Picks of the Week – February 27, 2018

As we wrap up February, the city’s entertainment picks keeps on filling our days and nights with good times…

Taste: Join Vancouver Foodster on another flavour visit to a Vancouver neighbourhood on Tasting Plates Mount Pleasant, Wednesday evening.

Thief: Go behind closed doors to view the interactions between chronic five-finger discounter and store security in Morris Panych’s comedy The Shoplifters plays at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage until March 9th.

Festival: The 18th Talking Stick Festival is now on, celebrating Indigenous art, music, dance and culture throughout the city until March 2nd.

WhitecapsFC

Kicks: Celebrating the 40th anniversary of their Soccer Bowl victory, Whitecaps FC kick off their season on Saturday versus Minnesota United at BC Place

Pop: Swedish pop sensation Robyn returns to Vancouver with a show at the Pacific Coliseum (moved from PNE Forum) on Thursday night

Musical: Part of Talking Stick Festival, Corey Payette’s Children of God is playing at The Cultch York Theatre until March 10th

Choral: Acclaimed South African choral group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo visits the Chan Centre for Performing Arts on March 2nd.

Le Soulier

Théâtre: Studio 16 welcomes Théâtre la Seizième‘s world premiere of its newest production, Le Soulier, from February 27 to March 9

Divas:  Fabulist Theatre’s new production, Better Than This, an original revue celebrating the women’s roles in musical theatre, comes to the Havana Theatre stage February 28th to March 9th.

Dance: Ballet BC presents Program 2 this week for three shows only Feb 28, Mar 1-2 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre 

Rock: Puck legend Billy Idol plays a sold out show at Vogue Theatre on Sunday night

Arts Club announces 2019-2020 Season

Ashlie Corcoran, has revealed her second season as Artistic Director of The Arts Club Theatre Company. For the Company’s 56th season, Ms Corcoran has curated 17 works to play on the three Arts Club stages plus touring shows.

Amongst the works there are 5 collaborations with other Canadian theatre companies, 9 Canadian scripts, 2 world premieres, 2 Canadian premieres, 5 plays created by artists of colour, 8 plays by female playwrights and 135 roles for actors.
“I aim to offer eclectic programming that sparks a connection with the audience and to create theatre that celebrates local talent, emerging artists, and diversity, through this season and beyond”, Ashlie Corocoran says of the season.

Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, by Ursula Rani Sarma, book by Khaled Hosseini
The gripping story of two Afghan women, based on the best-selling novel
September 12–October 13, 2019
In partnership with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Company

WINTER MUSICAL, to be announced Spring 2019
A family-friendly musical masterpiece for the holidays
November 7, 2019–January 5, 2020

NOISES OFF, by Michael Frayn
The classic play-within-a-play farce
January 23–February 23, 2020

CARRIED AWAY ON THE CREST OF A WAVE, by David Yee
A boundary-pushing theatrical journey
March 19–April 19, 2020 

SUMMER MUSICAL, to be announced Spring 2019
A big-hearted modern musical
May 21–July 5, 2020

Granville Island Stage

THE BIRDS AND THE BEES, by Mark Crawford
Love, lust, beekeeping, and the artificial insemination of turkeys meet in this raucous comedy
September 26–October 26, 2019

MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY, by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
The festive Pride and Prejudice follow-up returns
December 5, 2019–January 4, 2020

CIPHER, by Ellen Close and Braden Griffiths
Hipster noir meets corporate thriller—an investigation of a decades-old Vancouver Island cold-case murder
February 6–March 7, 2020
In partnership with Vertigo Theatre 

‘DA KINK IN MY HAIR, by Trey Anthony
A resonant musical celebration of women of colour, set in a vibrant Toronto hair salon
April 16–May 16, 2020

PETER PAN GOES WRONG, by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields
A side-splitting farce for the whole family
June 25–August 22, 2020
The Mischief Theatre Production in partnership with the Citadel Theatre

Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre

COST OF LIVING, by Martyna Majok
The 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about caretakers and the realities of disability
October 10–November 3, 2019
In partnership with Citadel Theatre

IT’S A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS-ISH HOLIDAY MIRACLE, by Marcus Youssef
A new play that embraces the love and foibles of family
November 21–December 22, 2019

THE WEDDING PARTY, by Kristen Thomson
A ringside seat for all the laughs, debauchery, disagreements, and love at a family wedding reception
February 27–March 22, 2020
In partnership with Prairie Theatre Exchange

EVERY BRILLIANT THING, by Duncan MacMillan
A daughter aids her mom through depression by listing everything worth living for, with help from the audience
April 2–April 26, 2020

On Tour

BED & BREAKFAST, by Mark Crawford
A charming comedy about being out and finding home
October 3–December 1, 2019

THE SHOPLIFTERS, by Morris Panych
Comic mishaps for society’s haves and have-nots
January 9–February 9, 2020

KIM’S CONVENIENCE, by Ins Choi
The wildly popular, award-winning play—now a CBC TV series
February 13–March 15, 2020

City Opera Vancouver presents Nigredo Hotel

Be prepared to be thrilled as City Opera Vancouver presents the astonishing and macabre work, Nigredo Hotel, from September 20 to 22, at The Cultch Historic Theatre.

Originally commissioned by Tapestry Opera, City Opera Vancouver’s Nigredo Hotel is directed by Alan Corbishley, with music by Nic Gotham and libretto by distinguished Canadian author and playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald. The one-act chamber opera tells the tale of an encounter between a beautiful but crazed hotelier, Sophie, and a brain surgeon, Raymond, who seeks refuge after a traumatic car accident.

“Part psychological thriller and mystery, both sarcastic and sweet, witty and strange, Nigredo Hotel is
nothing like City Opera Vancouver has ever presented before. This deeply moving, emotionally and
intellectually charged work is full of suspense, broad comedy, and great surprise,” says Charles Barber,
Artistic Director, City Opera Vancouver. “Vancouver audiences will be mesmerized by MacDonald’s highly
evocative libretto and Gotham’s brilliant score that beautifully conveys the complex relationship between two strangers as they embark on a dark spiritual journey. This celebrated opera is an intellectual tour de force and one of the most remarkable works in the Canadian opera canon.”

Tyler Duncan & Sarah Vardy
Photo: Michelle Koebke from
Diamond’s Edge Photography

Internationally renowned opera stars Tyler Duncan and Sarah Vardy will perform a brilliant Jungian-inspired combat between two of the most unusual characters in 20th century opera.
Internationally renowned Canadian baritone Duncan make his City Opera debut as Raymond. Praised for his “powerful voice and dramatic conviction” (New York Times), Duncan is a multi-award winning vocalist known for his performances of art song, oratorio and operatic roles across North America, Europe, and South Africa. Joining Duncan on stage is gifted Canadian dramatic soprano Vardy in the role of Sophie. Hailed for her “emotional yet unaffected quality of performance with a true clear voice” (Saskatoon Star Phoenix), Vardy has delighted audiences in Canada, Europe, Mexico, and China.

The vocalists will perform without a conductor, and are accompanied on stage by a quartet featuring François Houle, clarinet; Laurence Mollerup, bass; Martin Fisk, percussion; and Roger Parton, keyboard.

The world premiere of Nigredo Hotel was performed by Tapestry Opera on May 13, 1992 at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. The production toured Canada, was presented at the Glasgow Mayfest, remounted in Toronto in 1995 and 2005, and premiered in Australia in 2006.
The Cultch Historic Theatre welcomes this City Opera Vancouver production of Nigredo Hotel September 20 – 22, 2018, at 8pm each night. ?Get tickets online at thecultch.com

Sink Your Teeth Into @VanFoodster 4th Pizza Challenge & More

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as Vancouver Foodster has launched the 4th Pizza Challenge with restaurants all around the region, from Squamish to to Coquitlam, have signed up to participate. Until April 29th, the public is invited to get out and try any or all of the pizza creations then vote for their favourites to help choose the Pizza Challenge winner.

Once again participating restaurants have been challenged to create a new pizza for the challenge or feature a perfect classic pie from their existing menu. The chefs were advised that the criteria voters will consider when tasting is originality, creativity, uniqueness, traditional, non-traditional, price, value and most importantly taste.

In addition to the public vote, a trio of media judges will be tasting the Pizza Challenge entries to choose the Judges Choice Winner.

The Media Judges are:

Tara Lee : Writer for Inside Vancouver and other publications.
Twitter: @VanGlutton
Instagram @vanglutton

David Grange : Blogger for BCFoodieBlogger
Twitter: @BCfoodieblogger
Instagram: @BCfoodieblogger

Josh Boettcher : Blogger for josheats.com
Twitter: @josheatstweets
Instagram @itsjosheats

Some of the participating restaurants in the Vancouver Foodster Pizza Challenge are:

Piva Modern Italian, 787 Columbia Street, New Westminster

La Ruota Pizzeria – Bulgolgi Pizza

Bowen Island Pizza Company, 123 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver (inside Lonsdale Quay)

Backcountry Brewing, 405-1201 Commercial Way, Squamish

La Ruota Pizzeria, 1168 The High Street, Coquitlam

Novo Pizzeria,  2118 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Bay Moorings Restaurant, 6330 Bay Street, Horseshoe Bay

Visit vancouverfoodster.com for the complete list is participating restaurants and to vote on your favourite pizzas.

As well, get your tickets for Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plate East Village coming April 18th and Food Talks Vol. 16 coming May 8th at Dockside Restaurant.

Take 6 is opening Chor Leoni VanMan Choral Summit

Take 6
photo: John Shyloski

Chor Leoni 4th Annual VanMan Male Choral Summit opens with a the Vancouver debut of Take 6.  The award-winning a cappella group performs this Friday April 6, 2018 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Part of the weekend long VanMan Male Choral events at the Queen E and Chan Centre, audiences are invited to experience the rich jazz, gospel, pop, and R&B, sounds of this all-male sextet.

“Coming off their 25th anniversary world tour, Take 6 is simply the gold standard of a cappella singing,” says Chor Leoni’s Artistic Director Erick Lichte. “I wanted to bring to our festival a group who could move effortlessly between pop, jazz and gospel music. I also felt it was important to celebrate a cappella singing from a totally different tradition and culture than what we hear with most Vancouver choirs. We can’t wait to introduce local choral-lovers to these internationally-renowned, vocal heavyweights!”

Since they began in Huntsville, Alabama in 1980, Take 6 has won the hearts of fans and critics at venues across the globe, racking up a staggering 10 GRAMMY’s, 10 Dove Awards (Gospel Music Awards), Best Jazz Vocal Group honours for seven consecutive years in Downbeat’s Reader’s and Critic’s Poll, a Soul Train Music Award, and many other prestigious recognitions. In 2014, the illustrious crooners were inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame.

Touring in support of the Spring 2018 release of ICONIC, the multi-platinum selling group’s 12th studio album, audiences can expect to hear classic ballads such as Ben E. King’s Stand by Me, chart-topping hits like Pharrell’s Happy, or jazz standards like, Nat King Cole’s Straighten Up and Fly Right, Take 6 are known to “bring the house down”, famously praised by inimitable producer Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet!”

Take 6 play the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Friday April 6th as part of Chor Leoni’s VanMan Male Choral Summit. Tickets, from $70 to $10 (Student Rush) are on sale online at Chor Leoni 

Dublin Old School brings beats to The Cultch

Emmett Kirwan & Ian Lloyd Anderson
photo: Fiona Morgan

Dublin Old School wraps up the final week of PuSh International Arts Festival at The Cultch.  Playwright Emmet Kirwan has created a unique production paints a colourful slice of Dublin life. The television star’s first play is a smash hit, with a hip hop beats and rhymes that feel straight outta the top 40.

Dublin Old School opens with a minutes-long blazing fast rap battle between Kirwan and co-star Ian Lloyd Anderson that sets the tone for the remainder of the 70 minute production.  The rapid fire dialogue that follows tells the story of a hazy drug-fueled weekend in the life of wannabe DJ Jason (Kirwan) and his friends, associates and long-lost addict brother, Daniel, all played by Anderson.  As Jason recounts ‘his’ wild weekend, we meet nearly 20 other friends and revellers, requiring Anderson to brilliantly jump rapidly between physical characteristics and changes to his brogue to embody the passing folk. Homeless but (potentially) recovering Daniel is the most developed character played by Anderson, full of twitches and inflections.  As they rap, rave and race through most of the show is, the moments between Jason and Daniel are like calm bridges in the song of their life, tentative moments between the brothers to sober up Jason as Daniel has moments of clarity to offer big brother advice and reminiscences.   Along with the straight-ahead rap pieces, the dialogue throughout Dublin Old School also has a rhythm and pace that draws the audience in to the story with its steady beat.

Dublin Old School @ The Cultch
photo: Ros Kavanagh

Even through the show is only 70 minutes there is a massive volume of creative dialogue in Kirwan’s script filled with rhymes, metaphors and pop culture references.  The two players, delivery of movement around the bare stage and of the lyrical script entwine to paint a graphic image of the Dublin nightclub/rave culture.  Anyone who came of age through that mid-nineties era will nervously laugh in recognition of the experiences and cheer as the duo make it through the Ironman worthy must-see performance.

Dublin Old School plays at The Cultch Historic Theatre until Saturday February 3rd. Get tickets now online at thecultch.com

Explore the Globe at Richmond World Festival

Start September off by welcoming the world to Minoru Park for the Richmond World Festival.

Richmond World Festival is a free, multicultural festival celebrating Richmond’s cultural diversity.  Now expanded to two days for 2017, Friday and Saturday brings families, music, food, entertainment, spread over 9 stages, a marketplace, food truck festival, and much more.

Friday night The Freshest and Dirty Radio get the evening’s music going for the afterwork crowd, then, all the way from South Korea headliner, rapper Verbal Jint takes the main stage.
Then on Saturday, Canadian favourites, Buckman Coe, Dragonette and Tokyo Police Club close out the stage.  Along the way an array of talent from all corners of the globe entertain like; Vancouver Cantonese Opera, Korean Traditional Arts Society Drummers, Torque Flamenco, Tetsu Taiko, Kunda Africa, Mariachi Del Sol and many more cultural collectives.

Richmond World Festival is more than just music too, the Culinary Stage hosts chefs and food personalities from kitchens and tvs around the world. Bamboo Theatre hosted by the Vancouver Cantonese Opera Society allows visitors to explore the ancient Chinese artform.  Your Kontinent: Digital Carnival showcases innovation, cutting edge technologies, and new media arts.
Artists and merchants, Food Trucks and The Cowell Auto Group Kids Zone round out the family friendly festival.

Richmond World Festival takes place at Minoru Park in Richmond B.C.
Gates open:
Friday September 1st 4pm – 11pm
Saturday September 2nd 11am – 11pm
Admission is Free for everyone.
For full stage schedule and line up visit richmondworldfestival.com