• Production image


january 2017 | volume 151


Production image

  Chutzpah! Festival 2017 Poster

logo Chutzpah 2017 Festival

Lisa Nemetz International Jewish Performing Arts Festival
February 16 - March 13, 2017


Literary: Christopher Noxon (February 5)
Film Series (Dec. 13, Jan. 17, Mar. 21, May 23)
Music: Landon Braverman & Friends (April 2)
Dance: birds sing a pretty song. (May 13 &14)


Performances at the Norman Rothstein Theatre, York Theatre, Scotiabank Dance Centre, Biltmore Cabaret

Breathtaking dance, discerning theatre, hilarious comedy, globally-celebrated music and our Chutzpah!PLUS events highlight this year’s festival with world-class performances and workshops by international, Canadian and local artists from February 16 to March 13, 2017.

An eagerly anticipated highlight of Vancouver’s dance season is the Chutzpah! Festival’s Dance Series. The 2017 Festival presents some of the most sought-after contemporary choreographers in the world. This year’s performances again offer high calibre, challenging and gorgeous dance delivering innovative and spell-binding work including; the much anticipated return of Italy’s brilliant Spellbound Contemporary Ballet with their full-length Carmina Burana ; Israel’s incomparable Yossi Berg & Oded Graf Dance Theatre excite audiences with their widely acclaimed and dynamic 4Men, Alice, Bach, and the Deer; Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion (USA) bring a mixed repertoire of some of Kyle Abraham’s most prolific works in their Western Canadian Premiere, the acclaimed

Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art (Canada) with the world premiere of their completed and full-length version of Telemetry; the unique and captivating Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg (Canada) and Italy’s award-winning Silvia Gribaudi as they collide and embrace while navigating the role of comedy as a catalyst to questions of gender, culture and language and understanding (world premiere presented with The Dance Centre); and birds sing a pretty song. (Canada/USA/Israel/Argentina), an exceptional exploration through dance, film, interactive media and live music created by Rebecca Margolick and Maxx Berkowitz  during a year- long Fellowship in New York City with LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture (Chutzpah!PLUS, May 13 & 14).

Chutzpah! Festival 2017 presents outstanding internationally-celebrated music, including leading world music pioneers. The rich global landscape of music presented this year showcases some of the world’s most exciting musical performers from Israel, Japan, Argentina, USA, and Canada. Highlights include; world-renowned and Grammy-winning superstars of the klezmer world The Klezmatics 30th Anniversary Tour (USA); David Broza & Mira Awad in Concert: Israeli superstar David Broza’s charismatic and energetic performances have brought audiences worldwide a blend of music from the three different countries in which he was raised: Israel, Spain, and England. Born in the village of Rameh in the Galilee to a Palestinian father and Bulgarian mother, singer-songwriter and actress Mira Awad, is a multidisciplinary international performer who has developed a unique fusion of sounds, weaving the Arabic language and its oriental ornaments with Western harmonies; EXIT - Shalom Hanoch with Moshe Levi. Touted as ‘The King of Israeli Rock’ and compared to such musical ‘giants’ as Neil Young and Mick Jagger, Shalom Hanoch is not just the biggest and most significant artist in Israeli Rock, but one of the most fascinating and prolific forces in Israeli music.   Hanoch will be joined on stage tonight by his long-time musical partner and keyboard player Moshe Levi (Israel); now based out of Chicago, MARBIN, founded by Israeli guitarist Dani Rabin and Israeli saxophonist Danny Markovitch, is a progressive jazz-rock band with a unique story that stands out in today's music world. Local favourites MNGWA [ming-wah] open the night, mixing elements of psychedelic rock, dub, African rhythms, and vocals in four languages, and injecting the Vancouver music scene with a fresh global perspective; Israeli singer Maya Avraham, who is known by Chutzpah! audiences from her performances with The Idan Raichel Project, comes to Vancouver with her band of extraordinary Israeli and American musicians; Lyla Canté (USA/Israel/Japan/Argentina) - a Jewish Cantor meets a Gypsy Flamenco guitarist.  Sparks fly. They add percussion, a Blues guitarist, a Rock & Roll bassist and Lyla Canté is born. These amazing world musicians explore the intersection of Sefardi, Flamenco & Ashkenazi music; and  Canada’s emerging composer Landon Braverman & Friends for an evening of musical theatre (Chutzpah!PLUS, April 2).

Chutzpah!’s theatre and hilarious comedy lineup is always at its best.

This year’s theatrical shows include a thought-provoking play Wrestling Jerusalem and high-speed improv Folk Lordz.

Wrestling Jerusalem, written and performed by Aaron Davidman is set in America, Israel and Palestine and follows one man’s journey to help understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Davidman’s solo performance is a personal story that grapples with the complexities of identity, history and social justice and described by the Washington Post as “Breathtaking!”

Folk Lordz delivers high-speed and hilarious multi-cultural improv featuring two members of the world-renowned Rapid Fire Theatre. This Edmonton-based, award-winning improv troupe co-created and performed by Todd Houseman and Ben Gorodetsky brings together the unlikely combination of Cree storytelling, Chekhovian character drama and spontaneous comedy!

Comedy highlights include; Mark Schiff (USA) who has headlined all the major casinos and clubs across the country and has appeared many times on both The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman. He has had both HBO and Showtime specials, was a featured act at the Montreal Comedy Festival and regularly opens for Jerry Seinfeld; Comedy Double Bill: Ali Hassan and Judy Gold. Canada’s Ali Hassan appears in his hilarious, heartfelt, one man show Muslim Interrupted. Hassan is a Stand-Up Comedian, Actor, Chef and Radio & Television celebrity and is the host of LAUGH OUT LOUD on CBC Radio & SIRIUSXM.  Judy Gold’s (USA) most recent TV appearances include guest-starring roles on Louie, Broad City, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Inside Amy Schumer and she has a recurring role on the upcoming new series on TBS Search Party. Judy has had stand-up specials on HBO (Cable Ace Award), Comedy Central and LOGO and was twice nominated for The American Comedy Award for Funniest Female Comedian.   

Special Presentations

After the success of Chutzpah’s first literary event in 2016, this year Chutzpah! features author Christopher Noxon in “Hollywood Stories”, a special pre-festival event.  Hilarious and unflinching, Plus One is a novel about an interfaith family set in contemporary Los Angeles. Noxon is an author, journalist and illustrator and is married to television writer and producer Jenji Kohan, creator of Orange is the New Black (USA). Presented with the JCC Jewish Book Festival (Chutzpah!PLUS, February 5).

For the second year, Chutzpah!PLUS  is co-presenting a Film Series with the Vancouver Jewish Film Centre.  The four eclectic and critically-acclaimed films being screened at the Festival are In Search of Israeli Cuisine (Dec. 13), The Women’s Balcony (Jan. 17), The History of Love (Mar. 21) and The Last Laugh (May 23).

Celebrating our 17th anniversary, Chutzpah!’s Artistic & Managing Director, Mary-Louise Albert says, “We are all excited for another year of presenting an electrifying array of internationally-acclaimed dancers, musicians, comedians and theatrical  artists to our audiences in  Canadian, Western Canadian and world premieres. We’re headed for an energizing and thrilling journey from stand-up comedy and improv theatre, to theatrical drama to rich global music to explosive and elegant dance to special presentations including a literary event and film series!”



Single tickets for Chutzpah! are $23 to $50 (+ s/c & GST) and can be purchased online at chutzpahfestival.com, by phone at the Chutzpah! Box Office: 604-257-5145 or Tickets Tonight: 604-684-2787. Chutzi Packs are also available: see 4 different shows of your choice for only $94 (excluding Ali Hassan and Judy Gold, Shalom Hanoch, David Broza and Mira Awad, The Klezmatics). New this year is a special

5-Show Dance Pack for shows at the Norman Rothstein Theatre for only $115.

Tickets will also be available in-person starting January 30th at the on-site Chutzpah! Box Office at the Jewish Community Centre, 950 West 41st Avenue, just 2 blocks west of the Oakridge Skytrain Station (for hours please see our website: www.chutzpahfestival.com)

*Please note: during the Festival, the onsite Chutzpah! Box Office is open from 12 noon to one hour after last show on all show days.


get in touch with vancouverplays:

Vancouverplays: Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews


Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews