Picks of the Week – May 27, 2015

Wrapping up May just brings us that much closer to Summer. The signs are there as the entertainment season heats up with these picks of the week;

Kids: All week long, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival fills Granville Island with fun and entertainment that’s great for kids of all ages and their family’s

Gig: Singer-Songwriter, Ryan Adams plays the Orpheum Theatre tonight.

Fashion: The Vancouver International Film Festival presents Style In Film screens two festival faves; Dior & I, and Iris on various nights, through the weekend

Club: It’s time to go back to SCHOOL at Celebrities Thursday night, where DJs Sollors and Dreaddy will bring the beats

Beer: Friday night, Vancouver Craft Beer Festival kicks off a week of beer events all over town until June 7th

Alt: Canadian quintet, Walk Off The Earth, bring their alt-ska-pop to the Vogue Theatre on Friday night

Rock: Bif Naked headlines a night of great music on Friday night at the Rickshaw Theatre

Folk: The Barr Brothers bring their folk to the Imperial Friday night

Electro: Morgan Page fills Celebrities Nightclub with electronic music and revellers on Friday night

Stage: It’s the final week for the entertaining, In The Heights on stage at The Arts Club Theatre, Stanley Industrial Alliance stage.

Balls: Check out the new turf at BC Place and catch Whitecaps FC take on Real Salt Lake on Saturday, before the team heads out on an extended road tour.

Dot: Sunday afternoon The Junction hosts The Missing Dot Party, a charitable extravaganza with music from DJ Del Stamp and Empress XLIV Babette Co-Taylor entertaining.

Drag: The final Sunday of the month can be a drag when Katy Hairy and Evita Versace Host Kitsilano’s only drag show, The Sweet & Sticky Show at Displace Hashery

Retro: Here We Go Again, but you won’t be on your own when Whitesnake fills the Hard Rock Casino Theatre on Sunday night

Arts Club Theatre Company – In The Heights

The Tony Award winning musical In The Heights is now playing at The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.  The fast paced, show keeps the energy up throughout the two acts while packing in family drama, romantic ups & downs, a black out, celebration and tragedy all set over the course of just 3 days.

Based on a corner of The Heights anchored by a bodega run by lead character, Usnavi played by the charismatic Luc Roderique, and the Rosario family’s car service.  Many of the younger residents are looking for a way to get out of The Heights while the older generation are trying to preserve the way of life they’ve come accustomed to since emigrating to the United States.

All of the cast ably play the mostly singing and dancing production with the latin flair required to transport the audience to the barrio and energy. The music & lyrics by Lin Manuel Miranda and book by Quiara Alegria Hudes transcend the American location with a universal story of love, and life.

In The Heights plays at The Arts Club Theatre Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until June 7, 2015.


Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike @ Stanley

vanya-and-sonia-and-masha-and-spikeThe Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Christopher Durang’s Tony Award winning comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, is playing until April 19th at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.

In spite of its references to the works of Chekov, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a ridiculously topical comedy. The mash-up of the classics and the world of mobile phones and short attention spans masking as “multi-tasking” collide brilliantly in the cross generation cast.  The male leads bookend the play; the always brilliant Jay Brazeau as Vanya, grounds the play with the hope of keeping things the same while Robert Salvador’s Spike strips off the ways of yesterday and brings the modern world into the monotonous day to day shared by Vanya and scattered, spinster sister Sonia (beautifully played by Susinn McFarlen). Hollywood diva sister Masha played by Anna Galvin is torn between the worlds which causes much angst in her attempt to stay relevant as she ages. Punctuated by a hilarious, scenery chewing performance by Carmen Aguirre as Cassandra the housekeeper and Nina, the classics fan, played by Katey Hoffman the whole company fits perfectly into their rolls.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike runs until April 19, 2015 at the Arst Club Theatre Company’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. 

“The Mountaintop” comes to Arts Club

the-mountaintopNow playing at The Arts Club Theatre – Granville Island Stage “The Mountaintop” imagines the story of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s last night on earth.  April 3rd, 1968, exhausted from delivering his iconic “I have Been to the Mountaintop” speech, Dr King returned to his hotel room at the Lorraine Hotel, the next day King was assassinated.  “The Mountaintop” imagines what happened during that fateful night as the Reverend prepared for his next days sermons, not knowing what god had in store for him…or did he know?

Taking place completely within the faithfully recreated Lorraine Hotel room, Dion Johnstone portrays Dr King with the same charisma as the original preacher and Crystal Balint plays Camae, the sassy, southern hotel maid who takes King’s mind off the day’s ordeals while reminding him of both his humanity and martyrdom.
The audience feels like a fly on the wall in the room as the intimate relationship develops between the two characters.

Playwright Katori Hall found a good balance of humour and fantasy to counter the political overtones and knowledge of what lies ahead for King. Janet Wright’s direction maintains the intimacy of the room and the relationship of the two characters while showing the global reach of King’s message and the politics of the late 1960’s. The play wraps with a rousing sermon that “passes the baton” of the movement through the generations and from actor to audience.  As fiction mixes with reality the spectator is drawn into the performance, firmly entrenching “The Mountaintop” in the psyche of the viewer.

The Mountaintop plays at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage until March 14th. The performance runs 90 minutes with no intermission.



Picks Of The Week – November 19th, 2014

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas but the Picks of the Week still find lots of events for everyone.

Plow: David Mamet’s Speed The Plow continues on stage at Studio 16 on West 7th Ave until November 29th

Pucks: It’s a double game week for the Vancouver Canucks this week playing host to Anaheim Ducks on Thursday and Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Culture: For the 18th year, the artisans, crafters and designers throw open the doors on their studios and spaces to welcome the public on the Eastside Cultural Crawl, from today until November 23rd.

Puppets: Get ready to laugh your ass off with the adult humour of Avenue Q opening Thursday at Arts Club Granville Island Stage.

Dance: On Thursday, Celebrities hosts Liberace with DJ Jef Lepard spinning the dance tunes.

Pop: Merging fans from two of the biggest boybands ever, the Nick & Knight Tour brings Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter and New Kids on the Block’s Jordan Knight to the Vogue Theatre Stage on Friday night.

Rock: It’s your last chance to catch Mötley Crüe as they hit Rogers Arena on their Final Tour on Friday night.

PopUp: The 4th and final Guerilla Gay Bar of 2014 takes place on Friday evening, stay tuned to find out the take-over location.

Royal: Vancouver’s DJ Dreaddy welcomes you to Royal at aura nightclub on Friday night with special guest, DJ/Producer Jodie Harsh from London.

Candy: From noon until 7pm, head to Mainland Street in Yaletown for the 3rd Annual CandyTown Christmas Festival.

Art: Help raise awareness and funds for Vancouver Friends for Life at the 21st Annual Art For Life Art Auction and Gala on Saturday evening.


Mitch & Murray Present “Speed The Plow”

SpeedThePlowDavid Mamet’s “Speed The Plow” is a satirical look into the Hollywood movie business.  Award winning theatre company, Mitch and Murray Productions are presenting “Speed The Plow”, opening November 13th at Studio 16 on West 7th in Vancouver.

Directed by David Mackay the play stars Craig Erikson & Aaron Craven as movie producers set to hit it big until Kayla Doerksen’s character throws a spanner in the works and derails their big hit.

“Speed The Plow” runs November 13 – 29 at Studio 16, 1555 West 7th Avenue.
Showtimes: Tuesday – Saturday 8pm.
Ticket Prices: Tuesdays = 2 for $25, Wed/Thur = $18 single, Fri/Sat = $23 single

Broken Sex Doll at The Cultch

1 - 322 - Greg Armstrong-Morris and Neezar in Broken Sex Doll - Photography By Scott MunnThe Virtual Stage’s Broken Sex Doll returns to The Cultch, York Theatre, this November, bringing sci-fi musical comedy fun to break up the dreary, dark days.

After a sold out run last year, the 2014 tour of Broken Sex Doll is now bigger and better, filled with singing, sex and robots.   Director Andy Thompson says, “Putting this new production together has afforded me the opportunity to refine the show in a number of areas. The goal has been to create a world-class touring version of the musical of the highest possible caliber that we can pack up and take anywhere. The touring cast is an exciting mix of top-notch professionals, and some of the hottest emerging musical theatre talent on the West Coast.”

The multiple award winning show runs November 12 – 22, 2014 at The York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive. After its run, the show tours the North and returns to the Lower Mainland for a December run in Coquitlam.

Tickets for Broken Sex Doll at just $19 from The Cultch box office.  Note: the show features Mature themes and due to liquor licensing minors are not permitted to evening performances