Where there is a will for reconciliation there is a way. And where there is an opportunity to speak the truth there is Drew Hayden Taylor. As an Ojibwa playwright, and an advocate for his people, Taylor speaks up about the injustices forged against the First Nations Peoples of Canada, in the theatrical production of God and the Indian, recently remounted at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre.
In the world premier of the musical Miss Shakespeare, The Escape Artists take to the stage at Granville Island’s Performance Works giving a solid performance that takes us back to the Elizabethan period. With script and lyrics by Tracey Power and music co-written with Steve Charles, Miss Shakespeare tells the tale of a time when women players went unseen and one woman—a playwright in the making—made inroads to bringing women to the stage and to changing history forever.
On Friday February 20th I had the opportunity to see the local improv group, The Benjamins, at the Little Mountain Gallery. If I could describe the event in only three words it would be, energetic, sassy and upbeat.
Evil Dead: The Musical is basically an interpretation of the first two movies, with the emphasis on the funny, unlike first movie that was not initially a comedy. The plot of the musical is the combination of Evil Dead 1 and 2 as well as a little bit of Army of Darkness. Evil Dead fits the musical format quite well and the songs are an essential part of the story, especially if you did not see the movies.
In the production of Chelsea Hotel: the Songs of Leonard Cohen—that ran from March 18-29, 2014 at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre—director Tracey Power and her cast of six met with great success (and awe), as was apparent by their twelve day run, and specifically, by the performance of March 18th and the talkback session that followed.
The malaise of existence is anchored to our being by way of regret. Our skeletons perpetuate the inevitable tragedy that is life, finding a way to pry themselves from our tightly locked closets and seep into the fabric of our routine. While we may not consciously wear our inner quarrels on our sleeves, they define our personalities; they map our identities. At least, this is what I understood from the March 20th performance of This Stays in the Room at Gallery Gachet.
"Moon over Buffalo", on now at the Metro Theatre is a classic comedy about a day in the life of a family of eccentric stage actors, who finally have a chance at big screen stardom. The play lovingly pays tribute to everything that goes on behind the scenes of the theatre, but not without making excellent use of classic comedic elements such as mistaken identities, love triangles, drunken buffoonery and slap stick pratfalls. There were several noteworthy performances from lead actors David Wallace as George Hay, Michelle Collier as Charlotte Hay, and Devon Busswood as Rosalind.
Let’s be real for a moment. As important of a text Decent of Man is, it is one dry read. Seriously, have you tried to sift through the gaudy jargon and period writing tropes with a casual interest? Absolutely not happening without frequent breaks, the occasional nap, and several pots of coffee. Incidentally, I have never had that opinion about hip-hop. In fact, I get wildly interested when I hear a rap song for the first time. Whether it is the crème of the genre or YouTube clip of some 9 year old thinking that 2Chainz is the perfect role model, I’ll listen with the same level intrigue.
Improv is a funny thing. No, literally, improv is a funny thing. It has funny people too. I had the (dis)honour of attending the premiere of The Amazing Improv Race last week. For those unfamiliar, it is a “competition” where three improv pairs show-off their best make-believe to a hysterical audience. The prize – at least on this night – was a six-pack.
While many people might be getting their fix of musicals from movies these days – this year’s edition of the Oscars even celebrated the movie musical – there are many good old fashioned stage shows coming to town. Vancouver’s premiere professional company, the Arts Club, keeps up the quality with their production of Dreamgirls. Dubbed the ‘Motown Musical’ and inspired, in part, by figures such as Berry Gordy, Diana Ross, and James Brown, the show follows the rivalry of two female show singers – Effie White and Deena Jones – their group “the Dreamgirls” and their conniving manager.