Picks of the Week – September 18, 2019

As we hit the official last week of Summer 2019, we find plenty to keep the entertainment scene heated up in these picks

Shakespeare in Love Charlie Gallant & Ghazal Azarbad Image: Emily Cooper

Bard: This are your last days to catch the 30th season of Bard on the Beach before it closes at Vanier Park with mainstage shows Shakespeare in Love (closing tonight) and Taming of the Shrew as well as Coriolanus on the Howard Family Stage closing September 21st.

North: There’s just a couple of days to see the Great White North meets the Land of Fire and Ice as Flyover Canada welcomes Flyover Iceland to the cinematic adventure until October 20

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company season begins with A Thousand Splendid Suns at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, running until October 13th.

Reg: Legendary singer/songwriter Elton John brings his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour to Rogers Arena for 3 nights, Sept 21, 22, & 24.

Pitch: After a nice win last weekend, Whitecaps FC keep playing for pride as they host to Columbus Crew SC at BC Place Saturday afternoon

VTS Back to School

School: Hit the books and laughs as Back to School Theatresports comes to The Improv Centre on Granville Island, Tuesdays to Saturdays until October 12.

Puppets: Museum of Anthropology’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

Bowl: Wrap up summer with two nights of great outdoor music in Malkin Bowl featuring Mother Mother with guests; Tokyo Police Club, The Zolas, and Sam Lynch, this Saturday and Sunday

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

“NRITYA” by La Caramelita Flamenco Company (France)

Dance: The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival continues to beat the stages of Vancouver until September 29.

Picks of the Week – September 4, 2019

Many think of the Labour Day weekend as the end of summer, but we still have weeks until summer’s official end. Plenty of time for more entertaining picks…

@giselle featuring Catherine Hurlin
photo: Craig Foster.

Dance: Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY presents @giselle is a technology-driven, contemporary reimagining of the beloved classic ballet, at the Vancouver Playhouse September 5-7.  

FlipFlopsThe Waste to Wonder exhibit at the Grand Court of Metropolis at Metrotown, runs until September 8th, consisting of five life-size sculptures of Canadian at-risk wildlife (the narwhal, orca, bison, grizzly, and caribou), each made from more than 6,500 recycled flip flops by Ocean Sole Africa.

Coriolanus -Moya O’Connell photo: Emily Cooper

Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach runs until September 21 at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage and Coriolanus on the Howard Family Stage.

North: The Great White North meets the Land of Fire and Ice as Flyover Canada welcomes Flyover Iceland to the cinematic adventure August 29th, until October 20

Puppets: Museum of Anthropology’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

Festival: Vancouver Fringe Festival brings 10 days of arts, theatre and experiences to Vancouver stages September 5 – 15.

Avalon: English singer-songwriter, Bryan Ferry performs his solo hits and those from his Roxy Music years on the Queen Elizabeth Theatre stage on Thursday

VTS Back to School

School: Hit the books and laughs as Back to School Theatresports comes to The Improv Centre on Granville Island, Tuesdays to Saturdays from September 3 to October 12.

Rock: Death Cab For Cutie takes the music outside to the stage at Malkin Bowl on Thursday evening.

Trio: Friday night, Malkin Bowl is filled with more music, as local group Said The Whale take the outdoor stage in Stanley Park

Chilliwack Sunflower Festival – Dahlias

Blooms: The second Chilliwack Sunflower Festival runs until September 15th, with a total of 20 acres of flowers, bringing colour to the Fraser Valley community

Folk: Indie-Folk outfit Bon Iver play the Pacific Coliseum at PNE on Saturday September 7th.

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

Picks of the Week – August 28, 2019

As quickly as it began, summer’s end is drawing near. The final long weekend of the season let’s us pack in extra picks of the week before Labour Day.

Cinema: Thursday evening, head to the North Point at Canada Place for the season’s last Waterfront Cinema, this week celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade starting around 8:30pm

Fair: Summer’s biggest party, The Fair at The PNE bringing amusement, entertainment and fun for the whole family, and great Summer Night Concerts, until September 2nd.

FlipFlopsThe Waste to Wonder exhibit at the Grand Court of Metropolis at Metrotown, runs until September 8th, consisting of five life-size sculptures of Canadian at-risk wildlife (the narwhal, orca, bison, grizzly, and caribou), each made from more than 6,500 recycled flip flops by Ocean Sole Africa.

Coriolanus -Moya O’Connell photo: Emily Cooper

Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach runs until September 21 at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage and Coriolanus on the Howard Family Stage.

North: The Great White North meets the Land of Fire and Ice as Flyover Canada welcomes Flyover Iceland to the cinematic adventure August 29th, until October 20

Puppets: Museum of Anthropology’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

World: The Richmond World Festival returns to Minoru Park on August 30-31, 2018. The annual, free family-friendly pubic festival brings two days of music, arts, culture, entertainment, and food from around the globe to the heart of Richmond.

Record Release: Full Circle – First Nations Performance – Múyunstut Ta Slúlum Live Series presents NIMKISH, Heartbreak On The Coast – Album Release Party with JB The First Lady, Mamarudegyal, Biawanna, and DJ Paisley Eva Saturday, at The Wise Hall,

Pitches: The Vancouver Canadians host Tri-City Americans for a 3 game home stand this week, Wednesday to Friday.

Balls: Whitecaps FC play host to New York City FC at BC Place on Saturday evening.

Chilliwack Sunflower Festival – Dahlias

Blooms: The second Chilliwack Sunflower Festival runs until September 15th, with a total of 20 acres of flowers, bringing colour to the Fraser Valley community

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

Coriolanus blows up Bard on the Beach

The 30th Season of Bard on the Beach hosted its final opening night of the season this weekend as Coriolanus made its debut on the Howard Family Stage. Due to solid early ticket sales, Bard on the Beach has already added 7 more performances to the run, now ending September 21st.

The Company of Coriolanus photo: Tim Matheson

Quite literally fighting its way on to the stage, the drama brings battles to the Bard. One of Shakespeare’s last tragedies, Coriolanus, based on the life of Roman general Caius Marcius Coriolanus deals with the timeless topics of war, peace, family and politics. Dean Paul Gibson (The Winter’s Tale, 2017 and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2014) returns to the Festival to direct Bard’s first ever production of Coriolanus.

“I am honoured to be directing Coriolanus on the Howard Family Stage, featuring a female protagonist,” says director Dean Paul Gibson. “This production for me is an artistic expression of the times we live in, with the evolution of ancient stories for modern times. This is the first professional presentation of Coriolanus in Vancouver, and there couldn’t be a better time for us to present this work with a strong female lead.”

Coriolanus : Marci T. House & Moya O’Connell photo: Tim Matheson

Gibson has cast Moya O’Connell (Macbeth & Timon of Athens, 2018) as Coriolanus, who carries much of the play on her capable shoulders. The rapid fire dialogue (sometimes so fast it’s hard to keep up) and choreographed fight scenes make the role both physically and verbally taxing. Coriolanus’s mother, Volumnia, played by Colleen Wheeler holds great influence over both her daughter and Rome’s storyline. Rounding out a trifecta of powerful women, rival general Aufidius is played by Marci T. House.

Mirroring present day politics, the male characters in this production are those more concerned with retaining their power by wrapping themselves in the pretense of the good of the people and country. They turn out to be master manipulators and are able to whip citizens into a frenzy that benefits the short term but result in long term tragedy.

Gibson notes, “Flavours of past warfare, along with some very modern political maneuvering, serve to remind us that the original story, with its division, tribalism and social schisms, still resonates hundreds of years later – as if it’s been pulled from the latest news report. It proves yet again that we are drawn to repeat our transgressions with no thought of our history.”

The intimate Howard Family Stage along with Gibson’s direction brings the audience into the action as the players use all angles and levels of the theatre. Pam Johnson’s simple but effective set design along with Alan Brodie’s lighting (note: strobe lights are used often) create the high-drama required of the tragedy. Lisa Stevens and Robinson Wilson choreograph the flights to create the drama of warfare but also the fluidity of dance. Barbara Clayden’s costumes are reminiscent of a Starship Troopers-like dystopian world. The creative team and direction create an onstage civilization that’s as suitably timeless as the story itself.

Coriolanus plays on the Howard Family Stage at Bard on the Beach until September 21, 2019. For tickets and showtimes visit bardonthebeach.org

Picks of the Week – July 24, 2019

The sun has been making regular appearances to help warm up our summer evenings, perfect for the outdoor activities in our picks of the week.

Movie: Downtown Vancouver presents free movies Wednesday nights throughout the summer, tonight family friendly Paddington is on at at šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square (formerly, Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza)

Cinema: Vancouver Civic Theatres are also presenting free outdoor Wednesday evening cinema at šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn (formerly QET Plaza) outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, tonight Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse starts at dusk

North: Can Whitecaps FC advance when they come home for the second leg of the Canadian Championships against Calvary FC, at BC Place tonight.

Lady In Red Ball Host & Fairmont Pride Ambassador Kendal Gender

Lady: Kicking off Pride Week, July 25th, the second Lady in Red Ball in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Pacific Ballroom, benefiting the Dr Peter AIDS Foundation. 

Stars: The 2019 season of Theatre Under The Stars presents the entertaining musicals Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies on alternating nights until August 17th.

Pride: Vancouver Pride Season is in swing as Pride Premiere gets the fun rolling, a 7 hour party encircling the Vancouver Art Gallery begins at 5pm until late featuring two stages and Silent Disco, outdoor licensed area, drag and dance performances, food trucks, activities, and more

Fireworks: The 2019 Honda Celebration of Light kicks off Saturday July 27, with plenty of entertainment to enjoy before India brings a dazzling display to the skies.

Playland: Playland Nights returns Friday evening bringing dedicated, 19+ activities and entertainment line-up from 7pm to midnight every Friday in July

Folk: The 32nd annual Mission Folk Music Festival brings music to the Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission July 26 -28.

Roar: The BC Place will be filled as BC Lions play host to Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday

Stand-up: Comedian Ali Wong brings laughter to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with 4 shows of her The Milk & Money Tour on July 24, 25, 26.

Backstreet Boys

Pop: The always popular Backstreet Boys return to Rogers Arena on Saturday night with their DNA World Tour

Repertory: The third play, Superior Donuts, in the Ensemble Theatre Company’s 7th Annual Repertory Festival opens this week, with the trio of plays in repertoire at the Jericho Art Centre until August 16th.

Fest: head up the Sea-to-Sky and take in all the music and fun at Squamish Constellation Festival July 26-28

Puppets: Museum of Anthropology’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

Jazz: Singer/Songwriter Norah Jones brings her sounds to the Orpheum Theatre on Sunday evening

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage, and All’s Well That Ends Well on now at the Howard Family Stage.

Pitch: The Vancouver Canadians wrap up a home stand against Everett with a fireworks extravaganza following tonights game, and a nooner at the Nat on Thursday.

Picks of the Week – July 17, 2019

Mid-July finds the summer entertainment season heating up, so don’t let showers dampen your spirits, get out and enjoy these picks of the week.

Movie: Downtown Vancouver presents free movies Wednesday nights throughout the summer, tonight Zoolander is on at at šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square (formerly, Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza)

Donna & The Dynamos Front Row L-R: Lori Ashton Zondag as “Tanya,” Caitriona Murphy as “Donna Sheridan,” Sheryl Anne Wheaton as “Rosie.” photo: Lindsay Elliott

Stars: The 2019 season of Theatre Under The Stars presents the entertaining musicals Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies on alternating nights until August 17th.

Kicks: In the midst of a heavy schedule, Whitecaps FC hope to earn some points, and respect, at BC Place when they host

Moms: It’s your last chance to enjoy Mom’s The Word 3 – Nest Half Empty, at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, before it closes July 20th

Playland: Playland Nights returns Friday evening bringing dedicated, 19+ activities and entertainment line-up from 7pm to midnight every Friday in July

SUPERIOR DONUTS Back: Franco Wicks (Chris Francisque) (c) Emily Cooper Photography

Repertory: The third play, Superior Donuts, in the Ensemble Theatre Company’s 7th Annual Repertory Festival opens this week, with the trio of plays in repertoire at the Jericho Art Centre until August 16th.

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

Folk: The Vancouver Folk Music Festival takes over Jericho Beach Park, July 19 – 21, 2019 featuring Basia Bulat, Corb Lund, Sam Roberts Band, and more

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

Shakespeare in Love Charlie Gallant & Ghazal Azarbad Image: Emily Cooper

Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage, and All’s Well That Ends Well on now at the Howard Family Stage.

Pitch: The Vancouver Canadians kick off a 6 game home stand on Saturday against Tri-City followed by a fireworks extravaganza

Bard On The Beach : Shakespeare In Love

Shakespeare in Love Charlie Gallant & Ghazal Azarbad Image: Emily Cooper

Most patrons of Bard On The Beach, have a love for Shakespeare but for the 30th Anniversary season, the Festival has flipped the script to present Shakespeare In Love.

Directed by Daryl Cloran, (director of The Beatles themed As You Like It from Bard’s 2018 season), this adaptation of the 1998 Academy Award-winning film of the same name, Shakespeare In Love takes the audience behind the scenes to look, with creative historical liberties, at a period in Will Shakespeare’s life. Suffering from writer’s block while trying to write his next play, “Romeo & Ethel The Pirates Daughter”, Will must overcome battling producers, actors egos, and noble rivals for the love of his muse. Although Shakespeare In Love is not written by the Bard, Lee Hall has adapted the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard into a fast-paced comedy, filled with the familiar tropes and themes found in original works. The play within the play unwraps the script of Romeo & Juliet, as it’s supposedly being written by Will, corresponding with his love affair with muse Viola.

Shakespeare In Love
l-r: Chirag Naik, Jennifer Lines & Paul Moniz de Sá
Photo: Tim Matheson

When remaking a well known and acclaimed work, it can often be difficult to not be compared to the original actors in the source material, but the company of Bard on the Beach makes these characters, both historic and fictitious, their own. Charlie Gallant is charming as befuddled but romantic leading man, Will Shakespeare. In her dual turn as Will’s love interest, Viola de Lessep and her male alter-ego Thomas Kent the actor, Ghazal Azarbad makes you forget about Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Actress performance. Regal Jennifer Lines channels Dame Judy Dench as her majesty Queen Elizabeth I. Bard vets Scott Bellis, Warren Kimmel, Andrew McNee, Kamyar Pazandeh and Chirag Naik chew up the scenery to provide some great comedic moments in contrast to Will and Viola’s Romeo & Juliet love story.

Ghazal Azarbad & Charlie Gallant Photo: Tim Matheson

Shakespeare In Love incorporates enough of Romeo & Juliet to keep Bard lovers happy while bringing a contemporary take on Shakespeare to the BMO Mainstage at Bard on the Beach.

Shakespeare In Love plays in repertoire with Taming of the Shrew at Bard on the Beach, under the Tents at Vanier Park (behind Museum of Vancouver) until September 18, 2019. Information and tickets are available online at bardonthebeach.org.