; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: September 2014

Sunday, 28 September 2014

VIFF: Everything Will Be

Julia Kwan's Everything Will Be is a strikingly moving and beautifully shot documentary about Vancouver's changing Chinatown.

Perhaps I was moved by it because of my own connection with the neighbourhood, recalling my childhood when I would go down there with my parents every Sunday to grocery shop and get a haircut at the corner shop barber. The film showcases the very many stories that are thriving right now in the area, from an upstart artist trying to make his way to a club of senior citizens coming together daily to form a singing group.

There is no one narrator, as the film suggests that Chinatown is more about the parts that make the whole. Even real estate guru Bob Rennie is featured talking about the changing neighbourhood and what he's tried to do to preserve what he can. It's a gorgeous film that will guide you through all the hidden nooks and crannies of Vancouver's historic Chinatown - perfect for any local who wants to rediscover its lost magic.

Poignant, touching, and charming, Everything Will Be plays on Sept 29, Oct 1, and Oct 3 at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

VIFF: Foxcatcher

There is Oscar buzz surrounding this film about the true life story of US Olympian wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and his brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), and their relationship to John E. Dupont played by a very creepy Steve Carrell.

The performances are great in this film, especially Carrell, who will likely be giving me nightmares for weeks to come. It's an intense experience, dramatic but with points of humour. I had no idea who any of these people were before this film, nor had I heard of the famous Dupont family before either. However, isn't that one of the marks of a good movie going experience? That you want to find out more about these characters after it's done? Especially since it is a true story. Ruffalo delivers as always, and Tatum once again proves he's more than a rom-com/action hero/StepUpMagicMike trick pony.

Catch Foxcatcher at the Vancouver International Film Festival on Oct 2 (3:15pm) and Oct 10 (9:30pm) at the Centre For Performing Arts.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

VIFF: The Vancouver Asahi

This one is gonna be a sell-out, so get your tickets quick! I was lucky enough to attend the media screening and even that was a full house. Perhaps it's because of the local interest - the film is set in and about Vancouver! Or perhaps it's because it's the powerful true story of a local Japanese-Canadian baseball team that bridged communities, fought against all odds, and provided hope amongst a backdrop of racism, World War II, and an impending black mark on Canadian history - the internment camps.

Gorgeously shot, this film is a joint effort from Japan/Canada and is heartbreaking as much as it is heartwarming. With anti-Asian sentiment at a high these days in Vancouver, perhaps this film is timely and relevant and a good reminder about the ugliness of humanity and the strength and fortitude of individuals and community.

The Vancouver Asahi shows on Sept 29 (6:30pm) and Oct 4 (2:30pm) at the Centre for Performing Arts, and on Oct 10 at 1pm at the Vancouver Playhouse. Don't miss this extraordinary feature!

Find out more information about the real life Vancouver Asahi here at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

VIFF: Trespassing Bergman

I don't really know who Ingmar Bergman is. Apparently he's a famous film director, that a lot of the greats look up to, including Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Lars Von Trier, and many more who are all featured in this documentary about Bergman's secluded life in Sweden.

If you are a film buff and know who he is, you might have caught Liv & Ingmar which showed at last year's film festival. This provides a good bookend to that, which I also saw and also didn't quite understand having no previous knowledge of his backstory.

Trespassing Bergman did provide more of a background on his film work and life, so I found that helpful in getting to know who he was and why he was so famous. After seeing this, I'm now more intrigued to see some of his work, including Persona, The Seventh Seal, and Fanny and Alexander.

Trespassing Bergman shows on September 25, Oct 1, and Oct 5 at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Vancouver International Film Festival !!

Are you ready for it?? It's that time of year again! Nothing says Autumn better than the Vancouver International Film Festival! VIFF opens its doors this week, September 25 and runs to October 10, so pick up a free program (yes it's totally free this year!) or head over to their website online and click around to browse through the films you want to go see! Fun Fun Vancouver will be dedicating the next two weeks to VIFF, so stay tuned...!! Happy Film Festing!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Word Vancouver

Sept 24 - 28

"This is Word Vancouver, Western Canada’s largest celebration of literacy and reading. Held during the last week of September at various venues throughout the city, our festival promotes books and authors with free exhibits, performances, and hands-on activities for a wide range of ages and interests."

Check out WordVancouver.Ca for more!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The 39 Steps

Opening up its 52nd season (!) last night was the Metro Theatre, bringing its 486th show to audiences with the classic play The 39 Steps, by Patrick Barlow. If you've never seen this Hitchcock meets Monty Python theatre noir farce, it's wonderfully done here at the Metro, with Tom Parkinson, Jenny McLaren, Trevor Roberts, and David Wallace pulling off a multitude of characters as they charge through the revolving door of victims, police officers, villains, and heroes.

The 39 Steps is on now until October 11th at the Metro Theatre.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Haven't been able to make it out on a Friday night to the Show Tunes event? Fear not, Broadway buffs, for this weekend we'll be doing SHOW TUNE SUNDAY at the JUNCTION ON Davie Street!!

The Queer Arts Festival will be on hand to raffle off some awesome prizes, including tickets to Carrie The Musical! Come on by for drinks and food and Show Tunes!! 3-7pm at the Junction on Davie!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

SWARM 2014 !!!

Who's ready to go SWARMing!!!?

We interrupt this Fringe love fest to bring you a quick reminder that SWARM happens this Thursday and Friday! If you've never done SWARM before, it's an art gallery hop around Vancouver.  On Thursday, you can check out galleries around Mount Pleasant. And on Friday, the galleries in the Downtown Eastside and Chinatown will be open for you to come visit! Check out the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres' website for more information about SWARM!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Vancouver Fringe Festival: Cannibal The Musical

It was a packed house tonight at the Firehall Arts Centre for the 3rd showing of Trey Parker's Cannibal: The Musical. Its popularity is just the tip of the iceberg as the hit Broadway musical Book of Mormon rolls into town next Spring. With Cannibal: The Musical, South Park co-creator Trey Parker cuts his teeth on writing a full length musical before graduating to the likes of Team America and Book of Mormon.

This based-on-true-events stage show is a breath of fresh air at the Fringe, clocking in at 90 minutes and featuring a cast of 12. With no actual stage script available, anyone who obtains the rights to the show will have to adapt it themselves. Director Corwin Ferguson manages to seamlessly translate the cult film into a stage production that is both raucous and rollicking.

With several nods and winks to some of Parker's other material, as well as several current references, the show is fun and slapstick and absurd in all the right places.

Cannibal: The Musical plays at the Firehall Arts Centre on Sept 9 (6:15pm), Sept 10 (6:45pm), Sept 11 (5pm), Sept 13 (1:30pm), and Sept 14 (3:15pm).

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Vancouver Fringe Festival: No Tweed Too Tight - Grant Canyon Mystery

Look here, see? We got a good ol' fashioned mystery for ya, in the vein of classic private detective movies. But Grant Canyon is no PI, no Sir, but rather, an Insurance Investigator! No Tweed Too Tight - Grant Canyon Mystery is a silly slapstick comedic genius of a show, with zingers and one liners that will fly by you if you aren't paying attention.

Back by popular demand, Ryan Gladstone's hilarious one-man show about a perpetually drunk insurance investigator will have you laughing in no time.

No Tweed  Too Tight: Grant Canyon Mystery plays at the Waterfront Theatre on Sept 8 (6:45pm), Sept 11 (8:40pm), and Sept 13 (7:50pm).

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Vancouver Fringe Festival: Little One

Holy smokes. I need to sit down. No, I need a drink. Wow.

Have you ever gone to a show and left it feeling extremely satisfied? Like you've gambled and won? Like you know you made the very best out of your evening? Yes. That's what happened tonight to me. And thank goodness for the Vancouver Fringe Festival, because if not for that, when would I have ever been able to witness such a compelling and boldly intense show such as Alley Theatre's Little One, written by Hannah Moscovitch and directed by Amiel Gladstone.

Daniel Arnold and Marisa Smith give off brilliantly riveting performances as a brother and sister duo whose layers of secrets slowly become unraveled in this 60 minute edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller. To say it's intense is putting it mildly. The off-stage characters are equally as fleshed out as the ones that appear before you. These people and their stories and even the family cat will continue to haunt you, long after the show has ended.

If you think you can handle it, then this is so far the Must-See show of the Fringe. It's tightly written, completely absorbing, and deserves its moment in the spotlight.

Little One still has performances on Sept 7 (3:25pm), Sept 10 (7pm), Sept 12 (6pm), and Sept 13 (3pm) at The Cultch - Culture Lab.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Vancouver Fringe Festival: The Zoo Story

Aenigma Theatre joins the Vancouver Fringe Festival to bring us Edward Albee's The Zoo Story. The first Albee play I ever saw was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and I was blown away by it. So imagine my excitement at the thought of getting the opportunity to see another one of his works.

You walk in to be greeted with the musical stylings of The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, etc. which is noteworthy since the play itself is of that time. However, Albee continued to update the play to make it more current as time went on, with this version being the most recent one (last updated/published in 2008).

Scott Button stars as Peter, the bookish patron of a park bench. Stumbling into his orbit is Jerry, played by Tom Stevens who is utterly a revelation. With the majority of the show on his shoulders, Stevens draws in the audience as Jerry, with his tales and stories about attempted dog murders and other mad ramblings. He is mesmerizing to see, and it will be well worth your time to check this show out at this year's Fringe!

Could this play be seen as depicting the need for human connection? Why is Jerry so insistent on talking with this total stranger, Peter? And why would anyone in their right mind sit and listen to him? Perhaps both are longing for something more in their lives, a connection with another individual. In this day and age, aren't we all just longing for that everytime we log into Facebook, send out a text message, take a photo on Instagram?

The Zoo Story plays on Sept 7 (7:35pm), Sept 8 (7pm), Sept 10 (8:45pm), Sept 13 (9:25pm), & Sept 14 (4:10pm) at The Cultch - Culture Lab.

Vancouver Fringe Festival: The Dark Fantastic

"An incredible feat of storytelling." - CBC

I don't disagree. Martin Dockery works his butt off in this one-man show. As if slam poetry wasn't theatrical enough, Dockery takes that genre to a whole new level with his performance of several tales that weave the mystic and mysterious with the mundane realities of everyday life together into a live jigsaw puzzle of words that will have you losing your way and then finding it again. The twists and turns he takes you on with his words is a journey that is sometimes dark, and occasionally fantastic.

The Dark Fantastic is on Sept 6 (1pm), Sept 7 (9:25pm), Sept 11 (6:45pm), Sept 13 (5:55pm), and Sept 14 (3pm) at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island.  

Wednesday, 3 September 2014


Remember when TV shows had theme songs that you could actually sing along to? Well, SHOW TUNES night takes a left-turn into TV land this month and brings back all the TV themes you can think of as we celebrate the best in TV Theme Songs and Show Tunes!!

Come on down to the Happiest Happy Hour of the month, Friday Sept 5 from 6-9:30pm at 1181!

Like us on Facebook to keep yourself up to date on upcoming Show Tunes events!