Colin Mochrie returns to Vancouver TheatreSports

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.  All performances benefit Vancouver TheatreSports, a registered non-profit charity, and the Colin Mochrie Scholarship Fund at VTS’ theatre school, The Improv Comedy Institute. Established in 2014, this scholarship provides assistance to those wishing to study improv but are unable to do so because of financial barriers.

The trio of funny-bone tickling performances take place at the intimate Improv Centre on Granville Island and historic The Vogue Theatre.

COLIN UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL – Thursday, May 30, 7:30pm at The Improv Centre
See Colin up close and catch every expressive comedic nuance in an intimate space! This very special evening includes a full 90-minute improv performance starring Colin along with VTS ensemble members, and a Q&A session where audience members ask the questions. VTS patrons who arrive early for a drink at The Improv Centre’s Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge might even get lucky and snag a selfie with Colin Mochrie before the show. Ticket prices for this performance range from $99 (theatre seats) to $109 (tables/banquette seats).

COLIN AND FRIENDS – Friday, May 31, 7:30pm at The Improv CentreColin returns to The Improv Centre, to perform with some of his improv friends from the VTS ensemble. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch an improv master at work in an evening that is sure to tickle your funny bone. The intimate, 186 seat, Improv Centre is fully-licensed and guests are welcome to take their beverages with them into the theatre to help lubricate their laughter during the show. Ticket prices for this performance range from $89 (theatre seats) to $99 (tables/banquette seats).

THE COLIN MOCHRIE EXPERIENCE – Saturday, June 1 | 7:30pm | The Vogue Theatre
Saturday night the laughs move to Vancouver’s Entertainment District as Colin take the stage at The Vogue Theatre. This performance once again features the improv master with some of your favourite VTS  improvisers in a free-wheeling improv laugh-fest. Ticket prices for this performance range from $29 to $65.

Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to catch one of the world’s greatest improvisers at his best. Colin Mochrie’s return to VTS and Vancouver is sure to be one of the hottest comedy tickets this spring.

For more information and tickets visit Vancouver TheatreSports online at vtsl.com

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 Fear, 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 

DOXA Awards 2019

The DOXA Documentary Film Festival wrapped up for another year last weekend with a closing night screening of Hepi Mita’s Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen.

After screening 82 films from around the world the adjudicators determined the recipients of the 2019 DOXA Awards.  The three awards were presented prior to the closing screening and went to the following recipients; 

Call Me Intern: directed by Nathalie Berger and Leo David Hyd

Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming was presented to Call Me Intern, directed by Nathalie Berger and Leo David Hyde. Jury members Anna Hetherington, Steven Hawkins, Jacob Saltzberg, Maya Biderman and Teagan Dobson stated of the film: “Call Me Intern’s raw, unfettered depiction of the struggle to break into industry is both poignant and devastatingly familiar for millennials like us today.”

Time Is Out Of Joint: by Victor Arroyo

DOXA Short Documentary Award went to Victory Arroyo’s Time is Out of Joint . Jury members Aaron Zeghers, Joella Cabalu and Ananya Ohri awarded the film for its “unconventional style and approach that pushes the tradition of documentary storytelling into new territory.” The jury also awarded an Honourable Mention to Haven directed by Colin Askey “for its sensitive and humanizing approach on a life-changing resource in the midst of an urgent crisis.”

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up : by Tasha Hubbard

Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary was given to Tasha Hubbard’s nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up. Jury members Leon Lee, Peg Campbell and John Bolton described the film: “Focusing on the Boushie family’s fight for justice in a rigged legal system, past treaty betrayals, and the legacy of residential schools – the film demonstrates the resilience and strength needed to make a safe future for Indigenous children.” “For its ambition, its stark aesthetic, and its compassionate yet unflinching approach to its subject matter of humanity crushed by capitalism, corrupt government and organized crime”, the jury also awarded an Honourable Mention to Julien Elie’s Dark Suns.

Greetings From Free Forests : by Ian Soroka

DOXA Feature Documentary Award was presented to Ian Soroka’s Greetings From Free Forests. Jurors Gregory Coyes, Sean Farnel and Michèle Smolkin said of the film: “The measured, cinematic beauty of these mountain forests, and their vast, underlying limestone caves, revealed a receptacle for both personal memories, and dramatic human history.” Honourable Mention was also given to Hassan Fazili and Emelie Mahdavian’s Midnight Traveler for its “courageous and genuine storytelling”. The jurors were impressed by “the filmmaker’s attempt to escape persecution from his own country and to find a safe haven for his family.”

The DOXA Festival team take some well deserved time to unwind and debrief before they start to work on DOXA 2020 and a new line-up of great films from around the world

Picks of the Week – May 15, 2019

It’s that time again, the unofficial kick off to Summer; Victoria Day, May Long, May Two-Four, whatever you might call this long weekend there’s no doubt you’ll find something entertaining to pick from…

Dance: The Scotiabank Dance Centre’s popular Discover Dance! series brings its season to a close with a performance of African dance by Jacky Essombe to the Centre on May 16th, for two shows, at noon + 6pm

Arts Umbrella Expressions Festival – Animal Farm

Festival: The Arts Umbrella brings a variety of performances to the stage with its Theatre & Music Department’s 2019 Expressions Theatre Festival, May 17 – 25 at Waterfront Theatre

Ballers:The Great Leap explores a 1989 exhibition basketball game in Beijing at The Arts Club BMO Theatre Centre until May 19th.

Balls: See if Whitecaps FC can notch another win when they play host to Atlanta United FC on Wednesday evening at BC Place

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 from May 16 to October 14, 2019.

Jericho: Edward Bond’s The Sea, comes ashore at the Jericho Arts Centre, presented by The Slamming Door Artist Collective, from May 2nd to 19th.

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

Jazz: Vancouver’s Alan Matheson Septet bring their ‘little big band’ sound to the stage at Pyatt Hall on May 18th.

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports slays audiences with laughter at Throne and Games – The Last Laugh featuring some familiar characters along with a myriad of unexpected plot twists as suggested by the audience.

Art: Celebrate the Class of 2019 at The Show at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the public exhibition of graduating student works until May 19th

Fairytale: May 16 – 26, Presentation House Theatre brings the comedic spin on ‘The Princess and the Pea” Once Upon A Mattress to the stage

Chan Centre brings the world to 2019/2020 Concert Series

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC has announced a diverse, global selection of performances for its 2019/20 series. The nine concerts at Chan Shun Concert Hall will welcome extraordinary talent from around the world, including an icon of Americana, the height of jazz royalty, and a compelling Norwegian songstress. Also announced is the 2019/20 Beyond Words series, featuring four heartrending interdisciplinary performances that affirm the importance of diversity in storytelling. In addition, Chan Centre Connects Series complements presentations with artist and expert talks, panel discussions, workshops, master classes, and film screenings, offering more in-depth engagement with the season’s programming. 

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my role as curator for the Chan Centre Presents series is the sheer delight of discovery.” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director and curator of the Chan Centre Presents series. “This season brings Vancouver debuts, fresh new sounds, and time-honoured art forms from around the world to the Chan Centre stage. Encounter the ethereal harmonies of an extraordinary Sámi artist from Norway, the impactful gospel-inspired songs of the civil rights movement, and the romance of Cuba’s golden era revived for a new generation. Each of the brilliant artists we welcome will be taking us on an exploratory journey — so bring your sense of adventure!”

The 2019/20 Chan Centre Presents series includes:

Rosanne Cash
photo: Michael Lavine

ROSANNE CASH
Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 8pmThe Grammy award-winning icon of roots music, Rosanne Cash, tours in support of her first album in five years, She Remembers Everything

MARI BOINE
Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 8pmBringing to life the rich sound of her native Sámi languagevocalist Mari Boine has cultivated a following with her trailblazing sound that harmonizes shamanic beats with bold expressionism.

DAKHABRAKHA
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 8pmEastern European quartet DakhaBrakha presents their brand of “ethno chaos,” melding together Ukrainian folk music with Indian, Arabic, African, Russian, and Australian instrumentation. 

FLAMENCO LEGENDS: THE PACO DE LUCÍA PROJECT
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 8pmPaying tribute to their former bandleader, the Flamenco Legends project celebrates the late guitarist Paco de Lucía with an evening of incredible music and dance that delves into his rich legacy. 

ORQUESTA AKOKÁN
Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 8pmOld Havana comes to life with this 13-piece ensemble that brings together Cuba’s top musicians and the best of New York’s Latin music scene. 

WE SHALL OVERCOME: A CELEBRATION OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 8pmPianist, conductor, composer, arranger, and arts educator Damien Sneed commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with a vibrant, multi-genre performance. 

DIANNE REEVES: BELEZA BRAZIL
Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 7pmFive-time Grammy Award-winner Dianne Reeves explores the sounds of South America in her brand new project Beleza Brazil (“the beauty of Brazil”). 

LA SANTA CECILIA
Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 8pmInspired by Pan-American influences while drawing on their own Mexican heritage, LA-based band La Santa Cecilia weave together influences from cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango, R&B, jazz, and more.

Kalabanté – Afrique en Cirque
photo: Peter Graham

KALABANTÉ: AFRIQUE EN CIRQUE
Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8pmMontreal-based Guinean Yamoussa Bangoura imports the athleticism, agility, and animation of African music and arts by fusing them with European circus traditions in his stunning multidisciplinary performances. 

The 2019/20 Beyond Words series includes:

HUFF
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 12pm + 7:30pmPerformed by award-winning playwright Cliff Cardinal, the brutally honest, darkly comic one-man performance dives into the lives of three Indigenous siblings caught in a maelstrom of institutional prejudice and abuse.

TRADER TIME
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 7:30pmLong-term collaborators Ivan Coyote and Sarah MacDougall present their latest multidisciplinary work, Trader Time. Made up of a series of interrelated vignettes based on a local Whitehorse buy-and-sell radio show, 

BLACK LIKE ME: AN EXPLORATION OF THE WORD N–––––
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 7:30pm + Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 12pmInnovative dance artist and choreographer Jade Solomon Curtis uses African, jazz, tap, ballet, musical theatre, and club dance vocabularies to investigate the reverberations of a single word across the global landscape. 

RIDGE
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 7:30pmAward-winning writer, musician, and slam poet Brendan MacLeod confronts the misconceptions and misunderstandings of the now-famed Battle at Vimy Ridge, in which more than 10,000 Canadian casualties were recorded.

For more details, season subscriptions and single tickets (on sale from June 18, 2019) visit chancentre.com

5 Mother’s Day Picks for 2019 That Aren’t Brunch

This Sunday, much of the world celebrates Mother’s Day. While each country & culture has its own traditions, here in North America, the 2nd Sunday in May usually includes brunch, flowers & family.

While a family meal with the matriarch is common, you might be looking for a different option to celebrate Mom. Here’s a five options for Mother’s Day, May 12, 2019, in Metro Vancouver that don’t include making reservations but do included doing something with Mom.

RUN: Blueshore Financial Mother’s Day Run presented by Westin Bayshore: start the day with a 3k, 5k, 10k family fun run / walk through scenic Stanley Park, from Ceperley Field to Coal Harbour with a festival-like wrap up at the finish line or brunch at Westin Bayshore.

MOM=WOW

LAUGH: Vancouver TheatreSports celebrates Moms everywhere with its ‘mother of all Mother’s Day shows’ – MOM=WOW – a special, one-performance-only, Mom-themed show just for her at 4:00pm, after toast mom with a sip and the sunny views of the marina from the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge.

MUSEUM: Celebrate Mom at Burnaby Village Museum, from 11am to 4:30pm, with a day packed with special activities, exhibitions and crafts planned with Moms and families in mind, top off your visit with a visit to the Ice Cream Parlour for a slice of Mother’s Day lavender cheesecake & tea.

TREES: If you’ve taken Mom for a visit to enjoy the gardens of Queen Elizabeth Park, enhance your own urban forest with the Vancouver Park Board Tree Sale, any unclaimed or unpurchased trees from the online sale may be purchased for cash on between 2-4pm at Nat Bailey Stadium parking lot.

MATINEE: Vancouver Academy of Music (VAM) Symphony Orchestra, joined by internationally renowned pianist and VAM alumnus Jon Kimura Parker, brings its season to a close with a riveting performance of Stravinsky’s vibrant, folk-inspired Suite from The Firebird, at The Orpheum at 2pm.

Picks of the Week – May 8, 2019

May is heating up, not just outside but on the Vancouver entertainment scene, find out what’s hot in these picks of the week

Anniversary: Tonight, Passion Pit takes to the Commodore Ballroom on tour in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of their debut album

MOM=WOW

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports celebrates Moms everywhere with its ‘mother of all Mother’s Day shows’ – MOM=WOW – a special, one-performance-only, Mom-themed show on Sunday at 4:00pm. As well,  Throne and Games – The Last Laugh continues to slay audiences with laughs.

Dance: Ballet BC, Program 3, wraps up its season with a trio of pieces performed at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings.

Jazz: Saturday, Surrey City Orchestra plays Jazz & Strings, an evening of jazz and movie music, featuring the Miles Black Trio – Miles Black (piano), Jodi Proznick (Bass), Jesse Cahill (drums) and special guest, singer Julia Copeman-Haynes

Ballers:The Great Leap explores a 1989 exhibition basketball game in Beijing at The Arts Club BMO Theatre Centre until May 19th.

Party: After a 4 year break The Tea Party are back with new music and taking to the stage for two shows at the Commodore Ballroom, Thursday and Friday

Bizet: Thursday at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC, Carmen in New York, presented by the 45th Avenue Jazz Band, is a novel arrangement of Georges Bizet’s Carmen Suite for Jazz Orchestra.

Film:DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Western Canada’s largest documentary Film Festival, returns to Vancouver for the 18th annual festival May 2nd through May 12th in cinemas around town.

Gallery: Friday night Vancouver Art Gallery FUSE : Gestures comes alive after hours with art, music, performances, artists bars throughout the gallery

Reconcile This by Krystle Coughlin at Bill Reid Gallery

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

Piano: Saturday night, award winning British singer-songwriter Tom Odell stops at the Commodore Ballroom in support of his third album

Choir: SummerSing! is the Vancouver Bach Choirs’ season finale, bringing together all eight choirs joining in song to celebrate the operatic tradition in an Operamania themed program at the Chan Centre, Saturday

Edward Bond’s The Sea

Jericho: Edward Bond’s The Sea, comes ashore at the Jericho Arts Centre, presented by The Slamming Door Artist Collective, from May 2nd to 19th.

Rock: Abbotsford Centre welcomes the 10th Anniversary tour of the 5 time Tony Award-winning Rock Of Ages for one night only on May 11th