Gateway Theatre
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Michael Shamata

Dates and Venue December 7 - 24, 2017, 8pm (except Mon and Sun Dec 10 & 17); matinees: Sat Dec. 9 & 23 and Sun at 2pm and Tues, Dec 12 at 1pm | Gateway Theatre MainStage, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond

Director Rachel Peake Assistant Director William Ford Hopkins Set Designer Drew Facey Costume Designer Carmen Allatore Lighting Designer Itai Erdal Sound Designer Joelysa Pankanea Technical Director Marcus Stusek Stage Manager Lois Dawson

Reviewer John Jane

Russell Roberts joins a clutch of other notable actors who get to utter “Bah, humbug!” Roberts does much to downplay the all too familiar characterization of Scrooge as the despicable moneygrubber, but rather portrays him as a misunderstood curmudgeon. Full review



Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes
Little Dickens: The Daisy Theatre Presents A Christmas Carol

Dates and Venue December 5 – 22, 2017, 8pm | The Cultch’s Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St.

Performer & Set Designer Ronnie Burkett Music and Sound Designer John Alcorn Stage Manager Crystal Salverda

Reviewer John Jane

Many in the audience will be familiar with some of Daisy Theatre’s popular characters. Spidery-legged former Hollywood diva, Esmé Massengill takes on the central Scrooge-like role with caustic fervour in a quasi-theatrical adaptation of the Dickens’ tale of redemption. A cross-dressing Leslie Fuqwar does his best as the Ghost of Christmas Present, and of course, there is Schnitzel, the diminutive boy fairy, who brings a source of pathos to role of Tiny Tim. Full review



by Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille, based on the poems by Alexander Pushkin

Dates and Venue November 23 – December 31, 2017, Tues –Thurs 7:30pm, Fri & Sat 8pm, Wed 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Granville Island Stage

Director Amiel Gladstone Set Design Drew Facey Sound Design Brad Danyluk Costume Designer Jacqueline Firkins Lighting Designer John Webber Musical Director Veda Hille Choreography Tracey Power Dramaturg Rachel Ditor Stage Manager Allison Spearin Musicians Barry Mirochnick, Jennifer Moersch and Marguerite Witvoet

Reviewer John Jane

Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille’s made-in-Canada ‘sung-through’ rock opera adaptation for the Arts Club Theatre Company still keeps one toe in early nineteenth century Russia, but a whole foot in the twenty-first century. As directed by Gladstone, it’s a highly imaginative take on Pushkin's iconic cautionary tale of unrequited love and lost opportunity. Full review



Pacific Theatre
Almost, Maine by John Cariani

Dates and Venue November 24 – December 16, 2017, Wed –Sat 8pm; Sat matinees at 2pm | Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave.

Director Kaitlin Williams Set & Lighting Design Lauchlin Johnston Costume Design Amy McDonald Sound Design Jay Clift Properties Design Jenny Jansch Stage Manager Maria Zarrillo

Reviewer John Jane

Almost, Maine is a quirky romantic comedy that offers up nine vignettes of roughly equal duration that take place on a single winter evening in a mythical town in the United States that’s so far north, it could be in Canada. The stories do not intertwine, but are loosely connected episodes about love, each with a captivating couple at its core. Full review



The Day Before Christmas by Stacey Kaser and Alison Kelly

Dates and Venue November 16 – December 24, 2017, Tue – Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm, Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm (Holidays: Sat, Dec 23, at 2 & 8pm and Sun, Dec 24, at 2pm) | Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre

Director Chelsea Haberlin Set Designer Drew Facey Costume Designer Carmen Alatorre Lighting Designer Itai Erdal Sound Designer Matthew MacDonald-Bain Projection Designer Joel Grinke Stage Manager Angela Beaulieu

Reviewer John Jane

Despite the play’s slightly deceptive title, Alex’s story starts almost immediately after (Canadian) Thanksgiving, even though Drew Facey’s chaotic set depicts the scene at the end. Alex arbitrarily decides that this year’s extravagant party theme is to be Russian Faerie Tales. Full review



Jersey Boys
book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice

Dates and Venue November 14 - 19, 2017, Tues – Sat at 8pm, Sun at 7:30pm + Sat & and Sun matinees at 2pm | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Director Des McAnuff Scenic Design Klara Zieglerova Costume Design Jess Goldstein Lighting Design Howell Binkley Sound Design Steve Canyon Kennedy Production Design Michael Clark Choreography Sergio Trujillo Music Director Mihael Gonzalez

Reviewer John Jane

Jersey Boys is a nostalgia musical that centres on the early careers of Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi, four guys from New Jersey who made up the Four Seasons and became a pop music phenomenon. By the early seventies all but Frankie Valli from this original lineup had quit the group. Full review



United Players
Taken at Midnight by Mark Hayhurst

Dates and Venue November 2 – 26, 2017, 8pm; Sun Matinées: Nov 12, 19, 26 at 2pm | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery Street

Director Michael Fera Set Design Allyson Fournier Costume Design Kate Pierre Lighting Design Michael Methot Sound Design Kanon Hewitt Fight Choreography Mike Kovacs Stage Manager Jasmin Sandhu

Reviewer John Jane

Taken at Midnight is a historical drama by British playwright Mark Hayhurst. The play uses a device of parallel, concurrent story-telling that covers a period of roughly six years prior to the commencement of WWII. Essentially, it centres on Jewish lawyer Hans Litten, from the time he was first taken into “protective custody” at Sonnenburg..... Full review



Uncle Randy Productions
Jesus Christ Superstar

Dates and Venue October 31 - November 5, 2017, 8pm; matinee on Tuesday, November 4, 2017, 2pm | Centennial Theatre, 2300 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver

Director Richard Berg Choreography Shelley Stewart Hunt and Jennifer Lynch Music Director Christopher King Set Design Richard Berg & Robert Sondergaard Costume Design Jemma Schrauwen Lighting Design Robert Sondergaard Sound Design Richard Berg Stage Manager Collette Brown Musicians Courteney Ennis piano, Devon Clarke bass, Duran Ritz drums, Michael Agranovich guitar

Reviewer John Jane

This production of Jesus Christ Superstar is the third mounting in Uncle Randy Productions’ storied history. It’s almost certainly the most cutting-edge and definitely the loudest. Full review



Arts Club Theatre Company
King Charles III by Mike Bartlett

Dates and Venue
October 19 – November 19, 2017 Tue–Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8 pm, Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

Director Kevin Bennett Set Design Kevin McAllister Costume Design Christopher David Gauthier Lighting Design Darren Boquist Sound Design Ben Elliott Dialect Coach Alison Matthews Stage Manager Rick Rinder

Reviewer John Jane

King Charles III is Mike Bartlett’s hypothetical drama that speculates on what might happen when eventually Elizabeth dies and Charles ascends to the throne. The show opens even before the play actually begins with the entire company dressed in appropriately dutiful black at Elizabeth’s funeral. Full review


The Cultch
Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan written and performed by Dipti Mehta
Presented with Diwali in BC

Dates and Venue October 20 - November 4, 2017, 8pm; Sun Oct 29 at 7pm | Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables St.

Director Mark Cirnigliaro Costume Consultant Scott Westervelt Lighting Design Jason Flamos Sound Design Matt Bittner Original Score Rhythmn Tolee Choreography Monica Kapoor

Reviewer John Jane

Dipti Mehta’s main character Rani – one of seven motley characters – is a teenage soon-to-be courtesan whose “honour” is about to be traded to prospective suitors.... Full review

Pacific Theatre (Cave Canem Production)
The Lonesome West by Martin McDonagh

Dates and Venue October 20 - November 11, 2017, Wed – Sat 8pm, 2pm matinees all Saturdays | Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave.

Director Evan Frayne

Reviewer Erin Jane

Based upon the murderous and suicidal goings-on in the small Western Ireland town of Leenane, and part of McDonagh’s trilogy of plays set in this troubling region, The Lonesome West tells the story of two bickering sociopathic brothers, who the local townsfolk whimsically refer to as simply, “very odd.” Full review



xAenigma Theatre And Bright Young Theatre
VIVA by Scott Button

Dates and Venue October 14 – 21, 2017, 8pm. October 15, 21, 22 at 2pm. NO SHOW on October 16 | The Havana, 1212 Commercial Dr, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

The play can be confusing at the start when both characters are in a plane about to land in LasVegas. But then, as the play progresses, we start to understand that like many new plays where actors play multiple roles including narrating events, we get to understand the story. Two Strangers, Two Stories, Las Vegas. Full review



Arts Club Theatre Company ON TOUR

Mom’s the Word 3: Nest ½ Empty by Jill Daum, Alison Kelly, Robin Nichol, Barbara Pollard, and Deborah Williams

Dates and Venues October 5 to November 11, 2017 | Various venues around Metro Vancouver + Nelson, Vernon & Cranbrook

Director Wayne Harrison Set and Costume Design Pam Johnson Lighting Design Ted Roberts Sound and Video Design Kate de Lorme Stage Manager Pamela Jakobs

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Mom’s the Word 3 was a hit last March and April at the Granville Island Stage, and now it's on tour. It's the same director and cast (Jill Daum, Alison Kelly, Beatrice Zeilinger, Barbara Pollard, and Deborah Williams) except for Zeilinger who replaces Robin Nichol. It was a standing ovation at the curtain call, last October 11 at the Surrey Arts Centre, and all throughout the play, everyone was laughing, especially the middle-aged and above women in the audience. Full review