; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: July 2013

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Postcards: Movie Night in Stanley Park

(taken on my iPhone 5 and Instagrammed) 

Last night's free outdoor movie in Stanley Park was Mama Mia, a family friendly good-times musical, so the kids were all out in full force. Too bad the trailer for next week's film was Poltergeist, causing them major trauma and therapy for years to come! 

Check out VanCityBuzz for a full listing of outdoor movie nights in Vancouver! 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Fall Away Home - Boca Del Lupo Aug 21 - Sep 1

Boca Del Lupo returns to form this year, bringing back their wildly popular free summer programming. This year, we are treated to Fall Away Home, which takes place in Stanley Park from August 21st to September 1st.

Always putting on amazing productions, this will surely be another one not to be missed. Tickets went up today, and they will go fast, I'm sure. Book your free tickets online here, or call 604-205-3000

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Honda Celebration of Light 2013

This weekend starts off the annual Celebration of Light fireworks display down at English Bay, beginning on Saturday night with the United Kingdom. What perfect timing, to coincide with the celebrations of the birth of baby Prince George!

July 31st brings us Canada's best in fireworks, while August 3 showcases Thailand!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A Missed Connection - Connected : The Musical

I can't imagine what it would be like to write a musical. I've tried, sorta. I love musicals. And for those who can do it right, I am in awe. There are some local musicals being mounted this summer in Vancouver, and I am all the merrier! I often have friends from out of town who love going to theatre come visit Vancouver during our sunny months. Yet, when they get here, there's often not much theatre to be found due to most companies being in between seasons.

That's why I am very excited at the prospect of some shows being put on this and next month that I can take my visiting pals to! One show that is helping to bring theatre to Vancouver's summertime is the current production running at Pacific Theatre - Connected: The Musical.

At first I thought this show was going to be about the trials and tribulations of online dating, but instead it turned out to be an office drama/comedy/musical just set in the environment of an online dating company.

Jennifer Pielak as the eager intern and Richard Meen as Paul the hopeless romantic were two standouts for me - their voices carrying well in the intimate space. Going to the Pacific Theatre to see an underdog musical felt like I was in the TV show SMASH, heading off-Broadway to witness the birth of the fictional production Hit List.  I wasn't quite as taken with Connected though, and was not fond of the songs.

Being a musical snob, I rate most musicals - especially new unknown ones - on their songs. Singing about 6am and the start of a new day as the opening number didn't grab me or make me want to engage myself with the story.  Had the show just been a straight-on play, it might have worked a bit better. Songs should add to the story in musicals, in my opinion, and at times I felt there wasn't much in the lyrics to propel the storyline anywhere. Some of the cast members were also hard to hear, so if the song did have important information in it for the audience, I likely missed it.

Kudos to everyone involved and for bringing this show to life. Again, I don't have the honour of saying I've written a musical or helped to put one together. And just because I had a disconnect with Connected: The Musical, doesn't mean you will.

Connected: The Musical runs until July 27 at the Pacific TheatreTickets can be purchased online.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Illuminaires 2013

Yay! It's that magical time of year again, when fairies and hippies and the most amazing paper lanterns light up the night at Trout Lake! That's right, it's Illuminaires and it's tonight! This free family-friendly event is one of the most perfect ways to spend a summer evening outdoors. If you haven't built a lantern yet, you've still got time to poke some holes into a tin can and bring it on down! This year marks the 25th anniversary of Illuminaires, so it's bound to be an awesome night!

Gay in the Burbs

Pride is coming up fast and furious, and so are the parties. There's lots to check out, but here's one that might have gone under your gaydar, so I felt the need to mention it. Tonight out in New Westminster is "An Alternative Night At The Met." Head on down to the Met Bar and Grill in New West, from 7pm to 1am, for a great way to start off your Pride festivities!

"Please come out and support our night. There is nowhere for people living alternative lifestyles outside the city so we are doing another GLBT and friendly event. come down and support our organization. enjoy good music and have some drinks. there is no cover at this event. there is a dj for this event. we are raising money for New Westminster Pride Society, Surrey Pride Society and EPAMA."

Check out the event on Facebook.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ukulele Circle - The Happiest Place in Vancouver

Last night I attended what could easily be known as the Happiest Place in town - the Vancouver Ukulele Circle! They have been meeting at Our Town cafe (Kingsway and Broadway) every third Tuesday of the month since 2005, and last night was their swan song there before they move on to a bigger pasture in August at St. James Hall (3214 W 10th Ave. at Trutch) in Kitsilano.

It was the perfect magical summer evening, with a packed to the rafters audience/participants, everyone at the Vancouver Ukulele Circle were singing along and strumming on their instruments. Led by host Ralph, who is a show in his own right, the first half of the night had everyone in a group sing-and-play-along, to tunes like Singing In The Rain, Daydream Believer, Can't Help Falling In Love, and many more. There was a kazoo, lots of whistling, a harmonica cameo, and lots of smiling happy people!

Part two of the evening features performances from members of the group, and you best sign up early because the slots get filled instantly! We had some ukulele performer virgins take the stage, to be greeted and received with standing ovations. We had a song in Mandarin done by a duo from Taiwan. And we had several folks who wrote their own original songs to share with the crowd. One of my favourite moments of the night was when a regular named Roman took the stage and sang a heartbreaking rendition of the Everly Brothers' "Love Hurts."  His voice, his emotion, you could hear a pin drop in the room because we were all so captivated by and lost in the song.

The evening ended with several farewell songs, but we were reminded by the Monty Python classic to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

The next Ukulele Circle will be held August 20, 2013 at St. James Hall. You can also check them out on Facebook!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Fly Over Canada!

Last week, my friend Andy was visiting from Chicago and we decided to check out Vancouver's latest tourist attraction, the Fly Over Canada experience at Canada Place.

Andy works in the airline industry, so he was amused at the whole process that replicated boarding an airplane. The wait time isn't as bad as an 8 hour layover in Minneapolis - trust me, I know. First you walk into a pavilion to take in a deluge of images of Canadiana that whets your appetite for what's to come.

Then it's time to get on board, where you are placed into a row of theatre-style seats and seat-belted in. We were then whisked away on a journey over this great country we call home. We witness the hills and mountains of the West Coast, wild horses galloping across the prairies, all the way to the jagged cliffs of the Maritimes and up to the Northern Lights of the Arctic.

I had wished that there was more of a linear storyline or something to inform the viewer where exactly they were flying over. There were some parts that were simply gorgeous, but we didn't know where it was. I guess that's incentive to get out there and explore our country!

The cost is about $20 (cheaper if you buy your ticket online) and the entire experience lasts about half an hour, with the actual ride being only about 15 minutes. It's fun, and definitely something tourists can enjoy!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

25 Gestures for Dancing on the Edge

July 4 - 13

Choreographed by Alvin Erasga Tolentino
Performed by Alvin Erasga Tolentino & Alison Denham.

Noon, rain or shine, daily throughout the festival (July 4 - 13, 2013)
Location: Gastown's steam clock (Water at Cambie)
FREE, 25 mins

25 minutes to mark 25 years: In celebration of the Dancing On The Edge Festival's 25th anniversary, Vancouver choreographer Alvin Erasga Tolentino of Co.ERASGA has created a new site-specific duet with critically acclaimed dancer Alison Denham which will premiere at this year's festival, July 4-13. 
Composed of 25 gestures, the dance will be performed around Vancouver's Gastown historical steam clock. At noon daily throughout the festival (July 4-13), the duet will move in accordance with the clock's signal, beginning a ritual comprised of distinct 'gestures' and dance.

More information: dancingontheedge.org

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

YVR #8 in World's Top Airports!

According to the World Airport Awards, Vancouver's YVR ranks in at number 8 in a list of the world's top 100 airports! This makes YVR the only North American airport to even make the top 10!

And it is true, YVR is a very nice airport to hang out at if you're waiting for a flight or to pick someone up. Have you been to visit recently?

Congratulations, YVR!