Tag Archives: Theatre

Tiva Quinn Reviews My Name Is Sumiko Part Of This Year’s Fringe Festival

9 Sep

Sumiko-11x17 poster-VanFringeIn case you haven’t heard, the The Vancouver Fringe Festival kicked off another year on September 5th.  There’s a great line of experimental local theatre happening around town.  Our contributing writer, Tiva Quinn, went to check our My Name is Sumiko on now at What Lab, 1814 Pandora Street. Here’s what she had to say about this production:

“I came away from My Name is Sumiko feeling that I almost liked it more than I should have. Long story short, this is a promising performer whose best work is yet to come, but see her now anyway, that’s just the sort of thing the Fringe is for.

June Fukumura starts out doing a riff on Marie Kondo, with her clown character, Sumiko, calls her “role model.” Joking about whether or not things spark joy is kind of played out, and each of her bits within the riff gets repeated to the point where it’s not funny anymore. And yet, Fukumura brings so much charm, energy and over the top silliness to her performance as Sumiko that it kind of works. The memory of laughing when she tried to decide if a dildo sparks joy the first time kind of carries you through with good enough humour when she does it the 7th time.

All in all, Fukumura riffs on 3 topics, and the finale, a mashup of Indiana Jones, Titanic, Austin Powers and online dating woes was by far the best.

The promo material that talks about “dicing up stereotypes” might make you think this is going to be a woke, intellectual sort of clowning, but it’s mostly just silly and there’s nothing wrong with that. Turn off your brain, go and enjoy.”

For tickets to this, or any other Fringe show, visit Vancouver Fringe Festival.

By Contributing Writer Tiva Quinn

Lear Inc. – All Or Nothing At The Cultch September 17th & 18th

20 Aug

LearInc.Although we are still in the swing of summer, there is some interesting theatre coming up late summer.  One that caught our eye is the modern-day adaptation of William Shakespeare’s King Lear, Lear Inc. All Or Nothing. In this production, Lear is a 55 year-old C.E.O. of a multinational corporation who lives and dies by the principle of ‘all or nothing’. Lear disowns his youngest daughter, Cordelia, hands the reins of corporate power over to his eldest daughters, Goneril and Regan, and unleashes the merciless forces of instrumental reason and denial responsible for 21st-century social, familial and environmental crises. The production is only showing for 2 nights and tickets are reasonable at $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for student and youth.  So we suspect this one may sell out.  For tickets, visit The Cultch.

Deep Into Darkness At The Cultch August 13 – 25, 2019

7 Aug

DeepIntoDarknessYou are invited to dive into the mind of Edgar Allan Poe as he desperately searches for his lost love in this tragic dream within a dream. The Cultch presents Deep Into Darkness which explores the many corners of The Cultch 20+ rooms, 3 floors and countless tales in which you unravel the mystery of the chaotic descent into madness.   Deep Into Darkness kicks off August 13th and runs till August 25th. Tickets are $75 in advance or $85 at the door.  Note, we recommend you read the Show Warning if you wish to participate in this immersive theatre production. You will be standing/walking throughout the show and members wear masks during the performance. Also, this is an 18+ performance.  For more information or tickets, visit The Cultch. 

rEvolver Festival Is Back At The Cultch May 22 – June 2, 2019

7 May

RevolverFestival2019Upintheair Theatre brings the rEvolver Festival back to The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, from May 22nd to June 2nd. The festival brings a wide variety of contemporary theatre from emerging companies and artists. A few that caught our eye include:

Lady Parts – May 22-25, 2019

This 80 minute sketch combines personal stories, video interviews along with some special guests.  Lady Parts pays homage to the struggles of gender and has a little fun with feminism.  The reviews are lining up well this is one to see.

Surveil – May 23-26, 2019

This comedy is all about being watched. The production will delve into the world of modern surveillance and show you first hand all the ways the world is watching us. Some ways you may already know, but some you may not.

Perfect Strangers May 24-26, 2019

This is most certainly theatre transformed. You are invited to participate (not watch) Perfect Strangers.  Starting from The Cultch, you will participate in a 90 minute walking tour which is also part platonic bind date as well as social experiment.  This is a quirky experiment in which you are paired up with people to walk through a neighbourhood and consider how you perceive strangers and talk with others who you might not otherwise talk to. The walk goes rain or shine, so dress for the weather.  A 30 minute reception follows after the tour. The aim of this production is to spark empathy between people who might not otherwise meet. Come alone and you just might leave with a new friend.

For tickets to these productions, or to see the full line up for the rEvolver Festival, visit The Cultch.

The Tashme Project: The Living Archives At The Firehall Arts Centre April 2-13, 2019

18 Mar

 

The Firehall Arts Centre brings an eye-opening, award-winning play The Tashme Project: The Living Archives to the Firehall Arts Centre April 2 to April 13, 2019.

Created and performed by Julie Tamiko Manning and Matt Miwa, The Tashme Project: The Living Archives traces the history and common experience of the Nisei (second generation Japanese Canadians) through childhood, internment in Canada during the Second World War, and post-war resettlement east of the Rockies. The Nisei, now in their 70s and 80s, were children at the time of internment and their stories of adventure and play are presented in sharp relief with the more common internment narratives of hardship and justice.

The Tashme Project: The Living Archives is created from twenty interwoven interviews with Nisei from Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, Montreal, and Vancouver. The piece moves from voice to voice and story to story with fluidity and with a purposeful and constructed gracefulness. The actors portray the voices of both men and women interviewees as they seek a deep emotional and spiritual connection with the stories of their elders, breathing new life into these memories. This production is an embodiment of Nisei character, language, spirit and story, and brings to light a part of Canadian history that has been often kept in the dark. Tickets start from $25 and are available online at Firehall Arts Centre.

What people are saying about The Tashme Project: The Living Archives:

“…profoundly moving…”
Nikkei Voice

“A remarkable piece of verbatim theatre.”
Broadway World

“…Manning and Miwa…lovingly bring to life the hesitancy and frailty of these ‘living archives’.”
Montreal Gazette

Tiva Quinn Reviews Children Of God On Now At The York Until March 10th

26 Feb

ChildrenOfGodI didn’t make it when Children of God was in Vancouver last year partly because the idea of making a musical about child abuse and cultural genocide seemed a bit implausible, I wasn’t sure it could really work. In fact, it works brilliantly. The script does a fantastic job of including some humour and even some redemption amidst the pain without shying away from the worst things that happened at residential schools.

If you haven’t seen Children of God yet, you should go. Yes, partly because every Canadian needs to understand the legacy of residential schools, but also because it’s an excellent script performed by top-notch double-threat actor/singers and, even when the subject matter gets dark, it’s a real treat to see them perform.

For anyone who has a personal relationship or strong reaction to this material, emotional support workers are available in the lobby throughout the show.

There’s a Q and A period with the performers after the show that’s worth sticking around for. The Q and A I attended had a lot of interesting questions and commentary from both indigenous and settler audience members, and the cast themselves were just as impressive speaking off the cuff as they were during the show. Children Of God is on now at The York Theatre until March 10, 2019.  Tickets available through The Cultch.

Note – during the Q&A I attended someone suggested that people refrain from drinking or at least from bringing alcohol into the theater, as many people in the audience have intergenerational trauma related to the smell of alcohol.

By Contributing Writer: Tiva Quinn

Hot Honey Brown Returns To The Cultch March 15 to 30, 2019

20 Feb

HotHoneyBrown4This March, the production Hot Honey Brown returns to The Cultch.  This smash hit from Australia took the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by storm with a group of six sassy women who know how to make some noise and defiantly smash stereotypes.  This production is part of the evolution of our changing cultural landscape as it relates to women.  The #metoo campaign shook the tree, we think Hot Honey Brown lends voice to some of the empowerment that comes from stepping out of the shadows and speaking up. See a production that speaks with sass along with hip hop, dance, poetry, comedy, circus, song and striptease to push boundaries and defy labels.  Last year, an extra week was added due to popular demand for tickets. So if you wish to see this production, we recommend grabbing your tickets sooner vs. later. Tickets start at $22 and are available online at The Cultch.

What people are saying about Hot Honey Brown:

★★★★★

Is it empowering, exuberant, rousing, fun? Hell, yes! It’s also the show that the world needs right now!”
The Globe and Mail

★★★★★
Gleefully challenges stereotypes of sex and race with a full grin, bared
chest and raised middle finger.” 

Edinburgh 49

★★★★★
It’s gobsmacking the talent and message this show has to offer: how it challenges
everyone to review their views, and inspires everyone to rock the boat

Theatre Press

★★★★★
A powerhouse performance of passion and poignancy” 
Broadway World

★★★★★
Unapologetic, almost aggressively graceful and fabulously fierce…”
Theatre People

 

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