; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

OPRAH in Vancouver - Jan 24!

Oprah Winfrey will be breezing into town this January at Rogers Arena!

Tickets available through Ticketmaster.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Postcards: View from Cambie Bridge

Remember that one day a week ago? Yeah. Me too.

Photo by YVR-51
Taken with a Camera Canon Powershot A550

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Dancing at Lughnasa

"Set in County Donegal in Ireland, 1936, this profoundly moving play is a semi-autobiographical story of playwright Brian Friel’s childhood when his aunts, the five Mundy sisters, all lived under the same roof. Friel appears in the character of five-year-old love child Michael, making his origins a terrific scandal for the period, and the five spirited sisters themselves are a challenge to the conventions of the community. Dancing at Lughnasa is one of Friel’s undisputed masterpieces, a drama that mixes memory with desire and generous humor with a bittersweet sadness."

Dancing at Lughnasa is a Tony award and Olivier award winning play. It runs until Dec 1 at the Frederic Wood Theatre at UBC.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Postcards: Autumn in November

A brief reprieve from the rain a week ago. Photo taken on iPhone 5 over by 29th Avenue Skytrain Station.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Coast Modern

I am very excited to go see this documentary about Modern architecture on the West Coast!

Coast Modern is "an independent documentary by directors Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome. Travelling along the Pacific North West coastline from LA to Vancouver, the film showcases the pioneers of West Coast Modernist Architecture, and the homes that have become their legacies. Stepping inside the most inspired dwellings on the west coast, we feel how the light and space of a classic Modernist home can work in collaboration with the natural environment."

Coast Modern plays tonight at the Norm Theatre at UBC at 6pm. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Postcards: False Creek at Night

I took this photo a week ago down at False Creek, looking over at the Telus World of Science and BC Place in the background.

(photo taken on iPhone 5)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Government Inspector - Langara's Studio 58

I had heard so much about the talent and calibre of Langara's Studio 58 theatre but had yet to go see a show there. There was The Crucible a while back, which I wanted to see, but everytime I tried, it was sold out! Well, I was fortunate enough to catch a preview of their latest production, The Government Inspector.

Anna & Hlestakov - Stephanie Izsak as Anna Andreyevna & Tim W. Carlson as Hlestakov in The Government Inspector on stage @ Studio 58, Langara College until December 2. Photo by David Cooper.

Based on a play from 1836, this newly adapted show stays true to the original with a few modern gags thrown in for good measure. In fact, the gags are plentiful in this burst-out-loud-laughing night of theatre. From bumbling physical comedy to jokes and quips that whiz by if you're not paying full attention, the show had something for everyone. At points when I felt something was so absurd or dumb, there were others in the audience who were bellowing with laughter, and vice versa. I had moments of, "Oh my God, this is SO stupid!!" but yet I could not help smiling and laughing!

Anna, Dobchinsky & Bobchinsky - From Left to right: Jordan Jenkins as Bobchinsky, Stephanie Izsak as Anna Andreyevna & Dallas Sauer as Dobchinsky in The Government Inspector on stage @ Studio 58, Langara College until December 2. Photo by David Cooper.

The Government Inspector is a screwball Russian comedy that involves mistaken identity, silly shenanigans, and a twist ending that left me feeling very satisfied. It kind of reminded me of my favourite movie from the 80s, Clue, with its farce-like comedy and over exaggerated acting. The cast of actors in this show were wonderful. My favourites of the night included Katey Hoffman's gossipy postmistress, the village idiots Dobchinksy and Bobchinsky played by Dallas Sauer and Jordan Jenkins respectively, and the accordion girl whose comedic timing was on point and helped transition the scenes.

Postmistress & Hlestakov - Katey Hoffman as The Postmistress and Tim W. Carlson as The Government Inspector on stage @ Studio 58, Langara College until December 2. Photo by David Cooper. 

At first I was worried because the first scene was set in the Mayor's office, which looked rather uninspired with a single desk and red curtains hanging from the walls. However, it transformed entirely as Scenes 2 and 3 evolved the open space into first a bullet-ridden room at the local run-down inn and then into a luxurious waiting room at the Mayor's extravagant home.

Siona, Joel & Stephanie - From left to right - Siona Gareau-Brennan as Marya Antonova, Joel Wirkkunen as The Mayor & Stephanie Izsak as Anna Andreyevna in The Government Inspector on stage @ Studio 58, Langara College until December 2. Photo by David Cooper.

The show itself revolves around a small Russian town who have caught wind that a government inspector would be visiting to take stock and report back to the mighty Czar about how things were being run in said town. We then meet a visiting disgruntled government clerk, assumed to be the inspector and hilarity ensues.

There is so much going on up on the stage that there will definitely be something for everyone to look at or focus on. For my first Studio 58 production, I was very glad to see that they measure up to all the hype and buzz that they have going for them. If you need a good night of Russian comedy (and really who doesn't) then go check out The Government Inspector!

The Government Inspector runs at Langara's Studio 58 until December 2nd.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Dickens' Women at The Cultch

What the Dickens is going on at The Cultch this month? Why, for all you Harry Potter fiends, it's Professor Sprout setting up class! However, she's not lecturing on magical plants this time around. Instead, actress Miriam Margolyes is channeling characters from the works of Charles Dickens, as the world celebrates his bi-centenary.

Dickens' Women is a love letter to the writer of works such as Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and many more. Margolyes gives you a crash course of his life and uses characters from his books to help illustrate the colourful and sometimes dark corners that his journey takes us on.

And who knew I'd be so familiar with Margolyes work? Aside from Harry Potter, she's been in numerous films, TV shows, and plays, a lot of which I have seen her in, including her role as the original Madame Morrible in Broadway's Wicked

And you can tell Margolyes has a deep affinity for Dickens, her passion and enthusiasm coming through every pore. This was always the best kind of teacher in school, one who loves their work and subject and wants to share that with everyone. Of course, when Marolyes transforms into the different Dickens characters, it makes this one-woman show even more alive!

Dickens Women is now playing at The Cultch until December 1. Tickets can be purchased online.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Crackle Sponsored Post: Best Places to Watch a Film in Canada

Watching a movie in a theatre possesses a magic which few other experiences can match. There is nothing quite like smelling the mix of popcorn and excitement as you walk into a packed cinema. Canada has its fair share of great venues at which to watch the latest movies.

Of course, there’s no denying that technology can provide anything at your own convenience. If funds are tight or you simply don't want to face the crowds, then it could be a good idea to get the laptop out and watch movies online. Games consoles, mobile phones and tablet computers all have great screens and sound, opening up a great deal of flexibility for film fans. You can enjoy an online film almost anywhere, at your own time. But admit it or not, it can get really boring.

So if you’re in the mood to go outside the borders of your home and enjoy a good movie or two, here are the top places that you should check out:

If you are in Ottawa, then the Mayfair Theatre remains one of the city's top venues. This used to be Ottawa's main venue for second run films and cult classics. Indeed, the traditional showing of the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' continues to take place each year.

Montreal has its own film festival each autumn, but there are also plenty of places to go to see a good film when the festival isn't on. The Banque Scotia Montreal Cineplex is an efficient venue in which to see mainstream films, and offers customers IMAX films too.

The Rainbow Cinema in Market Square in Toronto is another solid cinema where you can enjoy the latest releases for a very reasonable six dollars. Patrons can also treat friends and family with some cinema gift tokens, which can boost the excitement at times like Christmas and birthdays.

For western Canadians, Vancouver offers a wonderful film experience in the form of the Twilight Drive In in Langley. This is Vancouver's only drive in cinema, and tends to stay open whatever the weather is doing. General admission is usually 12 dollars 50 cents, but there are reductions for children and senior citizens. It is closed from November through February though, when the wild Canadian winter shuts it down for the season.

With many of the latest releases available as online downloads or streams within weeks of their cinema release these days, it can be a cost effective and comfortable way of keeping up to date with what the movie industry is producing.

But nothing is quite like see a film in a proper cinema, so when you can, make sure you try out one of the top venues mentioned above.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Kid Gloves at the Firehall Arts Centre

Kid Gloves is a new play by Sally Stubbs that presents a fictionalized account of the first two women to become police officers in Canada.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Colleen Wheeler in this production, as I had just seen her in Electric Company's Initiation Trilogy and had thought she was fantastic. She sinks her teeth into the meaty role of the tough and eager Constable Lurancy Harris, who realizes what it means to be one of the first female officers in Canada, the load that can carry, and the battles she will face. Her performance is spot on and she is just a wonder to watch on stage!

Her partner in crime is Dawn Petten, who plays the meeker Constable Minnie Miller, and who holds her ground portraying one of our country's trail blazers. The two together make for a perfect pair, and they take up every inch of that spotlight. The rest of the supporting cast are fairly good but the show definitely belongs to these two women, as much of history and this production, rides on their shoulders.

The show itself is not bad. There's a storyline featuring brothels and prostitutes and "Orientals" which may or may not be true to its time, but I didn't really find having a case to solve really added all that much to the play. I would rather have seen the daily lives of these women trying to prove themselves in an all-boys club. The show does manage to get that across, but the additional musical numbers and film noir-inspired crime plot were things I could have done without.

Kid Gloves plays at the Firehall Arts Centre now until December 1st.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

GREASE is the word!

It's got groove! It's got meaning!

Yes that's right, GREASE is currently playing in town! I'm so thrilled at the plethora of musicals that we consistently have going on in the Lower Mainland! If you are only waiting around for those Broadway Across Canada shows, then you are missing out. If you look for it,  you will find at least one musical a month to go to in town!

Footlight Theatre Company brings GREASE back to the stage over at the Michael J. Fox theatre in Burnaby. It runs from Nov 9 - 24 and tickets are only $20 from TicketsTonight.ca

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Midnight Magic !

Last night, Brooklyn-based band Midnight Magic blew the roof off the Waldorf hotel here in Vancouver!!

Their disco influenced sounds had the entire room dancing! I loved the brass section, and lead singer Tiffany Roth had us screaming for more! Highlights of the night for me included the sultry Heat, their hit song Drop Me a Line, and my favourite, the raise-your-hands-anthem I Found Love.  Everything else was just a delicious sparkly disco cherry on top!

If you're sad that you didn't get to paint on some glitter and come out for this awesome new band, not to worry! You can always check out their music on iTunes

I'm so glad I got to see them in such an intimate venue! Thank you Midnight Magic for coming to Vancouver!! Come back soon!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Midnight Magic at the Waldorf

It's Disco Friday today as Midnight Magic comes to the Waldorf!! Who's going!?

They are self-described as: "A nine person ensemble bonded by the unwavering desire to make you, the listener, and the rhythm become one; the secret love children of Donna Summer and George Clinton serving up an orgasmic feast of funk, disco, electro and soul."

Can't WAIT!

Tickets are still available. For more information, visit the Waldorf website!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Diwali Downtown - November 10

Celebrate Diwali this week!!


"Celebrated across the world, Diwali is the biggest, brightest and most popular event in the Indian calendar. The word diwali means “row of lighted lamps”, with light symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, prosperity over poverty and knowledge over ignorance. It’s a time for lighting diyas, laying out colorful rangolis, setting off fireworks, exchanging gifts of sweets and celebrating with dance, music and storytelling."

Come on down to the Roundhouse Community Centre on Saturday November 10 to take part in Diwali Downtown! It's a free event (Donations suggested $5) with programming from 3pm into the evening in the great hall, a room-sized rangoli in another, and a bazaar set up in another, plus activities throughout the building. There will be performances and food trucks set up, including Vij’s Railway Express!

Check out the official Vancouver Celebrates Diwali website for more information on the event! 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

BC RCMP - It Gets Better

I think this is just really great. The BC RCMP have put out an It Gets Better video to show their support for GLTBQ youth.

Check it out:

I've met one of the officers in this video, so good for him and all of them! Congratulations on this video everybody. Thank you for sharing your stories and being out and proud!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Fillmore Family Prairie Fairy Fowl Supper

Last night I attended the Fillmore Family Prairie Fairy Fowl Supper and boy was it a hoot!

Sold out every year, this annual fundraiser takes on the tradition of a Fowl Supper, which "is a prairie phenomenon brought to life through the involvement and vision of innumerable church groups and service clubs. Each fall, in celebration of the harvest (bountiful or not) communities gather to share in a down-home Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Practically every town, large and small, has at least one Fowl Supper. Weekends from September to November are spent driving to the Fowl Supper of the week in Legion Halls to the basements of the local church.

Last night's festivities raised money for A Loving Spoonful, Out In Schools, and McLaren Housing Society of BC.

First off, it's a good ol' fashioned hoe down! So everybody gets dressed in their best Western gear. Then people line up at 4pm to get in on a good spot since the seating is all picnic tables and it's about 50 people to a table. You're asked to bring all your loose change because the table that raises the most money in coin gets to go eat first! Last night, I believe the winning table raised about $1400 in change! The table I was at managed to raise about half of that and we were third last to go up to get our meal.

The meal included turkey dinner with all the trimmings! There was also a jellied salad contest, which was not part of what was being served! With performances all night long, dancing afterwards, a silent auction upstairs, ticket raffles, and running into old friends, this was a wonderful evening! It's great to go and have a good time and also give back to the community.  Thank you to Linda Fillmore for having this event! Country realness at its finest!

Friday, 2 November 2012

United In Anger - free screening at SFU Harbour Centre

I've been wanting to see this documentary for awhile now! United In Anger is a film about AIDS Activist group ACT UP from the 1980s, and it will be shown tonight at SFU Harbour Centre at 7pm.

If you're interested, go to this website and register for your free tickets: