Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story – hilarious, devastating, political

2b theatre, Touchshtone and the Freddy Wood are co-presenting Old Stock at the PuSh Festival.

Ben Caplan summons superhuman energy in Old Stock (Photo by Fadi Acra)

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story is equal parts outraged and outrageous, compassionate and hilarious — klezmer concert and play. [Read more…]

Unikkaaqtuat: a gift from the North

The Cultch and DanceHouse are presenting Unkkaaqtuat at the Vancouver Playhouse.

This raft doesn’t always stay afloat. (Photo by Alexandre Galliez)

Unikkaaqtuat, which is billed as a circus, is a sincere and generous gift from the rich traditions of several northern peoples. From my southern settler perspective, some of the show is gorgeous and some of it is boring. [Read more…]

House and Home: a recommended short-term rental

The Firehall Arts Centre is presenting Jenn Griffin's House and Home.

Jillian Fargey and Andrew Wheeler both rock in House and Home (Photo by Reznek Creative)

It’s kind of a shapeless bag of jewels, but it’s still a bag of jewels. [Read more…]

Gramma: this 75 minutes could age you

Pacific Theatre is presenting Maki Yi's play Gramma.

(Photo of Maki Yi by Emily Cooper)

Playwright and solo performer Maki Yi means well with Gramma and it starts off promisingly, but it quickly becomes very boring. [Read more…]

Infinity: actually 90 (very mixed) minutes

Infinity by Hannah Moscovitch is at The Cultch

Annoyingly, this isn’t a production photo, but it does show you Amy Rutherford and Jonathon Young.
(Photo by Dhalia Katz)

Two of the three characters in Infinity claim that they can hear time. I listened very closely, but I couldn’t hear the play’s heartbeat. Hannah Moscovitch’s script is emotionally alienating and its ambitious themes are underdeveloped. But I enjoyed it — because the character voices are fantastic and, under Ross Manson’s direction, this production is exquisitely tailored. [Read more…]

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: a production of many (excellent) colours

The Gateway Theatre is producing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Yeah! Saturate those hues! (Set by Carolyn Rapanos, lighting by Andrew Pye, costumes by Christina Sinosich.
Photo by Tim Matheson)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a supremely dumb musical but, if you get its exuberance right, you have something — and director Barbara Tomasic’s production gets the exuberance right. [Read more…]

Holiday at the Elbow Room Café: Not a vacation you want to go on

Zee Zee Theatre is presenting Holiday at the Elbow Room Café in The Cultch's Historic Theatre.

This guy: David Underhill (centre) with Emilie Leclerc and Emma Slipp.
(Photo by Tim Matheson)

Where’s the script? It feels like playwright Dave Deveau has forgotten to write one. [Read more…]

Girlfriend: Dump her

Fighting Chance Production is presenting Girlfriend at The Nest

Boys! Kiss already! (Photo of Julien Galipeau and Scott McGowan by Javier R. Sotres Photography)

If this show was a date, every person in the audience would have blue balls — and I’m including the people with ovaries. Girlfriend is an endless tease. [Read more…]

Cariboo Magi: an eccentric (and, in many ways, welcome) Christmas gift

Far From the Tree Productions is presenting Lucia Frangione's Cariboo Magi at the Havana.

A romance that’s both hot and cold — like Barkerville cold.
(Photo of Zach Running Coyote and Shelby Wyminga by Courtney Brice)

Sometimes old friends turn up at Christmas and you’re not sure at first what to do with them. Although I remembered it fondly, it’s been years since I’ve seen Lucia Frangione’s Cariboo Magi and it took me a while to renegotiate the terms of our relationship. [Read more…]

Bad Hats Theatre’s Peter Pan: a creaky story well told

Carousel Theatre is presenting Bad Had Theatre's Peter Pan

Check out the cool horns that costumer Kiara Lawson has given Slightly (Victor Dolhai)
(Photo by Tim Matheson)

Peter Pan is not the most progressive story in the world. Even in this adaptation, which has excised Tiger Lily along with all of the other Indians, reactionary gender norms haunt the tale like the ghosts of every frickin’ Christmas past. Through Wendy, girls are taught that their highest calling — their only calling — is to become dutiful little mothers: to take care of absolutely everybody else’s emotional needs and to stitch Peter’s shadow back onto his feet. The boys? When Captain Hook is forcing some of the Lost Boys to walk the plank, Wendy pulls herself up to her full Victorian glory and declares, “I think I speak for all mothers when I say we hope our sons will die like proper gentlemen.”

At the end of the show, the actors introduce themselves and state their preferred pronouns but, given the script, that gesture feels empty.

Okay. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me offer another perspective. I attended this performance with my three-year-old neighbour Nola. It was Nola’s first time at the theatre. When I asked her what her favourite part was, she replied, “All of it.” [Read more…]

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