; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: March 2015

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The return of SHOWTUNES Night!!

After a one month hiatus, it's the return of SHOWTUNES Night at 1181 Davie Street, on Friday April 3rd, from 6-9pm! Yes that's right! It's the best way to make your Good Friday even better! Join in for the fun and festivities with new musical videos and some Easter-inspired tunes on the big screens!

RSVP and invite your friends via the Facebook event page!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Turkish Delight: The Istanbul Lounge & Gourmet

I'm not a food blogger, but I figured I could start blogging about fun little eateries that I come across that probably won't make it onto the mainstream food blogs because these places aren't necessarily hip or trendy or haven't paid whatever fee is required to get listed on one of those sites. So, the other day a friend and I were wandering around Victoria Drive, which is home to numerous Chinese restaurants, definitely a great area to hit up some cheap but good dim sum. There are also Japanese and izakaya places cropping up. A new ramen shop has opened down the block, which I can't wait to go try.

Other than Chinese/Japanese restaurants, there are also several other cultures being represented, including Latino food, Italian, East Indian, Cambodian, Burmese, and a new place that showcases Turkish food!

Their "Yaprak Sarmasi" (stuffed grape leaves) were DIVINE.

I really wanted to try their special Borek pie, but apparently that is only served during breakfast. Instead, we sampled their Red Lentil Burger plate, which was yummy, and served with a piece of whole wheat toast! WTF right? It worked though. And they gave us complimentary pomegranate juice. The service there? Super friendly and sweet!! 

This Chicken Donair plate.... omg, that CHICKEN! I don't know WHAT spices they were using, but it was PURE perfection. You HAVE to try it.

The Istanbul Lounge & Gourmet is located at 5552 Victoria Drive. Phone: 604-767-4730

For a more foodie-centric blog, please go check out my friend's new food blog, What Chris Ate

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

I had the opportunity to grab a StudentRush ticket yesterday afternoon for a matinee showing of the Tony award winning play Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike, currently playing at the Arts Club Stanley Theatre.

The play starts off strong, setting up expectations for a hilarious absurdist show. I found myself laughing within the first five minutes, and took that as a good sign. Unfortunately, things kind of peters out after that. The premise revolves around a group of siblings: the spinster Sonia and her gay brother Vanya, who live together and are visited by their younger successful sister Masha, arriving with her boy toy Spike.

Robert Salvador's portrayal of Spike was what helped keep me interested in the show, having seen him excel in prior productions of Espresso and The Rainmaker over at Pacific Theatre. This time, I got to ogle to my heart's content as he parades around the stage in nothing but his underwear.

Throw in a naive neighbour and a psychic housecleaner, there are elements of this play that are good but could just be better. I'm not sure how this play won a Tony award? Perhaps I just didn't get the deeper message to it all, or the constant Chekov references. Jay Brazeau's Vanya has a marvelous revelation though, where he rants about the modern age and the lost beauty of days gone by of letter writing and licking stamps. That was a terrific speech that I could totally relate to.

I recently was in New York and I went to see The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night Time and cried my heart out. Now there's a play worthy of a Tony. (We'll see what happens this June!) Likewise, an older play I saw called Time Stands Still about a photojournalist and the effect of her career on her relationships was also astounding. Hint hint Arts Club: please do Time Stands Still!

Otherwise, the actors who make up Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike do a good job in carrying the show, which might have been even more dull in the hands of another cast. In terms of an absurdist play though, I've seen better ones done by more independent theatre companies such as Staircase Theatre, who brought us the wonderfully hilarious and absurd Hunter Gatherers and Cocktails at Pam's.

If you feel like ducking out of the rain for an afternoon of theatre and quasi-comedy, then Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike might be the ticket for you, if only to see Robert Salvador's sensual backwards strip-tease.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is on until April 19th at the Arts Club / Stanley Theatre.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Fighting Chance Productions 2015-2016 Season announced!

I was at the announcement of the 2015-2016 season for Fighting Chance Productions and wow things are exciting! First off, they have SIX shows they are bringing to us next season. Those shows include:

- The Andrew Lloyd Webber feline dance spectacle.

- An off-Broadway show about a tragic love triangle, conceived by RENT creator Jonathan Larson.

- The Western Canada premiere of this new intimate musical concerning an upstanding Mormon couple, faced with the suicide of their gay son.

- the Broadway smash based on the Grammy award winning album.

- An Australian musical in three acts. 

and perhaps... the one I'm most excited for.... I saw this in New York last summer and it was fantastic and everyone should go and see it when Fighting Chance brings it to Vancouver for its CANADIAN PREMIERE.....it's....

Yes, based on the cult movie classic and with songs written by the team behind the Legally Blonde musical, HEATHERS THE MUSICAL is NOT to be missed! Let's hope they serve some blue liquid plummer shots at the bar!!

To buy a subscription to all six show for only $99, check out the Fighting Chance Productions site.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Asians on Stage & Screen Talk

Want a guaranteed celebrity sighting? Then why not head up to the UBC campus on Tuesday March 24th for a panel discussion on Asians on Stage and Screen? It features members of the local comedy troupe Assaulted Fish, who are hilarious!You might recognize a few of the actors too from some of their cinematic works, including actress Diana Bang, who was most recently in the controversial Seth Rogen film The Interview. Also appearing will be Nelson Wong and Kuan Foo. For more information check out this link!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Andy Warhol exhibit in Vancouver

The Andy Warhol exhibit, A Different Kind of Love, is currently on now in Vancouver! It's a FREE exhibit, and it features over 80 original works of the art icon. Toted as being the largest collection of Warhol pieces to ever be exhibited in Canada, this one of a kind experience is on for the month of March only. The works are for sale, with some already sold, so break out your piggy banks and get on down to 1280 Homer Street in Yaletown to have a gander. I took some photos of my favourite pieces on display, but they don't do them justice.

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Whipping Man

It's a timely piece of theatre, with Black History Month just coming to an end, and concerns about racism running rampant on North America's current consciousness. The Whipping Man however takes place after the American civil war, where slaves are freed but are they really? Confederate soldier Caleb (played by Giovanni Mocibob) returns home, defeated and not sure what is in store for him. He is greeted by two former family slaves, the level-headed but naive Simon (played by Tom Pickett), and the effervescent but angry John (played by Carl Kennedy).

This tale of secrets and betrayal is mounted on a set that reflects the splintered state of the country at the time, a house ransacked and exhausted, much like the characters. The pacing of some of the scenes seemed a bit off at times, and the material hangs heavy in the air at the Pacific Theatre with its intensity.

It isn't often that you hear stories about Jewish families owning slaves, or having black slaves who observe the Jewish faith. In The Whipping Man, we are witness to a leg amputation from the get-go, followed later by a traditional Jewish seder, since it just so happens to be Passover.

The Whipping Man is on now at the Pacific Theatre until March 21.