It’s the last week of winter, time to dust off the cobwebs and spring clean!
Spring Break: Play Dome, Canada’s largest indoor carnival continues bringing Spring Break fun for the whole family until Sunday March 24th at BC Place.
Sounds: This Friday, March 22nd Mika brings his effervescent pop sounds to the Venue stage in support of his latest “Origins Of Love”
Stage: It’s the last few days to catch The Arts Club Theatre Company’s “How My Love Has Affected You“, playing at the Revue Stage until Saturday.
Scene: Celebrate spring at the renewed Celebrities Nightclub on Liberace Thursday, March 21st. This week featuring a performance by Vancouver’s Next Drag Race Superstar 2013 winner, Anita Wigl’it
Syrup: Get stuck in to Edible Canada‘s first Maple Syrup Festival, Sunday March 24th at Edible Canada on Granville Island. All items on that day’s menu will be prepared with Duncan BC’s Mountain Valley Western Maple Syrup, plus sample Maple Syrups from across the country
Scanning the city and web, here’s what my picks of the weeks in the following categories.
Sounds : At the Orpheum Theatre on March 15 & 16 at 8pm, the Vancouver Symphony’s A Celtic Celebration featuring guest performers Leahy will surely be a highlight for many people’s Saint Patrick’s Day.
Stage : Across town at the River Rock Show Theatre, boxer Mike Tyson takes to the stage for his one-man show Mike Tyson:Undisputed Truth, Saturday March 16th at 8pm
Scene : CelticFest Vancouver wraps up this weekend with a St Patrick’s Day Parade winding its way throughout downtown Vancouver March 17th at 11am
Supper : The Fairmont Waterfront’s Chef Dana Hauser of Herons West Coast Kitchen partners with Whistler Brewing Company’s Head Brewer Matt Dean to create the Brew Master’s Dinner, a 4 course dinner menu perfectly paired with an selection of Whistler Brewing Company micro-brew beers. One night only, March 16th at 6pm.
Jon & Roy Holiday Special – The Vogue Theatre – Dec 21, 2012
Victoria’s Jon Middleton (pictured below) & Roy Vizer brought their Christmas show through the province in December stopping at The Vogue Theatre in Vancouver. The Jon & Roy Holiday Special tour, has become an annual tradition, this year sharing the bill with Frazey Ford (from Be Good Tanyas), Vince Viccaro, Wake Owl & Kim Churchill. When the trio (Jon & Roy plus Louis on base) took the stage the diverse audience was plenty warmed up and were treated to an enjoyable, entertaining evening of tunes taken from the group’s 4 albums. While there was talk of singing Christmas songs, alas none were to be heard, just an hour plus of great tunes was the group’s gift to the audience.
What a great way to wrap up another year of The Fair At The PNE, Olivia Newton-John was the final Summer Night Concert performer on the WestJet Stage at The PNE. Many fans staked out their seats early in the day as the outdoor concert venue was full to capacity early on and every available view of the stage was thick with fans hoping for a glimpse of and to listen to Ms Newton-John. From the first notes of “Have You Never Been Mellow” the audience was hanging on every word. A surprisingly varied aged crowd were drawn to the show by the Australian raised singer’s vast song list, and of course her perpetually perky performance as Sandy in 1978’s Grease keeps finding audiences decades later. Having performed in a variety of genres helps broaden her audience. Throughout her performance we were treated to bundled sets, like mini shows within the show, a country set included her Top 10 track, “Let Me Be There” and a well done cover of the Dolly Parton classic, “Jolene”. A set of songs from the flop film but hit musical, Xanadu got the audience up and moving as visions of roller skates went through our heads. The hot hit that really heated up the crowd was the 1981 classic “Physical”, I’m sure a lot of the ladies in the audience cringed at the memory of their leg warmers and spandex inspired by the chart topper.
So not to dwell completely in the past, Olivia included a brand new John Farrar penned song, from a forthcoming film soundtrack for A Few Best Men. While her voice has dropped an octave or two in the past few decades making the high notes on some of the old tunes more difficult, this new song was perfectly suited to show of her still impressive voice. Her voice may have also been affected by her battle with cancer 20 years ago, which she discussed and provided encouragement and support to those currently battling or fellow survivors, which she put into the song “Not Gonna Give Into It”. Her show, like her career and catalogue was a collection of upbeat moments and slow, soft ballads but the veteran performer knows what it takes to truly make her audience get up and feel good. A good old sing-along rounded out the night as she brought out the nostalgia with a set of songs from the Grease soundtrack, with “You’re The One That I Want” a duet with her male back up singer, “Hopelessly Devoted To You” and with encouraged audience participation a fun rendition of “Summer Nights” and finally “We Go Together” which the back up singers finished off as Olivia left the stage. She returned a moment later to close the set, thanking the audience for a great start to her new tour heading across North America until year end, with her first number 1 hit “I Honestly Love You”. A fitting end to a fun show and a great way to wrap up the 2012 Summer Nights Concert series at The PNE.
One of the more hotly anticipated PNE Summer Night Concerts was the West Coast return of Our Lady Peace. With the great mix of retro and current artists playing this year on the WestJet Concert Stage at the PNE, Our Lady Peace falls somewhere in between. Their heyday and most people remember their hits from the late-nineties but they’re still making music. Currently supporting their spring 2012 release, Curve, their show mixed new tracks in with their past hits from earlier albums like Clumsy and Gravity. The crowd definitely coming alive with the hits Innocent, Somewhere Out There and Clumsy. Lead singer Raine Maida warmed up the crowd as the set progressed and as he gained energy and engaged the audience they gave back more and more so everyone was enjoying their Summer Night Concert experience.
Coming on the heals of a fun, successful and sunny Summer Playland Festival, the Pacific National Exhibition unveiled a great line up for its Summer Night Concert series. PNE Summer Night Concerts have become one of the most popular concert series in the city, with a wildly diverse range of artists, an eclectic mix of country, rock and 80’s pop, set to play, this summer is sure to prove another blockbuster. A new addition this year, The Fair brings in afternoon family friendly entertainment as the first WestJet Family Fun Series makes its debut, building on the popularity of the Summer Night series. Both Summer Night Concerts and Westjet Family Fun Series are free with admission to The Fair at the PNE
Summer Nights Concerts truly have something for everyone; Olivia Newton-John (Let’s Get Physical, Grease), American rock band, with big Vancouver ties, Heart (Barracuda, What About Love) and 80’s hearthrob Rick Springfield (Jessie’s Girl) lead the way for older fans and pass the torch to younger fans for ‘Backstreet Boy’ heartthrob Nick Carter, HANSON, Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw, Allstar Weekend and Our Lady Peace to take the stage. Country fans won’t be disappointed with
Emerson Drive and Chad Brownlee rounding out the lineup.
Summer Night Concert Schedule August 18: Heart August 19: Emerson Drive August 20: Juice Newton August 21: Nick Carter August 22: Allstar Weekend August 23: Our Lady Peace August 24: Rick Springfield August 25: Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw August 26: The Manhattan Transfer August 27: Down with Webster August 28: HANSON August 29: Tower of Power August 30: Chad Brownlee August 31: Trooper September 1: Prism September 2: Lifehouse September 3: Olivia Newton-John
The WestJet Family Fun Series will take place every afternoon at 2:00 pm on the WestJet Concert Stage. A fun-filled line-up of family friendly fare entertains The Fair; popstars Victoria Duffield, Shawn Desman, Tyler Medeiros, Next Star Winner Charlie, Ellen protege Greyson Chance share the stage with alumni from the Star Trek series, an Elvis tribute and kids faves Lambchop and the Doodlebops.
WestJet Family Fun Series Schedule: August 22: Tyler Medeiros August 23: Charlie (YTV’s The Next Star) August 24: Star Trek Stars: Come and meet Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis August 25: Aloha Elvis! with Red Robinson August 26: A Lamb Chop Celebration! August 27: Victoria Duffield August 28: Doodlebop’s Musical Playdate August 29: Greyson Chance August 30: Shawn Desman August 31: Les Noces Gitanes September 1: R5 September 2: Princess Jubilation! A Musical Coronation
It was a great turn out for day one of Summer Playland Festival with Dragonette, Carly Rae Jespsen, Dirty Radio, Kaylee Johnston, Neverest and Marianas Trench taking the two stages – PNE Amphitheatre and Park Stage. Between the sets the Playland rides are open and SPF ticket holders are taking advantage of park access,included with SPF, to hop on their fave ride.
The action continues all weekend, with more great bands on Saturday and Sunday.
Still to come are :
Saturday: Park Stage 12:00 – The Proper Villian 1:45 – Jackie Valentine 3:15 – Eric Solomon 5:30 – Kristina Maria
PNE Amphitheatre 1:00 – Danny Fernandes 4:00 – Gym Class Heroes 7:00 – One Republic
Sunday: Park Stage 12:00 – Kaylee Johnston 1:45 – Jesse Giddings 3:15 – Victoria Duffield 5:30 – The New Cities
PNE Amphitheatre 1:00 – Hot Chelle Rae 4:00 – Joe Jonas 7:00 – Cobra Starship