13: The Musical brings back teen spirit

L to R: Julian Lokash (Archie), Julia Mclean (Patrice), Graham Verchere (Evan), Jason Sakaki (Brett), Kyra Leroux (Kendra), Michelle Creber (Lucy)
Photo Credit: Anita Alberto

Bring On Tomorrow Co’s production of 13 : The Musical, now playing at Waterfront Theatre, brilliantly brings back all the feelings of adolescents.  We’ve all been haunted by the spirits of teen angst but thankfully it’s much more enjoyable watching the trials and tribulations when it’s happening to someone else.

The company, made completely of teenaged actors, bring to life Dan Elish’s story of Evan Goldman.  Ripped from the comfort of his New York City life and plunked into Appleton, Indiana just as he turns 13 years old.  With his Bar Mitzvah plans now thrown into array, Evan must balance the tricky teen worlds of popularity and friendship.

Graham Verchere brings Evan to the stage with a believable awkward innocence of a boy becoming a man, or at least trying to navigate his way to teenhood, with a little help from his friends.  Patrice, literally the girl next door, played beautifully by Julia Maclean, and Archie, Julian Lokash, plays the ‘boy with the terminal illness’ not to be laughed at but laughed with.  While every character has moments of light and dark the powerhouse performance of Michelle Creber as Lucy the main manipulator of the gang, is a girl everyone remembers from school as is Brett, played by Jason Sakaki, the quintessential jock.

Just like back in school, the girls have developed earlier than the boys.  Most of these female performers have rich powerful voices while the adolescent boys bring back those memories and blushes of the occasional cracks and squeaks when you least expect them, bringing even more reality to Jason Robert Brown’s songs.  Chris Adams direction and Nicol Spinola’s choreography work hand in hand to juggle the large ensemble as they recreate the energy of the Dan Quayle Junior High School student body. Christopher David Gauthier’s simple set design makes quick changes to reveal all the halls and rooms of the school.

While Bring On Tomorrow Co’s 13 : The Musical ends on October 8th, if you have the chance get out and see it.  Relive the comedy and tragedy of being 13,  there’s sure to be a character who reminds you of someone you went to school with, if not yourself.

Vancouver Theatresports Improv Comedy Institute

Vancouver Theatresports League has long been teaching people the power of laughter through improv and has now introduced the Improv Comedy Institute (ICI) to formalize your studies.

ICI classes start October 18th, with sessions on the core improv areas of Spontaneity, Story, Character and Environment. Each of the 8 hour courses, taken in order, develops skills learned in the prior class.  Follow-up and continue growing your skills with the Improv Gym, then move on to audition for the Rookie League and begin your career in Improv Comedy.

Improv Comedy Institute courses start at $129 per component, registration is open now at vtsl.com/education

Fjällräven Bags

As the holidays approach, Santa is out filling his sac with gifts for good girls and boys, why should you be any different? To help you carry more gifts and shopping grab yourself a Fjällräven bag to fill with your finds, or wrap one up to slide under the tree for your loved ones.

One of the most iconic Scandinavian outdoor equipment and apparel brands, known for clean, functional, high-quality design, Fjällräven offers a variety of satchels that are versatile enough to take you from your day of classes to an afternoon mountain hike.

The Fjällräven Fall/Winter 2013 collection is out now highlights include:



Kånken :  A great gift option for everyone on your Christmas list.  Originally designed for Swedish school children in 1978, the Kånken is an icon for kids and adults around the world. Durable Vinylon F material repels moisture better than any other synthetic fabric, while the vast colour palette complements every task and style. Choose from the Kånken ($75), Kånken Big ($100), Kånken Laptop ($100 – $110),  Kånken Mini ($55), and Kånken Maxi ($120)






Rucksack No. 1 : For the day adventurer or overnight trip, the Rucksack No. 21 is built to last with Fjällräven’s signature G-1000 HD fabric (a densely woven, hardwearing fabric that is twice as durable as denim). The bag features a classic top-loading design with an under-lid snow lock (a design feature introduced in the 60’s). In addition, this rucksack has an inside bottle pocket for your Thermos, and a padded section for your laptop.  Available in Rucksak No. 21 Small ($150), Medium ($175) and Large ($200). Number bags also includes Duffel Bag No. 4 ($150 & $175)





Foldsack No. 1 : Introduced in 2013, the Foldsack No. 1 ($110) is a classic yet stylish pack, versatile for your everyday needs. Made with Fjällräven’s signature G-1000 heavy duty material. Features include a flat pocket with a padded bottom for safe laptop transport, large zippered front pocket accessible, durable metal buckles and sleek leather details.






Totepack No. 1: A new style, introduced to the collection in 2013, the Totepack No. 1 ($110)  is made from a more durable version of  Fjällräven’s signature G-1000 material and features double layers of fabric at the bottom for extra durability. A small safety pocket on the inside holds keys, a wallet and anything else you want to keep an eye on. And the bonus? The long, textile shoulder straps can also be converted to carry the bag as a backpack. It’s the perfect bag for carrying your Christmas shopping and also practical for travelling as it takes up minimal space when empty.



Whether it’s for yourself or a gift get out a Fjällräven bag will last for years. In Vancouver, find them at Plenty, AJ Brooks, Zebra Club, One Of A Few and many more retailers.