Picks of the Week – June 27, 2018

Summer is in full swing, and Canada Day brings up our first long weekend of the season and plenty of activities and entertainment to pick from this week.

Canada Day Fireworks over Canada Place

O Canada: Celebrate Canada Day with one of the many community events or plan your own with family and friends.

Jazz: The Vancouver and Victoria International Jazz Festivals continue through the weekend with Macy Gray, Dee Dee Bridgewater & The Memphis Soulphony, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Bonobo, The Jerry Douglas Band and more

Bard Village

Bard: Make your picks between a brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It or the dramatic Macbeth at Bard on the Beach 2018

Anniversary: Tonight, the Commodore Ballroom welcomes Gomez as they tour in support of the 20th Anniversary of their Mercury Prize winning album Bring It On.

Rock: The 90s makes a return as Collective Soul plays a two night stand, Thursday and Friday (sold out) at Commodore Ballroom.

Arts: The 10th Anniversary Queer Arts Festival wraps up June 28th at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

Kicks: Get your FIFA World Cup fix and soak up the global vibes at various venues around town

Balls: Spend Canada Day at BC Place as Vancouver Whitecaps host Colorado Rapids Sunday afternoon.

Bats: the Vancouver Canadians are in the midst of a 8 game home stand versus Tri-City Americans, then Salem-Keizer Volcanoes though July 3rd at Nat Bailey Stadium

Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018. As well, David Milne: Modern Painting  on until September 9th, offers highlights of Milne’s half-century career, which took him from New York City, to the battlefields of Northern  France and Belgium, and back to the wilderness of Canada and the US.

Fest: It’s the final couple days of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra presents the Global Soundscape Festival a celebration of Middle Eastern music wrapping up June 27th.

Abba: You’ll have a hard time not singing along at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

Gili Roskies & Adrian Glynn McMorran
photo: Emily Cooper

Irish:  Once is not enough to see, the final show of the 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company season, ONCE, running at the Granville Island Stage.

Resist: Until October 8th at MOA, Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America, invites visitors to take a closer look at the political and social significance of Latin American artistic traditions to express political realities.

Midway: Enjoy summer excitement at Playland opens daily from July 29th for all your family’s summer excitement, or leave the kids at home for Playland Nights, Fridays from 7pm to Midnight

Wild: The Museum of Vancouver opens a new exhibit Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives, which takes a look at the relationship between local plants and animals and the people and places in the city.

Chorus: Wrap up your long weekend with Chor Leoni : Mane Event , with two shows on July 2nd at 3pm & 8pm under the tents at Bard on the Beach

Five Canada Day 2018 Celebrations

Canada Day is upon us, after last year’s 150 celebrations it’s easy to think 2018 will be more subdued but there are still plenty of great ways to celebrate your Canadian Pride.

Canada Day Fireworks

Here’s a selection of celebrations from around Metro Vancouver:

Canada Day at Canada Place : The hub of Metro Vancouver’s celebrations starts with a citizenship ceremony at 10am then entertainment and activities begin at 11am. Canada Day wraps with a bang, as a fireworks show illuminates Burrard Inlet at 10:50pm.

Steveston Salmon Festival : Since 1945 the community of Steveston has celebrated Canada Day and the bounty of Steveston’s rich waters and farms. Beginning at 6:30am with a pancake breakfast with a 10am Canada Day Parade then entertainment, food and fun all through the day.

Canada Day At Canada Place

Surrey Canada Day : Amusement rides, food trucks, strawberry tea and headliners Serena Ryder and Brett Kissel bring something for all ages to Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre from 11am until a 10:30pm fireworks show.

Canada Day #onRobson Street : From Noon to 4pm, Robson Street sidewalks between Burrard and Denman will be filled with giveaways, promotions and treats from local merchants, plus entertainment and music from Krystal Dos Santos, Diamond Crew, DJ Static, Dueling Pianos and more.

Canada Day at Burnaby Village Museum : Celebrate 1920s style at the historic village museum with multicultural entertainment, carousel rides, a parade, Red Serge RCMP, and roaming costumed characters.

This is just a few of the many Canada Celebrations happening this weekend, look in your neighbourhood for other events, plan your own celebrations with family and friends, or check out Jazz Festival, Vancouver Canadians Baseball, Vancouver Whitecaps.

Go back to the 60s with As You Like It at Bard On The Beach

Bard on the Beach – As You Like It : Lindsey Angell & Nadeem Phillip

FUN, is the best word to describe As You Like It, now playing at Bard on the Beach, alternating nights with Macbeth.  While Macbeth is a brooding, dark, and classic production, As You Like It is the complete opposite; lively, bright and a mash-up Bard-Beatles musical production.

That’s right, the music of The Beatles plays a big role in director Daryl Cloran’s production for the Bard on the Beach stage.  Sure to be a summer hit,  Cloran has seamlessly moved As You Like It from the 1600s in Frances’ Forest of Arden, to the swinging 60s in the Okanagan.  Large parts of Shakespeare’s dialogue has been brilliantly replaced with the word of Lennon & McCartney. With 25 Beatles songs included in this mash-up, it is remarkable how well the music fits the story and doesn’t clash with the Bard’s comedic vision.

The romantic comedy is filled with classic Shakespearean plot devices; mistaken identities & alter-egos, difficult family dynamics, class struggles, romantic triangles, comedic sidekicks plus more to keep you laughing.  Walking into the BMO Mainstage at Bard on the Beach, the audience is greeted by an All-Star Wrestling ring, signalling that this will not be an ordinary evening of Shakespeare.  The hero Orlando, strives to better himself in life (and in the ring) but when the evil promotor, Duke Frederick finds out his parentage Orlando is exiled. In the meantime, young Orlando has fallen for the Duke’s niece Rosalind, who also comes to be banished, like her father Duke Senior, by her power hungry uncle. In the company of her cousin, Frederick’s daughter Celia flee, Rosalind taking the disguise of a young lad, Ganymeade and Celia as his sister, Aliena.  All roads lead to the Okanagan, where Duke Senior and his fellow banished nobles have founded a commune filled with peace and love. Of course nothing is simple on the path to romance, as we are reminded by Rosalind and Celia’s faithful servant, Touchstone, ‘because it’s Shakespeare’.   In the end, we of course are rewarded with the happy ending for most of the characters. 

The setting, costumes and story perfectly fit in The Beatles music, and the cast, most of whom are also the company for Macbeth, bring the music and comedy to life with flair and flares.  Nadeem Phillip brings a exuberant charm and solid vocals to his leading man Orlando. While Lindsey Angell’s Rosalind plots to connect the dots in everyone’s journey to love, her chemistry and voice pairs nicely with Nadeem making us all cheer for our lovebirds.  Harveen Sandhu as Celia standouts with her powerful vocals and charisma.  The comedic timing of Kayvon Khoshkam as the ‘Rod Stewart meets Austin Powers’ modfather, Touchstone, brings a smile and many laughs to As You Like It from start to finish.

The buzz is surely to build for As You Like It as the summer progresses so be sure to book your tickets sooner than later so not to miss out on one of the most fun evenings of theatre this season.

As You Like It runs until September 22nd at the Bard on the Beach BMO Mainstage, alternate nights with Macbeth.

Arts Club Theatre Company : Once

Gili Roskies & Adrian Glynn McMorran
photo: Emily Cooper

Once is definitely not enough when it comes to seeing Arts Club Theatre Company’s Once, now playing at the Granville Island Stage.  The final show of the season, and for Artist Director Bill Millerd’s 45 season reign as the guiding force of the Art Club, certainly makes a memorable impact.

The heartwarming and heartbreaking story of Guy meets Girl, based on the 2007 film of the same name, takes the audience on a journey filled with music, laughter, melancholy, romance and inspiration.  Known only as Girl (an ‘honest’ Czech aspiring pianist, played by Gili Roskies) and Guy (a struggling Dublin musician, played by Adrian Glynn McMorran), our leads’ meet cute involves busking and a Hoover.  That oddball scenario, foretells the unique show that’s to come.  While Girl struggles with her feelings for Guy and loyalty to her estranged husband, she champions Guy to never give up on his heart and music.  Once would be nothing without that music, written by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglova (the original film’s leads) the heartfelt songs stand-out like a third lead; moving the story along, connecting the characters and allowing Guy and Girl to sing what they can’t say.

To help bring the duo’s musical aspirations to a fruition, a company of colourful characters gather; both Czechs and the Irish play multiple instruments, dance, and sing often all at the same time.  While all the company are solid; stand outs include Chris Cochrane as Billy the music shop owner and admirer of Girl, who plays well off of the always solid Caitriona Murphy.  There are a couple moments when the Irish accents sound a bit like their protecting their Lucky Charms, but it’s not enough to distract from the feeling that the audience is a Dublin pub with the company.  Set designer Ted Roberts makes the most of the small Granville Island stage to recreate the feeling of an Irish Pub, which is open to the audience for on stage drinks and a kitchen party style opening jam session that leads into the show.  From this lively opening to the emotional Academy Award winning song “Falling Slowly”, Once moves us and makes us cheer for Guy and Girls’ relationship and leaves us fulfilled but wanting to know the rest of their stories.

See it once or often but definitely see it before it’s gone.  Once is playing at The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Granville Island Stage until July 29, 2018.

Dancing on the Edge 30th Anniversary opens July 5, 2018

Canada’s longest running festival of contemporary dance, Dancing on the Edge Festival is coming to Vancouver venues July 5 -14, 2018.

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Dancing on the Edge Festival’s longevity serves as a powerful reminder of the contributions of dance, to our past and future of the Arts in the community. Building on its 30 years of history the30th annual Dancing on the Edge Festival will bring dance in all shapes and forms to Vancouver audiences.

Festival Founder and Producer Donna Spencer announced that this year’s DOTE showcases over thirty performances involving more than twenty innovative companies and choreographers. Artists from across Canada, from Belgium and South Korea will take to stages and streets during the ten-day festival, performing in full length and mixed bill programs, as well as site-specific works.

Highlights of this year’s lineup include performances by visiting companies including;
Montreal’s Paul-André Fortier/Fortier Danse-Création
Belgium’s Liz Kinoshita,
South Korea’s Dab Dance Company
Montreal’s Lara Kramer Danse

MascallDance

BC choreographers are well represented too, performing a mix of new works and audience favourites include; Wen Wei Dance, Company 605, Lesley Telford/Inverso Productions, Co.ERASGA/Kasandra Lea, Kokoro Dance, Mascall Dance, Noam Gagnon/Vision Impure, and many more performances for the 30th anniversary. 

Outdoor site-specific work includes;

Gail Lotenberg of LINK Dance Foundation’s choreography Crosswalk Hustle, a new installation in “The Intersections Series” where pedestrians and vehicle traffic meet in a choreographed routine (performances at Davie & Bute and Commercial Drive &1st Ave),

Dances for a Small Stages Summer Series brings four short works to Granville Island ranging from tap to hip hop, from contemporary to flamenco.

Dancing on the Edge Festival kicks up its heels with a opening 30th Anniversary Party by-donation, community celebration on July 5th at Firehall Arts Centre.

For a full line-up and schedule of events, plus ticket information visit dancingontheedge.org

Picks of the Week – June 20, 2018

Summer 2018 is upon us and bringing with it a plethora of entertainment to keep your week moving along with these picks.

Eat: Take a flavourful tour of Vancouver’s West End on Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates West End edition.

Bard: Make your picks between a Beatles themed version of As You Like It or the Scottish Play in the Bard on the Beach 2018

Jazz: The Vancouver and Victoria International Jazz Festivals both get underway June 22 with Macy Gray, Dee Dee Bridgewater & The Memphis Soulphony, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Bonobo, The Jerry Douglas Band and more

Queer Arts Festival: Skin & Metal: Homoerotic Music Theatre Works by Barry Truax

Arts: The 10th Anniversary Queer Arts Festival is underway until June 28th at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre.

Kicks: Get your FIFA World Cup fix and soak up the global vibes at various venues around town

Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018. As well, David Milne: Modern Painting  on until September 9th, offers highlights of Milne’s half-century career, which took him from New York City, to the battlefields of Northern  France and Belgium, and back to the wilderness of Canada and the US.

Fest: The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra presents the Global Soundscape Festival a celebration of Middle Eastern music at venues around town June 16 – 27, 2018

Concert: Saturday night at Vancouver Playhouse, Sweet Bubbling Nights, presented by Soulful Productions is a sizzling celebration of soul, Motown, funk, show tunes and drag in support of LGBTI Pulse Memorial Scholarship.

Inked: The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Art reopens after renovations with BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest an exhibition deep-rooted traditions of Indigenous tattooing, piercing and personal adornment curated by Dion Kaszas of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation

MammaMiaAbba: You’ll have a hard time not singing along at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

Irish: The final show of the 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company season closes with ONCE, at the Granville Island Stage.

Outdoor: DOXA Documentary Film Festival presents, Ethiopiques: Revolt of the Soul, for its annual Outdoor Summer Screening at Robson Square on Saturday at 9:30pm

Resist: Until October 8th at MOA, Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America, invites visitors to take a closer look at the political and social significance of Latin American artistic traditions to express political realities.

Midway: Enjoy summer excitement at Playland on weekends with three added rides for the family’s excitement.

Wild: The Museum of Vancouver opens a new exhibit Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives, which takes a look at the relationship between local plants and animals and the people and places in the city.

Wing It with Vancouver Foodster Chicken Wings Challenge

The Vancouver Foodster Chicken Wings Challenge is back for its 2018 edition with more tasty and creative chicken dishes.

From June 21st to July 15, 2018, Vancouver Foodster has challenged restaurants around Metro Vancouver to create their best Chicken Wings.  get out and try any or all of the unique Chicken Wing dishes prepared by the participating restaurants.

The restaurants have entered their favourite Chicken Wings from their menu or have come up with a unique recipe for their Vancouver Foodster Chicken Wings Challenge dish. The chef’s entries may range from simple to elaborate, feature unique and innovative ingredients, they may be breaded or naked; saucy or dry seasoned; baked or fried.

As with all of Vancouver Foodster’s food challenges, a panel of media judges (including myself, Joyce Lam @VanFoodies and Sherman Chan @ShermansFoodAdv ) will taste and crown the Judges’ Choice Chicken Wings.  The public is also invited to try any or all of the entries, then vote for the People’s Choice  Chicken Wings creation at vancouverfoodster.com/chicken-wings-challenge . On social media, tag your chicken wings experiences #ChickenWingsChallengeYVR and see what other’s are enjoying along the Chicken Wings Challenge.
The 2018 participating restaurants are;

Vancouver

Davie Dosa Company, 1235 Davie Street

U & I Thai, 3364 Cambie Street 

Mission

U & I Thai, 33261 1st Ave 

Abbotsford

U & I Thai, 3757 South Fraser Way

Langley

Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Crescent

Maple Ridge

Ban Chok Dee, 20395 Lougheed Hwy

For more details on the Chicken Wings Challenge restaurants and dishes, visit vancouverfoodster.com/chicken-wings-challenge .