Archives for November 2014

Cue up for Avenue Q

Avenue Q, Arts Club

Humans Nick Fontaine and Jeremy Crittenden help puppets Nicky and Rod negotiate same-sex relationships in Avenue Q

Avenue Q is the show to see this weekend.

The musical’s satirical take on Sesame Street—and the generation of young folks raised to feel special and disappointed to find that they’re not—is hilarious. The songs include “What Do You Do with a BA in English?” and “The Internet Is for Porn”.

Under Peter Jorgensen’s direction, this Arts Club production is pretty much perfect. The cast, which manipulates Muppetlike puppets, is skilled and charming. Musically, the show sounds downright splendid, and the production is wittily designed. There’s nothing not to like. 

Bonus: Avenue Q‘s success might just restore your faith in an orderly universe. When  Avenue Q went up against Wicked at the Tony Awards in 2004, Avenue Q won for best book, best score, and best musical. Why? Because it’s a MUCH BETTER SHOW than Wicked. See? There is a God. Somewhere. Maybe.

This weekend: Speed-the-Joan

David Mamet, Speed-the-Plow, Craig Erickson, Aaron Craven

If you want to see some actors having a really good time, check out Aaron Craven and Craig Erickson in Speed-the-Plow.

The top picks for this weekend are wildly different: Speed-the-Plow at Studio 16 and Saint Joan at the Stanley.  [Read more…]

The queer GGs

Everything's coming up GGs for queer writers, including Vancouver's Raziel Reid

Everything’s coming up GGs for queer writers, including Vancouver’s Raziel Reid

It’s a good year for queer artists at the Governor General’s Awards: FOUR queer artists were honoured when the prizes were announced on Tuesday—and two of them are from Vancouver.

Jordan Tannahill, who’s based in Toronto, won in Drama for Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays. All of the scripts in that collection feature queer adolescent protagonists. Tannahill’s Late Company, which is also queer-themed opens in Vancouver on Friday.

Vancouver writer Michael Harris topped the Non-Fiction category with The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection.

Twenty-four-year-old Vancouverite Raziel Reid took the Children’s Literature Award for text for When Everything Feels Like the Movies, which features a gay teen protagonist.

And Arlene Paré took the poetry prize for Lake of Two Mountains.

Yay. 🙂

Hey lady, got a play? Send it to Ruby Slippers

Ruby Slippers

Restoration playwright Aphra Behn didn’t mess around and neither should you

Are you a female playwright? Want to get a public reading of your script?

Then you should know that Ruby Slippers Theatre, in conjunction with the Vancouver Fringe Festival and Equity in Theatre have got a little somethin’ goin’ on.  [Read more…]

Go see Saint Joan

Meg Roe, Saint Joan, Arts Club, Kim Colier

Meg Roe is wonderful in Saint Joan—kind of like she is in every show I’ve seen her do.

What to see this weekend? That would still be Saint Joan, which is on at the Stanley until November 23. Don’t wait until the last minute though; if there’s any justice in the world, it will sell out.

Director Kim Collier brings the intelligent but talky text to vivid, visceral life. Meg Roe, who’s playing Joan, is one of the best actors in the world—I’m not being hyperbolic—and there’s an embarrassment of riches in the rest of the cast, which includes Dean Paul Gibson, Haig Sutherland, Scott Bellis and Tom McBeath.

Jordan Tannahill writes plays for and about queer youth

Jordan Tannahil, Age of Minority, Late Company, Touchstone Theatre

Playwright Jordan Tannahill pulls ideas out of the news—not his hair (excellent photo by Lacey Creighton)

When I interviewed young queer playwright Jordan Tannahill about Late Company, which Touchstone is presenting at the Firehall November 21 to 30, he also told me about Age of Minority, the trilogy of plays that earned him a GG nomination this year.

All three solo plays feature queer youth.

The Late Company preview will run in the Straight next week. As a kind of warm-up, I thought you might like to hear what Tannahill had to say about Age of Minority, which is the first TYA collection to be nominated for a Governor General’s Award in Drama:  [Read more…]