Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

by Richard Wolak on March 27, 2015

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, was a hilarious play with a refreshing script, playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre.

Christopher Durang’s witty mash-up of Chekhov characters and smartphones is a delightful new farce for our hyperconnected era. Middle-aged siblings Vanya (Jay Brazeau) and Sonia (Susinn McFarlen) live an angst-ridden, melancholic existence on their family farm. Housecleaner-cum-soothsayer Cassandra (Carmen Aguirre), whose hilariously ambiguous prophecies keep them befuddled, provides the only break from monotony. That is, until their glamorous movie-star sister, Masha (Anna Galvin), swans in for a surprise visit—along with her hunky boy toy, Spike (Robert Salvador). Brilliant performance by actor, Jay Brazeau with so much character from this wonderful cast of characters!

Christopher Durang is the Tony Award–winning author of such acclaimed plays as Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (1979), Beyond Therapy (1981), and Betty’s Summer Vacation (1999). Durang is an alumnus of Harvard University and of the Yale School of Drama. He is the co-director of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at the Juilliard School. In 2013, he won the Tony Award for Best Play for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

An Arts Club Theatre Company production: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville St., at 12th Ave) to April 19, 2015.  Tuesday at 7:30 pm, Wednesday–Saturday at 8 pm, and Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets from $29, inclusive of taxes and fees. Call the Arts Club Box Office at 604.687.1644 or visit www.artsclub.com.

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KÄFIG BRASIL at DanceHouse on April 10 & 11

by Richard Wolak on March 22, 2015

CCN Créteil et du Val-de-Marne / Compagnie Käfig – dir. Mourad Merzouki

DanceHouse presents Kafig Brasil at the Vancouver Playhouse April 10 & 11, 2015, 8pm. 

What do you get when you combine a French/Algerian choreographer steeped in hip-hop and circus arts, and eleven male dancers from Rio de Janiero’s notorious favelas? The answer is  CCN Créteil et Val-de-Marne / Compagnie Käfig, which combines the energy and movement vocabulary of the street with the rigour and artistic dimensions of contemporary dance.

Käfig Brasil incorporates the work of four innovative French choreographers—Anthony Egea, Céline Lefèvre, Octávio Nassur, and Denis Plassard—in collaboration with the Brazilian dancers, performed to a soundtrack incorporating diverse musical styles from Baroque to electronic music. A must for fans of Grupo Corpo.

Compagnie Käfig is led by Paris-based Mourad Merzouki. The prolific Merzouki has created 21 works since founding the company in 1996. Käfig means “cage” in German and Arabic, yet the energetic choreographer’s style is anything but confined. French-Algerian Merzouki studied circus arts and martial arts before turning to hip-hop and dance; this openness and versatility continues to characterize his work as a choreographer. He has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Prix SACD in 2006, Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2012 and Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honor in 2012.

Pre-show talk: 7:15pm, Upper Lobby of the Playhouse. With Natalie LeFebvre Gnam (Plastic Orchid Factory) and Astrid Toledo (Cie. Käfig).

Purchase tickets here

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Mike Shum and his Chan Chan Cocktail

by Richard Wolak on March 22, 2015

Chan Chan Cocktail

Local bartender Mike Shum has won a spot in the Bacardi Legacy global cocktail competition, he will be representing Vancouver when he competes against 7 other bartenders from across Canada. The Canadian competition will be held in Toronto on March 23rd where he will have a chance to present his cocktail to the judges.

Mike Shum

He created his cocktail which is called the “Chan Chan” made with Bacardi Blanco rum, dry vermouth, St-Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, lime juice, sugar and Peychaud’s Bitters. If he wins the competition in Toronto, he would then go to Sydney, Australia for the finals in April 2015.

Yield:
1 cocktail

One of the elements of this competition is to share the cocktail and promote it far and wide, you can follow his cocktail with this hashtag #chanchanaroundtown on twitter, instagram and facebook. You can follow Mike on twitter and Instagram @mshumbartender

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BC Distilled Spirits Festival April 18

by Richard Wolak on March 22, 2015

BCDistilled2015
Artisan distillers from twenty-three of the province’s leading small-batch distilleries, including eleven new to this year’s festival, will showcase their ingenuity through distinctive gins, vodkas, and other fine spirits and liqueurs. Aficionados and curious seekers alike will have the opportunity to sip and taste their way through these unique spirits complemented by locally-made beverages from Bittered Sling ExtractsWalter All-Natural Craft Caesar Mix,  SIP Soda and Dickie’s Ginger. Attendees will also enjoy tasty bites prepared by chefs from Koko Monk chocolates, Forage restaurant, the Donnelly Group and more.
BC Distilled is a proud supporter of The BC Hospitality Foundation, which provides financial support for individuals within the hospitality community who are coping with a financial crisis arising from a health or medical condition.
Participating Distilleries to Date: 
Sid’s Vodka | Vancouver
Maple Leaf Spirits | Penticton
Okanagan Spirits | Kelowna & Vernon
Sons of Vancouver | North Vancouver
Victoria Spirits | Victoria
Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Time: Two Public Tastings: 4pm – 6pm and 7pm – 9:30pm
Location: CBC Studios, 700 Hamilton St., Vancouver, B.C. (Studio One)
Price: Tickets start at $39.99 plus service charges.
Buy Tickets: Tickets* can be purchased now at bcdistilled.ca

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The Sonic Boom Festival March 25-29

by Richard Wolak Music

Tweet The Sonic Boom Festival returns for its 28th year of contemporary classical music (new music). This truly unique musical experience will run for only 5 days, from March 25-29th, in two acoustically beautiful venues on Seymour Street in downtown Vancouver – the Orpheum Annex and Pyatt Hall. Sonic Boom Festival 2015 showcases original compositional […]

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Ballet BC Presents Trace March 26-28

by Richard Wolak Dance

Tweet Three internationally-renowned choreographers return to Ballet BC in Trace, a triple-bill program playing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre March 26-28, 2015. This evening of works includes the Canadian Premiere of William Forsythe’s workwithinwork, a World Premiere by Walter Matteini, and the return of audience-favourite Petite Cérémonie by Medhi Walerski.    William Forsythe galvanized the […]

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What You’re Missing

by Richard Wolak Theatre

Tweet What You’re Missing was an entertaining comedy about yearning and stifling, freedom and control, assets and liabilities, culture and class, and of course, strong dominating mothers. Vancouver-born, UK-based playwright Tamara Micner paints with a smile as she colours the streams of implications for two young people in love, living in the shadows of two […]

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Maria Kong

by Richard Wolak Dance

Tweet Maria Kong (Israel) what an amazing show as part of the Chutzpah festival, non-stop movement, wild, sexy, mysterious, song, beats, performance art, music, dancing, visuals, art, drumming, moving rendition of the Hora, an everyone dance party at The Red Room. The show was a 360 degree immersive theatrical dance experience with live music, theatre, […]

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Mozart & Salieri

by Richard Wolak Theatre

Tweet The show opens with 3 musicians playing musical instruments, it is Mozart, Salieri and the Player; this is Tyrants Theatre latest original work, Mozart & Salieri, a wonderful musical play which I saw last night. David Newham’s adaptation of Alexander Pushkin’s classic text divides the sparsely written original into five new sections, what Newham […]

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Vancouver Opera’s Die Fledermaus Feb 28 – March 8

by Richard Wolak Theatre

Tweet Vancouver Opera presents Die Fledermaus for four performances only at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from February 28 – March 8, 2015. In high society Vienna every night is party night! Lighthearted, romantic, and wickedly funny, Die Fledermaus has the power to lift our spirits. Strauss’s melody-filled music, especially his famous waltzes, is effervescent and […]

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