xPacific Theatre

Best of Enemies by Mark St. Germain

Dates and Venue February 28 – March 21, 2020 at 8pm (matinees on Saturdays at 2pm) | Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Avenue

Reviewer Erin Jane

Set in Durham, North Carolina at the start of the 1970s, Best of Enemies is based on the true story of an unlikely friendship between civil rights activist Ann Atwater and KKK leader C.P. Ellis, who join forces to co-chair a set of meetings to institute nationally-mandated desegregation in the racially tumultuous South. Actually, to say this is an unlikely friendship is an understatement. Atwater and Ellis are like a mongoose and a snake, literally mortal enemies. Full review



xBroadway Across Canada

DEAR EVAN HANSEN book by Steven Levenson, a music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Dates and Venue February 25 - March 1, 2020 at 8pm (except Sun March 1 at 7.30pm); matinees on Feb 29 & Mar 1 at 2pm | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Reviewer Erin Jane

Dear Evan Hansen is a darkly-themed high school musical based on the book of the same name by Steven Levenson. It tells the story of a socially anxious teenager (Evan Hansen) and an innocent misunderstanding that turns into a disastrous web of lies. When a classmate (Connor Murphy) takes his own life and is found with Evan’s self-addressed therapy homework letter to himself, the presumption that the two were friends is perpetuated by Evan by way of fake email exchanges, constructed with the help of Evan’s classmate, Jared. Full review


A METRO THEATRE PRODUCTION With Dramatists Play Service
The Gazebo
by Alec Coppel

Dates and Venue February 20 - March 7, 2020 | Metro Theatre, 1370 SW Marine Drive.

Director Greg Rogers Production Manager Jon Morris Stage Manager Toni Scott ASM Barbara Walsh Set Design Heather Stewart Costumes Claire Turner Lighting Design Les Erskine Sound Design Roger Monk Booth Operation Rebecca Mercer Scenic Carpenter, Painting/Decoration Robin Richardson, Tracy-Lynn Chernaske

Reviewer Christian Steckler

The Gazebo has been around for a long time - a Broadway play in 1958, a movie in 1959, a musical comedy in 1960, and countless productions ever since. This Metro Theatre presentation is unique, mixing comedy and suspense in a fully satisfying and darkly exhilarating presentation. Full review


The Cultch and Ronnie Burkett
Forget Me Not

Dates and Venue February 4 – March 1, 2020 at 7.30pm | Secret Location to be revealed to audience members before the show.

Creator and Performer Ronnie Burkett Music Composer John Alcorn Artistic Associate Terri Gillis Dramaturge Matt McGeachy Stage Manager/Technical Director Crystal Salverdal

Reviewer Darren Cordeiro

An evening filled with laughter, tears and pure artistic beauty was revealed by iconic Canadian puppeteer Ronnie Burkett. With excitement commencing upon arrival at the mysterious, secret location provided to the audience, we immediately felt we were granted a privileged pass for us strangers to be united as a collective unit for one night only to revel in the sheer talent of this genius. Full review



Gateway Theatre

Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee

Dates and Venue February 6 - 15, 2020; 8pm nightly (except Sun and Mon); Matinees on Saturday, Feb. 8 & Sunday, Feb. 9 @ 2pm & Tuesday, Feb. 11 @ 1pm | Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond

Directors Chelsea Haberlin & Fay Nass Choreography Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg
Set Design Shizuka Kai Lighting Design Sophie Tang Costume Design Laura Fukumoto Sound Design Mary Jane Paquette Fight Director Olivier Lunardi Production Manager/Technical Director Mimi Abrahams Stage Manager Susan D Currie

Reviewer John Jane

Korean-American playwright Young Jean Lee’s provocatively titled one act satirical comedy wags a finger (while poking fun) at that once formidable bulwark of social order - straight white males. While the play may “target” a stereotypical middle-class white males, it’s safe to say that “Straight White Men” are not the target audience. Full review



The Cultch and DanceHouse
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
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