Archives for October 2021

Imagine Picasso: Nah, see the original works

photo of audience members at Imagine Picasso

In Imagine Picasso, the mash-up of styles results in incoherence. (Photo by me)

The short review is that it doesn’t work. But at least it doesn’t work for interesting reasons.

Encore Productions, the same folks who brought us Imagine Van Gogh, which has now closed in Vancouver, are offering Imagine Picasso. Like Imagine Van Gogh, Imagine Picasso is an immersive event: in Vancouver, you enter a huge room in the Convention Centre and are instantly surrounded by wall-sized projections of images created by the great Spanish artist. Music plays as these paintings and fragments of paintings appear, disappear, and slide down in great sheets towards the floor, which is also covered in projections.

The Van Gogh version of this approach succeeds because Van Gogh’s paintings are unabashedly sensual, decorative, and stylistically consistent. These qualities are less present in Picasso’s oeuvre. [Read more…]

Spinning You Home: Okay. Why?

publicity photo for Spinning You Home

Grampa (Simon Webb) gets ghostly with Sarah (Sarah Roa). (Photo by John Greenway)

There’s skill on display here, but I don’t know what it’s in service of.

In Spinning You Home, playwright Sally Stubbs freely embellishes the true story of John “Cariboo” Cameron, a nineteenth-century prospector who struck it rich in the Cariboo Gold Rush, but is more renowned for fulfilling the deathbed promise he made to his wife Sophia. He pledged to return her body to Cornwall, Ontario, which he did, her corpse pickled in a metal-lined coffin filled with alcohol. [Read more…]

Wakey, Wakey: There’s a call for you

Publicity photo for Wakey, Wakey.

Actor Craig Erickson in front of a video by Wladimiro A. Woyno R. (Photo by Chelsey Stuyt Photography)

I’ve never been more alert to shimmering life than in the weeks preceding my friend Len’s assisted death. Presence was the gift of their passing.

That’s also the substance of Will Eno’s Wakey, Wakey, which is seamlessly well realized in Pacific Theatre’s production. [Read more…]

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