Pacific Theatre
Frankenstein: Lost In Darkness adapted by Peter Church

Dates and Venue October 17 – November 2, 2019; 8pm (Sat. matinees at 2pm) | Pacific Theatre, 1440 West 12th Avenue

Director Chris Lam Lighting Designer Jonathan Kim Sound Design and Original Composition Rick Colhoun Stage Manager Shila Amin

Reviewer John Jane

Mary Shelley's mythic story of Dr. Frankenstein and his ungodly creation has always been acknowledged as a cautionary tale. When mankind tries to play God, chaos can, and usually does result. What you get in this Pacific Theatre production of Peter Church’s adaptation is less graphic horror, but more humanity. Full review

 

 

Gateway Theatre
China Doll by Marjorie Chan

Dates and Venue October 17-26, 2019; 8pm (except Sunday and Monday); matinees Sat October 19 & Sun October 20 @ 2pm, Tues October 22 @ 1pm | Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond

Director Marjorie Chan Set Design Heipo Leung Costume Design Amy Mcdougall Sound Design Mishelle Cuttler Lighting Design Chengyan Boon Projection Design Sammy Chien, Chien Shanghan, Ivan So & Andie Lloyd Stage Manager Yvonne Yip Intimacy Director Lisa Goebel

Reviewer John Jane

Set in Shanghai against a backdrop of the final years of the Great Qing Dynasty, prior to Republicanism finally achieving overwhelming support in 1911, protagonist Su-Ling (Jennifer Tong) has been abandoned by her father following her mother’s suicide. Full review


 

Naked Goddess Productions
Dancing Lessons by Mark St. Germain

Dates and Venue October 4 – 20, 2019, Wed - Sat at 8 pm; matinées - Sat and Sun at 2 pm | Jericho Arts Centre

Director Sarah Rodgers Choreography Melissa Sciarretta Set Design Ariel Slack Lighting Design Taylor Janzen

Reviewer Nancie Ottem

Dancing Lessons, written by playwright, Mark St James, is the type of story that catches interest. The story line draws people in, playing on sympathies that portray the positive side of human nature. We want the challenged to succeed. Whether it be a university professor of geophysics who suffers from Asperger Syndrome or a dancer who has suffered a debilitating injury and can no longer fulfil her life’s meaning. We root for the underdog because it heartens the spirit to see people succeed against such hurdles. Full review


 

Arts Club Theatre Company
The Birds & the Bees by Mark Crawford

Dates and Venue September 26–October 26, 2019; Tue–Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm, Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Granville Island Stage

Director Lauren Taylor Set Designer Ted Roberts Costume Designer Alaia Hamer Lighting Designer Michael K. Hewitt Sound Designer Sammie Hatch Stage Manager April Starr Land Intimacy Coordinator Michelle Thorne

Reviewer John Jane

The Birds & the Bees, aside from being a simple metaphor for teaching young people about sex before they discover it for themselves in the schoolyard, is a whimsical comedy by Mark Crawford. The play’s characters are an omnifarious foursome consisting of: a turkey breeder, a beekeeper, a tenant farmer and an entomology student. Full review

 

 

Arts Club Theatre Company In partnership with Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Ursula Rani Sarma, based on the book by Khaled Hosseini

Dates and Venue September 12 – October 13, 2019; Tue–Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm, Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.

Director Haysam Kadri Set Designer Ken MacDonald Costume Designer Linda Cho Costume Coordinator Alison Green Lighting Designer Robert Wierzel Sound Designer Jake Rodriguez Composer David Coulter Stage Manager Caryn Fehr

Reviewer Cassie Silva

A Thousand Splendid Suns is the latest production in an innovative partnership between the Arts Club and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, following last season’s Matilda: The Musical. The Manitoba production will take place in March 2020. The Arts Club also partnered with Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, who will be on site in the lobby during select performances. Full review


Broadway Across Canada
RENT: 20th Anniversary Tour

Dates and Venue September 17 – 22, 2019 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Director Evan Ensign Musical Suoervision Tim Weil Choreography Marlies Yearby Set Designer Matthew E. Maraffi Lighting Designer Jonathan Spencer Costume Designer Angela Wendt Sound Keith Caggiano Stage Manager Gabrielle Norris

Reviewer John Jane

Rent begins on a Christmas Eve in an industrial loft somewhere in the East Village, occupied, pretty much rent-free by Mark (Cody Jenkinkins) who takes on much of the incidental narration, and Roger, (Cole Eman Cummings) a self-pitying musician, attempting to write his own swan song. Through a series of telephone calls and miscommunications, the story follows Mark and the turbulent relationships of three couples, one straight, one lesbian and one homosexual. Full review


 

2019 Vancouver Fringe Festival

Larry

Performance Dates September 6,7,9,10,13,14,15 2019 at Havana Theatre

Performer Candice Roberts

Larry is the kind of fun, androgynous show that Fringe festivals thrive on. Candice Roberts (a.k.a. Candy Bones) is a honest performing artist that works hard to keep her audience engaged. Her one-women show Larry – also the name of the central character.... Full review

 

The Russian Play

Performance Dates September 6,8,10,12,13,14, 2019 at The Firehall Arts Centre

Performers Bronwyn Henderson, Dennis Virahilias, Nathan Cottell; Musicians Ellen Smith & Demi Pedersen

Believe it or not, this play has been performed at the Shaw Festival. The play weaves a story of Sonya, a sixteen-year-old flower shop girl and Pyotr, a gravedigger who become lovers in a dangerous time. Full review



Kevin, King of Egypt

Performance Dates September 6,7,8,11,12,14, 2019 at the Revue Stage

Performer Rob Gee

Rob Gee is a former psychiatric nurse from Leicester, England. He is also a former member of Comedy Asylum, a sketch comedy group that garners humour from direct experience from their work in mental health facilities. His show, which is a potent mix of mile-a-minute stand-up comedy and incredibly agile story-telling, Full review

 

 

Bedwetter

Performance Dates September 6,7,8,9,12,14, 2019 at Studio 16

Performer Tamlyn Bryson

This show had already picked up some positive buzz. This was in evidence at seeing a respectable size crowd at a 5pm Monday performance in the middle of a downpour. Tamlyn Bryson’s one-woman show, co-written with Kyle Kimmerly, starts with her having a two-way conversation with her bladder..... Full review




Old Fart

Performance Dates September 6,7,8,10,12,14, 2019 at the False Creek Gym

Performer Tim Bourgard


Tom (Tim Bourgard) is a self-confessed old fart. He claims (but I seriously doubt it) to have been born in 1932 – which would make him 86. Certainly, his act, a gallimaufry of amusing anecdotes, hackneyed jokes and songs from another century, depends on the audience’s acceptance of this age.
Full review


 


The Legend of White Woman Creek

Performance Dates September 5,7,8,12,14,15, 2019 at the Revue Stage

Performer Katie Hartman

The Legend of White Woman Creek is a dual character, one woman show that combines theatre and music in the form of a song cycle comprising of about a dozen songs that are similar in melody and structure. Creator Katie Hartman uses the song cycle to drive the narrative of Anna Morgan Faber’s story of suffering on the American frontier in the mid-nineteenth century. Full review


Tommy’s Amazing Journey

Performance Dates September 6,8,9,11,13,14, 2019 at the Revue Stage

Performer Kevin Armstrong

Having already experienced a variety of adaptations of the rock opera Tommy, I couldn’t resist Kevin Armstrong’s solo note-by-note Fringe performance of Pete Townsend’s chef d'oeuvre. Full review

 

 


Monica vs. The Internet: Tales of a Social Justice Warrior

Performance Dates September 5,7,8,10,14,15, 2018 at The Nest

Performer Monica Ogden

Reviewer John Jane

Filipina performer and storyteller Monica Ogden certainly propounds an ambitious title to her one woman show. The show’s title may well draw Fringe patrons that might have otherwise given it a miss. It’s also perhaps too overreaching, considering what Ogden actually achieves. Full review


United Players
A Tender Thing by Ben Power

Dates and Venue September 6 – 29 Thurs through Sun 2019, 8pm (matinees Sun Sept. 15, 22 & 29 at 2pm – no eve. Perf.) | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery

Director Sarah Rodgers Executive Producer Andree Karas Technical Director Leighton Taylor Set Designer R. Todd Parker Costume Designer Julie White Lighting Designer Brad Trenaman Sound Designer Julie Casselman Stage Manager Becky Fitzpatrick Choir Director Lonnie Delisle

Reviewer Christian Steckler

It is a rare treat to see an adaptation of a classic, imaginatively carried into new directions and new realms of possibility. Such is the case with Ben Power’s A Tender Thing, where we witness Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet having somehow forgone their double suicide, and having cherished their romance for a lifetime. We catch up to them in their senior years. Full review



Third Wheel Productions
Deep Into Darkness by Laura Carly Miller & Sydney Doberstein

Dates and Venue August 13-25 2019. Doors at 7pm, show runs 8pm-10pm | The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver BC

Producers/Writers/Directors/Actors Laura Carly Miller & Sydney Doberstein Producer Fraser Larock Sound Designer Sean William Production Designer John R. Taylor Fight Choreographer Nicholas Harrison Dramaturg Stephen Atkins

Reviewer Erin Jane

Have you ever wanted to be a masked voyeur wandering around inside the mind of creative madness? Vancouver’s own Third Wheel Productions has made this experience available for your twisty pleasure with their immersive theatre show Deep Into Darkness, playing at The Cultch until August 25. Full review



Down Stage Right Productions
SILENCE! The Musical music and lyrics by Jon & Al Kaplan, book by Hunter Bell

Dates and Venue July 25 - August 3 2019, 8pm (Friday Aug 2 @ 7pm & 10pm) | Goldcorp Stage, BMO Theatre Centre 162 West 1st Ave.

Director Mark Carter. Choreography Ken Overbey Costume Design Julie White Musical Director Jeremy Hoffman Graphic Design Barret Chapman Sound Design Sebastian Finch Stage Manager tanya Schwaerzle

Reviewer John Jane

Silence! The Musical, is an unauthorized parody of Jonathan Demme’s 1991 psychological thriller The Silence of the Lambs that starred Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. This stage musical version, though deliberately irreverent, faithfully follows the original storyline. Full review

 

 

Ensemble Theatre Company
7th Annual Repertory Festival
Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin

Dates and Venue July 10 – August 16, 2019 at 7.30 pm (Brunch presentations at 11am on Sundays) | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery St

Directors Shelby Bushell & Michael Scholar Jr. Costume Design Julie White Lighting Design Celeste English Set Design Naomi Sider Sound Design Rick Calhoun Dialect Coach Erin Ormond Fight Director Richard Meen Stage Manager Talya Kuran

Reviewer John Jane

Born Yesterday is a socio-political drama set in Washington D.C. about a year after the end of World War II, which is the time that the play was written by Garson Kanin. It’s one of three plays performed at this year’s Annual Repertory Festival at the Jericho Arts Centre. Full review

 

Theatre Under the Stars

Disney’s NEWSIES music Alan Menken, lyrics Jack Feldman

Dates and Venue July 6 - August 17, 2019 at 8pm - even-numbered days in July, odd-numbered days in August | Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park

Director/Choreography Julie Tomaino Music Director Christopher King Set Design Francesca Albertazzi Costume Design Christina Sinosich Lighting Design Robert Sondergaard Sound Design Brad Danyluk Props Design Heidi Wilkinson Stage Manager Collette Berg

Reviewer Erin Jane

Beautiful scenic Stanley Park can’t take all the credit for the atmosphere – set design (by Francesca Albertazzi) featured versatile metal scaffolding meant to overlook the dirty streets of New York, where the newsies tended to hang (often literally). These kids are school-aged but attend only the school of hard knocks, they “got no folks nowhere” and fend for themselves, scrapping for every dime. Full review


Mamma Mia!

Dates and Venue July 5 - August 18, 2019 at 8pm - odd-numbered days in July, even-numbered days in August | Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park

Director Shel Piercy Choreography Shelley Stewart Hunt Music Director Wendy B. StuartSet Design Francesca Albertazzi Costume Design Christina Sinosich Lighting Design Robert Sondergaard Sound Design Brad Danyluk Props Design Heidi Wilkinson Stage Manager Susan Miyagishima

Reviewer Christian Steckler

Theatre Under the Stars productions are virtually always delightfully entertaining evenings of high-quality acting, singing and dancing. Add to this a tremendously popular story with universally familiar music, and you have a potential winner. This production of Mamma Mia! hits the bull’s eye. Full review


Bard on the Beach


Coriolanus by William Shakespeare

Date and Venue August 21 – September 15, 2019, 7.30pm evenings + 2pm weekend matinees | Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre, Vanier Park

Director Dean Paul Gibson Costume Designer Barbara Claydon Set Designer Pam Johnson Fight Choreography Lisa Stevens & Robinson Wilson Lighting Designer Alan Brodie Composer and Sound Designer Alessandro Juliani Stage Manager Joanne P.B. Smith

Reviewer John Jane

Moya O’Connell is dominant in what is a demanding physical role. Though, she perhaps looks a little too wholesome and lightly built to be a hard core, war-hardened general with the battle scars to show it. Unlike Colleen Wheeler, who as Coriolanus’ mother Volumnia definitely looks the part. Full review



All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare

Date and Venue June 26 – August 11, 2019, 7.30pm evenings + 2pm weekend matinees | Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre, Vanier Park

Directors Johanna Wright & Rohit Chokhani Costume Designer Carmen Alatorre Set Designer Pam Johnson Choreographer Poonam Sandhu Lighting Designers Conor Moore and Alan Brodie Composer and Sound Designer Ruby Singh Stage Manager Joanne P.B. Smith

Reviewer John Jane

Bard devotees generally consider All’s Well That Ends Well a problem play – and for good reason. Shakespeare’s comedy is about self-deceit and trickery (both in the main plot and subplot). First, it’s difficult to reconcile the protagonist’s motivations in the context in which this nebulous play is placed. Full review


Shakespeare in Love
by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall

Date and Venue June 12 – September 18, 2019, 7.30pm evenings + 2pm weekend matinees | BMO Mainstage, Vanier Park

Director Daryl Cloran Costume Design Cory Sincennes Set Design Cory Sincennes Sound Design Mishelle Cuttler Voice/Text Coach Alison Matthews Choreography Julie Tomaino Fight Direction Jonathan Hawley Purvis Stage Manager Stephen Courtenay

Reviewer Christian Steckler

Bard on the Beach has adapted the wildly successful movie, Shakespeare in Love, for the Vancouver stage, inspired by its original conception at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre in association with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg. This production continues Bard’s tradition of excellence in its 30th year of delighting and educating audiences. Full review

 


The Taming of the Shrew
by William Shakespeare

Date and Venue June 5 – September 21, 2019, 7.30pm evenings + 2pm weekend matinees | BMO Mainstage, Vanier Park

Director Lois Anderson Set Designer Cory Sincennes Costume Designer Mara Gottler Lighting Designer Gerald King Sound Designer Malcolm Dow Dow Fight Design/Choreography Jonathan Hawley Purvis Stage Manager Stephen Courtney

Reviewer Christian Steckler

This summer’s offerings at Bard on the Beach promise the continued high quality and enjoyment that have become hallmarks of the annual event, this year celebrating its 30th anniversary. Imaginative approaches to traditional Shakespeare mark some of the plays this time around, and such is the case with the production of The Taming of the Shrew. Full review