Great Reviews for East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood!

Great Reviews for East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood!

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Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood opened Friday, November 25. What fun! There is nothing like the Panto to get us in the mood for the holidays, and it seems we aren’t the only ones that feel that way. The reviews have been rolling in, and the verdict across the board is that East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood is the best kind of holiday fun!

“The East Van Panto is now officially the BEST HOLIDAY TRADITION in Vancouver…I could happily see this show again and probably will” —Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

“Thank you, Theatre Replacement and The Cultch, for the lovely Christmas present….I LOVED IT. I really, really did. Best present ever” —Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier

“A genuine local HOLIDAY CLASSIC back for its fourth nutty season…this incarnation of the East Van Panto retains all its JOYOUS HUMOUR and characteristic pizzazz” —Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Sun

“As FRESH, IRREVERENT, and FUN as its predecessors…If the East Van Panto isn’t part of your holiday tradition yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” —Kathleen Oliver, Georgia Straight

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East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood runs from Nov 23 – Dec 31, 2016 in the York Theatre. Best prices Family Packs available! 4 premium tickets for just $120! *A Family Pack includes 2 adult + 2 child tickets (Sec A). Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Want to see Veda Hille perform? Make sure to book your tickets between Nov 23 and Dec 4! Music man extraordinaire Benjamin Elliott (Are We Cool Now?, Broken Sex Doll) will perform Veda’s signature spins on contemporary and classic tunes beginning Dec 5!

CREEPS is “…ferociously funny”

CREEPS is “…ferociously funny”

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Winner of the Chalmers Award and the New York Drama Desk Award, David Freeman’s savage wit and uncompromising dialogue will hold you spellbound!

What 1971 play is recognized among theatre insiders to have changed Canadian theatre forever?  If you guessed David Freeman’s CREEPS, you’re right!

Realwheels Theatre, the company that brought you the Jessie Award-winning production of “Whose Life is it Anyway?” (The Cultch 2014 season), and winner of the City of Vancouver’s 2015 Award of Excellence, returns to the Cultch Historic Stage with this outstanding new production of CREEPS.

Running Dec 1- 10, 2016, CREEPS tells the story of four disabled men hiding out in the toilet of a ‘sheltered workshop for cerebral palsy victims’.  There to dodge their condescending supervisor, the men escape the mundane activities (folding boxes, sanding blocks), designed to ‘occupy their idle hours, and vent their disdain for their institutionalized environment and the charities that support it.  

While sheltered workshops were a progressive idea at the time, with the intention to rotate people through as they increased skill levels, many participants – like the characters in CREEPS – ended up spending most of their adult lives in the programs.

Freeman was one of the first writers to put his own voice – a Canadian voice – on the stage in the early 70’s.  Freeman lived with cerebral palsy and wrote CREEPS on a typewriter that he operated with a mouth-held stylus.

Reviews of the play were unanimously electrifying:

ferociously funny,

“...Freeman treats his people as people, showing how in their world there is humour in abundance, and things can be hugely comic.”

…Freeman handles his material triumphantly.”

May all playwrights be as talented as Freeman.”

For the first time in the play’s history, CREEPS is being performed by an integrated cast.  Of the seven professional actors, three are actors who live with disability.  Realwheels’ production of  CREEPS will give audiences a rare glimpse into the lived experience of disability, filtered through a 1970’s lens.   Don’t miss it!

Creeps runs from Nov 30– Dec 10, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Two-for-One special ticket price for International Day of Disability on Sat. Dec 3 at 8 pm. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

*Please call box office to book if seating accommodation is needed (Wheelchair, PCA, ASL, audio description)

Panto Season is Upon us Again! -East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood

Panto Season is Upon us Again! – East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood

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It’s that time of year again! It’s time for another great Panto presented by Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto! Now in its  fourth year, the Panto is one of our favourite traditions here at The Cultch. If you have never been to the Panto, this is your chance to start your own holiday tradition!

But what is Panto, you say?

We are so glad you asked! 

East Van Panto says it best:

Panto (another name for Pantomime) is a tradition of holiday musical comedy theatre. Popularized in England in the early 19thCentury, Pantomime takes familiar fairy tales and injects music, contemporary references, and audience participation to create raucous, noisy entertainment that’s fun for everyone in the family. Our Panto takes inspiration from this classic form, but adds a uniquely East Van twist; a new, local tradition you and your family are invited to make your own!

The story in the spotlight this year is Little Red Riding Hood. Join Little Red for a wacky and wild ride down the Adanac bike trail. All your favourite characters are here -Little Red, Granny, The Big Bad Wolf…even a few you won’t expect. Recommended as one of the 10 Vancouver comedy events to check out in November, The East Van Panto promises big laughs for the whole family. For a taste of the fun, check out Mark Chavez’ video interview with Vancouver Sun’s Frances Georgian.

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East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood is written by Mark Chavez, directed by Anita Rochon, with music by Veda Hille. Read a great piece on Mark Chavez by Westender writer Kelsey Klassen here, or listen to an interview with Mark and Anita on Roundhouse Radio‘s Janice & Cory show. And for our Francophone fans, Anita Rochon on ICI Radio-Canada, Phare Ouest with Marie Villeneuve.

East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood runs from Nov 23 – Dec 31, 2016 in the York Theatre. Best prices Family Packs available! 4 premium tickets for just $120! *A Family Pack includes 2 adult + 2 child tickets (Sec A). Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Want to see Veda Hille perform? Make sure to book your tickets between Nov 23 and Dec 4! Music man extraordinaire Benjamin Elliott (Are We Cool Now?, Broken Sex Doll) will perform Veda’s signature spins on contemporary and classic tunes beginning Dec 5!

Not Your Average Dance Show: All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey

Not Your Average Dance Show: All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey

Photo credit: Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroup

Photo credit: Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroup

If you come to see All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey, be prepared to leave with lots to think about. This is not your average dance show. When it played in Ottawa, the Globe and Mail reported that, “Audience members lingered so long in the theatre, discussing the work that the… ushers, who wanted to lockup, had to ask them to leave.”

Created by Frédérick Gravel, All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey is a tale of distraught men, the ordinary run-of-the-mill North American male – beer, T-shirts, baseball caps, cowboy boots, beer bellies and their hesitations, outbursts of violence, confusion, brusque changes of mood, right left, front and back, lurching in a drunken haze of beer and powerlessness.

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Frédérick Gravel has been active in the Montreal scene for over 10 years and graduated from the dance faculty of Université du Québec à Montréal in 2009. An interdisciplinary artist with experience as a choreographer, dancer, musician and a lighting designer; it is no surprise that Frédérick Gravel’s work embraces a mixture of styles and disciplines. He has become known for pushing the boundaries of dance choreography and turning it on its head. Says the Ottawa Citizen, “Gravel’s work dances the fine line between rock concert, trailer park party and dance performance. He certainly likes to push the boundaries of what dance can be – taking pleasure in obliterating stereotypes.”

Merging rock music and performance art into his dance performance, Frédérick Gravel’s work is emotionally gripping and hard hitting.  All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey is described as being part dance, part performance art, and part rock show. Be prepared to leave this show feeling as though you have just experienced a particularly exhilarating rock concert.

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But don’t be scared away.  Just because All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey deals with some heavy things, doesn’t mean it isn’t accessible. In fact it is known for skirting the line between the serious and the comic. This is dark comedy at its best. In an interview with The Dance Current Philip Szporer says, “Gravel has good patter… with wicked timing. He doesn’t hesitate to reinforce, constantly, the idea that contemporary dance is “waaay” too serious, and why not have a good laugh?”

Check out the trailer.

All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey runs Nov 8 – 12, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Tickets from $20 are available online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

TWO SOLD OUT OPENINGS! Thank you to our AMAZING Supporters and Partners!

TWO SOLD OUT OPENINGS! Thank you to our AMAZING Supporters and Partners! 

Yesterday (November 1) was one of the most exciting days of The Cultch’s 16/17 season! We were supremely lucky to have two amazing shows open on the same night –The Elephant Wrestler, co-presented with Diwali Fest, and Empire of the Son, Tetsuro Shigematsu’s smash hit presented by VACT.  Both of these shows are big hits: Empire of the Son has already SOLD OUT its run, and The Elephant Wrestler is very close behind.

We are so lucky to live in Vancouver and have access to great performing arts from a diverse and culturally rich background.  The Cultch is happy to co-present with Diwali Fest, and to have the chance to present shows from great local companies like VACT.  We want to take this opportunity to highlight them and the wonderful work they do.

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As many of you will know, Diwali is a South Asian festival known around the world as the festival of lights. Diwali brings people together to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.  Vancouver is lucky to have Diwali Fest, to bring us all the fun and joy of Diwali in an nearly month long festival. Their mission is, “To break cultural barriers and celebrate the spirit of Diwali by embracing diverse art forms to build a sense of community across the Greater Vancouver Lower Mainland.” This year’s festival started Oct 11 with the opening of Piya Behrupiya in the York Theatre, and will run until Nov 30.

Get out and enjoy as many of the Diwali Fest events as possible.

PHOTO: RAY SHUM | PHOTO DESIGN: TERRY WONG

Photo: Ray Shum/Photo Design: Terry Wong

We also encourage you to check out VACT as they highlight and promote Asian-Canadian stories like Empire of the Son. VACT was created in 2000 in order to produce and promote professional Asian-Canadian shows. They have has gained an amazing reputation in the arts community for presenting powerful and engaging stories from an Asian-Canadian perspective. The Cultch has been lucky enough to be a part of a couple of these productions. We are especially thrilled to have Empire of the Son back in The Vancity Culture Lab before it goes on tour in eastern Canada.

The Elephant Wrestler runs from Nov 1 – Nov 5, 2016 in the Historic Theatre.  Empire of the Son runs from Nov 1-13 in the Vancity Culture Lab. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

 

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Opening Tonight: The Pianist Promises Lots of Laughs!

Opening Tonight: The Pianist Promises Lots of Laughs!

Thomas Monckton has been making the world laugh with The Pianist since he first premiered it in 2013. This years’ whirlwind tour included stops in Australia, Hong Kong, Finland, the Czech Republic, England, Scotland, and the USA. After rave reviews all around the world, Vancouverites will finally have a chance to see this clowning masterpiece; opening tonight, October 25, at the York Theatre.

REVIEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD:

“A BRILLIANT hour of choreographed hilarity” – Cameron Woodhead, the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

The Pianist was WONDERFUL…a fusion between Mr Bean and the Cirque du Soleil. The audience laughed from the beginning to the very end”- Salisbury Journal, England

“This show is absolutely HILARIOUS and must NOT be missed…if I could I’d give the show an 8 out of 5” – Lizzi Wood-Vashishtha, HKeld, Hong Kong

“Thomas Monckton is a REMARKABLE, very expressive performer even without a red nose.” – Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat, Finland

The Pianist is a show that will invariably pack out audiences and leave them laughing in stitches, and for that it is wholly deserved” – Alex Wood, Theatre Bubble, Scotland

“To see how FUNNY it is, you have to see it…Monckton earns shameless belly-laughter from kids and adults alike” – Marty Fugate, Your Observer, Florida

“The wordless show has a little Charlie Chaplin here, a little Mr Bean there and a delightful sprinkling of CIRCUS MAGIC” – Karen Bailey and Terry Izatt, The Clothesline, Australia

Check out this great video interview with Thomas Monckton, published by the Vancouver Sun

The Pianist runs from Oct 25 – Nov 6, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Family Packs available! 4 premium tickets for just $120! *A Family Pack includes 2 adult + 2 child tickets (Sec A). Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Fight Night Shows Us Elections as They Truly Are!

Fight Night Shows Us Elections as They Truly Are!

Opening Tuesday, October 18th, Fight Night shows us elections as they truly are: a battle, a fist fight with words….a theatrical game. Five performers. Five Rounds. Your vote. One survivor. Belgium’s multiple Fringe First-winning company Ontroerend Goed and Australian The Border Project arms the audience with voting keypads in order to choose their favourite candidate among five actors. An immersive exploration into the intricacies and traps of voting systems and mediatized democracy, Fight Night stages elections as a theatrical game.FightNight_LandscapeFight Night Director, Alexander Devriendt, has a few things to say about voting and politics:

Your vote.  So many people fight for it. So many promises are made to obtain it. And yet it feels so small. Such a tiny contribution. A seemingly insignificant voice muffled by the turmoil of the powers that be. I’ve been all kinds of voters. A frustrated one, consciously abstaining, too lazy to go, a fervent one, a social one, a strategical one. But more and more I became fascinated by the extent to which my choice was manipulated on so many levels. Not only by the politicians themselves or by the media. All sorts of little things in my immediate or far away surroundings had an impact on my vote. What it mostly boiled down to, is the feeling that made me say: ‘I trust this person’. A trust that seemed to be of my own making. I trusted this one person in politics. He seemed intelligent and somebody who could represent me in the political field. When he appeared on television he said things that made sense. Whether it was in a game show or political talk show I can’t remember (the distinction has become blurrier day by day). It’s a feeling I share with many Trump-supporters today. You trust your own judgment so well, you rarely question what it’s really based upon. Until I took a closer look at his views during rehearsals for this show and I was amazed how different our views were on so many levels. How the things I cared about were not even mentioned in his political program. I still trust the guy. He is a strong politician. He just doesn’t get my vote anymore. There is this other person whose program I share completely. She doesn’t get enough votes to really matter in Belgian politics, but I believe the votes she gets, keep her going. Because my vote matters to her and she matters to her party and the party influences decisions in a country, the country has a say in the European Union and maybe the powers beyond that are kept in check just a little bit more. A chain of influence that can alter the world. Eight years under Romney would be a different world; a Canada led by Trudeau resonates even in our country; a referendum in Britain has altered the course of history.

I remember when we performed the show in London, there was this 80-year-old man who started shouting to younger people who were giving up their device, who were giving up their vote. “Don’t do it. People have fought for this!” he shouted.

I’m probably going to be like him. – Alexander Devriendt

 

Fight Night runs from Oct 18 – 29, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Tickets from $20 are available online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Funny Radio Interviews with Motherload’s Emelia Symington Fedy

Funny Radio Interviews with Motherload’s Emelia Symington Fedy

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Motherload is back at The Cultch and we couldn’t be happier.  We are excited to have this candid and hilarious hit back on The Cultch’s stage.

Motherload is the brainchild of Emelia Symington Fedy. Along with co-creators Jody-Kay Marklew, Juno Rinaldi, and Sonja Bennett, Emelia has created a hilarious and heart-wrenching show that Vancouver Presents said, “will charm, delight and touch you.”

Emelia has worked on over twenty new theatre productions as both a writer and performer, and is the co-artistic director of The Chop alongside Anita Rochon (www.thechoptheatre.com), an international touring and award-winning creation-based theatre company.

Emelia is also curator of tryingtobegood.com, a website dedicated to personal essays and live storytelling that candidly explores the darkness of the human condition. Emelia also hosts and produces a daily radio show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3 that focuses on personal storytelling and interviews with her favorite people about their greatest questions and longings.

A few weeks ago Emelia posted her top five funniest radio interviews; they are so great we wanted to highlight them here as well.

1) Emelia chats with Kyle Bottom, Charlie Demers, Toby Hargrave  about parenthood!

2) Emelia and Mark Chavez  discuss life in all its hilariousness.

3) Emelia and Jan Derbyshire get in deep and speak about mental health.

4) Kirsten Sharp and Emelia “talk like men aren’t listening.”

5) Emelia and Dawn Petten talk sex!

Find Emelia’s original post here.

Motherload runs from Oct 4 – 15, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Tickets from $20 are available online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Celebrating Our Volunteers!

Celebrating Our Volunteers!

The Cultch depends on our amazing volunteers to keep us going so once a year, we throw a party/BBQ to honour and thank all of our 175+ wonderful volunteers! Whether they’re working in the Front of House as ushers, in the administration office as receptionists, or helping us stuff letters in envelopes during our crazy subscription season, our volunteers are truly the best and we couldn’t do what we do without them!

This year, local indie rock band Parlour Panther provided tunes to dance to, Choices Markets provided delicious food to enjoy, and so many generous organizations and businesses donated gifts to give away to our volunteers as prizes. Here are some photos from the party:

Parlour Panther

Boogieing to Parlour Panther!

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Enjoying delicious food provided by Choices Markets!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Borja, our Production Manager, on the grill!

Borja, our Production Manager, on the grill!

Dance party

Dance party!

Photobooth fun!

Photobooth fun!

Interested in volunteering at The Cultch? Check out our volunteer page to learn about ways you can get involved!

Partnering with Whistler Brewing

The Cultch is proud to have had Whistler Brewing as a partner since the 2011/2012 season. Our patrons know that they can enjoy a quality beverage at any of our performances and can always look forward to the rotating seasonal beers. Megan McKay Hall, Key Account Manager at Whistler Brewing, shared with us a little history of the company and what it’s like to partner with The Cultch.

Greg Armstrong-Morris (Broken Sex Doll) and a friend enjoy some Whistler Brews at the reception.

Greg Armstrong-Morris and Dustin Freeland (both from Broken Sex Doll) enjoy some Whistler Brews at the reception.

Can you tell us a little bit about Whistler Brewing and its history?

                The Whistler Brewing Company is celebrating its 25-year anniversary this month! The brand was born a long time ago, but the real success of the brand has really happened in the past 8 years when consumers started to support local, craft brewers much more. We welcome everyone to visit us at our tap house and brewing facility in Function Junction, Whistler anytime. We love to show off what we do and introduce people to the faces behind the brewery. We are one of BC’s oldest craft brewers, and are proud of the history and evolution of the brand from 1989 until now – big changes in the look of the brand, how and what we brew and the people behind it all.

Where do you get your inspiration for the seasonal brews?

                We have our Brew Master, Joe Goetz, as well as our head brewer in Whistler, Matt Dean, who come up with the recipes for each brew, but it really is a team effort. Many people within the company weigh in and provide ideas for both recipe ideas and the story that goes along with that recipe. Brand development is a lot of fun, and it’s very cool to be able to put forth suggestions that may end up as a finished product. A lot of the brand inspiration comes from the area in and around our home in Whistler – Whiskey Jack Ale pays homage to the Whiskey Jack bird found in the alpine, Paradise Valley Grapefruit Ale gets its name from the Paradise Valley area outside of Squamish, and Black Tusk Ale takes its name from the famous Black Tusk peak in Garabaldi Provincial Park to name a few references.

As a company that is 100% BC owned and operated, is supporting other local businesses something that is important to you?

Absolutely! Supporting other BC businesses is, and always has been, a top priority. The general public is demanding the support of BC business and community more and more each year. It used to be that you couldn’t find a lot of local business to support and everyone was buying imported food, clothing, liquor, and the like. Now, it’s rare not to see businesses supporting each other on a daily basis and we definitely see that reflected in everything we do from sales to support at festivals and industry events.

How has your relationship with The Cultch been beneficial to Whistler Brewing?

                It’s been a great opportunity to showcase our products to the theatre community in east Vancouver and beyond. The people who are enjoying shows at The Cultch are obviously wanting to support local arts and their community, and a partnership with a BC craft brewer pairs well with this!

Can you tell us about Whistler Brewing’s role in supporting The Cultch? How did this partnership take shape?

                The opportunity came up to work with The Cultch for the 2011/2012 season and we jumped at it! As a company, we have always been a big supporter of the arts; whether it be live music festivals, visual arts, or performing arts. This is partially because of those who work within the organization and what we like to do in our extracurricular time, but also because the arts help to form communities and bring those communities together for common enjoyment. The Cultch has been such a pleasure to work with, and the people involved have always been so wonderful and pleasant.

Whistler Brewing is located in Function Junction in Whistler, they offer tours and tastings and have an excellent tap house. Join us at The Cultch or the York Theatre and enjoy a Whistler Brew on tap.

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