may 2017 | Volume 155
Happy Victoria Day weekend. Do we really still celebrate that holiday? Why? And will it ever stop raining? If there’s a consolation, crappy weather is ideal for indoor theatre. And while most of our subscription theatres are ending their seasons with the end of May, the Arts Club and Bard on the Beach are setting up for their summer shows and plenty of other companies are keeping the lights on.
Unhappily, one of our highest quality independents has folded. John Wright’s Blackbird Theatre has run out of funding after a decade of excellent shows. Try the SEARCH function on Vancouverplays and you’ll find reviews of Blackbird productions by Chekhov, Sheridan, Albee, Ibsen, Molière, Beckett, Euripides and more. And those reviews are almost unanimously raves. So congratulations and condolences to John and everyone else involved in Blackbird’s glorious but too short run.
Continuing shows: Mom’s the Word 3: Nest ½ Empty at the Arts Club’s Granville Island Stage, Circle Game: Reimagining the Music of Joni Mitchell at the Firehall, On a First Name Basis at Deep Cove Shaw Theatre, A Little Night Music at New Westminster’s Anvil Centre, End of the Rainbow at Jericho Arts Centre,and Ties of Blood: The Brontës at the Havana.
Opening May 15 week: The Cultch premieres Corey Payette’s residential school musical Children of Godat the York, John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar opens at Pacific Theatre, the Arts Club’s Sun Records musical Million Dollar Quartet opens at the Stanley and Arts Umbrella’s Expressions Festival at the Waterfront. Strauss’ Die Fledermaus is at North Vancouver’s Presentation House and Enchanted April opens in Abbotsford.
Opening May 22 week: the rEvolver Festival at The Cultch, Scott Button’s The Hunger Room at PAL Studio, Yesteryear at North Van’s Hendry Hall, Fiddler on the Roof at Maple Ridge’s Theatre in the Country, and Monster Theatre’s The Canada Show: The Complete History of Canada at Granville Island’s Revue Stage as part of the Vancouver International Children’s Festival. The Arts Club starts previews of Hand to God at the BMO Theatre Centre.
Pi Theatre invites you to their staged reading of The Paradise Arms, Leanne Brodie’s new translation of Olivier Sylvestre's La beauté du monde. May 18, 7:30 pm, Test Kitchen at Playwrights Theatre Centre, 739 Gore St. www.pitheatre.com
Realwheels Theatre presents Comedy on Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday with Belly Laughs, showcasing members of the disability community in comic performances. May 18-20, 8 pm at Performance Works, Granville Island. Tickets PWYC/$20/$25 at www.comedy-on-wheels.bpt.me.
The Moth, an acclaimed international storytelling non-profit, makes its Vancouver debut on Saturday May 20, with five storytellers telling their own true tales. 8 pm at the Vogue Theatre. Tickets $45 at www.ticketfly.com. www.themoth.org
The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards Society will announce this year’s Jessie Award nominees at its 2017 Jessie Nominations Party on Tuesday May 23, 5 pm at Pacific Theatre, 1440 W. 12th Ave. The 35th Annual Jessie Awards Ceremony will be held, as usual, at the Commodore Ballroom, Monday June 26, starting 6:30 pm. Tickets $32.50 + sc at www.ticketmaster.ca. www.jessies.ca
Neworld Theatre presents Another Window, a cabaret-style show combining comedy, music, spoken word, theatre, and visual art. Participants include a queer Pakistani poet, Aboriginal and Persian musicians, a drag performer, and playwright/ actor Tetsuro Shigematsu. June 10, 8 pm at Progress Lab, 1422 William St. $15-$20 admission includes wine-tasting, craft beer and more. Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com. www.neworldtheatre.com
As theatre companies roll out their 2017/18 season announcements, we’ll continue to let you know where to look to see their offerings and, if you want, to subscribe.
The latest announcement comes from Metro Theatre, whose 6 show 55th season features the comedy Calendar Girls: http://metrotheatre.com/newsletters/announcing-20172018-season/. For the Arts Club’s 15 shows, led off by Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika, go to http://artsclub.com/season-tickets/lineup/. The Cultch has 22 shows on its three stages, including 1 Hour Photo, Tetsuro Shigematsu’s follow-up to last year’s breakout hit, Empire of the Son: https://thecultch.com/tickets/subscribe/. The highlight of Pacific Theatre’s 8 shows might be the Vancouver premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Ruined: http://pacifictheatre.org/seasonannouncement. Carousel Theatre for Young People kicks off its 5-show season with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: http://www.carouseltheatre.ca/1718-season/. United Players’ 5 shows include another welcome Sondheim musical, Merrily We Roll Along: http://www.unitedplayers.com/Pages/Season.html. Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre continues to build its theatre offerings with a 10-show season highlighted by a visit from the Arts Club’s brilliant Onegin: http://evergreenculturalcentre.ca/buy-tickets/2017-2018-theatre-indie-series/. Richmond’s Gateway Theatre features 6 shows on its two stages, including a reconceived Saltwater Moon from Toronto’s Factory Theatre: https://www.gatewaytheatre.com/subscribe. Fighting Chance Productions continues its ambitious expansion with 7 shows, capped by Guys and Dolls: http://www.fightingchanceproductions.ca/1516/201718-season-announcement/. And Green Thumb Theatre goes on the road for its 42nd season with school tours of some of its classics for kids including Ian Tamblyn’s Land of Trash and John Lazarus’ Not So Dumb: www.greenthumb.bc.ca.
Congratulations to Deep Cove Stage Society for its production of Marion Bridge, judged Best Production at the North Shore Zone of Theatre BC Festival of Plays by adjudicator Kathryn Shaw. Marion Bridge will now represent the North Shore at Theatre BC’s Mainstage festival in Vernon in July. The other show receiving the most awards at the North Shore Zone festival was Kayak, from Squamish’s Between Shifts Theatre. Kudos to everyone involved in the festival. www.theatrebc.org
Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre is offering two Kids on Stage summer camps (ages 6-11), July 10-14 and 17-21, and two Improv Camps, July 24-28 (ages 8-12) and Aug. 14-18 (ages 13-17). 9 am-4 pm. Cost: $250. Register by May 31 and get 10% off. http://evergreenculturalcentre.ca/summer-camps-2017/ or 604-927-6552.
Theatre Under the Stars is offering a musical theatre summer camp in four sessions: for kids 8-12, July 17-21 or July 31-Aug. 4, 10 am-3 pm, M-F ($450); and for ages 13-18, July 24-28 or Aug. 14-18, 10 am-4 pm, M-F ($495). Both camps include a showcase on the final Friday at 7 pm. For further information and registration: https://www.tuts.ca/registration/camps/2017.
Gateway Theatre, Richmond, is offering seven different summer theatre camps and workshops for kids 8-18 in acting, improvisation, speech and musical theatre. For details and application info, go to https://www.gatewaytheatre.com/summer-camps-workshops-1718?mc_cid=56fecd3f96&mc_eid=26d6afa70e.
THE ARTS ARE NOT SOMEHOW APART FROM OUR NATIONAL LIFE,
THE ARTS ARE THE HEART OF OUR NATIONAL LIFE.
— Barack and Michelle Obama, 2009
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