Reviews

  • Joanna Gaskell plays a phenomenal role in this production. I cannot gush enough about how much intensity and passion she brings to her performance and how captivating her storytelling is. Iris O'Neill was the real star of the show however, all two feet of her!

    The actual production is about Joanna, playing the role of a fighter pilot in the US military, telling the story of her journey from flying her F-15 “Tiger” in Iraq, to returning stateside as a new mother, to flying drones from Las Vegas. Sam (played by O’Neill) is her pre-school aged daughter and...

  • Peach, a five-star, one woman, monologue show that has been travelling through Canada, has found its home at Vancouver's 2016 Fringe Festival. Danielle Roy spins a cheeky, giddy tale, woven with misadventures and brazen, laughable revelations of teen love. Peach, played masterfully by Alex Harthorn, holds the audience captive with her woes and rants, and later, her heartbreak. Peach initially masks itself as a naive tale of young love but slowly builds into a gritty expression of female victimization in all it's horror.

    "Love is bullshit, but bullshit is suddenly delicious." Young and cynical Peach announces this as...

  • Festa! is a charming look at Portuguese culture and the way it has melded into the Canadian fabric, specifically in Vancouver. It is done in a dinner theatre environment and I would recommend coming with an appetite! The actors (Maria Cruz and Sandra Medeiros) bustle about between the tables of the small dining venue, sit at the tables and chat with the audience in a very interactive environment.

    The story follows multiple generations living at the same time and fades between english, portuguese, and penglish. The fight between between a wife and her husband about him booking a...

  • Brought to you by Fork in the Road Theatre, One Good Marriage is part of the Dramatic Series featuring theatrical works by published playwrights. Written by Ontario playwright Sean Reycraft, this script tells a mysterious tale of two newlyweds Stewart and Steph. The first words we hear are:  “Everybody died.” But we aren’t told what that means. At least, not right away.

    We meet the somewhat gregarious, laidback Stewart (Dan Willows) who is a high school librarian and Steph (Ese Atawo) who is an English teacher. They work at the same high school and have just met at...

  • John Grady is a consummate performer with dance, film and stage experience and awards. His show, The Old Woman, certainly exhibits his brilliance as a performer.  Grady explores the responsibility of providing care for his 87-year-old mother who suffers dementia, seizures and severe bone and joint pain and has been put in an uninspiring care home. While going through the humorous and harrowing interaction with his mother he also faces his own fear that he too, despite his agility, is losing his ability to remember. Terrifying? You bet, but Grady is too wise to drown us in misery; he...

  • It’s hard to find fault with Michelle(/Ryan) Lunicke’s performance in the autobiographical piece, "Ze": Queer as Fuck! Amidst the political minefield of gender and identity politics, Lunicke’s voice is nothing but pure, personal, and honest to the point of nakedness. Lunicke’s life as presented in "Ze" is a journey from sexual repression to sexual acceptance, from society into the self, and from clarity to confusion and back.

    I first encountered the concepts underlying genderqueerness in the book Feminism is Queer by Mimi Marinucci, but it was a different thing to see them unfurl in the fabric of a...

  • In a subgenre known for its distinguished wackiness, The After After Party ups the ante of the classic ‘hangover plot’ where close friends try to reconstruct the gory, glorious, and ever-elusive details of Last Night. In a script loaded with rapid-fire non sequiturs, crosses-the-line-twice shock comedy, and excessive blunt force trauma to the fourth wall, Katey Hoffman and Cheyenne Mabberley deliver an inspiring performance as a pair of twelfth graders just trying to find their way to the next party (while debating the metaphysics of which parties have an ‘after’ relationship to which).

    Hoffman shines as Fiona, possessed...

  • For the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival, the venues include the Rio Theatre. What does that mean, you ask? Well, when I enter the venue with only three minutes to spare, I get the very civilized reminder that I could indeed take my drink into the theatre. And when I stroll in for a one-man show by comic Gary Jones, all I smell is popcorn. As the pre-show music plays, I close my eyes and imagine the taste of buttery, salty popcorn happiness. I hear the murmurs of others in the theatre which stop abruptly when the Fringe announcement starts....

  • Exuberant, youthful energy is palpable throughout Daniel K. McLeod’s updated production of this 2015 Fringe hit. It’s funny, sunny, and thoughtful, and doubly energized by a cast, musicians and crew who clearly work well together whether dancing, singing, or delivering the satire.

    Many of last year’s strong cast are back, notably Adam Olgui playing multiple roles including the dapper and haughty Pierre Trudeau, and Avy Crowchild playing the lead role of May Lee. Emily Elliot and Caylee Watrin return as May Lee’s close friends, and they are a lovely, animated pair of supporting actresses. Elliot plays the role...

  • Howard Petrick’s tribute to V.R. Dunne, is packed with intriguing information about the soft-spoken but unflinching union leader who spearheaded the 1934 truck drivers’ strike in Minneapolis. Petrick captures the quiet dignity of the man and tells us straightforwardly about his life of poverty and gruelling jobs for subsistence pay and his dedication to improving conditions for all workers at a time when unions were illegal and exploitation was rife.  

    The low-key intimate start is sincere and engaging for the first fifteen minutes. We get the calm intelligence of the man with his glass of whiskey. We...

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