; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: August 2015

Monday, 31 August 2015

Janet Jackson in Vancouver

So. First off, she literally sang EVERYTHING. You name it? She Sang It. Ok: Opening night of her world tour! Emails out to everyone to make sure that we all show up promptly. Doors at 7pm. Show at 8pm. A DJ was an opening act at 7pm.  She comes on at around 8:15pm, no waiting game!  Crowd goes insane for her. She looks AMAZING.  All in white. Only one outfit change throughout the evening, and it was just the top. On the bottom she wore like white parachute jogging pant type things, with sneakers. Looked GREAT.  

She started the set off with a new song nobody knew but it featured Missy Elliot up on the screen, so everyone was screaming for that and screaming for her, and so it was all good. Then she LAUNCHES into what would become a NON STOP 45 MINUTE MEDLEY of literally all her big dance hits. I'm talking Nasty, Control, What Have You Done For Me Lately, When I Think of You, Miss You Much, Escapade, Love Will Never Do Without You, You Want This, that song she did with Shaggy, The Best Things in Life are Free (WTF!!), All Nite Don't Stop, Feedback, Someone To Call My Lover, All For You, Alright..... and The Pleasure Principle, complete with her up against a mirror and strobe lights going off. Holy F_CK We were losing our GODDAMN MINDS.  

Then.... a famous Janet interlude. Followed by her coming out in the only outfit change of the evening (another white top), and singing a new slow song that was quite lovely. This was obviously going to be the ballads portion of the evening, and she did not disappoint. She followed up the new song with Again, which everyone in the audience sang along to, followed by Come Back To Me, I Get Lonely, and Let's Wait Awhile, topping it off with Got Till It's Gone and Anytime Anyplace which then led right into No Sleeep and THEN into THATS THE WAY LOVE GOES and fade.....

There was more dancey numbers to be had! She was NOT done with us yet. She roared onto the stage with BLACK CAT and THROB of all things, and then came..... IF.  And yes, she brought them. The IF arms. The Asian-inspired karate chop swinging arm dance that everyone does in their bedroom when IF comes on. And she did them, and everyone went N U T S.  This was everything you wanted in a Janet Jackson concert and more. So EPIC. Then she starts singing a weird but good and updated rendition of Together Again, and you're like "Okay, this is a pretty cool version." After the first verse and chorus, she stops and it goes into the regular version and everyone is BALLASTIC and clapping and dancing and singing along and you KNOW everyone's thinking about MICHAEL when she's singing that IN HEAVEN WE WILL BE TOGETHER BABY......

So of course she has to sing SCREAM, right? Check.

It's all too much. I'm sure I've missed some songs here that she did, but she certainly did not miss anything (maybe Runaway and Doesn't Really Matter?)
The finale of this second dance number is of course Rhythm Nation. Which gave me CHILLS. It was like old Janet again. All those dance moves from the video. So on point. Everyone dancing in unison in formation. Oh how we've missed that. And the lyrics. Never more poignant than they are today:

This is the test
No struggle no progress
Lend a hand to help
Your brother do his best
Things are getting worse
We have to make them better
It's time to give a damn
Let's work together come on

People of the world today
Are we looking for a better way of life
We are a part of the rhythm nation
People of the world unite
Strength in numbers we can get it right
One time
We are a part of the rhythm nation 

Seriously. I was in damn near f-cking tears. Was this the end???

There was an encore, but what could she possibly do???

She came back with a brand new song, that may have been titled Should've Known Better but I'm not sure. But it was a perfect bookend to Rhythm Nation. It started off sort of like a ballad, but picks up speed and becomes this anthem. Yes, another socially conscious song from Janet! Images of African American people and the homeless and #blacklivesmatter and #wecantbreathe and Muslims all adorn the screen. This song was epic and NEEDS to be a single and yes, there is no better time for it than now.


There was another new song after that I don't remember and she introduced the band and the dancers and then spoke to the crowd. This was the quintessential Janet moment, you know where she stands there and takes in the applause and thanks you the fans and has a moment where she cries. It might be rehearsed and contrived since she does this during every single tour, but this was opening night, and she said to the crowd, "Thank you all so much for all your support from me and my entire family."  Loaded words. Tears in her eyes. Seemed like the real deal tonight. Everyone was thinking it again: MICHAEL.

With that, she bid everyone goodnight and was off.... no big final number to send us into the night, just a lovely thank you for coming and being amazing and genuine gratitude.

Thank you Janet for opening your tour here in Vancouver, we love you, and we can't wait for the new album to drop! 

Please forgive my crappy photos - I was up in the nosebleeds but it was epic nonetheless!

#UnbreakableWorldTour #UnbreakableVancouver

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Fringe Festival Vancouver 2015

Are you ready to Fringe??

As Summer comes to a wrap, we are fortunate enough to have a plenitude of events in store for us in September. One of those events is of course the annual Fringe Festival! Preparations are already in gear, and tickets are already on sale, so have you picked up your program, chosen what shows you want to see, and bought your passes?? If not, now is the time to do so!

Check out the Fringe Festival website for more info! Fun Fun Vancouver will be devoting much of the blog to the Fringe as September begins, so stay tuned for reviews on shows if you're looking for suggestions!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Exit Canada

I've been dying to try out one of these Escape Room facilities for quite some time now. I'm an avid fan of the online games that I play on my phone, such as Tales from Monkey Island, Lost City, The Legend of Grisly Manor, Ruby Escape Loft, and The Box. Now here was an opportunity to play one of these games in REAL LIFE!!? Yes please!

For those not familiar, these games involve being locked in some sort of room and having to use clues to find your way out. Example: you might find a key in a drawer, and then come across a locked box somewhere else in the room and the key might unlock that box, and then inside that box might be a riddle that you have to solve in order to get to the next clue, and so on...

We chose to go to Exit Canada, as it is one of the more popular ones. They have several locations in the Lower Mainland, so we chose to do the one on West Broadway. They have different rooms you can choose from each with their own distinctive theme: Circus, Egypt, Illusions, Transylvania, and the more advanced Butcher Shop. We decided to go vampire and do Transylvania.

First of all, it is NOT scary. These games are NOT SUPPOSED to be scary. Nothing will jump out at you, and if they do, then that's a twist on the genre, but normally, scare tactics are NOT COOL. And I say that because I HATE BEING SCARED. So I was glad when the host reassured me that nothing will jump out at you, especially considering you're roaming around in the dark.

The setting was perfect. It had enough decoration to make you feel like you were in a different atmosphere, but it wasn't too busy that you were confused by what might be a clue and what might not. Basically, pay attention to EVERYTHING in the room. I had an awesome time, and I highly recommend it.

(We did fail on our first try, but ended up paying half price to continue on and finish things off. First off, 45 mins is way too short to be able to finish these games. But I guess it's a business and if they gave a full hour, people might actually be able to finish and they wouldn't make as much money.)

There were a few flaws in our game. For instance, there was a chess set with a chess piece missing, and we thought it was our duty to find it. When we called for a hint (you're allowed maximum 2), they came in to help and said that there should have been a chess piece there. So, we basically wasted time looking for a chess piece that should have already been there, which was not our fault that it was missing. It would have been nice to have some time ADDED BACK for their mistake. Also, when we called for another hint, the person who came in DID NOT KNOW what to tell us and had to call for back-up. Ummm, shouldn't you know these games inside out, especially if people are relying on you to give a hint? I ended up figuring the thing out on my own, which again, was a waste of a hint considering the person did not have one to give us. So, it was a bit of a gong show in that respect, but overall, it's a fantastic experience and I can't wait to go back and try some of the other rooms out, and even try out some of the other Escape Room games in town!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Modern Fairy Tale: A Musical Parody

Setting up shop at the Metro Theatre is the latest musical to hit the stage this summer. So far, we've gotten the likes of Hairspray and Oliver at Theatre Under The Stars, Les Miserables and Godspell at the Arts Club, and Jesus Christ Superstar from Fighting Chance Productions.

Standing out from the crowd though is Orthros Theatre Company's A Modern Fairy Tale: A Musical Parody, being an original musical written by Lisa Simon yet using familiar pop songs as its soundtrack with rewritten lyrics. So when you've had enough of the classics, why not take a chance on something new yet familiar? This retelling of fairy tales is akin to Sondheim's Into The Woods with its melange of famous characters you'll instantly recognize, except with a new bent. For example, Cinderella is now Cinder, a male married to his Prince Charming (aka Chuck), both of whom are obsessed with shoes. Meanwhile, Little Red Riding Hood is busy being caught between the Hunter and the Wolf.

The Wolf is played by Sasja Towe, who is absolutely brilliant and by far the main reason to go see this show. Sasja identifies as "gender non-binary" according to their bio and uses the "they/their" pronoun. Armed with a magnificent voice, Anne Hathaway features, and the smoothest dancing moves on the stage, Sasja is definitely the break-out star of this show.

Other high points included a sudden tap dance-off, a haunting ballet/modern dance sequence during Snow White's story line, and a dance fight featuring much of the ensemble cast, which numbers just over 20!

There were sound difficulties at times, and some of the scene transitions could be ironed out, but overall it's one big giant love-in happening right now at the Metro Theatre.

A Modern Fairy Tale: A Musical Parody runs now until August 30th at the Metro.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Are you still riding high from an amazing Pride weekend earlier this month!? I know I am!

What better way to continue that feeling than by catching a flick at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival?

Don't miss it! The Vancouver Queer Film Festival runs August 13 - 18 !

Saturday, 8 August 2015

The Chung Collection

Have you gone out to UBC lately to visit their Rare Books and Special Collections room? This is where you can find the permanent exhibit, The Chung Collection.

"The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection contains more than 25,000 rare and unique items (documents, books, maps, posters, paintings, photographs, silver, glass, ceramic ware and other artifacts)."

"In 1999, the Chung family made an exceptional gift to the University of British Columbia Library, with their donation of The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection.

In making a generous gift of this unique and extensive research collection, Dr. Chung gives back to Canada something of what he and his family have gained since his grandfather came from China to settle in Victoria more than 100 years ago."

"The Chung Collection is housed in UBC's Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, where selected pieces are on display in the Chung Room. The exhibit is open to the public, at no charge."

For more information, please visit the website

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Jesus Christ Superstar

If you're hankering for some Andrew Lloyd Webber this summer, then you can count on Fighting Chance Productions, as they will be mounting the feverish JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island.

Don't miss this iconic musical, which runs from August 6-23! For more information, check out the Fighting Chance Productions website!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Summertime Showtunes!

But oh... those summer.... niighhhhhtsss......

Yes we're in the midst of summertime, so what better way to cool off than with some Broadway? Join us for some summerlicious Show Tunes at 1181 Davie St on Friday August 7th, 6-9pm! Come in, relax, enjoy the air conditioning, and sing along to some of your favourite Broadway musical video clips!

Check out the Facebook page for more info!