Picks of the Week – October 9, 2019

Thanksgiving Weekend is upon us, time for us to give thanks to friends and family (and you readers), along with the plethora of entertainment and activities in the picks of the week.

Oktoberfest at Vancouver Alpen Club

Alpen#DasOriginal Oktoberfest continues the fun this weekend, and the the next at Vancouver Alpen Club

Spooks: The most frightful time of the year, Fright Nights at PNE, fills the fair with haunted houses, thrilling rides and ghoulish ghosts until Halloween

Trolley: Get spooked and learn some of the dark side of Vancouver’s history on the Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour, from October 11 – 31

Pucks: Vancouver Canucks home opener brings LA Kings to Rogers Arena tonight, then Saturday night Philadelphia Flyers make a visit.

Transform: A Cabaret Festival – Virago Nationi

Fest: Transform: A Cabaret Festival continues, through this weekend, to take over the three stages of The Cultch with a multi-disciplinary festival of indigenous, local and international works

North: Take off and 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

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil brings their latest show, Luzia to the Big Top at Concorde Pacific Place, continuing through the end of the year

Pop: Friday night the Jonas Brothers : Happiness Begins Tour brings the trio, supported by Bebe Rexha and Jordan McGraw to Rogers Arena.

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

Bedrooms: The Arts Club Granville Island Stage opens The Birds & the Bees is a Canadian bedroom comedy about love, lust, beekeeping, and the artificial insemination of turkeys.

The Shipment

Stereotypes: Speakeasy Theatre’s production of the provocative work The Shipment by Young Jean Lee moves to Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver until Oct 12th

Jazz: Friday Jazz is live at Tyrant Studios, this week featuring Nick Bracewell Trio.

Comedy: Saturday Comedy takes the stage at Tyrant Studios, this week’s stand-up finds Jacob Samuel and Chris Griffing supporting headliner Simon King

Improv: It’s your last chance to hit the books and laughs at The Improv Centre on Granville Island with Back to School Theatresports  closing October 12.

Rock: Local legends 54-40 make their annual visit to the Commodore Ballroom for two shows, Friday and Saturday night.

Icon: Sunday night, spend An Evening with John Fogerty: My 50 Year Trip, as the legendary musician revisits the sounds of 1969 – Woodstock and his Creedence Clearwater Revival songbook, at Rogers Arena

Transform: A Cabaret Festival Takes Over The Cultch

The Cultch 2019/2020 season will kick off next week with a revolutionary new festival co-curated by Corey Payette (Artistic Director of Urban Ink) and Heather Redfern (Executive Director of The Cultch). Transform: A Cabaret Festival will contain performance in a multitude of disciplines—dance, music, comedy, burlesque, theatre, etc.—and include a wide variety of Indigenous, local, and international work.

Raven Transforming – Quelemia Sparrow photo: Emily Cooper

This inaugural year will bring together over 50 Indigenous and non-indigenous performers—comedians, musicians, burlesque performers, drag artists, and more. This varied group of multi-disciplinary performers take over The Cultch’s three theatres, including its lounges and lobbies from October 2-12, 2019.

Around the world, cabaret festivals emerged as a raucous and exhilarating way of expressing uprising during periods of change. “It’s been a platform for political discourse and for engaging in deep conversations all around the world,” says festival co-curator, Corey Payette. “It’s also a space where people can push the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in the mainstream.” Transform: A Cabaret Festival is inspired by a bold new concept to bring radical and lasting change to live performance in these unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. “I think that reconciliation is a really difficult subject matter, because we are not as far along as we should be,” says Payette. “What I know for sure, is that artists are always the ones to lead the way.

Transform: A Cabaret Festival – Virago Nationi

“You name it; it’s going to be part of the cabaret festival,” says festival co-curator Heather Redfern.  From Cirque Transforming (a night of circus performance), to Drag Transforming (a night of drag performance), to The Women of Comedy (featuring Martha Chaves, Steph Tisdell, Nour Hadidi, and Erica Sigurdson), The Cultch’s spaces will be alive with every imaginable type of show. Other not-to-be-missed events include Virago Nation: Stripping for Sovereignty (Vancouver’s all Indigenous Burlesque troupe), The Darlings (Vancouver’s multidisciplinary non-binary drag show), Journey to South Asia & Beyond (a collaboration with Diwali in BC), Family Drag Brunch and Dress Up (hosted by Peach Cobblah and Isolde N. Barron), African Village Experience (hosted by Jacky A Yenga), Where the Two-Spirit Lives (Marshall Vielle’s one-person show), and The Flame: Cabaret Edition (Vancouver’s favourite storytelling series).

Transform: A Cabaret Festival – Peach Cobblah & Isolde N Barron photo: Shimon

A cabaret festival would not be complete without plenty of great music and Transform: A Cabaret Festival will spotlight musicians such as Leela Gilday, Silla and Rise, JB the First Lady, M’Girl, Sandy Scofield, Veda Hille, and Corey Payette. In addition, festival participants are invited to join artists and VIPs each night at a festival club night, a creative space for festival artists to collaborate and test out exciting new and developing material, while enjoying the beats of DJ Kookum and DJ Skylar Love.

Transform: A Cabaret Festival takes over The Cultch Historic Theatre, York Theatre and Vancity Culture Lab October 2 to 12, 2019. Full line-up details and tickets are available online at transformcabaret.com

Uncover the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival ’17

Shake a tail-feather and get your tickets now for the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival.  Canada’s most prestigious and long-running burlesque festival, showcases Vancouver’s long history with the art of burlesque and cabaret dancing. In the 1940’s Vancouver nightclubs rivaled the hotbeds of Montreal and San Francisco as a mecca for burlesque.  Since 2006, the Burlesque Festival has been bringing burlesque to a new generation.

This weekend, March 31 – April 1, 2017, a series of workshops help the sharing of knowledge and skills between burlesque generations. Learn how to get the most of a costume budget with Nasty Canasta, find your fierceness with Sassy von Stradler, feel the music and movement with Bazuka Joe, whip out your Wild Side with burlesque legend Camille 2000 or many other performers passing in their experience.

The public can start the weekend on Thursday March 30th with Tit Talks 2017, a TED Talks style session to Teach, Inspire and Transcend. Then experience their favourite burlesque performers or discover the artform for the first time at The International Cabaret on Friday March 31st and Vancouver Uncovered on Saturday April 1st at Vancouver Playhouse.

Get your tickets for Vancouver International Burlesque Festival online at vibf.ca now

Picks of the Week – May 6, 2015

Here we are, the start of May! Summer is just around the corner and signs of the season are popping up all over, take a look at what’s happening in the picks of the week;

Docs: The 2015 DOXA Documentary Film Festival wraps up this Sunday closing out 11 days of documentary films with the Closing Night film; Iris

Rock: 90’s rockers Sleater-Kinney set the stage on fire at the Commodore on Wednesday night.

Dance: Ballet BC’s newest work RITE comes to the stage May 7-9 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Icon: The legendary Neil Diamond is sure to have everyone singing along when he fills Rogers Arena on Thursday

Cabaret: Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret Society presents The Scarlet Queen of Mercy, continuing at The Russian Hall until May 24th

Electronic: Spend an evening with ground breaking new age artist Howard Jones at The Biltmore Cabaret on Friday night.

Kicks: Whitecaps FC have a double bill on Saturday afternoon with the Caps Alumni playing before the senior team takes on Philadelphia Union at 4pm.

Retro: Canadian rock icons, April Wine bring their vast catalogue of tunes to the River Rock Show Theatre on Saturday night

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company is presenting the Tony award winning musical “In The Heights” until June 7th

Gig: To wrap up the weekend, Irish quartet Kodaline play the Commodore Ballroom on Sunday night

Drag: The 4th Annual Mr or Ms Cobalt Drag Competition continues Sunday with Round 2 on Sunday night at The Cobalt


Avi Buffalo at The Fox Cabaret

Avi Buffalo – The Fox Cabaret – November 21, 2014

AviBuffalo 21 54 06 Friday night at The Fox Cabaret, Avi Buffalo made a return trip to Vancouver in support of the long awaited second album; At Best Cuckold.

Frontman Avi Zahner-Isenberg brought his usual quiet charm to the stage as he and trio of bandmates played tunes from the two Avi Buffalo albums.  The Long Beach, California based singer-songwriter has such a calm and unassuming presence that his immense musical abilities come as a surprise when he breaks into an jaw-dropping guitar solo or you realize the complicated skill in his songwriting.

With nearly 4 yeAviBuffalo 21 51 13ars between albums, the band is essentially starting from scratch to build awareness but a long tour and promotion is regrowing the fan base.  Future shows will be busier but for the 50 or so people in attendance for the hour long set at The Fox Cabaret were treated to an intimate session including a mix of tunes played by the whole band and a few solo acoustic tracks performed by Zahner-Isenberg.

Avi Buffalo wraps up their tour this December in California.


The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer sell out Biltmore Cabaret

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer – Biltmore Cabaret – April 6, 2013

Fresh off of winning the SiriusXM Indie Award for Blues Group Of The Year, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer played a sold out show (their first) at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver on Saturday night. The Biltmore was completely pack with an audience anticipating a great night of blues. They were not disappointed as Shawn “The Harpoonist” Hall and Matthew “The Axe Murderer” Rogers took to the stage.  The duo tore up the stage with their blues sounds, an amazing amount of sound came from just two people. Hall on his ‘harp’ (harmonicas) and Rogers wielding his axe with great prowess. For this show they invited some friends to join them onstage, first making the duo a trio with keyboardist Tom on the Hammond organ adding to the depth of sound and allowing Rogers the freedom of a rare solo. Also joining the set was a quartet of local singers helping with background vocals on the last half of the show. The additions to the show only built up the already vibrant atmosphere as the audience sang, danced and cheered along throughout the set. Even after the hour-long set was over the audience wanted more and surely more sold out shows will follow as The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer’s reputation and audience grows.


Follow The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer on Twitter @HarpAxe , like them on Facebook or on YouTube
Download their album Checkered Past on iTunes

Picks Of The Week: April 3, 2013

There’s no fooling as we begin April with the glitz and glamour of Bollywood, 3 nights of Canucks and lots more happening around town.

Showbiz: Bollywood style and extravaganza are the big event this week as the first ever Times Of India Film Awards (TOIFA) gets underway in Vancouver with a massive concert on Thursday at Pacific Coliseum, Friday brings out the stars for the technical awards at the VCC then the red carpet is rolled out Saturday for the inaugural awards presentations at BC Place.

Slam: The other big event of the weekend is the return of the Davis Cup to Vancouver’s Thunderbird Sports Arena at UBC as Canada takes on Italy in Quarterfinal tennis action

Sport: Vancouver Canucks take to the ice at Rogers Arena for 3 home games this week; April 4, April 6 and April 8th

Scene: Is dancing the night away at Liberace Thursdays at Celebrities didn’t wear you out, Oasis Ultra Lounge keeps up the hype of their recent renovations with Friday night’s – Attic / Base featuring DJs Adam Dreaddy and Jay Douglas.

Stage: My Turquoise Years starts April 4th at The Arts Club Theatre Company – Granville Island Stage.

Show: Live at The Biltmore Cabaret features The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer for a gig on Saturday April 6th.

Supper: All this month Vancouver’s Provence Restaurants, Marinaside in Yaletown and Mediterranean Grill in Point Grey are featuring a French Tradition of Poisson d’Avril, literally April’s Fish. It’s month-long feature celebrating all things ‘fish’ with a $45 prix-fixe menu at both restaurants.