10 Plays For The Whole Family This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to gather the family together and enjoy the fun of live theatre.

Align Entertainment started the season off with their, just ended run of, A Christmas Story : The Musical. This holiday season finds theatre offering something for everyone in the family, from romance, to drama, comedy to fantasy.

Check out the list of 10 plays to find something that’s sure to please you and your family or friends this season.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – November 15 – December 30, 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver
In this modern follow up to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, take another trip to Pemberley as romance and comedy mix with Christmas festivities.

Merry Kiss-mas

Merry Kiss-Mas – November 21 – December 24, 2018 – Improv Centre, Granville Island, 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
‘VTS Channel’ presents Merry Kiss-mas – an improvised holiday comedy parodying all the inane clichés and funny, awkward moments you’d expect to see in a holiday TV special or film.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr – November 24 – 25, 2018 – Massey Theatre, 735 8th Ave, New Westminster
Children’s Theatre of Richmond Association presents this children’s production of Disney’s musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale.

East Van Panto – Wizard of Oz

East Van Panto: Wizard of Oz – November 28, 2018 – January 6, 2019 – The Cultch York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
East Van Panto returns for its sixth year, finding Dorothy and Toto flung to the Land of Oz in the depths of East Van

Disney’s Beauty And The Beast – December 1, 2018 – January 6, 2019 – Arts Club Theatre Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver
Disney’s tale as old as time comes to life, with a song as old as rhyme, lavish costumes, lush sets and great casting in this remount.

James & Jamesy – O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tea – Various Locations including; December 1, 2018 -Massey Theatre, 735 8th Ave, New Westminster // December 10 – 11, 2018 – Kay Meek Arts Centre, 1700 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver
The award winning duo, James & Jamesy bring their physical comedy to the regioni with a Christmas cuppa brimming with holiday cheer, and much more.

Little Dickens – December 4 – 22, 2018 – The Cultch Historic Theatre – 1895 Venables, Vancouver
Ronnie Burkett’s Little Dickens, finds the cast of The Daisy Theatre take on the beloved holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, in the merriest marionette mash-up ever.

It’s a Wonderful Life – December 6 – 31, 2018 Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond
Take a trip to Bedford Falls and watch George Bailey come back from despair to realize that it is a wonderful life.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – December 6 – 16, 2018 – Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
In this lively Christmas classic, the six Herdman kids, “the worst kids in the history of the world”, take over the annual Christmas pageant, much mayhem and fun follows in this hilarious and heartwarming story.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr – December 7 – 8, 2018 – Massey Theatre, 735 8th Ave, New Westminster
Children’s Theatre of Richmond Association presents this children’s version of Disney’s beloved musical

 

Explore the Globe at Richmond World Festival

Richmond World Festival Main Stage

In one week , the Richmond World Festival returns to Minoru Park in Richmond, running August 31-Sept 1, 2018. The fourth annual, free pubic festival brings two days of arts, culture, entertainment and food from around the globe to the family-friendly outdoor event.

Richmond World Festival has something for everyone.  The spectacular line-up on the festival’s nine live stages includes a wide array of musical performers from near and far.  The Main Stage features internationally known Canadian pop acts, like Lights, Magic!, and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine plus other musicians from all corners of the world.

Global Village

While on the Global Village Stages find multicultural acts from the world of dance, spoken word and more. Bamboo Theatre features the Vancouver Cantonese Opera Society. Your Kontinent Digital Carnival, features a collaboration between interdisciplinary artist Terrance Houle and award-winning video artist Lisa Birke.

Kids World

The Culinary Stage and Food Truck Zone introduces flavours and taste experiences from everywhere to your palate.  Kids World makes sure that sure everyone in the family is entertained. Between eating, dancing and listening to some great music, do a bit of shopping for unique and handmade wares in the Artisan Market.

For the full line-up and schedule of artists and performers, visit richmondworldfestival.com

Festival of Flavours Food Zone

Entry to Richmond World Festival is free of charge, with all activities taking place at Minoru Park and the adjacent Richmond Cultural Centre Plaza. The site is open Friday, August 31 from 4:00pm to 10:00pm and Saturday, September 1from 11:00am to 10:00pm.

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.

5 Lunar New Year Festival 2018 Events

Chinese New Year is known as the largest mass human migration in the world, as millions of Chinese make visits to their home countries, towns and family, to celebrate the Lunar New Year.  Vancouver and Richmond have many events for those of the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and other communities who can’t make the trip home or are returning home to visit.

Weeks of events to commemorate the Lunar New Year Festival include:

Lunar Fest 2018 at the newly renovated Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza welcomes the whole family and their four-legged friends with entertainment, exhibits, crafts, markets over two weekends; Feb 18, 24 and 25, as well as events at Oakridge and Vancouver Playhouse.

Fly Over Canada – a spectacular double bill ‘flies’ over Canada and then follows through the peaks and valleys of China’s vibrant landscape in the Flight Of The Dragon, until February 18th

Lanterns in the Garden fill the Dr Sun Yat Sen classical Chinese Garden with lanterns, food, activities of a traditional YUAN XIAO (Lunar Month) lantern festival,  for three weekends from February 16th to March 4th.

International Village Mall, Aberdeen Centre, Oakridge Centre  and other Shopping Centres all around Metro Vancouver are hosting Chinese and Lunar New Year events;  Exhibits, Craft & Flower Market, Stage Performances, Dragon and Lion Dances, Kids Activities, Prizes and more fill the Malls through the New Year.

Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival, rings in the new year with a bang on February 18th as firecrackers crack through the sounds of spectators and revellers lining the route of the 45th Chinatown Parade from 11am, along E Pender, Gore and Keefer Streets. After the parade watch for ‘the Lions’ as they visit and perform for local Chinatown businesses to bring good fortune through the new year.

For more Vancouver and Richmond events and information visit lunarfestival.com

A Christmas Carol at Gateway Theatre

This year, the Gateway Theatre holiday season takes a slightly darker tone as A Christmas Carol finds the Christmas spirit, or in this case four spirits.  It’s hard to tinker with a tale as familiar as Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, but this adaptation by Michael Shamata, directed by Rachel Peake, trims the play into a show that’s manageable for all ages and focuses on the ensemble and core spirit of the work.  All members of the creative team mention how they feel the play’s  message of finding and sharing good with your fellow man is especially needed in these current times.

Scrooge (Russell Roberts) & Marley (Allan Morgan)
Photo: David Cooper

Allan Morgan begins the play as narrator, talking directly to the audience to set the stage for what is to come, and has led to the moment we meet Russell Roberts’ Ebenezer Scrooge and Adam Olgui’s Bob Cratchit at work on Christmas Eve.  While the supporting characters are present, Peake has centred the production on the ghost story, and the message the spirits bring to Scrooge, starting with the eerie ghost of Jacob Marley bringing a warning to Scrooge of continuing his secluded, miserly way of life.  The simple staging by Drew Facey allows the audience to fill in the blanks as the ghosts take Scrooge from his past to present and future.

Ghost of Christmas Past (Josh Chambers) & Scrooge (Russell Roberts)
Photo: David Cooper

The Gateway Theatre holiday show often serves as a mentorship to up and coming actors and stage crew. This production includes five members from the acting program at Langara College’s Studio 58, all playing multiple roles alongside the seasoned, professional players.  At just 110 minutes, including intermission, the production is compact and conveys the spirit of the Holiday favourite in a way that the whole family can enjoy.

A Christmas Carol is onstage at Gateway theatre in Richmond until December 24th.  For Information and Tickets visit gatewaytheatre.com/achristmascarol

Explore the Globe at Richmond World Festival

Start September off by welcoming the world to Minoru Park for the Richmond World Festival.

Richmond World Festival is a free, multicultural festival celebrating Richmond’s cultural diversity.  Now expanded to two days for 2017, Friday and Saturday brings families, music, food, entertainment, spread over 9 stages, a marketplace, food truck festival, and much more.

Friday night The Freshest and Dirty Radio get the evening’s music going for the afterwork crowd, then, all the way from South Korea headliner, rapper Verbal Jint takes the main stage.
Then on Saturday, Canadian favourites, Buckman Coe, Dragonette and Tokyo Police Club close out the stage.  Along the way an array of talent from all corners of the globe entertain like; Vancouver Cantonese Opera, Korean Traditional Arts Society Drummers, Torque Flamenco, Tetsu Taiko, Kunda Africa, Mariachi Del Sol and many more cultural collectives.

Richmond World Festival is more than just music too, the Culinary Stage hosts chefs and food personalities from kitchens and tvs around the world. Bamboo Theatre hosted by the Vancouver Cantonese Opera Society allows visitors to explore the ancient Chinese artform.  Your Kontinent: Digital Carnival showcases innovation, cutting edge technologies, and new media arts.
Artists and merchants, Food Trucks and The Cowell Auto Group Kids Zone round out the family friendly festival.

Richmond World Festival takes place at Minoru Park in Richmond B.C.
Gates open:
Friday September 1st 4pm – 11pm
Saturday September 2nd 11am – 11pm
Admission is Free for everyone.
For full stage schedule and line up visit richmondworldfestival.com

 

Richmond Maritime Festival took over Steveston

This past weekend, the 14th Annual Richmond Maritime Festival brought thousands out to the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site in Steveston Village.

With the first smoke-free days after weeks of haze engulfing the city, the refreshing breeze and blue skies made for a perfect day to stroll the Fraser Riverfront, visit the historic Britannia Shipyard buildings; like the Seine Net Loft, Chinese Bunkhouse, Shipyards, or Murkani House. Intermixed with the permanent exhibits Maritime Festival zones hosted activities and entertainment for the whole family.

Music stages, games, puppet shows, historical and cultural arts and crafts.  Visitors could try their hands at paddling a Dragon Boat, tie nautical knots, learn about the cargo and work that goes on at Port Metro Vancouver and Steveston Harbour.

The highlight for many was the local and visiting boats on display along the waterfront.  Boat owners and crews welcomed visitors, young and old, aboard to explore the wooden boats, sailboats, tugs, lifeboat and more.  People scrambled up and down the decks, engine rooms and berths as they learned about the life aquatic. All the while a band of pirates in their scaled-down ships chased each other along the riverwith smoke from their cannon fire circling the sails.

Saturday evening’s entertainment was unfortunately cut short when a real fire broke out at the nearby Colonial Cannery building. Thankfully it was brought under control by the Steveston Harbour Authority, who were on site at the Festival, and Richmond Fire Department.  The Festival was able to recommence Sunday morning as scheduled, allowing even more families to enjoy the Richmond Maritime Festival.