Hot Brown Honey heats up The Cultch

Until January 27th, Hot Brown Honey is taking over The Cultch York Theatre.  You know you’re in for something special when the ushers are handing out earplug upon entering the Theatre, and indeed Hot Brown Honey, part of The Cultch’s Femme January, is something special.

The buzz is palpable as the audience took their seats in The Hive and welcomed the six 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’, to the York Theatre stage.  Hot Brown Honey, a hit at Edinburgh Fringe,  grew out of an original Australian burlesque show, Hot Brown Honey Burlesque, created by Kim Bowers, Candice Bowers and Lisa Fa’Alafi.  This show is a red hot, sassy, bold journey to shine a light on stereotypes and the patriarchy.  The six Honeys #makenoise about tough topics that are very much torn from today’s headlines, with a unique style of comedy, music and dance.  Rather than beating the audience over the head with their message they bring the beats to the floor with their brilliant hip hop style.  Rap, beatboxing, powerful vocals and prose, nothing is out of reach for the talented sextet as they entertain and empower with their mission to fight the power.

Hot Brown Honey is really a show that needs to be seen, heard and listened to to really appreciate the talented Honeys and their timely message.

Fighting the power never tasted so sweet.

Hot Brown Honey runs at The Cultch York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, until January 27, 2018.  For more show information and tickets visit thecultch.com or call The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival kicks off 2018

The 2018 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is fast approaching. Opening January 16, 2018, the festival brings three weeks of cutting edge, creative performing arts to stages around Vancouver.

The PuSh program is packed with artistic experiences from around the world. Take a look through the listings to find what you’re interested in, here’s a sampling of what you’ll find;

Some Hope for the Bastards – Frédérick Gravel (Canada), the renowned Quebecois dance artist is creator & director of a musical-dance spectacle for the musically adventurous and visually attuned.
Opening Night January 17 at Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton St.

The Events – Pi Theatre (Canada) present the English Canadian premiere of David Greig’s daring play inspired by the 2011 killing of 69 people at a summer camp in Utøya, Norway.  Featuring a different Metro Vancouver choir each night sharing the stage with the two actors.
January 17 – 18 at Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Ave.

King Arthur’s Night – Neworld Theatre (Canada) presented with UBC Theatre & Film brings us the tale of King Arthur with the added entertainment of a live band and 20 member chorus
January 31 – February 4 at Frederic Wood Theatre 6354 Crescent Rd., UBC

Dickie Beau: Unplugged – Dickie Beau (England), innovative, drag performer discusses his love of drag and how his lip-sync performances have updated the art of drag.
January 19 at The Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main St
January 20 at Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St., New Westminster

Reassembled, Slightly Askew – Shannon Yee (Northern Ireland), a survivor of a medically induced coma and brain injury, brings an audio experience like no other. Melding art and science, this multidisciplinary adventure is a head-trip in the literal sense.
January 17 – February 4 at The Cultch, Culture Lab, 1895 Venables Ave.

Blind Cinema – Britt Hatzius (England/Germany) gives the audience a chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes.  The blindfolded audience are blindfolded and seated in front of children who describe the audio-less film in hushed whispers.
January 24 – 25 / January 31 – February 1 at Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St.

Birdman : Live – Antonio Sanchez (USA/Mexico), one of the world’s greatest drummers, provides a live accompaniment to the Academy Award-winning film Birdman onstage at the Vogue Theatre.
February 1 at The Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville St.

The Eternal Tides – Legend Lin Dance Theatre (Taiwan) and choreographer Lin Lee-Chen intertwines intricate age-old rituals, customs and ceremonies with song and dance to create a tribute to the waters that surround the island of Taiwan.
February 3 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 630 Hamilton St.

Amongst all these amazing artistic performance a collection of workshops, talkbacks and panels add to the PuSh Festival experience.
Passes and individual performance tickets are available online now, some shows are already selling fast and will sell out so make your selections soon.

 

A Night at the Movies with China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra

Cinema In Concert with CBFSO

The China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra (CBFSO), brings the sounds of movies to The Orpheum Theatre on January 12th for one night only.

The Canada-China Culture Development Association presents an evening of cinematic masterpieces.  Cinema In Concert find the internationally-renowned CBFSO, led by acclaimed conductor Pang Ka Pang, performing dramatic scores from Oscar-winning films, while iconic scenes are projected above them.  One of China’s oldest and finest symphony orchestras, the 80-member ensemble will bring life to film scores of five Academy Award winning composers, including Braveheart, Casablanca, Jurassic WorldLegends of the Fall, and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as works from China’s cinema.

CBFSO Conductor Pang Ka Pang

Since forming in 1949, the CBFS Orchestra has performed and recorded music of nearly 2,000 films, TV dramas and documentaries. First touring abroad in 1992, the orchestra has now performed in more than 40 countries on five continents, working closely with renowned conductors, composers, dancers and performers.

During its performance at The Orpheum, the 80-piece orchestra will perform with special guest soloists from  the local Vancouver music community, including the 100-member local community choral group, the Vancouver Folk Song and Dance Troupe.

Cinema in Concert with the China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra takes place Friday, January 12, 2018 at 8pm at The Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. Tickets are on sale at ticketstonight.ca

Arts Club remounts hit play Onegin for 2017.

Last season, The Arts Club Theatre Company debuted Onegin, an ambitious new work based on the verse Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin and the opera by Tchaikovsky.   This season, the cast remains the same but the home of Onegin changes to Granville Island for a run until December 31st.

Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille have written the book, music, and lyrics that covers all the emotions in the two hour show; light-hearted comedy, romance, drama, tragedy.  The musical is mostly sung-through with very little dialogue and most of that dialogue is directed at the audience, when the players break the fourth wall. The pop-rock infused songs are strong enough to stand alone, and with the band (Jennifer Moersch, Barry Mirochnick & Marguerite Witvoet) onstage throughout, suggest the whole show could be performed in concert without set or costumes and still be brilliant.  However, Drew Facey’s set filled with chandeliers, books and candles and Jacqueline Firkins’ Imperial Russian costumes do great work to place Onegin in 19th century St. Petersburg, Russia.

The whole theatre is the stage as players regularly step into the aisles to interact and bring the audience even closer to the production.  Sharing laughter, drinks, chit chat and passing notes, the casual atmosphere is like a visit with friends that you don’t want to end, the two hour show passes all too quickly.  In their second season in these roles the actors and characters mesh as one, allowing them to deliver the adlibs and scripted lines with equal comfort.  The cast is filled with veterans of Vancouver stage and screen and no one performer stands out because they are all equally brilliant in delivering one of the best new shows that has crossed our stages in recent years.

Onegin plays at The Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage until December 31, 2017.  Visit artsclub.com for tickets and more information.

Vancouver Christmas Concerts for 2017

Christmas has a long association with music;  carols, hymns and cantatas, bringing spirit to the Season’s concerts.  Calendars are filled with school and church concerts, and to help you get in the song-filled spirit, here’s a list of concerts around Vancouver to take in this Season for your listening pleasure:

Handel’s Messiah: Friday December 1 & Saturday December 2, 2017, Vancouver Playhouse
Early Music Vancouver presents Messiah for the first time, with Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Vancouver Cantata Singers.

Kenny G The Miracles Holiday & Hits Tour: December 3, 2017, Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Award winning instrumentalist Kenny G performs some of his biggest hits as well as holiday classics from his best-selling Miracles: The Holiday Album.

A Jann Arden Christmas with the VSO:  Wednesday, December 6, 2017, Orpheum Theatre
Join Canadian pop songstress as she joins the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for an evening of song and her quick wit.

A Traditional Christmas: Friday December 8, Saturday December 9, 2017, Sta Andrew’s Wesley Church, plus dates all around Metro Vancouver through December 17th.
Join the VSO and host Christopher Gaze (Bard on the Beach) for the 25th Anniversary of this Christmas favourite.

Making Spirits Bright with Vancouver Men’s Chorus

Vancouver Men’s Chorus are Making Spirits Bright:

Saturday December 9, Sunday December 10, Thursday December 14, Friday December 15, 2017, St Paul’s Anglican Church
Are you naughty or nice? Doesn’t matter the VMC will entertain you for their lighthearted Christmas concerts.

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir by Leigh Righton.

Good Tidings, a Good Noise Gospel Christmas:  Friday December 15 and Saturday December 16, 2017, Christ Church Cathedral
Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir with special guest vocalist Maureen Washington and the 90 voice choir bring joy of the season.

Christmas with Chor Leoni: Friday December 15 and Monday December 18, 2017, St Andrew’s Wesley Church (twice/night)
A Christmas tradition to gather friends and family together to enjoy old Christmas favourites and encounter new ones as sung by the men’s choir.

Festive Cantatas – Vivaldi – Gloria and Magnificat: Saturday December 23, 2017, Chan Shun Concert Hall at Chan Centre for Performing Arts
Early Music Vancouver presents Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat as they were originally performed, by an all-female ensemble.

Sink or Swim with Beverley Elliott at Gateway Theatre

Sink or Swim with Beverley Elliott

Now playing at Gateway Theatre in Richmond, Sink or Swim is Beverley Elliott’s latest autobiographical one-woman show.  Following on last year’s …didn’t see that coming, the singer/actor/writer is back with more stories from her youth.

In Sink or Swim, Ms Elliott takes us back to rural Ontario and her childhood years.  With the help of musical director/pianist Bill Costin, the actress paints the picture of her 5-6 year old world with such vivid detail that  any of us who grew up in small town Canada recovered memories of our early school days too.  Songs and music helps set the mood and provide the transitions between stories, from selling the family farm, to the first day of school, to summer trips to the lake.  All the tales come with equal doses of wit, charm and emotions, as bonds of family and friends shine throughout Sink or Swim.

Beverley Elliott’s multifaceted talent brings so much to the stage.  The writer, creates engaging, fun, but believable stories to tell.  The actress, brilliantly makes herself ageless and any age, whether the spirited, elderly Granny on Once Upon A Time, a teenager in …didn’t see that coming, or the 5 year old Bev in Sink or Swim.  The singer, brings a range of emotions to the songs throughout her shows, from lively, pop tunes to touching ballads or big, Broadway style numbers.

Beverley Elliott’s Sink or Swim runs until November 25, 2017 in Studio B at Gateway Theatre, for tickets and information visit gatewaytheatre.com 

Early Music Vancouver welcomes early opera Orfeo

Chan Centre for Performing Arts

This weekend, Early Music Vancouver (EMV) presented Monteverdi’s Orfeo, at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, at UBC.  Often described as a “game changer” in the history of music, the historic work marks the end of the Renaissance and the beginning of the Baroque. Orfeo was brought to life under the guidance of GRAMMY award-winner and Monteverdi specialist, Stephen Stubbs, leading the singers and musicians of Seattle’s Pacific MusicWorks. This production starred Vancouver’s Colin Balzer, an internationally celebrated tenor in the title role, and also included San Francisco’s Dark Horse Consort, North America’s most respected  17th century wind ensemble.   The surprisingly lively work is a relatively quick 2 hour performance.  Even though this was a performance sung in the original Italian, it was filled with bold performances lead by Balzer’s emotional turn as Orfeo.

Chan Centre for Performing Arts

Monteverdi’s Orpheo follows the Greek musician and demi-god, Orfeo (Orpheus in the original legend), who after losing his beloved Euridice to a snake bite, descends into Hades to use the power of music to convince the god of the underworld, Plutone, to return his beloved to life. Orfeo sings and plays so convincingly that Plutone agrees to grant his request, but on one condition – that he not look back when leading his love out of the darkness. Tragically, Orfeo, wracked by doubt and unable to control his own passion, glances back, condemning his beloved to an eternity in darkness, and Orfeo to a life without love. Returning to the light alone, Orfeo sings one of the most poignant and powerful laments in operatic history, ultimately reaching the ears of his father Apollo, the God of Music. Out of pity for his son, Apollo descends from the heavens to bring Orfeo comfort, thereby restoring balance to the world.

Early Music Vancouver produces a series of classical and choral works throughout the year. Visit earlymusic.bc.ca for the full calendar and more information.