Tag Archives: Theatre

The Enemy At The Firehall Arts Centre November 10 – December 1, 2018

31 Oct

The Enemy 1 - Jenn Griffin and Paul Herbert.jpgThe Firehall Arts Centre is presenting a new political drama that touches on a number of themes including corruption, environmental activism and a lack of accountability. The Enemy is a contemporary interpretation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. The original story was written in 1882, but with the current political climate in the US, The New York Times says this story “is suddenly as timely as a tweet.” In Ibsen’s version, Dr. Stockman is written as a male. In The Enemy, Artistic Director Donna Spencer has taken the role of Dr. Stockman and written it as a female to illustrate the road blocks women face when challenging the “powers-that-be” or “the old boys club”. This production also touches on the choices  we make, the ones we think we should make but don’t, and the influences around us that colour that decision-making. The Enemy asks “is the majority always right?” “What happens when truth is declared as not the truth?” “What happens when disbelief is spread via social media, ‘fake news’, and shoddy journalism?” Who ends up being the enemy?

Artistic Director Donna Spencer has chosen a piece that reflects what is happening in the world today. A timely piece that encourages us to look at and question the political, social and environmental landscape around us. You can catch The Enemy at The Firehall Arts Centre from November 10th to December 1st. For tickets visit, the Firehall Arts Centre.

Photo Credit: Pedro Meza

The Ones We Leave Behind At The Cultch Until November 3, 2018

29 Oct

TheOnesWeLeaveBehind-RayShumWe had the pleasure of taking in opening night of the production The Ones We Leave Behind at The Cultch.  This is a multi-layered play created by Loretta Seto and presented by the Vancouver Canadian Asian Theatre. The subject matter being an elderly woman who dies alone with no one to claim her body makes one think about social isolation and the part it plays in our community, but then we ourselves can also play a part in that social isolation.

The Ones We Leave Behind features an investigator for the Public Trustee, Abby Chung, who has been assigned her first case. She is working with an experienced and hardened investigator 30 years on the job.  Abby’s first assignment is locating the next-of-kin for an elderly woman named Beatrice, who has died without any family or friends to claim her. As Abby uncovers more details of Beatrice’s lonely life, she is confronted by her own demons and is forced to face issues in her own life.  The Ones We Leave Behind poses the question, are the greatest walls the ones we build within ourselves?

What we didn’t expect in this production, is the laughs. The relationship between Abby and her mother are honestly quite priceless. As one with a mother that aspires to the direct approach, their relationship was very relatable.  The production touches on many issues abandonment, social expectations including those we place on ourselves.  A lot gets packed into this production which features an excellent cast.  We recommend taking some time out to see The Ones We Leave Behind on now at The Cultch until November 3rd. Tickets are available online from $24.00 at The Cultch.

“I am so grateful to Loretta, who’s written such a gorgeous, multi-layered piece, and shared an immigrant story, and a Chinese immigrant story…The relationship between Abby and her mother is like a mirror of my relationship with my mother, who is an immigrant to Canada, and the language barrier, the cultural barrier, and a generational gap within that. There are quite a lot of differences for each of us to navigate” – Agnes Tong, who plays Abby Chung in The Ones We Leave Behind, in conversations with The Vancouver Sun

Photo Credit: Ray Shum

Me Love Bingo At The Russian Hall October 26th – Fundraiser For Theatre Replacement

23 Oct

MeLoveBingoYou are invited to an evening of fun and silliness for the Second Annual Me Love Bingo. This is a fundraiser for Theatre Replacement which works hard to showcase local artistic talent on stage.  Kyle Loven hosts this year’s Trick Or Treat Edition of Me Love Bingo at the Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Avenue.   This Bingo Party encourages costumes for which we hear there will be prizes. A bar will be available as will a silent auction with some pretty cool items.  Doors open 7:00, Bingo gets under way at 8:00 pm sharp!  Admission is $15.00 and seating is limited. So if you want to Bingo Party, you best pick up your tickets sooner vs. later. Tickets available through Eventbrite.

Nicole Alivojvodic Reviews A Brief History of Human Extinction On Now Until October 20th At The Cultch

16 Oct

BriefHistory_New_landscape-300x225

From Up in the Air Theatre comes this relevant and rousing tale of the two last surviving humans on planet earth. The year is 2178 and a fungal plague has rendered the surface of the planet uninhabitable, killing everyone and everything in its path. Created by award winning playwright Jordan Hall and Mind of a Snail Puppet Co., A Brief History of Human Extinction uniquely combines comedic theatre with the emerging cli-fi genre, exploring questions about human nature and our culpability in the destruction of our planet.

Trapped inside a scientific facility sealed off to the poisonous outside world, the last man, Adam, and woman, Ever, on earth prepare for the launch of “the Ark”, a ship that will carry human genetic legacy to a new home on a far away planet. Ever and Adam grapple with their impending doom and attempt to carry out the mission that they’ve been assigned while also struggling to suppress their selfish nature and instinct to hope for better things. In the play, the obvious biblical references are interestingly intertwined with the distinctly modern concept of the anthropocene. The play is seemingly suggesting that the destruction of civilization due to climate change is an act of divine retribution for the sins of humankind towards each other and our environment. The heavy, and frankly depressing, subject matter is mixed in with some comic relief and beautiful animation, making the play not only thought provoking, but entertaining!

For tickets to this unique and powerful production, on now until October 20th, visit The Cultch.

By Contributing Writer Nicole Alivojvodic

Review Of A Vancouver Guldasta On Now At The Cultch Until October 21st

10 Oct

VancouverGuldasta-PardeepSingh.jpgThe production of A Vancouver Guldasta touches on a number of themes, but the one that stood out for us was relatable. If you live in Vancouver, there’s a good chance you are an immigrant or children of immigrants. If are not, this production will be an insight to life in the 80s on a number of levels.  You almost forget how archaic the video games were by today’s standards, but they were pretty cool back then and fun. Cordless phones were those big brick things, with long antennas you pushed up and down when you made a call.  Our family home in the 1980s was a sea of gold, orange and browns, the style of the times.  All these things were part of the intimate stage set for A Vancouver Guldasta in the Cultch Lab.  This is a smaller venue which is this perfect setting for this production. You feel like you are a fly on the wall in the living room of the Dhaliwal family in the 1980s. This is also to the credit of the amazing cast that never lost our attention throughout.

A Vancouver Guldasta features the political and religious unrest in India in 1984 during which time the Indian government invaded The Golden Temple, a holy shrine of the Sikhs.  The story has a much further reach though which is at every turn in this production.  That comes in the way of Andy, a Vietnamese student living in the basement. He plays an important part in this family and highlights what many immigrant families left behind to make a better life including war, violence, persecution and hunger.  They have come to a new country to make a new life, but still long for the life they left behind, their family and their friends. In the 1980s, if you wanted to reach to those friends or family, there was no internet. You couldn’t just reach out and touch someone with a text or Facebook message to check in. If phone lines were down, there was no way to check in.

This story speaks to the many immigrants that make up a good portion of Vancouver’s population. No matter what country they are from, they still long for what was left behind.  Many immigrants have ties to violence and war which often are lost in rush to get everywhere in the day to day life of 2018. We encourage you to take time to see A Vancouver Guldasta. It’s important to understand the past to help shape a better future.  Tickets for a Vancouver Guldasta are available online via The Cultch.

Photo Credit: Pardeep Singh

Tiva Quinn Reviews Testosterone On Now At The York Theatre

8 Oct

TestosteroneTestosterone is just delightful. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write, but in a way, it sums up the feeling of this play, which is full of intriguing surprises.

I went in expecting something a bit more thinky – something about where gender identity fits into a person’s overall sense of identity and how physical transition doesn’t necessarily resolve these questions. The first minute or two offers us a large mirror and a monologue by trans man Kit Redstone that certainly makes it seem like we’re headed that way. Then came the locker room dance scene set to “It’s Raining Men” and I kind of lost track of time.

But if I had to guess, I’d say that by just 10 minutes in it was clear that nothing about this show was going to be predictable, that the laughs would just keep coming, and that somehow, through it all, we weren’t really losing sight of those heavier themes. It’s just that we were going to play with them instead of wallowing in them.

Toxic masculinity is certainly part of what gets explored here, but I think it’s important to note that on the whole, this is a show that likes men: cis, trans, straight or gay, they all get to strut their stuff and show off their good side a bit.

And you should definitely stick around for the brief Q & A afterwards. These are 4 incredibly talented and likeable guys, so it’s a safe bet getting to know the men behind the performances will only increase that warm, fuzzy feeing that comes with a big-hearted show. You can catch Testosterone at The York Theater until October 13th. Tickets available through The Cultch.

By Contributing Writer: Tiva Quinn

A Vancouver Guldasta Comes To The Cultch With Diwali BC – October 2-21, 2018

25 Sep

VancouverGuldasta_landscapeDiwali BC brings A Vancouver Guldasta to The Cultch. The play is written and directed by Paneet Singh and focuses on the Dhaliwals, a Punjabi family in the early 1980s. In this production, you will witness the family navigate its way through the experience of trauma and violence occurring in Punjab. At the same time their daughter has a complicated friendship with Andy, a Vietnamese refugee teen who is living in their basement. The story takes during the Indian government’s invasion of the “Golden Temple” which is the holiest shrine of the Sikhs. A Vancouver Guldasta allows you to eavesdrop on conversations otherwise reserved only for the privileged ears of living room walls. The show runs from October 2nd to 21st at 8:00 pm most evenings, but there are some 7:00 pm shows on Sunday and 2:00 pm matinees. Tickets are available online from The Cultch.

%d bloggers like this: