Archives for December 2014

2014: some of the best of this year in theatre

Corina Akeson, Leontes, The Winter's Tale

Don’t mess with Corina Akeson when she’s cross-dressing: she makes one serious dude

People often say to me, “You must get so sick of going to the theatre!” But I don’t. I love my job. Not to put too fine a point on it, but my job is fucking spectacular: I get to think and feel for a living.

As a way of saying thank-you to everybody who makes theatre in Vancouver—and to everybody who cares about theatre in Vancouver—here’s a list. It’s not an inventory of my favourite shows; it’s a selection of some of the performances and moments that embedded themselves most deeply in my psyche during 2014. [Read more…]

BEST holiday shows—for grown-ups and for families

Cinderella: An East Van Panto, Avenue Q

Cinderella: An East Van Panto is in the running for this year’s Christmas Pudding Award for best family entertainment

Okay. Time for the First Annual Christmas Pudding Awards.

There are two categories: Best Holiday Show for Families, and Outstanding Holiday Entertainment for Crusty Old Adults.

Let’s do the Family category first; kids have short attention spans.

The Family nominees are: the Arts Club’s Mary Poppins, Crazy for You at the Gateway, and Cinderella: An East Van Panto at the York. (I tried to see Carousel Theatre’s James and the Giant Peach, but they wouldn’t give me a comp. I’m telling Santa.)

Artistically, all of these shows are worth seeing. [Read more…]

Top three holiday shows—so far

Crazy For You, Gateway Theatre

Carmen Alatorre’s crazy-good costumes contribute to the giddy good time that is Crazy For You

I’m going to start to sound like a  rerun of Sesame Street, but Avenue Q is still my favourite show in town. Both the material and production are first-rate: irreverent and original. Things get a little spicy—there’s Muppet sex—and that’s great for adults, but Avenue Q is clearly not the best choice for family entertainment.

Kids would definitely prefer Cinderella: An East Van Panto over at the York. It’s a teensy bit bawdy, but in a way that will fly right over kids’ heads. Little ones will love booing the villains, and all of the sane adults will love booing the Christy Clark-like character who’s one of the baddies.  [Read more…]

Q tip

Selina Wong, Andy Toth, Avenue Q, Arts Club Theatre

Selina Wong and Andy Toth: two members of Avenue Q’s perfect cast

The best holiday entertainment I’ve seen so far this year is still the Arts Club’s Avenue Q. This outrageously funny but warmhearted musical is running at the Granville Island Stage until January 3.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to see a whole bunch more holiday shows so stay tuned for more tips.

BTW, Avenue Q features Muppet-like puppets doing un-Sesame Street-like things, including having riotous sex. If you’re offended by that—as some people who have commented on my review on straight.com seem to be—stay home, and have your own run-of-the-mill human sex. See if I care.