Archives for September 2014

Second thoughts—well, further thoughts—about Since You Left Us

Since You Left Us, Susinn McFarlen, Presentation House, Vancouver theatre

The cast of Susinn McFarlen’s “Since You Left Us” will make you belly laugh

With annoying regularity, I’ll write a review that goes online or into print, and I’ll think, “Damn! I wish I’d analyzed that more perceptively” That happened recently with my review of Susinn McFarlen’s Since You Left Us[Read more…]

Magic Unicorn Island takes the Critics’ Choice Award

Jayson McDonald Georgia Straight Critics' Choice Award Vancouver Fringe

Jayson McDonald accepted the Critics’ Choice Award at the Vancouver Fringe (photo by Paul Czene)

On Sunday night Kathleen Oliver and I gave the Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice Award to Jayson McDonald’s Magic Unicorn Island.

McDonald is an immensely skilled performer: he’s got a great sense of theatricality and few people can portray innocence as convincingly as he does. But what really moved me was that, in Magic Unicorn Island, McDonald addresses global warming and world militarism—issues that paralyze most of us with despair—and addresses them in a creative and openhearted way.

Nominees for the GS Critics’ Choice Award

Vancouver Fringe, Loretta Seto, Dirty Old Woman

Loretta Seto’s witty script and a stellar cast earned Dirty Old Woman a Critics’ Choice Award nomination

Kathleen Oliver and I have picked the nominees for this year’s Critics’ Choice Award at the Vancouver Fringe. They are: Chase and Stacey’s Joyride, Dirty Old Woman, Little One, Magic Unicorn Island, and Moonlight After Midnight. Terrific shows, all of ’em.

Thanks to all of the artists, staff, and volunteers for making this another solid Fringe. A special thanks to Cara Cunningham, the head of box office, who made these last few days a lot easier for me than they would have been without her.

Vancouver Fringe Festival: Fresh Sheet Sept 9

Vancouver Fringe Festival, Moonlight After Midnight, Martin Dockery

Written by Martin Dockery (L), Moonlight After Midnight is one of the most ambitious scripts at the Fringe. Dockery co-stars with real-life partner Vanessa Quesnelle.

From what Kathleen Oliver and I have seen in covering the Fringe for the Georgia Straight, here are our top ten shows—and a couple of other tips.  [Read more…]

Vancouver Fringe Festival Fresh Sheet: Sept 6

Vancouver Fringe Festival, Magic Unicorn Island

Don’t make this child shoot. Buy tickets to Magic Unicorn Island

So far, I’ve seen 15 shows that are playing the Vancouver Fringe Festival: four are stand-outs.

Topping my list is Jayson McDonald’s Magic Unicorn Island, a  satire in which the kids of the world all move to an isolated island to protest their elders’ culture of hate—and the adults turn their weapons on the young ones. McDonald is such a smart and charismatic storyteller that everybody I talk to is in love with him.  [Read more…]