The Merchant of Venice -reviewed

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Bard on the Beach has taken on a modern rendition of The Merchant of Venice this year. Helmed by Nigel Shawn Williams and starring Olivia Hutt (Portia), Charlie Gallant (Bassanio), and Warren Kimmel as Shylock, the Merchant focused on the difficult themes of intolerance and patriarchy over it’s comedic attributes. Continue reading

New night sky festival marks MOA’s bid to become Vancouver’s first urban star park

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Next weekend, during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, the Museum of Anthropology will welcome more than 1000 guests for a new festival of arts and astronomy.

Blackout: Night Sky Festival will take place on Saturday, August 12 and features Indigenous storytelling, an immersive art installation and interpretive stargazing set to a soundtrack of live and electronic music.  Continue reading

Ballet BC announces 2017/18 season with world premieres and international choreographers

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Ballet BC is proud to announce its 2017/18 season today marking its 32nd Anniversary.  Three programs include world premieres and international choreographers showcasing unique discoveries and artistic voices. Passionate and distinctly talented, our company of dancers captivate audiences on home, national and global stages. Like never before, each collaboration, each performance punctuates our story of diversity, evolving practice and scope of artistic vision.

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Bard on the Beach shines in opening of beautiful The Winter’s Tale

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Bard on the Beach premiered their second show of the season, The Winter’s Tale, last week on the BMO Mainstage. Set in Sicilia and Bohemia with a large cast of strong characters, a wonderful minimalist set, beautiful costumery, and fantastic puppetry, Bard is showcasing their best. Continue reading

The Bachelorette: Rachel takes to Scandinavia and axes a lot of men

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This week was a special two-night episode, and lucky for us it ends the dreaded to be continued’s we’ve been getting for a while. We went from the crazy drama of the Lee and Kenny debacle into some serious emotions developing. I’m so happy we’re finally into the good part of the show already!

So check out all my thoughts below, and be sure to let me know what you thought of her Axe-Woman skills a la Ben Higgins! Continue reading

Theatres Under the Stars prepares for 2017 summer season

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Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) injects a delightful dose of magical entertainment into summer with Mary Poppins & The Drowsy Chaperone, running July 7 – August 19, 2017 (performances alternate evenings) at Stanley Park’s picturesque Malkin Bowl. A beloved Vancouver tradition since 1940, TUTS’ single tickets are now on sale.

“Last year was our most successful summer on record – more than 45,000 guests passed through our gates!” says Naveen Kapahi, TUTS Board President. “In 2017, we will build on this momentum by putting our patrons in the talented hands of two of the Lower Mainland’s most celebrated directors. Shel Piercy will follow-up last summer’s epic Beauty and the Beast with Mary Poppins; and we are thrilled to welcome Capilano University’s theatre luminary Gillian Barber as director of The Drowsy Chaperone.”

TUTS’ 2017 season offers a supercalifragilistic classic and an uproarious ode to golden age glam:

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, one of the most popular Disney movies of all time, captures hearts in a whole new way! The irresistible story and unforgettable songs are back, as everyone’s favourite nanny swoops in to teach the Banks family a lesson or two about love & imagination.

Practically perfect favourites like ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’, ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’, and ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ come to life in the cherished musical – complete with brand-new dance numbers and spectacular stage-craft.

The Drowsy Chaperone is bursting with show-stopping song and dance. This Canadian musical parody & five-time Tony Award-winner whisks audiences away on a Jazz Age journey of love, laughter, and libation.

Alone in his modest, one-bedroom apartment, a musical theatre fan puts on his treasured cast recording. As the record spins, the colourful & chaotic characters of a fictitious 1928 musical spring to life – filling his living room with all manner of movie stars, gangsters, divas, and more.

You can find tickets at tuts.ca or 1-877-840-0457.

Bard on the Beach rounds out 2017 season with a test of friendship in Two Gentlemen of Verona

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Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 28th season with The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Directed by Scott Bellis, Shakespeare’s early romantic comedy is a lively tale of friendship, love and loyalty, with two very funny clowns and a loveable Basset hound that just might steal the show! The Two Gentlemen of Verona plays on the Howard Family Stage from June 29 to September 17. Continue reading

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts announces exciting 2017/18 season

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The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC)marks its 20th anniversary with a tremendous 2017/18 concert series, filled with unique collaborations, brand new productions, and much-adored favourites in the Chan Shun Concert Hall. Gospel vocalists from America’s Deep South; virtuosic acrobatics direct from Down Under; Cuban musical trailblazers; South African jazz legends; and many more will take part in this milestone season, celebrating one of Vancouver’s treasured venues.

“Throughout its 20-year history, artists from all corners of the globe have set foot on the Chan Centre stage to share a piece of themselves through their art,” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director and curator of the Chan Centre Presents series. “The visionary design of the late architect Bing Thom continues to inspire the extraordinary talent we welcome each season.”

The 2017/18 Chan Centre Presents series includes:

THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA WITH BEN HEPPNER
Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 8pm
The Blind Boys of Alabama are living legends whose music served as a soundtrack to the civil rights movement, and have earned five GRAMMY Awards over their far-reaching careers. Ben Heppner – a UBC alumnus who performed in the Chan Centre’s inaugural season – began singing church hymns in Dawson Creek, BC, and grew to become a leading Wagnerian tenor. In this seemingly unlikely pairing, The Blind Boys’ match their soulful harmonies with Heppner’s mighty vocals for an uplifting night of gospel music.

THE GLOAMING
Sunday, October 15, 2017  at 7pm
Following their Canadian debut at the Chan Centre in 2014, the Irish supergroup returns for an emotionally-charged performance filled with ethereal vocals and sweeping melodies. The band’s five master musicians blend Celtic traditions with a distinctly contemporary style, resulting in a wholly original, and captivating sound. Back by popular demand, the renowned ensemble share new repertoire from the “exquisite, powerful” and “gloriously emotional” (The Guardian) follow-up album, 2.

ZAKIR HUSSAIN AND DAVE HOLLAND: CROSSCURRENTS
Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 8pm
The reigning master of tabla and Chan Centre favourite Zakir Hussain turns his brilliant mind to the intersection of jazz and Indian music. Joining forces with the great jazz bassist, bandleader, and composer Dave Holland, alongside a superb quintet, which includes saxophonist Chris Potter and award-winning Bollywood film composer and vocalist Shankar Mahadevan, the group masterfully explores these two styles that are connected despite being worlds apart.

RUTHIE FOSTER, JIMMIE DALE GILMORE AND CARRIE RODRIGUEZ
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 8pm
Three artists rooted in the songwriting tradition of the Lone Star State perform a musical evening with a little bit of grit and a whole lot of heart. Foster with her powerhouse voice and gentle blues rhythms; Gilmore with his renowned storytelling and song interpretation; and bilingual songstress Rodriguez, known for fusing fiddle with gorgeous Spanish and English vocals, share the stage for the first time as part of the Texas Troubadours project.

THE JAZZ EPISTLES: ABDULLAH IBRAHIM AND HUGH MASEKELA
Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 7pm
Two original members of The Jazz Epistles, the historic ensemble that helped embolden South Africans in their struggle for freedom under apartheid, reunite over half a century later in a truly special tribute concert. Masekela, who was mentored by the great Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie, demonstrates unwavering virtuosity on the trumpet. Ibrahim, the pianist named “South Africa’s Mozart” by Nelson Mandela, continues to charm with ultimate grace on the keys. For this rare joint appearance, the duo will be backed by the musicians of Ibrahim’s distinguished band Ekaya.

LILA DOWNS
Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 8pm
Lila Downs is a fervent, adventurous spirit known for her vibrancy, originality, and theatrical sensibility. A Mexican-American singer with proud Indigenous roots and a powerful social conscience, she has received numerous accolades and awards including a GRAMMY and four Latin GRAMMY’s. For this Chan Centre appearance, Downs reveals brand new songs from her forthcoming album, Salon Lágrimas y Deseos, which focuses on feminism, political activism, and the celebration of Latin American women.

DAYMÉ AROCENA AND ROBERTO FONSECA
Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 7pm
She is a soaring, young musical force praised for uniquely merging jazz, rumba and Cuban neo-soul in her acclaimed sophomore album, Cubafonia (2017). He is the famed pianist who replaced Buena Vista Social Club’s™ Rubén González, and masterfully traces Cuban music roots, from contradanza, to cha-cha-cha, in his 2016 album, ABUC. In a dynamic co-bill, Cuba’s next generation stars spark new love for the sound of their country.

CIRCA: OPUS
Saturday April 28, 2018 at 8pm
Australia’s bold, contemporary circus company has amassed fans across six continents with its breathtakingly beautiful and heart-stopping productions. Opus interprets Shostakovich’s deeply moving quartets into stunning physical feats of strength and poetry. Between delicate gestures, and highly charged choreography, fourteen acrobats intermingle with instrumentalists to explore the relationship between sound and movement.

CHAN CENTRE CONNECTS SERIES
The Chan Centre proudly complements their presentations with a thought-provoking outreach series, Chan Centre Connects. Through enlightening artist and expert talks, panel discussions, workshops, master classes, and film screenings, the series offers audiences a platform for more in-depth engagement with the season’s programming. Chan Centre Connects events are updated online throughout the year atchancentre.com/connects.

BEYOND WORDS SERIES
The Beyond Words series in the Chan Centre’s intimate Telus Studio Theatre explores the transformative power of storytelling through cutting-edge multidisciplinary works.

Cartoonist, activist and author Kate Evans speaks to her graphic novel, Threads, in a compassionate, and eye-opening evening, Friday, September 29, 2017 at 7:30pm. Part art, part reportage, she calls attention to Europe’s refugee crisis in Calais, France. Through projected images with live musical accompaniment, Evans reveals the harsh realities faced by the world’s marginalized peoples. Polaris Prize-winning Inuit vocalistTanya Tagaq and innovative Greenlandic mask dancer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory reclaim Indigenous women’s stories through stirring vocals and expressive physical performance, FridayMarch 16 & Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 7:30pm. Delving into darkness and emerging into the light, these celebrated Canadian performers tackle themes of retribution and reconciliation.

Single tickets for the 2017/18 series go on sale at 12 noon on June 13, 2017.

Subscription packages are on sale as of May 2, 2017 and include complete eight-show subscriptions as well as three-show, and six-show packages.

Subscriptions can be purchased in the following ways:

  • Online at ­chancentre.com
  • By phoning (604) 822-2697, Tuesday – Saturday, 12 noon – 5pm.
  • In person at the Chan Centre ticket office, 6265 Crescent Road, UBC (Tuesday to Saturday): 12 noon to 5pm. *The Chan Centre ticket office is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and statutory holidays.

Power and prejudice reigns at Bard on the Beach with The Merchant of Venice in 28th season

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Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 28th season with a provocative interpretation of The Merchant of Venice. Playing on the Howard Family Stage from June 22 to September 16, the production shines a spotlight on themes that are particularly relevant in 2017, including religious prejudice and discrimination and the use and abuse of power.

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