; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: April 2014

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Spring Awakening

Fighting Chance Productions are rounding out their season in May with the Tony-award winning musical, Spring Awakening!

This Broadway blockbuster features songs by Duncan Sheik, and was the show that launched the careers for Glee's Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff (Glee, Looking). Set in early 19th century Germany, the controversial material is based on a book that was banned in 1891 due to its depiction of topics like abortion, suicide, homosexuality, child abuse, and rape. Its exploration of teenage sexuality was ahead of its time.

Check out the Tony award performance below:

Fighting Chance Productions' Spring Awakening runs from April 30 - May 17 at the Jericho Arts Centre. You can purchase tickets online here.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Happy National Poetry Month!

Tonight at the Cottage Bistro, ome down and celebrate National Poetry Month with readings by John Barton, Andrea Bennett, Dennis E. Bolen, Sarah De Leeuw, Lawrence Feuchtwanger, Jennica Harper, Alex Leslie, and Jacqueline Turner!

Show starts at 7pm; Free admission

Cottage Bistro : 4470 Main Street

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Normal Heart

What an exciting Spring it's shaping up to be, with all sorts of activities and shows happening all over the place. One show I'm very stoked to go see is The Normal Heart, written by Larry Kramer. This was just on Broadway a few years ago and is poised to become the HBO movie of the year in a month or so. What better time to have Raving Theatre bring this play to the stage right here in Vancouver?

"Set in New York City during the early 1980’s, this mostly autobiographical drama traces the early days of the AIDS epidemic. The story is told though the eyes of Ned Weeks, a gay activist with a mouth that would make piranhas jealous. Ned both rallies and alienates people while refusing to allow the growing deaths of gay men be swept under the carpet by politicians, the press and the medical community. Larry Kramer captures the anger, confusion frustration and divisive rifts of this small group’s battles while also trying to survive the growing plague that seemingly no one wants to admit even exists."

The Normal Heart runs May 9-18 at PAL Studio Theatres. For more information, check out their Facebook page

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Watching Glory Die

Ripped from the headlines about a young girl who dies in prison (look up Ashley Smith), is the current production premiering at The Cultch this week: Watching Glory Die.

In this one woman show, writer Judith Thompson stars as the young girl whose tragic death prompted her to develop this play. She flits seamlessly between characters, one moment the prison warden who is just trying to do her job, and another moment the grieving mother waiting at home for her daughter to be released from prison. What this trio of characters have in common is the thread of delusion that each of them cling to. 

Thompson impresses with her stamina and ability to carry the entire show on her shoulders. The set is simple for the most part, with impressive visuals being projected on the walls of the prison to aid that feeling of claustrophobic craziness bound to drive anyone mad. 

Watching Glory Die is on at The Cultch now until May 3

Mrs. Warren's Profession at the Rickshaw Theatre

Neworld Theatre and the Renegade Arts Company are bringing George Bernard Shaw's controversial play Mrs. Warren's Profession to the Rickshaw Theatre this week!

RSVP to the Facebook Event Page here

"Mrs. Warren’s Profession is a LIVE THEATRE EVENT sponsored in part by the Rickshaw Theatre. Written by Nobel Prize and Oscar-winning George Bernard Shaw, the play was originally banned for its controversial subject matter… Alley Theatre invites you to experience the postmodern world of this 120 year-old story through immersive staging and live music from Juno Award winning musicians.

THE STORY: A young woman discovers her privileged lifestyle was paid for her by her mother's sex work.  The two women enter a battle royal over what it means to be a modern woman, a working woman, and to just plain be a woman.

Improvised Composition and Live Music by Gentle Party featuring Shanto Acharia, Meredith Bates and Elisa Thorn."

Free Downtown Eastside Community Tickets made possible by The Rickshaw Theatre. Please contact info@alleytheatre.ca for more info

Mrs. Warren's Profession runs at the Rickshaw Theatre now until April 27th ! 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde

The folks who brought you Clue: The Musical and Hedwig and The Angry Inch this past season are back with their final show of the theatre year: Gross Indecency - The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, written by Moises Kaufman.

Put on by Ghost Light Projects, this play is based on the actual transcripts from the courtroom trials that took down famed writer Oscar Wilde. Expect themes that cover "persecution, betrayal, sexuality" and more, at this up-close and personal thought-provoking drama that will round out the season for Ghost Light Projects.

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde is directed by Randie Parliament and plays at the Carousel Theatre on Granville Island from May 8 - 17th. You can purchase your tickets here! Also, check out the Facebook Event page!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Noel Coward's Sail Away

Alright, Vancouver! Get ready for yet another musical hitting our town. This time, it's the classic Broadway show, Sail Away, by Noel Coward. Put on by the Applause! Musicals Society, it "tells the story of a romantic love-affair aboard a cruise ship, with all the classic wit and charm of Broadway's golden era." 

"Recent divorcee Mimi Paragon (a role originated by Elaine Stritch) is stuck serving tourists as one of the ship's hostesses when she is drawn to the much younger and strikingly handsome Johnny Van Mier. Complicating their relationship is a host of eccentric and hilarious cruise ship characters—from cynical and quirky Sweeney couple, to Johnny's dominating and diva-like mother, Mrs. Van Mier, to the wacky novelist Spencer Bollard, and his wide-eyed niece Nancy. The dialogue is peppered with classic Coward witticisms throughout, and the music is composed in the classic Broadway tradition. An enchanting tour-de-farce for theatre groups and musical lovers alike, Sail Away is a journey you will not forget!"

SAIL AWAY is on from May 8-10 at CBC Studio 700. For more information and tickets, please visit the website here

Thursday, 10 April 2014


Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper isn't the most obvious choice to centre a 90 minute play around. In fact, I was not looking forward to seeing Michael Healey's play, Proud, as I am not all too politically-minded and was worried this would go completely over my head. Much to my surprise, this was entertaining and totally hilarious! Who knew that Harper = comedy magic?

Sure, okay, I didn't get ALL the references they were making, but that's just because I'm politically ignorant. That's my own fault. The play is amusing, and casts a stark spotlight on politics and the under-handedness of the Conservative party by showcasing their knack for passing bills behind the scenes while distracting the Canadian public with more controversial issues.

Andrew Wheeler as the Prime Minister is so well done that I had to do a double-take at the program to see that it wasn't actually Stephen Harper pictured there. Craig Erickson's Cary amuses with his portrayal as the loyal yet frustrated right-hand man, who listens behind doorways and is ready to pick up and leave at any given moment should he get sacked from his job. The perfect public servant! Scott Button's Jake was confusing to me at first, as we weren't quite sure who his character was, and it's not till the end that we figure it out (or maybe it was just me). But it's Emmelia Gordon as Jisbella who ultimately steals the show and has the audience in stitches with her one-liners and physical comedy. She brought life to the show and story, and is the real centrepiece to the play!

Proud plays at the Firehall Arts Centre now until April 26.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Weekend Picks: Shattered Cabaret, Rocco, Ride, and Rubbout

Cabaret Brise-Jour (Shattered Cabaret) at York Theatre

This is an amazing update of Kurt Weill's pre- and post-war music made vibrant and accessible for a contemporary audience. This is carefully and cleverly choreographed anarchy. I can't recommend it enough for those looking for a little bit of art in their entertainment. Is this theatre or is it rock 'n' roll? It doesn't matter; it's just brilliant. Bring ear plugs if you have sensitive hearing, but by all means still go!

York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC
April 2-6, 2014 at 8 PM
Tickets are $17-$38 at The Cultch

Rocco at Vancouver Playhouse

"In Rocco dancers become boxers and boxers become dancers. In a boxing ring one challenges the other by striking punches, fast footwork, and virtuoso tactics. The dancers represent brotherhood in all its senses: the good and the bad, devil and angel, the androgynous and the incestuous. They are Cain and Abel, Romulus and Remus, Laurel and Hardy. Rocco is a dance performance about physical and psychological extremes."

Vancouver Playhouse at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC
April 4-5, 2014 at 8 PM
Tickets are $40-$76 at DanceHouse.ca

Why We Ride at the Rio

This Western Canadian premiere of "Why We Ride" examines the passions of motorcycle riders and the souls of their machines.

Rio Theatre
Sunday April 6 at 3 PM
Tickets are $8-$10 at Rio Theatre Tickets


See our review here.