; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Bare the Musical

I barely was able to make it through Bare.



Spoiler alert:

This angst-ridden tale of two gay Catholic school boys who are in love ends in tragedy. Perhaps it's because the show was written back in the 90s when all the gay community got to see of themselves were stories with tragic endings. But in 2019, I'm not sure if this is the show that we need right now. I definitely give thanks to the Eternal Theatre Collective for reviving this, as it's a show I had been wanting to see for a long time now and am glad I finally had the chance to do so.

The production itself had some snafus on the night I was there, mainly to do with sound. Set in the Unitarian Church on 49th and Oak, the space itself is a neat venue to go see a show. I don't know much about acoustics but I do know that I was lost most of the time because I couldn't quite hear what the actors were saying or singing.

Plus, the direction of the show had the actors all over the space, which sometimes made it difficult to follow who was saying what and where should our focus be? Should it be on the soloist singing about something important, or should we be watching the two people having sex on the bench beside us? Or do we look out the window at the teens who are partying? I didn't find that having those extra tidbits really added much to the show, and rather, found it all quite distracting.

Performance wise, there are definite gems here worthy of mention. Caleb Lagayan as Peter shows off his powerhouse potential. He brings it all to his performance even when his microphone slips off and dangles from his ear for a good 20 minutes. He remains dedicated to his character and his voice is likely the best out of the entire group. Katrina Teitz and Ashlyn Tegos also bring depth and devotion to their roles as Ivy and Nadia, respectively.

Bare is on now until Saturday June 8th. Tickets available here.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Come From Away

Dear Evan Who? It is beyond me why that show won the Tony for Best New Musical over Canada's very own Come From Away. This musical is full of heart and is probably more poignant for our times than a show about a boy who lies and that also celebrates toxic masculinity. (I saw Dear Evan Hansen earlier this year down in Seattle and was quite unimpressed and in fact, disturbed.)



Come From Away however, was heartwarming and provides a piece of Canadian history to the world. It celebrates kindness and helping out your fellow human. There's charm and wit, humour and sadness. It's a portrait of the day that the world changed for the darker, but manages to capture the light that helps illuminate the goodness that still exists.

Come From Away is on for one more showing, today at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Cabaret at Studio 58


Beautiful, haunting, and hell of a lot of fun. That's what Langara's theatre school Studio 58 has created with their stellar production of the musical Cabaret.

In these troubled times that we live in, this show is exactly what the world needs. A reminder of our dark history that we are on the verge of repeating. In the show, the Kit Kat Club is where people go to forget their troubles and leave their worries behind. Cabaret is the show you can escape to for an evening of stunning choreography, seamless set changes, and an eerie poignancy.

From the moment you step into the theatre, you are immersed into the world of pre-WW2 Berlin with performers roaming around the audience, offering candies and drinks. The fun doesn't end as the show begins with its iconic Wilkommen number and into Don't Tell Mama.

Led by a gender-bending emcee, the show barrels headfirst towards a heart-plummeting intermission and all the way to its beautifully tragic end scene.

Cabaret is on now at Studio 58 at Langara until Feb 24.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

V6A

This is going to be an unpopular opinion perhaps, but I just have to say that the film V6A is a mess. It has heart and its intention is good, but as a documentary, I wanted more of a narrative to it. Instead, we get clips of people from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver that seems to be all shot in one day. Yes, they are characters and they deserve the on screen time, but I just wanted some more substance and direction to what the filmmaker was aiming to do. Showcase the folks in the Downtown Eastside? Make a statement about poverty in Vancouver? Or was he putting mental illness on display? Or did he exploit these people just so he could make a film? I don't know the answers to this because it isn't really clear. The filmmaker is not even from Vancouver, so is that also something to take into consideration?


With all that being said however, it's just my opinion and judging from the sold-out showings of the film, V6A is doing just fine and my humble review here won't really make much impact. It's just my thoughts and maybe the film wasn't for me, but could be for you. (Though the friend who went with me had similar thoughts on the film.)

One storyline I really wished the filmmaker had explored more was the homeless gay man that gets interviewed for a mere 5 minutes. I wanted to know his story, how he got to where he was, etc.

If you want to catch V6A, there are several more times scheduled at the Vancity Theatre with tickets going fast.

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes


Before Jane Goodall made a name for herself, there was a woman - a CANADIAN woman - who had gone off to Africa in 1956 to study animals in the wild, specifically giraffes. This uplifting documentary of Anne Dagg is exactly what the world needs right now. It's a celebration of a
pioneering woman who went ahead and made her mark on the world, despite the sexism she encountered along the way.

With superb footage of her trip in 1956 and present-day filming of giraffes, this film is just an absolute delight and will inspire you and fill your heart right up.

It has been selling out at the Vancity Theatre, but luckily they have added several more screenings, so get your tickets now before they're gone!

Roma


Holy smokes. ROMA is amazing.

Yes, yes, I know it's on Netflix. But to see it on the big screen? Do NOT miss your chance to do so. It's a beautiful - nay, GORGEOUS  - film.  I was enraptured from the very first minute of the movie. To me, the direction and the way this was all filmed is downright BRILLIANT.

Story-wise, it's also fascinating. It's the story of a nanny in Mexico City during the 70s. The movie is in black and white, in Spanish with English subtitles. Just utterly amazing and probably going to win more awards once the Oscars roll around.

From what I know, the Vancity theatre is the only theatre in town who is showing this on their screens, so make sure you  make it to one of the many added screenings now before it's too late!


Nothing Like a Dame

I was quite excited to see this film for some reason. I like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith and had no idea who the other two were, but it seemed deliciously catty and gossipy so I thought Yes I want to go see this!


However, the moment the film started, I thought to myself, "I think I've made a huge mistake."

It's not that the film was bad. I did find out some interesting information. There's some stuff in there about Laurence Olivier that seemed a bit questionable to me. But mostly, it was just watching these four actresses chat with one another. It just wasn't as interesting as I had hyped it up to be in my mind.

However, Nothing Like a Dame has been selling out at the Vancity Theatre and they've added extra screenings, so that shows you how much I know!