; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: January 2014

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


The PuSh Festival is currently in full swing, and the first (and possibly only) show that I saw was last night's premiere of ONE at the Cultch .

ONE is the extraordinary true life story of Mani Soleymanlou and his personal journey into his past and present. Born in Tehran, he identifies as Persian and Iranian, speaking fluent Farsi as well as French due to his move to Paris and Montreal (with stops in Ottawa and Toronto along the way). He calls upon childhood memories of being taunted for not fitting in - Are you an Arab? Are you Quebecois?

One of the most powerful moments of the night came when the lights went down and he channeled an Iranian immigration officer who spoke of the luxury of being able to live in the Western world.

There were moments of humour as well, such as his diatribe on Persian cuisine. "Tea! WE LOVE TEA!" The one-man 65 minute solo performance was tinged with a rage that could spark at any given moment as Mani navigated the history of the Islamic Revolution and spoke about the dark cloth that has covered Iran for the past 30 odd years.

His story of seeing a shooting star for the first time and running indoors for fear it was the start of a war gave a new perspective to things that we barely think twice about. ONE is a powerful discourse and thought provoking work of art.

Check out Mani Soleymanlou's performance of ONE on now at The Cultch until February 8.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Rennie Collection: Glenn Brown and Rebecca Warren

Currently on at the Rennie Collection is an exhibit of work from two artists, Glenn Brown and Rebecca Warren.

Warren's pieces are more sculptures, while Brown's medium is the canvas. Yet, both artists complement each other with their abstract views of the world. Here are a few photos from the exhibit I snapped, but pictures don't do the work justice, especially without an Emily Carr tour guide to help you discover more within the artwork.

Glenn Brown and Rebecca Warren show at the Rennie Collection now until March 29. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Reasons To Be Pretty

I've said this time and time again, whenever a theatre company in town does a Neil Labute play, I simply must go see it. The last one I checked out was Autobahn which was just a small collection of vignettes. So it was a pleasant surprise that my first show of the year was Fighting Chance Productions' staging of Labute's Reasons To Be Pretty.

And in quintessential Labute form, we are drawn into his world of unlikeable assholes and the darker side of human kind. In Reasons To Be Pretty, we join a couple who are in the midst of a heated argument over what the boyfriend had said about the girlfriend's face. Along for the bumpy ride are the couple's co-workers, the handsome jock asshole Kent and his pretty snitch wife Carly. They all have their own reasons for doing what they do, with insecurity being the main one, from what I could gather.

Bound to provoke, Reasons to Be Pretty will definitely get you all fired up! And isn't that what theatre is here to do? To move us, to create a reaction, whether it be good or bad?

Reasons To Be Pretty is playing now to February 1 at the Havana Cafe on Commercial Drive.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Whiskey Tasting!

Last night I set foot for the very first time into the Terminal City Club. I believe my 10 year high school reunion was held here. Wouldn't know as I didn't go to it. My 20th is coming up. Yikes. Do I go to that?

Anyhow, last night's event was put on by the Macallan Whiskey group and it was a fun and free event! You walk in, you get to go mingle and have a free cocktail (whiskey + ginger beer, thank you very much) and snack on some appies. (Was that a Mushroom I just devoured? But... I hate mushrooms!)

So then it was down into the banquet hall, where there were tables set out with four glasses of whiskey ready for tasting per person. We learned a bit about the process, the history, how to taste, and when you can call a whiskey a Scotch (when it's from Scotland and aged at least 3 years).

So, overall, a fun and educational event, with some complimentary booze to boot! Yay!