Theatre Review: Bard on the Beach - The Tempest
I’ve been enchanted.
As my second LIVE performance at Bard on the Beach, Tempest wove it’s magic with ease.
A combination of comedy, fairy tale romance, tragedy, supernatural elements and historical intrigue, Meg Roe left nothing to chance.
Every element was perfectly positioned to play its part, whether in character, prop, lighting or music.
And so, the opening scene unfolds.
A ship cast out into a tempest with a crew crying out as they cling for their lives. A ship’s rope doubled for the boat and a string quartet enriched the musical ambiance and lyricism. The lights and sounds were timed perfectly, providing for the perfect storm.
Of-course, as with any storm, surviving is key.
I suppose that’s what’s unique about the tale.
The storm isn’t quite as frightening as you’d think. Prospero, an exiled duke from Milan had instructed a mischievous spirit (Ariel) to put the Tempest into motion (and cause a shipwreck) in order to separate the King’s son from his crew.
Prospero’s intent is solely to unite his daughter Miranda with the Prince (Ferdinand), and as expected, they are quickly smitten.
Theatre Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
By Jessica Hugh
2014 marks the 25th year of Vancouver’s Shakespeare Festival, the Bard on the Beach, and opening night was nothing short of exceptional. Despite knowing who Shakespeare was due to a brief introduction in highschool, I’ve never been to a staged production. What’s more is although I’ve enjoyed many movies with his characters intertwined in love, hate, desires, and misfortunes, nothing could have prepared me for my first live performance.
Taking place on the waterfront in Vancouver’s Vanier Park, the Festival kicked off it’s Silver Jubilee with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The evening had been overshadowed by the potential for downpour, yet not a cloud was in sight on the first day of Summer. It was the perfect way to kick-off the Summer Solstice.
Once inside the Village, there was a reception area where guests could purchase snacks + beverages, browse a gift shop, enter to win some neat prizes, and view various historical chronologies of the Organization. I finally made my way to our seats and was instantly drawn to the stage. A marbled white facade with arches that gave way to various platforms descending towards the audience, offset by a large wrought iron (upside down) umbrella on the left-hand side. I was totally intrigued.
Guests were welcomed by Artistic Director Christopher Graze who made certain introductions, of which was to B.C’s Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon who was ushered in with a bagpipe serenade. A Vancouver International Wine Festival representative also stepped on stage to present $170,000 to the organization, as they are a major supporter of the Art’s.
Yet, the show is what truly stole the night…
All of my pre-conceived ideas as to what live performances entailed were laid to rest just as the smoke screen started to rise.
Here in the opening act I was drawn into enchantment and adventure. It’s characters brought to life by their intriguing stories and costumes that hinted of steam punk, goth, ornate victorian, and pure sass. Costume Designer Mara Gottler certainly brought a dark sex appeal to the stage yet in a playful and comical way.
As the evening progressed, I was further enthralled with the contemporary spin on this classic. There was an ever present mingling of modern musical hits such as Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”, making the performance even appealing to Millennials who may find Shakespeare a tad boring for their liking.
Vancouver Performer Saving Kittens with Comedy!
- The Tourist Company - North Vancouver
- David Newberry - Vancouver
- Miss Quincy and the Showdown - Fort St John
- Derrival - Langley
- Altered By Mom - Vancouver
- The Wild Romantics - Nanaimo
- Damn Fools - Vancouver
- Jodi Pederson - Vernon
- Goodwood Atoms - Vancouver
- Shred Kelly - Fernie
- Jon Bryant - Surrey
- Good For Grapes - Surrey
Theatre Review: Monty Python’s Spamalot - Arts Club
There’s a new musical in town and it’s something completely different!
A musical that is ‘lovingly’ ripped off from motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Now for someone like me, I could recite this movie from beginning to end….blindfolded. This is one of those movies that I know oh too well. The many many years of sitting down popping in the VHS tape (for you kids see here for ‘what VHS is’) with friends and hollering out the many punchlines, jokes and little bits and pieces that have made up what might be the funniest and foolish films of all time. Well Monty Python a number of year’s ago decided…..why not make it into a musical and called it SPAMALOT!
Opening night at the Stanley Theatre had a fun buzz, even before the show started, I could hear friends in the industry rhyming off Python’esque jokes in the lobby. Everyone had a stupid grin on their faces as they all knew what was coming only moments away. The packed theatre did not disappoint, the theatre took the first bit of comedy and laughed all the way to a standing-o at the end.
Directed by the extremely talented Dean Paul Gibson, Spamalot does everything a comedy and musical should and more. It’s hilarious, like to the point my side hurt, I slapped my knee a couple times and yes the tears ran down my face……..literally!
Vancouver: A City of Theatre, Entertainment & Poker
Vancouver is a true Canadian treasure for several reasons. CBC.ca ranks it as the world’s fifth most liveable city and the number one city in North America in terms of political stability, healthcare, infrastructure, crime rate, environment, and recreational facilities. All year the city revels in theatrical festivals, musical performances, art exhibitions, and other forms of entertainment. There is another recreational activity that has been gaining recognition over the last few years in Vancouver, and that is gaming.
An article from The Vancouver Sun stated that the annual gross gaming revenue for the provincial government has steadily increased between 2002 and 2012, going from $1.14 billion to $2.06 billion. According to IGT, developer for slots game Castle Jackpot, the Canadian gaming and video lottery market has over 80,000 machines in operation in cities throughout the country. Canada also has the reputation of being a breeding ground for poker superstars. Although none of the four Canadian bracelet winners of the World Series of Poker were from British Columbia, Poker BC observes the notable finishes for BC players.
Cystic Fibrosis Canada is making great strides towards finding a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). Every year across Canada, friends, family, and colleagues of Canadians with CF lace up their walking shoes to participate in the Great Strides™ Walk, Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s national flagship fundraising event.
Year after year, the dedication of individuals, teams, and communities has raised more than $19 million at the Great Strides™ Walk. Together in 2013, walk participants raised over $3.2 millionnationally with more than $165,000 raised at the Lower Mainland event.
BC BuzZ is happy to be a friendly sponsor for the 10th Annual Great Strides™ Walk in Queen’s Park, New Westminster tomorrow May 25th, 2014. Sign-in at 10am, 5km walk at 11 and BBQ at Noon! Make sure to check out our good friends at Magical Moments Photo Booth that will be adding a little fun to the event!
Join the fight and help make CF stand for Cure Found.
To find more information about walks in your community please visit Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s National Great Strides website here.
Support Your Local Charity!
Theatre Review: Kim’s Convenience - Arts Club
I love me a story where the little guy triumphs. Kim’s Convenience, playing at the Arts Club Granville Island Stage until May 24th is satisfying on this level for a bunch of reasons. Kim’s Convenience started out as a Fringe play. If you’ve ever created a Fringe show, performed in a Fringe show or just plain attended a Fringe show, you know that it’s a chance for artists to self-produce, get their stories out there and hope like hell to make their money back in ticket sales. Even if a show is a hit at the Fringe, that doesn’t mean it will have a life outside the festival circuit. Very few do. But Kim’s Convenience not only won the New Play Contest and the Patron’s Pick Award at the 2011 Toronto Fringe, it then went on to a successful run at Soulpepper Theatre, received the Toronto Theatre Critics’ Award for Best New Canadian Play and went on a national tour. Oh, and now it’s being adapted for film and television. Go, little Fringe show, go!
BC BuzZ: Trevor Bird of Fable Kitchen
I’m not a “foodie”, nor a “gourmet”, and I’m sure not an “epicure”…..what I am is a guy who just loves food, drinks and takes pride in a sweet local spot to sit down and enjoy both. Ladies & Gents if you have yet to experience it, make sure to stumble down 4th ave in Kitsilano (Vancouver) and head to Fable Kitchen. Run by the one & only (and Top Chef Canada alum) Trevor Bird, I got to get up-close & personal about the new restaurant, life on Top Chef Canada and the Vancouver restaurant industry.
Support Your Local: Restaurants & Watering Holes!
Fable Kitchen: www.fablekitchen.ca
Theatre Review: Bomb-itty of Errors - Arts Club
Bomb-itty of Errors
By Jordan Allen-Dutton, Jason Catalano, Gregory J. Qaiyum, Erik Weiner, and Jeffrey Qaiyum
On any given opening night at Arts Club the crowd tends to be a mixed bag , little young, little older, then everyone in the middle. Opening night of Bomb-itty of Errors seemed to angle on the younger side. This is not to say if you are older you shouldn’t enjoy it, but get ready for 100 minutes of balls to the wall hip hop.
Yes I said it “balls to the wall” and yes you better love rap music, because you are going to see some pretty impressive rapping for that full 100 minutes with no intermission (thank god, any break in the play would ruin the fun). It starts off with: “Listen up close, so you can grab an earful. Some parts’ll make you cheerful and some’ll make you tearful. Don’t be fearful, y’all, it’s no drama, see. Is it a tragedy? NO! Is it a comedy? It’s a new style, it’s whatever we wanna be. So welcome, welcome, welcome to the Bomb-itty”. And the hip hop hilarity continues all night long.