2009

Ravenous applause greeted the opening performance of *Giselle* last night and the final production for prima ballerina Chan Hon Goh. Leading the "National Ballet of Canada":http://www.national.ballet.ca/, which has been her home for 20 years, Goh was a revelation in the majestic Four Seasons auditorium. Her dancing was sublime, as it has been throughout her dazzling career. But her dramatic power continues to evolve and engulf the stage.

It’s been 14 years since Goh left behind the anonymity of the National Ballet corps and became a principal dancer, personally coached by legend, now artistic director, Karen Kain. There is no...

Goh as Giselle

In a world primed for cynicism it would be easy to dismiss a story like *Tuesdays with Morrie* as a schmaltzy softball for bleeding hearts in the same vein as the sometimes over-the-top “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series of books. However such a dismissal would be missing the true merits of the work and an opportunity to be truly moved.

The true story of Mitch Albom (Rick Roberts), a sports reporter who reconnects with Morrie Schwartz (Hal Linden), his former friend, mentor, and sociology professor was first recounted in a book penned by Albom, then adapted as a TV...

Rick Roberts and Hal Linden in Tuesdays with Morrie

The play title makes reference to 36 Views of Mount Fuji, a series of 46 large, color woodblock prints by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. This wasn’t clear until well into the 2-hour play presented by "Tempus Theatre":http://tempustheatre.com/ so I spent a good part of the production trying to figure out the title and the significance of the number 36. Perhaps 36 was the number of previously viewed performances of this newly formed theatre company presenting its second production? Could 36 have been the number of different art projections viewed on the black curtains during the show?

Watching *36...

36 Views

I wanted to rave about *John and Beatrice*. I wanted to stand on the rooftop patio of the slick Coal Harbour highrise that houses the PAL Vancouver Theatre and shout the production’s praise to the urban folks going about their daily lives below. Just as the title character Beatrice sought a man to love, I wanted to love this piece, completely and in its entirety. But seldom do things work out as we desire.

I was quickly taken in by Carol Fréchette’s *John and Beatrice*, presented by "Pi Theatre":http://pitheatre.com/ and "Persephone Theatre":http://www.persephonetheatre.org/. It is an off-kilter boy-meets-girl story...

Patricia Drake, Vincent Gale and friends

I've dived into the dating pool again and I am very distracted by this one very smart and sexy but complicated guy. Why can’t people come with instructions - or even drawings?

I recently bought a GPS for my car. I only learned to drive a couple of years ago so I never developed that muscle that helps you get around. People always took me places; I never had to know how to get anywhere. Well I don’t know where I am going with this man but I don’t think there’s an electronic device that says "grope right thigh –...

36 Views

Living in Calgary at the turn of the millennium brought me few artistic pleasures: the "Calgary Folk Festival":http://www.calgaryfolkfest.com/users/folder.asp, "One Yellow Rabbit":http://www.oyr.org/, and the "Old Trout Puppet Workshop":http://www.theoldtrouts.org/. As a globe-trotting arts lover, I felt wretchedly misplaced amongst the stripmall shopping, suburban-dwelling oil profiteers in the Texas of Canada. I clung dearly to the few cultural niches I discovered, and the Old Trouts were one of those nuggets that kept me going until I finished my degree and fled to Vancouver.

As it turns out, Albertan artists have since been making an increasingly larger splash in the national...

DonJuan, Photo by Jason Stang

In a world preoccupied with flu pandemics, economic crises and a brand spanking new era of American politics, it’s no surprise that some of the slower burning challenges facing society have been pushed to back of our consciences. AIDS in the western world is one such challenge.

While champions like Stephen Lewis and former US president Bill Clinton work tirelessly to bring equality to Africa in terms of availability of treatment and information about AIDS, it does not change the fact that there is still no cure for the disease. Those infected in the western world may endure a more...

Gavin Crawford as Prodon and David Yee as Vidor in I Have AIDS. Photo by Mircea Popescu

Theatre tackling the issues of the day is often referred to as ‘timely’, whereas theatre touching on themes as old and persistent as humanity itself is dubbed ‘timeless’. In those instances when the two overlap there is no single term to encapsulate the idea, but suffice to say it is a rich experience and Toronto’s "Soulpepper Theatre":http://www.soulpepper.ca/ has brought just such an experience to the stage with their production of David Mamet’s pointed signature work, *Glengarry Glen Ross*.

Soulpepper has assembled a robust creative team, including Albert Schultz, Eric Peterson, and director David Storch but the biggest star on...

Jordan Pettle and Eric Peterson wonder who the fuck they're looking at

Linda Griffiths' *Age of Arousal* took me out for a fine night of theatre in this "Arts Club Theatre":http://artsclub.com/ offering. While there was a lot to like about this production, there was still some lingering doubt that left me hesitant to go all the way with her.

First impressions were beautifully odd. The set designed by Pam Johnson was quite striking. A giant typewriter keyboard flows upwards, creating different levels for the actors to play on. At first I thought that this could be a little over the top, but it was a delight to watch in action. During...

Only able to get to second base with Unger are Susan Hogan, Jennifer Mawhinney and Laara Sadiq. Photo: Emily Cooper.

Is it trite to say that "Hubbard Street Dance Chicago":http://hubbardstreetdance.com/home.asp was a joy to watch? Even if it is, I’ll risk the cliché by saying that the four choreographies presented by "Dance House":http://www.dancehouse.ca/ at the Vancouver Playhouse on April 24 and 25 were spectacularly energetic, beautifully graceful and cleverly choreographed. While I can’t say that the program was edgy or challenging in its theme or aesthetics, it was, quite simply, excellent dance. Each of the four pieces was quite different from the other, making for an enjoyably varied program that breathed fresh air into the Vancouver scene.

The...

The sheer joy of Hubbard Street Dance; photo Todd Rosenberg

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