Lisa Nemetz International Jewish Performing Arts Festival February 15 – March 15, 2018


Full Lineup Announced and All Tickets on Sale on December 13 for The Exciting 18th Annual Chutzpah! Festival         

Performances at the Norman Rothstein Theatre, Scotiabank Dance Centre, Rickshaw Theatre, Fox Cabaret


Organizers today announced the dates and the exciting concerts and events lined-up for the 18th Annual Chutzpah! Festival. Awe-inspiring dance, extraordinary theatre, hilarious comedy and globally-celebrated music highlight this year’s festival with world-class performances and workshops by international, Canadian and local artists from February 15 to March 15, 2018.

La saga della primavera – credit Roberto Ricci

An eagerly anticipated and annual highlight of Greater Vancouver’s dance season is the Chutzpah! Festival’s Dance Series. The 2018 Festival presents some of the most sought-after contemporary choreographers in the world. This year’s performances again offer high calibre, challenging and gorgeous dance delivering innovative and spell-binding work. Highlights include Israeli company Roy Assaf Dance in its Chutzpah! debut with a program of intricate and nuanced works, Six Years Later and The Hill. Assaf is praised as one of the most sought-after choreographic voices today (Israel); Canadian premiere of Ezralow Dance, a creative home for internationally renowned Daniel Ezralow’s expansive and eclectic body of work known for its explosive physicality, originality and humour (USA); a Chutzpah! first and North American Premiere of choreographer Michele Merola’s MM Contemporary Dance performing Rite of Spring and Bolero (Italy) – presented with the Italian Cultural Centre; as well as critically-acclaimed dance companies from Israel and Bulgaria.

Chutzpah! is excited to present the World Premiere of Salomé: Woman of Valor, a multi-disciplinary show created by Frank London, esteemed composer and bandleader of Grammy-winning superstars The Klezmatics and Adeena Karasick, Canadian poet and performance artist. Their new work seamlessly blends live music, text, video and dance.

Chutzpah! Is also known for presenting outstanding internationally-celebrated music, including leading world music pioneers. The rich global landscape of music presented this year showcases some of the world’s most exciting musical performers.  Highlights include; the return of Festival favourite, Israeli singer/songwriter and musician Idan Raichel performing his celebrated solo piano show; blurring jazz, rock, mariachi, metal, funk and hip hop, Mexico’s Troker; World-class vocalist Perla Batalla, a long-time singer and touring band member with the legendary Leonard Cohen, brings her  special concert Perla Batalla In the House of Cohen to Chutzpah! this year.  Her tribute to the music of her friend and mentor, reveals the timelessness of Cohen’s art through Perla Batalla’s signature cross-cultural style; local multi-talented Barbara Adler (Canada) makes her festival debut concert in a double-bill with musician/poet Jake Klar (USA); Toronto’s Beyond the Pale has been making its distinctive brand of boundary-busting Eurofolk fusion for nearly 20 years. Their music traverses a vast and exotic musical landscape and their stellar musicianship, meticulous dynamics, adventurous compositions, and inventive arrangements of traditional material make them one of the country’s most innovative acoustic ensembles (Canada).

Chutzpah!’s theatre and comedy lineup is always at its best.

A theatre highlight includes Michael Rubenfeld’s We Keep Coming Back, a work deconstructing Polish, Jewish narratives that premiered in Krakow, Poland in 2016. Incorporating video and archival materials this is an extraordinary theatrical experience revealing the truth of a Polish – Jewish reality that keeps changing and is near impossible to contain. This powerful production is charged with interactions, unexpected humour, the shadows of war and the promise of writing a new narrative.

The House Trainer – Mary Walsh

Chutzpah! 2018 presents two of Canada’s most revered comedic artists and New Zealand’s only Jewish comic; The former celebrated host and creator of CBC’s Wiretap, humourist Jonathan Goldstein returns with an evening of new adventures and stories. He also has a new podcast for Gimlet Media, Heavyweight, which has been listed as one of ‘the best’ by Itunes, The Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian and other publications. A frequent contributor to NPR’s This American Life and The New York Times Magazine, with essays published by the New York Times, National Post and GQ Magazine, Jonathan Goldstein’s signature brand of wry, self-deprecating humour is Canadian to the core; another Chutzpah! first is the presentation of numerous Gemini, Canadian Comedy and Canadian Screen Award-winning Mary Walsh who brings her new show to the festival stage. Her performance will feature some of her best comedic bits and most popular characters from Dancing With Rage, CODCO and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, along with up-to-the-minute political satire; Rounding out our comedic theatrical programming is New Zealander Deb Filler’s internationally lauded one woman show I DID IT MY WAY IN YIDDISH (IN ENGLISH)! Entertaining us with a brilliant evening of stories and songs that audiences won’t forget. Travel along with Deb Filler as she journeys around the world on this jam-packed music-filled show, with just a guitar and a raft of loveable characters she creates.

Celebrating our 18th year, Chutzpah!’s Artistic & Managing Director, Mary-Louise Albert says “Over the years, the Festival has established a reputation for introducing a balance of both new and exciting critically acclaimed artists to Vancouver audiences as well as the return of some Festival favourites. This year will be no exception with a program that offers a unique opportunity to see and hear exceptional dance, music, comedy and theatre from Canada and around the world. An important part of Chutzpah! are creation residencies, workshops and other outreach activities that use the talent of our artists to strengthen our connection within the community and foster cultural understanding. There’s so much to experience at Chutzpah! 2018, and we invite everyone to immerse themselves in the depth and breadth of the amazing performances in store.”

Single tickets for Chutzpah! are $24 to $55 (+ gst/sc) and are on sale now and can be purchased online at chutzpahfestival.com, by phone at 604-257-5145 or in-person starting January 15th at the on-site Chutzpah! Box Office at the Jewish Community Centre, 950 West 41st Avenue, just 2 blocks west of the Oakridge Skytrain Station.  Chutzi Packs are also available: see 4 different shows of your choice and back this year is a special 5-Show Dance Pack.


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