EMV Presents The King’s Singers

Step back in time when Early Music Vancouver (EMV) presents The Kings Singers’ Royal Blood: Music for Henry VIII on February 9th at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts. 

The King’s Singers photo: Marco Borggreve

One of the world’s preeminent vocal ensembles, the Grammy Award nominated The King’s Singers make their debut with Early Music Vancouver as part of their 50th Anniversary season and North American tour.  Royal Blood looks at King Henry VIII’s life and legacy with compositions from his turbulent court in the early 16th century. Royal Blood will feature works by King Henry VIII, William Byrd, Thomas Weelkes, Henry Purcell, Benjamin Britten, and more.

“This concert is a follow up to EMV’s 2017 presentation of the Choir of King’s College of Cambridge. The original King’s Singers were all previously choral scholars at King’s College of Cambridge, where the rigorous education they received played a central role in creating the high standard for which The King’s Singers are still known,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of EMV. “Though the ensemble has performed in Vancouver many times over the years, we are excited to hear them perform a programme with an early music focus. English choral singers grow up on a steady diet of early music which is why they are among the best in the world at performing this repertoire.” 

The King’s Singers photo: Marco Borggreve

The King’s Singers were officially founded on May 1,1968, when six recently graduated choral scholars from King’s College, Cambridge, performed a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. This debut was the launch pad for The King’s Singers’ now legendary career trajectory. Their original vocal line-up was (by chance) two countertenors, a tenor, two baritones and a bass; a format they have maintained ever since. Over the years, there have been 26 King’s Singers including the original six and 20 subsequent replacements. While it is no longer a prerequisite to have been a choral scholar from Oxford or King’s College, each new member must possess the same standards of musicianship and have an appreciation for the origins of the ensemble. Being a King’s Singer is now one of the most coveted vocal ensemble positions in the world.

Hear for yourself what makes them such an acclaimed vocal group when Early Music Vancouver presents The Kings Singers’ Royal Blood: Music for Henry VIII on February 9, 2019 at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC, at 7:30pm. For information and tickets visit earlymusic.bc.ca

Ensemble Theatre Festival has more than A Few Good Men

Ensemble Theatre Company 6th Annual Repertory Festival is now underway with A Few Good Men running in the repertoire at Jericho Arts Centre.

The military courtroom drama is best known for the star-studded film of the same name but this intimate stage version really allows Aaron Sorkin’s script to be the star.  Jericho Arts Centre layout brings the audience in so close to the players we felt like members of the jury. The intimacy draws the audience into the drama but also magnifies even the slightest of mistakes, some (presumably) opening-night nerves got the best of some actors. However, in such a dialogue heavy script some miscues and stumbles in delivery make it feel more natural.

The story follows the defendants, lawyers and witnesses in a high-profile court-martial, that the U.S. Marine Corp wants to quietly disappear, but internal affairs believes it’s more than an open and shut case.  The team soon uncover a high-level conspiracy that slowly unravels before them.  At first, the film comes to mind, but soon the cast steps out from the shadow of Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson to make the roles their own. Directors Alan Brodie and Tariq Leslie recast some of the characters with players of the opposite sex as in the film, making it even easier to look at them with fresh eyes.

Alexis Kellum-Creer (as Lieutenant Commander Joanne Galloway) & Zac Scott (as Lieutenant Daniel Kaffe)
photo: Derek Fu

As lead prosecutor Lt Daniel Kaffe, Zac Scott brings his own brand of cockiness to the first act, then really embodies the role as he emotionally connects to his clients and the audience.  Alexis Kellum-Creer brings a mix of bravado and innocence to the character of Lt Commander Joanne Galloway, boldly asserting herself into the defense team but humbled by missteps in her ability make her realize her junior officer, Kaffe, is not all style and show.  With the help of Sean Anthony’s Lt Sam Weinberg, the trio form a realistic camaraderie as they race to defend the pair of Marines accused of murder.  As the play evolves the guilt shifts from the accused to others involved in the major cover up of a murder.   Yurij Kis, as Col. Nathan Jessep, has one of the most difficult challenges to break free from the memory of Jack Nicolson’s Oscar nominated turn as the play’s villain.  However, in spite of it being one of the most famous scenes in film, Kis really connects as he takes the witness stand and delivers a scorching monologue to implicate himself in the show’s climax.

As a fan of Aaron Sorkin, the cast and direction of Ensemble Theatre’s A Few Good Men keep the pace and deliver the drama expected of the well written script.

A Few Good Men runs alongside Ian Rankin’s Dark Road and The Beauty Queen of Leenane at Jericho Arts Centre in Ensemble Theatre Company’s Annual Repertory Festival until August 17th.

Visit ensembletheatrecompany.ca for festival passes and single tickets

Picks of the Week – July 18, 2018

The weather isn’t the only thing heating up, Vancouver entertainment is hot right now too. Here’s some great entertainment picks to select from

Irish: The new, young Irish theatre company Untold Wants Theatre Co., makes its Vancouver debut with the North American premiere of the acclaimed drama, The Human Ear. Opening July 18, at Pacific Theatre

Bard: Make your picks between a brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It or the dramatic Macbeth at Bard on the Beach 2018

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

SkyHigh: Take your dining experience to new heights with Dinner In The Sky, high above the shore of North Vancouver until July 29th.

Bats: Starting Thursday, Vancouver Canadians Baseball hit the diamond for a 5 game home stand at Nat Bailey Stadium

Laugh: Get a good laugh at those millenials and a whole lot more at Vancouver Theatresports League when you check out their new show Avocado Toast, or another evening of improv

Stars: The stars and future stars come out as Theatre Under The Stars opens its 2018 season of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and 42ND Street on alternating nights at Malkin Bowl.

Abba: You’ll have a hard time not singing along at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

Irish:  Once is not enough to see, the final show of the 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company season, ONCE, now extended until August 5th at the Granville Island Stage.

Stage: The Ensemble Theatre Company Summer Repertory Festival gets underway this week with a trio of plays running through August: Dark Road by Ian Rankin, A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin & The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Resist: Until October 8th at MOA, Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America, invites visitors to take a closer look at the political and social significance of Latin American artistic traditions to express political realities.

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

Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018. As well, David Milne: Modern Painting  on until September 9th, offers highlights of Milne’s half-century career, which took him from New York City, to the battlefields of Northern  France and Belgium, and back to the wilderness of Canada and the US.

Wild: The Museum of Vancouver latest exhibit Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives, which takes a look at the relationship between local plants and animals and the people and places in the city, until 2019

Penthouse: Tyrant Studios Lounge, within the famed Penthouse Night Club welcomes Jazz Fridays and The Comic Strip Saturdays.

Ensemble Theatre Company 2018 Summer Festival

The Ensemble Theatre Company has announced the trio of dramas in the 6th Annual Summer Repertory Festival.  Taking the stage at the Jericho Arts Centre, Ensemble has programmed a dramatic trio of thrilling, entertaining, and challenging plays. 

Aaron Sorkin’s military courtroom drama A Few Good Men, Martin McDonagh’s tragic-comedy The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Dark Road, the first play from Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin, are brought to life by the Ensemble Theatre’s talented group of actors, directors, and designers.

This selection of three highly entertaining plays from three celebrated writers showcases the humour, intricacies, and depths of the darker recesses of our lives. As Tariq Leslie, Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company explains: “To me, theatre is a means of generating empathy. It gives us a window to understanding each other a little more – our different and diverse hopes, aspirations, dreams, and fears. Join us for our 6th Annual Festival, and for the journeys that A Few Good MenThe Beauty Queen of Leenane, and Dark Road will take you on.”

6th Annual Summer Repertory Festival features:

Dark Road, by Ian Rankin and Mark Thomson
Directed by Chris Lam 

Featuring Alysson Hall, Paul Herbert, Lindsay Nelson, Christine Reinfort, Anthony Santiago, David Wallace, and Rebecca Walters 

Preview Performance July 9
Opening Night 7:30pm July 12
Special Sunday Brunch Reading 11:30am July 22
Matinée 2:00pm July 22
Closing Night 7:30pm August 16

A Few Good Men, by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Alan Brodie and Tariq Leslie

Featuring Zac Scott, Alexis Kellum-Creer, Yurij Kis, Sean Anthony, James Gill, Alysson Hall, Marc LeBlanc, David Wallace, Francis Winter

Preview Performance July 10
Opening Night 7:30 July 13
Special Sunday Brunch Reading 11:30am July 29
Matinée 2pm July 29
Closing Night 7:30 August 17

The Beauty Queen of Leenane, by Martin McDonagh
Directed by Kathleen Duborg

Featuring Tanja Dixon-Warren, Ashley O’Connell, Kristen Slenning, Francis Winter 

Preview Performance July 8
Opening Night 7:30pm July 14
Special Sunday Brunch Reading 11:30am August 5,
Matinée 2pm August 5
Closing Night 7:30pm August 15

Ensemble Theatre Company’s 6th Annual Summer Repertory Festival, runs July 8 to August 17, at Jericho Art Centre. Single show tickets and Festival Passes are on sale now at ensembletheatrecompany.ca