Archives for May 2014

Espresso yourself

Espresso, Pacific Theatre, Lucia Frangione, Robert Salvador

Lucia Frangione and Robert Salvador blur the line between spirituality and Eros in Espresso.

Every time I describe Lucia Frangione’s Espresso to friends, I cry. The play is a moving exploration of spirituality, Eros—and healing. Go see it.

You can skip Cirque du Soleil’s Totem, which contains some stunning acts, but also some stunningly stupid racial politics and too many boring bits.

And, although Spamalot features some excellent performances—hello Josh Epstein and Jonathan Winsby—the material mostly sucks.

So this weekend, the choice is clear: go see what Christianity looks like when’s it’s truly compassionate—as opposed to when it’s pretending to be compassionate.

Totem is subpar Cirque

Russian Bar, Totem, Cirque du Soleil

Kym Barrett’s costumes for “The Russian Bar”, the best act in Totem, are a crazy trip.

There’s a sprinkling of top-flight acts in Cirque du Soleil’s Totem, but this is not a top-flight show.

Robert Lepage wrote and directed Totem and, theoretically at least, his subject is the evolution of humanity. Lepage’s development of that idea never really makes much sense, though, and sometimes it gets problematic. In terms of direct references to evolution, one of the characters is a scientist, and there’s a brief reference to the emergence of homo sapiens, but that’s about it. [Read more…]

Iceland: your weekend destination

Iceland, Nicolas Billon, Kathleen Duborg, Vancouver theatre

Lindsey Angell (top) as Kassandra, Munish Sharma as Halim, and Georgia Beaty as Anna in Nicolas Billon’s Iceland

Iceland‘s last show is tomorrow night. Go. Lindsey Angell’s performance will knock your socks off. The whole show, from the script up, is a pleasure.

Iceland is part of playwright Nicolas Billon’s triptych, Fault Lines, which also includes Greenland and Faro Islands. Using monologues in an imaginative exploration of capitalism, Billon introduces is to an Estonian student working as a prostitute in Vancouver, a real estate agent, and a conservative Christian woman.

The play betrays itself a bit—the climax is forced—but, other than that, the writing is terrifically smart and original.

Under Kathleen Duborg’s direction, all of the performances are strong, including Munish Sharma’s Halim (the realtor), and Georgia Beatty’s Anna (the Christian). But it’s Angell’s performance as Kassandra, the student/hooker, that will leave you gobsmacked. I’ve been a fan of Angell’s work since she was a student at Studio 58. She has SO arrived.

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