The Full Light Of Day is coming

Even though we’re still in the peak of the holiday entertainment season, we’re taking a look ahead at what’s to come in the new year. Coming in January, Electric Company Theatre, in association with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, presents the world premiere of a provocative new work, The Full Light of Day, at the Vancouver Playhouse.

The Full Light Of Day
photo: Don Lee

The new work from Siminovitch prize-winning playwright Daniel Brooks, is directed by Kim Collier. The Full Light of Day is a suspenseful and compelling hybrid of theatre and film in which a terminally ill woman confronts the choices that brought her family privilege; and then, takes a risk to secure their ultimate redemption. Utilizing 14 live-streaming cameras, state-of-the-art projections and film, The Full Light of Day immerses audiences in rich cinematic cityscapes, intimate inner lives, and invites them to reimagine the limitations of live theatre.

“Other than the weather, real estate may well be our country’s most frequently discussed topic. In this work, we dive deeper – and consider the consequences of a society grown obsessed with property and possession,” says Director Kim Collier, who, like playwright Brooks, is also a winner of theatre’s highest honour, the Siminovitch Prize. “Consequently, it raises questions about the very nature of land ownership. How can we own land? Land owns us. It is us. Paradoxically, by using live-streaming cameras and an enormous array of projection technologies, audiences will be able to feel an innately rich and intimate connection to our characters’ inner lives and truly experience that pang of self-recognition in the stories reflected onstage.”

The Full Light Of Day
photo: Don Lee

Complementing the stage production, Electric Company Theatre Co-Founder Kevin Kerr has created a collection of short films shot in 360° Virtual Reality. The works can be viewed separately from the theatre production or experienced at special installations located throughout the Vancouver Playhouse lobby. These films are told from the perspectives of individual characters, placing the viewer inside their actions and perceptions. The films will be available to the public for free viewing in the Playhouse lobby during the afternoons prior to performances of The Full Light of Day.

The Full Light of Day runs January 7 – 12, 2019 at The Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street. For showtimes and tickets visit electriccompanytheatre.com

Bombay Black returns to the Vancouver stage

In a change from the festive fair on most stages around town, next week The Firehall Arts Centre presents Bombay Black.  

Running December 5 to December 15, 2018, the play by the award-winning novelist and playwright Anosh Irani was heaped with praise during its 2017 production at Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Bombay Black : Arshdeep Purba
Photo: Raymond Kam

Bombay Black is set in the bitter reality of present-day India. The iron-willed Padma (Jessie Award nominee Nimet Kanji) takes money from men who watch her daughter, Apsara (rising star Arshdeep Purba), perform an exotic dance. When a mysterious blind man named Kamal (Jessie Award nominee Munish Sharma) arrives for an appointment, his secret threatens to change each of their lives forever.

Bombay Black (l-r) Munish Sharma & Arshdeep Purba
Photo: Raymond Kam

Directed by Mumbai-born, multiple award-winning Indo-Canadian producer Rohit Chokhani, Bombay Black features a poetic text, bold theatrical imagery and a gritty twist. In a first, Vancouver Arts stalwart Chokhani has reimagined Irani’s work to present the play from the perspective of a blind man. An earlier version of this production, which was Chokhani’s directorial debut at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival, enjoyed a sold-out run and received the Pick of the Fringe Award.

Donna Spencer had this to say about the production, “As Artistic Producer of the Firehall, I have always been excited about supporting the work of artists from diverse cultural backgrounds and providing opportunities for emerging directors to have their work seen. Rohit Chokhani’s production of Bombay Black provides just that opportunity to showcase his work as a director and to introduce the creative team and actors in the work to our audiences.”

Anosh Irani’s Bombay Black runs at The Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street, Wednesday, December 5 to Saturday, December 15th, 2018.

For showtimes and tickets visit firehallartscentre.ca

15th Annual Santa Claus Parade is on its way

Ho! Ho! Ho! The Holidays are here and Santa is on his way!

Santa will be riding into town this weekend, for the 15th Annual Vancouver Santa Claus Parade, December 2, 2018.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to fill downtown Vancouver to view the parade, volunteer and participate in the parade in bands, choirs, floats and community organizations.  Before the parade, fuel up your troupe with Breakfast with Santa at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver from 9:30am – 10:30am. Then at Noon, the parade route begins at West Georgia at Broughton Street, runs east on West Georgia to Howe Street then comes to an end at Howe at Davie Street.  The route passes Christmas Square at šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square at Vancouver Art Gallery, which features fun for kids, young and old face painting, kids crafts, ‘letters to Santa’ writing stations, entertainment and more.

As well, Vancouver Santa Claus Parade charity partners the CKNW Kids’ Fund and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank will also be onsite at the Square collecting donations.  If you forget to bring your donation to the parade, stop by a TELUS corporate store until December 9th, for every food bank item donated to the collection boxes in the stores, TELUS will donate an additional $5.00 to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.  After the parade, head to Telus Garden Laneway between Robson and West Georgia St, for more entertainment, festive fun and get a family photo with Santa.

With the big crowds it is best to plan ahead, arrive early, take transit to avoid the road closures.  Viewing is most congested around the Georgia Steet & Howe Street intersection, good options are to watch near the start or finish of the route. An accessible viewing area set up in on the East side of Howe Street, just south of Georgia Street.
If you can’t make it to downtown Vancouver to watch the parade in person, tune into Global BC and BC1 to watch the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade telecast starting a week after the parade.

Albireo, A New Musical, Shines

Like it’s namesake star, Albireo, a new work by Annahis Basmadjian, shines with potential. Albireo was brought to the Red Gate Revue Stage by producers Rushed Productions Ltd with support from UBC Players Club.  Liam Lazenby directs a cast of experienced and new to the scene actors and singers to bring Annahis Basmadjian’s light musical-comedy to life.

Telling the story of two estranged brother’s Charon Chambers (Colton Fyfe) and Wriker Writeov (Jed Weiss), who we learn are half-siren/half-human. Orphaned by their siren mother and deaf-father (therefore could not succumb to the siren song), the brothers fended for themselves using their power for a life of crime.  When Chambers took another young human orphan, Holly, under his wing to settle down and raise her, he left behind his brother and their grifter ways.  When Writeov finds Chambers and Holly about to host a party, some comedic and dramatic events occur that push the brothers to work together to save their family.  Realizing that the bonds of family make their power stronger they are able to fend off a rival.

Being sirens, music is a vital part of Chambers and Writeov’s lives and therefore the play.  Basmadjian has crafted some catchy, pop tunes for Alberio and witty dialogue to go along with them.

The actors’ varying skill levels come into play during the performance, creating a uneven rhythm to the musical as the players move between flat out comedy and dramatic portrayals of their characters.  Seasoned musical-theatre performer Colton Fyfe brings a fully developed character and a more dramatic turn to his Chamber.  Whereas, recent graduate Jed Weiss, in his theatre debut, brings an erratic Jim Carey-style to his comedic portrayal of Writeov.  Having more stage experience performing with his band, his singing and guitar playing skills excel.   Some of the ensemble also stand out, for the wrong reasons, lampooning or murmuring too loudly drawing attention to the background.  On a small space, like the Revue stage, it doesn’t take much to distract and requires creativity from the director, managers and cast to avoid excess noise and balanced performance volumes.

While this Rushed Production Ltd production has ended, if we are lucky enough, we will get to see Alberio again with different companies and stages as the musical continues to develop over the year, it definitely has the DNA for success.

10 Plays For The Whole Family This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to gather the family together and enjoy the fun of live theatre.

Align Entertainment started the season off with their, just ended run of, A Christmas Story : The Musical. This holiday season finds theatre offering something for everyone in the family, from romance, to drama, comedy to fantasy.

Check out the list of 10 plays to find something that’s sure to please you and your family or friends this season.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – November 15 – December 30, 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver
In this modern follow up to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, take another trip to Pemberley as romance and comedy mix with Christmas festivities.

Merry Kiss-mas

Merry Kiss-Mas – November 21 – December 24, 2018 – Improv Centre, Granville Island, 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
‘VTS Channel’ presents Merry Kiss-mas – an improvised holiday comedy parodying all the inane clichés and funny, awkward moments you’d expect to see in a holiday TV special or film.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr – November 24 – 25, 2018 – Massey Theatre, 735 8th Ave, New Westminster
Children’s Theatre of Richmond Association presents this children’s production of Disney’s musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale.

East Van Panto – Wizard of Oz

East Van Panto: Wizard of Oz – November 28, 2018 – January 6, 2019 – The Cultch York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
East Van Panto returns for its sixth year, finding Dorothy and Toto flung to the Land of Oz in the depths of East Van

Disney’s Beauty And The Beast – December 1, 2018 – January 6, 2019 – Arts Club Theatre Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver
Disney’s tale as old as time comes to life, with a song as old as rhyme, lavish costumes, lush sets and great casting in this remount.

James & Jamesy – O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tea – Various Locations including; December 1, 2018 -Massey Theatre, 735 8th Ave, New Westminster // December 10 – 11, 2018 – Kay Meek Arts Centre, 1700 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver
The award winning duo, James & Jamesy bring their physical comedy to the regioni with a Christmas cuppa brimming with holiday cheer, and much more.

Little Dickens – December 4 – 22, 2018 – The Cultch Historic Theatre – 1895 Venables, Vancouver
Ronnie Burkett’s Little Dickens, finds the cast of The Daisy Theatre take on the beloved holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, in the merriest marionette mash-up ever.

It’s a Wonderful Life – December 6 – 31, 2018 Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond
Take a trip to Bedford Falls and watch George Bailey come back from despair to realize that it is a wonderful life.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – December 6 – 16, 2018 – Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
In this lively Christmas classic, the six Herdman kids, “the worst kids in the history of the world”, take over the annual Christmas pageant, much mayhem and fun follows in this hilarious and heartwarming story.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr – December 7 – 8, 2018 – Massey Theatre, 735 8th Ave, New Westminster
Children’s Theatre of Richmond Association presents this children’s version of Disney’s beloved musical

 

PuSh Festival Debuts Its 15th Anniversary Program

This week, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival launched its 2019 Festival Program, at a party at John Fluevog Shoes in Gastown. The 2019 Push Festival, January 17 to February 3 will mark the milestone 15th annual festival, bringing international performing arts to venues around Vancouver. Featuring 26 works from 24 companies from 13 countries — including six world premieres — this showcase of visionary collaboration and cutting-edge arts brings a welcome highlight to the winter culture season.

Lucy McCormick’s Triple Threat
Feb 2 –
Club Push at XY
Photo: The Other Richard

 “We launched in 2003 as a three-show series that drew 2,500 people to 21 performances at three Vancouver venues,” says Roxanne Duncan, PuSh Festival’s Interim Executive Director. “The inaugural festival opened a short two years later in 2005. Now as we prepare to celebrate our 15th anniversary, PuSh has welcomed more than 300,000 people to 366 productions from 30 countries.”

 Joyce Rosario, Interim Artistic Director of the PuSh Festival, adds: “Our programming ignites important, meaningful discussions about the world around us and is a reminder that we are a part of something bigger. The 15th anniversary holds personal significance to me. Not only does it mark the final iteration guided by the vision of Norman Armour, PuSh’s co-founder and former Artistic and Executive Director, but it’s also the sixth shaped by our collaboration together as a curatorial team. This year’s festival is the result of many such partnerships, amongst the intrepid team at PuSh and with our presentation partners — some of whom have been with us since the very beginning. In 2019, we bring audiences face-to-face with a broad range of thought-provoking works that subvert the dominant narrative by changing whose perspectives are centred.”

Kids by Liu Kuan-Hsiang
Jan 24-26 at Dance Centre
Photo: Etang Chen

The six world premiere performances will be presented by contemporary dance organization Company 605; boundary-breaking dance company MACHiNENOiSY; composer and musical director Joelysa Pankanea; Dora Award-winning dub poet and actor D’BI; the performers of Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons; and Guatemalan performance artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa.

In addition to the world premieres, another 11 performances will be Canadian premieres, including a suite of three sound-based works from Japan by ASUNA, Marginal Consort, and Tetsuya Umeda; Dancenorth Australia featuring music from Indonesian band Senyawa; and a piece from Taiwanese choreographer Liu Kuan-Hsiang.

X Marks the Movement – Opening Night at The Beaumont Studios
Photo: Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons

New for the 2019 season, Club PuSh, the home of the festival’s most edgy and experimental work,  will be located in multiple spaces across the city and home to Opening and Closing Night parties.

The PuSh Film Series at Vancity Theatre, presents movies perfectly paired to the program,  and PuSh Assembly will stimulate dialogue through free talks for the public and industry networking events.

To celebrate its 15th year, PuSh Festival is offering audiences a limited time offer of $15 tickets for 15 days. The 15x15x15 offer applies to the full festival program: 26 critically acclaimed works from different artistic disciplines. The 15X15X15 promotion is on now and November 30th so get your tickets at pushfestival.ca before they’re all gone.

Vancouver Christmas Market returns for 2018

Celebrating its 9th anniversary, the Vancouver Christmas Market returns to Jack Poole Plaza. Surrounding the Olympic Cauldron the Vancouver holiday tradition runs November 21 – December 24, 2018. This year, the yuletide celebration amplifies and expands its festive offerings with more than 80 huts stuffed with sweets, treats, trinkets and much more alongside an expanded lineup of activities and live entertainment.

“Every season, families, couples, and friends make their annual pilgrimage to feast upon festive delights, warm themselves with mulled wine, shop for unique treasures, and share the Christmas cheer,” says Malte Kluetz, Founder and President of the Vancouver Christmas Market. “This year, we are thrilled to present even more engaging holiday experiences for visitors of all ages to create lasting memories with their loved ones. Whether gathering to indulge in traditional German delicacies, shopping together for that one-of-a-kind gift, or meeting with friends to take in a wide range of special events including Children’s Wish Weeks with an exclusive visit and on-site activity with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson, Deluxe Date Night, Kids Day, Club Christmas Thursdays, or Carousel Fridays, we look forward to welcoming new and returning guests to celebrate this joyous time of year!” 

As always, the market vendors offer a great shopping experience, and the traditional German-style food and drink, especially Glühwein to keep you warm on a winter’s night. The bigger and bolder Christmas Market will offer visitors an abundance of new local vendors, as well as new attractions and events. Some of the highlights include the new Winterdeck located beside the Alpine Lounge, featuring a charming entrance arch, a giant lit up picture frame, and stunning views of the North Shore. Couples will want to stroll down Lovers’ Lane – an Instagram-worthy 30-foot long tunnel adorned with 10,000 twinkling lights and mistletoe. A Love Lock Installation will be placed near the tunnel to which lovers can attach a ‘Vancouver Christmas Market Love Lock’, serving as a touching symbol of love and partnership over the holiday season. Families will enjoy a multitude of holiday activities including the market’s new Kinder Kraft Igloo, featuring a market-wide Christmas scavenger hunt for children, plus free arts and crafts.

 The Vancouver Christmas Market will also offer expanded holiday activities for 2018 visitors of all ages.

Photo: Lindsay Elliott

New events and highlights at the 9th annual Vancouver Christmas Market include:

Children’s Wish Weeks : November 23 to December 7
The Vancouver Christmas Market is honoured to work with and support its charitable partner the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Free Carousel Fridays : November 23 & 30 + December 7
Enjoy carousel rides on the Christmas Carousel offered by donation to Children’s Wish.

Shopping Day : November 25
Get your Christmas shopping done early at the Vancouver Christmas Market! This special day will feature one-day-only deals at gift vendors throughout the market.

Foodie Tuesdays : November 27 & December 4
A chance to try more for less featuring bites and beverages from select vendors that are $4 and under.

Club Christmas : November 29, December 6,  13 & 20
Every Thursday, join us for some after-work drinks, and enjoy our new, later market hours as you bust-a-move with Vancouver’s coolest DJs at the Christmas Pyramid or belt out a tune at karaoke in the Alpine Lounge.

Kids Day : December 1
Join Holly & Jolly, the Market’s Gingerbread mascots, for a day of family fun! Youth (13 and under) will be able to enter the market and enjoy rides on the Christmas Carousel by providing a donation to Children’s Wish Foundation.

Deluxe Date Night : December 5
Romance is always in the air at the Vancouver Christmas Market, but we’re hanging a little extra mistletoe for this special night of love! Enjoy 2-for-1 Entry at the gate as well as ‘deals for duos’ including 2-for-1 carousel rides, pretzels, ciders, and other paired discounts at select vendors.

Canucks Defenseman Erik Gudbranson Visits the Market : December 7
In support of Children’s Wish Weeks, Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson will visit the Market to help make a child’s wish come true. Visitors who make a donation to Children’s Wish Foundation will have the chance to go head-to-head with Erik as they try to score against him.

Tickets for Vancouver Christmas Market are on sale now:
Adult $12, Seniors $11, Youth Age 7-12 $5, Children Age 0-6, FREE.