Picks of the Week – November 22, 2017

The last weekend is here and the spirit of Christmas is lighting up the city, literally. Find light displays and more in these picks of the week.

Market: The Christmas Market season is in full swing with the Vancouver Christmas Market opening today, running until December 24, at Jack Poole Plaza. This weekend looks for the West End, Dunbar, Strathcona, River District and Portobello markets in all corners of Vancouver.

Jodi Proznick
photo: Michele Mateus

Jazz: Frankie’s Jazz Club welcomes Juno award nominated jazz bassist Jodi Proznick on Thursday night for a release of her new album, Sun Songs

Narnia: Carousel Theatre, invites families to step through the wardrobe as C.S Lewis’  The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe comes to the stage.

Comedy: Brianne Nord-Stewart launches her new comedy web series The Dangers of Online Dating with a special screening at Penthouse nightclub on November 23rd

Swim: At the Gateway Theatre in Richmond experience a witty, engaging evening with Beverley Elliott’s one-woman show Sink or Swim until November 25th.

Carols: Friday night, The Tenors take the stage for their Christmas Together tour at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Air: Join the great Bernard Cuffling for an Orwellian one-man show Coming Up For Air at Kay Meeks Centre until November 25th.

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company  The Day Before Christmas is onstage at the Goldcorp Stage until the day before Christmas, while fan favourite Onegin returns to the Arts Club, Granville Island Stage, until December 31st.

Ice: Through the weekend follow your heart to the world of Disney On Ice at Pacific Coliseum

Scoop: At Firehall Arts Centre, from November 11 to December 2nd, Only Drunks And Children Tell The Truth tells the tale of the 60’s Scoop of indigenous children with truth and humour

Solo: At Performance Works, Vanishing Vancouver comes to life in Solo Theatre Collective’s Satellites, playing  November 16 – 26.

Drag: The Christmas Queen returns to ruin Christmas for Vancouver Theatresports League and on Saturday nights does double duty against Vancouver drag diva the Unstoppable Connie Smudge

 

 

Picks of the Week – November 15, 2017

Mid-November we find even more Christmas and Holiday events heating up the picks of the week.

Craft: The Christmas craft market season is in full swing with Christmas at Hycroft on this weekend.

Artisans: Out in the Valley, Abbotsford hosts one of the largest craft shows, West Coast Christmas Show & Artisan Market runs November 17 – 19, at Tradex

Air: Join the great Bernard Cuffling for an Orwellian one-man show Coming Up For Air at Kay Meeks Centre until November 25th.

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company hails King Charles III at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until November 19th and The Day Before Christmas opening at the Goldcorp Stage

Knights: Vancouver Canucks take to the ice on Thursday vs Las Vegas Golden Knights, and on Saturday vs St Louis Blues

Joseph: Align Entertainment’s remount of the celebrated musical Joseph and The Technicolour Dreamcoat continues at the Michael J Fox Theatre until November 18th

Culture:  Explore 500+ artists in their open studios as the Eastside Culture Crawl runs through the weekend

Broadway: The award winning jukebox musical Jersey Boys comes to Queen Elizabeth from Tuesday November 14 until Sunday November 19

Scoop: At Firehall Arts Centre, from November 11 to December 2nd, Only Drunks And Children Tell The Truth tells the tale of the 60’s Scoop of indigenous children with truth and humour

Solo: At Performance Works, Vanishing Vancouver comes to life in Solo Theatre Collective’s Satellites, playing until November 16 – 26.

Mashup:  Alley Theatre presents The Ridiculous Darkness, a satirical mash-up of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now at the Annex Theatre until November 19th

Improv: Laugh yourself to another world at Vancouver Theatresports League with Improv Wars: The Laugh Jedi, sharing the Improv Centre stage until November 18.

 

The Ridiculous Darkness descends on Annex Theatre

Until November 19th, the Annex Theatre is home of The Ridiculous Darkness, an ambitious work adapted from an award-winning German radio-play.  A mash up of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocolypse Now and in turn its source material The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.  Now set in Afghanistan, the satirical outline takes on modern racial and social stereotypes.

photo: Wendy D Photography

Being a radio script leaves producers Alley Theatre and partners Neworld Theatre open season to create the world in which this off-beat satire exists on paper, the result is Ridiculous by name and ridiculous by nature.  Although the storyline follows the actions of German Military Officer Pellnerin and his boat pilot Stefan Dorsch secret mission to find the rogue Colonel Deutinger in the depths of the Afghan wilderness,  the production often veers off course to tackle local social issues and breaks the 4th wall to introduce other local cultural collaborators.

photo: Wendy D Photography

The production comes off as a random collection of thoughts loosely strung together by the Afghan adventure.  Envisioning it like a old-school radio serial; each episode includes a brief tale of action-adventure, a cultural interlude and a social commentary, helps to makes some sense of the eclectic 2 hours.  And like a radio play, the 6 core actors play all the characters, interchanging parts like a game of musical chairs.

photo: Wendy D Photography

Like its collaboration of thoughts, The Ridiculous Darkness co-producers Alley Theatre and Neworld Theatre and the core 6 players bring together an impressive collaboration of other local arts and cultural groups; Theatre Terrific, Tetsu Taiko, RealWheels Theatre, Richmond Youth Honour Choir, Downtown East Side Street Market Society, Downtown East Side Vendors Collective, Afghan Benevolent Association of BC, and East Van Powwow all contribute to the show at times packing 40+ people onstage.

The Ridiculous Darkness opened to a sold out audience at Annex Theatre on Remembrance Day, and closes on November 19th.  Visit Alley Theatre and Neworld Theatre online for more information and tickets.  Note: November 17th will be ASL interpreted 

Picks of the Week – November 8, 2017

This week we honour Remembrance Day and find a long weekend loaded with with these picks of the week.

Ceremonies: Remembrance Day ceremonies take place in all communities giving you plenty of picks to choose from, with one of the biggest annual events held at Victory Square in downtown Vancouver beginning at 9:45am Saturday.

Chan Centre for Performing Arts

Tex: Tonight, a trio of Texas Troubadours; Ruthie Foster, Jimmie Dale Gilmour, and Carrie Rodriguez take to the stage at the Chan Shue Concert Hall.

Craft: The Christmas craft market season kicks off with the annual Circle Craft Market opening today until Sunday

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company hails King Charles III at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until November 19th

Laughs: Stand-up John Mulaney brings his comedy to Queen Elizabeth Theatre for three shows; Thursday at 7pm, and Friday at 7pm and 9:30pm

Joseph: Align Entertainment brings the celebrated musical Joseph and The Technicolour Dreamcoat to the Michael J Fox Theatre until November 18th

Pitch: One of the fiercest rivalries in all sports kick-off Thursday as Canadian  Women’s National Soccer team hosts Team USA  takes the pitch at BC Place

Pop: Saturday night, Halsey brings her electropop sounds to the stage at Rogers Arena

Scoop: At Firehall Arts Centre, from November 11 to December 2nd, Only Drunks And Children Tell The Truth tells the tale of the 60’s Scoop of indigenous children with truth and humour

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities continues under the Grande Chapiteau at Concord Pacific Place until December 31

Girls: What happens when you become the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, find out when Shameless Hussey Productions presents Girls Like That at Templeton Secondary School November 3, 7, 8, 9, & 10

Mashup: From November 11 – 19, Alley Theatre presents The Ridiculous Darkness, a satirical mash-up of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now at the Annex Theatre

Jedi: Laugh yourself to another world at Vancouver Theatresports League with Improv Wars: The Laugh Jedi, sharing the Improv Centre stage until November 18.

“Sparrow”
Artwork by Kelli Clifton

Opera: Friday, City Opera Vancouver with Pacific Opera Victoria presents the world premiere of Missing, telling the tale of missing & murdered women in the downtown Eastside & Highway of Tears, at The Cultch November 3, 7,9 & 11

Picks of the Week – November 1, 2017

How did it get to be November already?! Halloween is behind us but these picks of the week are here to keep us entertained

URP – Jesus Christ Superstar

Star: See what’s the buzz as URP Productions presents Jesus Christ Superstar at Centennial Theatre until Sunday.

Pucks: The Vancouver Canucks play host to New Jersey Devils tonight then on Saturday Pittsburgh comes to Rogers Arena

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company sets the table for Thanks For Giving wraps up at the Granville Island Stage on November 4th and King Charles III runs at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until November 19th

Girls: What happens when you become the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, find out when Shameless Hussey Productions presents Girls Like That at Templeton Secondary School November 3, 7, 8, 9, & 10

Jedi: Laugh yourself to another world at Vancouver Theatresports League with Improv Wars: The Laugh Jedi, sharing the Improv Centre stage until November 18.

Try: Friday night, international rugby comes to BC Place as Team Canada host the Maori All-Blacks

MISSING
Baritone – Clarence Logan
Mezzo – Rose-Ellen Nichols
Soprano-Melody Courage
Photo : Emily Coopper

Opera: Friday, City Opera Vancouver with Pacific Opera Victoria presents the world premiere of Missing, telling the tale of missing & murdered women in the downtown Eastside & Highway of Tears, at The Cultch November 3, 7,9 & 11

Orange:  Show your BC Lions support as they take on the Toronto Argonauts at BC Place on Saturday.

Laughs: Comedian Gad Elmaleh, known as the Seinfeld of France, brings his stand-up to the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC on Sunday

King Charles III reigns over The Arts Club

Until November 19th, experience the reign of King Charles III at The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.

Queen Elizabeth II has passed and King Charles III has ascended to the Throne, but even before the Crown is upon his head, controversy and confrontation with his Parliament erupts.  Asked to sign his assent to a bill limiting freedom of the press, he doesn’t agree with Charles flexes his god-given right as regent to decline ascent which causes a conflict between Crown and State and by extension, the public.   Like a Shakespearean drama, the behind-closed-doors Royal family conversations and audiences with Ministers create for interesting ‘what if’ scenarios that the future king’s reign may hold. This King tries to control his destiny while forces for and against him work their own agendas.

While the play is set in the future, the basis for the storyline is based on the 2011 Levenson Enquiry into the British media’s phone hacking scandal.  In spite of being based on a fairly recent, the speed at which the news cycle changes its focus and the personal growth of some of the Royals, especially Prince Harry, who is portrayed as the flippant playboy of old, make some of the play’s content already feel out of date.  Brexit now rules the headlines, Harry is now a settled, social advocate and government officials trying to limit freedom of the press is now very much a reality, no longer hypotheticals.

Ted Cole’s King Charles brings a regal air to the stage, as he addresses both his court and the public (the audience), and delivers play’s blank verse.  While many of the other characters seem to lose the rhythm of the verse, as well as their accents, throughout the course of the play, the unevenness is also, perhaps, the reason the satirical aspect of the work seems to fall flat.    The Duchess of Cambridge is controversially portrayed by Katherine Gauthier as a power-hungry, not-soon-enough future Queen.   Leader of the Opposition and political fence-sitter Mrs Stevens (Christine Willes) shows us a perfect ‘politician’.  Charlie Gallant as Prince Harry also stands out as the prince tries to shed his old ways and find love.  The side-story of Harry’s love interest, Jess, meant to be a republican well below the class of the Prince, however the character loses its controversy on this side of the Atlantic and could have been dropped from the play without any real loss.

Against the simple set designed by Kevin McAllister,  Christopher David Gauthier’s detailed and elegant costumes help elevate the Royals and level the commoners.   Gauthier’s spot-on recreation of the style icons we know Diana, Kate and Camilla help the actresses become the women.  The costumes help us spot who’s who even when not speaking, as the play opens with the whole Royal cast lining up on stage at the funeral and ends at the Coronation.

King Charles III runs until November 19th at The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.  Tickets are on sale online at artsclub.com

Picks of the Week – October 18, 2017

The late October is upon us, the picks of the week are filling with more and more hauntingly good fun.

Tastes: Tonight, explore the new flavours of Chinatown as Tasting Plates explores the historic neighbourhood.

Pop: Hard to believe but the trio of brothers, Hanson, are celebrating their 25th Anniversary with the Middle Of Nowhere Tour stopping at The Vogue Theatre on Wednesday

Books: The 30th Annual Vancouver International Writer’s Festival is now underway on Granville Island until October 22nd.

Beer: Raise your stein and cheer as #dasoriginal Oktoberfest continues for a final weekend at Vancouver Alpen Club.

Lookout: Elevate your experience with Vancouver Heritage Foundation takes at The Lookout at Harbour Centre’s Perspectives series of Talks, October 19th is Historic Crime: Early Forensic Investigations

Jedi: Laugh yourself to another world at Vancouver Theatresports League with Improv Wars: The Laugh Jedi, sharing the Improv Centre stage until November 18.

Diwali: Part of Diwali in BC, The Cultch presents Encounter by Navarasa Dance Theatre until October 22nd and The Firehall Arts Centre presents Happy Place until October 29th.

Rail: There’s an Alien Invasion going on in Stanley Park at the 2017 Ghost Train, running until October 31st

Broom: Hops on your broom and pick up your diploma from Broomelda’s academy at Fly Over Canada until Halloween

Kimmel & Wright
photo: Emily Cooper

Music: Friday night, the Gateway Theatre 2017-18 season opens with A Little Night Music, running until October 21st.

Benefit: The final David Foster Miracle Gala and Concert brings a star studded roster to the stage at Rogers Arena on Saturday

Pigskin: The BC Lions take the field at BC Place to host Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday evening

Scene: Saturday night, Broken Social Scene play the Commodore Ballroom

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company sets the table for Thanks For Giving running at the Granville Island Stage until November 4th and King Charles III starts in previews this week at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

Fright: The 2017 Fright Night at Playland spooks the patrons with houses of horror and thrilling rides until Halloween