; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: May 2015

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Cocktales with Maria

If you're looking for opera with a saucy spin, then drag queen opera goddess Maria Toilette is a must see! Channeling true life stories of sexcapades gone awry, Maria introduces you to her cast of friends whom she interviewed about sex and then set their tales to music.

For more information, and to buy tickets, check out the website!

Cocktales with Maria runs May 27 - May 29 at The Cultch (9:45pm) and a special presentation on Saturday May 30 at Club 8x6 with a pan-sexual play party afterwards.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Greenheart Canopy Walkway

This morning I went to the Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Gardens. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. WHAT THE HELL DID I GET MYSELF INTO???

First of all, I'm sure it's lovely. But as someone who is afraid of HEIGHTS, it was all I could do to keep from running through the course as quickly as possible without looking down. Oh My God.

I guess I was imagining a nice little Ewok village with wooden walkways above the treetops. Alas, it was a terrifying shock to my system to discover it was a lot of suspension bridge action, where I found myself gripping the edges and basically screaming throughout much of the walkway. I'm basically a chickenshit. Here's a photo of me looking relatively happy to be there, but if you look closer you'll see the look of maddening fear in my eyes!

Anyhow, if you're not scared of heights like I am and you love nature and the outdoors and all that wonderful stuff, then definitely go to UBC Botanical Gardens to check out this awesome summertime activity! It's fun for the whole family! And even if you are afraid of heights like me, then why not do as I did and go and conquer that fear?!

Friday, 22 May 2015

In a Forest, Dark and Deep

A week after the Havana Theatre played host to Sam Shepard's Fool For Love comes yet another twisted tale of two siblings in Neil Labute's In a Forest, Dark and Deep. Produced by Naked Goddess Productions, this marks the latest Neil Labute play to hit Vancouver, and I could not have been happier!

If you're a fan of Labute's theatre of the dark and his examination of the uglier side of humanity, then you will not be disappointed with In A Forest, Dark and Deep. The story of secrets unraveling takes place in one 99 minute scene, with much kudos to the actors who carry out the work without a break. Sandra Medeiros plays Betty, the cold older sister who isn't what she appears, while Carlo Marks is electrifying as little brother Bobby determined to get to the truth using tools of misogyny, physical violence, and even seduction.

It's an anger-infused mystery that will have you unwrapping the layers with every step. The set, designed by Triane Tambay, converts the dingy back room of the Havana into a sleek modern day loft. The 80s soundtrack that plays throughout was somewhat distracting at points but the actors and the plot manage to successfully keep your attention on them.

In A Forest, Dark and Deep is on now at the Havana Theatre until May 30th. Tickets can be purchased online.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

High Tea

Playing NOW in Vancouver at the Jericho Arts Centre is “High Tea,” starring the British comedy duo James & Jamesy, in a show that can boast winning FIVE Fringe awards including Best Comedy, Best Script, and Best of Fest. The handbill describes the show as interactive, and they mean it!

From the lovely free Tetley’s tea in real teacups we drank in our seats to the exuberant audience participation encouraged, everyone looked to be having a grand time. James is the buttoned-up straight man to the silly antics of Jamey, his pal with a HUGE imagination and a unique view of the world.  This show had wonderful physical humour but clearly had a team of clever talent behind its creation.  I would recommend this show to all ages, from families to adults out for the evening. Good silly fun!

High Tea is playing at the Jericho Arts Centre now through May 24.  Tickets can be found online.

(written by guest blogger Roxanne Kalenborn)

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Fool For Love

And so we welcome a brand new theatre company making its brave debut here in Vancouver! How lucky are we to have a talented new theatre group to look forward to producing some quality theatre in the city, adding to the thriving arts scene? Clockwork Theatre is currently bestowing on us its inaugural show over at the Havana Cafe, a mounting of Fool For Love by renowned Pulitzer-prize winning American playwright Sam Shepard.

It's an intimate show in an intimate space. Focusing around a young couple, May and Eddie, who meet up in a squalid motel and try to work out their relationship. May tries to make Eddie jealous but at the same time doesn't want him to leave, while he attempts at trying to appease her and only getting frustrated and angry by her confusing motives. I didn't see the twist that came midway through the play, which definitely had me intrigued. And who exactly is the old man sitting in the corner? You can only find out if you come see Fool For Love!

Joel Butler plays the egotistical cowboy who goes from nurturing to scary on the flip of a dime. Kaitlin Williams is the emotionally torn May, while Patrick Dodd cameos as Martin, who reminded me of a gentle giant of a man, a la Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Steve James plays the old man in the rocking chair, whose purpose isn't quite clear until well into the show, but is guaranteed to be worth the wait.

Get ready for some high melodrama mixed in with a dose of shock value and top notes of a psychological thriller! For their first outing, Clockwork Theatre has shown they are going to be a force to be reckoned with! Let's hope they continue to bring noteworthy and sometimes controversial plays and productions to Vancouver audiences.

Fool For Love is on now at the Havana Cafe on Commercial Drive until May 16. Check out their website for more info.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

In The Heights

Beautiful. This is a beautiful and moving musical, done with extreme heart currently showing at the Stanley Theatre.

What is In The Heights about, I've been asked? I saw it on Broadway right before they won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and I didn't know how to describe it. I'd tell people it was about immigrants. But that didn't do it justice, nor was it 100% accurate. I'd say, it has hip hop and rap in it, which might turn off some, but the music isn't entirely like that either. There are beautiful ballads like Breathe and It Won't Be Long Now that will break your heart completely.

Sometimes I would say that In The Heights is about people who live in this neighbourhood of New York called Washington Heights where there's a big hispanic population. Still not exactly capturing the heart of the show, am I? 

After seeing the Arts Club Theatre's production of In The Heights last night, I was able to get a better sense of what the show might be "about."  If I had to tell someone, I'd say it was about community and family, how we disappoint one another and try to live up to each other's expectations, how we try to better ourselves, better our surroundings and help make the world we live in a better place. It's about taking chances and uniting as one and the complexities of love, socio-economics, culture, and life in general.

The cast, which are all locally sourced, do a tremendous job. They help bring a slice of this urban ghetto to Vancouver and allow us to reflect on our own experiences and opportunities and feel fortunate and thankful. In The Heights will raise you up, inspire you, and have you standing on your feet to applaud and share in the show's triumphs.

In The Heights is on now at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until June 7. Whatever you do, don't miss out!!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Miss Shakespeare

Vancouver is proud to be the host of the world premiere of a new musical by the creators of Chelsea Hotel. This time, it's an all-female cast in Miss Shakespeare - A Saucy New Musical!

"It’s the 1600's and women are banned from the stage, but the suppressed female mind is finding it difficult to stay... well, suppressed.

Behind the dingy walls of The Cage Tavern, six women explore the seductive power of the theatre. With a musical score influenced by underground European Cabaret the women embrace their creativity, their voice, and their freedom. But the law is not on their side and if these artists are to truly have a voice, they must find the courage to get beyond the walls and in front of an audience.

Daddy’s had his turn‚ the mad mind of Judith Shakespeare explodes in this saucy new musical."

Brought to you by The Escape Artists, Miss Shakespeare will play in repertory with an all-female rendition of Julius Caesar!

 Both shows run: 
May 5-18, 2015 at Performance Works
Tickets: $21 - 35 
Previews May 5 & 6: Half Price
May 21- 29, 2015 at The Kay Meek Centre
Tickets: 604.981.6335