Gateway Theatre Announces 2019/20 Season

Last week, Gateway Theatre announced its 2019/2020 season line-up of productions. Introducing four MainStage shows and two Studio Gateway Theatre is bringing a season of productions which travel through culture and history to present a diverse collection of stories, guided by an all female line-up of directors.  The season takes the audience from China, to Newfoundland, and Alaska to tell true-life stories, family dramas, a physiological thriller, a satirical comedy, and one of the most-loved musicals. 

“We are excited that our 2019/2020 plays will cross the globe to tell the diverse stories of our country and our community,” says Interim Producer Barbara Tomasic. 

“Curated by former Artistic Director Jovanni Sy, the new season will take our audience on a tour from contemporary North America, to turn-of-the-century China, early nineteenth-century Newfoundland, and as far back as biblical times. We are particularly delighted that our season features all women directors and continues our commitment to diversity both onstage and through our playwrights and creative teams.” 

Gateway Theatre’s 2019/2020 Season includes:

China Doll
Written and Directed by Marjorie Chan
October 17–26, 2019 / MainStage

The daintier the foot, the more marriageable the girl.

Bound by tradition, Su-Ling’s world is closing in around her. Her grandmother is determined that she will marry well and bring prosperity to them both. But when she learns to read, Su-Ling’s mind is opened to new possibilities, setting her on a dangerous path to independence.

The Double Axe Murders
By Berni Stapleton
Directed by Tamara McCarthy
Produced by Rusticate Theatre 
November 14–23, 2019 / Studio B

Who will survive the long, haunting night?

On an evening colder than frostbite itself, Sarah, Payne, and Pelly wait out a winter storm. Is that a tree branch knocking on the cabin wall? And why does the howling wind sound more like a wailing Banshee?

Based on true events, this psychological thriller, steeped in Newfoundland folklore, will have you sleeping with the lights on.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat  
Lyrics by Tim Rice & Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Directed by Barbara Tomasic
December 12–31, 2019 / MainStage

Any dream will do.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of the most well-loved musicals of all time. 

A joyous re-imagining of the biblical story of Joseph, Jacob, and the coat of many colours, this heartwarming hit will have your whole family humming along.

Straight White Men 
CANADIAN PREMIERE
By Young Jean Lee
Directed by Chelsea Haberlin and Fay Nass
Produced by ITSAZOO Productions 
February 6–15, 2020 / MainStage

An explosive evening of male bonding.

In this satirical comedy, three brothers return home for the holidays. Regressing to trash-talking and sibling pranks, they are caught off guard by a shift in the family dynamic, forcing them to examine the effects of traditional masculinity.

O’wet
By Quelemia Sparrow
Directed by Kim Senklip Harvey
Produced by Savage Society
March 19–28, 2020 / Studio B

One woman’s journey towards spiritual reclamation.

In O’wet, playwright and performer Quelemia Sparrow explores her identity as a mixed-race aboriginal woman in the present-day, colonized world. Taking the audience on a journey of discovery, Quelemia weaves real-life stories with spiritual awakening to reconnect with her First Nations heritage.

O’wet (oh-wee): a verb used to denote propelling a canoe. O’wet is also connected to a shaman’s canoe ride to the land of the dead to retrieve a lost soul.

From Alaska
By Sébastien Harrisson
Translated by Leanna Brodie
Directed by Diane Brown 
Produced by Ruby Slippers Theatre
April 16–25, 2020 / MainStage 

Two heartbroken souls healed by an unlikely connection.

A troubled teenager escaping from the world breaks into the house of an elderly woman. Time passes with the unpredictable rhythms of grief as the seemingly mismatched pair share their feelings of love and loss.

Moving effortlessly between street-smart humour and lyrical elegance, From Alaska explores the intense connection between young and old, the limits of language, and the ways in which we come to both change and mirror the ones we love.

Season subscription packages are on sale now from $116 visit gatewaytheatre.com for details.

Picks of the Week : April 3, 2019

No fooling, we’re already at the start of April, and of course some April showers, but not enough to dampen the entertainment found in this week’s picks.

Glory
pic: Barbara Zimonick

Hockey: Gateway Theatre finds Glory in the story of women’s hockey in the 1930’s, running April 4 – 13.

Blossoms: The city is in bloom as swaths of Cherry Blossoms paint the town pink, celebrate them all during the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival April 4th – 28th.

Nisei: Until April 13th, The Firehall Arts Centre presents the eye-opening, award-winning play The Tashme Project: The Living Archives which
tells of the lives of the Nisei (2nd generation Japanese/Canadians) from being a child of the internment camps to post-war and beyond.

Sons of Sissy

Pop: Grammy award winning PINK! brings her powerful pop and the Beautiful Trauma World Tour, with guest Julia Michaels, to Rogers Arena for two shows, Friday and Saturday nights

Dance: The Dance Centre brings Austrian choreographer Simon Mayer’s Sons of Sissy, to the stage as part of the Global Dance Connections series, April 4th to 8th

Orchestra: The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Spring Festival brings two performances to the Orpheum this week, Libration: A Midsummer Night’s Dream on April 5, and From Russia With Jazz on April 6.

Comedy: Funnyman Gerry Dee brings laughter to a pair of shows, April 5 at Bell Centre For Performing Arts in Surrey and April 6 at The Centre in Vancouver

Whitecaps

Kicks: Still looking for their first win of the season, Whitecaps FC host LA Galaxy on Friday night at BC Place

Rock: Sunday night, Rogers Arena welcomes a pair of legendary acts to the stage as Weezer and Pixies share the bill.

Okanagan: On stage at The Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, until April 21, The Orchard (after Chekhov) is Chekhov’s  The Cherry Orchard, but told through the lens of a Punjabi-Sikh family in the Okanagan Valley. 

LateNight: Stay up later for some adults-only improv laughs at Vancouver TheatreSports presents The Late Show, Saturday nights at 11:15pm

Gateway Theatre finds Glory

Opening April 4, at Gateway Theatre, Glory tells the incredible true story about the Preston Rivulettes women’s hockey team.

Glory pic: Barbara Zimonick

In 1933, four friends set out to prove to Canada that hockey isn’t just a sport for men. Despite the battles over ice time, the struggle to finance the team, and the endless sexism that existed in the sport, they formed the Preston Rivulettes and defied odds. Fighting through the Great Depression, prejudice, and personal upheaval, will they overcome the odds and forge their own path to glory?

Director James MacDonald directs local playwright Tracey Power’s inspirational story of the real-life Canadian championship women’s hockey team. Featuring electrifying swing dance choreography inspired by the jazz age, GLORY captures all the thrills, excitement, and tension of a great hockey game.

Glory pic: Barbara Zimonick

Gateway Theatre has a number of special events during the run of Glory; Pizza Preview Night on April 4, Tea Matinee on April 9, Talkback Thursday April 11. For patrons who don’t speak English as a first language or not regular theatregoers, Tues. April 9, 11:30am, pre-show primer, in English and Mandarin, offers an overview of GLORY and learn why hockey is a key part of Canadian culture prior to the matinee performance so you can sit back and enjoy the show. Also April 9, Theatre Club Dinner and Show combo includes dinner at Kove Kitchen plus the 8pm performance of Glory.

Glory runs April 4 – 13, 2019 at Gateway Theatre 6500 Gilbert. For more information on all events and tickets, visit gatewaytheatre.com

Gateway Theatre brings Gross Misconduct

Next up at Gateway Theatre, comes the spring production of, Gross Misconduct, running March 14th to 23rd.

Ian Butcher as Deke photo: David Cooper

With the current global accountability, including the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Gross Misconduct, directed by Kayvon Khoshkam, brings a riveting take on the twinned experiences of revenge and redemption.  Written by Meghan Gardiner, familiar to Gateway audiences as a brilliant performer, shows she is an equally talented playwright in this world premiere of her provocative new drama.

Now in his early fifties, Deke has been in Millhaven Prison without a cellmate for the past twenty years. He is surprised and irritated when Corey, a twenty-something rich kid, joins him in his cell. With little in common, other than a shared passion for hockey, tensions emerge as the pair are forced to share a tiny space. 

As a complicated bond begins to form between these two unlikely cellmates, the ongoing threat of violence takes a new form when Corey begs Deke for protection inside the prison. The men are forced to re-evaluate how they see each other after the true nature of their respective crimes is revealed. Old patterns resurface and Deke is finally brought face-to-face with a decision that he made twenty years ago. 

Gross Misconduct plays at Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond, from March 14th to March 23rd, 2019. Tickets, showtimes and details available at gatewaytheatre.com

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 26, 2018

The last week of September is starting off Autumn with a bright and warm start, just right as the Fall entertainment picks heat up

Tasting Plates Vegetarian Edition

Veg: Tonight, join Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Place Vegetarian Edition and explore some of the plant-based bites from around downtown.

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.

Twisted: At The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, find out what happens when an imaginary friend overstays his welcome, in Mustard, playing until October 20th

Pop: Scottish synth-pop group Chvrches play a double header with back to back shows at the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday and Friday nights.

Never Still:
Shion Skye Carter
photo: Ben Didier

Dance: The Firehall Arts Centre’s 2018-2019 season opens with a unique new work, Never Still, running September 26 – 29.

Bard: Summer is over but the 2018 season of Bard on the Beach  amazing Beatles themed version of As You Like It, is so good it continues into Fall, closing on Friday

Missionary: Broadway Across Canada invites you to catch the multi-award winning Book of Mormon playing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre until Sunday.

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

Women: Gateway Theatre opens its 2018-2019 season with the 50th anniversary of a Canadian classic, Les Belles-soeurs, a story of 15 women in a raucous, funny and heartfelt romp

BBall: Rogers Arena welcomes the Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers in a NBA preseason game on Saturday night

Powwow: Kamloopa , playing at The Cultch Historic Theatre until October 6th is a high energy Indigenous matriarchal story following two urban Indigenous sisters and a lawless trickster, on a roadtrip to the West Coast’s largest Powwow.

Fever: The Vancouver Arts Gallery wraps up its summer exhibitions Cabin Fever; a cultural, historic and artistic look at the cabin of North America, it’s your last chance to come inside the rustic world before it closes on Sunday

I’m With Her photo: Shervin Lainez

Chan: The folk supergroup, I’m With Her, brings their first Canadian performance to the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC on Sunday night.

Nine Dragons brings mystery to Gateway Theatre

Nine Dragons
Photo by Tim Nguyen

Gateway Theatre closes out their 2017-18 season with the original crime caper,  Nine Dragons.  Written by Gateway Artistic Director, Jovanni Sy and directed by Craig Hall, Nine Dragon is a co-production with Calgary’s Vertigo Theatre and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Set in 1920s Kowloon, Nine Dragons is a gritty homage to film noir mysteries, Hong Kong Police are trying to catch a killer and Detective Tommy Lam is their best man but his British colleagues and superiors are constantly overlooking his skills.  With something to prove, Tommy sets out to solve the whodunit, focussing on his prime suspect, a British-educated Chinese aristocrat. Just like the streets and alleys of Kowloon and Hong Kong, the crime drama takes many twists, turns and dead-ends as Detective Lam races against the killer before he strikes again.

John Ng as Det Tommy Lam & Toby Hughes as Sean Heany in Nine Dragons
Photo by Tim Nguyen

Culture and class prejudices rear their heads throughout the drama, as most of the characters prejudge others based on their skin-colour, background and even address. Even though Nine Dragons is set nearly a century ago, many of the themes in the play resonate today; racism & prejudice amongst police and politicians, missing minority women and girls who are discounted by the powers that be, and how to those faced with class oppression deal with overcoming those struggles.  Jovani Sy wraps all of those heavy topics in an entertaining, taut thriller. Listening to other patrons leaving the theatre, they left wanting to find out happens next in the life of Detective Tommy Lam, perhaps Nine Dragons is just the start of a series of mysteries with the Chinese Detective protagonist?

Scott Bellis, John Ng, Toby Hughes in Nine Dragons. Photo by Tim Nguyen

Can you solve the mysteries of Nine Dragons before Detective Lam? See for yourself at Gateway Theatre until April 21st. Visit gatewaytheatre.com/ninedragons for tickets and showtimes.