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