Picks of the Week – June 27, 2018

Summer is in full swing, and Canada Day brings up our first long weekend of the season and plenty of activities and entertainment to pick from this week.

Canada Day Fireworks over Canada Place

O Canada: Celebrate Canada Day with one of the many community events or plan your own with family and friends.

Jazz: The Vancouver and Victoria International Jazz Festivals continue through the weekend with Macy Gray, Dee Dee Bridgewater & The Memphis Soulphony, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Bonobo, The Jerry Douglas Band and more

Bard Village

Bard: Make your picks between a brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It or the dramatic Macbeth at Bard on the Beach 2018

Anniversary: Tonight, the Commodore Ballroom welcomes Gomez as they tour in support of the 20th Anniversary of their Mercury Prize winning album Bring It On.

Rock: The 90s makes a return as Collective Soul plays a two night stand, Thursday and Friday (sold out) at Commodore Ballroom.

Arts: The 10th Anniversary Queer Arts Festival wraps up June 28th at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

Kicks: Get your FIFA World Cup fix and soak up the global vibes at various venues around town

Balls: Spend Canada Day at BC Place as Vancouver Whitecaps host Colorado Rapids Sunday afternoon.

Bats: the Vancouver Canadians are in the midst of a 8 game home stand versus Tri-City Americans, then Salem-Keizer Volcanoes though July 3rd at Nat Bailey Stadium

Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018. As well, David Milne: Modern Painting  on until September 9th, offers highlights of Milne’s half-century career, which took him from New York City, to the battlefields of Northern  France and Belgium, and back to the wilderness of Canada and the US.

Fest: It’s the final couple days of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra presents the Global Soundscape Festival a celebration of Middle Eastern music wrapping up June 27th.

Abba: You’ll have a hard time not singing along at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

Gili Roskies & Adrian Glynn McMorran
photo: Emily Cooper

Irish:  Once is not enough to see, the final show of the 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company season, ONCE, running at the Granville Island Stage.

Resist: Until October 8th at MOA, Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America, invites visitors to take a closer look at the political and social significance of Latin American artistic traditions to express political realities.

Midway: Enjoy summer excitement at Playland opens daily from July 29th for all your family’s summer excitement, or leave the kids at home for Playland Nights, Fridays from 7pm to Midnight

Wild: The Museum of Vancouver opens a new exhibit Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives, which takes a look at the relationship between local plants and animals and the people and places in the city.

Chorus: Wrap up your long weekend with Chor Leoni : Mane Event , with two shows on July 2nd at 3pm & 8pm under the tents at Bard on the Beach

Go back to the 60s with As You Like It at Bard On The Beach

Bard on the Beach – As You Like It : Lindsey Angell & Nadeem Phillip

FUN, is the best word to describe As You Like It, now playing at Bard on the Beach, alternating nights with Macbeth.  While Macbeth is a brooding, dark, and classic production, As You Like It is the complete opposite; lively, bright and a mash-up Bard-Beatles musical production.

That’s right, the music of The Beatles plays a big role in director Daryl Cloran’s production for the Bard on the Beach stage.  Sure to be a summer hit,  Cloran has seamlessly moved As You Like It from the 1600s in Frances’ Forest of Arden, to the swinging 60s in the Okanagan.  Large parts of Shakespeare’s dialogue has been brilliantly replaced with the word of Lennon & McCartney. With 25 Beatles songs included in this mash-up, it is remarkable how well the music fits the story and doesn’t clash with the Bard’s comedic vision.

The romantic comedy is filled with classic Shakespearean plot devices; mistaken identities & alter-egos, difficult family dynamics, class struggles, romantic triangles, comedic sidekicks plus more to keep you laughing.  Walking into the BMO Mainstage at Bard on the Beach, the audience is greeted by an All-Star Wrestling ring, signalling that this will not be an ordinary evening of Shakespeare.  The hero Orlando, strives to better himself in life (and in the ring) but when the evil promotor, Duke Frederick finds out his parentage Orlando is exiled. In the meantime, young Orlando has fallen for the Duke’s niece Rosalind, who also comes to be banished, like her father Duke Senior, by her power hungry uncle. In the company of her cousin, Frederick’s daughter Celia flee, Rosalind taking the disguise of a young lad, Ganymeade and Celia as his sister, Aliena.  All roads lead to the Okanagan, where Duke Senior and his fellow banished nobles have founded a commune filled with peace and love. Of course nothing is simple on the path to romance, as we are reminded by Rosalind and Celia’s faithful servant, Touchstone, ‘because it’s Shakespeare’.   In the end, we of course are rewarded with the happy ending for most of the characters. 

The setting, costumes and story perfectly fit in The Beatles music, and the cast, most of whom are also the company for Macbeth, bring the music and comedy to life with flair and flares.  Nadeem Phillip brings a exuberant charm and solid vocals to his leading man Orlando. While Lindsey Angell’s Rosalind plots to connect the dots in everyone’s journey to love, her chemistry and voice pairs nicely with Nadeem making us all cheer for our lovebirds.  Harveen Sandhu as Celia standouts with her powerful vocals and charisma.  The comedic timing of Kayvon Khoshkam as the ‘Rod Stewart meets Austin Powers’ modfather, Touchstone, brings a smile and many laughs to As You Like It from start to finish.

The buzz is surely to build for As You Like It as the summer progresses so be sure to book your tickets sooner than later so not to miss out on one of the most fun evenings of theatre this season.

As You Like It runs until September 22nd at the Bard on the Beach BMO Mainstage, alternate nights with Macbeth.

Arts Club Theatre Company : Once

Gili Roskies & Adrian Glynn McMorran
photo: Emily Cooper

Once is definitely not enough when it comes to seeing Arts Club Theatre Company’s Once, now playing at the Granville Island Stage.  The final show of the season, and for Artist Director Bill Millerd’s 45 season reign as the guiding force of the Art Club, certainly makes a memorable impact.

The heartwarming and heartbreaking story of Guy meets Girl, based on the 2007 film of the same name, takes the audience on a journey filled with music, laughter, melancholy, romance and inspiration.  Known only as Girl (an ‘honest’ Czech aspiring pianist, played by Gili Roskies) and Guy (a struggling Dublin musician, played by Adrian Glynn McMorran), our leads’ meet cute involves busking and a Hoover.  That oddball scenario, foretells the unique show that’s to come.  While Girl struggles with her feelings for Guy and loyalty to her estranged husband, she champions Guy to never give up on his heart and music.  Once would be nothing without that music, written by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglova (the original film’s leads) the heartfelt songs stand-out like a third lead; moving the story along, connecting the characters and allowing Guy and Girl to sing what they can’t say.

To help bring the duo’s musical aspirations to a fruition, a company of colourful characters gather; both Czechs and the Irish play multiple instruments, dance, and sing often all at the same time.  While all the company are solid; stand outs include Chris Cochrane as Billy the music shop owner and admirer of Girl, who plays well off of the always solid Caitriona Murphy.  There are a couple moments when the Irish accents sound a bit like their protecting their Lucky Charms, but it’s not enough to distract from the feeling that the audience is a Dublin pub with the company.  Set designer Ted Roberts makes the most of the small Granville Island stage to recreate the feeling of an Irish Pub, which is open to the audience for on stage drinks and a kitchen party style opening jam session that leads into the show.  From this lively opening to the emotional Academy Award winning song “Falling Slowly”, Once moves us and makes us cheer for Guy and Girls’ relationship and leaves us fulfilled but wanting to know the rest of their stories.

See it once or often but definitely see it before it’s gone.  Once is playing at The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Granville Island Stage until July 29, 2018.

Picks of the Week – June 20, 2018

Summer 2018 is upon us and bringing with it a plethora of entertainment to keep your week moving along with these picks.

Eat: Take a flavourful tour of Vancouver’s West End on Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates West End edition.

Bard: Make your picks between a Beatles themed version of As You Like It or the Scottish Play in the Bard on the Beach 2018

Jazz: The Vancouver and Victoria International Jazz Festivals both get underway June 22 with Macy Gray, Dee Dee Bridgewater & The Memphis Soulphony, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Bonobo, The Jerry Douglas Band and more

Queer Arts Festival: Skin & Metal: Homoerotic Music Theatre Works by Barry Truax

Arts: The 10th Anniversary Queer Arts Festival is underway until June 28th at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre.

Kicks: Get your FIFA World Cup fix and soak up the global vibes at various venues around town

Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018. As well, David Milne: Modern Painting  on until September 9th, offers highlights of Milne’s half-century career, which took him from New York City, to the battlefields of Northern  France and Belgium, and back to the wilderness of Canada and the US.

Fest: The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra presents the Global Soundscape Festival a celebration of Middle Eastern music at venues around town June 16 – 27, 2018

Concert: Saturday night at Vancouver Playhouse, Sweet Bubbling Nights, presented by Soulful Productions is a sizzling celebration of soul, Motown, funk, show tunes and drag in support of LGBTI Pulse Memorial Scholarship.

Inked: The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Art reopens after renovations with BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest an exhibition deep-rooted traditions of Indigenous tattooing, piercing and personal adornment curated by Dion Kaszas of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation

MammaMiaAbba: You’ll have a hard time not singing along at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

Irish: The final show of the 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company season closes with ONCE, at the Granville Island Stage.

Outdoor: DOXA Documentary Film Festival presents, Ethiopiques: Revolt of the Soul, for its annual Outdoor Summer Screening at Robson Square on Saturday at 9:30pm

Resist: Until October 8th at MOA, Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America, invites visitors to take a closer look at the political and social significance of Latin American artistic traditions to express political realities.

Midway: Enjoy summer excitement at Playland on weekends with three added rides for the family’s excitement.

Wild: The Museum of Vancouver opens a new exhibit Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives, which takes a look at the relationship between local plants and animals and the people and places in the city.

Macbeth opens Bard on the Beach 2018

Macbeth

This week, the 2018 season of Bard on the Beach opened with Macbeth on the BMO Mainstage.

The famed Scottish Play, starts with the General being forewarned by a trio of witches, who prophesy that he is destined to be the King of Scots, creating a tale of ambition, treachery and murder that turns to madness and tragedy.

Directed by Chris Abraham of Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre, this production of Bard on the Beach Macbeth stars Shaw Theatre Festival veteran Ben Carlson, making his Bard debut, as Macbeth.  His Lady Macbeth is played by Moya O’Connell making a return to Bard, along with a host of other Bard veterans; Andrew Wheeler as MacDuff, Craig Erickson as Banquo, Jeff Gladstone as Malcolm and many more rounding out the able cast.

Director Abraham notes that he had in mind how this beloved play was staged in the open-air, daylight theatre in 1600s.  In contrast to the daylight of old, Abraham has created a dark production, with Carlson and O’Connell bringing must angst and madness to their roles.  Most of the main characters have a cloud of darkness and tragedy hanging over them, which does make the lighter moments of the comedy relief characters slightly jarring in their abrupt change in tempo.

The themes of loss, ambition, jealousy, suspicion, even the mysticism of the weird sisters, are treated differently in today’s society, all things that affect the production and the audiences viewpoint allowing even the most historically authentic of stagings to take on its own life.  The set, designed by Pam Johnson, plays on the open air of the BMO Mainstage to recreate the feeling of Shakespeare’s historic Globe Theatre.  With Christine Reimer’s Shakespearean costumes bringing another touch of 17th century authenticity the production tries to transport the audience to how it would have been originally staged, albeit with women playing the female roles, not men, as was required in Elizabethan London.  Running at nearly three hours, including intermission, Bard on the Beach’s Macbeth is a long but worthy show, and probably as close to an authentic Shakespearean experience as we’ll get in Vancouver.

For full cast and crew details, showtimes and special performances, please visit bardonthebeach.org/2018/macbeth

Picks of the Week – June 13, 2018

The last full week of Spring 2018 blooms with plenty of entertainment to make it tough to choose from these picks of the week …

The SuperDad Show

Father: Celebrate dear ol’ dad with a celebration of parenthood at The SuperDad Show at Vancouver Theatresports League, a hilarious family-friendly 2pm show on Father’s Day perfectly timed to fit between taking Dad for brunch or dinner

Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018.

Dance12 Minutes Max at the Dance Centre, Friday night, showcases five eclectic dance works by some of Vancouver’s most exciting and innovative up-and-coming choreographers: Katie Cassady, Alejandra Miranda & Juan Villegas, Sophie Maguire, Jhoely Triana, and Sujit Vaidya.

Macbeth

Bard: Make your picks between a Beatles themed version of As You Like It or the Scottish Play in the Bard on the Beach 2018 repertoire this week.

Laughs: The hilarious Kevin Hart brings his “The Irresponsible Tour” to Rogers Arena on Saturday.

Roar: The BC Lions get their 2018 season off to a roaring start when they host Montreal Alouettes at BC Place

Walk: The 7th Annual South Granville Art Walk takes place Saturday, opening 10 different exhibitions, artist talks, refreshments and more from 10am – 5pm.

Fest: The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra presents the Global Soundscape Festival a celebration of Middle Eastern music at venues around town June 16 – 27, 2018

Inked: The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Art reopens after renovations with BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest an exhibition deep-rooted traditions of Indigenous tattooing, piercing and personal adornment curated by Dion Kaszas of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation

Haida:  There’s a couple more days to visit Museum of Vancouver before the exhibition, Haida Now. closes on June 15th.

Abba: You’ll have a hard time not singing along at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

Irish: The final show of the 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company season closes with ONCE, at the Granville Island Stage.

Doc: Victim Impact is a unique live documentary from Theatre Conspiracy directed by award winning Jiv Parasram, taking the stage at The Cultch Historic Theatre until June 17.

Photo. Michele Mateus Photography

Music: The Cultch also offers three performances, June 14, 15, 16 of Perfect Imperfections: The Art of a Messy Life a multi-disciplinary performance from Celeste Snowber, bassist Jodi Proznick and harpist Alexa Reimer,

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th.

Resist: Also until October 8th at MOA, the new exhibit, Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America, invites visitors to take a closer look at the political and social significance of Latin American artistic traditions to express political realities.

Midway: Enjoy summer excitement at Playland on weekends with three added rides for the family’s excitement.

Picks of the Week – June 6, 2018

Yes, it’s already June, 2018 is nearly half over but the Summer entertainment is just beginning, here’s my picks of the week

Cabin Fever

Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view June 9 to September 30, 2018.

Rock: Local legend, Bryan Adams plays Rogers Arena Wednesday night, June 6th

Bard: The Scottish Play opens Bard on the Beach 2018, as previews begin today with the opening night next week.

Body Language

Inked: The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Art reopens after renovations with BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest an exhibition deep-rooted traditions of Indigenous tattooing, piercing and personal adornment curated by Dion Kaszas of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation

Fest: Breakout Festival 2018 takes over the PNE Amphitheatre June 9 & 10 with Migos, Tory Lanez, 6lack, Lil Pump and many more over the weekend

Haida:  There’s just one more week to visit Museum of Vancouver for the exhibition, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture, closing June 15.

Kicks: Can Whitecaps FC build on the momentum of last week’s win to put another W in the column? Find out Saturday when they host Orlando City FC.

Doc: Victim Impact is a unique live documentary from Theatre Conspiracy directed by award winning Jiv Parasram, taking the stage at The Cultch Historic Theatre from June 8 – 17.

Ballet: Coastal City Ballet closes out its 2018 season with a remount of Irene Schneider’s ballet, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  onstage at June 8 at Surrey Arts Centre

Abba: Does your Mother know you’re having a great time at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th.

Resist: Also until October 8th at MOA, the new exhibit, Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America, invites visitors to take a closer look at the political and social significance of Latin American artistic traditions to express political realities.

Italy: Musica Magnifica! is the theme of 2018’s Italian Day on The Drive, celebrating Italian music and its impact, plus of course lots of food, this Sunday June 10th

Singer: Australian singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd brings his unique sounds to Malkin Bowl on Saturday night.

Midway: Enjoy summer excitement at Playland on weekends with three added rides for the family’s excitement.

Punk: Spend the weekend with punk rock legends Social Distortion as they take over the Commodore Ballroom for a two night stand, June 9 – 10.