Introducing the Comedians of TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival!

Comedians poised to take over the York stage – with laughter!

We are so excited to launch our 2019/20 season with a brand new festival to enliven all of our venues every fall. This inaugural year of TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival will bring together over 50 Indigenous and non-indigenous performers—comedians, musicians, burlesque performers, drag artists, and more.

On Friday, October 4, and Saturday, October 5, some of the funniest comedians we know are taking over the York in a side-splitting night of comedy – BONUS – they are all kick-ass women!

Hosts of The Women in Comedy, Katey Hoffman and Cheyenne Rouleau

Hosted by Cheyenne Rouleau and Katey Hoffman (familiar to Cultch audiences from sold-out Cultchivating the Fringe hit, The After After Party), and featuring Canadian Comedy Award winner Martha Chaves, Australia’s rising Indigenous comedy star Steph Tisdell, Toronto-based comedian Nour Hadidi, and beloved local comedian Erica Sigurdson, we just know The Women of Comedy will be filled with fun and fierce belly-aching laughter.

Need a good laugh before the festival starts? We have your hook up here!

MARTHA CHAVES

Martha Chaves is a busy comic! She is a Nicaraguan-Canadian, fluent in FOUR languages (English, Spanish, French, and Italian), and does stand-up in all four! Chaves came out publicly in 2009, and has since been very outspoken in her comedy around the realities facing LGBTQ+ people of colour. Her infectious candid style, her captivating stage presence, and her gift to relate to a wide range of audiences grant her numerous presentations at comedy festivals around the world. www.marthachaves.com

PLUS – Martha Chaves is also performing in both Opening Night Bash performances!

NOUR HADIDI

Nour Hadidi is a Toronto-based standup comic and writer, born and raised in Jordan. She has appeared at Just For Laughs, Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, and CBC’s The Debaters. Last year she filmed a half hour comedy special for Comedy Central in the Middle East. Nour has written for CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and Comedy Network’s The Beaverton.  www.nourhadidi.com

PLUS – Nour Hadidi is also part of the two Opening Night Bash performances!

STEPH TISDELL

Steph Tisdell is steadily becoming one of the biggest names in the Australian Comedy Scene and has been collecting awards, rave reviews, and critical acclaim while selling out runs at the Sydney Comedy Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Steph is a proud Indigenous woman and is making a fast rise as one of Australia’s funniest Indigenous comedians, putting her in a unique position to encourage other Indigenous artists to come forward and showcase why they’re the funniest race in the world. www.stephtisdell.com

PLUS – In addition to being a part of The Women in Comedy show, Steph Tisdell is also presenting her show Steph Tisdell: Identity Sheft, is going to be a part of the Opening Night Bash performances, AND is offering a workshop on Oct 3 (3 pm) for people to learn how to use comedy as a coping mechanism and a diplomacy tool. 

ERICA SIGURDSON

Local Vancouver comedy gem, Erica Sigurdson is best known for her rapier wit on CBC Radio’s smash hit The Debaters, as well as her numerous television appearances on both CBC and CTV. She is one of Canada’s most beloved comedians, but also beloved around the world, having performed in Iceland, Singapore, Thailand, England, The Philippines, Afghanistan.

As a story-editor Erica has written for CBC’s Mr. D and CTV’s Corner Gas Animated as well as numerous pilots. Erica won a Leo Award for co-writing the 21st Annual Gemini Awards. www.ericasigurdson.com


TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival runs in all three Cultch venues, Oct 2-12, 2019. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

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

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.

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

panto_2016_106

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.

aneastvanpanto_portrait

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!