Kuroko by Tetsuro Shigematsu

Dates and Venue November 6 – 17, 2019, 7.30pm; matinees: Nov 10 & 17 at 2PM | The Cultch, 1895 Venables St,

Director Amiel Gladstone Dramaturg Heidi Taylor Set Designer Sophie Tang Costume Designer Christine Reimer Lighting Designer Gerald King Sound Designer Sammie Hatch Projection Designer Remy Siu Stage Manager Susan Miyagishima

Reviewer John Jane

Kuroko is a stylish, multi-layered play that would seem to be part black comedy and part a window on present-day Japanese social order. It comes from the creative mind of playwright and performance artist Tetsuro Shigematsu and produced by the Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (VACT). Full review



Chutzpah! Festival Co Presented with Howard Blank of Point Blank Productions
The Diary of Anne Frank LatinX by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman

Dates and Venue November 6 - 8, 2019 at 8pm & November 9 at 2pm | Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre

Director Stan Zimmerman Stage Manager Miranda Richard

Reviewer John Jane

By now, everyone knows the story of Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who hid away with her family for two years, while Nazi’s hunted down Jewish citizens of Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II. But what is different about The Diary of Anne Frank LatinX? Full review



Uncle Randy Productions
Green Day’s American Idiot

Dates and Venue November 5 - 10, 2019, 8pm (matinee Sat., Nov. 9 at 2pm) | Centennial Theatre, 2300 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver

Director Richard Berg Music Direction Rob Hamilton Choreography Emily Matchette Costume Design Gina Morel Lighting Design Robert Sundergaard Set Design Richard Berg & Robert Sundergaard Sound Design Richard Berg Stage Manager Collette Berg

Reviewer John Jane

Following a pseudo-political multi-media pre-show, American Idiot explodes on the stage with the entire company in a hyper-kinetic version of the title song in a fusillade of light. The opening sets the scene for an hour and a half of virtually non-stop mesmerizing performance by a young talented cast. The performers throw themselves into Emily Matchette’s free form choreography with audacious abandon. Full review


Touchstone Theatre
Certified by Jan Derbyshire

Date and Venue October 31 – November 16, 2019, 8pm (2 pm matinees on Nov 3, 9, 10, 16) | Vancity Culture Lab, The Cultch

Director Roy Surette Performer Jan Derbyshire

Reviewer Jason Martin

With fragility, courage, heft and tenacity she takes the audience through her personal story navigating the mental health system as a person inflicted with depression, anxiety, alcoholism and mental illness including hearing voices. But “navigating” is too weak a word, too clinical: a euphemism. Full review



Pacific Theatre
Frankenstein: Lost In Darkness adapted by Peter Church

Dates and Venue October 17 – November 2, 2019; 8pm (Sat. matinees at 2pm) | Pacific Theatre, 1440 West 12th Avenue

Director Chris Lam Lighting Designer Jonathan Kim Sound Design and Original Composition Rick Colhoun Stage Manager Shila Amin

Reviewer John Jane

Mary Shelley's mythic story of Dr. Frankenstein and his ungodly creation has always been acknowledged as a cautionary tale. When mankind tries to play God, chaos can, and usually does result. What you get in this Pacific Theatre production of Peter Church’s adaptation is less graphic horror, but more humanity. Full review



Gateway Theatre
China Doll by Marjorie Chan

Dates and Venue October 17-26, 2019; 8pm (except Sunday and Monday); matinees Sat October 19 & Sun October 20 @ 2pm, Tues October 22 @ 1pm | Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond

Director Marjorie Chan Set Design Heipo Leung Costume Design Amy Mcdougall Sound Design Mishelle Cuttler Lighting Design Chengyan Boon Projection Design Sammy Chien, Chien Shanghan, Ivan So & Andie Lloyd Stage Manager Yvonne Yip Intimacy Director Lisa Goebel

Reviewer John Jane

Set in Shanghai against a backdrop of the final years of the Great Qing Dynasty, prior to Republicanism finally achieving overwhelming support in 1911, protagonist Su-Ling (Jennifer Tong) has been abandoned by her father following her mother’s suicide. Full review



Arts Club Theatre Company
The Birds & the Bees by Mark Crawford

Dates and Venue September 26–October 26, 2019; Tue–Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm, Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Granville Island Stage

Director Lauren Taylor Set Designer Ted Roberts Costume Designer Alaia Hamer Lighting Designer Michael K. Hewitt Sound Designer Sammie Hatch Stage Manager April Starr Land Intimacy Coordinator Michelle Thorne

Reviewer John Jane

The Birds & the Bees, aside from being a simple metaphor for teaching young people about sex before they discover it for themselves in the schoolyard, is a whimsical comedy by Mark Crawford. The play’s characters are an omnifarious foursome consisting of: a turkey breeder, a beekeeper, a tenant farmer and an entomology student. Full review

Broadway Across Canada
RENT: 20th Anniversary Tour

Dates and Venue September 17 – 22, 2019 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Director Evan Ensign Musical Suoervision Tim Weil Choreography Marlies Yearby Set Designer Matthew E. Maraffi Lighting Designer Jonathan Spencer Costume Designer Angela Wendt Sound Keith Caggiano Stage Manager Gabrielle Norris

Reviewer John Jane

Rent begins on a Christmas Eve in an industrial loft somewhere in the East Village, occupied, pretty much rent-free by Mark (Cody Jenkinkins) who takes on much of the incidental narration, and Roger, (Cole Eman Cummings) a self-pitying musician, attempting to write his own swan song. Through a series of telephone calls and miscommunications, the story follows Mark and the turbulent relationships of three couples, one straight, one lesbian and one homosexual. Full review