Picks of the Week – July 31, 2018

Another month wraps up and the August long-weekend is packed with loads of entertainment in these picks of the week

Cinema: Vancouver Civic Theatres are presenting free outdoor Wednesday evening cinema at šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn (formerly QET Plaza) outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, tonight the 2019 live action Dumbo starts at dusk.

Theatre Under The Stars 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.

Gallery: This Friday Vancouver Art Gallery presents Pride at the Gallerya night of creativity, fun and connection in celebration of LGBTQ2+, with added programming on top of regular admission.

Gig: Friday, August 2 the Vancouver Convention Centre launches Summer Sounds on Jack Poole Plaza, a music experience from The New Shackeltons, taking place from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM, with more performancer schedule each Friday, August

Celebration of Light

Fireworks: The 2019 Honda Celebration of Light continues tonight, with plenty of entertainment to enjoy before Canada brings light to the skies above English Bay.

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.

Bach: Early Music Vancouver brings the Vancouver Bach Festival to Christ Church Cathedral and Chan Centre for Performing Arts until August 9th. This week featured performances include; Part II of Bach Complete Brandenburg Concertos with Les Boréades tonight, Faure Requiem with Vancouver Bach Choir on Aug 1st, and Bach Cantatas with Les Boréades on Aug 2nd.

Parade: Everyone loves a parade, and the Vancouver Pride Parade, on Sunday August 4th promises to be one of the most colourful and lively parades of the year.

Sunset Beach Festival

Pride: The Vancouver Pride Sunset Beach Festival is your destination for entertainment, food trucks, beer garden, vendors, dancing, and more after the Parade or come earlier and get your place to enjoy the entertainment all day

Puppets: Museum of Anthropology’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

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.

Chilliwack Sunflower Festival

Blooms: The second Chilliwack Sunflower Festival opens August 1st with a total of 20 acres of flowers, bringing colour to the Fraser Valley community

Korean: The 18th Annual Korean Festival fills Swangard Stadium in Burnaby with Korean culture, food and arts, on Saturday August 3rd from 10am to 8pm

Arts: Harmony Arts Festival fills the West Vancouver Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, with a line-up of entertainment from August 2nd to 11th with scores of music, arts, film and food events, much of it free.

Picks of the Week – July 24, 2019

The sun has been making regular appearances to help warm up our summer evenings, perfect for the outdoor activities in our picks of the week.

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

Cinema: Vancouver Civic Theatres are also presenting free outdoor Wednesday evening cinema at šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn (formerly QET Plaza) outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, tonight Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse starts at dusk

North: Can Whitecaps FC advance when they come home for the second leg of the Canadian Championships against Calvary FC, at BC Place tonight.

Lady In Red Ball Host & Fairmont Pride Ambassador Kendal Gender

Lady: Kicking off Pride Week, July 25th, the second Lady in Red Ball in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Pacific Ballroom, benefiting the Dr Peter AIDS Foundation. 

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.

Pride: Vancouver Pride Season is in swing as Pride Premiere gets the fun rolling, a 7 hour party encircling the Vancouver Art Gallery begins at 5pm until late featuring two stages and Silent Disco, outdoor licensed area, drag and dance performances, food trucks, activities, and more

Fireworks: The 2019 Honda Celebration of Light kicks off Saturday July 27, with plenty of entertainment to enjoy before India brings a dazzling display to the skies.

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

Folk: The 32nd annual Mission Folk Music Festival brings music to the Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission July 26 -28.

Roar: The BC Place will be filled as BC Lions play host to Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday

Stand-up: Comedian Ali Wong brings laughter to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with 4 shows of her The Milk & Money Tour on July 24, 25, 26.

Backstreet Boys

Pop: The always popular Backstreet Boys return to Rogers Arena on Saturday night with their DNA World Tour

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.

Fest: head up the Sea-to-Sky and take in all the music and fun at Squamish Constellation Festival July 26-28

Puppets: Museum of Anthropology’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

Jazz: Singer/Songwriter Norah Jones brings her sounds to the Orpheum Theatre on Sunday evening

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

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 wrap up a home stand against Everett with a fireworks extravaganza following tonights game, and a nooner at the Nat on Thursday.

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