Les Belles-soeurs at Gateway Theatre until October 6th

Les Belles Soeurs:
Melissa Oei, France Perras and Agnes Tong.
photo: David Cooper

Now onstage at Richmond’s Gateway Theatre, Les Belles-soeurs (The Sisters-in-law) presents 15 women in the English language version of the gritty romp. The Ruby Slippers Theatre Production, directed by Diane Brown, was Quebec playwright Michel Tremblay’s first professionally produced play.  Les Belles-soeurs was risque and vulgar when it premiered 50 years ago, and is just as bold and topical today.

The play finds a gathering of women coming together to in the kitchen of Madame Germaine Lauzon (played with gusto by France Perras), who has won one million Gold Star loyalty stamps, to help paste the stamps into books.  M. Lauzon’s sisters, sisters-in-law, daughter, neighbours and friends arrive in varying states of excitement for the prize-winner.  Over the course of the evening, the ladies bond over bingo, men, and their mundane lives.  Boasting about her win stirs jealousy amongst the ladies, who covet Germaine’s precious win.  Gradually petty gossip,  scandal, oversharing, and clashing egos result in a tumultuous, and often hysterical, party.

When Tremblay wrote the play, during Quebec’s Quiet Revolution, telling a story about the working class, let alone 15 working class women, doing working class things was groundbreaking. Add in the fact that no topic of conversation and no language seemed to be taboo, Les Belles-soeurs set off controversy and tested the Quebec Theatre establishment.  Gender roles, control of the Church, ageism, teen-pregnancy, family-squabbles all continue to resonate today, especially topical in the #metoo era.

In this Gateway production, each of the 15 women turn in captivating performances that together becomes one of the best ensembles we’ve seen onstage in a while. While all of them are great, France Perras, Beatrice Zeilinger, Tallulah Winkelman, and Emilie Leclerc, as the sisters, stand out with the bulk of the drama. As well, Lucia Frangione as the jealous neighbour who leads the revolt against Germaine, provides plenty of fireworks and comedy.

Enjoy the drama and comedy of Ruby Slippers Theatre’s Les Belles-Soeurs at Gateway Theatre until October 6. Tickets are available online or at the Gateway Box Office now.

Picks of the Week – September 19, 2018

As we move into the final days of summer, let’s send it out with a bang and a week of great entertainment.

Dog: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time opens the Arts Club Theatre Company’s season at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until October 7th.

Pucks: As summer ends, the hockey preseason begins with Vancouver Canucks hosting Calgary Flames tonight, and LA Kings on Thursday.

Bard: The 2018 season of Bard on the Beach is coming to a close,  but not before you have time to catch the brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It,  closing on Sep 28th.

Opera: City Opera Vancouver presents the astonishing and macabre Nigredo Hotel at the Cultch Historic Theatre September 20 – 22.

Park: Get your last outdoor gig of the summer when Ben Howard closes the season at the Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park on Thursday night

Touchdown: The BC Lions return to BC Place to host Hamilton Ti-Cats on Saturday night.

Drag: RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq The World Tour brings some of your RPDR fave Queens to the Vogue Theatre for two shows on Saturday.

photo: Aida Cuevas

Mariachi: The Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC opens its season on Saturday with Aida Cuervas, the Queen of Mariachi

Improv: “Laugh til your face hurts” and lampoon the hysteria of the Back to School season at Vancouver Theatresports League , also check out the other laugh-filled show like the late night show WTF – What The Fun!


Balls: Whitecaps FC need to find some goals in hopes of making the MLS post season, they’ll have a chance when they host table topping Dallas on Sunday afternoon

Marion Bridge
photo: David Cooper

Sisters: Take a drive and enjoy a trio of brilliant performances in the 20th Anniversary presentation of Daniel MacIvor’s acclaimed play Marion Bridge, at Kay Meeks Arts Centre in West Vancouver until September 20th.

Rock: Chicago punk outfit Rise Against rock out at the PNE Forum on Sunday night

photo: Meighan Makarchuk

Fish: Sunday night, join the 5th Chef’s Table Society of BC’s Slow Fish Canada Dinner at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.

Uncover “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

The Arts Club Theatre Company’s 55th Season opens with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  Now playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, the award winning play is a delightful adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel of the same name.  Written by Simon Stephens, this adaptation is directed by The Arts Club’s Ashlie Corcoran, putting her stamp on her first season as Artistic Director.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time starts off with the curious incident, that the neighbour’s dog has been killed, with a garden fork. The dog’s body has been discovered by 15 year old Christopher John Francis Boone, who is assumed to be, though it’s not directly stated, on the Autism spectrum.  Against his father’s wishes, Christopher decides to investigate whodunit.  Along the way, Christopher learns truths about the dog’s death, his family and himself as he challenges and overcomes his abilities.

The story, worthy of a night-time soap, is told via Christopher’s “book” a personal diary.  As read by Siobhan, his special needs assistant and mentor, flashbacks flesh out his diary entries, and becomes a play-within-a-play.  Rhythm and repetition help the young math wiz navigate his complex world.  Under the guidance of Movement Director Kayla Dunbar, the characters’ interactions also take on dance-like rhythms and repetition.  Whether they’re using their bodies to form abstract structures or create the frenetic pace of the big city the movement fills in the picture that Christopher’s words create.

The talented cast is led by Netflix’s Alex Strangelove star, Daniel Doheny in a brilliant and believable turn as Christopher.  The rest of the cast play multiple characters that help, hinder and challenge Christopher’s adventure. Todd Thomson stands out as Mr Boone who is both a comforting parent and antagonist.  As well, Ghazal Azarbad, as the caring Siobhan, provides the encouragement and cheerleading the story.  While the story has plenty of ups and downs and family drama, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is an uplifting and life affirming show, that everyone will love.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is playing until October 7, 2018 at The Arts Club Theatre Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.
September 30th, 7pm, is a relax performance for audience members who may find it difficult to follow a conventional performance.


Picks of the Week – September 12, 2018

While we wouldn’t know it by the weather, we still have just over a week of summer left (officially) so let’s try to make the most of it with some of these entertainment picks

Bard Village

Bard: The 2018 season of Bard on the Beach is rapidly drawing to a close, the classic drama Macbeth on the Mainstage and Lysistrata on the Howard Family Stage, close tomorrow while extra shows have been added to the run of the brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It,  now closing Sep 28th.

Dog: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time opens the Arts Club Theatre Company’s season at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until October 7th.

Fringe: It’s the final week for 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival and your chance to catch the cutting edge theatre and entertainment all around town.

Comedy: Aussie stand-by comic Jim Jefferies brings laughter to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre stage for three shows this weekend; Friday night at 7pm and 10pm, Saturday night at 8pm

L to R: Beatrice Zeilinger, Lynda Boyd and Nicola Cavendish
photo: David Cooper

Sisters: Take a drive and enjoy a trio of brilliant performances in the 20th Anniversary presentation of Daniel MacIvor’s acclaimed play Marion Bridge, at Kay Meeks Arts Centre in West Vancouver until September 20th.

Park: The Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park welcomes Ms Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary Tour, on Saturday evening.

Open: Saturday, the Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House welcomes the public to explore all the dance companies that inhabit the Centre.

Market: Viva Mexico! Saturday from 11:30am – 8pm at Robson Square, explore Market Mexico, learn about the destination, culture and entertainment of Mexico.

Soul: American Gospel/Soul singer Leon Bridges comes to the PNE Amphitheatre on Sunday September 16

Improv: “Laugh til your face hurts” and lampoon the hysteria of the Back to School season at Vancouver Theatresports League , also check out the other laugh-filled show like the late night show WTF – What The Fun!

Fest: Westward Music Festival takes over music venues all around downtown Vancouver for four days of entertainment September 13-16.

Charity: Saturday watch stars from sports and TV, like Patrick Chan, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, the cast of Riverdale, Once Upon A Time, and The 100, take to the pitch at BC Place alongside Whitecaps legends in the annual Legends & Stars charity match supporting BC Children’s Hospital

Kicks: After the Legends & Stars match, stick around as Whitecaps FC play host to Cascadia Rivals Seattle in what’s sure to be a raucous afternoon.

Disco: Dance away the last days of disco  summer at Public Disco in the recently refreshed Ackery’s Alley (next to Orpheum Theatre). Enjoy the music on Saturday from 1pm – 8pm


See Comedian Chris Griffin Live

This is your chance to catch one of Canada’s top comedians as JFL NorthWest presents Chris Griffin – the comedian, not the Family Guy cartoon character – in two performances at The Biltmore Cabaret on Thursday, October 18 at 7:00pm and 9:30pm.

Calgary-born, Vancouver-based Chris Griffin has established himself as one of comedy’s most dynamic storytellers. A story of not letting go of your dreams, after earning double university degrees (BAs in English and Political Science), and pulling himself up from modest beginnings to a comfortable living. At 29, he gambled it all to pursue his lifelong dream of performing stand-up comedy. Within a year, he won his hometown’s Great Canadian Laugh Off, quit his job, sold his house, and hit the road to do what he loves best – drinking, making people laugh, and turning a decade of awful “Family Guy” jokes to his advantage.

His gamble paid off, in 2016, Chris Griffin became the only Canadian comic in over 40 years to reach the finals at the prestigious San Francisco International Comedy Competition. That same year, he won top prize at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Competition in Vancouver. He has been featured at JFL NorthWest, Vancouver’s Just For Laughs Festival, for three consecutive years and has shared the stage with such notable comedians as Norm Macdonald, Doug Stanhope, and Bert Kreischer.  At this year’s Festival, Griffin was the only local comedian to appear on Ari Shaffir’s infamous “Renamed Storyteller Show”.

Chris Griffin
Photo: Rebecca Blissett

Griffin’s enthusiasm to dive into life’s wildest experiences without any consideration for the consequences has made him a uniquely entertaining storyteller and a favourite at festivals and clubs across Canada and the U.S. To top it off Chris Griffin has also been presented with the 2018 “Rampant Male Shirtlessness Award” at the inaugural JFL NorthWest Comedy’s Awards. Shirt on or off, Chris Griffin has claimed his name in the world of comedy. 

Catch Chris Griffin : “I’m Not Your Family, Guy” live, for two shows, at the Biltmore Cabaret, October 18, 2018.
Tickets are on sale now and available online at
https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1746346 for the 7:00pm performance
https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1746348 for the 9:30pm performance.
Audiences should note that this Biltmore Cabaret show will be a live comedy taping.

JFL Northwest has kindly offered a pair of tickets for a reader to attend Chris Griffin’s 9:30pm performance on October 18th. 

To enter the contest:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who would share the laughs at the Chris Griffin Biltmore Show. (1 entry)

Tweet the Following & Tag an comedy buddy (1 entry) :

RT to #Win a pair of tix to @jflnorthwest Chris Griffin stand-up show October 18 at @BiltmoreCabaret via @jminter http://ow.ly/5tFC30lKovU #contest #comedy #stand-up

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Monday, September 24, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random. Please note, you must be 19 years or older to enter; The Biltmore Cabaret will require photo ID to access the show. 

Picks of the Week – August 8, 2018

It’s a lucky day 08/08/18, and as luck would have it there’s plenty to keep you entertained in this week’s picks.

Balls: Tonight at BC Place cheer on Whitecaps FC on the first leg of the Canadian Championship Finals against Toronto FC.

Bach: Early Music Vancouver’s 3rd Bach Festival is filling Christ Church Cathedral and Chan Centre for Performing Arts with the sounds of the classical composer until August 10th

Harmony Arts Festival Mixology Night on the Pier – Aug 9

Arts: Harmony Arts Festival makes West Vanancouver’s Ambleside park the place to be for food, fun and entertainment until August 12

SkyHigh: Take your dining experience to new heights with Dinner In The Sky, high above the shore of West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park Aug 4 – Sep 3.

: The Ensemble Theatre Company Summer Repertory Festival continues until August 17 with a trio of plays at Jericho Arts Centre: Dark Road by Ian Rankin, A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin & The Beauty Queen of Leenane

VQFF Opening Film “1985”
photo: dutch rall

Festies: The Vancouver Queer Film Festival gets underway this week with a kick off screening at party at šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn Plaza (QET Plaza) on Thursday Aug 9th.

Punt: The BC Lions play host to Edmonton Eskimos on Thursday August 9th at BC Place

Bard: Make your picks between a brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It,  now extended until September 28, or the dramatic Macbeth on the Mainstage, and find Timon of Athens or Lysistrata on the Howard Family Stage at Bard on the Beach 2018

Charlie Demers Headlines The Comic Strip August 11

Tyrant: Enjoy the August line-up of comedy and jazz at Tyrant Studios Summer Lounge Series: Friday Jazz & The Comic Strip Saturdays

Disco: There’s no reason to panic it’s not really a disco, but Panic at the Disco is coming to Rogers Arena on Saturday August 11.

Rock: Jack White brings his solo show to the stage at Rogers Arena but expect to hear tunes from his many other collaborations and bands on Sunday night

Laugh:  Visit one of the best patios in Vancouver, the Neil McRae Bar at the Improv Centre on Granville Island and while you’re there get a good laugh a at Vancouver Theatresports League zany improv antics when you check out the fun at Avocado Toast or stay for the late night show WTF – What The Fun!

Stars:  Theatre Under The Stars has extended the 2018 season of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and 42ND Street on alternating nights at Malkin Bowl, now closing August 25th.

Abba: I dare you to not sing along at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

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

Music: The CBC Musical Nooners are back for another year, bringing lunch time music to the outdoor CBC Plaza on Hamilton Street

Dine: Pay an ode to the summer tomato harvest at Provence Marinaside’s Tomato Festival through the month of August

Tyrant Studios Summer Lounge Series – August Lineup

Seven Tyrant Theatre’s Summer Lounge Series continues through August at Tyrant Studios, the newly opened theatre, lounge & fully-licensed bar, located above the historic Penthouse Nightclub.  

All summer long, the Summer Lounge Series brings a variety of music and comedy shows each Friday and Saturday night.  

Friday Jazz is a weekly live Jazz show and bar, then Saturday’s The Comic Strip brings weekly comedy show featuring three top comedians plus special guests.

The line up for August’s Summer Lounge Series lineup includes;


Friday August 3rd:  Mike Van Eyes with Guests
Mike Van Eyes is Vancouver’s premiere boogie woogie rock ‘n’ roll piano player.  

Juno Award Winner Russel Sholberg plays Friday Jazz August 10

Friday August 10th: The Russell Sholberg Trio
Juno Award winning bassist Russell Sholberg plays an acoustic jazz set with his trio covering a range of classics and contemporary jazz originals.

Friday August 17th: The David Hodgson Trio 
David Hodgson is a Toronto based Jazz musician and a recent winner of the Fraser MacPherson Jazz Fund award.   

Friday August 24th: Kevin Romain and special guests
Drummer and composer Kevin Romain has established himself as one of the most in-demand drummers in Vancouver’s creative music scene. 

Friday August 31st: Tim Sars Trio + Kevin Romain Trio
A double bill led by two of Vancouver’s most in-demand Jazz musicians.
Tim Sars Trio:
The Tim Sars Trio has a vast book of music, from New Orleans Jazz, swing, funk, and originals.
Kevin Romain Trio:
Kevin Romain has garnered acclaim as a unique voice on the drum set.


Charlie Demers Headlines The Comic Strip August 11

Each Saturday The Comic Strip showcases three of the best stand-up comedians in Vancouver.  Hosted by David Thomas Newham and Dave Harris.  

Saturday August 4th:
Abdul Aziz and Harris Anderson with Headliner Yumi Nagashima

Saturday August 11th:
Ryan Gunther and Mikey Dubs, with Headliner Charlie Demers 

Katie Ellen Humphries stands up at The Comic Strip August 18

Saturday August 18th:
Katie-Ellen Humphries and Levi McCachen with Headliner Simon King  

Saturday August 25th:
Jacob Samuel and Sam Tonning with Headliner Kevin Banner


Doors open for all shows at 9pm with showtimes at 9:30.
Friday Jazz shows run until midnight. The Comic Strip main stand-up pros’ show, runs until 11:00PM, then a free “open mic” comedy session welcomes aspiring comics follows from 11:30PM to 1:30AM.

For more information, performer bios and tickets, visit TyrantStudios.com