; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: May 2012

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Da Vinci - The Genius

It was a rainy Monday this past week, and what better way to spend a stat holiday than by visiting the Telus World of Science to check out their exhibit, Da Vinci - The Genius.

Everyone else seemed to have gotten the same idea, since the place was PACKED!

At first, I was pretty disappointed with this exhibit. I guess I was expecting too much. I mean, I knew they weren't gonna bring the Mona Lisa over or anything like that, but I just didn't realize everything there was going to be a replica or a digital print of his work. However, after I got past that ideal, I realized that the purpose of the exhibit is to showcase his genius, and wow! That he was!

On display are models of inventions that he thought up and designed all those years ago. Things like a helicopter or a war tank, a catapult or what today would be considered a car. It's pretty amazing what he originated. And I found out he dissected humans in secrecy in order to know more about the human body. As well, the exhibit reveals 20+ secrets of the Mona Lisa. I won't tell you what they are - you'll have to go check out the show to find out!

All in all, it actually is quite an educational and interesting exhibit. It's perfect for kids of any age as you get to touch a lot of the displays. Plus, there's Lego Land next door, and all the other family friendly activities that Telus World of Science has to offer!

Da Vinci The Genius runs until September 3, so you have all summer to head over and explore!!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Slayage 5 comes to Vancouver

If you're a Joss Whedon fan, you'll already know that the Slayage Conference on the Whendonverses will be dropping into town this July!

For those who don't know Joss Whedon, you're probably more familiar with his works, having created TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Dollhouse.

He's also currently riding high as the director of the highly successful Avengers movie!

However, my favourite Whedon work has to be his Internet sensation, Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog:

Check out the Slayage website for more info, or read the blog!

Slayage 5 takes place July 12-15 at UBC.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Postcards: Water Fountain at Bentall One

Today's Vancouver postcard features a water fountain that I walk by everyday, but know absolutely nothing about, other than it looks pretty cool! Does anyone else out there know some more about this water fountain in front of the Bentall One tower (located by Pender and Burrard, in downtown Vancouver)?

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Grey Gardens

So, Alexis, Jessica, and I LOVE Grey Gardens. Like, WE LOVE IT. Obviously when we heard Grey Gardens The Musical was making its Canadian premiere right here in Vancouver, brought to us by the fabulous Fighting Chance Productions, we knew we had to be there, headscarves on!!

With local theatre though, we all know it can be hit or miss. I am happy - no, I am ELATED - to report, that this production of Grey Gardens is absolutely AMAZING!! When we left the theatre and got into the car and drove home, we did not stop jabbering about the show! We loved it!!

Director Ryan Mooney was at front of house, taking tickets, then running into the theatre to introduce the show, then dashing backstage to help prep the set, and still managed to find the time to shake hands and accept our shameless gushing. I love him for bringing this calibre of musical theatre to Vancouver!! Thank you thank you, a million times thank you! (He's already got more shows lined up, including Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, and Side Show!! CAN'T. EFFIN. WAIT. Follow him on Twitter for more info!)

The show itself blew our minds. From the genius staging of the house/gardens to all the actors in the program, doing a bonafide spectacular job! I was lamenting the lack of live cats, but once Act Two rolled around, I was shown otherwise!! The cats, not only living and breathing, have their own song. Happy claps!! I also couldn't get enough of the song about corn! Yes, CORN!

When Sue Sparlin appears on stage as Big Edie, her hair all a mess, glasses falling off her nose, rocking a robe and a wide brim sun hat, and then she speaks and sings and it was all we could do not to lose our minds. But then, from the back, we hear the wild calls of Little Edie, "Mother darling!" and it was over for us. We succumbed to the amazingness of the actors and the show.

The superb Cathy Wilmot (pictured above) does double duty, playing both the young Big Edie in 1941, and then jumping to 1973 for a PHENOMENAL portrayal of Little Edie. She was mesmerizing, heartbreaking, hilarious, and downright nailed the essence of Little Edie! Congratulations, Cathy! We were the ones hooting and hollering for ya in the back row! You made our night and left us completely breathless!

Also doing double duty was Lucas Blaney, as the dapper Joseph Kennedy in Act One, and in Act Two as the boyishly handsome Jerry. Ranae Miller did a fantastic job as well, as the young Little Edie in 1941. I did kinda hope one of the cats would take a piss behind a portrait, but I guess that would have just gotten too messy! And sadly, there was no bag of Wonderbread making a cameo, though raccoons were referred to.

Seriously though, I want to go see this show again and again, and you should too! This is the ULTIMATE Mother's Day show, don't you think? What better way to spend Mother's Day than by watching the Beales go at each other and to witness their unbreakable bond? If you can't make it on Mother's Day, you've got the rest of the week to attend this outstanding show!

GO!! SEE IT!! NOW!!! DO IT!!!!

Grey Gardens the musical plays at Jericho Arts Centre until May 19th!
If you're a fan of musicals or theatre, you will have a blast! And if you are a Grey Gardens fanatic, you will be ECSTATIC WITH JOY!!!!

Friday, 11 May 2012

BC Buds Spring Arts Fair

This weekend is the BC Buds Spring Arts Fair at the Firehall Arts Centre!

"From short films to music to dance to theatre and any mutation in between, BC Buds is the place to see new and experimental work from established and emerging artists.

This year, we asked performers to provide work that deals with sustainability, the environment and the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) in some way, and are very excited about what's happening.

On Sunday, audiences will have the chance to attend two theatrical readings from plays being produced in 2012-13 for the Firehall's 30th Anniversary season. We've also got some great children's programming Saturday and Sunday afternoons, including storytelling and theatre!

Come down and wander through the Firehall, catch performances out front or in the courtyard and see the creativity bursting from BC artists!"

All BC Buds performances are by donation.

Friday: 6 to 10:30pm
Saturday 4 to 11:30pm
Sunday 4-8pm
KidStuff Sat & Sun 1-4pm

The Return of Nelly Furtado

I'm enjoying the new single from BC's Nelly Furtado! She's back on the scene, and it sounds like this album might be a return to form for her. Check it out! What do you think? Go Nelly!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

IGNITE! Youth Festival at the Cultch

The cornerstone of The Cultch’s Youth Program is the annual IGNITE! Youth Arts Festival. Every year, for one week in the spring, The Cultch is taken over and transformed by young people. Hundreds of young artists from across the Lower Mainland are involved in what has grown to be Vancouver’s largest youth-driven arts festival, showcasing music and dance, the world premiere of three one-act plays, a visual arts exhibit, variety shows featuring improv, drag, circus arts, and much more. It is organized entirely by a group of dedicated young arts enthusiasts: The Cultch’s Youth Panel.

At The Cultch Historic Theatre, Vancity Culture Lab & The Cultch Gallery, MAY 13 - 19, 2012, 604.251.1363, http://tickets.thecultch.com

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

This American Life - live broadcast

Are you a fan of this radio program from National Public Radio? I dunno about you, but I know I'm in love with Ira Glass! I listen to This American Life every week! Well, they are doing a live broadcast on stage in New York City on Thursday, May 10. AND it's gonna be beamed out to theatres all across the continent!!

The event will feature stories by David Sedaris, David Rakoff, Glynn Washington and Tig Notaro, a new short film by Mike Birbiglia, dance by Monica Bill Barnes & Company, and music by the band OK Go.

Lucky for us, Vancouver is part of the action! In fact, a number of theatres in the Lower Mainland are participating! Yay! Looks like Tinseltown and Richmond are already sold out! Coquitlam or Langley, anyone?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Rock of Ages!!

Broadway musical Rock of Ages storms into town this week!

Who's all going?! Who's dressing up in 80s gear for it!?

I saw it on Broadway and it was super FUN!!

And with the movie coming out this summer starring Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary J. Blige, and many more, this is the perfect time to catch it!

It's gonna be TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL!! Tickets available on Ticketmaster!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

100 Saints You Should Know

When I first started going to Pacific Theatre years ago, I remember thinking that I wasn't going to enjoy myself since I was not a religious person, did not know much about the Bible, and that all their shows were preachy and trying to convert me. True enough, their shows do have a common thread of religion in it, but a friend of mine who loves their work explained it to me that it wasn't religious theatre, but redemptive theatre. With that in mind, I started appreciating the addition they make to the Vancouver theatre scene. Not only is their work poignant and thoughtful, but production-wise, they are definitely a force to be reckoned with!

The final show of their season, 100 Saints You Should Know, shows off all of Pacific Theatre's wonderful attributes with quality acting and a penchant for choosing works that appeal to their target audience as well as to the general public.

100 Saints follows the story of a young priest, who is conflicted and struggling with issues of faith and sexuality. Dismissed from the church after having been caught with nude art prints of male models, he returns home to his zealous mother, with whom his relationship is equally as challenging. Intertwining into this mix is a neighbourhood boy dealing with being gay, and a mother/daughter pair who at first seem at odds with one another, but whose bond grows deeper after a turn of events.

The entire cast did a superb job, tickling the audience's funny bone in one scene, then breaking our hearts in the next. Gold stars go to Rebecca deBoer (as Theresa) and Joel Stephanson (as Father McNally).

I liked how the characters were presented initially as possibly one-dimensional, only to have them develop into the underlying layers that you know are there inside all of us. At the end of the day, I found the show to be a love letter to mothers, the bonds they have with their children, and unconditional love. This is the perfect play just in time for Mother's Day!

100 Saints You Should Know is one you should see! Now on until May 26 at the Pacfic Theatre. And don't forget to check out their upcoming 2012-2013 season, which looks like it has lots of goodies in store for us!

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Exquisite Hour

A big up to the Arts Club for rescuing the fate of Relephant Theatre's production of The Exquisite Hour, which was to be held at the Playhouse before it closed its doors. Now nestled into its new home at the Revue Stage on Granville Island, The Exquisite Hour is welcoming audiences with a complimentary jar of lemonade and invites you into their backyard, literally!

Walking into the theatre, you feel like you're stepping onto your back porch and spying on a neighbour. With golden oldies playing in the background, and lanterns strung up above you, the setting is a simple garden belonging to Zachary (played by the Jessie-nominated Josue Laboucane), a confirmed bachelor who enjoys whiling away his time by laying in the sun and having a glass of bourbon-spiked lemonade. A minute into his quiet time, however, he is interrupted by a young woman who claims to be selling encyclopedias.

Remember the days of encyclopedias? When you had to go to a book in order to learn something, instead of a website? This hearkens back to a time when knowledge came from books and people met in person rather than online. The saleswoman, Helen, played by Nevada Yates Robart, seems to have a bit more than just a sales pitch, however. Will Zachary be able to read between the lines and pick up on all the subtext? With no intermission, you only get 60 minutes to find out!

So head on down to Granville Island, pick up a glass of lemonade, and make one hour of your night exquisite with this shot of theatre.

The Exquisite Hour runs until May 12, and you can buy your tickets through VancouverTix.com !

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Blue Box

Last night was the premiere of The Cultch's last show of the season, Carmen Aguirre’s Blue Box. The Cultch has brought some of the most intriguing and interesting people to Vancouver theatregoers this season. Unique Lives and Experiences - eat your heart out.

Blue Box is no exception to the rule, as Carmen steps out from behind the curtain to greet the audience in the most casual, hey how ya doing, kind of way. And so begins her 80 minute performance piece, which feels more like you've been invited into your Chilean aunt's living room to hear the story of her life. And it's absolutely unbelievable to hear about this amazing journey from someone who seems so young to have lived through all that she has.

Carmen Aguirre takes us from her life as a Chilean revolutionary to the blinding lights of Hollywood, makes a pit stop as a phone sex operator in Vancouver's downtown eastside and all the while, weaving in a complicated love story that involves her grandmother's message from beyond the grave. It is enthralling to listen to, and Aguirre is so poised and inviting and makes everyone feel comfortable. Here's a semi-spoiler - if you're sitting in the front row, be sure to bring your dancing shoes.

At the start of the evening, Aguirre tell us that the real name of the show is Blue Cunt, but that it would have been hard to promote. Whichever title you want to go by, it doesn't change the fact that this show is effortless in its ability to draw you in and transport you to worlds you can barely imagine.

Blue Box runs at The Cultch until May 12! Produced by Nightswimming in association with Neworld Theatre.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Grey Gardens The Musical


HOW EXCITED AM I that Grey Gardens The Musical is having its CANADIAN PREMIERE right here in Vancouver starting Thursday night!!!!


Grey Gardens runs from May 3 to 19th at the Jericho Arts Centre!! I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS!!! CAN YOU EVEN STAND IT!?!?!?