; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: August 2013

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Breaking Vancouver

Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad, coming to Vancouver.  Enough said.

More info at the VIFF website.

Playland / PNE 2013

So last night I hit up our annual fair, the PNE.

The Proclaimers were singing last night for the nightly featured concert. But I wasn't too interested in seeing them for just that one song, and you know the song I'm speaking of.

I had a corndog and followed that up with some nice smoky ribs and beef brisket! Yay for RibFest!

Then there was the Genghis Khan exhibit, which was a bit underwhelming I found. Compared to last year's Star Trek exhibit, this was evidently not as popular.

(photo from 24 Hours

I didn't check out the market this year, but some of my friends did. I guess I just wasn't feeling the need for a swiffer or a shamwow this summer. 

Then a friend literally FORCED me on to the newest ride at Playland - Atmosfear!!! Oh my dear LORD. I can't believe I went on that and actually survived it. I kept my eyes closed the entire time, otherwise I would likely be having nightmares for the rest of my life. 

There's still some time left to head down to the PNE and win a  house win a car! The PNE runs until Labour Day before closing its doors for another year! 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Happy 125th Birthday Stanley Park!

Vancouver's world famous Stanley Park celebrates its 125th anniversary this weekend, August 24 & 25th. Head on down to Celebrate Stanley Park for tons of activities, free concerts, performances, beer gardens, and ecological/historical tours!

For more information and details on what's taking place at Celebrate Stanley Park, check out the official website here.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Riverview High: The Musical

Last night I went to check out the muchly anticipated return of Riverview High: The Musical, which earned accolades at last year's Fringe Festival, winning the "Pick of the Fringe" award.

After seeing three musicals so far this summer, I would have to say that this was my least favourite. It's a good show, don't get me wrong, and for a new original musical, kudos to everyone involved for sure! However, it's hard to go up against Tony-award winning Avenue Q or the gut-splitting hilarity of A...My Name Is Alice.

If you don't know the background of Riverview High, it will become quite obvious to you that the show is based on the famous Archie comics. We have a lead red-headed male choosing between a blonde and a brunette. I think my biggest problem was that I didn't care who he picked! I just wasn't that interested in that main storyline. The songs were catchy enough, but I didn't feel there needed to be such a giant cast for this production. I didn't see it at the Fringe so don't know if they had the same number of actors/ensemble.

I appreciated the references to the Archie comics, such as their very own teenage witch cameo and a pseudo Josie and the Pussycats pop band. It's a fun frolic for those who are familiar with Archie, otherwise it's a romantic comedy musical for everyone else.

Two standout performances for me were Caleb Di Pomponio's nerdy Dexter, and Randy (the "Reggie" equivalent) played by Lucas Blaney, whom I recognized from last year's Grey Gardens! Both their energy and stage presence made their side storylines far more intriguing than the main one, and their character development seemed more fleshed out.

Riverview High: The Musical plays at the FireHall Arts Centre until August 24th. Half Price tickets are also available at Tickets Tonight.

Friday, 16 August 2013

A+ for "A... My Name Is Alice" !

I had never before heard of the musical, A... My Name Is Alice! What could this possibly be, I wondered.

Turns out, it's a fantastic frolic into the lives of the everyday woman. Conceived back in 1983 and debuting in New York City, this hidden gem finds new life right here in the Lower Mainland at the Studio 1398 theatre on Granville Island!

(photo from The Georgia Straight)

Each song seemed to be better than the next - a good sign where musicals are concerned! There isn't much of a storyline, if you're looking for your traditional Broadway show. Rather, it's more of a revue, with each song telling a different story of its own - whether it's about two sisters being there for each other, a first date, or a bored secretary, each number is completely different from other, shedding light on the diverse variety of the lives of women.

My favourites included the "For Women Only Poems" executed with the utmost deadpan by Michelle T. Baynton and "The French Monologue & Song" sung "tres bien" by the hilariously talented Rosie Simon.

A... My Name is Alice is a much welcomed breath of fresh air in these desolate days of August. It had us laughing uncontrollably at one point, then near shedding a tear in the next. Thank you to director Rick Tae for dusting off this forgotten show and bringing it right to the forefront!

A...My Name Is Alice runs now until August 25 at Studio 1398 (Granville Island)! Go See It! !

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Today kicks off the 25th year for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival! There are some interesting films this year that I wouldn't mind catching!

One that pops out is Megan Mullally in the comedy G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend):

 The Vancouver Queer Film Festival runs August 15 - 25!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Elizabeth Rex - Bard on the Beach

I hardly ever get down to Bard on the Beach, mainly because I personally find it difficult to watch Shakespeare and prefer to read it instead. That said, I don't pay attention much to their programming, but perhaps I should! This summer, they have a non-Shakespeare show on one of their stages: Timothy Findley's Elizabeth Rex. I LOVE Timothy Findley! So I was very excited to bring an out of town friend there to watch it with me.

How delighted was I to find that the lead actress was none other than Colleen Wheeler!! I had seen her already in Electric Company's Initiation Trilogy as well as Kid Gloves, and she definitely has a stage presence and is a joy to watch. She shines brightly as Queen Elizabeth, a role that certainly shows off her acting chops.

The play brought me to the corners of my mind where I had stored all of my knowledge of Shakespeare and that period. If you're more familliar with his work and with the history of Queen Elizabeth, you will definitely get a lot out of this intellectual and well-written piece - Timothy Findley's most successful play. If you don't know that much about the history, all you need to know is that Queen Elizabeth was in love, the guy betrayed her, and she had to put him to death. The story centers around the night before his execution and we find our beloved Virgin Queen in her barn, trying desperately to distract herself by getting a group of actors to entertain her. However, one of the actors, played by Haig Sutherland, intrigues her so and ends up sparring with her emotionally and verbally. He, who plays women in Shakespeare's plays, aims to try and help Queen Elizabeth find her inner woman, while she in return, ops to help him find his inner man.

The two actors are the highlight of the production, which as a whole is fantastic!

Elizabeth Rex runs until September 11th at Board on the Beach. Check the schedule for showtimes and tickets.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Clinton Leupp Comes to Vancouver!

If you're a fan of the online web series Girls Will Be Girls, you can't miss this Friday's event when Miss Coco Peru herself (aka Clinton Leupp) comes to Vancouver for a one-person show at the Stanley Theatre!

Tickets still available!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Avenue Q

Hope everyone had a great long weekend, whether you were at Pride, Powell Street, fireworks, out of town, or doing something else just as fabulous even if it was chilling at home.

Now that the main festivities of the summer have climaxed, let's not forget there is still a lot more to do around the city. One thing going on that I've noticed this year is the presence of more summertime theatre! The Arts Club theatre has just extended its run of the hilarious Avenue Q until the end of August! This is a Tony award winning musical that's like Sesame Street for Adults. Warning: This is not a family friendly affair, so unless you want your kids to see puppets having sex, this will likely not be PG-Friendly!

However, the calibre of the production is definitely on par with the New York show that I saw years ago. It's just as much fun to watch the amazing skills of the puppeteers as it is to just sit back and enjoy the puppets, who will have you literally in stitches!

It will definitely "suck to be you" if you miss out on Arts Club Theatre's Avenue Q, playing now at the Granville Island Stage!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Powell Street Festival this weekend!

Lots of stuff happening this weekend, not the least of which is the annual Powell Street Festival!

This celebration of Japanese Canadian culture and heritage is into its 37th year now, and continues to go strong. Head on down to Oppenheimer Park all weekend for fun, food, and festivities! There is so much to see and do, so don't miss out!