I had a chance this weekend to check out the brand new BMO Theatre Centre and watch the newest Arts Club play Peter and the Starcatcher. It was excellent – one of the best plays I’ve seen in Vancouver. I highly recommend checking it out if you can get tickets (it has been selling out).
The theatre is conveniently located across the street from our apartment – which was much appreciated during Saturday’s winter storm downpour. I’ve been watching the construction crews scramble to get the theatre ready on time. They barely made it, but the theatre looks great, especially the stage.
For Peter and the Starcatchers, the wings are open and you can watch the actors using drums, a giant sheet of metal, and other props to create the show’s sound effects. Long ropes are creatively used for many of the visual effects, standing in for a boxing ring, the mouth of an alligator, and the waves of the sea.
The show has some sentimental moments, but most of it is light-hearted and extremely funny. The whole cast is great and there are some fabulous voices and catchy songs. The actress who plays Captain Black Stache was a real standout, mixing physical comedy, witty lines, and great comedic timing.
I’d say more, but I don’t want to spoil your experience. Go check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
The first and last photo are from the Arts Club website.
Every year Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) puts on two musicals at the Malkin Bowl – an amazing outdoor theatre in Stanley Park. We’re regulars, having seen every show for the past 5 years. Last night we got to watch the opening night performance of Legally Blonde – the Musical.
I’ve never seen the movie, but I wasn’t expecting much from the musical. Well, I was blown away. It was funny, sexy, and clever. Easily the best TUTS musical I’ve seen in the past 3 years (probably since Joseph in 2010) and by far the sexiest. The “Gay or European” song was hilarious and “Whipped Into Shape” showed off some impressive jumping rope choreography while singing.
It is well worth checking out. There’s no better place to be on a warm summer evening. And it’s some of the most affordable entertainment in Vancouver – tickets are between $29 and $44. We’ll be back to see TUTS other show, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” in a few weeks.
Another year is over, and it is time for me to write my year-in-review retrospective. I’m sorry for not writing one last year. I didn’t think anyone actually read it until I starting receiving complaints about its absence.
Continue reading 2010 Year in Review
Pick of the Fringe has been announced. You can now look forward to extra showings of Wanderlust, Dr. Horrible: Sing Along Blog, 13, Lucky 9, Freud Vs. His Ego, and Antoine Feval from Thursday to Sunday.
I really want to see Freud vs His Ego, but I’m not sure we’ll have time on Sunday.
We tried to see Freud vs His Ego at the Fringe today, but when we got to Granville Island there was a huge lineup for tickets. We knew it was going to be close but thought our chances were good considering there were dozens of people behind us in line. Unfortunately, I was the first person in line who didn’t get a ticket. Luckily, we had a great backup plan and managed to get tickets to Die Roten Punkte – Kunst Rock.
Die Roten Punkte – Kunst Rock – We saw the faux-German, White Stripe imitation rockers when they were in Vancouver for their first Fringe tour a few years ago. Kunst Rock is their third Fringe show, and I think they’ve now perfected their craft. The songs were catchy, the jokes were funny, and their lampooning of art rock bands was perfect. I almost died laughing when they stopped the show to mock a poor women who tried sneaking out with 15 minutes left. After a number of sellouts, they’re performing an extra charity show on Sunday at 3:50.****
3 more quick reviews to add to my previous Vancouver Fringe Reviews.
Heptademic Redux: An interesting drama about 7 strangers stuck in a room during an epidemic. Well acted with many dramatic and funny moments, and a thought-provoking plot. You’ll want to arrive early as the 2nd row of seats have a sub-optimal view of the stage. **** (4 stars)
Antoine Feval: A comedic monologue about a bumbling assistant to a shifty detective. Chris Gibbs is a genuinely funny guy and a really energetic actor. Often Gibbs would leave character to talk to the audience, which lead to some of the funniest moments but also took some of the focus from the main show. Many people sitting around us were raving about the show afterwards, but I didn’t find myself laughing out loud for all of the jokes. Overally, a good show, but it lost its flow sometimes. *** (3 stars)
Limbo Andrew Bailey is back and as funny as ever. This is the 2nd time I’ve seen him perform. We saw him in Putz in 2008. (He’s also a member of Atomic Vaudeville, creators of Legoland – the best Fringe show I’ve ever seen. Although I was mistaken in thinking Andrew starred in it – see comments below). Limbo is a monologue about neurotic complexes, self-doubt, and the meaning of life. Andrew has great comedic timing and had me constantly laughing from the beginning of the play until the end. ***** (5 stars)
I’m so excited that the Vancouver Fringe Festival is back. I’ve seen 3 shows so far, and have a bunch more on my wishlist.
Dr. Horrible – Sing Along Blog: Joss Whedon’s cult musical brought to the stage. I didn’t think Fringe actors could live up to Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion, but I was pleasantly surprised. The actors who played Dr. Horrible and Penny both had great voices, and the 2 bonus songs (not available online) had me cracking up. They did a great job turning the Internet sensation into a great stage show. **** (4 stars)
Shadows in Bloom: Gemma Wilcox does a great job convincing the audience that there are dozens of actors on stage, effortlessly shifting between the characters. I didn’t see Gemma’s play last year, but one of my friends thought it was better then this year’s edition. Overall, the play was a partly dramatic, partly comedic, but nothing spectacular. *** (3 stars)
Wanderlust: An early favourite for Pick of the Fringe. Martin Dockery tells a bunch of hilarious stories from his trip backpacking through West Africa. There were a number of dramatic moments, but this was mostly a humorous story. One of the funniest fringe shows I’ve ever seen. Don’t miss this one! ***** (5 stars)
Next up on my list are:
Raccoonery (Friday 7pm)
Limbo (Friday 9pm)
Freud vs His Ego (Saturday 3:30)
and if I can squeeze them in:
Peter ‘n’ Chris Save the World
Die Roten Punkte
Mr. Gordon (he was my high school calculus teacher and is a Fringe fanatic) has recommended:
Antoine Feval – I think we might watch this instead of Raccoonery.