Tag Archives: Fado

Tiva Quinn Reviews FADO The Saddest Music In The World On At The Firehall Arts Centre Until February 5th

20 Jan

It’s very easy to see why Fado was such a big hit at the Firehall in 2019 and why they decided to bring it back as part of getting into the swing of things with live theatre again.

This play attempts to blend an ambitious number of themes into a typical runtime of 90 minutes or so and not only succeeds but makes it look easy.

I went in not knowing much about it besides that I like Fado music even if I don’t listen to it very often. I expected to be impressed with Fado as a musical and a story of artistic ambition and development, and that’s 100% true. We get not just one but 3 incredibly talented singers showing us how an entire country could be in love with “the saddest music in the world” and the way it turns pain into beauty.

We get an appealing and sympathetic main character who wants to learn to sing Fado with true Portuguese passion even if she was born in Canada and some people think that makes her too happy and too lucky to pull it off. We get a cantankerous yet charming mentor figure. We get singing that shows strong yet unrealized potential – which is quite something to pull off when a lot of the audience isn’t very familiar with what the fullest expression of the form would sound like.

At the same time, we also get an interesting examination of Portugal’s 20th Century history and politics as seen from contrasting points of view – with a couple of questions that you may have never considered before such as, “can a song be fascist?” We get a conversation about whether emigrants can ever really leave the home country behind and whether they can ever really return to it, as well as what the imagined homeland means to the second generation. We get two love stories with some surprising twists and turns. And Fado fits all of this in with a script that feels like natural conversation, never forcing large chunks of backstory or introspection into anyone’s lines.

Performances are very strong across the board but for me the standout is Natércia Napoleao’s Luisa, the main character’s mother. She seems at first meeting like she’s going to be an Old-World Mum cliché, a bit of comic relief that we return to occasionally, wielding her precious iron to make everything fancy. However, she quickly blossoms into a complex character, although not always a likable one. She’s a woman who actively resists being stereotyped and complicates the narrative or speaks volumes by simply walking away when others try to dismiss her too easily. 

If I have any quibbles it would be that the play introduces a gay character whose story feels like it doesn’t quite have time enough to breathe or resolve properly. That said the character and his storyline are every bit as strong as the rest of this tale in the moments he does get – and it’s possible that too neat a resolution would be a dishonest way of presenting what it’s like to be gay in a very Catholic country. 

For tickets, visit the Firehall Arts Centre.

By Tiva Quinn

Fado –The Saddest Music In The World Returns to The Firehall Arts Centre January 14 – February 5, 2023

16 Dec

The Firehall Arts Centre and Victoria’s Puente Theatre bring FADO – The Saddest Music in the World back to The Firehall Arts Centre from Saturday, January 14 to Sunday, February 5, 2023.

Acclaimed Portuguese-Canadian playwright Elaine Ávila’s play, FADO, is a tale of love and ghosts set in the back alleys and brothels of old Lisbon. This musical, which premiered at The Firehall in 2019 and enjoyed a wildly successful run, tells the story of a young woman confronting her country’s Fascist past and her own identity is interwoven with the heartbreaking national music of Portugal known as Fado, which means “fate.”

If you have not experienced Fado music, you are missing out. What is Fado?  Wikipedia describes it as “a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a sentiment of resignation, fatefulness and melancholia.”  We can tell you it is passionate, emotional and relatable. For a taste of Fado music, listen to Amália Rodrigues singing “Abandono” here. To see it live and person, visit the Firehall Arts Centre for tickets which start from $25.

What’s On East Van: December 6th Edition

6 Dec

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Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out some cool events for the upcoming weekend.  Beyond the weekend, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

Tugboat Landing Artisan Market – SE Vancouver – December 7+ 8

If you are looking to do some Christmas shopping in a relaxed environment, check out the 4th Annual Tugboat Landing Artisan Market happening this Saturday & Sunday. It happens at 2010 East Kent Avenue at the foot of Victoria Drive from  11:00 am to 4:00 pm. This is a smaller with about 20 vendors per day situated at the foot of Victoria Drive next to the Fraser River. Admission is free. Coffee, tea and hot cocoa and treats available by donation. ILiveInEastVan will be on site with a selection of totes, t-shirts and toques. To see who else will be on hand, visit their website, Tugboat Landing Artisan Market.

June Hunter Studio Sale – 2785 Parker Street – December 6, 7 + 8

East Van artist June Hunter will be hosting her Annual Holiday Studio Sale this weekend. You’ll find lots of great gifts for the nature lover including cushion covers, tote bags, jewellery, prints, wood panels and a whole lot more. If you love our crows or know someone that does, this is the spot to be this weekend. Stop by Friday from 2:00 to 7:00 pm or Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. June’s studio is located at the back of her home at 2785 Parker Street. We are sure mulled wine will be available for sipping whilst you shop.

Bad Abby Vintage Fashion & Art Fair – Odd Society Spirits – December 6

Odd Society Spirits plays host to the Bad Abby Vintage Fashion & Art Fair. If you are invited to check out the work of local artists alongside some vintage items whilst sipping a cocktail if you choose.  Mocktails also available and they did make some pretty awesome cocktails. Just saying! Everyone is welcome to stop by during their hours of 1:00 pm to 11:00 pm. There is no admission charge for the event.

Aurora Winter Festival – Hastings Park/PNE – Until January 5, 2020

The Aurora Winter Festival continues at Hastings Park/PNE with an array of indoor and outdoor activities, Christmas Market, games, rides.  This is an all ages event. For tickets, visit Ticketleader.

Fado: The Saddest Music in The World – Firehall Arts Centre – Until December 14

A play featuring Fado music with origins going back to the early 1800s in Lisbon, Portugal continues this weekend at the Firehall Arts Centre. This music is a distinct part and proud part of Portuguese culture. If you haven’t experienced it, we invite you to check out this production. For tickets, visit Firehall Arts Centre.

East Van Panto: Pinocchio – The York – On Now Until January 5, 2020

Our favourite holiday tradition is now on at the York Theatre until January 5th.  Take in this fun and entertaining show that is fun for all ages. Just remember if you are in the front row, you might become part of the production. This year’s panto is Pinocchio and touches on some unique aspects in East Van, such as the mysterious Beckwoman and the coffee wars on The Drive for starters. Tickets for the East Van Panto Pinocchio start at $26 for children 16 and under. Family packs are available for $145. To get your tickets, visit The Cultch.

Comedy, Music & Entertainment & More 

Do you love cartoons? Miss those Saturday morning cartoons you used to watch as a kid. Do you know Storm Crow Tavern offers cartoons Saturday morning from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm whilst you enjoy breakfast/brunch?

Also 7 days a week, you will find live music at the Libra Room on The Drive. Tangent Café hosts live jazz Sunday nights  from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. Saturday, Pat’s Pub has live jazz Saturday afternoons from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, no cover.

Looking to support our local growers and makers? Stop by one of the Winter Farmer Markets happening on either Saturday or Sunday.  Saturday we have  Riley Park Farmers Market at 30th & Ontario from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and Sunday, it’s Hastings Park Winters Farmers Market also from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. To see more of What’s On in East Vancouver,  check our Event Listing.  We also have a separate listing of Free Events for those on a budget and in Vancouver, who isn’t.

Image Credit: June Hunter

What’s On East Van: November 22nd Edition

22 Nov

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Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out some cool events for the upcoming weekend.  Beyond the weekend, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

Britannia Christmas Craft Fair – Britannia Community Centre – November 22 – 24

The 34th Annual Christmas Craft Fair happens this weekend with over 50 local artisans and makers with handmade items for gift giving this holiday season.  Enjoy live music while shopping. The craft fair runs Friday 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $2. Stop by and get a jump on your Christmas shopping. To learn more, visit Britannia Christmas Craft Fair on Facebook.

Aurora Winter Festival – Hastings Park/PNE – November 22

The Aurora Winter Festival kicks off this Friday at Hastings Park/PNE with an array of indoor and outdoor activities, Christmas Market, games, rides.  This is an all ages event. For tickets, visit Ticketleader.

Fado: The Saddest Music in The World – Firehall Arts Centre – November 22

A play featuring Fado music with origins going back to the early 1800s in Lisbon, Portugal.  This music is a distinct part and proud part of Portuguese culture. If you haven’t experienced it, we invite you to check out this production at the Firehall Arts Centre kicking on this weekend. For tickets, visit Firehall Arts Centre.

Eastside Flea – 550 Malkin Avenue – November 23 + 24

If vintage and collectables is your thing, Eastside Flea will have that in spades this weekend along handmade items and food trukcs from11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Oh and dogs are welcome to come wander with you, on a leash of course.

Christmas On The Drive – November 24

The Commercial Drive Business Improvement Association along with other sponsors will again be hosting Christmas On The Drive this Sunday between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm.  This includes horse carriage rides, pictures with Santa from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, treats and hot beverages, dueling pianos and more. The starting point is The Drive Mortgage Store at 1250 Commercial Drive.  The finishing point is the tree lighting in Grandview Park at 5:00 pm.

East Van Panto: Pinocchio – The York – On Now Until January 5, 2020

Our favourite holiday tradition just kicked off this week.  Take in this fun and entertaining show that is fun for all ages. Just remember if you are in the front row, you might become part of the production. This year’s panto is Pinocchio and touches on some unique aspects in East Van, such as the mysterious Beckwoman and the coffee wars on The Drive for starters. Tickets for the East Van Panto Pinocchio start at $26 for children 16 and under. Family packs are available for $145. To get your tickets, visit The Cultch.  Note, the show will be performed at the York Theatre.

 Comedy, Music & Entertainment & More 

Do you love cartoons? Miss those Saturday morning cartoons you used to watch as a kid. Do you know Storm Crow Tavern offers cartoons Saturday morning from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm whilst you enjoy breakfast/brunch?

Also 7 days a week, you will find live music at the Libra Room on The Drive. Tangent Café hosts live jazz Sunday nights  from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. Saturday, Pat’s Pub has live jazz Saturday afternoons from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, no cover.

Looking to support our local growers and makers? Stop by one of the Winter Farmer Markets happening on either Saturday or Sunday.  Saturday we have  Riley Park Farmers Market at 30th & Ontario from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and Sunday, it’s Hastings Park Winters Farmers Market also from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. To see more of What’s On in East Vancouver,  check our Event Listing.  We also have a separate listing of Free Events for those on a budget and in Vancouver, who isn’t.

Image Credit: June Hunter

Fado: The Saddest Music In The World At The Firehall Arts Centre November 21 to December 14, 2019

6 Nov

Fado-Poster-Image-560x560If you have not experienced Fado music, you are missing out. What is Fado?  Wikipedia describes it as “a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a sentiment of resignation, fatefulness and melancholia.”  We can tell you it is passionate, emotional and relatable. This month and next you have the chance to experience it firsthand.  Elaine Ávila, an acclaimed Portuguese-Canadian playwright, brings her play new FADO to the stage at the Firehall Arts Centre. The production “is a tale of love and ghosts set in the back alleys and brothels of old Lisbon.  Part concert, part theatre, the story of a young woman confronting her country’s Fascist past and her own identity is interwoven with the heartbreaking national music of Portugal known as Fado, which means “fate.” For tickets to this beautiful production, visit Firehall Arts Centre. For a taste of Fado music, we invite you check out Amalia Rodrigues singing Abandono.

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