The Cultch and DanceHouse
Unikkaaqtuat
A Production of Artcirq (from Igloolik), The 7 Fingers (from Montreal) and Taqqut Productions (from Iqaluit)

Dates and Venue January 22 – 25, 2020 at 7pm; matinee at 2pm on Jan 25 | Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, 600 Hamilton St

Co-artistic Directors Guillaume Ittukssarjuat Saladin & Terence Uyarak (Artcirq), Patrick Leonard (The 7 Fingers) & Neil Christopher (Taqqut Productions Dramaturge Consultant Germaine Arnaktauyok

Reviewer Christian Steckler

Derived from the Inuktitut word, Unipkaaqtut, meaning “to tell stories,” UNIKKAAQTUAT is a wonderfully imaginative and adventurous expression of several traditional Inuit myths and legends. Bringing a modern artistic twist to the performance of traditional stories is a risky business. Full review

 

 

Pacific Theatre
Gramma written and performed by Maki Yi

Dates and Venue January 17 - February 1, 2020, Wednesdays - Saturdays 8pm; matinees on Saturdays 2pm | Pacific Theatre, 1440 West 12th Avenue

Director Laura McLean Set Designer Phil Miguel Costume Designer Nicola Shannon Lighting Designer Jonathan Kim Sound Design Chengyan Boon Stage Manager Julia Lank

Reviewer John Jane

Gramma is a single-handed, cross-cultural comedy-drama by Wi-Hyung Maki Yi. The play was initially created as an intercultural autobiographical theatre project for Ms. Yi’s MFA. Though a solo performance, Yi takes on three separate and distinct roles: a Korean storyteller, the titular character who is a cantankerous elderly woman, likely suffering from dementia and a young Korean female recently arrived in Regina, Saskatchewan. Full review

 

The Cultch
Volcano Theatre’s Infinity by Hannah Moscovitch

Dates and Venue January 7–19, 2020 at 7:30pm; matinees January 11,12, 18 & 19, 2pm | Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St.

Director Ross Manson Composer & Music Director Njo Kong Kie Choreography Kate Alton Lighting Design Rebecca Picherack Set & Costume Design Teresa Przybylski Tour Production Manager/Technical Director Remington North Stage Manager Emilie Aubin Violinist Andréa Tyniec

Reviewer John Jane

Time, as a scientific construct invades Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch’s multi-layered family drama by way of one of the play’s character’s research into quantum field theory. Director Ross Manson uses a time device in using two separate timelines to chronicle the growth of Elliot and Carmen Green (Jonathon Young and Amy Rutherford) and their only child Sarah Jean (Emily Jane King). Full review

 

 

Gateway Theatre
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Dates and Venue December 12 - 31, 2019 at 8pm; matinee perf. on Sat & Sun at 2pm | Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond

Director Barbara Tomasic Musical Director Chris King Choreography Nicol Spinola Set Design Carolyn Rapanos Costume Design Christina Sinosich Lighting Design Andrew Pye Sound Design Brad Danyluk Production Coordinator Steven Lafond Scenic Technical Director John Allan Stage Manager Angela Beaulieu

Reviewer John Jane

Barbara Tomasic breathes new life into the 50-year old musical, taking it out of Egypt and through a child’s dream time jumps Joseph’s story from seventh century BC to present day. Almost the entire text is sung, either by cast members or an on-stage narrator. Other than that the production includes costumes and scenery, it could be described as a secular oratorio. Full review

 

 

The Cultch and Zee Zee Theatre
Holiday at the Elbow Room Café by Dave Deveau

Dates and Venue December 10 – 29, 2019 at 7.30pm; Matinees on Dec 15, 21,22, 28 & 29 at 2pm | The Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St.

Director Cameron Mackenzie Musical Director Christina Cuglietta Choreography Nathan Kay Set & Costume Design Marina Szijarto Lighting Design Taylor Janzen Original Songs Dave Deveau & Anton Lipovetsky Stage Manager Susan Miyagishima

Reviewer John Jane

Holiday at the Elbow Room Café is not a direct sequel to Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical, but rather a seasonal special with the infamous restaurant as a backdrop. David Adams returns as the cynical curmudgeon Bryan, while Joey Lesperance takes over the role of Patrice, who is every bit as simultaneously ornery and altruistic as his predecessor to Allan Zinyk. Full review

 

 

Vancouver TheatreSports
Merry Kissmas: A Royal Romance

Dates and Venue November 20 – December 24, 2019, Wed-Sat @ 7:30pm, matinees Dec 15, 21 & 22 @ 11:30am, Dec 24 @ 2pm | The Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau St., Granville Island

Artistic Director Jay Ono Directors Margret Nyfors & Nathan Clark Concept Creation Margret Nyfors & Sarah Peretto Lighting Design Su Scarfe Sound Design Brendan Kelly Set Design Mo Sherwood

Reviewer Darren Cordeiro

Lights, action, laughter! At the Improv Centre, anything goes and can happen live. And with this holiday themed show, it most certainly did… including a surprise audience marriage proposal on stage. Full review

 


Pacific Theatre
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
adapted by Ron Reed from Charles Dickens' novel

Dates and Venue November 29 - December 21, Wed - Sat at 8pm, 2pm matinees Saturdays | Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave.

Director Morris Ertman Choreography Laura Ross Set Designer Drew Facey Costume Designer Julie White Lighting Designer Michael K. Hewitt Sound Design & Original Composition Ben Elliott Stage Manager Victoria Snashall

Reviewer John Jane

This adaptation by Ron Reed offers a nuanced solo performance by Reed himself in story theatre mode, delivered in a mid-nineteenth century interlocution. He doesn’t even play Scrooge as an individual role, but as the narrator, who, by his dress and demeanour might have lived at a time of the story’s setting. Full review

 

 

The Cultch
East Van Panto: Pinocchio by Marcus Youssef, music & lyrics Veda Hille

Dates and Venue November 20, 2019 – January 5, 2020 at 7pm (weekend matinees at 2pm) | York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive

Director Stephen Drover Choreography Amanda Testini Costume Designer Barbara Clayden Set & Props Designer Yvan Morissette Props Mastery Heidi Wilkinson Lighting Designer Adrian Muir Scenic Illustration Cindy Mochizuki Stage Manager Jan Hodgson Musicians Veda Hille & Barry Mirochnick

Reviewer John Jane

Audiences obviously like how the Cultch does pantomime, because they keep coming back every year. This year, they’ve chosen Pinocchio and once again Marcus Youssef has stepped up to write the script, maintaining the winning format of setting the show in current time with interwoven references to local businesses on Commercial Drive..... Full review




Waitress Music & Lyrics Sara Bareilles, book by Jessie Nelson
Based on the motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly

Dates and Venue November 12 - 17, 2019, at 8pm, (except Sunday at 7.30pm) Sat & Sun matinees at 2pm | Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 630 Hamilton Street

Set Design Scott Pask | Costume Design Suttirat Anne Larlarb | Lighting Design Ken Billington | Sound Design Jonathan Deans | Tour Choreography Abby O'Brien | Music Coordinator John Mezzio | Music Director Alyssa Kay Thompson | Production Stage Manager Mary Dennis

Reviewer Erin Jane

Waitress is a whirlwind of love and drama, coming dangerously close to soap opera territory yet evading over-the-top melodrama that we might ordinarily expect from such plotlines as extramarital affairs, an unwanted baby, and villainous husbands. More tragic elements masquerade as romantic comedy, with an appealing lightness of being that expresses itself in surprisingly carefree love, singing, dancing, friendship, and pies. Full review