Picks of the Week – July 9, 2014

It’s nearly the middle of July, the peak of summer is upon us. My Picks of the Week include food, music, festivals, theatre and more.

Richmond: Get out and explore the dining options around Richmond with Tasting Plates – Central Richmond edition tonight.

Game Show: The Price is Right Live continues through this weekend at the River Rock Casino Show Theatre

Play: The last show in The Arts Club Theatre Company’s season, Red Rock Diner runs at the Granville Island Stage until August 2nd

Rock: Legendary rock duo, The Cult take to the Commodore Ballroom stage on Thursday night

Bard: At Vanier Park, all 4 plays in this year’s Bard on the Beach season; Midsomer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Equivocation and Cymbeline, continue on alternating nights

Sing: Sing a song, sing it all night long as Showtunes at 1181 starting at 6pm on Friday night.

Wiggle20Wiggle: Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the long running wearable art and performance festival with the Wiggle Weekend, a Friday night preview at FUSE in the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Main Event Saturday at The Fox Cabaret

Fest: Across the water in Victoria, the 3rd annual Rock The Shore Festival features Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, The Cult, Billy Talent, Our Lady Peace, Mother Mother and many more Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Street Party: Saturday July 12, thousands of people will fill 10 blocks of Kitsilano for the annual Khatsalano street festival on 4th Ave.

Sport: Coming off their big win against Seattle last weekend, Whitecaps FC play host to Chivas USA at BC Place on Saturday evening.

Arts: Take a getaway from the city and head out to Harrison Hot Springs for the 36th Annual Harrison Festival of the Arts starting Saturday July 20th running until July 20th





Picks Of The Week – May 28, 2014

Wrapping up the month of May means we’re just 3 weeks until the official start of summer but why wait, get out and have some summer fun early.

HipHop: Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy of, is a play that incorporates hiphop, spoken word and multimedia into a dramatic and engaging performance at the Roundhouse Performance Theatre until May 31.

Oz: Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre as the multi-award winning Wicked runs until June 29

Hello: It’s him you’re looking for…Lionel Richie with guest CeeLo Green brings the fun all night long to Rogers Arena on Thursday evening

Gig: The Imperial on Main Street welcomes alt-rocker Pete Yorn to the intimate room on Thursday May 29th.

Lady: Thursday night’s edition of Liberace at Celebrities features a Lady Gaga Drag Competition

Circus:  You may not be able to run away and join the circus but you can watch Cirque du Soleil: Totem as it continues under the Grand Chapiteau at Concord Pacific Place.

Comedy: Sometimes controversial funny-man Tracey Morgan brings laughter to The Commodore Ballroom on Friday evening.

Pop:  Lady Gaga brings her PopArt tour to Vancouver on Friday night for a show at Rogers Arena

Heaven: Head upstairs to Heaven’s Door for another fun Saturday edition of monroe. this week hosted by Jane Smoker with Domtop spinning tunes.



AFTER play – what happens after the sex is over?

AFTER-Poster-FinalAFTER a new play had its opening night on Tuesday at the Havana Theatre on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.  A co-production of star Stefania Indelicato‘s dream of passion productions, and director Jessica Anne Nelson‘s Excavation Theatre,  AFTER tells the stories of 4 people in their 20s & 30s, the conversations that take place after sex and their discovery of themselves and their lovers.  Sandra (co-producer Stefania Indelicato) is a women in her 30s looking for her one true love,  James (Al Miro) a ‘free-spirited’ guy in his 30s.  Jackie (Jane Hancock) and Daniel (Matthew McLellan) are in their 20s, the former is confused about what she wants and who she is while Daniel simply doesn’t like drama.

While at first glance, AFTER appears to be about sex and drama, the fact that the players are sexy and attractive is secondary to their witty voyage of self-discovery and honesty.  The simple set, just a bed, kept the focus on the characters and their attempt to be honest with their partners and most importantly, themselves.  The female characters are the best developed and emotionally exposed, especially Indelicato’s solo monologues, baring her feelings to James over the phone.  Al Miro’s James could easily have been just the hunky eye-candy, with the most sexual of the roles, but his comedic timing elevates the role from sex object to misunderstood misogynist. Simple Daniel is probably the least developed character and changes the least but McLellan humanizes what could be a forgotten character when paired against Hancock’s Jackie who fills the stage with neurosis and angst. Throw them all together and AFTER play becomes as much fun as foreplay, something everyone will enjoy and relate to. AFTER Promo Shot 3

AFTER plays at the Havana Theatre at 1212 Commercial Drive, March 25-29, April 1-5 at 8pm. Tickets are $20 online
Follow the hashtag #AFTERplay to see what’s happening.

The Arts Club Theatre – Venus In Fur

venus-in-furThe Arts Club Theatre Company’s Granville Island Stage got the 50th Anniversary Season underway this week with the opening of Venus In Fur. Venus In Fur is a David Mackay directed production of David Ives’ Tony Award winning play.

The play opens on Thomas, played by Vincent Gale, in a sparsely decorated, brick-walled studio space complaining to his fiance, over his mobile phone, about the inability to find the right actress for his adaptation of Venus In Fur.  As he’s about to leave in walks Vanda, a loud brassy profane blonde bombshell who at first glance seems to be the complete opposite of Thomas’ prayers. Over the course of her audition, whether she is or isn’t is left up to the viewers interpretation as the line between the play within the play is blurred. Played by Lindsey Angell, Vanda is a scenery chewing role that could easily swing into overacting but Angell holds a fine balance between comedy and farce, and, sexy and trashy.

Billed as “A Kinky Comedy”, the two person play lives up the the billing but just how kinky and how much comedy depends on personal perception. From my point of view, I didn’t feel it was too kinky but had plenty of laughs but I’m sure many people would have been scandalized by the amount of profanity, slinky costume on Angell as well as perceived and stated sexual content. I heard a few comments after the play, from my friends and others, that the jumping between the play-within-the-play and the play itself caused some confusion and broke the tension. Occasionally, the larger laughs would drown out the next line of dialogue making it hard to keep up with the scene.  Overall,  it was a thoroughly enjoyable performance from two strong actors who keep the 90 minutes from ever seeming long or unnecessary, everything is poured onto the stage.

Venus In Fur runs at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage until November 2nd, 2013. Visit ArtsClub.com for tickets and showtimes.
Follow The Arts Club on Twitter @TheArtsClub or Facebook.com/ArtsClub to keep up to date with The Arts Club Theatre.

Boca del Lupo : Fall Away Home

Fall Away Home star Ming Hudson takes flight

As part of the Stanley Park 125th Anniversary Celebrations, Boca del Lupo and The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts present Fall Away Home, a modern fairy tale about a young girl who, in an effort to help others, falls down a hole and finds herself falling all the way through the planet. After a series of previews, wrapping up last evening, Fall Away Home takes place August 24, 25, 29, 31, and September 1, at 8pm at the Service Yard Lot, park of the Memory Lane at The Garden zone for the Celebrate Stanley Park weekend.

Fall Away Home explores the world of children who are not entirely in control of their own lives and destiny. This unique production incorporates Boca del Lupo’s signature use of technology, acrobatics, and theatre craft to create a show that is as much an experience as it is a performance. A mash-up of live action, animation, and as is Boca del Lupo’s tradition includes audience participation. The audience is encouraged to check out the interactive parts of the show in advance, but it’s not required to have a great time joining in. (Note to audience: be prepared to stand for the 90min show as the performers move in and around the audience.)

‘We are delighted to be partnering with Boca del Lupo on Fall Away Home,” said Cory Philley of the Shadbolt Centre. “It is proving to be a magical show for everyone involved and a great celebration of 125 years of Stanley Park!”

Jay Dodge of Boca del Lupo added, “We are excited to be returning to our beloved tradition of free, outdoor, all-ages spectaculars in the place where it all began, Stanley Park. It has been 11 years since our first show in the park and at the time we were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for it. Fall Away Home is our seventh such production and is especially exciting to us, as we are merging the new technology we’ve been developing in our indoor work with the large scale visuals of the outdoors—it’s going to be a LOT of fun!”

Fall Away Home takes place August 24, 25, 29, 31, and September 1, at 8pm in the Stanley Park, Service Yard Parking Lot
Entry is free with a mandatory ticket reservation
Ticket Reservations: tickets.shadboltcentre.com,
Call 604.205.3000
Email boxoffice@shadboltcentre.com


PNE 2013 is almost here!

PNEThis weekend marks the start of the 2013 Pacific National Exhibition, running August 17 – September 2nd (excluding Aug 19 & 26), The Fair has been an annual rite of summer for over a century in Vancouver.

First conceived as a way to bring the country to the city, the PNE has a long tradition of entertaining Vancouverites and all British Columbians.  Constantly evolving over the decades to keep up with changing tastes and times, agriculture is still at its core but each year more and more entertainment and activities welcome the masses. New this year is Genghis Khan: The Exhibition, Dueling Pianos, and RCMP Musical Ride. Returning are Summer Night Concerts,  Family Feud Live, Peking Acrobats, plus the perennial favourites Superdogs and PNE Prize Home.  Agriculture is represented at Safeway Farm Country, Pacific Spirit Horse Show, Farm Producers Competition, plus  the 4-H Festival (which as an alumni, holds a special place in my memories).

The Fair at the PNE is always a great value and fun day out when you include all the amusements of Playland into the mix but this year there are even more ways to save.

– Gate admission and parking fees have been lowered by 20%
– Pinwheel Deals coupon books offer $300 in savings for just $2.00 (available at Guest Services)
– Free Gate Admission between 11am – 1pm on Tuesday August 20th.
– Wild Ride Wednesday August 21st, buy 2 for 1 Ride Passes between 11am – 1pm
– Seniors’ Day Thursday August 22nd, adults 65+ get free gate admission between 11am – 1pm
– VANCITY Members Day, August 29th VANCITY Credit Union Members plus a guest, can gain gate admission for just $5 each
– Twilight Ride Pass, save $13 when you buy a Ride Pass after 5pm Tuesdays – Thursdays.
– After Dark Gate Pass, buy a pass at the gate and enter after 9pm for just $5

Saturday, August 17 – Monday, September 2, 2013 11am until late! (Weather permitting)
Closed Monday, August 19 and 26
For more information visit pne.ca,


67th Tony Award Winners

Tony Awards

Sunday night, June 9, Broadway’s finest gathered at Radio City Music Hall for the 67th Annual Tony Awards presentations. Hosted for the 3rd consecutive year by  Neil Patrick Harris the ceremony celebrates the 2012-2013 Broadway season.  The show started as usual with an original opening number performed by the host and what appeared to be every Broadway performer.  In a show of support, performances from this season’s Tony award nominated musicals A Christmas Story- The Musical, Annie, Bring It On-The Musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,  Kinky Boots, Matilda-The Musical, Motown-The Musical, and Pippin were introduced by performers from the Great White Way’s currently running shows including Chicago; Jersey Boys; Newsies; Once; Mamma Mia!; Rock of Ages; Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; The Lion King; and The Phantom of the Opera.

The Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre is awarded to Bernard Gersten, executive producer of Lincoln Center Theater, scenic designer Ming Cho Lee, and Paul Libin, executive vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters.

Going into the night Kinky Boots was the most nominated production with 13 nods closely followed by Matilda The Musical with 12. The the end of the night, Kinky Boots triumphed with 6 gongs followed by Matilda & Pippin with 4 each.
The other major Tony Awards went to:

Best Play: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Best Revival of a Play: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Best Musical: Kinky Boots
Best Revival of a Musical: Pippin
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play: Tracy Letts as George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play: Cicely Tyson as Miss Carrie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play: Courtney B. Vance as Hap Hairston in Lucky Guy
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play: Judith Light as Faye in The Assembled Parties
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical: Billy Porter as Lola in Kinky Boots
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical: Laura Osnes as Ella in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical: Gabriel Ebert as Mr. Wormwood in Matilda the Musical
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical: Andrea Martin as Berthe in Pippin 
Best Book of a Musical: Matilda the Musical – Dennis Kelly
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre: Kinky Boots – Cyndi Lauper (music and lyrics)
Best Choreography: Jerry Mitchell – Kinky Boots
Best Direction of a Play: Pam MacKinnon – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Best Direction of a Musical: Diane Paulus – Pippin

The the full list of nominees and winners visit the Tony Awards online