The PuSh Festival is coming up January 15 to February 3 and it looks like a bumper year. I want to share some of my picks.
I’ve seen a couple of the shows in earlier versions and I recommend both highly.
Ride the Cyclone from Victoria’s Atomic Vaudeville is thrilling in its originality. It is also a rockin’ good musical. Jacob Richmond has retooled the book since Cyclone first took Vancouver by storm in 2011.
Winners and Losers from Vancouver’s Theatre Replacement and Neworld Theatre is also terrifically original—and daring. In it, James Long and Marcus Youssef play high-stakes game in which they categorize everything they can think of as winners and losers.
I’m also excited about seeing Photog, in which Vancouver’s Boca del Lupo examines the contradictions of being a photographer in a conflict zone. This performance is dedicated to Tim Hetherington, co-director of the documentary film Restrepo. PuSh is presenting a free showing of the movie on January 23.
My fourth top pick is a dance piece, Still Standing You, by Belgian dancemakers Pieter Ampe and Guilherme Garrido. The program promises “an astounding take of masculinity, aggression, and tenderness,” and the pull quote talks about two men manipulating “each other’s penises in a game of one-upmanship.” How could I not be there?
There are abundant riches elsewhere, too. The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart from the National Theatre of Scotland will combine theatre and live music in the WISE Hall. Looks terrific. And in Testament from Berlin’s She She Pop, the performance collective, which consists of six women and one man, deconstructs Shakespeare’s King Lear, standing onstage with their real-life dads.
Beyond these picks, I’m sure there’ll be plenty to discover.
You can download the full program at http://pushfestival.ca/festival-events/download-program-guide/, or pick one up at JJ Bean, Terra Breads, Festival Cinemas, or Choices.