Value of Things lower than expected

The hip-hop section is the strongest in The Value of Things

The hip-hop section is the strongest in The Value of Things

The performers are beautiful. Aspects of the artistry are beautiful. But, for the most part, The Value of Things is thematically obvious.

Created by Montréal’s dance/theatre company Grand Poney, The Value of Things is about materialism and craving.

[Read more…]

Foreign Radical and my Portland three-way

Foreign Radical, Theatre Conspiracy, Vancouver Theatre

Milton Lim is the hyperkinetic host in Theatre Conspiracy’s smart, engaging Foreign Radical

When I attended Theatre Conspiracy’s Foreign Radical, my fellow audience members voted—virtually unanimously—to select me as the most suspicious person there. Maybe that was because I’m big and 30 years older than the rest of them, so I stood out, or maybe it was because I was writing in my notebook. [Read more…]

Want me to edit your book, story, or screenplay?

Vancouver editor, substantive editor, story editor

My trusty pencils and I can help you out.

When I’m not working as a theatre critic, I’m a substantive editor, which means “story editor”. I help writers with narrative structure, so I deal a lot with plot, but also elements such as the development of characters and themes.

Normally, I’m booked three or four months ahead, but right now I’m only booked a month ahead. That’s why I’m offering my friends’ rate, which is a great deal, to anybody who asks for it.

Check out my website, if you want to know more about my life as an editor. I’m especially proud of the testimonials you’ll find there.

Hiro Kanagawa’s Indian Arm is worth the effort

Indian Arm, Richard Russ, Rumble Theatre

Richard Russ is one of the strong actors in Rumble Theatre’s Indian Arm

In the land of theatre, the pick is easy this week. And, as a bonus, I’ve got a couple of movies for you.

Hiro Kanagawa’s Indian Arm just runs for two more nights (until April 18) at Studio 16. Get in if you can. Kanagawa’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Little Eyolf is challenging, but the pay-off is worth it, thanks, in part, to the exemplary performances of many in the cast, including Jennifer Copping and Gerry Mackay. Indian Arm, which is set in our local fjord, is about selfishness and sharing in the context of sex—and land claims.

And I saw a couple of movies this week that are so good that I have to tell you about them. (Yes, I also like movies, but that doesn’t mean that I love theatre less, so settle down.) [Read more…]

Cue up for Avenue Q

Avenue Q, Arts Club

Humans Nick Fontaine and Jeremy Crittenden help puppets Nicky and Rod negotiate same-sex relationships in Avenue Q

Avenue Q is the show to see this weekend.

The musical’s satirical take on Sesame Street—and the generation of young folks raised to feel special and disappointed to find that they’re not—is hilarious. The songs include “What Do You Do with a BA in English?” and “The Internet Is for Porn”.

Under Peter Jorgensen’s direction, this Arts Club production is pretty much perfect. The cast, which manipulates Muppetlike puppets, is skilled and charming. Musically, the show sounds downright splendid, and the production is wittily designed. There’s nothing not to like. 

Bonus: Avenue Q‘s success might just restore your faith in an orderly universe. When  Avenue Q went up against Wicked at the Tony Awards in 2004, Avenue Q won for best book, best score, and best musical. Why? Because it’s a MUCH BETTER SHOW than Wicked. See? There is a God. Somewhere. Maybe.