; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: June 2013

Saturday, 29 June 2013

And I Am Telling You... Go Watch Dreamgirls!

The first time I saw Dreamgirls was the movie version with Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson. I loved it and watched it several more times following that. Then years later, I found myself in San Francisco watching a live production of the musical and it blew my mind. The key to a successful Dreamgirls production? You need an excellent Effie. And Arts Club Theatre's current production meets that criteria!

The set is simple but effective. The acting is over the top in that musical kind of way. But the singing, all of the singing from all of the actors, and especially Effie, is undeniably grand. And at the end of the day, for a musical, it's all about the music, isn't it?

Dreamgirls is on now at the Stanley Theatre until July 7th!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Postcard: Bumblebee

Here's a bumblebee gathering pollen from a St. John's Wort flower. Check out the big sacs of pollen he's carrying!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Postcards: Bowen Island

I went for a visit to Bowen Island this weekend. It's only a 20 minute ferry ride away from the mainland, and it's absolutely stunning and peaceful and scenic over there. Here's one shot I took with my phone, that really doesn't even begin to do the view justice.

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A Gathering of Poets: Readings by BC Book Prize Poetry Finalists

Drop by the Vancouver Public Library (Central Branch) this Wednesday, June 19, at 7pm for readings from celebrated BC poets - the finalists of the BC Book Prize poetry category, including Sarah de Leeuw, whose collection Geographies of a Lover won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, as well as Evelyn Lau, Roger Farr, Patricia Young, and Colin Browne.

This free event takes place on the lower level in the Alice McKay Room from 7pm-9pm.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

You Are Very Star - Electric Company

Like the interactive treasure hunt intermission, Electric Company's "You Are Very Star" is equally as challenging and also forces you to search and look for a meaning beyond the words. Innovative by design, their latest show is set at the H.R. MacMilan Space Centre, giving the venue a breath of fresh air and energy. But perhaps like most other events at the Planetarium, we should have smoked up before heading there?

The show was indeed a trip! We arrived and were presented with a program and a map, to be used during the audience participatory treasure hunt between the first and second acts. Actually, the show really begins before you even arrive, when I received an email telling me to go to this website and  register my name in order to view the online prologue to the story. I was then instructed to text a phone number, which then got me involved in a random conversation with a complete stranger known only as Hafa.

Who was Hafa? Would I meet him/her at the show? Turns out, Hafa does pop up in the story, but there is a lot of weaving that needs to be done to tie all the threads together.  The first act is set in 1968, and focuses on the birth of a short-lived religion while taking place in a Creative Writing class. Following that is the interactive intermission, and then the crowd is herded upstairs for a take on humans and where we might be in the not so distant future.  

The message I took away from it was a story of stories, and how as a people, we are losing sight of that in this age of digital media and immediacy. What happened to classrooms where ideas were created? Does everything just happen instantly and online these days? Have we gotten so plugged in that the idea of a treasure hunt is seen as nostalgic and old-school? When was the last time we went offline, went over to the local Space Centre, and looked up at the stars to find our stories?

It's a complex and ambitious production from the little theatre company that could. Take a journey through time, memory, and to a place somewhere beyond the stars in this ode to storytelling, humanity, Vancouver, and the Planetarium.

Electric Company's You Are Very Star runs now until June 29 at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Loco Motion at the Firehall Arts Centre

The Firehall Arts Centre is currently bringing two Canadian one-act plays to the stage, done by the Loco Motion company. What's unique about Loco-Motion is that their plays are written, produced, and performed by "people with almost every diagnosis in the diagnostic manual of mental disorders."

"Loco Motion is a Burnaby, British Columbia, entertainment performance company comprised of and dedicated to the promotion of healing, self knowledge and empowerment for recovering people affected by mental illness and associated challenges.  We create original performance works and educational opportunities to raise public awareness, challenge misconceptions and promote wellness for individuals, their families and the broader community, Canadian public and international audiences."

The two one-act plays, What's Normal? and Conversation Piece run to June 16 at the Firehall Arts Centre

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

PNE Summer concert series 2013

The line up for the annual PNE Summer Concert series was announced yesterday and there are definitely some exciting acts on board for everyone!

Saturday August 17 - Melissa Etheridge

Sunday August 18 - The Jacksons

Tuesday August 20 - Dean Brody

Wednesday August 21 - Great Big Sea

Thursday August 22 - Colin James

Friday August 23 - The Beach Boys

Saturday August 24 - Sam Roberts Band

Sunday August 25 - Corb Lund

Tuesday August 27 - Foreigner

Wednesday August 28 - The Proclaimers

Thursday August 29 - Big Wreck

Friday August 30 - Martina McBride

Saturday August 31 - REO Speedwagon

Sunday September 1 - Lights

Monday September 2 - Loverboy

Concerts are performed in the NEW outdoor venue, the PNE Amphitheatre on the WestJet Concert Stage. 

Available on a first come, first served basis. Bleachers and standing floor options available. Reserved seating available at stage front in the WestJet Fan Zone. Concerts will also be streamed in The Plaza Beer Garden (must be 19+ to enter). 

The Summer Night Concerts are FREE with Fair Gate admission, but guests have the option to upgrade to a reserved seat.