Arts Club Theatre Company
Mom’s the Word 3: Nest ½ Empty by the Mom’s the Word Collective

Dates and Venue April 6 – May 6, 2017, Mon – Thurs 7.30pm, Fri & Sat 8pm, (matinees on Wed at 1.30pm, and Sat at 2pm) | Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street

Director Wayne Harrison Set and Costume Design Pam Johnson Lighting Design Marsha Sibthorpe Sound and Video Design Kate de Lorme Stage Manager Pamela Jakobs

Reviewer John Jane

Mom’s the Word Collective is back! In this latest episode, the quintet of fiercely loving ladies are now at the wrong end of middle-age and suffering from insomnia as well as the emotional baggage of dedicating themselves to that most selfless of careers – motherhood. Full review



Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, new book by Douglas Carter Beane

Original Direction Mark Brokaw, Tour Direction Gina Rattan

Dates and Venue April 11 – 16, 2017, Tuesday - Sunday evenings 7:30pm, Sat and Sun 2pm matinees | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Reviewer Maria Figueiredo

Cinderella is a spectacular, musical performance. The picturesque set, the beautiful costumes, the melodious songs and the orchestra all work perfectly together to provide the audience with magic and delight. It is the attention to details that makes this classic musical stunning. Full review



xRoyal City Musical Theatre
Anything Goes words and music by Cole Porter

Dates and Venue April 6 – 26, 2017, 7.30pm (2pm matinees on Sat & Sun) | Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Avenue, New Westminister

Reviewer Ed Farolan

What a delightful show! As one of the songs in this musical goes, "it's de-lovely, it's de-lightful...". Madeleine Suddaby (Reno Sweeney) was fabulous. That strong and vibrant singing voice of hers reminded me of the legendary Ethel Merman who played this role in the original 1934 Broadway hit. The surprise stand-out was Michael Wild (Lord Evelyn Oakleigh) who got a lot of laughs for his comedic antics, and a wild applause during curtain call. Full review


Porte Parole and Crow’s Theatre with support from La Coop Fédérée
The Watershed by Annabel Soutar

Dates and Venue April 6 – 15, 2017, 8pm (matinees Sat April 8, Sun April 9 @ 2pm &Tues , April 11 @ 1pm)| Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond

Director Chris Abraham Set and Costume Design Julie Fox Lighting Design Kimberly Purtell Sound Design Thomas Ryder Payne Projections Designer Denyse Karn Stage Manager Merissa Tordjman

Reviewer John Jane

Right on the heels of The Pipeline Project, Gateway Theatre almost immediately serves up another theatrical documentary. This time, it's Annabel Soutar’s urgent documentary drama The Watershed about the federal government’s closure of the Experimental Lakes Area (referred to as ELA throughout the play) in order to save two million dollars a year in public funding. Full review




Arts Club Theatre Company
Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner

Dates and Venue March 23 – April 23, 2017, Tues – Thurs 7:30pm, Fri & Sat 8pm, Wed 1:30pm, (2pm matinees on Sat & Sun) | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Street

Director Kim Collier Set Design Ken MacKenzie Costume Design Nancy Bryant Lighting Design John Webber Sound Design Torquil Campbell and Alessandro Juliani Video Designer Sean Nieuwenhuis Stage Manager Jan Hodgson

Reviewer Erin Jane

At an impressive 3 hours and 10 minutes (and that’s just part one), Tony Kushner’s Angels in America is an emotional and thought-provoking study of the political and social climate of the 1980s, with particular emphasis on the AIDS crisis. Full review



United Players
The Train Driver
by Athol Fugard

Dates and Venue March 24 – April 16, 2017, 8pm (Thursdays through Sundays except Matinees Sun, April 2 & 16 @ 2pm) | Jericho Arts Centre

Director Adam Henderson Set Design John R. Taylor Costume Design Catherine E. Carr Lighting Design & Assistant Director Alan Brodie Sound Design Zakk Harris Stage Manager Maria Denholme

Reviewer Elizabeth Paterson

There can be no doubt but that Athol Fugard’s The Train Driver is an allegory about South Africa, apartheid and its aftermath, possibly also a paradigm of Fugard’s own life. But in the attentive hands of Adam Henderson and his cast it is also a coruscating Greek tragedy, a portrait of a man devastated by guilt for actions he did not cause and could not prevent. Full review


Fabulist Theatre
Songs For a New World music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown

Dates and Venue March 23 - April 1, 2017, 8pm (2pm Matinees on Sundays Mar 26 & Apr 1 | PAL Studio Theatre, 581 Cardero Street

Directors Damon Jang & Mary Littlejohn Musical Director Angus Kellett
Props Jasmin Sadhu Costume Design Anne Meeson Lighting Design Paula Viitanen Sound Design Mary Littlejohn Choreography Damon Jang Stage Manager Jasmin Sadhu

Reviewer John Jane

Despite the show’s central theme being one of optimism, there is a cynical thread running through most of the tunes. While a couple of songs do assert tongue-in-cheek humour, most are tender ballads or hymns of personal reflection about ‘real’ people who, perhaps through no fault of their own, have reached the lowest ebb in their lives yet are intent on climbing back in contention. Full review



The Cultch
The Daisy Theatre created and performed by Ronnie Burkett

Dates and Venue March 21 – April 9, 2017, 8pm | The Cultch’s Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St.

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

Burkett not only makes people laugh but he has a fabulous ability to pull at people’s heart strings. He makes us feel sorry for a little puppet “fairy child“ that lacks self confidence. Full review



Western Gold Theatre
William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Dates and Venue March 10 - 19, 2017, Tues – Sat 7:30pm (matinees Sat, Sun and Thurs at 2pm) | PAL Studio Theatre, 581 Cardero Street

Director Anna Hagan Set Design Glen MacDonald Sound Design Chris Allan Stage Manager Tanya Mathivanan

Reviewer John Jane

Western Gold Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night is a ‘script-in-hand’ performance by an all seniors cast who barely needed to glance at their script. Shakespeare’s most labyrinthine comedy has elements of mistaken identity, switching sexuality and even a suspicion of madness. Full review




ITSAZOO Productions and Savage Society in association with Gateway Theatre and Neworld Theatre
The Pipeline Project by Sebastien Archibald, Kevin Loring and Quelemia Sparrow

Dates and Venue March 9 – 18, 2017, 8pm (Matinees Sat, March 11 & 18 @ 2pm and Tues., March 14 @ 1pm) | Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond, Studio B

Director Chelsea Haberlin Set Design Lauchlin Johnston Costume Design Carmen Alatorre Lighting & Projection Design Conor Moorer Sound Design Troy Slocum Dramaturge Kathleen Flaherty Puppetering Shizuka Kai Stage Manager Lois Dawson

Reviewer John Jane

Contentious pipelines and what causes them to be such a passionate issue is the focal point of The Pipeline Project, a new Canadian play by Sebastien Archibald, Kevin Loring and Quelemia Sparrow. It might have been more appropriately titled “The Anti-pipeline Project” Full review


Zee Zee Theatre Company
Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical Book & Lyrics by Dave Deveau

Dates and Venue March 2 – 11, 2017, at 8pm ( 2pm matinees on Mar 4, 5, 11, 12) | York Theatre, 639 Commercial Dr.

Director Cameron Mackenzie Original Music Anton Lipovetsky Musical Director Clare Wyatt Choreography Jessica Hickman Set & Costume Design Marina Szijarto Lighting Design Kyla Gardiner Costume Builder Darryl Milot Props Design Jenn Stewart Sound Design Kyra Soko Stage Manager Jillian Perry Musicians Sally Zori Percussion, Clare Wyatt Keyboard, Molly MacKinnon Violin

Reviewer John Jane

Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical is Dave Deveau’s unapologetically outrageous homage to his favourite diner. Just like the real Elbow Room Café, the play is loud, chaotic and way over the top. The play got its creative kernel when it was presented as a workshop at Langara College’s Studio 58 a couple of years ago. Full review



2017 Chutzpah! Festival
Wrestling Jerusalem
written and performed by Aaron Davidman

Dates and Venues March 1 & 2, 2017 at 8pm | Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre

Director Michael John Garcés Set & Costume Design Nephelie Andonyadis Lighting Design Allen Willner Original Music & Sound Bruno Louchouarn Choreography Stacey Printz

Reviewer John Jane

Aaron Davidman’s Wrestling Jerusalem is a well written single handed show about the conflicts in the Middle East. If you feel like you have already heard enough on this subject, you just might be agreeable to take in Davidman’s more humourous autobiographical story-telling at the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre. Full review


xArts Club Theatre Company ON TOUR
Bittergirl: The Musical book by Annabel Fitzsimmons, Alison Lawrence, and Mary Francis Moore

Dates and Venue February 16 – March 15, 2017 | Various venus across the Lower Mainland
Following the Lower Mainland tour, Bittergirl: The Musical will run at the Granville Island Stage from June 15 to July 29, 2017.

Reviewer Ed Farolan

What a show! The stars, with full energy oozing from their bodies, (Cailin Stadnyk, Lauren Bowler, Katrina Reynolds and, as the lone guy among them, Josh Epstein), got the opening night audience at the Surrey Arts Centre, all throughout the performance, laughing, clapping and thoroughly enjoying this musical. They got a prolonged standing ovation during curtain call. Full review


Vital Spark Theatre
Mary Queen of Scots got her Head Chopped Off by Liz Lochhead

Dates and Venue February 17 - March 11, 2017, Thurs - Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2pm, plus matinee (as well as evening perf,) on Sat, March 11 | Jericho Arts Centre

Director Joan Bryans Set Design Todd R. Parker Costume Design Catherine E Carr Lighting Design Chengyan Boon Sound Design Darren W. Hales Stage Manager Nancy Caldwell

Reviewer Elizabeth Paterson

'Mary Queen of Scots got her head chopped off’ is a playground chant as well as the title of Liz Lochhead’s play, and like many children’s rhymes, this play is by turns playful, theatrical, gruesome and cruel. The language sparkles and leaps like a trout, the action flies back and forth between the English and the Scots Courts, private agendas, guile, backstabbing and plots abound. Full review


Arts Club Theatre Company
The Men in White by Anosh Irani

Dates and Venue February 9 – March 11, 2017, Mon – Thurs at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm, Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat at 2pm | Granville Island Stage

Director/Dramaturg Rachel Ditor Set Design Amir Ofek Costume Design Amy McDougall Lighting Design Adrian Muir Sound Design Murray Price Stage Manager Caryn Fehr

Reviewer John Jane

The distance between Vancouver and Mumbai is over 12,000 kilometres; the distance between the two cities on Amir Ofek’s set is a few feet. In Anosh Irani’s play The Men in White, the small stage is shared by two diverse locations as the action switches seamlessly betwixt Baba’s chicken shop in Mumbai and a cricket club’s locker room in Vancouver. Full review


Studio 58
42nd Street

Dates and Venue February 4- 26, 2017, Tues –Sat, 8pm, Sat & Sun matinees 3pm (except February 4). No Monday shows| Studio 58, Langara College, 100 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver

Director Barbara Tomasic Musical Director Christopher King Costume Design Carmen Alatorre Lighting Design Alan Brodie Choreographer Julie Tomaino Set Design Pam Johnson

Reviewer Darren Cordeiro

Set in the early 1930s, Peggy Sawyer heads from her small town to the Big City to audition for an upcoming Broadway show. While arriving late to the performance, a fellow performer’s eye is caught by her beauty and winds up getting her a second chance to audition. Full review


xThe White Rock Players
The Graduate by Charles Webb, adapted by Terry Johnson

Dates and Venue February 8 - February 25, 2017, 8pm (Sundays matinees at 2:30pm) | Coast Capital Playhouse

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This was quite an entertaining show, and acted superbly especially by Thomas Gage (Benjamin) the part played by Dustin Hoffman in the 1967 film. Full review


Dates & Venue February 7 – 12, 2017, 8pm except Feb 12 at 7.30pm (2pm matinees on Sat & Sun) | Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver

Director Jerry Mitchell Music Supervisor Stephen Oremus Scenic Design David Rockwell Costume Design Gregg Barnes Lighting Design Kenneth Posner Sound Design John Shivers Choreography Jerry Mitchell Production Stage Manager Gregory R. Covert

Reviewer John Jane

Pop phenomenon Cyndi Lauper provides the witty, gritty, pop songs that drive the narrative and American actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein wrote the book. The show is high on slick and low on subtle and at times so flagrantly camp that it resembles a gay pride parade. Full review