Picks of the Week – June 6, 2018

Yes, it’s already June, 2018 is nearly half over but the Summer entertainment is just beginning, here’s my picks of the week

Cabin Fever

Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view June 9 to September 30, 2018.

Rock: Local legend, Bryan Adams plays Rogers Arena Wednesday night, June 6th

Bard: The Scottish Play opens Bard on the Beach 2018, as previews begin today with the opening night next week.

Body Language

Inked: The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Art reopens after renovations with BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest an exhibition deep-rooted traditions of Indigenous tattooing, piercing and personal adornment curated by Dion Kaszas of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation

Fest: Breakout Festival 2018 takes over the PNE Amphitheatre June 9 & 10 with Migos, Tory Lanez, 6lack, Lil Pump and many more over the weekend

Haida:  There’s just one more week to visit Museum of Vancouver for the exhibition, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture, closing June 15.

Kicks: Can Whitecaps FC build on the momentum of last week’s win to put another W in the column? Find out Saturday when they host Orlando City FC.

Doc: Victim Impact is a unique live documentary from Theatre Conspiracy directed by award winning Jiv Parasram, taking the stage at The Cultch Historic Theatre from June 8 – 17.

Ballet: Coastal City Ballet closes out its 2018 season with a remount of Irene Schneider’s ballet, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  onstage at June 8 at Surrey Arts Centre

Abba: Does your Mother know you’re having a great time at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th.

Resist: Also until October 8th at MOA, the new exhibit, Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America, invites visitors to take a closer look at the political and social significance of Latin American artistic traditions to express political realities.

Italy: Musica Magnifica! is the theme of 2018’s Italian Day on The Drive, celebrating Italian music and its impact, plus of course lots of food, this Sunday June 10th

Singer: Australian singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd brings his unique sounds to Malkin Bowl on Saturday night.

Midway: Enjoy summer excitement at Playland on weekends with three added rides for the family’s excitement.

Punk: Spend the weekend with punk rock legends Social Distortion as they take over the Commodore Ballroom for a two night stand, June 9 – 10.

Say I Do to Mamma Mia at Arts Club

MammaMiaFrom the opening notes of the overture to the final sing-along curtain call, Mamma Mia now play at The Arts Club Theatre Company Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, will have you dancing in your seat.

The feel-good jukebox musical inspired by the hit music of Abba is composed by Abba’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and written by Catherine Johnson with this production directed and choreographed by Valerie Easton.  Set Designer David Roberts’ beautiful set transports the audience to the beaches and tavernas on the fictional Greek Island of Kalokairi.

Mamma Mia opens as Sophie Sheridan (Michelle Bardach) prepares for her wedding to fiancé Sky.  Raised by single mother, innkeeper, Donna, Sophie seeks to know who her father is and discovering her mom’s diary she discovers three possible fathers.  Inviting all three, Sam, Bill and Harry, to her wedding unbeknownst to Donna, with none of them, other than Sophie, really sure why they are all on the island, all sorts of miscommunication comedy ensues.  Donna is supported by her two long time girlfriends and former girl-group bandmates, Rosie and Tanya.

Throughout the 2 hour musical the story of love, female empowerment, and friendship is perfectly woven into the familiar Abba songs.  Amongst the solid storytelling, some numbers are just for the sheer fun of it, enter Donna and the Dynamos who’s camp costumes takes the audience back to the heyday of the Swedish quartet.  The Dynamos, Rosie and Tanya, are played with just the right blend of slapstick and camp by Cathy Wilmot and Irene Karas Loeper (respectively), while Stephanie Roth brings a perfect balance of power and emotion to Donna’s vocals.  With Ms Bardach vocally matching Roth’s, the two leading ladies anchor Mamma Mia with the grace and strength.  Among the male leads Michael Torontow as Sam, stands out with a strong voice and leading man charisma.  Local theatre veterans, Warren Kimmel as Aussie Bill and Jay Hindle as Harry, while not carrying as much of a musical load, bring a nice blend of comedy and fatherly friendship to their roles, in spite of Hindle’s distractingly wavering British accent.

While there appeared to be a couple prop and wardrobe slips on opening night, not surprising in such a physically challenging song and dance production, the veteran cast improvised their recovery with seamless ease.  The overall spirit of Mamma Mia and the joyous Abba music is sure to win over even the hardest demeanour with smiles and laughs throughout the show, especially during the rousing encore as the company (and many audience members) reprise Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen and Waterloo.

Mamma Mia plays at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre until August 12th, with special sing-along performances on July 28th. Visit artsclub.com for showtimes and tickets.

Picks of the Week – May 9, 2018

It’s May and the sun has (mostly) returned to bring light to our longers days filled with entertaining picks of the week

Taste: Join the tasty tribe as Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates Kitsilano explores the West Side neighbourhood this evening

Woods:  Head Into The Woods until Saturday, as the North Shore Light Opera Society brings the Tony Award winning musical to Centennial Theatre for their 70th Anniversary Season

Abba: You’ll say thank you for the music as the Arts Club previews the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage for the week, before next week’s opening night

Golly: Molly Misbegotten is the new play from by Beau Han Bridge, presented by the Mid Twenties Theatre Society at Havana Theatre May 10-12 and 15-19, 2018.

Grr: The Cultch presents Bears, a multi-disciplinary dark political comedy about the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline from Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and Punctuate! Theatre.

 

Kicks: The Whitecaps hope to gain another home win when Houston visits BC Place on Friday

Legends: Rock legends, The Eagles 2018 Tour flies into Rogers Arena on Friday night

Friendship: The unlikely friendship between JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis and its influence on Middle Earth and Narnia is on stage in Pacific Theatre’s Tolkien running May 11 – June 9

Rock: American rockers, MGMT come to the Orpheum Theatre in support of their latest release; Little Dark Age.

Haida:  Museum of Vancouver is presenting, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture, until June 15.

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th

Offsite: Vancouver Art Gallery presents Offsite: Shigeru Ban by renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s Kobe Paper Log House, organized by the Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art at the Offsite Location at Shangri-La Vancouver

Pop: Expect a spectacular performance when P!nk takes on the Rogers Arena stage on Saturday night.

Amusement: Weekend just got more exciting as Playland reopens on weekends with three added rides for the family’s excitement.

Run: Mom spent enough time chasing you as a youngster, now you can follow her as Blue Shore Financial Mother’s Day Run, 3k, 5k, & 10k run & walks through beautiful Stanley Park

Rugby: Across the pond, the Canada Women’s Sevens Rugby Tournament brings the world to Langford for world class rugby sevens.

Laughs: Humourist, Satirist, Comedian, no matter what you call him expect laughter when David Sedaris comes to the Vogue Theatre on Sunday.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival Debuts 2018 Line Up

From July 13 to 15, 2018, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival will once again take over Jericho Beach Park.  The 42nd Annual Festival brings folk fans, friends and families, another line-up of the best of traditional and contemporary folk and roots music from around the world.

Neko Case

Legends, up and comers, deliver global rhythms, from the likes of Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Rodney Crowell and James McMurtry; to The Dead South, Carole Pope and Archie Roach or Ranky Tanky, Wazimbo & Banda Kakana and Dakhabrakha.  The Vancouver Folk Music Festival has an extraordinary range of cultures and genres on stage – a gathering of sound, sight and experience you simply won’t see anywhere else.

The line up for The 2018 Festival includes;

Ry Cooder

Art Bergmann, Wallis Bird, Mariel Buckley Band, Steph Cameron, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Joachim Cooder, Rodney Crowell, Alex Cuba, DakhaBrakha, Dálava, Darlingside, Guy Davis, The Dead South, Las Estrellas de Vancouver, Mick Flannery, Dori Freeman, Gamelan Bike Bike, Ilaria Graziano e Francesco Forni, Gordon Grdina’s Haram, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Iskwé, Kacy & Clayton, Martin Kerr, Ezra Kwizera, Grant Lawrence and Friends, Little Miss Higgins, John Lowell Band, A Familia Machado, James McMurtry, Melingo, Mike Munson, Murfitt and Main, Dawn Pemberton, Petunia and the Vipers, Carole Pope, Les Poules a Colin, Professor Banjo & Estro Jennies, Quantum Tangle, Ranky Tanky, Steve Riley & Mamou Playboys, Archie Roach, Small Glories, Son de Madera, Jayme Stone’s Folklife, Leonard Sumner, Three Women and the Truth, Viper Central, Skye Wallace, Wazimbo and Banda Kakana, Donovan Woods

See for yourself why readers of The Georgia Straight has voted the Vancouver Folk Music Festival “Best Local Music Festival” 6 years in a row.
Discounted early bird weekend passes are on sale now for the 2018 Vancouver Folk Music Festival until May 11th

Picks of the Week – May 2, 2018

It’s finally here, April showers have been left behind and brought flowers plus more entertainment for our first picks of week in May.

Colour: This is your last chance to celebrate the colours of spring with a visit to the Abbotsford Tulip Festival 10 acres covered in millions of blooms until Thursday May 3rd.

R&B: Start the week with the sounds of Khalid as he brings his Roxy Tour to Rogers Arena Wednesday evening.

Rock: The sound of the 90s comes to the Commodore Ballroom as I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven take the stage Wednesday.

Fest: Doxa Documentary Film Festival 2018 gets underway May 3rd bringing world class documentary films to venues around town

Haida:  Museum of Vancouver is presenting, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture, until June 15.

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th

Champs: Friday night at Rogers Arena, the all-star lineup of The Championship Tour featuring Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, SiR, Lance Skiiiwalker and more.

Woods:  Head Into The Woods as the North Shore Light Opera Society brings the Tony Award winning musical to Centennial Theatre for their 70th Anniversary Season

Suspense:  A pair of plays wrap up this week, Stephen King’s thriller Misery brings a fright  to the Arts Club Granville Island Stage closes May 5th, and the sibling rivalry of Me and You is at the Goldcorp Stage closes May 6th.

Comedy: Looking for some killer laughs and murderous improv? Check out Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy at Vancouver TheatreSports League in repertoire with the VTSL’s other hilarious games and shows

Pop: British singer/songwriter George Ezra plays the Commodore Ballroom on Saturday night

Country: Canadian country queen Shania Twain brings her hits to the Rogers Arena stage for a two night stand, May 5th and 6th.

Mutt:  Closing May 5th at The Firehall Arts Centre, Métis Mutt, an autobiographical recount of creator Sheldon Elter’s life through comedy, songs and vignettes.

Opera: This week is your last chance to catch, Vancouver Opera Festival “Russian White Nights” celebrating Russian themed composers and operas before it wraps May 6.

Picks of the Week – April 25, 2018

Our final week of April goes out with a bang, bright weather and plenty of entertainment in the picks of the week, what more could we ask for?

Photos: The 5th Annual Capture Photography Festival continues to bring all things photographic and lens-based to galleries and public spaces around the city throughout the month.

Suspense: Stephen King’s thriller Misery brings a fright  to the Arts Club Granville Island Stage until May 5th, and the sibling rivalry of Me and You is at the Goldcorp Stage until May 6th.

Rock: Glaswegian indie rockers, The Fratellis, kick off their North American tour in support of their latest “In Our Own Sweet Time” at the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday night

Circa

Circus: Saturday night, the Chan Centre becomes the big top as Australia’s Circa contemporary circus is joined onstage by France’s Debussy String Quartet

Rap: American rap phenom Post Malone brings his beats to Rogers Arena on Friday night

Comedy: Looking for some killer laughs and murderous improv? Check out Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy at Vancouver TheatreSports League in repertoire with the VTSL’s other hilarious games and shows

Double:The Cultch has a pair of shows running April 17 – 29; The Explanation at the Culture Lab and World Without Us at the Historic Theatre.

James & Jamesy – In The Dark

Clowning: Comedic duo, James and Jamesy bring their one-of-a-kind performance to Red Gate Review Stage for a one night only performance of James & Jamesy In The Dark on Friday night

Tale: Aaron, the James in James & Jamesy, performs his solo show Thunderfoot, an autobiographical fairy tale to Red Gate Review Stage on Granville Island, from April 26 – 28.

Kicks: Can Whitecaps FC recover from their winless streak? See if they gain 3 points when they host Real Salt Lake at BC Place on Friday evening

Opera: From April 28 – May 6, Vancouver Opera Festival “Russian White Nights” celebrates Russian themed composers and operas.

Mutt:  Onstage until May 5th at The Firehall Arts Centre, Métis Mutt, an autobiographical recount of creator Sheldon Elter’s life through comedy, songs and vignettes.

Haida:  Museum of Vancouver is presenting, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture, until June 15.

Colour: It may not feel like spring but a visit to the Abbotsford Tulip Festivalwill brighten up your mood with 10 acres covered in millions of blooms until May 3rd.

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th

Pop: Friday night at River Rock Show Theatre, Abra Cadabra pays tribute to the greatest hits of Abba.

The Cultch reveals its 45th Anniversary Season

The Cultch has recently announced its 45th anniversary season, with Executive Director Heather Redfern programming a 2018-19 season full of local premieres, international hits, and returning favourites.

“The Cultch is a place that people come to for community: to have their minds stimulated, to be challenged, to laugh, to discover,” says Redfern. “The Cultch is for everyone.” The season will also include several 45th anniversary initiatives including a series of work to mark the 100 year anniversary of the armistice of WWI called the Ceasefire Series, and an expanded Femme Series.

 This 45th season, which is Redfern’s 10th year of programming, continues The Cultch’s commitment to highlight local companies and artists, while presenting cutting-edge national and international work. The 2018-19 season includes ten BC productions —including four world premieres. It also features innovative works by Canadian companies, as well as international works, from New Zealand, The United Kingdom and Iran.

 The Cultch also continues it’s partnership with local festivals like Diwali in BC, in October, and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, in January 2019.  

Fan favourites also make a return to the Cultch’s three stages; Children of God, Corey Payette’s hit musical about residential schools, returns after it successful national tour, and Australian patriarch-smashing hit Hot Brown Honey will once again decolonize and moisturize the York Theatre. Ronnie Burkett returns with his exclusive adults-only holiday hit Little Dickens.  Also joining the festive season is the holiday tradition, Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto, is back for a sixth year with Wizard of Oz.

If all this isn’t enough The Cultch’s will also see the renewal of the Femme Series for 2018-19 with shows that celebrate the feminine experience.  During November 2018 The Cultch will present the Ceasefire Series, three shows to mark the 100 year anniversary of the armistice of WWI.

For full lineup details, tickets and subscriptions for The Cultch’s 2018-19 45th anniversary season at its three venues; Historic Theatre, York Theatre, and Vancity Culture Lab, visit thecultch.com