Archives for January 2016

The Motherfucker and other options

The Motherfucker with the Hat

Oh sure, the look innocent. But these five actors don’t stint on the profanity in Stephen Adly Guirgis’s The Motherfucker with the Hat.

The Motherfucker with the Hat is still the best thing on this weekend. It’s closing tomorrow night, (Saturday, January 30), so get in there if you can. Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis’s take on addiction is both darkly comic and moving. And the actors in this production go the distance, if you know what I mean.

At the York, Charlie Demers’s solo Leftovers is also worth seeing. In a stand-up/TED Talk mash-up, Demers places his socialist politics in a touching personal context. Demers is a very smart, very funny guy. And Parjad Sharifi’s design for this show is exquisite.

Coming up next week, I’m looking forward to another couple of shows: at the Firehall, Cliff Cardinal’s Huff takes on gas sniffing; and, at the Arts Club, talented Victoria playwright Janet Munsil will unveil her take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Go Vancouver!


A motherfucker of a show

The Motherfucker with the Hat

Stephen Lobo and Francisco Trujillo are members of a stellar team in The Motherfucker with the Hat.

My pick this week is The Motherfucker with the Hat, which is playing at the Firehall Arts Centre until Saturday, January 30.

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis delights in language, even as he uses fuck and shit as casually as most people use commas. And his exploration of addiction and recovery is complex.

The performances in this production are stellar. Kyra Zagorsky and Stephen Lobo will break your heart. John Cassini will lead you down a very dark rabbit hole.

Because it’s 2016: thanks very much

Natalie Wood, Latino representation

Natalie Wood’s performance as Maria in West Side Story provides a strong argument against “brown-face”.

On Monday night, I attended “BECAUSE IT’S 2016: An Open Invitation from the Latino Theatre Community to Discuss Representation”.

The forum arose out of a controversy about the casting of Haberdashery Theatre’s upcoming production of The Motherfucker with the Hat. There are three Latino characters in that play, but, originally, the group of artists who initiated the production didn’t cast any Latinos. Now, there’s one Latino, Francisco Trujillo, in the show.

I really, really appreciated how respectful and nuanced the discussion was—and how vulnerable a number of individuals allowed themselves to be. It took guts for Pedro Chamale and Carmen Aguirre to call the event. And I admire John Cassini from Haberdashery Theatre for showing up, taking responsibility, and sharing his side of the story. Jay Dodge, who was asked to moderate at the last minute, negotiated the evening with welcome intelligence and calm.  [Read more…]