xx
MAMMA MIA! music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, book by Catherine Johnson

Dates and Venue May 10–August 12, 2018, Tue–Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm; matinees on Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

Director & Choreographer Valerie Easton Musical Director Ken Cormier Associate Musical Director Sasha Niechoda Set Designer David Roberts Costume Designer Alison Green Lighting Designer Robert Sondergaard Sound Designer Bradley Danyluk Stage Manager Pamela Jakobs

Reviewers John Jane and Ed Farolan

It is difficult to comprehend that four decades have passed us by since Anni-Frid, Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha last recorded together as ABBA. And yet, judging from the audience’s enthusiastic response to last night’s opening performance of the Arts Club Theatre Company production of Mamma Mia!, the symmetrical Swedish group’s popularity does not appear to have diminished. Full review

 

 

Pacific Theatre
Tolkien by Ron Reed

Dates and Venue May 11 –June 9, 2018, Wed - Sat at 8pm with 2pm Sat matinees | Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave

Director Ron Reed Set Design Drew Facey Costume Design Christopher David Gather Lighting Design John Webber Sound Design Jeff Tymoschuck & Corina Akeson Production Design Jessica Hood Stage Manager Jethelo E. Cabilete

Reviewer John Jane

The play is a three act historical drama, which offers the audience the extrinsic sense of being a fly on the wall at the Eagle and Child pub and other places that the Inklings would gather. The Inklings (as in: “don’t have an inkling”) was a literary group of academics and soon to be legendary writers. Full review

 

 

 

The Best Brothers by Daniel MacIvor

Dates and Venue May 8 – 19, 2018, 7.30pm; matinees on Sat & Sun at 2pm | Kay Meek Arts Centre, 1700 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver

Director Sharon Bajer Set Design Ross Nichol Costume Design Suzannah Marriott Lighting Design Ross Nichol Sound Design Sharon Bajer Stage Manager Christine Leroux

Reviewer John Jane

Daniel MacIvor’s “bold” comedy (yes, that’s what the program says it is) is a two-handed, three character – well, four if you count the unseen dog – play that has humour, intelligence and just a little pathos. Full review

 

 

xSmoking Gun Collective
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

Dates and Venue April 27 – May 19, 2018, 8pm Wed.-Sat. Matinées: Saturday & Sundays at 2pm | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery St., Vancouver

Director William B. DavisSet Design Tracy Lunn Chernaske Costume Design Julie White Lighting Design Marco Lamera Sound Design Sean Anthony Stage Manager Samantha Pawliuk

Reviewer Elizabeth Paterson

It is always difficult to see a play written shortly before a revolution and not regard it as prescient commentary, especially when a playwright is as finely attuned to his times as Chekhov was. Indeed many of his friends and acquaintances marched and protested against the Tsar. But his other topic was the effect of the emancipation of the serfs. It is not entirely the fault of the feckless landowners that the cherry orchard is now unproductive. The family’s success in producing and selling preserves depended entirely on a supply of cheap labour which no longer exists. The Cherry Orchard’s genius lies in Chekhov’s refusal to take sides and his acute and affectionate observation of all sorts of people. Full review

 

 


xDelta Youth Theatre
Beauty and the Beast JR music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book by Linda Woolverton

Dates and Venue April 25 – 29, 2018, | Genesis Theatre, Ladner, Delta

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This theatre group described as "pre-professional" is amazing. I was surprised at the professional quality of this theatre company. I was sitting next to the grandparents of Claire Bidulka (Belle) and was told that she took singing lessons, because I was totally moved by the way she sang so beautifully. Linden Smith (Beast) was just as good That beastly baritone voice especially when he sang "Evermore" was simply fantastic. Full review

 

xSpirit Horse

Dates and Venue April 21, 2pm & 7pm; April 22, 2pm; April 27, 7pm; Sat. April 28, 2pm & 7pm; April 29, 2pm | The Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island, 1412 Cartwright St.

Reviewer Ed Farolan

I found this play quite enlightening, and I was quite impressed, especially the actors who are from different First Nations. They were really good. But that´s expected because these thespians are professional actors. They played multiple roles, including the spirit horse.Full review

 

xThe White Rock Players’ Club
August: Osage County

Dates and Venue April 13 – 28, 2018, Wed – Sat 7:30pm and Sunday matinees 2:30pm | The Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Road, White Rock

Reviewer Ed Farolan

A comedy that leans a bit to the darker side, by Tracy Letts, 2008 Pulitzer Prize awardee, it is the story of a pill-popping, sharp-tongued, cancer patient, matriarch, Violet Weston (Cindy Peterson), her three daughters (Alaina Holland, Katherine Morris and Samantha Silver) and their father, the family patriarch Beverly Weston (Fred Partridge). It was adapted for film in 2013 with Sam Shepard, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in the leading roles, and nominated for several Academy Awards and Golden Globes. Full review


xRoyal City Musical Theatre
Cabaret music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb

Dates and Venue April 12 – 29, 2018, Weds, Thurs. Fri. Sat. 7:30pm; Sat matinees 2pm April 21 & 28 | Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Ave, New Westminster

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Another entertaining and delightful musical by RCMT! Continuing their tradition of presenting outstanding big Broadway musicals annually, this hit based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood is about 1931 Berlin, which is transitioning from an avant-garde cultural centre to the beginning of Hitler’s totalitarian regime. Full review

 

Theatre in the Raw Presents
Incident at Vichy by Arthur Miller

Dates and Venue April 11 - 22, 2018; Wed–Sat 8pm, Sun matinees 2pm, April 18 2-for-1 admission | Studio 16, 1551 West 7th Ave., Vancouver BC

Director/Producer Jay Hamburger Stage Manager Amanda Parafina Costume Design Alaia Hamer Lighting Design Chengyan Boon

Reviewer Erin Jane

Jay Hamburger founded “Theatre in the Raw” out of a Commercial Drive café in 1994, and the theatre company is aptly named for their risk-taking and grass roots approach to theatre. Hamburger, who is the Director of this production of Arthur Miller’s famed play Incident At Vichy, introduced the play with the Martin Niemöller poem, “First they came…” This poem perfectly set the stage for the ensuing performance, as it highlights themes of guilt, persecution, and complicity that are significant in Incident at Vichy. Full review



Arts Club Theatre Company
The Humans by Stephen Karam

Dates and Venue March 22–April 22, 2018; Tue–Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm, Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street

Director Amiel Gladstone Set Design Drew Facey Costume Design Jenifer Darbellay Lighting Design Adrian Muir Sound Design David Mesiha Stage Manager Jan Hodgson

Reviewer Erin Jane

 

The tagline for Stephen Karam’s 2015 Tony award-winning play The Humans is “Family drama, on more than one level.” That’s because the set design features a modest cross section of a two-level apartment in Manhattan. Full review

 

 

United Players
ENRON by Lucy Prebble

Dates and Venue March 23 – April 15, 2018, 8pm Thurs.-Sun. except Sundays April 1, 8, 15, matinées only at 2pm | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery St., Vancouver

Director Brian Parkinson Set Design Josie Lee Costume Design CS Fergusson-Vaux Lighting Design Michael Methor Sound Design/Composer Patrick Boudreau Choreographer Nicola SpinolaStage Manager Victoria Porter

Reviewer Elizabeth Paterson

A consummate cast of lead actors supported by a substantial and thoroughly competent ensemble make ENRON, currently running at Jericho Arts Centre, a continuously fascinating event. On the face of it, charting the business history of giant energy firm Enron from Texan gas and oil company to global marketing superpower might not be a stimulating artistic topic, especially since its subsequent fall from grace is still well known. Playwright Lucy Prebble throws in song-and-dance, ventriloquism, pop music (Patrick Boudreau) and video to add theatricality to what is a very talky play. Nicola Spinola’s precise choreography and projections by Harika Xu’s and Vanka Salim give good value. Full review

 

Pacific Theatre
Bar Mitzvah Boy by Mark Leiren-Young

Dates and Venue March 23 – April 14, 2018, 8pm Wed -Sat with 2pm Sat matinees | Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave.

Director Ian Farthing Set Design Carolyn Rapanos Costume Design Kaitlin Williams Lighting Design Jillian White Sound Design Matthew MacDonald-Bain Stage Manager April Starr Land

Reviewer John Jane

Preparing for a bar mitzvah (trans. son of commandment) may easily take twelve month or even longer, but Joseph Brant (Richard Newman) wants his immediately or least before his grandson has his and he is willing to offer a generous donation to the Synagogue to get his way. But Joey’s bar mitzvah will not be a smooth passage into manhood. Full review

 

 

The Firehall Arts Centre
Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

Dates and Venue March 17 – April 21, 2018, Tuesdays 7pm, Wed – Fri 8pm, Saturdays 3pm & 8pm, Sundays, 3pm, Wednesdays, 1pm | Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E. Cordova St.

Director Tracey Power Set Design Marshall McMahen Costume Design Barbara Clayden Lighting Design Ted Roberts Sound Design Xavier Berbudeau Musical Arranger Steve Charles Stage Manager Emma Hammond

Reviewer John Jane

Tracey Powers’ brilliantly surreal revue borrows a little from Kurt Weill‘s theatrical style. It takes place entirely in a hotel room likely not a whole lot different to the Montreal Bard’s temporary digs in New York. Marshall McMahen’s effectively ascetic set, with piles of crumpled pieces of paper in every corner and a (rather symbolic) paper wall, is evocative of Cohen’s early struggle with mental block. Full review

 


Ruby Slippers Theatre in association with Gateway Theatre
I Lost My Husband by Catherine Léger, translated by Leanna Brodie

Dates and Venue March 15 - 24, 2018, 8pm (matinees on Saturdays at 2pm, Tuesday, March 20 at 1pm) | Studio B, Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond

Director Diane Brown Set & Lighting Design John Webber Costume Design Hannah Case Sound Design Mishelle Cuttler Props Assistant Heidi Wilkinson Stage Manager Lois Dawson

Reviewer John Jane

I Lost My Husband is Catherine Léger's quasi-feminist, four-handed comedy. The title is a literal translation from the original French language play J'ai perdu mon mari. Full review

 

 

Arts Club Theatre Company
Forget About Tomorrow by Jill Daum, with songs by John Mann

Dates and Venue March 1 – March 25, 2018, Tue–Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8 PM, Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre

Director Michael Shamata Set and Costume Design Pam Johnson Lighting Bryan Kenney Sound Design James Coomber Projection Designer Candelario Andrade Stage Manager Caryn Fehr

Reviewer John Jane

Forget About Tomorrow is Jill Daum’s bittersweet family drama with healthy doses of humour mixed in. It’s very much a local story inspired by the playwright and husband John Mann’s own real life struggle with John’s early onset Alzheimer's disease. Full review



Theatre for Living

Dates and Venue March 2 – 10, 2018, 7.30pm (matinee at 1pm, Mar 7) | Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E Cordova St

Director David Diamond Associate Director Renae Morriseau Lighting Designer Alan Brodie Video Designer Bracken Hanuse Corlett Sound Designer Clayton Gianni Charleyboy Stage Manager Dorothy Jenkins

Reviewer Christian Steckler

It appears that Canada may be a house, but not a home. In a powerful presentation that has toured Alberta and British Columbia, šxw?am'et (Home) focuses on the meaning and responsibilities inherent in reconciliation between Canada’s indigenous and non-indigenous people. Full review

 

 

Speedbump Theatre
The Past by Arthur Holden

Dates and Venue February 21 - 25, February 27 - March 3, 2018, at 8pm & February 25 - 2pm | Studio 1398, 1398 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

Director Marko Hohlbein Lighting Design Hannah Lohns Sound Design Bob Oldfield Stage Manager Ashley Sutton

Reviewer Christian Steckler

Some say that our past shapes who we are, and, by extension, who we will be. Others say that it’s not so clear - that time isn’t linear, and life isn’t either. Still others say that past, present and future are one. Full review



xArts Club Theatre Company ON TOUR

Onegin by Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille, based on the verse-novel by Alexander Pushkin

Dates and Venues 17 Oct 2017 - 4 Apr 2018 | On Tour Various

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 Ed Farolan

Onegin had its national premier in Vancouver in March of 2016, where the musical won most of the Jesse awards for outstanding production, direction (for Gladstone), lead actor (Alessandro Juliani), lead actress (Meg Roe), supporting actor (Josh Epstein), set design (Drew Facey), costume design (Jacqueline Firkins), lighting design (John Webber) and original composition (Hille and Gladstone).  Since then, it has had a run at the Berkeley Street Theatre in Toronto last spring of 2017 and again at the Granville Stage last Fall before it went on tour. Full review