Holy Mo! ‘A reverently irreverent re-imagining of the Nativity’

Holy Mo!  A Christmas Show! opened at Pacific Theatre on December 2nd.  I attended and as a ready beholder in a full house on opening night, I was primed and curious to see how playwright Lucia Frangione and director Kerry van der Griend managed to braid three zany clowns and quotes from Supernatural, The Matrix, … Read moreHoly Mo! ‘A reverently irreverent re-imagining of the Nativity’

Determination, Resilience and a Small Suitcase

Suitcase Stories by Maki Yi Suitcase Stories written and performed by Maki Yi opened on October 28th, at Pacific Theatre on 12th and Hemlock in Vancouver.  Suitcase stories brings to life the anticipation and set backs of Maki Yi’s personal experiences as she leaves South Korea to make her home in Canada.  It is fashioned … Read moreDetermination, Resilience and a Small Suitcase

Spinal Chord Gala – ICORD with Vancouver Cantata Singers

  The eight annual Spinal Chord Gala, a fundraiser in support of spinal chord research and the arts took place on Saturday, October 22, 2016. The joint venture, in support of ICORD  and the Vancouver Cantata Singers, was held in the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre’s three-story glass atrium which once again, was a fantastic backdrop … Read moreSpinal Chord Gala – ICORD with Vancouver Cantata Singers

A Good Way Out by Cara Norrish

  It was September 28th, early evening.  I was delighted to find parking on 12th Avenue a few steps from Pacific Theatre and a block away from what I consider ideal window shopping territory – South Granville.   Suppressing the urge to head west, I entered Pacific Theatre early.  It was an unfamiliar venue, for … Read moreA Good Way Out by Cara Norrish

West Side Story Here Until August 20th

  Sarah Rodgers, the acclaimed, Vancouver actor/director and 8 year veteran of Theatre Under the Stars, seized the moment and skillfully directed Bernstein and Sondheim’s 1957 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical classic, Westside Story.  A lover of Romeo and Juliet from which West Side Story is based, Rodgers stated that while Westside Story was one of … Read moreWest Side Story Here Until August 20th

Don’t Miss This Evocative Entertainment Experience!

  From Bond With Love! Vancouver’s dance company, The Lovers Cabaret, is presenting a sizzling cabaret style performance: From Bond With Love from July 7th to July 9th at Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main Street.  Dance company creator and owner, Vanessa Young, is co-producing this multifaceted, contemporary burlesque with award-winning dancer/choreographer, Portia Favro.  It is part … Read moreDon’t Miss This Evocative Entertainment Experience!

Che Malambo Thrills Vancouver Audience

  Caravan World Rhythms, founded in 2000, is a non-profit arts organization based in Vancouver whose mission is “to provide high-quality, engaging live cultural entertainment…from Canada and around the world”.  On May 20th, Caravan World Rhythms presented Che Malambo, an all-male powerhouse, Argentine company directed by renowned French choreographer, Gilles Brinas, at the Vogue Theatre, … Read moreChe Malambo Thrills Vancouver Audience

The Vancouver Academy of Music Celebrates Gershwin

 

On May 15th, in the exquisite Orpheum Theatre, a receptive audience anticipated the final concert of the 2015/16 season of the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra (VAMSO). It was a celebration of the music of George Gershwin, the distinguished American composer who pioneered the fusion of jazz and classical music, and whose diverse and timeless compositions proved as fitting to the legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein as to the inimitable blues singer, Janis Joplin.

As the lights dimmed, the crowd hushed and Leslie Dala, Music Director of VAMSO took the podium.  In moments, the opening measures of ‘An American in Paris’ danced to the rafters as the young musicians expertly swept the audience to the bustling sounds of the Champs Elysées,  over to the bent notes of heartsick blues, and back again.

The next stop was 1924 New York.  It was there that Gershwin wrote ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ for a New York concert performance that would be forever etched in time.   Before sitting at the piano, Maestro Dala spoke of the event.  He drew in the audience with a passionate depiction of the brilliant, innovative triumph of Gershwin’s pioneering fusion of classical music with elements of jazz vibrantly evident in ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.  Effortlessly chasing note after note along the keys, Dala took us to the place where words can’t go.

VAMSO’s one hundred plus senior members continued to entertain, masterfully elevating and inspiring the audience with their talent and vigorous spirit.  As a parting gift our experience culminated with a medley of musical highlights from Gershwin’s masterpiece, ‘Porgy and Bess’.

Each visit to the Orpheum Theatre evokes poignant, personal memories for me, at once captivating and mesmerizing.  At the end of this performance, I reflected on how well both the Orpheum Theatre and Gershwin’s music provide a particular continuity to an ever-changing world.  They seamlessly connect the old and the young in a shared artistic experience equally relevant to the great grandparents of yesteryear and the young performing musicians of today.

This concert underlined the importance of celebrating musical achievement in a worthy venue. How wise and forward thinking it was to preserve the magnificence of the Orpheum Theatre for future generations, and how wise and forward thinking it is to support the Vancouver Academy of Music and its talented, aspiring musicians.

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Music Monday at Robson Square on May 2nd

  My less than covert smile seemed to amuse some and confuse others as I strolled down Robson Street on that perfect, Music Monday morning.  It was perfect because by 9:40 am the sun had already made quite a presence in Vancouver, and a light sweater was all that was needed to navigate the crowded … Read moreMusic Monday at Robson Square on May 2nd

Spring Greens Break New Ground at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Restaurant!

  Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Suzanne Fielden, a visionary and co-owner of three restaurants, warmly greeted me as I entered the Rocky Mountain Flatbread restaurant in Kitsilano .  Suzanne and her husband, Dominic, are co-creators of the unique family restaurant focussing on health, community and education.  I was there on April 13th to experience the … Read moreSpring Greens Break New Ground at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Restaurant!