; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: May 2014

Friday, 23 May 2014


The Arts Club Theatre has chosen a perfect way to close out their theatre season, with the Tony-award winning musical, Monty Python's Spamalot.

The touring production has never come to Vancouver, so to have it be presented at the Stanley Theatre for our city's premiere is perfect. It's also perfect because it's silly and light and goofy and totally hilarious. If you're a huge Monty Python fan, you will absolutely love this. If you're not a fan or not familiar with the story, no worries, it's extremely entertaining and will be sure to get you laughing within minutes! 

Be prepared for high camp, slapstick, and puns...lots and lots of puns!  

I saw this on Broadway the year it won the Tony for Best New Musical, and it starred Tim Curry as King Arthur, and Grey's Anatomy's Sara Ramirez as the Lady of the Lake. In the Vancouver production, they do a wonderful job in terms of the acting (or over-acting as the case may be) and singing. 

Monty Python's Spamalot runs now until June 29 at the Stanley Theatre

Thursday, 22 May 2014

PNE Summer Concerts Series 2014

I'm SO EXCITED!! and I just can't hide it!!

Because the POINTER SISTERS are part of this summer's concert line up at the PNE!

Also on tap, is the return of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts

The soft croonings of Air Supply

The one and only Leanne Rimes (let's hope she brings her hubby Eddie Cibrian!) 

A blast from my teenage past with the soulful stylings of Boyz II Men: 

And closing out the summer with Canadiana at its best, and don't forget them when they're gone ladies and gentlemen, it's GLASS TIGER! 

For the full complete list with dates and times, check out the PNE website

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Curious Flea Market

Are you feeling curious? Just a bit? Then scratch that itch by heading out to New Westminster to discover one of the coolest events in town. It's the Curious Flea Market! The next one takes place May 24 & 25!

"The Curious Flea is a social flea market…a new way of ‘fleaing’ .  We’ve curated an incredible collection of vendors selling spectacular wares ranging from antique to Mid-Century Modern to 50′s kitsch to upcycled furniture and decor. This isn’t your usual bargain basement flea market, but rather a treasure hunter’s dream."

And don't forget about the Battle of the Curious! "Do you have the weirdest, strangest most curious thing in your closet?  Bring it to Curious Flea! The most curious object will be immortalized forever in our Curious Hall of Fame, and the winner will receive a fabulously curious prize!"

Check out their Facebook page to keep informed! See you on the weekend of May 24/25 at the Curious Flea Market at New Westminster's River Market (810 Quayside Drive,  New Westminster).

Saturday, 17 May 2014


Why isn't this play winning Tony awards on Broadway? Seriously, it's wonderful. It's beautiful and haunting. 

Lucia Frangione does double duty as the playwright and the lead actress in this two-person two-act love letter to an Italian family. She portrays Rosa (among many other characters), who goes back to discover her Italian family in the midst of tragedy. Playing opposite her is the equally talented actor Robert Salvador. The two trade off character hats like circus jugglers, smoothly, expertly, and easily enough so that the audience can follow along as to who is playing who at any given moment.

The language of this play is so poetic and gorgeously written. That in itself is worth coming to the show. But the storyline will touch you and hook you in, making you wish the intermission were shorter so that you can get right back into the plot.

Then there's the brilliant set design, by Stancil Campbell. It is amazing what a curtain will do, isn't it? Mystery, nostalgia, dreamy, are all separate moods that the simple pull of a curtain can create and is done so wonderfully in this play. Then there's the windowpane with the rain beating down on it. The entire set production is a piece of art and only helps elevate this already beautiful piece of theatre to a whole other level.

Espresso is on now at Pacific Theatre until June 14th.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Playground of the Gods

I've lived here for over 30 years and there are still things to do in our great city and its surrounding suburbs that I have yet to discover. One of those things was seeing these beautiful sculptures up at Burnaby Mountain, just before Simon Fraser University.

Known as the Kamui Mintara, which translates to "Playground of the Gods," these totem-like sculptures are the creation of Japanese artists Nuburi Toko and his son Shusei, symbolizing the goodwill between the city of Burnaby and its sister city, Kushiro in Japan.

For more information, check out the City of Burnaby website.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

CANStruction 2014

Canstruction is back!!!

"Canstruction Vancouver is an annual design and build competitions that takes place in over 160 cities world wide. Teams of architects, engineers, designers and schools get together to CANstruct fantastic, giant sized sculptures made entirely out of canned food. After the structures are built and the winners declared the creations go on view to the general public as giant art exhibits. At the close of the competitions 100% of the food used in the structures is donated to our Greater Vancouver Food Banks for distribution to community emergency feeding programs. Since 2002, Canstruction Vancouver has raised over 1,248,000 cans of food for our Greater Vancouver Foodbank."

(I took these photos yesterday during my lunch break, over at the HSBC lobby downtown on Georgia St)

Canstruction is on now until May 16th!

Kim's Convenience

It's always refreshing for me, as an Asian Canadian, to see myself reflected on stage, in film, on TV, etc. Kim's Convenience is a Canadian play written by Ins Choi, and centers around a Korean convenience store and the family dynamics swirling about it.

Like the patriarch in the story, it is Paul Sun-Hyung Lee's performance as Mr. Kim that really holds the entire show together. He, like the show, displays a huge range of emotions from rage to sadness to well-peppered moments of comedic timing.

Kudos to Ins Choi for a well-written, entertaining, culturally educational and important play. I've tried writing a play before, and it is not an easy feat. To do one that takes lace in one main location and to fill that stage up with tears, laughter, and love on top of it being a good show is an amazing accomplishment.

Kim's Convenience is playing now at the Granville Island Stage until May 24th. (It's also Asian Heritage Month, so this is perfect timing to go see Kim's Convenience!)

Happy Asian Heritage Month!

May is Asian Heritage Month, and there is lots to do to celebrate, here in Vancouver!

Check out their website for more!

Thursday, 8 May 2014


David Mamet's Oleanna is not a comedy. Yet the woman one seat away from me could not suppress her laughter through the entire performance. My guest and I were not quite sure what it was she was laughing about. I noticed other patrons looking over as well, wondering WHAT THE HELL, LADY?

To give her the benefit of the doubt, perhaps she was laughing because that is how she deals with uncomfortable situations? And Oleanna is one big giant uncomfortable situation put up there on stage for you to wade through. It was the first Mamet play I ever saw, so when I heard it was being put on by Bleeding Heart Theatre and Xua Xua Productions, I was very excited to see it again and to tell all my friends to go check it out.

So yes, Oleanna is not a comedy. It's a battle of wits, a power exchange, a he-said she-said war. The first production I saw left me confused and thoughtful, not quite sure who was right and who was wrong. This tale of a pompous professor seeking tenure vs a student and her accusations of sexual harassment can be an amazing story to watch unfold, especially if it's all done in just the right way, leaving the audience with enough grey area to wonder whose side they should be on.

Anthony F. Ingram plays the professor, but could've been a bit more assertive/cocky in his demeanour in the first scene. To me, he immediately came off as the sympathetic character that you want to root for. But perhaps that should make you wonder exactly why you are rooting for him? So he can continue on with his privileged life of being a rich straight white man? Then there's Susie Coodin as the student, who in the same first scene, came across as too aggressive and perhaps needed a bit more innocence or subtlety, to get the audience on her side? My friend who went with me told me afterwards, "I HATED HER."  (The character, not the actress.)  And perhaps if that's what the intention was, to paint her out as being the villain, then she did a phenomenal job.

Oleanna is always a contentious and controversial show to mount, leaving audiences questioning one another and themselves. I had some friends who saw it in Toronto who nearly broke up over the play, with one side hating the student so much that he would advocate violence against her, which shocked his partner and arguments ensued.

So put on your boxing gloves, come on down to the Havana Theatre from now until May 17 and witness this epic battle of words, power, and gender. And if there's one David Mamet play I would ever recommend, it would be this one. Don't miss it! Tickets for Oleanna can be bought online here.

Friday, 2 May 2014

No Exit

Aenigma Theatre presents Jean-Paul Sarter's classic play NO EXIT from May 6 - 10th.

"Have you ever wondered where the damned souls on earth end up? If the fiery pit of eternal torment that has pervaded so much of our art and imagination really exists? This May, Jean-Paul Sartre offers a sardonic and intensive look behind the veil of earthly reality and through the closed doors of hell itself. However, what you find there might just surprise you, for Sartre’s version of hell may not at all be what you imagine. It may just be worse…

Written during the heart of WWII, Sartre’s French existential play follows the fates of three damned souls living in the 1940s. Cradeau, a pacifistic journalist, Inez, a lesbian postal clerk, and Estelle, a high-society woman, have all been sentenced to hell, ushered into a seemingly normal room, and locked in. To their surprise and suspicion however, instead of fire and brimstone, they find that all they have to deal with for the rest of eternity is each other…"

For more information, check out the Facebook event page.

Studio 16 | 1555 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver | May 6-10, 2014 | Tue-Sat at 8pm | Tickets $15/10/12 for General/Student/UBC Alumni | Tuesday, May 6th Pay-What-You-Can at door |Purchase tickets online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/626113 or at the door |*Note: Cash only at door| Email aenigmatheatre@gmail.com for more information.