Archives for March 2015

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…]

Do You Think This Is Strange?

Do You Think This Is Strange? Brindle and Glass, Aaron Drake, Colin Thomas

Aaron Drake’s new novel is a thing of beauty.

I am so proud to be associated with this novel that I cried when the hard copy arrived in the mail this morning.

Do You Think This Is Strange? is narrated in the voice of a 17-year-old autistic boy. It’s funny, it’s heart-wrenching, and it’s beautifully structured.

Brindle and Glass (Victoria) is the publisher: Buy it.

And, shameless self-promotion (because I want to edit more books that are this good), here’s what Aaron, the writer, had to say about me in his acknowledgements: “[Publisher] Taryn demonstrated some kind of genius when she paired me with Colin Thomas, my editor, because he turned out to have an unnerving knack of knowing where the bullshit was. My book has been a lengthy process of cutting off the unnecessary fat, and Colin was a master of separating the tissue from the bone.”

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.

The Whipping Man, Cat Killer, and Obaaberima

The Whipping Man, Pacific Theatre

Giovanni Mocibob, Carl Kennedy, and Tom Pickett act their socks off (although you can’t see that in this picture) in The Whipping Man

I have two shows to recommend this weekend: The Whipping Man and Cat Killer.

Pacific Theatre’s production of The Whipping Man runs until March 21 and it contains some of the best acting you’re going to see on-stage in town right now. It’s about the relationship between former slaves and a former slave owner just after the end of the American Civil War.

And you’ve got one more night (tonight, March 14) to catch Cat Killer at Presentation House in North Vancouver. Cat Killer is immersive: you find your own way in and around the theatre, guided by a video playing on a little handheld camera.

If you want day-after mini-reviews, your can follow me on Twitter: @ColinThomasSays.

And, if you want to read my interview with Tawiah M’Carthy, who wrote and performs Obaaberima, check it out late a week Wednesday (March 25) on Obaaberima is about growing up as a female-identified male in Ghana. M’Carthy was a terrific interview: he talked about how theatre healed his relationship with God. I hope I can do him justice.

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…]

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