Author Archive for Colin Thomas, Vancouver Editor

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.

Panto Come Home!: ghosts of Christmases past

Publicity photo: Panto Come Home!

Photo of Donna Soares, Mark Chavez, Dawn Petten and Amanda Sum by Emily Cooper

The whole is less than the sum of its parts, but some of those parts are excellent.

This year’s (online) East Van Panto is a collection of greatest musical hits from the last seven years of The Cultch and Theatre Replacement’s pantos. Writer Mark Chavez strings the songs together with a story that’s triggered by the arrival of the Phanto of the Panto. A Phantom of the Opera kind of guy, the Phanto has been lurking in the bowels of the York Theatre for years and he’s seen every frickin’ performance of every frickin’ panto since 2013; he’s desperate to see something new and he suggests the company build this year’s show around the little-known Grimm brothers tale “The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage” (which actually exists). [Read more…]

Be-Longing embraces double-jointed identities

screen shot from The Frank Theatre's Be-Longing

When KhattieQ talks, you listen: she’s not just showing off, she just means it.

A lot of the work in Be-Longing is skilled. And, although not everything in the piece succeeds for me, there’s an underlying integrity to it that makes several passages compelling. [Read more…]

Nom Nom Gnomes: Nope

Carousel Theatre recommends this 30-minute audio play for kids who are three years old and up, but I can’t imagine any kid I know sitting still for it. I could barely manage. [Read more…]

Pathetic Fallacy: far from pathetic, but not riveting

promo photo for Pathetic Fallacy

It isn’t easy being green — but it comes with an invisibility cloak.

 

Conceptually, it’s cool and sometimes it’s pretty, but it’s not substantial.

Created in 2018, Pathetic Fallacy emerged from core creator Anita Rochon’s determination to share her theatre work internationally without flying all over the place and contributing to climate change. [Read more…]

The Twelve Dates of Christmas — aren’t worth sitting through

production photo for The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Formulaic wackiness: The Twelve Dates of Christmas (Photo of Melissa Oei from Moonrider Productions)

Christmas is coming, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, theatres in BC have been hit especially hard, and I don’t want to look like an asshole. But, if I’m going to be honest, there’s no way to avoid saying this: The Twelve Dates of Christmas is a waste of time. [Read more…]

do you want what i have got? a craigslist cantata: BOOK THIS RIGHT NOW

 

Clockwise: Amanda Sum, Josh Epstein, Meaghan Chenosky, Chirag Naik

I’ve never posted an emergency review before, but here it is. You’ve got to see do you want what i have got? a craigslist cantata and your last chance is today at noon. Here’s where to book your tickets for the livestream.

Based on real-life Craigslist ads and posts, this musical is eccentrically hilarious and, especially in these times of Covid loneliness, heartbreaking. [Read more…]

The Red Priest (Eight Ways to Say Goodbye): intelligent and moving

publicity photo for The Red Priest

(Photo of Steve James and Tracy Jennisson by Nancy Caldwell)

The Red Priest (Eight Ways to Say Goodbye) is a smart script and, in this United Players production, it’s being performed by smart actors.

Playwright Mieko Ouchi’s text is about a fictional relationship between Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi and the wife of one of France’s most powerful noblemen. The script identifies this character only as Woman. Her husband has bet the King of France that Vivaldi can teach her how to play the violin in six weeks — at the end of which time, she will perform for the French court. [Read more…]

The Amaryllis takes a long time to bloom

 

 

publicity shot for The Amaryllis

(Photo of Shawn Macdonald and Amy Rutherford in The Amaryllis by Emily Cooper)

Michele Riml’s script is a screwball comedy. But director Mindy Parfitt’s production is lacking a screwball: Amy Rutherford is miscast. [Read more…]

Buffoon: Read this review and watch the show (not necessarily in that order)

illustrates review of a play called Buffoon

Andrew McNee is performing with a broken arm. (Photo by Moonrider Productions)

It’s story time. And you could hardly ask for better storytellers than playwright Anosh Irani and actor Andrew McNee. (McNee and Kayvon Khoshkam are alternating in this solo show.) [Read more…]

Little Volcano: plate tectonics

Veda Hille, Little Volcano, The Cultch

The power of counterpoint: Veda Hille in Little Volcano (Photo by Emily Cooper)

All alone in my living room, I applauded.

These are lonely times and getting to watch the livestream of Veda Hille’s Little Volcano for 90 minutes is like having the most fascinating person over for the most intimate of conversations. [Read more…]

Sign up—free!—

YEAH, THIS IS ANNOYING. But my theatre newsletter is fun!

Sign up and get curated international coverage + local reviews every Thursday!