It’s spring and the fresh talent is blooming

Katey Hoffman, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Arts Club Theatre

In Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Katey Hoffman is part of a bumper crop of fresh spring talent.

I’ve got three shows to recommend this week and they all feature strong performances from young artists.

In Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Christopher Durang’s crazy Chekhovian mashup, which runs at the Arts Club’s Stanley Theatre until April 19, Katey Hoffman gives a hilarious performance as a wannabe actor named Nina. This show also contains terrific work from Susinn McFarlen and Jay Brazeau.  [Read more…]

Acting shmacting

Lindsey Angell Jespersen, Presentation House, Iceland

Lindsey Angell Jespersen is so good she’s scary in Iceland

You can see some of the best acting in the world in Vancouver; you just have to show up for it.

If you want to see a young actor at the top of her game, go see Lindsey Angell Jespersen in Iceland at Presentation House.

In this smart script about capitalism, playwright Nicolas Billon introduces us to an Estonian student working as a prostitute in Vancouver, a real estate agent, and a conservative Christian woman.

You’ll enjoy Munish Sharma’s work as Halim (the realtor), and Georgia Beatty’s performance as Anna (the Christian). Angell’s portrait of Kassandra, the student hooker, is so flawlessly complete it will scare you.

Iceland runs until March 29.

And you’ve got two more nights to catch The Whipping Man, which closes on the 21st, at Pacific Theatre. There’s some real acting shmacting in this show about the immediate aftermath of the American Civil War—from Giovanni Mocibob, Tom Pickett, and especially the remarkable Carl Kennedy.

Bumper crop: Cadre, Cat Killer, The Whipping Man

Cadre, Cultch, Market Theatre, Omphile Molusi

Writer, director, and actor Omphile Molusi tells a tough story in Cadre

It’s rich, Vancouver: I have three shows to recommend this weekend.

At the top of my list is Cadre, which runs at the Cultch until Sunday (March 8). It’s about the impact that the anti-apartheid struggle had on one revolutionary. The show starts off somewhat uncertainly, but builds to gut-punching power. Strong performances. Simply and beautifully designed and conceived. [Read more…]

Second thoughts—well, further thoughts—about Since You Left Us

Since You Left Us, Susinn McFarlen, Presentation House, Vancouver theatre

The cast of Susinn McFarlen’s “Since You Left Us” will make you belly laugh

With annoying regularity, I’ll write a review that goes online or into print, and I’ll think, “Damn! I wish I’d analyzed that more perceptively” That happened recently with my review of Susinn McFarlen’s Since You Left Us[Read more…]