Spend An Evening of Wonders with Vitaly

Fresh from performing Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre in New York City, Vitaly Beckman brings his latest and most ambitious production to the stage with An Evening of Wonders on Wednesday, June 5th, to the River Rock Show Theatre.

Hailed as one of the most unique and innovative illusionists in the world, Vitaly Beckman’s acts are so astounding that he has fooled famous Las Vegas duo Penn & Teller in their hit TV show Fool Us. The Westside Theatre also connects Vitaly to the famed duo, as they got their break performing at the New York venue in the 1980s.

Every illusion in Vitaly’s performance is original and represents an ‘impossible dream’ that he has set out to accomplish. From making drawings and paintings come to life to teleporting playing cards from one audience member to another, Vitaly’s illusions defy logic and belief. 

“Vitaly: An Evening of Wonders”

Never one to rest on his laurels, Vitaly is constantly inventing new illusions. He is willing to risk arrest and imprisonment for identity theft by promising that he will channel his powers to make the photo from your driver’s license disappear. So, if you’re brave enough to surrender your ID to him, you will have to expect the unexpected.  Will he restore your photo, or will it come back with a different face, say of Marilyn Monroe or George Clooney? Is it magic or trickery? The only way to be sure is to catch one of Vitaly’s increasingly popular performances before all of the tickets have disappeared into thin air. 

An Evening of Wonders stars Vitaly Beckman, brings the Vancouver-based back home after performing Stateside for most of the year. Be prepared for an evening of wonderment and witty banter.  Tickets are still available for the show on Wednesday at 8pm in the River Rock Show Theatre. For more show information visit eveningofwonders.com.

Magnetic North Theatre Festival is back for 2019

Following two hiatus years, Magnetic North Theatre Festival is returning to the stage, hosted in Metro Vancouver June 1-9, 2019. Canada’s only national theatre festival focuses on Canadian work and engaging participants from across the country, including invited guests from abroad. The renewed festival will no longer be strictly focused on theatre. As the lines blur between disciplines in the works that artists are creating, the festival will be focused on the live performing arts in whatever form that may take.

Magnetic North Board Chair Heather Redfern says, “The festival has had an incredible amount of fundraising support from our national arts community and long-time MagNorth supporters, with our Vancouver community especially keen to be featured in this year’s festival. There are over a dozen performances, as well as workshops and symposiums throughout the nine-day festival, presented with our partners the Shadbolt Centre, Presentation House Theatre, Progress Lab 1422, Touchstone Theatre and The Post at 750, as well as The Cultch.”

“One of our colleagues coined the phrase ‘potluck programming’,” says Redfern. “Where the indie theatres would bring their projects to the table if Magnetic North would be an umbrella for those shows and host the work in the homes we found for those projects.”

“The other change to the programming model,” says 2019 Festival Producer Amy Lynn Strilchuk , “is that we didn’t want to only feature full-scale productions that had been previously done. It felt important to also utilize the time in our host venues to support and showcase the development of new work in progress. There is so much new work being created across Canada, and rather than only program what’s ‘finished’, why not – in our national theatre festival – celebrate theatre making? So festival audiences will be let-in on the creation process – either through open-studios or sample showcase readings – whatever phase the artists are at that day.”  

Festival passes to all workshops, symposiums, and select shows are either $160 or $60 – participants pick the fee they want to pay.

Magnetic North Festival Mainstage Performance: Straight Jacket Winter by Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis

MAGNETIC NORTH THEATRE FESTIVAL 2019 LINEUP INCLUDES:

·       The Body Project  (Tara Cheyenne Performance, Vancouver)

·       Chicken Girl by Derek Chan (rice & beans theatre, Vancouver)

·       Culture Capital from Milton Lim and Patrick Blenkharn (Vancouver)

·       Eloise by Jeanette Kotowich (Vancouver)

·       HIVE 2019 (Produced by the Hive Performance Collective in association with Presentation House Theatre, North Vancouver)

·       Inheritance: A pick-the-path-experience by Daniel Arnold, Darrell Dennis, and Medina Hahn (Alley Theatre, Vancouver)

·       In Tune: New Musicals in Development (Touchstone Theatre, Vancouver)

·       Me Love Bingo from Kyle Loven (Vancouver)

·       Mermaid Spring Co-Created by Kyla Gardiner, Barbara Adler, and James Merger (10,000 Wolves, Vancouver)

·       New Work from Nadia Ross (STO Union, Farrellton

·       Peter Tripp Project from Jayden Pfeifer & Johanna Bundon (Regina)

·       rEvolver Festival (UpintheairTheatre, Vancouver)

·       Straight Jacket Winter by Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis (2PAR4, Montreal)

·       Stray – Co-created by Tanya Marquardt, Tim Carlson, and Mallory Catlett (Theatre Conspiracy, Vancouver)

·       Svaha (Nova Dance, Toronto)

·       Tucked & Plucked Created by Dave Deveau & Cameron Mackenzie (ZeeZee Theatre, Vancouver)

·       Undivided Colours – a collection of dance works by Peter Chin, William Lau, Hari Krishnan, and Alvin Erasga Tolentino (Co.ERASGA, Vancouver)

·       Unscripted: Kuroko Hosted by Tetsuro Shigematsu (Playwrights Theatre Centre, Vancouver)

Heather Redfern notes, “We (the board) always said we’d only keep the festival going if our community wants it. So the future of Magnetic North really is in our participants’ hands. We’re excited to hear what they have to say.”

Have your say about the festival by attending a performance or more.  Magnetic North Theatre Festival runs June 1 – 9, 2019, at venues around Vancouver, for full programming and schedule are available at magneticnorthfestival.ca

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.

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

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

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 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