xBroadway Across Canada - A Cameron Mackintosh Production

The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber


Date and Venue July 12 – 23, 2017 Tues – Sat evenings at 8pm, Sunday evenings 7:30pm with 2pm matinees on Saturday and Sunday | The Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Described as a "spectacular new production", this reinvented staging and scenic design of this new version of PHANTOM performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, makes this musical one of the largest productions on tour in North America. Opening night was indeed a spectacle. Full review


 

Ensemble Theatre Festival

Dates and Venue July 7 - August 18, 2017 | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery Street, Vancouver

 

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Master Class by David Pownall

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This thought-provoking production composed of a strong cast Tariq Leslie (Stalin), James Gill (Zhdanov), Chris Robson (Prokofiev) and Chris Lam (Shostakovich) will make you feel like you're in a roller coaster ride until its climactic finish. It's the kind of play where satire collides with tragedy, a dark comedy where you can laugh as well as cry. Full review

 

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A Prayer for Owen Meany by Simon Bent

Reviewer Erin Jane

Adaptation limitations aside, I must admit that Chris Lam was outstanding as Owen Meany. No small task (figuratively speaking), Lam did an astonishing job bringing to life the diminutive Owen with his unearthly voice and prominent ears, and he delivered Owen’s sarcastic yet serious dialogue with a never-faltering strangled high-pitched voice. I was suitably impressed. Full review

 


 

Theatre under the Stars

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The Drowsy Chaperone

Dates and Venue July 8 – August 19, 2017 at 8pm | Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, 610 Pipeline Rd.

Reviewer Erin Jane

Ah, Musicals. I have to admit I’m not usually one who can stomach the saccharine folly and frivolity of musicals, but since The Drowsy Chaperone is so tongue in cheek (it’s really a parody of a musical), I can genuinely say I loved it. Actually, it’s described as “A musical within a comedy,” meaning it’s a play about an unnamed man who plays the audience a record of his favourite musical, which then comes alive in his living room. The musical action itself is paused and spliced throughout with the man’s wry commentary, and the English Literature student in me was won over by his analysis and dissection of this popular form of theatrical performance. Full review

 

xMary Poppins

Dates and Venue July 7 – August 18, 2017 at 8pm | Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, 610 Pipeline Rd.

Reviewer Maria Figueiredo

This Broadway musical based on the 1964 film of the same name is a production that delights and captures your imagination. Full review


 

xPutting It Together Collective
City of Angels

Dates and Venue July 8 – 17, 2017, 8pm; Sat, July 15 Matinee 2pm | Performance Works, Granville Island

Reviewer Maria Figueiredo

This is an enchanting musical that keeps you intrigued and entertained. It is interesting how many 'themes' intertwine and how all the pieces fit together in this fascinating play. Kudos to the Director, Jennifer Copping and Co-Director, Sylvia M. Zradic. The orchestra, the dancing and the powerful singing voices, particularly of the lead performers – Crystal Balint, Michael Lomenda, Donal Thoms-Cappello and Jennifer Copping make it an amazing show. Full review

 


xVancouver TheatreSports
Oh Canada

Dates and Venue | June 29 – Sep 2, 2017, Thur-Sat @ 7.30pm | The Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau St., Granville Island

Ensemble Graeme Duffy, Ken Lawson, Devin Mackenzie, Lauren McGibbon, Margret Nyfors, Brad Rossington & Pearce Visser  Production Artistic Director Denise Jones Associate Artistic Director Bill Pozzobon Light Improviser Su Scarfe Sound Improviser Laura Skelton

Reviewer Darren Cordeiro

As Canada celebrates its sesquicentennial, there is an abundance of celebratory events being hosted around this vibrant city. Given the multitude of options available, we have to be strategic in which events we can afford to attend in our personal time and I would recommend Oh, Canada to rank near the top of your to-do list. This soirée of patriotic-themed Improv led by a zany and hilarious cast will remind you through your laughter of the reasons we are proud to be Canadian! Full review

 


xAenigma Theatre
Copenhagen by Michael Frayn

Dates and Venue June 27 to June 30, 2017 at 8pm; + July 1 at 2pm | Studio 16, 1551 W 7th Ave, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

The actors at curtain call got a resounding applause at the full-house opening night presentation of this show under the excellent direction of Tanya Mathivanan. Francis Boyle (Niels Bohr), Eric Regimbald (Werner Heisenberg) and Tara Pratt (Magreth Bohr) were fabulous in the delivery of lines, pacing and blocking. I could see a lot of hard work put into this production because their lines were delivered so naturally that you'd think they weren't memorized at all. Full review

 

 


The 35th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
were held Monday, June 26th at the Commodore Ballroom saluting excellence in theatre. A celebratory event that moved quickly and effortlessly and this year included ASL interpretation by Lisz Keallen and Spring Herold. Over 40 companies registered over 70 productions this past year contributing to the Vancouver theatre community.The Jessie Awards are divided into three categories – Large Theatre, Small Theatre and Theatre for Young Audiences – along with a variety of special awards. Full List


Bard on the Beach

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Dates and Venue June 29 – September 17, 7.30pm + Sat & Sun matinees at 2pm | Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre, Vanier Park

Director Scott Bellis Costume Designer Mara Gottler Scenic Designer Marshall McMahen Lighting Designer Adrian Muir Sound Designer Julie Casselman Choreographer Tara Cheyenne Friedberg Stage Manager Joanne P.B. Smith

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

Itís a full house at the opening night of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Itís a wonderful performance. We are spending a perfect summer evening in a tent at the beach for one of Shakespeareís great comedies. Full review

The Merchant of Venice

Dates and Venue June 22 – September 16, 7.30pm + Sat & Sun matinees at 2pm | Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre, Vanier Park

Director Nigel Shawn Williams Costume Designer Drew Facey Scenic Designer Marshall McMahen Lighting DesignerAdrian Muir Sound Designer Patrick Pennefather Projection Designer Connor Moore  Stage Manager Joanne P.B. Smith

Reviewer Elizabeth Paterson

A nasty play filled with nasty people. That is the unabashed take on The Merchant of Venice of director Nigel Shawn Williams where there is no hiding of the more unpleasant aspects of this play. Anti-Semitism, racial prejudice, intolerance for foreigners and misogyny raise their ugly heads and are allowed full scope. Striving and energy fill the stage from the first moment until almost the last. Full review

The Winter’s Tale

Dates and Venue June 23 – September 22, 7.30pm + Sat & Sun matinees at 2pm | BMO Mainstage, Vanier Park

Director Dean Paul Gibson Lighting Design Gerald King Composer/Sound Design Malcolm Dow Scenery Pam Johnson Costume Design Carmen Alatorre Choreography Tracey Power & Wendy Gorling Puppets Heidi Wilkinson & Frances Henry Stage Managers S. Courtney, R. Mulvihill & T. Schwaerzle

Reviewer Christian Steckler

Performances at Bard on the Beach have earned a deserved reputation for excellence. Simply put, this presentation of The Winter’s Tale elevates that reputation. From start to finish, in every detail, this production shines. Full review

 

Much Ado About Nothing

Dates and Venue June 15 – September 23, 7.30pm + Sat & Sun matinees at 2pm | BMO Mainstage, Vanier Park

Director John Murphy Costume Designer Christine Reimer Scenic Designer Pam Johnson Lighting Designer Gerald King Sound Designer Murray Price Projection Designer Corwin Ferguson Choreography Tara Cheyenne Friedberg Production Stage Manager Stephen Courtenay

Reviewer John Jane

Director John Murphy has moved this overtly lavish production out of its original late sixteenth century setting to the mid twentieth century Messina, Sicily – the location of its original staging. Alas, the Vancouver weather, like much of this year’s spring, didn’t cooperate in providing Sunset Beach with a Mediterranean brand of sunshine. Full review



Arts Club Theatre Company
Bittergirl: The Musical book by Annabel Fitzsimmons, Alison Lawrence, and Mary Francis Moore, music by Bob Foster

Dates and Venue June 15 – July 29, 2017, Mon–Thurs at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm, Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat at 2pm | Granville Island Stage

Reviewer John Jane

Bittergirl is the bittersweet creation of Annabel Fitzsimmons, Alison Lawrence and Mary Francis Moore who turned a personal negative into a professional positive when they each broke up with their husband/partner/boyfriend. Full review

 

 

xThe White Rock Players
Leading Ladies by Ken Ludwig

Dates and Venue June 16 - July 1, 2017 | Coast Capital Playhouse, White Rock

Reviewer Ed Farolan

What a funny show! The matinee audience last June 18th were laughing, and some even screaming from delight, as these actors, especially Bryce Paul Mills (Leo Clarke/Maxine) and Dann Willhelm (Jack Gable/Stephanie) did their comic routines playing both male and female characters in this comic farce. Full review

 

 

Western Gold Theatre
Rumors by Neil Simon

Dates and Venue June 23 – 25, 2017, Fri - Sun at 7:30pm + Sat and Sun at 2pm | PAL Studio Theatre, 581 Cardero St.

Director Anna Hagan Set Design Glenn MacDonald Sound Design Chris Allan Stage Manager Jethelo Cabilete

Reviewer John Jane

The action starts when Ken and Chris Gorman (Keith Martin Gordey and Camille Mitchell), the first of four couples, to arrive at the New York home of Charlie and Myra Brock to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. They have already heard a gunshot, and so have entered the home to discover the servants and Myra are missing....... Full review

 

 

Arts Club Theatre Company
Million Dollar Quartet book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux
Inspired by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins

Dates and Venue May 11 – July 9, 2017, Mon – Thurs 7.30pm, Fri & Sat 8pm, (matinees on Wed at 1.30pm, and Sat at 2pm) | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

Director Bill Millerd Musical Director Zachary Stevenson Musical Staging Valerie Easton Set Design Ted Roberts Costume Design Barbara Clayden Lighting Design Gerald King Sound Design Bradley Danyluk Stage Manager Caryn Fehr

Reviewer John Jane

Million Dollar Quartet is Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux’s retelling of an extemporaneous jam session that turned out to be a seminal moment in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. The session took place on December 4, 1956, at the Sun Record Studios in Memphis and involved Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley... Full review