The Winter’s Tale Opens at Bard on the Beach

This week, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale joined the schedule at Bard On The Beach.  Director Dean Paul Gibson, a Bard veteran, has crafted a classic interpretation of the complex play.  Part tragedy, part romance, part comedy, the production is divided into two acts, two eras and two locations.

The Winter’s Tale

Opening in Sicilia, the simple staging finds five columns serving duty to form the multiple locations within the island. Designer Pam Johnson’s stripped down set allows the graceful Greco-Roman costuming, by Carmen Alatorre, to shine, bringing a regal air to the court of Leontes, King of Sicilia (Kevin MacDonald). Noble woman Paulina, charismatically played by the multiple Jessie Award-winning Lois Anderson, serves as narrator and a central player moving the play through its 16 year narrative.   The rest first act plays out like a typical tragedy; lust, jealousy, betrayal, judgement, death all rear their heads.

Act two move ahead 16 years and begins in Bohemia, focusing on the homeland of King Polixenes, also the mood of the play shifts greatly, from the tragic first act. In the rural, free-spirited setting of Bohemia, The Winter’s Tale becomes much lighter and comedic as we meet Autolycus, played by Ben Elliott in a slapstick turn reminiscent of Jim Carrey.  The Shepherd and Son also provide lighthearted diversion, from the more romantic act, as do their sheep and farm maids.  The Second act also brought music into the production, with Autolycus, Prince Florizel and his beloved Perdita all add songs, to varying effectiveness.  Shifting back to Sicily, the final scenes of The Winter’s Tale tie the stories together and bring the play back to the beginning and the end.

While Lois Anderson shines as the anchor of the play, the whole company of The Winter’s Tale fit nicely into their characters and believably carry the regal roles and costumes.  While nearly 3 hours, Dean Paul Gibson has kept The Winter’s Tale moving, entertaining and visually appealing that it doesn’t feel long.

The Winter’s Tale alternates with Much Ado About Nothing on the BMO Mainstage at Bard On The Beach until September 22, 2017.

Picks of the Week – June 21, 2017

Finally, Summer is upon us, with the long days that gives us more time for more picks of the week

Comedy: It’s Thursday Night Live when SNL comedian Michael Che takes the stage at The Vogue Theatre

Seeds: Australian act Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds bring down under to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Thursday night

Tents:  Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park, Much Ado About Nothing is playing now and The Winter’s Tale comes to the tents starting Thursday night.

Rhythm: West Coast Hip Hoppers Jurassic 5 bring their unique brand of hip hop to the Commodore Ballroom on Friday and Saturday nights.

Words: The Museum of Anthropology’s exhibition Traces of Words: Art and Caligraphy of Asia examines forms of the written word around Asia, on until October.

Roar: The BC Lions 2017 regular season home schedule kicks off with Edmonton Eskimos at BC Place on Saturday night.

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company has a pair of shows on now; Million Dollar Quartet at The Stanley Stage, extended until July 16th, Hand To God at The Goldcorp Stage, until June 25th and Bittergirl The Musical running until July 29th at Granville Island Stage

Ring: The WWE Live Summerslam Heatwave Tour comes to Rogers Arena on Saturday night

Artifacts: The Museum of Vancouver has a quirky, exhibition running throughout the summer, Unbelievable demonstrating the stories behind some unique artifacts

Celebrate with your “SuperDad” at VTSL

This Father’s Day, Vancouver TheatreSports League (VTSL) welcomes guests to a special 2pm matinee performance in celebration of Dads…The SuperDad Show.

The SuperDad Show pokes fun at the foibles and complexities of what it means to be a father these days. Based on audience suggestions, VTSL’s quick-witted improvisers could explore such relevant topics as ‘the sensitive Dad,’ ‘Dads and their love affair with the barbecue,’ ‘hockey Dads,’ ‘Dad, can I have the keys to the car?’ or ‘Dads and Daughters’ to name a few of the endless possibilities.

The family-friendly SuperDad Show takes place at 2 pm, after brunch or leaving plenty of time after the show to take Dad to dinner or to fire up the barbecue.   The Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge at VTSL’s Improv Centre will be open at 1:30 pm for pre-show drinks and, weather-pending, the patio deck over-looking the picturesque Marina will be open for an sunny sip or take your drink into the theatre to enjoy during the show.

Give your ‘super’ Dad some belly laughs instead of headaches and bring him down to The Improv Centre for an afternoon of improv hilarity. Besides, he needs something to take his mind off the fact that the Canucks didn’t make the playoffs. Warning: SuperDad may contain ‘dad jokes.’

Tickets are only $20, including the show PLUS either a glass of House Wine or Beer on Tap or non-alcoholic beverage. Tickets are on sale now at vtsl.com.

Picks of the Week – May 24, 2017

Wrapping up May with a sunny forecast makes it that much more enjoyable to take part in the picks of the week:

Comedy: Join the laughs as Ali Wong takes the Vogue Theatre’s stage for a night of comedy with two shows each, Thursday, Friday, Saturday evening.

Spin: British DJ, producer and musicia Bonobo plays the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday night

Art: The West of Main Art Walk, celebrates its 25th annual open weekend of studios, galleries and other venues from Point Grey to Main St, and Granville Island to 41st Ave

Improv: The Vancouver Theatresports League Western World show continues to bring the laughs at the expense of HBO’s popular hit, Westworld.

Singer: rescheduled from Deer Lake, singer-songwriter Father John Misty plays Malkin Bowl on Friday night

Closing: This is your final week to catch the gut-busting laughter on stage with Arts Club Granville Stage Mom’s the Word 3 – Nest Half Empty , closing May 27th.

Balls: Vancouver Whitecaps FC are in the midst of a heavy home stand with another match on Saturday vs DC United at BC Place

Indie: US indie music group The Shins take the Queen Elizabeth Theatre stage on Saturday night.

Words: The Museum of Anthropology’s exhibition Traces of Words: Art and Caligraphy of Asia examines forms of the written word around Asia, on until October.

Picks of the Week – May 17, 2017

It’s time for that unofficial kick off to summer, the May Long, May two-four, Victoria Day, or whatever you like to call it, is upon us and maybe the clouds will clear to get out and enjoy the picks of the week!

Eat: Tonight, explore the culinary flavours of The Heights on another edition of Vancouver Foodster’s food tour, Tasting Plates : Burnaby Heights 

Stand-up: Canadian funny man Gerry Dee brings his comedy to the stage at the Vogue Theatre tonight

Art: Tomorrow, catch a preview of the upcoming West of Main Art Walk, with the Roundhouse Exhibition, 10am – 9pm at Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre

Ice: Witness the best and brightest of the Figure Skating world as Stars on Ice comes to Rogers Arena Thursday

Drag: Comic Queen Bianca Del Rio brings her unique brand of humour to the Vogue Theatre Thursday night with her “Not Today Satan” Tour

Comedy on Wheels_Tanyalee Davis

Wheels: Comedy on Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday with Belly Laughs! from Realwheels Theatre brings a limited 3 day only show to performance works

 

 

Laughs: Mother’s Day may have passed but the laughs and heart tugging tales of the Arts Club Granville Stage Mom’s the Word 3 – Nest Half Empty are holding on for another week, closing May 27th.

Balls: Whitecaps FC kick off versus Sporting Kansas City this Saturday, at BC Place

Comedy: Saturday night, the multi-talented Fred Armisen of Portlandia and SNL fame takes the stage at the Commodore Ballroom

Words: The Museum of Anthropology’s exhibition Traces of Words: Art and Caligraphy of Asia examines forms of the written word around Asia, on until October.

Icon: There’s still time to head to the Firehall Arts Centre for the unique musical experience, Circle Game: Reimagining the music of Joni Mitchell, before it closes May 20

 

Comedy on Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday with Belly Laughs!

Need to start your Long Weekend with a laugh? Comedy on Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday with Belly Laughs! presented by Award-winning theatre company Realwheels Theatre is the just thing you’re looking for this week, May 18-20. 

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Comedy on Wheels will showcase members of the disability community in performances that capitalize on some of our greatest assets – humour and storytelling.  This creative and lively disability-inspired comedy variety show combines original stand-up performances, comical scenes, live music, projections, and fun surprises as Realwheels’ community cast tackles some of our sacred cows.

Comedy on Wheels features a large community cast and is Realwheels’ newest project under the Wheel Voices programming banner.  “A shared laugh strengthens our bonds and dissolves barriers,” says producer and Realwheels’ Managing Artistic Director, Rena Cohen. “Comedy on Wheels will entertain and surprise you with its novel perspective. Prepare to laugh away some of your preconceptions!”

Comedy on Wheels_Tanyalee Davis

Making a special appearance in Comedy on Wheels is UK-based, Canadian-born comic Tanyalee Davis (pictured). At 3’6″, Tanyalee is the Ferrari of comedy – low to the ground and kind of racy! Tanyalee has performed her one-person show “Actual Size” in Melbourne and Sydney (2016), was featured on BBC’sLive at the Apollo” (2015), performed her second solo show, “Big Trouble In Little ‘Gina”, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland (2013), and did a six-month run of her show, “Little Comedian, BIG Laughs” in Las Vegas (2011). Tanyalee is a member of the Abnormally Funny People ensemble, performing throughout the United Kingdom, as well as a writer and star of the Channel 4 series, “I’m Spazticus”.

Comedy on Wheels takes place May 18 to 20, for three performances only, at Performance Works on Granville Island. Tickets are available online at comedy-on-wheels.bpt.me

Picks of the Week : May 10, 2017

We’re away in Europe right now but doesn’t mean there’s not plenty to do in Vancouver, these are the picks of the week if we were at home.

Films:  The 2017 DOXA Documentary Film Festival, continues to bring days of docs to screens around the city, until this Sunday.

Improv: Laughter make the perfect gift this Mother’s Day as Vancouver Theatresports League present the Mother of all Mother’s Day Shows, MOM=WOW a special show celebrating Mom’s.

Drama: The new work, The Piano Teacher is on the Arts Club’s Goldcorp Stage at BMO Theatre Centre until May 14th.

Laughs: The laughs and heart tugging tales of the Arts Club Granville Stage Mom’s the Word 3 – Nest Half Empty are held over for another two weeks, now closing May 27th.

Rock: One of the world’s biggest bands, U2, kicks off their Innocence + Experience tour at BC Place this Friday May 12th, supported by Mumford & Sons.

Icon: Firehall Arts Centre stages a unique musical experience, Circle Game: Reimagining the music of Joni Mitchell, until May 20

Runway: Saturday night, RED: a positive day in Vegas brings together an all-star cast of entertainers, designers and models for a fundraiser for Positive Living BC at Harbour Events Centre

Run: Another Sunday, another run, this weekend, celebrate your mom with the Fairmont Mother’s Day Run around downtown Vancouver.

Punk: Vancouver indie pop-punk outfit The Smuggler’s finally bring their reunion to home turf with a show at the Commodore Ballroom on Sunday