Archives for October 2017

VANCOUVER GREENROOM 10: Sore throat

Theatre is community. 

My throat is sore from cheering Vancouver theatre artists.

Veena Sood knows how to take a great picture. And she has just won a fresh award.

SORE THROAT

Geez, my throat hurts. The cheering for Vancouver theatre artists just doesn’t stop these days.

Marcus Youssef, who is nominated for the Simonivitch Prize, just won the Mayor’s Arts Award for theatre, and Conor Wylie got the nod as emerging theatre artist. Artistic director of Neworld Theatre, Youssef is also an actor and playwright, who wrote and performed Winners and Losers with Jamie Long. Actor and writer Wylie works with a number of cutting-edge companies including Hong Kong Exile. [Read more…]

Click on TJ Dawe and Itai Erdal’s Hyperlink

Elbow Theatre is presenting Hyperlink at The Firehall Arts Centre.

TJ Dawe (right) seems to be implying that Itai Erdal is getting a little self-indulgent in Hyperlink. (Photo by Diane Smithers)

Hyperlink is terrific, stylin’ entertainment. It’s about social media. And, in crucial ways, it’s the opposite of social media.

During the show, we’re all in the same space at the same time, for instance. Real human beings, live flesh: how refreshing! Nobody is anonymous. And nobody—as far as I can tell—is trying to farm our personal information. We’re all just playing together with the hilarious, alluring, sometimes dangerous toys of YouTube, Facebook, and Craigslist. [Read more…]

1 Hour Photo is underdeveloped

Empire of the Son was a success. 1 Hour Photo may be a success or a failure.

Tetsuro Shigematsu’s 1 Hour Photo needs more focus.

There are exquisite elements in 1 Hour Photo. There are also significant problems with the storytelling.

For almost its entire length, 1 Hour Photo doesn’t seem to know what it’s about. Writer Tetsuro Shigematsu, who performs the show with musician Steve Charles, tells the life story of Mas Yamamoto, who is the elderly father of a good friend. So far so good. But what’s the core of Shigematsu’s take on Yamamoto’s history? The playwright presents several major elements, including the incarceration of Yamamoto’s family during WWII, an unfulfilled romance, and the rocky development of Yamamoto’s career, which culminated in his owning a thriving photo-development business. [Read more…]

The Goblin Market: “She suck’d until her lips were sore.”

The Goblin Market, produce by Dust Palace, is bering presented by The Cultch.

In The Goblin Market‘s prettiest passage, Laura and Lizzie twine and untwine in a rotating hoop. “Did you miss me?/Come and kiss me./Never mind my bruises.”

Make no mistake: Christina Rossetti’s poem, Goblin Market, which was published in 1862 and which inspired this circus performance, is about sex.

At twilight, sisters Laura and Lizzie are tempted by goblin men, who offer to sell them fruit. At first, Laura demurs: “We must not look at goblin men,/We must not buy their fruits:/Who knows upon what soil they fed/Their hungry thirsty roots?” But, when Laura lets herself go—“Like a vessel at the launch/When its last restraint is gone”—she is ravenous: “She suck’d and suck’d and suck’d the more/Fruits which that unknown orchard bore;/She suck’d until her lips were sore.” [Read more…]

As You Like It: Is Shakespeare’s comedy the right vehicle for a meditation on the refugee crisis?

Michael Scholar Jr.'s As You Like It draws inspiration from the refugee crisis.

Playing Orlando in As You Like It, William Edward serves notice that he is an actor to be watched.

There’s a lot going on. And a bunch of it works.

In setting As You Like It, Shakespeare’s comedy about banishment, director Michael Scholar Jr. draws inspiration from the global refugee crisis. The combination isn’t always a good fit, but it does result in the creation of a multi-textured, sometimes surprising world. [Read more…]