; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: Gunmetal Blues at the Vancouver Playhouse - Jan 23 - Feb 4

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Gunmetal Blues at the Vancouver Playhouse - Jan 23 - Feb 4

It's a late night out at the Red Eye Lounge, the fictitious setting for the musical Gunmetal Blues, which I had the good fortune to see at last night's premiere. Adding to the feel of the show is the 9:30pm start time, so that by the time you leave, it really is a red eye lounge! That said, however, if you are looking for a unique late night theatre event in Vancouver, then look no further than this!

Hidden beneath the Vancouver Playhouse is the Recital Hall, closed for over 20 years until recently with a production of David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre and a reading series. Gunmetal Blues marks the Playhouse's first real production here in decades, and boy was it worth the wait! The intimate locale lends itself to the cozy bar setting, with your piano man Buddy Toupee, our evening's narrator played exceedingly well by Tom Arntzen, who throws on multiple hats (literally) as various other characters in the show and manages to tickle the ivory throughout the entire production. Audience members are encouraged to drink throughout the show, as though they really were at the Red Eye Lounge. Think Cabaret or Hedwig, minus the grit factor.

With private eyes, femme fatales, mobsters, drunken cops, bag ladies, and lounge singers, this show is a film noir classic come to life. And did I mention it's also a comedy? Andrew Wheeler's manly detective leads us through the story as we watch him try to figure out the Case of the Missing Blonde. Meghan Gardiner dons multiple shades of blonde as the only female in the show, her much needed feminine energy completing this trifecta of talent.

I love musicals, and am a musical buff. I travel to Broadway every year to catch the latest and greatest. So when a musical pops up in Vancouver, especially a local production, I do get a bit weary. That said, this small little show proves there is nothing small about it. It's the perfect bookend for the Vancouver Playhouse's current double whammy of performance gold. With the extraordinary Tony award winning play Red showing upstairs, we now have this marvelous gem tucked away in the basement for all to see.

Don't miss your chance to see this! And let's hope the Playhouse continues to hold productions down in the Recital Hall, where the acoustics are perfect for a show like this one. Gunmetal Blues is on until February 4! Get your tickets now!

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