Steel Magnolias: Better when it’s breathing

Boone Dog Productions is presenting Steel Magnolias at The Nest.

This is when it hits. (Lalainia Lindbjerg, Ranae Miller, Gillian Barber, and Sheryl Anne Wheaton photographed by Damon Calderwood)

I ran into a pal at intermission who floated a genius idea: cast Steel Magnolias with drag queens. Playwright Robert Harling is gay after all and the characters in Steel Magnolias feel very much like women as imagined by a gay man. [Read more…]

BEEP: Incoming

Carousel Theatre is presenting Windmill Theatre's production of BEEP at the Waterfront Theatre.

Kailea-Nadine Williams and Ezra Juanta in BEEP. There are some changes in the touring cast. (Photo by Sia Duff)

There’s nothing wrong with Beep. [Read more…]

Cipher: as in zero

The Arts Club and Vertigo Theatre are presenting Cipher at the Granville Island Stage

They stare at one another and we stare at them, waiting for something meaningful to happen.
(Photo of Ellen Close and Praneet Akilla by David Cooper)

A cipher can be a code. It can also be a zero. Cipher is a play about a code — and a play that adds up to very little. [Read more…]

Straight White Men: Aliens

Men 2 Boyz. (Photo of Carlo Marks, Daniel Martin, and Sebastien Archibald by Tim Matheson)

The motto of Young Jean Lee’s Theatre Company is “Destroy the audience!” and the Village Voice has crowned her “the queen of unease”. But Itsazoo’s production of Lee’s Straight White Men left me disappointingly untroubled and unimplicated. [Read more…]

Anywhere But Here: Go there

Electric Company is presenting Anywhere But Here at the Vancouver Playhouse as part of the PuSh Festival.

Alexandra Lainfiesta’s performance in Anywhere But Here is masterfully unadorned — as clear as glass. (Photo by Emily Cooper)

Carmen Aguirre’s script for Anywhere But Here takes a long time to find its groove but, when it does, it’s thrilling. Really. Although I was ambivalent about the text after the first act, I rocketed out of my seat for the ovation at the end. And the production is always bracingly vibrant and confident. [Read more…]

Forget Me Not: Forget the script, remember the rest

The Cultch is presenting Ronnie Burkett's Forgeet Me Not.

In Forget Me Not, much of the beauty is in the physical craft. (Photo by Dahlia Katz)

Ronnie Burkett is a phenomenal performer. The puppets that he and his team creates are works of art. And he needs a whole lot more help with storytelling than he’s getting. [Read more…]

Kismet, things have changed: compare and contrast

The Cultch and PuSh are presenting The Chop's Kismet, things have changed.

The way they were: Daryl King, Emelia Symington Fedy, Hazel Venzon, and Anita Rochon stand in front of an image of themselves from ten years ago. (Photo by Reznekcreative)

Comparison is odious. It can also be instructive. I really like Kismet, things have changed and recommend you see it. I loved KISMET, one to one hundred and I strongly suggest you go back in time and see if you can catch that show ten years ago. [Read more…]

Gardens Speak: Listen

PuSh is presenting Tanya El Khoury's Gardens Speak at the Roundhouse.

In Gardens Speak, participants negotiate their own relationships to the text. (Photo by Jessie Hunniford)

A handful of times during Tanya El Khoury’s sound installation Gardens Speak, I had to slow myself down, to stop, to let the gravity of the information I was receiving land, and to honestly consider my response to it.

That means that Gardens Speak was doing its job.   [Read more…]

Noises Off: Right On


The Arts Club is producing David Frayn's Noises Off at the Stanley Theatre.

Actors appalled by escalating calamity. (Photo of Emma Slipp, Jovanni Sy, Tess Degenstein, Colleen Winton, and Charlie Gallant by David Cooper)

There’s something sublime about farce when it’s well done and this Arts Club production of Noises Off is very well done. [Read more…]

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…]

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