NOVEMBER 2019 | Volume 185


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It's a Wonderful Christmas-ish Holiday Miracle
by Marcus Youssef
Arts Club Theatre Company
BMO Theatre Centre
Nov. 21-Dec. 22
From $29 or 604-687-1644

It’s a Wonderful Life meets Modern Family in this new Canadian comedy—a play that approaches the less “camera-ready” aspects of the holiday season with humour and a generous helping of whimsy.

This Arts Club Silver Commission project is acclaimed playwright Marcus Youssef’s second, after 2013’s How Has My Love Affected You? It was inspired by the music of Sufjan Stevens and is based on characters created for Youssef’s one-act play Chloe’s Choice.

It’s a Wonderful Christmas-ish Holiday Miracle follows Esther (Nicola Lipman), a recently departed spirit stopped at the gate to the afterlife by chipper border guard Salena (Ghazal Azarbad) and sent back to earth to deal with her unfinished business. This business comes in the form of Esther’s estranged daughter, Miriam (Jennifer Lines), Miriam’s ex-husband, Steven (Jovanni Sy), and their two children: rebellious teen Chloe (Matreya Scarrwener) and her precocious little brother Simon (Glen Gordon), best friends with a stick bug named Ralphie.

Director Chelsea Haberlin said, “I love that It’s a Wonderful Christmas-ish Holiday Miracle doesn’t put a shiny veneer on the holiday season—though our set itself is very shiny. This time of year unearths so many feelings for families, some of which aren’t exactly warm and fuzzy, and I’m excited to bring the drama and humour that goes along with that to life on stage.”

Youssef added, “I was inspired by the holiday rituals I know best, which are the movies so many of us watch—particularly A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. It struck me that a great way to explore the ways families negotiate change during the holidays would be a kind of contemporary mash-up of some of those iconic, ritualized holiday stories.”

Ghazal Azarbad (Salena), Glen Gordon (Simon), Jennifer Lines (Miriam), Nicola Lipman (Esther), Matreya Scarrwener (Chloe), Jovanni Sy (Steven)

Chelsea Haberlin (Director), Lauchlin Johnston (Set Designer), Jessica Oosterego (Costume Designer), Conor Moore (Lighting Designer), Candelario Andrade (Video Designer), Anton Lipovetsky (Musical Director/Sound Designer), Stephen Drover (Dramaturg), Emma Tibaldo (Guest Dramaturg), Christine Quintana (Associate Dramaturg), Mishelle Cuttler (Musical Arrangement), Caryn Fehr (Stage Manager), April Starr Land (Assistant Stage Manager), Alina Quarin (Child Supervisor)

Tue–Thur at 7:30 PM, Fri and Sat at 8 PM, Wed at 1:30 PM, and Sat & Sun at 2 PM
Media opening: Nov 27
Tuesday Talkback: Tue, Dec 10, at 7:30 PM

The Arts Club, one of the largest not-for-profit theatre companies in the country, is the principal gathering place for the theatrical arts in British Columbia. Comprising three unique venues across Vancouver, the Arts Club welcomes more than a quarter million guests annually, tours provincially and nationally, and engages students and artists alike through educational and professional programs.

Above all, the Arts Club is dedicated to the advancement of local artists telling stories from around the globe and, in particular, those of our region. From this, we believe that culture expands, an understanding of differences is nurtured, and art bursts forth. The Arts Club was founded in 1964 and is currently led by Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran and Executive Director Peter Cathie White.





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