It’s party time—time for good music, good laughs…and great food!

It’s party time—time for good music, good laughs…and great food!

Photo by Ankita Singh

The holidays may be over, but the party is only getting started! Coming Jan 15-Feb 3 to the Vancity Culture Lab, Mrs. Krishnan’s Party is a play that takes place at Onam. Have you heard of Onam? It’s a Hindu harvest festival, and it could be the craziest party of them all! Onam celebrates the annual return of the beloved King Maveli to his people. King Maveli was defeated and pushed into the underworld by the gods, but because he was so beloved, he was granted the wish to return to his people once a year. The celebrations for Onam can last up to ten days!

Every great celebration needs great food, and Onam is no different! In fact Onam is know for its good eats—and there are a lot of them:

An example of an Onam Sadhya

All together there are 11 essential dishes which have to prepared…[The]Traditional Onam Sadya (feast) meal comprises of different varieties of curries, upperies – things fried in oil, pappadams which are round crisp flour paste cakes of peculiar make, uppilittathu – pickles of various kinds, chammanthi – the chutney, payasams and prathamans or puddings of various descriptions. Fruits and digestives are also part of the meal. The food has to be served on a tender Banana leaf, laid with the end to the left. The meal is traditionally served on a mat laid on the floor. A strict order of serving the dishes one after the another is obeyed. Besides, there are clear directions as to what will be served in which part of the banana leaf. – www.onamfestival.org 

In Mrs. Krishnan’s Party, Mrs Krishnan is surprised to find that, unbeknownst to her, her boarder, James, has filled her stock room with 100 guests expecting an Onam party (the audience members are the guests!). She is forced to throw an Onam party on the fly. And my oh my, what a party it will be!

And, because every good party needs food, food there must be. Mrs. Krishnan saves the day and makes a delicious daal for everyone to enjoy—yum! We just know you are going to want to know the recipe for this feast.

Here is the recipe for Mrs Krishnan’s Pepper Dhal, as prepared in the play:

RECIPE

(Serves 10)
500g pink lentils
1 litre of boiling water
3 chopped tomatoes or half a tin
2 Tbs of rice bran oil
1 small onion chopped
2 gloves of garlic
1 dried red chilli
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp white pepper

Put lentils, tomatoes and bruised whole cloves of garlic into a large pot of boiling water and simmer till lentils are soft (15-20mins).

Stir occasionally to stop from burning. 5 minutes before lentils are ready, heat oil in a frying pan and add onions and sauté till translucent.

Add all the spices except white pepper and salt to the onions and stir for a minute.Tip the onion spice mixture into the pot of lentils and simmer for five minutes.

Add salt and white pepper. For added deliciousness, add a dash of white vinegar and a big knob of butter right at the end and sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander.  Yum!


Mrs. Krishnan’s Party runs Jan 15-Feb 3, at the Vancity Culture Lab. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Music Monday: The Songs of East Van Panto

Music Monday: The Songs of East Van Panto

Check out all the songs given an East Van spin in this year’s East Van Panto: Wizard of Oz. Musical Director, and composer, Veda Hille is infamous for taking some of the most (and least) popular songs of recent decades and flipping them on their heads with new arrangements and lyrics to add a little pizzazz to Theatre Replacement’s winter tradition. Take a listen to the original songs that have inspired the music of this year’s Panto soundtrack, then come hear our versions at the York Theatre! Scroll through this awesome list of golden age videos and live performances, or check out this Spotify playlist if you’re on the go!

Gloria by Laura Branigan

Valerie by Steve Winwood

This is America by Childish Gambino

Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and The Waves

Downtown by Petula Clark

Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg

Northwest Passage by Stan Rogers

Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin

All Night by Big Boi

Ding Dong The Witch is Dead by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg

Macarena by Los del Rio

In My Feelings by Drake

Swish Swish by Katy Perry

Footloose by Kenny Loggins

Daydream Believer by The Monkees

ABC by The Jackson 5

I Want You Back by The Jackson 5

Teen Titans Go To The Movies by Lil Yachty

Ballroom Blitz by Sweet

Sweet Transvestite by Richard O’Brien

Time Warp by Richard O’Brien

East Van Panto: Wizard of Oz is onstage now at the York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive – must close Jan 6, 2019! Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

REVIEWS: Mump and Smoot in Anything (With Knooma)

REVIEWS: Mump and Smoot in Anything (With Knooma)

Photo by Ian Jackson

Mump and Smoot are back! It’s time to brush up on your Ummomian (the gibberish language spoken in Ummo, the parallel universe Mump and Smoot live in), Canada’s favourite ‘clowns of horror’ are back at The Cultch with their latest production, Mump and Smoot in Anything!  We had a great opening April 27th with tonnes of belly laughs – it was just what the doctor ordered!

Photo by Ian Jackson

 

Check out some of the REVIEWS coming in for Mump and Smoot in Anything:

“Comic horror clowns Mump and Smoot offer more FRIGHT DELIGHT” – Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

“My cheeks hurt from grinning so much” – Tiva Quinn, iliveineastvan.com

“A cult classic that returns to Vancouver not often enough…Turner and Kennard are BOUNDLESSLY CREATIVE…”- Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

“These self-described “clowns of horror” always CHARM me and always push me towards HYSTERIA. Their latest offering, Mump and Smoot in Anything, is no exception.”– Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

“In Mump and Smoot in Anything, as in other Mump and Smoot productions, we are temporarily released from the everyday and delivered into a funhouse universe” – Alexander Varty, The Georgia Straight

Photo by Ian Jackson

MUMP AND SMOOT IN ANYTHING runs at the York Theatre, April 27- May 6. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

How to Be: Q&A with Choreographer Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg

How to Be: Q&A with Choreographer Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg

How To Be, a new creation by Vancouver’s iconic dance & theatre creator Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, opens April 12 at The Cultch Historic Theatre! Produced by Tara Cheyenne Performance, this piece was presented as part of Boca Del Lupo’s Micro Performance Series and at Dancing on the Edge. We are excited about its premiere at The Cultch! We had a chance to ask Tara a few questions and learn more about the inspiration for How To Be:    

 

L to R: (top row) Kimberly Stevenson, Tara Cheyenne, Josh Martin, Bevin Poole, (bottom row) Marcus Youssef, Kate Franklin. Photo by Wendy D

Hi Tara! We’re thrilled that your piece, How To Be, will be premiering at The Historic Theatre April 12-15. The image for the show expresses a dynamic relationship between the performers – what is the relationship between them?  The photos were a riff on bad family portraits. Family often being the first place we learn “how to be” for better or worse. We are playing with the relationship between how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about others. It’s a great quagmire of heartbreak and comedy.

Does this piece contain your signature comedic style? What are some of those comedic elements? Well I think it’s funny! The performers/collaborators are all extremely talented and funny people. They each bring hilarity and vulnerability as we track “how to be.” Comic elements? I think it’s possible to find comedy everywhere; our pain, our loneliness, our egos run amuck. Certainly our endless cultural obsession with defining the correct ways to be is absorbing and funny.

What inspires you about exploring the topic of “how to be”? My own futile desire to find the right way to be. And of course as I’ve explored this I find we are all wrestling with the question, and frustrated with ourselves for not knowing the answers. Of course there are no answers. What does it even mean to “be yourself”?

The show seems to explore a fine line between fragility and persona – can you talk more about this? We are all uniquely ourselves, one in the universe and composites of every personality and experience that has touched us. Asking the question “how should a person be?” opens us up to our own vulnerability, our own fragile tentative fumbling. Where does my persona begin? Where does the “self” end? Can I find the answers in a Facebook questionnaire? What does my answer to number 7 really say about me?

If we fail at how we think we should be, what’s left? I think we fail all the time at this. Our emotions, our bodies, our minds betray our ideas of how/what we should be all the time. But isn’t  that wonderful? Fascinating and infuriating? Failure is possibility.

How to Be runs from April 12-15 in The Historic Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

The Daisy Theatre has returned to The Cultch!

The Daisy Theatre has returned to The Cultch!

After three sold out runs, the popular marionette production has returned to The Cultch. The Daisy Theatre celebrated its opening yesterday at The Historic Theatre and will run until April 9.

10 things you should know about The Daisy Theatre:

  1. The name “Daisy Theatre” comes from “Daisie”- puppet shows staged in Czechoslovakia during World War II, which were banned by the Nazi-regime.
  2. Every single show is unscripted and partly improvised. So every performance will be different.
  3. The story is dark and sometimes disturbing, but always ridiculous!
  4. Ronnie Burkett’s company consists of over 40 marionettes.
  5. This puppet show is not for kids!
  6. Ronnie Burkett formed his Theatre of Marionettes in 1986.
  7. The Daisy Theatre is “Ronnie unleashed”- a show which is completely different than his last shows with monologues and songs, but without an established script.
  8. Esme Massengill, Mrs. Edna Rural and the fairy child Schnitzel are some of the audiences favourite characters.
  9. The show celebrated its premiere in 2013 and enthused thousand of visitors since then.
  10. The Province calls it “Some of the funniest, most brilliant theatre you’ll ever be lucky enough to see”.

 

We are so excited about the show, and The Daisy Theatre has also obviously infected others with enthusiasm :

“His characters are the stuff of BRILLIANT sketch comedy…the puppets vibrate with life, even though the audience can see Burkett the entire time.” – Andrea Warner, The Georgia Straight

“This is a UNIQUE and CHEEKY form of live stage entertainment that honours and propels the dissident and mutinous roots from which it hath so richly grown” – Baird Blackstone, Broken Leg Reviews

 

The Daisy Theatre runs from March 21 to April 9 at The Historic Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.  Ask the box office about our “see it twice price.” For ages 19+

Words to live by: our favourite dating dos and don’ts from Blind Date’s Mimi!

Picture this: you’re on a first date with the person of your dreams, happily enjoying dinner at your favourite restaurant. Things are going well when suddenly you feel compelled to talk about your ex. Before you can stop yourself, you’re lamenting every horrible thing they’ve ever done. Next thing you know, your date is out the door, never to be seen again. Ugh!

Rebecca Northan in Blind Date

Rebecca Northan stars as Mimi in Blind Date, Sep 18 - Oct 7, 2012

Ok, so maybe that exact scenario hasn’t happened to you, but we’ve all made dating mistakes we’d rather forget. Lucky for us, Blind Date is coming to Vancouver and Mimi, the show’s loveable Parisian temptress, is full of dating and relationship tips and tricks. To give you a sneak preview of what’s to come, here’s a few of our favourite quotes from Mimi!

“You want a dating tip? Don’t be an asshole. That goes for women too.”

“The further away you are from a dance floor when you ask a woman to dance, the more romantic it is. Ask me to dance in a gravel pit and I will give you my panties.”

“I don’t understand men dating younger women in order to feel younger…you want to feel YOUNG – date an 80 year old, you’ll feel amazing getting naked…although, you’ll have to sleep with an 80 year old. Which, could be awesome, we just don’t know. The 80 year olds are quiet about that stuff.”

“Women set ‘lady-traps’ for men. It’s what we do. There’s no right answer, and it’s not fair…but then again, men get paid more than we do, so it all evens out. You make more money, we psychologically torture you.”

“I won’t drink out of the milk carton, if you clean underneath your fingernails. That’s romance!”

“When a woman asks you, ‘what are you thinking about?’ what she really means is, “how much do you love me right now?”

“I’m French. Life has no meaning. You might as well drink wine and fuck.”

Don’t miss out on this hilarious performance! Blind Date runs from September 18 – October 7. Tickets start at $17 and are available online at tickets.thecultch.com, by phone at 604.251.1363, or in person at 1895 Venables St.

GIANTS VI: The Finale on May 26th

GIANTS VI: The Finale


















By Nick Harvey-Cheetham
Co-Artistic Director, GIANTS Comedy

All good things must come to an end. But if you’re lucky, you can see the final installment in the GIANTS Comedy series before it’s over. Tickets are still available for the May 26th show, featuring Charlie Demers, Main Street Theatre, Graham Clark and more!

Presented in partnership with The Cultch, GIANTS Comedy brings together the very best in Vancouver comedy, showcasing creative new work from the finest stand ups, sketch groups and improv acts in the city.

GIANTS VI: The Finale

GIANTS VI: The Finale























The sixth and final show features an all-new one-act comedy, written by comedian and author Charlie Demers (CBC’s The Debaters) for Jessie Award-winning Main Street Theatre. GIANTS VI: The Finale also features an all-star line up of Vancouver comedians, including stand-ups Graham Clark and Ivan Decker, improv duo Sister Act and a special performance from Pick of the Fringe winners The Progressive Polygamists.

GIANTS VI: The Finale runs for one night only on Saturday, May 26th in The Cultch’s Historic Theatre. Tickets are on sale now from $10.

For more information on GIANTS Comedy, including videos, guest bios and more, visit giantscomedy.com.