CONTEST: Swing your sweetheart at Vancouver Alpen Club’s February 9th Valentine’s Dance

Start your Valentine’s week by celebrating with the Vancouver Alpen Club’s Valentine’s Dance on February 9th.

The Vancouver Alpen Club kicks off the season of love with a dance party like only they can produce. Peter Juric & The Continentals, known for Vancouver Alpen Club’s rollicking Oktoberfest will keep you on your toes.

While working up a hunger on the ballroom dance floor partake in some of the comforting food from the Deutsches Haus kitchens, and what would a party at Vancouver Alpen Club be without beer!

You could enjoy the Valentine’s fun for yourself, enter to win a Vancouver Alpen Club Valentine’s Dance Prize Package including: 2 tickets to the dance, plus 2 food and drink voucher. A perfect package for date night!

To enter the contest:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who would take to the Vancouver Alpen Club Valentine’s Dance (1 entry)

Tweet the Following & Tag your Valentine (1 entry) :

RT to #Win an @AlpenClub #ValentineDance #prize package via @jminter http://ow.ly/pbER30nA7K5 #contest

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Friday February 8, 2019. One winner will be chosen at random. Please note, you must be 19 years or older to enter; Vancouver Alpen Club will require photo ID to access the ballroom dance.

The Matchmaker makes her match at The Arts Club

Say hello to the famed matchmaking busybody Dolly Gallagher Levi as The Matchmaker brings her to The Arts Club Theatre Company Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Thorton Wilder’s 1954 comedy served as the inspiration for the iconic musical Hello Dolly!, which turned Dolly Levi into a legendary role.

In The Arts Club Theatre Company’s The Matchmaker, director Ashlie Corcoran, guides an ensemble of 14 actors playing 16 characters through a maze of forbidden love, mistaken identities, madcap adventures and hysterical hijinx, resulting in much spontaneous laughter and applause from the audience throughout the performance.

Nicole Lipman as Dolly Levi
photo: David Cooper

While Nicole Lipman’s Dolly stirs the plot and characters with her cunning charm, it’s cantankerous Horace Vandergelder, played by Ric Reid, who sets the wheels in motion as the other characters seek to avoid or win “the first citizen of Yonkers'” favour. Whether it’s trying to keep his niece Ermengarde (Julie Leung) from marrying artist Ambrose Kemper (Nadeem Phillip), keep his love interest Mrs Molloy on a string whilst there is another potential suitor, or keep his employees in check in spite of their desire for adventure, Mr Vandergelder never quite succeeds with Dolly really pulling the strings.

The Matchmaker
photo: David Cooper

As the characters move the action from Yonkers “where nothing ever happens”, to New York City, Mrs Molloy (Naomi Wright) and her flighty shop assistance Minnie (Georgia Beaty) are the first bold flashes of colour both in character, costume and setting of her millinery shop. When they stumble into the shop, the ladies awaken something within Mr. Vandergelder’s naive shop clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker. Played with leading-man charm and charisma by Tyrone Savage and wide-eyed innocence by Daniel Doheny, respectively, the gentlemen were seeking an adventure and found much more than they bargained for, or could afford, but in Dolly’s world everything has a way of working out, for everyone.

Throughout the adventure we meet an assortment of colourful characters each with their own over-the-top eccentricities. The audience becomes a 17th character when many of the characters break the fourth wall to speak directly to the room; sharing their feelings, or words of wisdom albeit when coming from drunkard Malachi Stack, hilariously played by Scott Bellis, they might be taken with a shot of whiskey. With so much happening on stage, the whole performance moves like a dance as players move in, out and over the sets and costumes on their way to happily ever after.

Drew Facey’s beautiful production design creates a world, with four distinct sets, reminiscent of The Gilded Age but with hints of modernity in the set decorations and costumes that make it a world all its own. The set and costumes lends just enough realism to ground the show but the colourful winks and whimsy fit perfectly with the absurdity of the farce. If you listen closely, you’ll also note that the music doesn’t fit the period but does fit the characters, with a short nod to Hello Dolly!, as well.

Experience the laughter for yourself as The Matchmaker plays at The Arts Club Theatre Company Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until February 24, 2019. Visit artsclub.com for tickets and showtimes.

Watch for Blood On The Dancefloor at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Blood On The Dancefloor
photo: Bryony Jackson

Next week, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts welcomes the West Coast premiere of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company’s Blood on the Dance Floor by Jacob Boehme. Presented by DanceHouse, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, and Talking Stick Festival, Blood on the Dance Floor takes the stage February 6th to 9th.. Rooted in Aboriginal Dance, theatre, and storytelling, this award-winning work, is based on the deeply personal experience of performer Jacob Boehme, a renowned dancer, writer, and choreographer from the Narangga and Kaurna nations of South Australia. Blood on the Dance Floor unapologetically shares Boehme’s emotionally honest story of gay, Blak, and poz identities; and explores the struggle, heartache, and enduring spirit of someone living at the intersection of Aboriginal, queer, and HIV-positive communities.

“This work comes at a landmark moment in the history of HIV. With the increasing availability of preventative medication, HIV transmission rates are decreasing and life expectancy for those with the virus is increasing,” says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse. “However, in both Australia and Canada HIV rates in Indigenous communities are sadly on the rise. Blood on the Dance Floor is a poignant work that shines a powerful and captivating light on the stigma, the discrimination, and the silence that surrounds HIV/AIDS in Indigenous communities. But the work also embraces our need for community, our deepest fears, our secret identities, and what blood means to each of us — questioning how this most precious fluid unites and divides us.”

When Boehme was diagnosed with HIV in 1998, he reached out to his ancestors in search of answers. Blood on the Dance Floor pays homage to Boehme’s ancestors’ ceremonies through a series of vignettes combining video and sound design, choreography, and visceral narrative that transverses time, space, and characters. From a ‘gay elder’ grieving young men lost to disease and despair, to the current culture of hook-ups and casual sex, deeper moments sketched between Boehme and his father will underscore the legacy of racism, homophobia, and shame permeating the work with both personal and cultural history.

Written and performed by Melbourne-based Jacob Boehme, choreographed by Mariaa Randall, and directed by Isaacc Drandic Blood On The Dancefloor runs February 6 – 9, 2019 at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. For more information and tickets visit dancehouse.ca 

Warning: For audience members age 15 and up. Performance includes adult concepts (sexual & drug references), coarse language, and loud music. 

Picks of the Week – January 30, 2019

Can you believe it’s already the end of January! Those of us in the West are already seeing blossoms, early but just in time for the Spring Festival events included in this week’s picks.

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.

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

Yoga: Don’t miss your chance to take part in the last free Wednesday yoga class at Gateway Theatre before the opening of their upcoming Yoga Play.

Annie played by Camryn Macdonald photo: Emily Cooper

Orphan: Everyone’s favourite orphan comes to the Micheal J Fox Theatre, when Align Entertainment presents Annie, February 1 – 16

Rock: Prepare for grease-paint, leather and fireworks as the Kiss : End of the Road tour comes to Rogers Arena on Thursday evening.

Arts: The third and final week of 15th Annual PuSh International Performing Arts Festival continues to fill our stages and venues with world-class performing arts to the city, before wrapping up on February 3rd

Showcase: Friday night, join Midtwenties Theatre Society at Havana Theatre for its first Open Performance Showcase, check out original performances and pieces of theatre, poetry, dance and more

Broth: It’s your last days to visit participating restaurants in the 1st Vancouver Foodster Soup Festival to taste and vote for your favourite soup.

Cocoa: Warm your heart and soul with sips from the Annual Hot Chocolate Festival filling cups throughout the city until February 14th

Dine: It’s your last week to try out a new or favourite restaurant, experience a one of the unique foodie event, and sample some of the city’s multitude of food trucks, before Dine Out Vancouver Festival, ends for another year on February 3rd

Wander: The Winter Wander at Vanier Park returns on Saturday, February 2nd, a family fun event with $5 admission opening the doors to Museum of Vancouver, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, Vancouver Maritime Museum, City of Vancouver Archives, and Vancouver Academy of Music with performances by Bard on the Beach and Vancouver Academy of Music, plus food trucks, prize and other fun all day.

Joni: Continue to enjoy the sounds of Circle Game: Reimagining The Music Of Joni Mitchell, at The Firehall Arts Centre until February 9th

Nicola Lipman & Ric Reid in The Matchmaker
photo: David Cooper

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

5 Lunar New Year Events for 2019

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is one of the major events for Asian families as millions make visits to their home countries, towns and family, to celebrate the Year of the Pig, New Year celebrations and traditions.  With Vancouver and Richmond’s large Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and other Asian communities, the cities are filled with events for who can’t make the trip home or are returning here to visit family.  The Year of the Pig begins February 5, 2019.

Events to commemorate the Lunar New Year Festival include:

Lunar Fest 2019 welcomes the whole family to events across the city, with celebrations at Jack Poole Plaza and šx????n?q Xwtl’e7énk Square (Vancouver Art Gallery) featuring entertainment, exhibits, crafts, markets, as well as events at Oakridge Centre and Vancouver Playhouse. Events run from January 29 to February 19, 2019

Fly Over Canada
Fly Over Canada – Flight Of The Dragon

Fly Over Canada – its annual double bill ‘flies’ over Canada and then follows through the peaks and valleys of China’s vibrant landscape in the Flight Of The Dragon, until February 24th

Year of the Pig Temple Fair at Dr Sun Yat Sen classical Chinese Garden, celebrates the New Year on February 10th with lanterns, food, and family activities

International Village MallAberdeen CentreOakridge Centre  and other Shopping Centres all around Metro Vancouver are hosting Chinese and Lunar New Year events;  Exhibits, Craft & Flower Market, Stage Performances, Dragon and Lion Dances, Kids Activities, Prizes and more fill the Malls through the New Year.

Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year Parade

Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival, rings in the new year with the snap, crackle and bang of firecrackers, drums and dancers on February 10th. Joins the thousands of spectators and revellers lining the route of the 46th Chinatown Parade from 11am, along East Pender, Gore and Keefer Streets. After the parade watch for ‘the Lions’ as they visit and perform for local Chinatown businesses to bring good fortune through the new year.

For more Vancouver and Richmond events and information visit lunarfestival.com

Make it a date night at Vancouver TheatreSports

Valentine’s Day is coming and Vancouver TheatreSports (VTS) is ready to make date night hilarious with Romance Week from February 5 to 14, 2019.

VTS Romance Week

Cupid’s arrows bring love and laughter to The Improv Centre and straight to lovers’ hearts. Solo patrons may even a suitable single to bond with over titillated teehees. It’s common knowledge that romance thrives when sprinkled liberally with laughter.  Vancouver TheatreSports has been the spot for many first dates and there have even been some marriage proposals made during shows. 

So forget the boring box of chocolates for Valentine’s and bring your someone special for a week of ‘improv and chill’ as VTS celebrates with three special shows for Romance Week. 

The talented improvisers of VTS will win your heart and put the ‘ha-ha’ in ‘Ha-ha-ppy’ Valentine’s with the following shows:

  • Love Matches – classic TheatreSportsTM matches with a romantic twist.
  • Love Unscripted – an improvised rom-com celebrating all the inane clichés and funny, awkward moments you’d expect to see in any romantic comedy as suggested by the audience.
  • Red Hot Improv – taking its cue from today’s hook-up culture. If you think OK Tinder is steamy, you’ll want to swipe left on Red Hot Improv’s xxx-rated hilarity. (NC17)

Romance Week ‘climaxes’ with My Funny Valentine – VTS’ special Valentine’s Day event on Thursday, February 14 – which will be hosted by none other than Cupid along with the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. My Funny Valentine features an all-out love battle of epic proportions as three ‘improv couples’ duke it out in an audience-inspired competition to prove that love conquers all. This full evening event will also include special roving characters, a ‘Love Astrologer’ who will check your ‘Love Chart’ (are your sun signs compatible?), personalized improvised love sonnets you can take with you, and drink specials such aspersonal-size bottles of sparkling Henkell Rosé.

Romance week isn’t just for couples, grab your single friends and celebrate your friendships on a fun night out. Memories created by an evening of laughter will last a lot longer than any bouquet of roses.

Create your memories as Vancouver TheatreSports presents Romance Week, Tuesday February 5 to Thursday February 14, 2019, at The Improv Centre on Granville Island. 
Ticket prices start at $10.75 (cheaper than chocolates!) and are available online at vtsl.com.

EMV Presents The King’s Singers

Step back in time when Early Music Vancouver (EMV) presents The Kings Singers’ Royal Blood: Music for Henry VIII on February 9th at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts. 

The King’s Singers photo: Marco Borggreve

One of the world’s preeminent vocal ensembles, the Grammy Award nominated The King’s Singers make their debut with Early Music Vancouver as part of their 50th Anniversary season and North American tour.  Royal Blood looks at King Henry VIII’s life and legacy with compositions from his turbulent court in the early 16th century. Royal Blood will feature works by King Henry VIII, William Byrd, Thomas Weelkes, Henry Purcell, Benjamin Britten, and more.

“This concert is a follow up to EMV’s 2017 presentation of the Choir of King’s College of Cambridge. The original King’s Singers were all previously choral scholars at King’s College of Cambridge, where the rigorous education they received played a central role in creating the high standard for which The King’s Singers are still known,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of EMV. “Though the ensemble has performed in Vancouver many times over the years, we are excited to hear them perform a programme with an early music focus. English choral singers grow up on a steady diet of early music which is why they are among the best in the world at performing this repertoire.” 

The King’s Singers photo: Marco Borggreve

The King’s Singers were officially founded on May 1,1968, when six recently graduated choral scholars from King’s College, Cambridge, performed a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. This debut was the launch pad for The King’s Singers’ now legendary career trajectory. Their original vocal line-up was (by chance) two countertenors, a tenor, two baritones and a bass; a format they have maintained ever since. Over the years, there have been 26 King’s Singers including the original six and 20 subsequent replacements. While it is no longer a prerequisite to have been a choral scholar from Oxford or King’s College, each new member must possess the same standards of musicianship and have an appreciation for the origins of the ensemble. Being a King’s Singer is now one of the most coveted vocal ensemble positions in the world.

Hear for yourself what makes them such an acclaimed vocal group when Early Music Vancouver presents The Kings Singers’ Royal Blood: Music for Henry VIII on February 9, 2019 at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC, at 7:30pm. For information and tickets visit earlymusic.bc.ca