*Under the Mango Tree* tells a heartfelt story of immigration and loss.  As both performer and playwright, Veenesh Dubois paints a lush portrait of the tropical village where young Timal grows up yearning for her father, who has moved to Canada in order to support his child and aging parents from afar.

Under the Mango Tree
is rooted in strong material.  The tale is simple and poignant and Dubois scatters lyrical imagery throughout: ripe mangos, green leaves, the spare and simple tools of village life. Unfortunately the script is weighed down with long-winded exposition and these flashes of beauty...

Under the Mango Tree

I remember theatre school.  It was fun.  And I remember the jokes about what B.F.A. really stands for – Bachelor of Fuck All. Basically, a really useless university degree that will not prepare you for any known career.  I would bet any money that our intrepid heroes Peter and Chris heard these jokes too...  they're recent theatre grads themselves (hell, I even know one of their professors from UVIC). 

The show is a series of sketches loosely woven together.  The plot involves Peter trying to get a joe job at coffee shop Beans Beans Beans and Chris trying...

PLANK does not advocate the use of acid

The Peter 'n Chris Show!

Level-Headed Friends Productions
60 minutes
Pacific Theatre

Two award-winning comedians. Eight and a half sketches. Are the sketches award winning? No. Because they're new! So get ready for this hilarious adventure following two members of a spoiled generation that refuse to grow up. Peter and Chris (ITSAZOO, Atomic Vaudeville) will do good deeds to your funny bone. In 3-D!!

"I laughed so hard I peed out joy." - Andrew Bailey (writer/performer Putz)
Sep 11 - 6:30 PM
Sep 12 - 5:00 PM
Sep 14 - 4:30 PM
Sep 15 - 8:30 PM
Sep 16 - 9:00 PM
Sep 17 - 10:00 PM

Read the PLANK Review of the Vancouver production.


When I was almost a teenager, my older cousin Jacquie took me to The Pirate Movie.  I loved it!  She even made me a taped copy of her copy of the album with all the music from the movie, which I listened to over and over again. (I may even still have it somewhere).  Years later, I figured out that The Pirate Movie was a spoof of Gilbert and Sullivan's famous operetta The Pirates of Penzance

Clearly the director of Arts Umbrella Musical Theatre Troupe is also a fan of The Pirate Movie.  The music is all recorded not live...

Pirates of Penzance (Abridged)

At first, I thought that vocal warm-up exercises are NOT the way to start any show.  Eventually, I realized that I was in good hands with this script by Chris Craddock and a solid performance by Anna Wyman.  Then, I was able to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Though the script is a bit dated (it was first produced for Fringe in 2000), the story is a good yarn.  We first meet mousy but sexually liberated librarian Esther Kirkenchuk living in smalltown Elbow, Saskatchewan.  She is as surprised as we are to learn that she's been nominated for...

What happens when someone from Saskatchewan goes to TO

Tell me, how fucked up is your family? But you make it OK, right? Because there are degrees of fucked up and we work with what we’ve got.

Would Mom have aborted you if it were legal? If she found out about the pregnancy soon enough?  Ever wonder how different her life would have been if she’d finished that MBA instead of raising you? She thinks about it every day.

Does your pregnant daughter want to keep her baby so she can stay at home, close to you and share mothering duties? Is she a virgin — unless you...

Matters Domestic

Vancouver: Virtual 1. Simulated, or carried on by means of a computer or computer network. 2. Existing in effect though not in fact 3. A product of the imagination.

Solitaire: 1. Any of a number of games played by one person.  2. A gem, such as a diamond, that is set alone.

Let there be no doubt: Virtual Solitaire is a must-see for the 2009 Fringe – even if that does mean leaving the comforting theatrical bubble that Granville Island has become over the last week, and trekking up to Studio 16 on West 7th Avenue. 


Boquist, sun glasses and more than 30 characters

John Pippus is a brave man.  He's taken his musical career and parlayed it into a one-man show.  Trouble is, I think I'd rather be watching him perform a straight-up music concert rather than witnessing this play.

With a mix of scenes and direct address, Oh Winnipeg! requires a solid actor who can switch between  several distinct characters from John today to young Johnny to his mother to long-dead Auntie Edie.  The performance is uneven – and there is little true conflict in this life story.  Various projections of Pippus' family are interesting but not consistently used throughout the...

John Pippus

Christ Church Cathedral; a smooth black Celtic harp; a sexy hot curvaceous chick in black Goth wear; gray haired old lady in the front row; Jesus on the cross; punk rocker sitting in the third row; sounds of musical passion and love; words of  profanity and poetry; edgy unique performance - this melange of contradictions is what the Fringe Festival is all about for me.

Listening to this gorgeous young woman sing brought tears to my eyes. Her voice soared melodically throughout the massive church structure and into my heart. She spoke passionately about life, love, music and freedom...

Punk with harp

Billed as a multi-cultural comedy about a book launch that doesn’t go exactly as planned, this production did make me laugh, but left me less cheered than troubled.

A Writer publishes her first novel in English and methodically plans the initial book reading, even relying on cue-cards to lay out the major plot points. She doesn’t get far before mistakenly calling the protagonists ducks. “This book is about three friends,” she clarifies, “and no ducks!”

Is she nervous?

Or unbalanced?

Oh yeah, this is after The Duck squats on her mind. Amber-Kelly Mackereth wanders by in...

The Presumptuous Ducks: a one person, one duck experience