United Players
Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale

Dates and Venue June 1 - 24, 2018, 8pm; 2pm matinees on Sundays | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery

Director Adam Henderson Production Manager Fran Burnside Set Design Chris Bayne Costume Design CS Ferguson-Vaux Lighting Design Michael Methot Sound Design Zakk Harris Stage Manager Andy Sandberg

Reviewer John Jane

Regarded as something akin to a folk heroine, Nell Gwynn was born around 1650 in a part of London that would become the theatre district. Charles II was very supportive of English theatre where he was known to find many a willing mistress. Full review

 

 

Vancouver Moving Theatre
Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way

by Renae Morriseau, Rosemary Georgeson & Savannah Walling

Dates and Venue May 17-19 & May 24-26, 2018, Thurs and Frid 7:30pm, Sat matinees 2pm | Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, Chief Simon Baker Room, 1607 East Hastings Street

Director Renae Morriseau Artistic Director Savannah Walling
Lighting Bryan Kenney Costumes Crystine Booth Projection Chandra Melting Tallow, Michelle Sylliboy Sound Debbie Courchene, Chandra Melting Tallow, Jason Burnstick

Reviewer Christian Steckler

The term, “reconciliation,” has gained traction in recent years in Canada’s efforts to come to terms with the effects of the colonization of the indigenous lands of this country, and of the social and cultural maps that existed before contact. For most, the term communicates the need for a path to mutual respect and healing of the relationship between indigenous peoples and the colonizers. Full review

 

 

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MAMMA MIA! music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, book by Catherine Johnson

Dates and Venue May 10–August 12, 2018, Tue–Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm; matinees on Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

Director & Choreographer Valerie Easton Musical Director Ken Cormier Associate Musical Director Sasha Niechoda Set Designer David Roberts Costume Designer Alison Green Lighting Designer Robert Sondergaard Sound Designer Bradley Danyluk Stage Manager Pamela Jakobs

Reviewers John Jane and Ed Farolan

It is difficult to comprehend that four decades have passed us by since Anni-Frid, Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha last recorded together as ABBA. And yet, judging from the audience’s enthusiastic response to last night’s opening performance of the Arts Club Theatre Company production of Mamma Mia!, the symmetrical Swedish group’s popularity does not appear to have diminished. Full review

 

 

Pacific Theatre
Tolkien by Ron Reed

Dates and Venue May 11 –June 9, 2018, Wed - Sat at 8pm with 2pm Sat matinees | Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave

Director Ron Reed Set Design Drew Facey Costume Design Christopher David Gather Lighting Design John Webber Sound Design Jeff Tymoschuck & Corina Akeson Production Design Jessica Hood Stage Manager Jethelo E. Cabilete

Reviewer John Jane

The play is a three act historical drama, which offers the audience the extrinsic sense of being a fly on the wall at the Eagle and Child pub and other places that the Inklings would gather. The Inklings (as in: “don’t have an inkling”) was a literary group of academics and soon to be legendary writers. Full review

 

 

 

The Best Brothers by Daniel MacIvor

Dates and Venue May 8 – 19, 2018, 7.30pm; matinees on Sat & Sun at 2pm | Kay Meek Arts Centre, 1700 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver

Director Sharon Bajer Set Design Ross Nichol Costume Design Suzannah Marriott Lighting Design Ross Nichol Sound Design Sharon Bajer Stage Manager Christine Leroux

Reviewer John Jane

Daniel MacIvor’s “bold” comedy (yes, that’s what the program says it is) is a two-handed, three character – well, four if you count the unseen dog – play that has humour, intelligence and just a little pathos. Full review

 

 

xSmoking Gun Collective
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

Dates and Venue April 27 – May 19, 2018, 8pm Wed.-Sat. Matinées: Saturday & Sundays at 2pm | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery St., Vancouver

Director William B. DavisSet Design Tracy Lunn Chernaske Costume Design Julie White Lighting Design Marco Lamera Sound Design Sean Anthony Stage Manager Samantha Pawliuk

Reviewer Elizabeth Paterson

It is always difficult to see a play written shortly before a revolution and not regard it as prescient commentary, especially when a playwright is as finely attuned to his times as Chekhov was. Indeed many of his friends and acquaintances marched and protested against the Tsar. But his other topic was the effect of the emancipation of the serfs. It is not entirely the fault of the feckless landowners that the cherry orchard is now unproductive. The family’s success in producing and selling preserves depended entirely on a supply of cheap labour which no longer exists. The Cherry Orchard’s genius lies in Chekhov’s refusal to take sides and his acute and affectionate observation of all sorts of people. Full review

 

 


xDelta Youth Theatre
Beauty and the Beast JR music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book by Linda Woolverton

Dates and Venue April 25 – 29, 2018, | Genesis Theatre, Ladner, Delta

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This theatre group described as "pre-professional" is amazing. I was surprised at the professional quality of this theatre company. I was sitting next to the grandparents of Claire Bidulka (Belle) and was told that she took singing lessons, because I was totally moved by the way she sang so beautifully. Linden Smith (Beast) was just as good That beastly baritone voice especially when he sang "Evermore" was simply fantastic. Full review

 

xSpirit Horse

Dates and Venue April 21, 2pm & 7pm; April 22, 2pm; April 27, 7pm; Sat. April 28, 2pm & 7pm; April 29, 2pm | The Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island, 1412 Cartwright St.

Reviewer Ed Farolan

I found this play quite enlightening, and I was quite impressed, especially the actors who are from different First Nations. They were really good. But that´s expected because these thespians are professional actors. They played multiple roles, including the spirit horse.Full review

 

xThe White Rock Players’ Club
August: Osage County

Dates and Venue April 13 – 28, 2018, Wed – Sat 7:30pm and Sunday matinees 2:30pm | The Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Road, White Rock

Reviewer Ed Farolan

A comedy that leans a bit to the darker side, by Tracy Letts, 2008 Pulitzer Prize awardee, it is the story of a pill-popping, sharp-tongued, cancer patient, matriarch, Violet Weston (Cindy Peterson), her three daughters (Alaina Holland, Katherine Morris and Samantha Silver) and their father, the family patriarch Beverly Weston (Fred Partridge). It was adapted for film in 2013 with Sam Shepard, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in the leading roles, and nominated for several Academy Awards and Golden Globes. Full review


xRoyal City Musical Theatre
Cabaret music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb

Dates and Venue April 12 – 29, 2018, Weds, Thurs. Fri. Sat. 7:30pm; Sat matinees 2pm April 21 & 28 | Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Ave, New Westminster

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Another entertaining and delightful musical by RCMT! Continuing their tradition of presenting outstanding big Broadway musicals annually, this hit based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood is about 1931 Berlin, which is transitioning from an avant-garde cultural centre to the beginning of Hitler’s totalitarian regime. Full review

 

Theatre in the Raw Presents
Incident at Vichy by Arthur Miller

Dates and Venue April 11 - 22, 2018; Wed–Sat 8pm, Sun matinees 2pm, April 18 2-for-1 admission | Studio 16, 1551 West 7th Ave., Vancouver BC

Director/Producer Jay Hamburger Stage Manager Amanda Parafina Costume Design Alaia Hamer Lighting Design Chengyan Boon

Reviewer Erin Jane

Jay Hamburger founded “Theatre in the Raw” out of a Commercial Drive café in 1994, and the theatre company is aptly named for their risk-taking and grass roots approach to theatre. Hamburger, who is the Director of this production of Arthur Miller’s famed play Incident At Vichy, introduced the play with the Martin Niemöller poem, “First they came…” This poem perfectly set the stage for the ensuing performance, as it highlights themes of guilt, persecution, and complicity that are significant in Incident at Vichy. Full review



Arts Club Theatre Company
The Humans by Stephen Karam

Dates and Venue March 22–April 22, 2018; Tue–Thu at 7:30pm, Fri & Sat at 8pm, Wed at 1:30pm, and Sat & Sun at 2pm | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street

Director Amiel Gladstone Set Design Drew Facey Costume Design Jenifer Darbellay Lighting Design Adrian Muir Sound Design David Mesiha Stage Manager Jan Hodgson

Reviewer Erin Jane

 

The tagline for Stephen Karam’s 2015 Tony award-winning play The Humans is “Family drama, on more than one level.” That’s because the set design features a modest cross section of a two-level apartment in Manhattan. Full review

 

 

United Players
ENRON by Lucy Prebble

Dates and Venue March 23 – April 15, 2018, 8pm Thurs.-Sun. except Sundays April 1, 8, 15, matinées only at 2pm | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery St., Vancouver

Director Brian Parkinson Set Design Josie Lee Costume Design CS Fergusson-Vaux Lighting Design Michael Methor Sound Design/Composer Patrick Boudreau Choreographer Nicola SpinolaStage Manager Victoria Porter

Reviewer Elizabeth Paterson

A consummate cast of lead actors supported by a substantial and thoroughly competent ensemble make ENRON, currently running at Jericho Arts Centre, a continuously fascinating event. On the face of it, charting the business history of giant energy firm Enron from Texan gas and oil company to global marketing superpower might not be a stimulating artistic topic, especially since its subsequent fall from grace is still well known. Playwright Lucy Prebble throws in song-and-dance, ventriloquism, pop music (Patrick Boudreau) and video to add theatricality to what is a very talky play. Nicola Spinola’s precise choreography and projections by Harika Xu’s and Vanka Salim give good value. Full review

 

Pacific Theatre
Bar Mitzvah Boy by Mark Leiren-Young

Dates and Venue March 23 – April 14, 2018, 8pm Wed -Sat with 2pm Sat matinees | Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave.

Director Ian Farthing Set Design Carolyn Rapanos Costume Design Kaitlin Williams Lighting Design Jillian White Sound Design Matthew MacDonald-Bain Stage Manager April Starr Land

Reviewer John Jane

Preparing for a bar mitzvah (trans. son of commandment) may easily take twelve month or even longer, but Joseph Brant (Richard Newman) wants his immediately or least before his grandson has his and he is willing to offer a generous donation to the Synagogue to get his way. But Joey’s bar mitzvah will not be a smooth passage into manhood. Full review

 

 

The Firehall Arts Centre
Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

Dates and Venue March 17 – April 21, 2018, Tuesdays 7pm, Wed – Fri 8pm, Saturdays 3pm & 8pm, Sundays, 3pm, Wednesdays, 1pm | Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E. Cordova St.

Director Tracey Power Set Design Marshall McMahen Costume Design Barbara Clayden Lighting Design Ted Roberts Sound Design Xavier Berbudeau Musical Arranger Steve Charles Stage Manager Emma Hammond

Reviewer John Jane

Tracey Powers’ brilliantly surreal revue borrows a little from Kurt Weill‘s theatrical style. It takes place entirely in a hotel room likely not a whole lot different to the Montreal Bard’s temporary digs in New York. Marshall McMahen’s effectively ascetic set, with piles of crumpled pieces of paper in every corner and a (rather symbolic) paper wall, is evocative of Cohen’s early struggle with mental block. Full review