; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: October 2019

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Frankenstein: Lost in Darkness

What a fitting play for the Halloween season! More than that though, this is a radio play done on stage. It's fascinating to watch as the actors voice the characters while also creating sound effects to help build the world where Frankenstein inhabits.

Corina Akeson is wonderfully tormented as the tortured Dr. Frankenstein who is ashamed and afraid after creating the creature. We watch as the doctor's world falls apart and delves deep into despair. 

Diana Squires juggles a few hats, with sound effect duty and also playing the roles of Elizabeth, the doctor's betrothed and the sea captain who comes to save the doctor lost at sea. The production has the microphones set up so that you know when an actor is playing a different role, but Squires' performances are nuanced enough to help the audience differentiate. 

Matthew Simmons also juggles a cornucopia of characters and provides much of the sound effects for the show, which was absolutely intriguing to watch. At times, I would close my eyes to just treat this like a radio play I would be listening to at home.

Then of course we have Tariq Leslie, who plays the monster. With his deep baritone voice, he manoeuvres back and forth between the monster's internal dialogue of loneliness and his outward appearance of a monstrous beast.

The show's elevated dialogue is done by Peter Church, while direction is by Chris Lam (who stage managed last year's immersive Sweeney Todd!)

This audio drama is a unique theatrical experience and Vancouver, you are lucky to be witnessing the world premiere right here in our city! Go check out Frankenstein: Lost in Darkness at Pacific Theatre now until Nov 2.

Saturday, 12 October 2019


This is the best musical in town right now. No question about it.

I've seen Stephen Sondheim's Company before, and quite frankly, hated it. But maybe I've learned to appreciate Sondheim with age. Or maybe again, with age, I've learned to appreciate the stories about marriage and relationships that Company delves into.

Last year at this time, I went and saw Raincity Theatre's production of Sweeney Todd set in a pie shop, and ate meat pies while watching the show about murdering people and cooking them into meat pies!

This year, continuing their mission of "immersive musical theatre" Raincity Theatre brings us Sondheim's Company set at Bobby's birthday party in his apartment! I found my way to an apartment building in East Vancouver and was welcomed to the party, complete with birthday cake and pre-party shenanigans including a game of charades and me getting blindfolded to play "Pin the Bourbon on the Bobby!" 

It was a joyous atmosphere, and a dream production. When the show actually started, the singers' voices were crystal clear in the intimate space, whose acoustics were downright magical.  It really is basically like having a musical being performed in your very own living room. Jonathan Winsby's Robert is a powerhouse performance, and the rest of the cast are equally as brilliant.

I have never enjoyed Company more than I have with this production. You must go, and you will absolutely love it.

Company is on now until October 26.

Sunday, 6 October 2019


I am so glad I managed to catch a performance of this one-person musical happening in New Westminster.

An off-Broadway show, the musical takes us back to old Vaudeville and we are introduced to a myriad of characters, played by one actor. In this production, the nights rotate between a male and a female actor.  On the night I went, I saw the incomparable Luisa Jojic, whose enthralling performance was a downright revelation!

I am not too fussed about the story. Yes, it's disturbing to say the least, especially Act Two.  But as far as musicals go, I wasn't leaving the theatre humming any memorable tunes, although that song about mothers was devastating.

Luisa Jojic however, was worth the ticket admission alone. She knocks the performance right out of the ballpark. I don't know how the other actor compares, as I did not get a chance to see him. But I can only imagine that the talent needed for a show like this is hard to find.

Herringbone ends today at the Anvil Centre! Don't miss out!