouse in the sky’ the production is packed with thrilling dance numbers, soaring tunes and a timeless (and timely) message for the whole family. Based on the 1992 movie musical, Disney’s Newsies is inspired by the real-life New York Newsboys Strike of 1899. In New York City an army of ragged orphans and runaways called ‘newsies’ delivered the ‘papes’ but when newspaper owners raise distribution prices at the newsies’ expense, the newsies unites and rally other child labourers to strike against the unfair and unsafe conditions. Battling the owners and their manipulation of the news, the newsies contend with corruption, prejudices and fake news.

Julia Ullrich as “Katherine Plumber” and Adam Charles as “Jack Kelly.” photo: Lindsay Elliott

The Disney’s Newsies cast is lead by a brilliant Adam Charles, playing Jack Kelly the charismatic leader of the newsies. Cole Smuland plays Crutchie, Jack’s crutch-wielding best friend and fellow newsie. Joined by Daniel Curalli and Jordyn Bennett as Davey and Les Jacobs, sibling newsies also befriended by Jack, with Davey helping unionise their fellow newsies.  Jovanni Sy makes his TUTS debut as publishing magnate Joseph Pulitzer and Julia Ullrich returns for her third season as young journalist, Katherine Plumber who reports on the newsies’ strike and strikes Jack’s fancy.

Front Row L-R: Daniel Curalli as “Davey Jacobs,” Adam Charles as “Jack Kelly,” Caitlin McMaster as Ensemble Member, plus the cast of Disney’s Newsies photo: Lindsay Elliott

Anthemic and inspiring songs like; Seize The Day, King of New York, Santa Fe, Carrying the Banner, and The World Will Know, help the newsies win over the audience to their cause. Just as the film was choreographer Kenny Ortega’s directorial debut, award-winning choreographer/dancer Julie Tomaino makes her TUTS directorial debut as well as choreographing the productions stunning dance segments. In addition, Fight Directors Mike Kovac and Ryan Mcneill Bolton, have created intricate dance-like brawls that make you root for the newsies even more. Just as Jack and the other newsies find their confidence, the productions moves from strength to strength leaving the audience ready to get up and seize the day!

Disney’s Newsies plays on alternating nights with Mamma Mia! at Theatre Under The Stars in Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park until August 17th, find showtimes and tickets online at tuts.ca

TUTS 2019 Opens with Mamma Mia!

With rain clouds hanging overhead, guests at Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) had a hard time seeing the stars on opening night of Mamma Mia!. However, a little rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the ABBA-inspired musical, directed by TUTS veteran, Shel Piercy.

Donna & The Dynamos
Front Row L-R: Lori Ashton Zondag as “Tanya,” Caitriona Murphy as “Donna Sheridan,” Sheryl Anne Wheaton as “Rosie.”
photo: Lindsay Elliott

Set on a Greek Isle, at the Summer Nights Taverna at Villa Donna, run by former rock chick, Donna Sheridan (Caitriona Murphy). Mamma Mia! centres on Donna’s daughter Sophie (Keira Jang) wedding to Sky (Joshua Lalisan) and her quest to discover herself by finding her father. Instead, she find a possible three fathers, Harry Bright played by Stefan Winfield , Matt Ramer as Bill Austin, and Peter Monaghan as Sam Carmichael. Along the way, a frazzled, emotional Donna is supported by her besties and former bandmates from “Donna and the Dynamos” Rosie (Sheryl Anne Wheaton) and Tanya (Lori Ashton Zondag).

“Wait 20 years for a dad, then 3 come along at once” Front Row L-R: Stefan Winfield as “Harry Bright,” Peter Monaghan as “Sam Carmichael,” Chris M. Ward as “Pepper,” Matt Ramer as “Bill Austin.” photo: Lindsay Elliott

Always a crowd favourite, the sing-along friendly, fun-filled musical comes with few surprises for most, but those who have only experienced the movie will find a different order and more music packed into the 2.5 hour production. ‘Dancing Queen,’ ‘Take a Chance on Me,’ ‘Super Trouper,’ ‘SOS’, ‘Waterloo’ and more fan faves keep the audience entranced! The only small question-mark was a decision by the production to have a number of the characters speaking, and singing, in different accents seemed unnecessary and distracting, as some actors appeared to stumble over their drifting accent.

The cast of Mamma Mia! photo: Lindsay Elliott

In typical Vancouverite fashion the rain didn’t seem to bother the audience, TUTS handed out rain-ponchos for those without rain gear. Francesca Albertazzi’s beautiful set really felt like Greek taverna with a sunny piazza had come to life on stage, and made us forget the rain. The weather did appear to cause an adjustment to the stage blocking, with the ensemble trying to stay under the covered area of the stage the set seemed a bit crowded during the large production numbers.

As the saying goes, come rain, come shine, the show must go on, and the company of Mamma Mia! certainly did put on a show to entertain the audience and bring a bit of Mediterranean sun to a dreary Wet Coast evening.

Mamma Mia! plays on alternating nights with Disney’s Newsies at Theatre Under The Stars in Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park until August 17th, find showtimes and tickets online at tuts.ca

Picks of the Week – July 10, 2019

The weather may be debatable but there’s no question that there’s plenty of entertainment in these Vancouver’s picks of the week

Flicks: Downtown Vancouver presents free movies Wednesday nights throughout the summer, tonight Pitch Perfect is on at at šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square (formerly, Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza)

Rock: Tonight, spend An Evening with Queen and Adam Lambert : The Rhapsody Tour at Rogers Arena

Festival: The 9th Annual Indian Summer Festival opens tomorrow, bringing locally and internationally renowned artists to venues around the city until July 14th.

Theatre Under The Stars photo: Lindsay Elliott

Stars: The 2019 season of Theatre Under The Stars presents Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies on alternating nights until August 17th.

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.

Looney: The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra welcomes a special guest as Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II performs for two nights July 12 & 13, at The Orpheum Theatre

Repertory: The Ensemble Theatre Company’s 7th Annual Repertory Festival brings a trio of plays to the Jericho Art Centre until August 16th.

Moms: A play you and your mom can enjoy Mom’s The Word 3 – Nest Half Empty, is playing at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, until July 20th

Swing: Saturday night, join our friends in the Bruce James Orchestra as they backup crooner Dane Warren for an evening of Sinatra (and friends) classics at Vancouver’s Hungarian Cultural Centre

Nights: Playland Nights returns Friday evening bringing dedicated, 19+ activities and entertainment line-up from 7pm to midnight every Friday in July

Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage, and All’s Well That Ends Well on now at the Howard Family Stage.

Balls: Returning home from a thorough drubbing in LA, Whitecaps FC hope to earn some points at BC Place when they host Sporting Kansas City

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

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

Ensemble Theatre Co. 7th Annual Repertory Festival

Ensemble Theatre Company Annual Summer Repertory Festival returns to Jericho Arts Centre, July 10th to August 16th. The 7th annual festival features An uplifting comedy set in a doughnut shop, a classic political satire for the age of Trump and a celebration of the power of storytelling. 

The 2019 line-up of works promise to provide with topical stories that can draw parallels from the climate of today’s news and politics. Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, observes the relationships of the patrons and workers of different generations, races and cultures in a small Chicago donut shop. Garson Kanin’s classic Born Yesterday, follows a corrupt businessman turned politician and his naive showgirl, mistress to Washington DC. Rounding out the trio of plays, Michael Healey’s The Drawer Boy shows a young actor researching the lives of two bachelor farmers  and highlights the power of storytelling in creating and interpreting reality, and how it can transform lives. 

Ensemble’s talented group of actors, directors, and designers, bring to life this year’s selection of plays showcasing the humour, insight, and excitement that only live theatre offers. As Tariq Leslie, Artistic Director of Ensemble Theatre Company says: “Theatre brings us together to celebrate, challenge and provoke through the telling of stories. The plays we have programmed for our seventh season embrace conversations about what our culture was, is, and could be – the stories we tell ourselves and the truths we all share – each one filled with humour and with pathos.”

The Ensemble Theatre Company’s Annual Repertory Festival should be a highlight in every Vancouver theatregoers summer Arts calendar. 

The 7th Annual Summer Repertory Festival includes: 

THE DRAWER BOY
Back (R-L) Morgan (Darcey Johnson), and Angus (James Gill), seated: Miles (Chris Lam). Photo by Emily Cooper.

The Drawer Boy By Michael Healey
Directed by Alan Brodie / Asst. Director Caitlin Fysh
Featuring James Gill, Darcey Johnson, Chris Lam 

Preview Performance: Wednesday, July 10 / Opening Friday, July 12

BILLY HOLIDAY LEFT: Billie Holiday (Alexis Kellum-Creer), RIGHT: Paul Verral (Tariq Leslie). (c) Emily Cooper Photography

Born Yesterday By Garson Kanin 
Directed by Shelby Bushell and Michael Scholar Jr.
Featuring Alexis Kellum-Creer, Paul Herbert, Tariq Leslie, Kira Fondse, David Wallace, James Gill, Kenneth Tynan and Steven James

Preview Performance: Thursday, July 11 / Opening: Saturday., July 13

SUPERIOR DONUTS Back: Franco Wicks (Chris Francisque) (c) Emily Cooper Photography

Superior Donuts By Tracy Letts 
Directed by Keltie Forsyth
Featuring Ron Reed, Chris Francisque, Steve James, Darcey Johnson, Lindsay Nelson, Alexis Kellum-Creer, Anthony Santiago, Richard Meen, Kenneth Tynan

Preview Performance: Thursday, July 18 / Opening: Friday, July 19

Ensemble Theatre Company’s 7th Annual Repertory Festival runs July 10, 2019 to August 16, 2019 at Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery Street, Vancouver. Individual tickets and festival passes are available at ensembletheatrecompany.ca

Picks of the Week – July 3, 2019

As we move past the long weekend, the season is in full swing, and Summer holidays bringing even more entertainment to the city for this week’s picks

Indian Summer Festival

Festival: The 9th Annual Indian Summer Festival opens tomorrow, bringing locally and internationally renowned artists to venues around the city until July 14th.

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.

Moms: A play you and your mom can enjoy Mom’s The Word 3 – Nest Half Empty, is playing at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, until July 20th

Nights: Playland Nights returns Friday evening bringing dedicated, 19+ activities and entertainment line-up from 7pm to midnight every Friday in July

Carnaval del Sol
photo: Hudson Hipolito

Latin: The Pacific Northwest’s largest Latin American Festival, Carnaval del Sol takes over Concorde Pacific Place this weekend, July 6-7, with food, drink, entertainment and fashions from all around Latin America

Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage, and All’s Well That Ends Well on now at the Howard Family Stage.

Bats: Vancouver Canadians host a 3 game home stand against Everett from July 7 – 9.

Theatre Under The Stars
photo: Lindsay Elliott

Stars: The 2019 season of Theatre Under The Stars starts previews this weekend with Mamma Mia! on Friday & Sunday, and Disney’s Newsies on Saturday & Monday, before their opening nights next week.

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

SoapOpera: Vancouver TheatreSports presents its newest show, Improv Mondays with Michelle – Fake Stories, Real Improvisers hosted by the character Michelle from the popular web comedic soap opera Michelle’s.

Films: EVO Summer Cinema outdoor movie series returns to Second Beach in Stanley Park. Tuesday nights until August 20, 2019, the the Grand Lawn at Ceperley Field becomes a free public cinema. 

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

Picks of the Week – June 26, 2019

It’s already the end of June but brings us to the first long weekend of Summer and all the entertainment that Canada Day brings to the week’s picks.

Wu Tang Clan plays Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Jazz: The 34th Vancouver International Jazz Festival runs until July 1st with hundred of artists, performances and events, many free, taking place all over downtown Vancouver’s parks, theatres, restaurants and other venues

Arts: The 11th Annual Queer Arts Festival continues through June 28th at Roundhouse Community Centre

Dance: Let’s Hear It For Yaletown brings free Jazz and Dancing to Bill Curtis Square from noon – 2pm & 5-7:30pm Monday to Friday, the perfect way to spend your lunch time or relax after work.

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.

Moms: A play you and your mom can enjoy Mom’s The Word 3 – Nest Half Empty, is playing at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, until July 20th

Pride: Surrey Pride is celebrating 20 years with Pride Party on the Plaza, a family-friendly festival at Surrey Central City, Saturday June 29th 3pm-8pm

Bard On The Beach
Bard On The Beach

Tents: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer

Diva: Thursday, stage legend & Golden Globe-winning actress Bernadette Peters joins the VSO, at the Orpheum, for a show filled with classic Broadway tunes, delivered in Peters’ unique and inimitable style.

Queen: The VSO presents a 100th anniversary gift to the community with a free outdoor concert, featuring Queen Latifah alongside the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Saturday at Deer Lake Park.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Symphony In The Park

Park: On Sunday, June 30th the VSO and Music Director Otto Tausk return to Deer Lake for its 32nd annual free summer performance Symphony in the Park

Bats: Vancouver Canadians host a 6 game home stand against Spokane and Hillsboro from June 28 – July 3, including Fireworks nights on June 29 and Canada Day.

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

SoapOpera: Vancouver TheatreSports presents its newest show, Improv Mondays with Michelle – Fake Stories, Real Improvisers hosted by the character Michelle from the popular web comedic soap opera Michelle’s.

Canada Day Fireworks over Canada Place

Dominion: Celebrate Canada Day at any of the community celebrations around Metro Vancouver; including Canada Day at Canada Place, O Canada Day at Granville Island, Surrey Canada Day at Bill Reid Millenium Amphitheatre, Steveston Salmon Festival, West Van Canada Day at John Lawson Park, Historic Canada Day at Burnaby Village Museum, to name just a few of the events.