; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: March 2016

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Ga Ting

I managed to get tickets to the sold out run of Frank Theatre's Ga Ting, written by Minh Ly, at the Cultch.

This family drama is set around the death of a young gay Asian man, whose boyfriend comes to visit the home of his deceased lover's parents. Intense and heavy, this play is a welcome addition to the Canadian stage, most notably in the LGTBQ canon. It's not often we get to see a story about gay Asians (even though the gay Asian character in this story never really appears). Still, it's a different perspective and a voice from outside of the mainstream gay community, which is really refreshing.

I know the run of this show is now done at The Cultch, but I had to do a write-up in case Ga Ting comes to your town and I wouldn't want you to miss out! Look for it at your local live theatre venues!

And check out the Frank Theatre Company for more!

The Crowd

Langara's Studio 58 is known for having productions that showcase the excellent acting skills of their students. In the world premiere of The Crowd, we get to see numerous actors highlight their physical acting abilities - whether it's being beaten senseless by a clown, or being thrown halfway across the room, the physical acting in this show is painful to watch, as it looks so realistic!

Story-wise, the plot seemed to be all over the place. We go from a crime ring to apocalyptic aliens to lesbians in love to a Beyonce lips-sync, and yes, as mentioned, there is also a clown. I waited a day or two before writing this post because I think I really needed some time for all of it to sink in. Now I can look back and reflect on the bizarre experience I witnessed at Studio 58.

One thing I dislike about any plays is when there are too many scene changes. I say this because I took a play writing class and in my own amateur move, I created like a million scenes, not thinking about the logistics or how epileptic the lights up and lights down could be for an audience. Anyhow, The Crowd certainly has a lot of scenes in it, which may have worked better for me if they were sewn together a bit more tightly.

The Crowd is on now at Studio 58 at Langara until April 3!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Everything You Need To Know about Buying a Condo in Vancouver

Are you interested in getting in on the housing market in Vancouver? A crazy thought, I know, but for those of us who feel that it's a daunting "I'll never able to do it!" task, here to save the day is my friend Jason Hutchison, who has recently written a book about the process, complete with tips for buyers and neighbourhood background information!

If you're interested in obtaining a copy of the book, please contact Jason through his website My 604 Home!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Mashup: The Birth of Modern Culture

Toted as being the biggest exhibition ever to hit the Vancouver Art Gallery, Mashup is exactly what it sounds like - a mixed bag of artists, mediums, and art, all plotted along a framework of how modern culture came to be.

I don't even know where to begin with this one, other than to say it was a really fun and expansive exhibit that encompasses pretty much every corner of the art gallery from top to bottom floors. I was delighted to see a room of Andy Warhol work, then gasped when I saw works by Keith Haring and Basquiat, and absolutely touched to see work by Tobias Wong featured (I knew him on a personal level and was very proud to see his work there). There was also a soundproof room of stereos playing 70s funk and a cornucopia of screens and other multimedia throughout the exhibit.

There is just SO MUCH to see in this exhibit that one visit will not be enough. I plan on going back numerous times to take in more!

MASHUP is on now at the VAG until June 12th.

Monday, 7 March 2016

The Gay Heritage Project

Toronto's famous Buddies in Bad Times Theatre brings The Gay Heritage Project to town this month at the Cultch. I was excited to see it but was also a bit weary, wondering what I was in for. To watch 3 gay white males talk about gay heritage? I wasn't sure how on-board I was.

What was pleasantly surprising however, was the discourse that was brought up about just that issue! They recognized their own privilege as being white males and that there were other stories out there yet to be told.

The show is more an exploration of what gay heritage is and means to these performers, told through mini vignettes that are equal parts entertaining as they are touching. From a genuinely Canadian perspective, the audience is schooled on the history of queer heroes in our communities. There is discussion about how gay heritage is something that is "chosen" rather than something that we are born into. The HIV virus gets put on trial for murder and theft. There is acknowledgement that violence is a big part of gay heritage. They even question if the concept of gay heritage is even necessary? There are so many other factors out there that inform our identities: class, race, religion, gender, etc.

This was an extremely thoughtful, well-rounded show.  In the end, yes gay heritage is something important and that needs to be documented and taught and learned and discussed. It may not be a big part of someone's identity but it definitely shapes and transforms it in sometimes big and sometimes small ways.

If all the banter is a bit too serious for you, the show balances that all out with fun and energetic points, complete with songs! All members of the LGTBQ community and beyond should go see The Gay Heritage Project - if only for the amazing mash-up of show tunes and disco songs.

The Gay Heritage Project is on now at the Cultch until March 19th.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Wait Until Dark

Naked Goddess Productions invites you into the depths of the Havana Theatre on Commercial Drive to experience a live suspense/thriller called Wait Until Dark.

When I first walked in, I was impressed with the set design, prepared by John R. Taylor and consisting of the inside of what appears to be a basement level suite. When the scene begins, the tension is immediate as we witness what looks like someone breaking in and entering the apartment suite. Not only that, but mere minutes afterwards, another character trespasses onto the property. Who are these people? What are they doing here? Suspense - check!

What unravels before us is a con game that features a phony detective, a treasured doll, a few opening night mishaps (lighting, messed up lines), a precocious child, a murder, and a blind woman.

Based on the 1967 Audrey Hepburn thriller film of the same name, check out  Frederick Knott's period-piece stageplay-noir Wait Until Dark on now at the Havana Theatre until March 12.