Picks of the Week – January 27, 2016

The end of January already?! How did that happen so fast?
Of course time flies when we’re having fun so with so much going on in the picks of the week it’s no wonder the month is slipping by quickly…

Arts:  The 2016 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is full swing with theatre, dance, performance arts, film and more all around Vancouver until February 7th.

Miss: Check out the premiere of Miss Understood at Performance Works tonight through Sunday, part of the PuSh Festival.

Dine: Dine Out Vancouver Festival wraps up January 31st but before then there’s still plenty of restaurants to dine at and events to participate in

Blue: Canadian icons, Blue Rodeo play the second of two nights at The Orpheum Theatre tonight before moving to Victoria tomorrow.

Gurls: It’s East Meets West when The Queen of East Van, Isolde N Barron joins the West End’s Carlotta Gurl at The Junction for The Barron Gurl Show every Wednesday, kicking off with a special Birthday Show

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre presents Boom! in association with PuSh at Granville Island Stage and starting Thursday, Pride & Prejudice is at The Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.

Comedy: if you’re looking for a road trip for comedy, take a drive to Whistler for Oh Snow She Didn’t! Whistler Pride’s Comedy Night featuring Bianca Del Rio, Sherry Vine, Jackie Beat and Varla Jean Merman at Whistler Conference Centre

Piano: XY tickles the ivories with live Showtunes at Keys – Piano Bar & Live Showtunes on Wednesday evenings

Brats: Thursday night at XY The Bratpack; Valynne Vile, Jane Smoker, Shanda Leer, Jem and Gia Metric get their bad girl act together with DJ Nick Bertossi

Country: Canadian Country Artist Corb Lund, plays two nights at The Commodore, Friday and Saturday

Brunch: Part of Dine Out Vancouver Festival, Brunch Crawls hit the Yaletown and Main Street ‘hoods this weekend

Playboy: The final weekend of the month means it’s Playboy at XY Saturday with Jane Smoker and DJ Domtop bringing the hip hop beats


Peter & The Starcatcher at Arts Club Goldcorp Stage

Peter & The Starcatcher,  the first presentation on The Arts Club Theatre Company’s new Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre is a hit. The Peter Pan prequel has been such a success 16 performances have been added to its original run, the show much now close January 10th, 2016.

Most of us know about the boy who never grew up, but little do we know about how be became the hero of Neverland.  Told in a style that gives the sense of children’s backyard antics, Peter & The Starcatcher is a lively adventure.  Beginning with a high-seas pirate adventure in the first act the second act has the spirit of a 50’s matinee serial complete with dastardly villains and camp comedy.  The Boy who never grows up is amiably played by Benjamin Wardle, making his Arts Club debut, lending a man-child quality to the part. His foil The Black Stache, a wicked albeit slightly illiterate pirate, is an over-the-top role inhabited by Colleen Wheeler.  Rachel Cairns’ Molly is both the push out into a new world and also the anchor to his old life that the Boy needs. Throughout the play, the whole cast is on stage as they play all characters, sound effects, stage hands and musicians.

Peter & The Starcatcher continues on The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre, 162 West 1st Avenue, until January 10, 2015.

Picks of the Week – December 16, 2015

Less than 10 days until the Jolly Old Elf makes his visit, evidence of the Holiday is all over the city, and we also have some Winter Solstice events in the picks of the week…

Ballet: A Holiday tradition, The Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker runs December 17 – 22 at The Centre In Vancouver

Ugly: Get out your knitwear for the Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Commodore Ballroom on Friday Dec 18th

Sketch: The 3rd Friday of the month at XY finds Your Sketch Is Showing filling the bar with improv and sketch comedy.

Revue: Saturday at The Vogue, feel festive with Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue, the British singer-songwriter is joined by Los Straitjackets for some Holiday Cheer

Dance: XY Saturday at ONYX this week with DJ Domtop and Bibi Souphresh

Drag: Our fave Kiwi Drag Queen, Anita Wigl’it makes a rare return trek North to join Carlotta Gurl’s Christmas Special Absolutely Dragulous at The Junction on Saturday evening.

Blues: The 30th Anniversary Blues For Christmas show features Jim Byrnes, David Gogo, Dalannah and Owen, Billy Dixon Soul Train Express plus many more take over the Commodore Ballroom in support of The Drew Burns Commodore Musicians Fund

Lantern: Monday, celebrate the Solstice with the  22nd Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival at venues around Vancouver

Panto: There’s just a few days left to try to save Christma. Christmas Queen 2: You Better Watch Out is trying to ruin Christmas at Vancouver TheatreSports League until December 19th.

Market: Hunt for last minute gifts and fine finds at the 6th Annual Vancouver Christmas Market continuing at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza until Christmas eve.

Oz: Gateway Theatre, heads down the Yellow Brick road as The Wizard of Oz runs December 10 – January 3rd.

Canyon: Cross into the Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park with thousands of lights illuminating the bridge and park.

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre is loading the Season with festival theatre for the whole family; A Christmas Story: The MusicalIt’s a Wonderful Life and Peter and The Starcatcher are all on stage

Cirque:  Cirque du Soleil Kooza continues until December 27th under the Grande Chapiteau at Concord Pacific Place,

FlyOver: Follow Santa on his journey from work shop to the sky at Fly Over Canada until January 5th

Wonder:  Vancouver’s newest Christmas market Vancouver’s Winter Wonderland takes over the PNE Forum building with an indoor Holiday market until December 20th

FestofLight_IMG_5622Lights: Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Botanical Garden expands with an extra 5 acres of Holiday sparkle until December 31st.

It’s A Wonderful Life at The Arts Club

It's a wonderful life at The Arts Club“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings”, the iconic line from It’s A Wonderful Life is now being heard nightly at The Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage as the Holiday favourite returns to the stage until December 26th.

Frank Capra’s legendary film comes to life in a simple and imaginative staging that pays homage to the classic movie while keeping it fresh.  While the stripped down set keeps the focus on the story and cast, selected use of film clips in the background help to flesh out the iconic moments without resorting to grand sets and action.

The fine cast is lead by the charismatic Bob Frazer, as George Bailey, who provides the grounding and emotion of the story. His supportive wife, Mary, played by Jennifer Lines, shares the heart of the story as well as his life along with 4 children.  The supporting characters include the antagonist Mr Potter, curmudgeonly acted by Alec Willows and various friends and family filling out the townsfolk of Bedford Falls.  Watching over all of them is Vancouver theatre legend Bernard Cuffling as Clarence the Angel.  Through Clarence the audience is given the feeling of interaction as we watch along with him and reach into George’s Wonderful life through the Angel’s actions.

Experience It’s a Wonderful Life at The Arts Club Theatre, Granville Island Stage until December 26th.  A great Holiday outing for the whole family.

Picks of the Week – November 25, 2015

It’s the last week of November, American Thanksgiving has past the post and now the Holiday festivities come fast and furious in the picks of the week;

Skates:  Disney on Ice: Frozen will thrill the Disney fans in the family with 10 shows at The Pacific Coliseum November 25th to 29th.

Rock: Classic Prog-Rockers, King Crimson play two nights at The Vogue Theatre, Thursday and Friday night.

Christmas: The 6th Annual Vancouver Christmas Market continues the festive fun at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza

Cirque:  At Concord Pacific Place,  Cirque du Soleil Kooza continues until December 27th under the Grande Chapiteau

Markets: Find handmade and one-of-a-kind gifts at some of Vancouver’s Christmas markets this weekend. Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair, Strathcona Winter Fair and Portobello West are all this weekend.

Magic: Awe-inspiring magician/illusionist Darcy Oake brings his Edge of Reality Tour to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Friday night.

Docs: Friday evening at CBC Studios, DOXA POP brings Andy Warhol style to the annual Doxa Documentary Film Festival Fundraiser

Super: Former Supertramp lead, Roger Hodgson brings the Breakfast in America tour to Hard Rock Casino Vancouver on Friday night before moving the show to River Rock Show Theatre on Saturday.

Play: Jane Smoker hosts Playboy a night of hip hop with Peach Cobblah, Sidney Claire and DJ Domtop spinning at XY Saturday

Musical:  The Arts Club Theatre’s A Christmas Story: The Musical and It’s a Wonderful Life bring you two nostalgic and entertaining evenings as the Holiday classics come to life through the holidays

Drag: Join the Queens in Kits when Katy Hairy hosts StickyNSweet, Kitsilano’s only Drag Show at Displace Hashery Sunday night

Tribute: Topping off a week with a lot of classic artists, Zappa Plays Zappa finds Dweezil Zappa leading a tribute to his father Frank’s music, at the Commodore on Sunday night.

Glen Hansard Plays Vancouver

Glen Hansard – Orpheum Theatre – November 12, 2015

GlenHansard_IG_2015-11-14, 17 28 01This week,  Academy Award winning Irish singer/songwriter/actor Glen Hansard made his way to Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre.  As lead singer with The Frames along with starring in the film ONCE, which lead to the formation of The Swell Season with his co-star Markéta Irglová, Hansard’s music has reached a wide and varied audience, reflected in the enthusiastic crowd braving a stormy night to soak up the sweet sounds.

GlenHansard_IG_2015-11-14, 17 27 46A simple spotlight shining on Hansard, on his own, opened the set then the band members joined him onstage, gradually filling the stage with more lush sounds as the show progressed.  The audience contributed to the set too, making use of the Orpheum’s acoustics to join in on a number of tracks.  The participation was punctuated by the spontaneous bursts of applause as the audience boisterously enjoyed the show.

Glen Hansard’s tour continues around North America through to December 1st, if you get the chance, go see him.



Gateway Theatre “…didn’t see that coming”

GatewayTheatre_2015-11-13, 19 44 15Now playing at The Gateway Theatre in Richmond is Beverley Elliott’s “…didn’t see that coming”, a heartfelt, humourous one-woman show.

The Canadian actress, singer/songwriter, currently known for playing “Granny” on Once Upon A Time, Beverley Elliott is a engaging and charismatic as she regales the audience with a selection of personal stories and original songs.  A hit at last year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival, the show’s vignettes run from personal tales of her current dating scene, to growing up in rural Ontario, to professional triumphs and missteps from her years as a wedding singer or fronting bar-bands.  Interspersed with witty, and sometimes touching, original songs that highlight Ms Elliott’s versatile vocal range, songwriting and comedic skills.

Gateway Theatre’s Studio B is set in a cabaret style, with a special event liquor license allowing beverages in the studio, to add to the intimacy of the show, pianist Bill Costin being the only performer besides Ms Elliott on the stage.  The tables and stools made it easy for her to make her way through and to sing directly to the audience making the spectators even more engaged in the show. Comedy or tragedy all of Beverley Elliott’s storied in “…didn’t see that coming” are told in such a way that the audience can relate to them. There really is something for everyone and everyone represented in at least one for the tales.

“…didn’t see that coming” runs at Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond, until November 21st so get out and see it before it’s gone.