Picks of the Week – February 13, 2019

This week brings us St Valentine’s Day as well as the BC Family Day long weekend so there’s plenty of activities to find in the picks of the week

Thank You For Being A Friend

Puppets: Tonight, Thank You For Being A Friend, the ultimate Golden Girls experience brings everyone’s mature, Miami matrons to the stage in puppet form


Cocoa: Warm up from the snow before the Annual Hot Chocolate Festival wraps up for another year, tomorrow, February 14th

Opera: Take your Valentine on a trip to Paris, the setting of Vancouver Opera’s production of La Bohème, playing February 14, 16, 19, 21 & 24 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Love: Find your way to your Valentine’s funnybone as Vancouver TheatreSports presents Romance Week, wraps up its improv fun.

Orphan: Everyone’s favourite orphan is onstage at the Micheal J Fox Theatre in Burnaby, as Align Entertainment presents Annie, until February 16

Circlesongs: The genre-defying, Grammy award winning Bobby McFerrin brings his circlesinging improvisational singing style to the Chan Centre stage on Sunday

Pop: spend your Valentine’s with Justin Timberlake as be brings his The Man of the Woods to Rogers Arena for two shows on Thursday and Friday

Yoga Play at Gateway Theatre

Yoga: You’ll bend over backwards to get into Gateway Theatre for the comedy Yoga Play before it closes February 16th

Hello: Find out Dolly Levi makes her match in The Matchmaker (the inspiration for the iconic musical Hello Dolly!) at The Arts Club Theatre Company Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until February 24th.

Crime: Torquil Campbell delivers a tour de force performance in the criminal biographical play True Crime is now At the Arts Club Theatre Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre, until February 24th.

Five-Fingers: From true crime to a petty-crime comedy The Shoplifters plays at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage until March 9th.

Much Ado About Nothing photo: Emily Cooper

Ado: Catch the final show in The Cultch’s 2019 Femme Series; Much Ado About Nothing, before it closes this weekend.

Lacrosse: Vancouver Warriors return to Rogers Arena on Saturday to play host to Saskatchewan Rush

True Crime at The Arts Club Leaves You Guessing

The Arts Club Theatre & Crow’s Theatre production of True Crime tells the story of convicted con-artist/murderer Christian Gerhartsreiter. Bringing it to the stage is co-creator Torquil Campbell, who plays all the true life characters, including himself. With accompanist, Composer Julian Brown playing in the shadows to the back of the stage, True Crime is essentially a one-man show. The only interactions between the two is during a handful of songs, highlighting Torquil Campbell’s other career as singer-songwriter, both with his band Stars and solo projects.

Christian Gerhartsreiter, aka Clark Rockefeller, aka Christopher C. Crowe, aka Chris Chichester, is a seasoned conman currently incarcerated for kidnapping and murder at San Quentin State Prison. Torquil Campbell breaks the fourth wall to tell the audience how his interest in true crime, and especially the Clark Rockefeller story, became the True Crime that is on stage before us. In character, Campbell making use of the similarities in their appearance, brings Rockefeller to life with snippets of the various long cons perpetuated by the criminal. Then as himself, he relates how this story grabbed hold of him and lead to his interest, meetings and interactions with Rockefeller. Campbell also incorporates his family and various supporting characters to the story. Along the way we learn as much about Campbell as we do about Gerhartsreiter and his cast of cons, as well as all the twists and turns we’d expect from any great mystery-true crime story.

Campbell and director Chris Abraham have written a creative play that makes us examine the personalities that each of us create for different locations and situations. Lying is an underlying theme of the script and again, brings more questions about our own interactions as well as the whole story that’s been presented on stage. Interacting with the audience right from the start of the show immediately draws everyone into the show. Campbell’s quirky storytelling and charm keeps us invested in his quest to bring True Crime to the stage, and keeps us guessing about the outcome right to the end and beyond.

True Crime is now playing at The Arts Club Theatre Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre until February 24, 2019, find show times and tickets online at artsclub.com

The King’s Singers fill Chan Centre at UBC

On the eve of a trip to the 61st Grammy Awards, The King’s Singers showed the Early Music Vancouver audience the sound that garnered them a nomination for Best Classical Compendium, for “Gold” their 50th Anniversary album. The Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC was filled with patron and the amazing voices of the six member acapella choir.

The King’s Singers photo: Marco Borggreve

In keeping with Early Music Vancouver’s values to promote historic works, The King’s Singers sources their catalogue to take us back to the Renaissance for Royal Blood: Music for Henry VIII. The first half of the performance included pieces composed by Henry VIII, plus William Byrd, court composer of Elizabeth I and other Tudor composers; Thomas Weelkes, Thomas Tomkins. In addition, other royal inspired works like excerpts from Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana, pieces from Henry Purcell and Richard Rodney Bennett.

After the interval, in keeping with The King’s Singers usual second act, the songs became more contemporary starting with the traditional folk legacy of the earlier madrigals like Greensleeves, which has been often attributed to Henry VIII. The iconic Danny Boy also received Singers’ close harmony treatment. The sextet also moved on to modern day composers; George Gershwin (Can’t Sit Down from Porgy & Bess) The Beatles – Lennon / McCartney (And I Love Here & Honey Pie), The Beach Boys (Kokomo).

The King’s Singers photo: Marco Borggreve

Throughout the show, the members; Patrick Dunachie, Edward Button, Julian Gregory, Christopher Bruerton, Nick Ashby, and Jonathan Howard, regaled the audience with anecdotes and historical context for the pieces of music. Even if the music might not have been familiar to all, the rapport and charm of the Singers really connected with the audience. In the pre-concert talk, with EMV’s Artistic Director Matthew White, Dunachie noted that the singers don’t like to break eye contact with the audience, relying on non-verbal cues with each other to keep the connection with their audience.

While The King’s Singers didn’t come away from The Grammy’s with a trophy, everyone at The Chan Centre was a winner by being able to experience the amazing vocals of the British choir.

Experience the next Early Music Vancouver show, Chopin – The Last Concert – Tobias Koch, February 22nd at Christ Church Cathedral. A presentation of Chopin’s last concert by German pianist Tobias Koch

Fabulist Theatre presents Better Than This

Better Than This is Fabulist Theatre’s new production coming to the Havana Theatre stage February 28th to March 9th.  For decades, musical theatre has been the home of iconic female characters, but for every legendary woman even more stereotypes take the stage. 

Better Than This is an original musical revue chronicling the evolution of women’s roles in musical theatre. By celebrating some of the best known female characters from My Fair Lady’s Eliza Doolittle in the 1950s to Alison Bechdel in 2013’s Fun Home, Better Than This examines why certain tropes persist and looks at changing the narrative around the female voice in musicals. 

Featuring songs from the most beloved musicals of the past century including West Side Story, Chicago, Wicked  and many more! Better Than This stars, Brianna Clark (Showstoppers, Fabulist Theatre’s Once On This Island), Kyrst Hogan (Kitty Night Productions’ Johnny and June), Dionne Phillips (The Broadway Chorus’ Bootie and the Beast) and Cathy Wilmot (Arts Club Theatre Company’s Mamma Mia!)

Better Than This opens February 28th with a preview “Pay What You Choose” ($5-$20 suggested, at the door)
Tickets are $24 in advance online or $28 at the door.
Tuesday March 5 is Half-Price
Friday March 8 (International Women’s Day) includes special post-show talkback

Tasting Plates celebrates its 7th Anniversary

Wednesday night, Vancouver Foodster and dozens of hungry foodies celebrated the 7th Anniversary of Tasting Plates. For seven years, Vancouver Foodster has been helping people discover the city’s food scene and neighbourhoods. Through the years, hundreds of patrons have found newly opened restaurants, revisited old favourites, and explored neighbourhoods that might not be in their radar. While some restaurants have come and gone, Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates events can be credited with bringing attention to some of the city’s now go-to spaces.

On Wednesday night, it was another evening of taste tourism as Tasting Plates roamed throughout downtown Vancouver. The 7th Anniversary Tasting Plates visited:

Bonus Bakery

Bonus Bakery Cafe: 1185 West Georgia Street
The plant-based Bonus Bakery Cafe, sibling to the adjacent Freshii outlet, presented a box full of fresh-baked goodies. Blueberry Muffin, Walnut Brownie, and Bonus Cookie – Chocolate Chip, Oreo, Corn Flakes, Pretzels, Vegan Marshmallows



Pacific Poke


Pacific Poke: 1795 Robson Street
On the corner of Robson & Denman, Pacific Poke scooped up a selection of their Chef Inspired Poke Bowls like The Keefer – Ahi Tuna, Ahi Negitora, Avocado Nori, Wasabi Peas, Organic Seaweed Salad, Wasabi Mayo, Shoyu, Yuzu, Lime Juice, Ginger, Sprouts and Herbs. To sip, Coco Panda, a refreshing drink of Coconut Milk, Pandan Milk and Young Coconut, nicely complimented the poke bowl.



Davie Dosa Company

Davie Dosa Company: 1235 Davie Street
The always flavourful Davie Dosa Company served up a selection of its South Asian menu; Adai – Sprouted Lentil Pancakes, Avial – Coconut Veggies, Chettinad Kara Paniyaram – A Savoury Muffin, Kesari – Semolina Halwa (a sweet pudding like dessert).



Mumbai Local

Mumbai Local: 1148 Davie Street
Mumbai Local delivered a taste of the bustling Indian metropolis with a pretty plate of snacks including; Shev Puri – Potatoes, Onions, Shev (crunchy noodles), served on Cracker with Tamarind & Chili Chutney, Prawns Rava – Semolina Coated Fried Prawn, Fried Chicken Lollipop – with Szechuan Dipping Sauce, Shrikhand – Sweet Thick Yoghurt & Fruit


Donnellan’s Chipper

Donnellan’s Chipper: 1224 Granville Street
The newly opened Donnellan’s Chipper serves Irish comfort food that anyone from the Isle will feel at home with, perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or after the pub including; Spice Bag – Spicey Fries & Chicken, Taco Fries – topped with zesty Taco Meat & Cheese, DC Burger, Battered Sausage, Breakfast Roll – Sausage, Egg, Bacon. Their grand opening and liquor license is coming soon.

Congratulations to Vancouver Foodster for 7 years of great Tasting Plates experiences, here’s to many more.
If you’d like to explore the flavours of the city, get tickets for the next Tasting Plates, Mount Pleasant on February 27th.

Picks of the Week – February 6, 2019

Last weekend, Nova Scotia’s resident groundhog, Shubenacadie Sam, predicted more weeks of winter for Canadian, and the temperatures outside seem to be matching that for Vancouver. Let’s find some fun to keep us warm in these picks of the week.

Tasting: Tonight, join Vancouver Foodster and a gaggle of fellow foodies to explore the flavours of Tasting Plates 7th Anniversary downtown Vancouver

Lunar: Check out some of the fun and traditional Lunar New Year Festivities underway now throughout the city, at Jack Poole Plaza, Fly Over Canada, Oakridge Centre and others.

Cocoa: These cold temperatures are the perfect time to warm up with the Annual Hot Chocolate Festival filling cups throughout the city until February 14th

Contest: Enter to win a prize package to attend Vancouver Alpen Club’s Valentine’s Dance with The Continentals on Saturday night.

Orphan: Everyone’s favourite orphan is onstage at the Micheal J Fox Theatre in Burnaby, as Align Entertainment presents Annie, until February 16

Laughs:  Join Vancouver’s queer improv comedy troupe, Queerprov, at The Junction for improv laughter tonight.

Love: Work your way to your Valentine’s heart through their funnybone as Vancouver TheatreSports presents Romance Week, a whole week of fun, romantic and naughty improv.

Joni: This is your last days to enjoy the sounds of Circle Game: Reimagining The Music Of Joni Mitchell, at The Firehall Arts Centre until February 9th


Boats: The 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show brings everything nautical indoors at BC Place and the floating boat show at Granville Island until February 10th.

Rock: Enjoy the classic rock when Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band take the stage at Rogers Arena tomorrow night.

Yoga Play at Gateway Theatre

Yoga: You’ll bend over backwards to get into Gateway Theatre for the comedy Yoga Play.

Pop: Local acts Mother Mother and Said The Whale fill the Orpheum Theatre on Thursday night

Dance: February 6 – 9, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts hosts the dramatic dance performance Blood on the Dancefloor by Australian ILBIJERRI Theatre Company

Dolly: Find out if it’s a match made in heaven, and see Dolly Levi in action as The Matchmaker (the inspiration for the iconic musical Hello Dolly!) opens at The Arts Club Theatre Company Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

Crime: The criminal biographical play True Crime is now At the Arts Club Theatre Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre, until February 24th.

The King’s Singers photo: Marco Borggreve

Choir: Early Music Vancouver brings the renowned King’s Singers to the Chan Centre at UBC on Saturday night

Puck: The Vancouver Canucks return to the ice at Rogers Arena on Saturday to host Calgary

No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks comes to Chan Centre

In recognition of Black History Month, The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts is bringing No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks to the Chan Shun Concert Hall on February 24th. 

As part of the Beyond Words series, this multimedia work from innovative art-collective Manual Cinema in collaboration with Chicago-based poets Eve L. Ewing and Nate Marshall, featuring a live six-piece band and original score by Jamila Woods and Ayanna Woods, creates an inspiring biographical narrative, of Gwendolyn Brooks. The late poet was a radical and disruptive presence within the national literary scene, becoming the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1950.

Photo of Manual Cinema by Julia Miller

“Manual Cinema creates magic, pure and simple. Through the unlikely pairing of high-tech digital equipment and old-school overhead projectors they are known for completely captivating audiences,” says Wendy Atkinson, Programming Manager at the Chan Centre and curator of Beyond Words. “Two years ago they performed here to rave reviews and when I heard about their most recent project — a biography of poet Gwendolyn Brooks that also includes a live band — I couldn’t resist inviting them back!”

Born in 1917 in Kansas and raised in Chicago, Gwendolyn Brooks worked for decades as an acclaimed artist, mentor to aspiring poets, and advocate for schoolchildren. Gaining much acclaim, she became one of the most widely read authors in America, using her poetic eloquence to convey the black experience.

No Blue Memories traces the political arc of her career and the development of her craft. Manual Cinema’s production uses a combination of shadow puppetry, vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, actors, live feed cameras, multi-channel sound design, and live music. Written by Ewing and Marshall — also known collectively as Crescendo Literary, a name taken from a Brooks composition — the evocative performance poetically explores her legacy. Fellow Chicago-based soul singer Jamila Woods collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Ayanna Woods for the original score, which will be performed live. 

No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks takes the stage at The Chan Centre for Performing Arts at The University of British Columbia at 7pm, Sunday February 24, 2019. For information and tickets visit chancentre.com