Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

Book by Douglas McGrath. Words and Music by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil

Dates and Venue November 13 - 18, 2018, 8pm | The Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Reviewer Ed Farolan

I enjoyed the second part of the show more than the first. The first part was too overwhelming. Too many songs, too many different groups singing (Righteous Brothers,The Shirelles, Ray Davies and the Kinks, etc.) Even Neil Sedaka makes a brief appearance. However, the second part when Carole King (Sarah Bockel) goes solo and gains fame--that was superb. And all her iconic songs, particularly “A Natural Woman,” and “You’ve Got A Friend” were sung by her. Full review



Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre
Empire of the Son by Tetsuro Shigematsu

Dates and Venue November 8 – 17, 2018, 8pm; matinees November 10 & November 17 @ 2pm & (Tues) November 13 @ 1pm | Gateway Theatre, Studio B, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond

Director & Dramaturgy Richard Wolfe Set Design Pam Johnson Lighting Design Gerald King Costume Design Barbara Clayden Sound Design Steve Charles Audio Dramaturg Yvonne Gall Stage Manager Susan Miyagishima Production Manager Adrian Muir

Reviewer Erin Jane

Empire of the Sun is an intimate and earnest exploration of Shigematsu’s relationship with his Japanese-born father, a relationship filled with complicated affection, but also pride, respect, and compassion. Shigematsu is a natural-born storyteller, and does immense justice to his father’s legacy in public broadcasting. Full review



The Cultch
Three Winters by Amiel Gladstone

Dates and Venue November 7 - 17, 2018, 8pm; November 10 & 11 at 2pm | Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St.

Director Amiel Gladstone Set Designer Adrian Muir Costume Designer Jacqueline Firkins Lighting Design Kaileigh Krysztofiak Sound Designer Sammie Hatch Dramaturge Amy Lynn Strilchuk Stage Manager Allison Spearin

The Cast Ghazal Azarbad, Raylene Harewood, Olivia Hutt, Camille Legg, Julia Siedlanowska, Naomi Vogt & Libby Willoughby

Reviewer John Jane

To commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the armistice that took place at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, The Cultch has produced three plays that perhaps offer a deeper understanding of what war is really about. Three Winters is the third in what has been named the Ceasefire Series; though chronologically, it is second, since its setting is in Stalag Luft III—a notorious WWII POW camp near Germany’s eastern border. Full review




Western Gold Theatre in association with Solo Collective Theatre
Red Birds by Aaron Bushkowsky

Dates and Venue November 2 – 18, 2018;Tues - Sat at 7:30pm, Sat and Sun plus Thurs November 15 at 2pm | PAL Studio Theatre, 581 Cardero St., Vancouver

Director Scott Bellis Producer Glen MacDonald Lighting Design John Webber Set Design Stephanie Wong Sound Design Ben Elliott Costume & Props Design Alaia Hamer Stage Manager Rebecca Mulvihill

Reviewer John Jane

Red Birds is the latest work from local playwright and UBC alumnus, Aaron Bushkowsky. It’s essentially a comedy centred around a dysfunctional family of three generations of women who just manage to stay above the poverty line. The play begins as a middle-age woman accompanied by her adult daughter and elderly mother stroll through a bird sanctuary looking for an elusive cardinal..... Full review



Arts Club Theatre Company & Citadel Theatre
SWEAT by Lynn Nottage

Dates and Venue
October 18 – November 18, 2018; Tue – Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm, Wed at 1:30pm and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

Director Valerie Planche Sound Designer Mishelle Cuttler Costume Designer Jenifer Darbellay Lighting Design Daniela Masellis Set Design Shizuka Kai Stage Manager Rick Rinder

Reviewer John Jane

Nottage’s fictional characters are the anonymous victims of globalization, who likely once considered themselves to be middle class. But, like most of us, they have had to learn that if your economic status relies on your union, your employer, or your elected representatives – you are not really middle class. Full review



With A Spoon production in association with Rumble Theatre
The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe

Dates and Venue October 19 – November 10, 2018, 8pm Wed – Sat with 2pm Saturday matinees | Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave.

Director jamie King Lighting Design Nicole Weismiller Costume Design Chantal Short Sound Design Matthew MacDonald-Bain Stage Manager Victoria Snashall

Reviewer John Jane

The ‘girls’ show up for training sessions in full kit – blue jerseys, black shorts and varied styles of soccer shoes (think Uruguay national team). All are of high school senior age and are generally identified by their assigned team number. Like many girl’s sport teams there is a lot of aimless chatter as they are put through their paces on the training ground. Full review

Touchstone Theatre
Kill Me Now by Brad Fraser

Dates and Venue October 13 - 27, 2018, Tues 7pm, Wed - Sat 8pm & Sat & Sun 3pm | Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street

Director Roy Surette Set Design David Roberts Lighting Design Kaileigh Krysztofiak Costume Design Hannah Case Sound Design James Coomber Lighting & Production Design Adrian Muir Stage Manager Angela Beaulieu

Reviewer Erin Jane

Kill Me Now premiered in 2015 with much critical acclaim and indications that it could be playwright Brad Fraser’s best work yet. Fraser, born in Edmonton of Metis descent, is no stranger to gritty controversial subject matter the likes of which is often featured in his hard hitting plays, and Kill Me Now is no different. Full review


xArts Club Theatre Company On Tour
The Piano Teacher by Dorothy Dittrich

Dates and Venues October 4 – November 6, 2018, | Various venues throughout the Lower Mainland

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Well-made plays are usually winners. and Dittrich´s play is a winner. In fact, it won the Best Original Script in last year's Jessie's. Full review



xSeven Tyrants Theatre
Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett

Dates and Venue October 5 - 26, 2018, Tues – Fri @ 8pm, Saturdays @ 4pm,Sundays @ 7pm | Tyrant Studios, 1019 Seymour Street (above Penthouse Nightclub)

Reviewer Ed Farolan

I like this play because like some old folks, I identify myself with Krapp who gives us crap (trying to be punny) from his old days, reminiscing on a past lover and other stuff, poetic and otherwise. Full review



Ruby Slippers Theatre
Les Belles-soeurs by Michel Tremblay, translated by John Van Burek and Bill Glassco

Dates and Venue September 27 - October 6, 2018, 8pm nightly (except Sun and Mon); matinees on Sat Sept 29, Sun Sept 30 @ 2pm &Tues , October 2 @ 1pm | Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond

Director Diane Brown Set Design Drew Facey Costume Design Ellen Gu Lighting Design John Webber Sound Design Mishelle Cuttler Movement Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg Technical Director Jeff Harrison Stage Manager Lois Dawson

Reviewer John Jane

While the play is a true ensemble piece, it centres on Germaine Lauzon (France Perras) who has hit the jackpot (kind of) in winning one million trading stamps. The stamps have to be painstakingly put in booklets before cashing in for merchandise – a labour-intensive process. Full review


Arts Club Theatre Company and the Belfry Theatre
MUSTARD by Kat Sandler

Dates and Venue
September 20 – October 20, 2018, Mon–Thu at 7:30 PM, Fri & Sat at 8 PM, Wed at 1:30 PM, and Sat at 2 PM | Granville Island Stage.

Director Stephen Drover Set Design Kevin McAllister Lighting Design Alan Brodie Costume Design Carmen Alatorre Sound Design Brian Linds Stage Manager Jan Hodgson

Reviewer John Jane

Mustard spends a large part of the play looking like something between a court jester and a sports franchise mascot. Sixteen-year-old Thai at one time relied on her imaginary friend for companionship, but while he is still visible to only her (and of course, the audience), practical problems have replaced her need for an abstract relationship with someone with the mental development of a ten-year-old. Full review