British singer/songwriter, Howard Jones filled the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver for a night filled with hits. Celebrating 35 years since the release of his debut album, Jones’ setlist varied between simple stripped-down tunes performed with a electric piano, and full-blown dance hits, with the full force of his band, keytar, synthesizers, and a great light show.
The opportunity to see the synth-pop pioneer in a small venue, brought out a wide demographic to fight the heat at the Rickshaw Theatre, and sing along to the 90+minute set. Bringing a generation of memories to the forefront as Jones stripped some songs to the barebones, No One Is To Blame and re-imagining others like Life In One Day 2.0.
On tour to support his latest album, Transform, the singer was joined for one of the new tracks, The One To Love You, by the duo of Christian Burns and BT, who helped produce the album. Closing out the set with the single that started it all, New Song. With the original video playing in the background, it really showed how well Howard Jones’ music and performing has held up over the decades, even if the 80’s new wave style hasn’t aged as well. Capping off the night with an encore of Things Can Only Get Better, left the audience feeling it would take a lot for it to get better than this.
IGNITE! is an eclectic festival, programmed and curated entirely by members of the Youth Panel at the Cultch. IGNITE! features theatre performers, dancers, and visual artists—all aged 11-26—as well as participants in the Cultch mentorship programs.
Now in its 19th year, the festival also includes the production of five new One Act Plays by local youth playwrights. Each night of the festival brings diverse performances in a variety-show style, with themes like Paranormal Investigation and Day At The Fair. This year’s line-up includes spoken word, contortion, live music, short plays, and original contemporary dance, among many others.
The 2019 IGNITE! program includes:
IGNITE! One-Act Plays April 26th and 27th at 7:30, Vancity Culture Lab See the world premiere of two one-act plays, written by young playwrights, featuring a wide range of youth talent.
“Sueño Americano” by Brenda Muñoz, directed by Stephanie Wong and Shanae Sodhi, and “The Medicine Hat Playwrights Festival” by Iain Coates, directed by Samuel Jing, will be performed in the Culture Lab.
IGNITE! Short Film Night April 28th at 7:30 Vancity Culture Lab Brand new films by young filmmakers. An eclectic mix of genres and styles.
IGNITE! Gallery Opening May 1st at 7:30 The Cultch Gallery The launch the IGNITE! Youth-Driven Arts Festival with the opening of its visual arts exhibit. Enjoy drinks and appetizers in The Cultch lobby while browsing art by the city’s finest youth artists.
IGNITE! Paranormal Investigation: Spoken Word May 1st at 7:30 Historic Theatre Did you know the Cultch has a resident ghost? Join the IGNITE! Festival for a night of spoken word and paranormal investigation.
IGNITE! A Day At The Fair: Dance and Circus May 2nd at 7:30 Historic Theatre A spectacular affair involving circus, dance and pie making!
IGNITE! Records and Old Radio: Live Music May 3rd at 7:30 Historic Theatre Join us for a live 1930s themed radio show!
IGNITE! Important Figures of the 20th Century: Finale Night May 4th at 7:30 Historic Theatre All of human history has been a tumultuous time, but no century has changed the face of Planet Earth quite as much as the 20th—and this night will definitely change you! Get ready to face the most wild, unbridled theatricality that has ever graced the Cultch as we celebrate the most famous and impactful figures of the past century such as: -The inventor of the toaster. -The inventor of chewing gum. -The inventor of opening doors
The IGNITE! Youth-Driven Arts Festival runs April 26 – May 4 2019 at The Cultch Historic Theatre and Vancity Cultural Lab, 1895 Venebles. Tickets are Pay What You Can, suggested donation $2 for youth, $20 for adults. Single tickets on sale now by phone through The Cultch’s Box Office or online at thecultch.com
Australian based Hot Brown Honey returned to The Cultch York Theatre building on the buzz from last year’s visit.
The Honeys; Kim ‘Busty Beatz – The Queen Bee’ Bowers, Lisa Fa’alafi ‘The Game Changer’ , Ofa Fotu ‘The Myth Slayer’, Hope Haami ‘Hope One The Beatboxer’, Elena Wangurra ‘The Truth Sayer’, Crystal Stacey ‘The Peace Maker’ throwdown a one of a kind performance.
Hot Brown Honey is hard to define to one genre, The Honeys bring a hip-hop concert, burlesque, circus, theatre, comedy and politics to The Hive. Once the audience enters the theatre, it’s clear that something special is about to happen. With hip hop music playing the six performers are amongst the audience, dancing and interacting, as they take their seats. The Honeys instantly bond with the audience, easing them into what’s about to happen.
Throughout the show they break the fourth wall to involve the audience, whether including them in dance or, like me, holding on to one of their ‘babies’ for the show, because a “revolution doesn’t happen without childcare”. Politics, indigenous peoples’ and women’s rights are amongst the themes but presented in such a way that doesn’t slap you in the face but gets the point across with much laughter, excitement, emotions and empowerment. Opening night, was dedicated to Christchurch, NZ which had just suffered a terror act on mosque that same day.
As Hot Brown Honey defies description so it’s best to be seen in person. You have until March 30th to catch The Honey’s in action at York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive. Visit thecultch.com for details and tickets.
As we approach the centenary of the signing of the armistice to end WWI on November 11, 1918, The Cultch presents The Ceasefire Series.
From Oct 30 – Nov 17, The Cultch’s three venues will bring to their stages three shows that explore the causes, effects, and traumas of war from different lenses. The series features two Canadian premieres and a local world premiere from renowned playwright Amiel Gladstone: one taking place during WWI (SmallWaR), one taking place during WWII (Three Winters), and one taking place in contemporary times (The Believers Are But Brothers).
100 years after the Allied and German forces signed the armistice ending the fighting on the battlefields of WWI, Cultch Executive Director, Heather Redfern considered how she wanted The Cultch to engage with such a significant centenary. What resulted was the programming of three distinctly different shows; a high tech and interactive show about the ways modern young men (in particular) are recruited online (The Believers Are But Brothers), verbatim reflections from soldiers and nurses in WWI, from star Belgian performer, Valentijn Dhaenens (SmallWaR), and the world premiere of Amiel Gladstone’s Three Winters, a show with seven young women performing a play about prisoners in Stalag Luft III—the famous WWII POW camp—who put on theatre to maintain morale.
“As you watch these productions I ask you to remember, and I ask you to think about what comes next if we dare to forget. I want to thank all of the inspirational artists who have brought us this work for their roles as agitators and initiators in society. Their contributions are a political force because they speak to people’s hearts and emotions” — Heather Redfern, Cultch Executive Director
The Ceasefire Series trio of performances are:
THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT BROTHERS Canadian Premiere written, performed & co-directed by Javaad Alipoor and co-director Kirsty Housley (UK) part of Diwali in BC Oct 30 – Nov 10, 2018 at Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venebles Street
SMALL WAR Canadian Premiere directed & performed by Valentijn Dhaenens of SKaGeN Theatre Collective (Belgium), with producers Richard Jordan Productions & Theatre Royal Plymouth (UK) Nov 6–16, 2018 at York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive
THREE WINTERS World Premiere written and directed by Amiel Gladstone (Vancouver) Nov 7–17, 2018 at the Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables Street
Tickets for all shows are available from The Cultch’s Box Office: 604-251-1363 or tickets.thecultch.com. Individual tickets $24, or three packs for $65
The Cultch has recently announced its 45th anniversary season, with Executive Director Heather Redfern programming a 2018-19 season full of local premieres, international hits, and returning favourites.
“The Cultch is a place that people come to for community: to have their minds stimulated, to be challenged, to laugh, to discover,” says Redfern. “The Cultch is for everyone.” The season will also include several 45th anniversary initiatives including a series of work to mark the 100 year anniversary of the armistice of WWI called the Ceasefire Series, and an expanded Femme Series.
This 45th season, which is Redfern’s 10th year of programming, continues The Cultch’s commitment to highlight local companies and artists, while presenting cutting-edge national and international work. The 2018-19 season includes ten BC productions —including four world premieres. It also features innovative works by Canadian companies, as well as international works, from New Zealand, The United Kingdom and Iran.
The Cultch also continues it’s partnership with local festivals like Diwali in BC, in October, and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, in January 2019.
Fan favourites also make a return to the Cultch’s three stages; Children of God, Corey Payette’s hit musical about residential schools, returns after it successful national tour, and Australian patriarch-smashing hit Hot Brown Honey will once again decolonize and moisturize the York Theatre. Ronnie Burkett returns with his exclusive adults-only holiday hit Little Dickens.Also joining the festive season is the holiday tradition, Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto, is back for a sixth year with Wizard of Oz.
If all this isn’t enough The Cultch’s will also see the renewal of the Femme Series for 2018-19 with shows that celebrate the feminine experience.During November 2018 The Cultch will present the Ceasefire Series, three shows to mark the 100 year anniversary of the armistice of WWI.
For full lineup details, tickets and subscriptions for The Cultch’s 2018-19 45th anniversary season at its three venues; Historic Theatre, York Theatre, and Vancity Culture Lab, visit thecultch.com.
Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates starts 2018 with a visit to Mount Pleasant. The ever changing East Vancouver neighbourhood is due for another tour from the roaming restaurant hunt. Join friends and foodies on Wednesday February 7, 2018, for a taste of the ‘hood, along Main Street, between 3rd and 16th. The eclectic neighbourhood is sure to tantalize taste buds as you explore. Check in at the registration establishment, then set off and find out what the locales’ restaurant chefs and cafe owners have created for their tasting plates and cups. Along with way visit with fellow food enthusiasts, the chefs and owners themselves. Tasting Plates Mount Pleasant includes Mexican restaurant Maizel, 2815 Main St, Ignite Pizzeria, 2588 Main St, Panidor Cafe Bakery 3080 Main St plus more establishments to be added. Get $35 early-bird tickets, on sale now until January 23rd. After January 23rd, $45 advance tickets are on sale until February 4th, then $60 tickets last minute. Tickets are available on Eventbrite
For the fifth year, Theatre Replacement and The Cultch have teamed up to present a holiday treat for the whole family. Sticking to the traditional structure of a pantomime; take a children’s tale, add music, slapstick comedy, cross-dressing characters, topical jokes and pop-culture references and you’ve got an uproariously silly good time. East Van Panto takes Snow White, a goth teen, lock her up in her aerobic instructor stepmother’s West Vancouver home, whilst she longs for the freedom and hipness of East Van. As she escapes, Snow encounters a collection of East Van characters and locations. Ming Hudson’s Snow White is the centre of the show, a surprisingly grounded heroine who anchors the panto and allows the other crazy cavalcade of characters the freedom to be over the top. Allan Zinyk’s Wicked Stepmother is a scenery chewing, ridiculous villain, eliciting the well deserved boos and hisses of the audience.
Most of the actors play multiple roles throughout the show, creating some interesting and comedic moments when both of those roles are in the same scene. Amy Rutherford and Chirag Naik stand out in their supporting roles, both excelling in the slapstick comedy and music.
Veda Hille, also returning for a fifth year, music brilliantly combines modern pop and rock tunes with updated, topical lyrics that both move the story along but also bring up plenty of laughs. Set to tunes of Bootylicious by Destiny’s Child, Lorde’s Royals, Push It by Salt-n-Pepa, Lose Yourself from Eminem, Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling and many more tracks lend familiarity while tickling your funny bone with hilarious lyrics.
Talking about what happens to Snow White along her journey may give away too much of the story will ruin some of the current affairs humour and characters so just go see East Van Panto for yourself and find out what happens to Snow White.
East Van Panto : Snow White & The Seven Dwarves runs until January 6th at York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver. Visit thecultch.com for information and to purchase tickets.