Idan Raichel and Vieux Farka Touré Quartet

In their 12th year of showcasing world-renowned artists in a vibrant celebration of the performing arts, the Chutzpah! Festival today unveiled the line-up of electrifying music, riveting theatre and breath-taking dance scheduled for presentation from February 11 – March 4, 2012. Chutzpah! Plus (March 6-11), offers an additional opportunity for audiences to experience outstanding theatrical performance.

This popular, multi-faceted festival includes, in 2012: four extraordinary dance productions including Monger performed by L.A.’s Body Traffic and performances by Noords Nederlandse Dans from Holland; three brilliant theatre productions including Larry Blum’s Blink and You Might Miss Me at the River Rock Theatre, and;  internationally-celebrated music, including Israeli  artists Hadag Nahash at the Commodore, a brand new music–theatre production based on Joseph Skibell’s novel A Blessing on the Moon featuring Poland’s extraordinary Warsaw Village Band at the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre, plus much more.

Chutzpah’s Artistic & Managing Director, Mary-Louise Albert says, “We’re thrilled to present one of our most dynamic and eclectic festivals to date featuring some of the world’s finest artists, two multi-run plays, and numerous Vancouver, Canadian and World premieres. Chutzpah! continues to expand, opening up the Festival to include more Lower Mainland venues in its festivities. This year Chutzpah! returns to the Commodore Ballroom and the Firehall Arts Centre, but also will be presenting in the new Main Street venue The Electric Owl as well as heading out to Richmond’s River Rock Theatre for the first time.”

Warsaw Village Band


From folkloric tradition to the cutting edge – Chutzpah! Festival’s music hits all the right notes.

A Blessing on the Moon, The Colour of Poison Berries featuring the Warsaw Village Band

(February 11 – 13, Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre)

The festival kicks off with the world premiere of a musical and theatrical adaption of Joseph Skibell’s acclaimed novel, A Blessing on the Moon.  Composed by Andy Teirstein and directed by Jim Calder, the production features Poland’s the extraordinarily talented Warsaw Village Band, Teirstein on piano and three actors/singers in a powerful, magical and moving three-performance run.

Hadag Nahash

Hadag Nahash (February 25, Commodore Ballroom)

Special Guests: Vancouver’s Santa Lucia

One of the most successful acts in Israeli popular music today makes their Vancouver premiere at Chutzpah! Famous for their songs of political and social protest, this band’s music features acoustic instruments driven by funk, hip hop and Hebraic beats.  Hadag Nahash (transl. Snake Fish) has toured internationally and shared stages with the likes of Black Eyed Peas and Arrested Development’s leader, Speech.  Special Guests for the evening are Vancouver’s own Santa Lucia.

Lullabies from Exile – Yair Dalal and Lenka Lichtenberg with Fray (February 12, Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre)

Lullabies from Exile is a collaboration between two extraordinary global musicians: Toronto– based Lenka Lichtenberg and Israeli Yair Dalal, backed by Lenka’s six –piece ensemble, Fray.  Together they create a one–of– a– kind musical “interchange”, a brilliant convergence of Dalal’s Babylonian traditions and Lichtenberg’s Ashkenazi roots.

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You – A Musical Journey of Life in the Theatre starring Warren Kimmel (w/ Wendy Bross Stuart (February 26, Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre)

An eclectic, funny and bitter-sweet music cabaret-style show chronicling Warren Kimmel’s remarkable theatrical career and journey from South Africa to BC. Kimmel and music director/pianist Wendy Bross Stuart return to the Chutzpah! stage with vocalist Tess Neff, percussionist Phil Belanger and bassist Alison Dalton.

Travel with the performers from Africa to Canada, with many stops along the way, as Warren tries to answer his mother’s eternal question: “Why couldn’t you have studied medicine? You had the grades!”

The Sway Machinery (February 18, Electric Owl)

Chutzpah! heads to Main Street to showcase The Sway Machinery, a NYC  blues- world beat-Chazzanus ensemble who have somehow managed to reconcile the disparate influences of ancient Jewish spiritualism and contemporary Islamic African blues into a magically charged-up sound all their own. Their music bursts with a hip blend of modern rhythmic power and ancient folklore.

Idan Raichel and Vieux Farka Touré Quartet (April 29, Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre)

A very special post–festival Chutzpah! concert, this Vancouver premiere features Israeli  Idan Raichel’s mesmerizing, global blend of contemporary sounds together with one of the most celebrated African guitarists of our time, Vieux Farka Touré. Their ground-breaking quartet includes bassist Amit Carmeli and percussionist Souleymane Kané.  Chutzpah! is excited to welcome Idan Raichel back to the festival after his sold-out 2011 concert at the Chan Centre.


A key and eagerly–anticipated part of the City’s dance calendar, dance enthusiasts are never disappointed by the calibre of performance at Chutzpah! – and 2012 is no exception!  The Dance Series, sponsored by the Georgia Straight, delivers innovative and breathtaking performance.

Monger and Thank You, You’re Not Welcome (February 23–26, Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre)

The full– length Canadian premiere of Monger is choreographed by one of Israel’s most celebrated choreographers, Barak Marshall, and performed by the vibrant Los Angeles– based contemporary dance company Body Traffic. A piece for 9 dancers, Monger tells the emotive, visual and theatrical story of a group of servants, trapped in the basement of the house of an abusive mistress. Also on this extraordinary double bill is Holy Body Tattoo co-founder Noam Gagnon in his newest full –length work, Thank You, You’re Not Welcome – a madcap tale in the tradition of the Brothers Grimm.  James Fagan Tate is director and playwright.

Noord Nederlandse Dans (NND) (February 15 – 18, Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre)

In their Canadian premiere, the 14 dancers of Noord Nederlandse Dans (NND) present a mixed repertoire of new work by Artistic Director Stephen Shropshire and Israeli choreographer, Emmanuel Gat. NND is the north of the Netherlands’ key contemporary dance company known for their technical precision and strong musicality.

Donald Sales and Cherice Barton (February 19 – 21, Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre)

Dancers/choreographers Donald Sales and Cherice Barton are Chutzpah! 2012’s brilliant Dance Artists in Residence. They will present two world premieres:  a new 45-minute work they will co-choreograph and perform with Lara Barclay, Leon Feizo-Gas, Jennifer Welsman and Billy Bell, and; Chapter Three; Collaboration  –  a new duet created for them by world renowned choreographer Aszure Barton.

Community Dance with Or Chadash, Or Atid and Shalom Dancers, with dancers from the Surrey Indian Art Club (February 26, Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre)

Chutzpah’s annual community dance show with local youth and young adult dance groups from the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, Or Chadash, Or Atid and Shalom Dancers, will be joined by community dancers from the Surrey Indian Arts Club to co-create and perform a dance piece.


Theatre is prominent in the 2012 Festival, with exciting local and national productions.  Chutzpah! has a well-deserved reputation for introducing Vancouver audiences to unforgettable theatrical experiences.

King Matt the First (February 29-March 4, Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre) —co-presented with Popular Theatre-Canadian-Polish Society PRO

This is a play for all generations, based on the 1923 novel by Polish author, physician and educator Janusz Korczak. The story is a moving fable, and a brilliant and thinly– veiled allegory of contemporary and historical events in Poland.

Blink & You Might Miss Me (February 22 – 26, River Rock Theatre, Richmond) — co-presented with the River Rock Theatre

Chutzpah! heads to Richmond for the first time with Blink & You Might Miss Me, written and performed by show biz veteran Larry Blum and directed by Stan Zimmerman. It’s a humorous look back at Blum’s personal journey through Hollywood and the show business world, with engaging stories, rare clips and photos from his long and fascinating career.

Chutzpah! Plus

Goodness (March 6 -11, Firehall Arts Centre) —co-presented with Touchstone Theatre & the Firehall Arts Centre and produced by Volcano Theatre

With the cadence of a thriller, and performed to a haunting a cappella score of folk music from around the world, Goodness explores what it means to tell the truth about one of humanity’s most sinister habits – genocide. With time-shifting tales-within-tales, and actors stepping in and out of roles, award-winning playwright and novelist Michael Redhill takes the audience on a gripping and, at times, darkly funny journey.


Single tickets for all shows range from $16 – $40 + HST and s/c (student tickets for all shows with proof of I.D.).

Tickets can be purchased online at and

& by phone at Tickets Tonight: 604.684.2787 or Chutzpah! Box Office: 604.257.5145.

Tickets will also be available in-person starting January 9, 2012 at the Chutzpah! Box office at the JCCGV: 950 W. 41st Ave – just 2 blocks west of the Oakridge Skytrain Station.

Chutzi Packs enable patrons to see 4 shows of their choice for just $72 (not valid for Idan Raichel and Vieux Farka Toure Quartet or off-site productions at the Commodore Ballroom and The Electric Owl, with the exception of the River Rock Theatre).

Tickets for Hadag Nahash & Blink & You Might Miss Me can be purchased only through Ticketmaster 1.855.985.5000 / & by phone or in-person through the Chutzpah! Festival Box Office.

Tickets for Goodness also available at Firehall Box Office 604.689.0926 / and at Chutzpah! Box Office to March 4 only.