The Holidays Are Alive With The Sound Of Music

The Arts Club Theatre Company brings Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music to the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage throughout this Holiday season. Opening nearly 60 years to the day of the original Broadway production (opened November 16, 1959), this production of the timeless classic runs until January 5, 2020.

For those who only know the 1965 Julie Andrews musical version of The Sound of Musical won’t be disappointed, all the beloved songs (albeit in different order) are brought to life by the brilliant Arts Club company.
As the nuns welcome the audience with the heavenly preludium, Drew Facey’s beautiful set designs bring us into the tranquility of the Abbey, before the action and Maria move to the Von Trapp mansion.

The Sound of Music
photo: Emily Cooper

Synthia Yusuf brings youthful innocence but a powerful voice to Maria, as we follow her from young postulant sent from the Abbey to become Governess and future wife of Captain Georg Von Trapp, played by the charismatic, and stellar singer, Jonathan Winsby. The seven precocious Von Trapp children are all excellent, with Jolene Bernardino, leading the children as eldest daughter, Liesl. Being 16 going on 17, Bernardino manages to balance being on the cusp of maturity, and young love, playing nicely against Jason Sakaki as Rolf. Supporting characters, Max Detwiller (Andrew Cownden) lends comic relief, while Meghan Gardiner as Elsa Schraeder (as well as Sister Sophia) adds glamour and a bump in the road to Maria and Georg’s love match. Another standout performance came from Annie Ramos, making her Arts Club debut as The Mother Abbess lifted the roof off the abbey with her powerhouse vocals.

‘My Favourite Things’, The Sound of Music
photo: Emily Cooper

With a show as popular and well known as The Sound Of Music expectations are high, and this production lives up to every memory, while creating new special moments with this cast. The musical is everything you want it to be, sweet, fun and romantic. While it does feel odd to be applauding performances in front of a Nazi Flag, the historical context keeps it grounded, and timeless messages of love and hope all resonate today. Everyone in whole family will find something to love about this musical, making it a perfect night out during this Holiday season.

The Arts Club Theatre Company’s The Sound of Music plays until January 5, 2020 at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street. Showtimes and tickets available online at artsclub.com

Picks of the Week – November 13, 2019

With the Remembrance Day weekend behind us, and US Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Holiday Season is in full swing. Take your picks of the week’s picks to kickstart your festive spirit.

FestChutzpah Festival continues to bring theatre, dance, comedy and more entertainment to the City until November 24th.

Kismet, Things Have Changed

Change: Kismet, Things Have Changed is Chop Theatre’s decade-later, follow up to Kismet, one to one hundred, their celebration of ordinary people, at Shadbolt Centre November 14 – November 16

Exhibition: Until April 5, 2020, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art presents Out of Concealment, a solo exhibition by Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, an innovative re-imagining of supernatural beings from the oral traditions of Haida Gwaii.

CapU Theatre : MacBeth

Bard: November 14th – 23rd, BlueShore Events, presents a CapU Theatre Department Production of Macbeth, with a twist. Setting The Scottish Play in a wizarding world similar to Harry Potter’s universe

Kabuki: The Cultch and Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (vAct) present Kuroko, a world premiere comedy from renowned playwright, Tetsuro Shigematsu, at The Cultch Historic Theatre, November 6-17, 2019.

Blog: Thursday at Timber, join in #Miss604Party celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Miss604.com Rebecca Bolwitt’s award-winning blog.

Crawl: The 23nd Annual Eastside Culture Crawl brings art lovers from all around Metro Vancouver to East Vancouver, November 14 to 17, 2019. 

Craft: Get some Christmas shopping and inspiration at local Holiday Craft Fairs, this weekend support the artisans at Christmas At Hycroft, Westcoast Christmas Show and Crafty Affaire

Pop: Canadian songstress Jann Arden brings her charm and wit to the stage at River Rock Show Theatre for two shows, November 14 & 15.

Roots: American folk act, Birds of Chicago play the inaugural concert in the Deer Lake After Dark series in the James Cowan Theatre at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, on November 16.

Wine: Iconic Wineries of British Columbia in partnership with Science World at TELUS World of Science presents ‘Uncorked: A Celebration of the Science of Wine,’ a new wine-themed event unlike any other on Thursday, November 14th

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil brings their latest show, Luzia to the Big Top at Concorde Pacific Place, continuing through the end of the year

Installation: Full Circle First Nations Performance and the Vancouver Public Library co-host the art and film installation pîkiskwe-speak: An Invitation to Conversations in Reconciliation until December 15th in the Samuel & Frances Belzberg Family Exhibit Space at Vancouver Central Library.

Tap: November 14th, The Dance Centre’s Discover Dance! series features the entertaining dancers of the Vancouver Tap Dance Society. Introduced by Artistic Director Andrew Nemr, the program showcases the infectious rhythms, technical skill and musicality of tap.

Sanity: Touchstone Theatre’s Certified, at Vancity Culture Lab until November 16, finds comedian and certified insane person Jan Derbyshire turning the audience into a mental health review board to help determine her current state of sanity.

¡Viva México!

VIVA: Friday, Vancouver Playhouse welcomes a rare showcase of female-led Mexican music as Las Estrellas de Vancouver join forces with Los Angeles-based guest singer Melinda Salcido, and the dancers of Nahualli Folklore for ¡Viva México!

Maria: How do you solve a problem like Maria? Find out as The Arts Club Theatre Company presents The Sound of Music at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until January 5th

Chemainus Theatre Festival Reveals 2020 Season

While the Vancouver Island town of Chemainus is famed for its collection of 50+ outdoor murals, the Chemainus Theatre Festival draws visitors far and wide indoors to view award-winning Island made theatre.  Home to the Playbill Dining Room, the Theatre’s unique dinner & theatre combination makes every visit to the Chemainus Theatre Festival an evening to remember.  

The Chemainus Theatre Festival recently released its line-up for another season of world-class theatre. 

The 2020 season includes: 

The Marvellous Wonderettes: February 14 – March 28, 2020
Four young teenage singers dream of the big time in this musical featuring the songs of the 50s & 60s. 

The 39 Steps: April 9 – May 3, 2020
Romance, espionage, and comedy come to the stage in this adaptation of Hitchcock’s masterpiece 

Disney’s Beauty & The Beast – The Broadway Musical: May 29 – August 29, 2020
The classic, and beloved, tale as old as time is brought to life. 

Glory: September 11 – October 3, 2020
Based on the true story of Ontario’s Preston Rivulettes women’s hockey team who proved Canada’s sport isn’t just for men.

Joyful Noise: October 16 – November 7, 2020
Learn the dramatic, and miraculous backstory of the creation of George Frederick Handel’s Messiah 

Elf – The Musical: November 20 – December 31, 2020
The much loved comedy, adapted from the hit film, follows Buddy The Elf as he spreads Christmas cheer

Kidzplay – Winnie The Pooh: July 18 – August 9, 2020
Bring the whole family on a visit to the Hundred Acre Woods in this musical adaptation of AA Milne’s classic.

Season subscriptions are on sale now, purchase or renew before December 13th to be entered to win a Broadway Trip to NYC with Chemainus Theatre Festival 

Before the 2020 season begins, there’s still time to catch the final show of the 2019 – Miracle on 34th Street November 15 – December 29, 2019.

Be Entertained By The Heart of the City Festival

The 16th annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival is now underway. Until November 10th, the neighbourhood is filled with music, stories, theatre, poetry, cultural celebrations, films, dance, readings, forums, workshops, discussions, gallery exhibits, mixed media, art talks, history talks and history walks.

Heart of the City Festival 2019 participants photo: David Cooper

This year’s theme Holding the Light has emerged from the compelling need of DTES-involved artists and residents to illuminate the vitality and relevance of the Downtown Eastside community and its diverse and rich traditions, knowledge systems, ancestral languages, cultural roots and stories. Events happen throughout the Eastside, some are ticketed events with admission by donation, and many are free giving everyone the opportunity to participate in the Festival.  

This week the Festival presents Opening Doors – Vancouver’s East End 2019, a Firehall Arts Centre and Vancouver Moving Theatre production..  Directed by Donna Spencer, Opening Doors features the dramatization of selected personal histories from Daphne Marlatt and Carole Itter’s extraordinary local legend-of-a-book Opening Doors first published in 1979.

2019 Heart of the City Festival Artist-in-Residence : Khari Wendell McClelland

Spotlight on the East End is a concert music series that profiles an exciting line-up of local POC, Indigenous and marginalized emerging and professional musicians. The 2019 Festival Artist-in-Residence Khari Wendell McClelland (The Sojourners/Freedom Singer) is the Curator. Featured musicians include Tonye Aganaba, Francis Arevalo and Shannon Bauman, among many more in concerts Thursday Nov 7, 8pm, at Russian Hall, or Saturday Nov 9, 8pm, at Tight Club

Arising From the Downtown Eastside features two documentaries:  

The Story Behind Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way (25’):
In 2018, Vancouver Moving Theatre, in a collaboration led by Indigenous artists, knowledge-keepers and partners across the land, toured Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way to cities and communities across Canada. This play and cultural encounter brought to life the story of Old One and his heartbreaking and hilarious journey to reconcile with himself, his family and community. Local filmmaker Jessica Hallenbeck (Lantern Films) has created a short film that traces the national tour, cultural practices across the land, and the reflections of participating actors, youth and elders. Showing for free, Saturday Nov 9, 7pm at Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main.

Survivors Totem Pole (24’): In 2016, the Survivors Totem Pole was carved by Downtown Eastside resident and activist Skundaal Bernie Williams, and then raised at Pigeon Park in a powerful pole raising and potlatch witnessing ceremony attended by over 1,000 residents, Elders and VIPs. Filmmaker Susanne Tabata, follows the extraordinary community-led journey to create and raise a monument to survivors: a tribute to the enduring strength, resistance, persistence and inclusion of the Downtown Eastside community.  Following the film’s screening, Saturday Nov 9, 8pm at Carnegie Theatre, stay for a talk-back with Susanne Tabata, Skundaal Bernie Williams, and guests from the Sacred Circle Society.

The mandate of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival is to promote, present and facilitate the development of artists, art forms, cultural traditions, history, activism, people and great stories about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The festival involves a wide range of professional, community, emerging and student artists and lovers of the arts. Over 1,000 local artists and Downtown Eastside residents participated in last year’s Festival.

Heart of the City Festival continues until November 10th. For full line-up ticketing information visit heartofthecityfestival.com

Picks of the Week – November 6, 2019

Whether you’re someone who starts the Holiday Season as soon as Halloween passes, or not, there’s plenty to see and do in the picks this week!

Dumpling: Vancouver Foodster’s Dumpling Fest returns for another year tonight, visiting restaurants from Little Saigon, Chinatown and South Granville areas of Vancouver. 

FestChutzpah Festival continues to bring theatre, dance, comedy and more entertainment to the City until November 24th.

Vocals: Renowned vocalist Rufus Wainwright performs with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Wednesday night.

Musical: American Idiot, Green Day’s award-winning, Broadway rock musical comes to Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver presented by local production company URP, until November 10th.

Co.ERASGA’s Passages of Rhythms

Premiere: Co.ERASGA Dance Company presents the world premiere of acclaimed dancer and choreographer Alvin Erasga Tolentino’s Passages of Rhythms, a trio of duets celebrating three different dance genres at The Nest on Granville Island, November 6 – 9th.

Pop: Friday night, Queen Elizabeth Theatre hosts Ladies and GentleMAN, an Evening with Jason Mraz & Raining Jane

Exhibition: Until April 5, 2020, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art presents Out of Concealment, a solo exhibition by Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, an innovative re-imagining of supernatural beings from the oral traditions of Haida Gwaii.

Tetsuro Shigematsu photo: Chris Randle

Kabuki: The Cultch and Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (vAct) present Kuroko, a world premiere comedy from renowned playwright, Tetsuro Shigematsu, at The Cultch Historic Theatre, November 6-17, 2019.

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil brings their latest show, Luzia to the Big Top at Concorde Pacific Place, continuing through the end of the year

Installation: Full Circle First Nations Performance and the Vancouver Public Library co-host the art and film installation pîkiskwe-speak: An Invitation to Conversations in Reconciliation until December 15th in the Samuel & Frances Belzberg Family Exhibit Space at Vancouver Central Library.

The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito

Carousel: The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito presented by Carousel Theatre For Young People is new play by Canadian playwright Tomson Highway bringing puppetry, fantastic costumes, music, and Cree language into Waterfront Theatre until November 10th.

Sanity: Touchstone Theatre’s Certified, at Vancity Culture Lab until November 16, finds comedian and certified insane person Jan Derbyshire turning the audience into a mental health review board to help determine her current state of sanity.

Maria: How do you solve a problem like Maria? Find out as The Arts Club Theatre Company presents The Sound of Music at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until January 5th

Rock: Victoria’s Current Swell are sure to fill the Commodore Ballroom on Friday, November 8th.

Reggae: Big Sugar brings their rock/reggae style to the Commodore Ballroom stage on Saturday evening.

Experience Stage Fright at Presentation HAUNTED House

Presentation HAUNTED House

Presentation House Theatre has long had rumours of paranormal activity in the building, tonight the veil is lifted and the Presentation HAUNTED House invites those who dare, to seek the truth for themselves. Co-produced by the HIVE Performance Collective and Presentation House Theatre, this spooky encounter features nine emerging theatre companies filling every nook and cranny of the building with innovative creepiness. The frights take place tonight, October 31, as well as November 1, and November 2, 2019. 

“This event is going to be different from your traditional haunted house, where you simply walk through a maze with spooky surroundings,” says Andrea Loewen, Presentation House Theatre Managing Director, “It’s a guided, theatrical experience created by some of the Lower Mainland’s most exciting up-and-coming artists. Every theatre has ghosts, and PHT is actually certified as haunted by the Cornerstone Supernatural Society, something the HIVE Collective has taken its inspiration from. What could be creepier than that?”

Says Kim Selody, PHT Artistic Director, “Each of the nine companies has their own take on the idea of a haunted place so there will be lots of different and interesting ways to be scared in some unexpected spaces.”

Audiences will venture through secret and hidden areas of Presentation House that are usually unseen by the public, including vaults, back passages, odd doors to unexplained rooms, along with the more traditional spaces of the building.

The HIVE Performance Collective appeared at PHT as part of the revival of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in 2019. The ad-hoc collective made up of a dozen independent theatre makers works collaboratively as a non-hierarchical group creating and thinking together. Companies appearing at the Presentation HAUNTED House include Little Thief Theatre, Nebula Theatre, Re:current Theatre, Star Star Theatre, The Troika Collective, and Unladylike Co.

“I am incredibly excited to see what the artists from the HIVE Performance Collective create in our building,” adds Loewen. “They’re so creative and innovative in their work, and I know they’ll transform our entire building into something fun and spooky.”

All proceeds from this immersive, multidisciplinary event will benefit the HIVE Performance Collective and Presentation House Theatre.

Tickets are on sale now at 604-990-3474 or online at tickets.phtheatre.org
More information and show details can be found at phtheatre.org. Presentation HAUNTED House is recommended for ages 8+.

Picks of the Week : October 30, 2019

Halloween is upon us, scarying up a bevy of entertaining picks this week.

Fright Nights

Spooks: The most frightful time of the year, Fright Nights at PNE, fills the fair with haunted houses, thrilling rides and ghoulish ghosts until Halloween

Trolley: Get spooked and learn some of the dark side of Vancouver’s history on the Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour, until October 31

Train: Head into the Rabbit Hole when you follow Alice in Nightmareland at The Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train until Halloween night.

Scares: It’s the final weekend to catch a fright at the 17th annual Potter’s House of Horrors, one of the lower mainland’s most beloved Halloween haunts, before it closes November 2nd

Sandra Bernhard

Fest: Chutzpah Festival continues with more entertainment including Sandra Bernhard at The Vogue tomorrow evening

Theatre: October 31, November 1 & 2, find out what “stage fright” really feels like at Presentation Haunted House. A selection of new theatre companies fill every nook and cranny of the Presentation House Theatre with paranormal adventures

Dance: Ballet BC begins its season with Program 1, October 31, November 1 & 2 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Howl: Tomorrow, Big Wreck plays the CFOX Halloween Howler, plus a follow up gig on November 1st, at the Commodore Ballroom.

Roar: The BC Lions play host to Calgary Stampeders at BC Place on Saturday evening.

From Here : acrylic on canvas by David Wilson

Art: In his latest exhibition, Everywhere From Here, Vancouver artist, David Wilson, takes a look at local landmarks The Lions as the starting point for this collection, on view until November 5 at 1387 Railspur Alley on Granville Island.

Gig: Saturday night, join multi award winning and Juno nominated indigenous artist Don Amero in concert at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

Accessibility: The Arts Club Theatre Company is presenting the Canadian premiere of Martyna Majok’s acclaimed play Cost of Living until November 3rd

Jiila Kuns : Volcano Woman by Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson

Exhibition: Until April 5, 2020, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art presents Out of Concealment, a solo exhibition by Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, an innovative re-imagining of supernatural beings from the oral traditions of Haida Gwaii.

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil brings their latest show, Luzia to the Big Top at Concorde Pacific Place, continuing through the end of the year

Installation: Full Circle First Nations Performance and the Vancouver Public Library co-host the art and film installation pîkiskwe-speak: An Invitation to Conversations in Reconciliation until December 15th in the Samuel & Frances Belzberg Family Exhibit Space at Vancouver Central Library.