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the review: September 1999

the review

Volume III No. 9

September 1999

Editor:  Ed Farolan

Autumn is inVancouver, but we can sometimes still feel the heat of summer.  Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues on till the end of this month. In film, Pacific Cinematheque in conjunction with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura presents throughout the month of September and October, a continuation of the retrospective of Marcello Mastroianni films, as well as Nations, Pollinations, and Dislocations: Americas on the Verge, a film and video retrospective by both Latin and non-Latin Canadian and U.S. video and film makers on the Americas.

The 18th Annual Vancouver International Film Festival opens September 24th together with the 14th Annual Film and Television Trade Forum starting September 29th; The Vancouver Fringe Festival  takes place Sept. 9-19, and The International Writers' Festival  is underway with preparations for events from Oct. 20-24.

In this issue are the 1999-2000 season of productions from The Arts Club Theatre, The Vancouver Playhouse, The United Players of Vancouver, Pacific Theatre, Theatre at UBC,  Firehall Arts Centre,  The Vancouver East Cultural Centre, The Vancouver Opera, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, Friends of Chamber Music, Vetta Chamber Music, Vancouver Cantata Singers, and Ballet British Columbia.

Our reviews this month are Bard on the Beach's Symphony, Opera & ShakespeareThe United Players of Vancouver's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams,Vancouver Playhouse's  Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, films from the Vancouver International Film Film Festival, and plays from the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Calendar of Events


The 18th Annual Vancouver International Film Festival opens September 24th and runs through October 10th with over 400 screenings of 275 films from more than 50 countries. The films include: Dragons and Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia, the largest ongoing programme of East Asian films in the Americas; Canadian Images, the best 1999 shorts and features, with an emphasis on Western Canadian films; Nonfiction features of 1999, pver 30 feature length documentary films; Walk on the Wild Side, midnight series featuring outrageous films for young audiences; Cinema of Our Time, the best new films from over 25 countries; The Best of Britain; Spotlight on France; Archival Series; Tributes.

At its annual media reception at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Georgia last September 9th, Festival Director Alan Franey announced the Festival theme: Same Planet, Different Worlds. The Festival will open with Khyentse Norbu's The Cup from Tibet/Bhutan.  The Anniversary Gala will be Jeremy Podeswa's Canadian film The Five Senses and the Festival will close with Cuba's Life is to Whistle, directed by Fernando Perez.

The 14th Annual Film and Television Trade Forum, bringing together some of the world's experts on film and TV, runs from September 29th to October 1st with New Filmmakers' Day on October 2nd.

Venues : The Ridge, Pacific Cinematheque, Judge McGill Theatre (Robson Square), Van Centre I & II.  Other venues to be announced later.

Tickets:  Adult $8, Seniors $6, Matinees $6.  Passes: VIP Pass $575 (includes Trade Forum); Express Pass $500 (includes reserved seatings); Full series Discount Pass $225; VISA Gold Pass $210; Senior and Student Pass $150; Daytime Pass $100; Student Weekday Pass $75. Visa charge by phone 685-8297 starting September 13th, or order by web at

Pacific Cinematheque in conjunction with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura presents the films of Marcello Mastroianni, a tribute to the international acclaim of this Italian actor. A reception was held last August 5th and before the two films  Matrimonio all'italiana (Marriage Italian Style) and Peccato che sia una canaglia (Too Bad She's Bad) starring the formidable duo M.M. and Sophia Loren were screened, Jim Sinclair, Executive Director of Pacific Cinematheque gave a short introduction as well as Professor Testa of the Hispanic, French and Italian Department of UBC who read fragments of MM's memoirs.   Other films of Marcello with different leading ladies that will be screened all through this month: Una giornata particolare, Cronaca familiare, Sostiene Pereira, 8 1/2, Enrico IV, Divorcio all'italiana, Fantasmi a Roma, Leo the Last, Che ora e'?, Ginger e Fred, Il Bell'Antonio, Oci ciornie, Scipio detto anche l'Africano. For screening dates and tickets, call (604) 688-8202.

Nations, Pollinations, and Dislocations: Americas on the Verge:Selected works by Latin American filmmakers and Latino and non-Latino Canadian and U.S. filmmakers. This curated film and video showcase at Pacific Cinemateque begins August 15, 1999, continues for a period of 12 weeks, and is part of a larger series of screenings, visual art exhibits, dance and performing arts events taking place at various locations throughout Vancouver. A symposium and film screenings will be held at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design on October 29-31.

Unless otherwise indicated, all screenings are held at PACIFIC CINEMATHEQUE (1131 Howe St., between Helmcken & Davie),Vancouver, British Columbia.

Sunday, September 5

7:15 - Revolution and its Aftermaths: Chile, A Case History

—How, Why, and For What is a General Assassinated? Santiago Alvarez Cuba 1971 | documentary | colour | 35mm | 36'

" A filmic investigation of the background to the assassination of the head of the Chilean armed forces, General Rene Schneider on October 22, 1970, 48 hours before the Chilean parliament was due to ratify Salvador Allende's electoral victory."

—Salvador Allende Grossens: A Testimony. Maurice Bulbulian, Michel Gauthier Canada/Chile 1974 | documentary | colour | 16mm | 19'

—Memoirs of an Everyday War.Gaston Ancelovici, Jaime Barrios, René Dávila Canada/Chile 1986 | documentary | colour | 16mm | 30'


—The Spiral. Chris Marker, Armand Mattelart, Jacqueline Meppiel, Valerie Mayoux, Silvio Tendler, and Pierre Flement. English version by Susan Sontag. Narrated by Donald Sutherland France/U.S./Chile/Canada 1976 | experimental documentary | colour | 16mm | 145'

Sunday, September 12 Chilean Presence in Canada

7:00 - First Contact

—"Steel Blues." Jorge Fajardo segment of the trilogy Il n'y a pas d'oubli, w. Marilú Mallet & Rodrigo González. Canada 1975 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 34'

—Canadian Experience. Leutén Rojas Canada 1978 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 76'

—Under the Table. Luis Oswaldo García, Toni Venturi Canada 1983 | documentary | colour | 16mm | 25'

9:30 - Finding the Words, Healing the Scars

—Three shorts by Claudia Morgado

Spit It Out. Canada 1992 | animation | colour | 16mm | 2'

Angustia. Canada 1997 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 5'

Unbound / Sin ataduras. Canada 1995 | experimental documentary | 16mm | 20' —It's Not the Same In English. Leopoldo Gutiérrez Canada 1985 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 24'

—Unfinished Diary / Journal Inachevé. Marilú Mallet Canada/Chile 1986 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 55'

—Night Lessons. Guillermo Cifuentes Chile/Canada 1997-98 | performance video | colour | 35'

Sunday, September 19 Native Americas: Sacred Histories, Secular Myths


—The Three Sevens / Los tres sietes. Jorge Lozano Canada/Colombia 1994 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 21'

—Odenaag Naabndamwin/City of Dreams/Ciudad de Sueños. Jorge Manzano (with Marcel Commanda). Canada 1995 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 30'

—Ajayu. Francisco Ormachea Bolivia 1996 |fiction | colour | 16mm | 26'

—Before Columbus. Part I, "Conversion." Brian Moser Canada 1993 | documentary | colour | video | 52'


—Shipibo Painting In the Amazon. Jas W. Felter Canada/Peru 1982 | colour | 3/4" video | 13'

—Macunaíma. Joaquim Pedro de Andrade Brazil 1969 | fiction | colour | 35mm | 108' [to be confirmed??]

"Communion": [Man's scars: revenge on woman/ claim for release and forgiveness by Born Again torturer. TV images: TV denotes truth, evidence of witness to a historically lived moment. Pain and process hot with mesmerizing honesty.]

"First Lesson": Woman questioned on name "nombre completo. nombre político" replicates experience of being under questioning.

"Falling Bridge": "This is history" [an investigation into the status of the image in the TV recording of public events.] "This is the present." "The gaze traversing the density of other gestures." [Questions establish dichotomies such as victim/perpetrator, woman/man, event/image, past/present, truth/fiction.]

September 26 – October 10

* The following films will be shown in cooperation and with the generous support of the Vancouver International Film Festival. Please check Festival program for film descriptions and playing times.

—The Southern Cross / La Cruz del Sur. Patricio Guzmán Spain 1992 | fiction | colour | 35mm | 80'

—The Day You Will Love Me / El día que me quieras. Leandro Katz U.S. 1997 | experimental documentary | colour | 16mm | 30'

—Corpus. Lourdes Portillo U.S. 1998 | documentary | colour | 16mm | 47'

—Haragia. Bego Vicario Spain 1999 | experimental | colour | 12'

Sunday, October 17 Chiapas: History, Memory, Action

7: 00

—Reign of the Dog. Ruth Hayes U.S. 1996 | animation | colour | video | 16'

"Native North American and South American nostalgic songs blend together with images of the life and the uprising of native peoples in Chiapas, creating a powerful visual and musical documentary"

—A Place Called Chiapas. Nettie Wild Canada/Mexico | 1988 | documentary | colour | 35mm | 93'


—Nishin. Juan Balmaceda, Keith Herrick Canada 1994 | music video | colour | 3:30

—The Gift. Gary Farmer Canada/Mexico 1998 | documentary | colour | video | 48'

—Cases of Violence Against Indigenous Communities in Chiapas /Casos de violencia contra comunidades indígenas en Chiapas. Carlos Martínez Suárez (Jury Prize, First International Short Film Festival Mexico 1998) Mexico 1998 | documentary | colour | video | 53'

Sunday, October 24 Imaging and Imagining New Borders and Nations


—Performing the Border. Ursula Biemann U.S./Mexico 1999 | experimental | documentary | colour | video | 42'

—Fronterilandia / Frontierland. Rubén Ortiz Torres, Jesse Lerner U.S./Mexico 1995 | experimental | colour | 16mm | 77'"a parody of ethnographic documentary. Invasion of Mexico"

[see also ref. to "Mexperimental" in Cine Acción and Nativos]


—Watching. Marcos Arriaga Canada 1994 | experimental | colour | video | 7'

—Cruceros/Crossroads. Ramiro Puerta Canada/Colombia 1994 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 28' Two documentaries by Ardele Lister

—Behold the Promised Land. U.S./Canada 1991 | documentary | colour | video | 22'

—Conditional Love. Canada/U.S. 1997 | documentary | colour | video | 60'

Friday, October 29 **

7:00 —An evening of Experimental Shorts.

Selected by Enrique Ortiga, Latin America's foremost curator of short film and video. Video In Studios, 1965 Main St.

Sunday, October 31 Growing Up In the Americas

7: 00

—Máscaras/Masques/Masks. Elisa Rivas Canada 1996 | animation | colour | video | 8'

—Three experimental shorts by Ximena Cuevas Before Television / Antes de la televisión and Encountering TV / Encuentro con la televisión. Mexico 1983-1993 | fiction | b&w | video | 2'

---Calzada de Kansas. Serie "Dormimundo" México 1999 | experimental | colour | video | 4'

—Cuentos de mi niñez/Tales From my Childhood. Francisca Durán Canada/Chile 1991 | fiction | colour | video | 9'

—Maroon. Jorge Manzano (w. Ken Skunner & the Jazzmongers) Canada 1997 | fiction | colour | video | 5'

"About a woman who travels from Santiago to North of Chile." Funded by Toronto Arts Council, Canada Council, and Liason of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), NFBs new initiatives in film, and Racial Equity Fund (Toronto). Is expecting more funding to finish. Espects to have another version beyond rough cut: fine cut end of summer without sound or music.

—Tampon Thieves / Ladrona de Tampones. Jorge Lozano, Lynn Hutchinson Canada 1995 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 22

—Malajunta / Bad Company. Eduardo Aliverti Argentina 1996 | documentary | colour | video | 55'


—A Photograph Travels Around the World / Una foto recorre el mundo. Peter Chaskell. Cuba 1982 | documentary | colour | 35mm | 14'

—Sunny Clouds at the Crossroads/Nubes soleadas en la encrucijada. Raúl Ferrera Balanquet U.S /Mexico/Cuba 1996 | fiction | colour | video | 28'

—Cuba Dreams. Six short videos from G.I.F.T.S. (Gulf Island Film and TV School) Cuba/Canada Intervideo 1998 | Wraparound documentary | colour | video | 53'

—Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia. Sylvia Hamilton Canada 1994 | documentary | colour | 16mm | 29'

Sunday, November 7 Veiled Fantasies, Shattered Dreams


—How to Read a Macho Mouse. Rubén Ortiz-Torres, Aaron Anish U.S. 1991 | experimental | colour | video | 8'

—From Here, From This Side. Gloria Ribe México 1988 | experimental documentary | colour | video | 24'

—A Man, When He is a Man / El hombre cuando es hombre. Valeria Sarmiento Chile/Costa Rica 1982 | fiction | colour | 16 mm | 66'


—Poppy: Cursed Flower / Amapola. Flor maldita. Marta Rodríguez Colombia 1999 | documentary | colour | video | 26'

—Society Under the Influence. Germán Gutiérrez Canada 1997 | documentary | colour | video | 52'

—In the Company of Fear. Velcrow Ripper. Canada/Colombia 1999 | documentary | colour | video | 52'

Sunday, November 14 Travelling Desires


—Ode to the Chilotas / Oda a las Chilotas. Claudia Morgado Canada/Chile 1989 | colour | 16mm | 8'

—Sifted Evidence. Patricia Gruben Canada/Mexico 1982 | experimental | 16mm | 42'

—Winter Tan. Aerlyn Weissman, co-dir. w. 4 others ?? Canada/Mexico 1988 | fiction | colour | 35mm | 90'


—Initiation Rite-Sacred Bath. Magdalena Campos and Kate Craig Cuba/Canada 1993 | performance video | colour | 32'

—El diablo nunca duerme / The Devil Never Sleeps. Lourdes Portillo U.S./Mexico 1994 | documentary | colour | video | 82'

 For details, visit the web page at, or contact Lalo Espejo at (604)730-1648.

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival opened its 10th anniversay season on June 15 in Vanier Park with the magical comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream which runs until September 25 in repertory with Macbeth, which opened on July 6th. Measure for Measure opened on the new 225-seat tent, the Douglas Campbell Studio Stage, last July 27th. Tickets (604) 739-0559 or Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

The 15th Vancouver International Fringe Festival  comes to town September 9-19 at 23 venues including 13 BYOVs (Bring Your Own Venues) on Commercial Street. Volunteers needed.  Contact Helene or Shauna at (604) 257-0368 or (604)257-0350. And for only $9.99, the Fringe will host 4 nights (Sept. 1-4) of Sneak Previews with different samplings of this year's Fringe performers.

For more information, contact Owen Gormley at (604) 257-0363.

The 1999 Vancouver International Writers (& Readers) Festival takes place October 20 through 24 at venues on Granville Island and around the city. In person at the following Festival Box Office Bookstores:

Blackberry Books on Granville Island

Little Sister's at 1238 Davie Street

People's Co-op at 1391 Commercial Drive

32 Books at 140 East 14th Street in North Vancouver

Kids Books at 3083 West Broadway

Ticket prices (exceptions for special events noted below) are:

Daytime events: $10.50

Evening events: $16.00

Bill Duthie Memorial Lecture: $20.00

Authors A La Carte Brunch: $20


Frances Backhouse / British Columbia

Shauna Singh Baldwin / Quebec / India

Nick Bantock / British Columbia

Ronan Bennett / Ireland

Martin Booth / United Kingdom

Alicia Borinsky / Argentine

Christopher Brookmyre / Scotland

Heather Burles / British Columbia

Wayson Choy / BC / Ontario

Wayde Compton / British Columbia

Lynn Crosbie / Ontario

George Elliott Clarke / Ontario

Julia Darling / United Kingdom

Roddy Doyle / Ireland

Susan Faludi / United States (Bill Duthie Memorial Lecture)

M.A.C. Farrant / British Columbia

Esther Freud / United Kingdom

Gale Zoë Garnett / Ontario

Zsuzsi Gartner / British Columbia

Marie-Lousie Gay / Québec

Francisco Goldman / Guatemala / United States

Sonya Hartnett / Australia

Jane Hirshfield / United States

David Homel / Québec

Nancy Huston / France / Alberta

Wayne Johnston / Newfoundland

Thomas Keneally / Australia

Thomas King / Ontario

Greg Kramer / Québec

Evelyn Lau / British Columbia

Michèle Lemieux / Québec

Roger McDonald / Australia

Tessa McWatt / Ontario

Harry Mathews / United States

Stephen E. Miller / British Columbia

Victor Montejo / Guatemala / U.S.

Donna Morrissey / Newfoundland

David Nandi Odhiambo / British Columbia

Pia Pera / Italy

Pierre Pratt / Québec

Jack Prelutsky / United States

Peter Robinson / Ontario

Greg Scofield / British Columbia

Esta Spalding / British Columbia

Michelle Spring / United Kingdom / British Columbia

Richard Swartz / Sweden

Yoko Tawada / Germany

Drew Hayden-Taylor / British Columbia

Richard Teleky / Ontario

Sharon Thesen / British Columbia

Audry Thomas / British Columbia

Michael Turner / British Columbia

Michael Winter / Newfoundland

C.D. Wright / United States

Rachel Wyatt / British Columbia

Tim Wynne-Jones / Ontario

Jan Zwicky / British Columbia

LE SALON GUEST AUTHORS / October 20 - 24

Noël Audet / Québec

Annie Bourret / British Columbia

Marie-Louise Gay / Québec

David Homel / Québec

Nancy Huston / Québec / France

Michèle Lemieux / Québec

Harry Mathews / United States

Jean-Noël Pancrazi / France

Pierre Pratt / Québec

Didier Van Cauvelaert / France


Desire / Launch of prose collection by Douglas & McIntyre

Thursday, Oct. 21 / 8 pm / $12

Lorna Crozier, Shani Mootoo, Susan Musgrave, Evelyn Lau.

Island Writes / Granville Island 20th Anniversary Commissioned Readings

Saturday, Oct. 23 / 4 pm / Performance Works / $10.50

Jack Christie, Evelyn Lau, Kathleen Oliver, Denise Ryan, Gregory Scofield, Peggy Thompson.

Life Writing / Readings by Federation of B.C. Writers Members

Saturday, Oct 23 / Playwrights Theatre Centre Studio / 2 pm / $10.50

Joan Givner, Norbert Ruebsaat, Jean Rysstad.

Gatherings / Readings from the 1999 edition of collected works of students of the En'owkin Centre for aboriginal writings.

Sunday, Oct. 24 / Playwrights Theatre Centre Studio / 1 pm / Free

Jeanette Armstrong, Greg Young-Ing, Connie Fife, Marilyn Dumont, Drew Hayden Tayler

Smoking Lung / Launch of Hammer and Tongs: A Smoking Lung Anthology, with party hosted by Lorna Crozier

Friday, Oct. 22 / Performance Works / 8:30 pm / $8

Lori Maleea Acker, Shane Book,Adam Chiles, Brad Cran, Carla Funk, Chris Hutchinson, Aubri Aleka Keleman, Ryan Knighton, Billie Livingston, Billeh Nickerson, Teresa McWhirter, Karen Solie.

Cultured Voices / Readings by Writers Union of Canada members of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Saturday, Oct. 23 / Performance Works / 2 pm / $12

Phinder Dulai, Surjeet Kalsey, David Nandi Odhiambo, Carmen Aguirre, Rita Wong.


The following special events will be held at Christ Church Cathedral at 7 pm. Tickets are $15 and will be available beginning August 30 through Ticketmaster and at Blackberry Books and Kids Books:

Timothy Findley / September 22

Roddy Doyle / October 6

Isabel Allende / November 9

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets will go on sale at 12 noon on Tuesday, September 21 at Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

Vancouver Art Gallery presents until September 26th Four Centuries of Portraits with works by Cezanne, Renoir, Degas, Warhol, Picasso, Matisse, Goya, and other renowned painters in the past 400 years.  For more info, call (604) 662-4719.

Royal City Musical Theatre presents September Showcase III, a pair of gala benefit performances to raise funds to stage the April 2000 production of Fiddler on the Roof. Only two performances, 2 pm & 6 pm on Sunday September 12 at The Massey Theatre, 736-8th Ave. New Westminster. Tickets: $22 at  Ticketmaster  (604) 280-3311.

Playwrights Theatre Centre kicks off a season of six workshop productions with Life and a Lover by Natalie Meisner, Saturday September 18th, 7 pm, at Fetival House Studio, 1398 Cartwright Street, Granville Island.  Tickets $5 at the door. For more information, e-mail or phone (604) 685-6228.

 Headlines Theatre

SEPTEMBER 11 - 18, Prince George: Working with sexually exploited youth, David Diamond will help the group to create a Power Play with three final public performances: September 16, 17 and 18. Organised by Youth Around Prince George. For information call Susie Wheeler, Youth Care Counsellor at: 250-565-6271.

4th European Conference on Theatre in Prisons (Berlin, April 2000) and the The International Edge Theatre Festival (Cambridge, September 2000)

Escape Artists (UK), Aufbruch (Germany) and Ticvin (Milan), three theatre companies working with both serving and ex-prisoners, are currently seeking information on the following:

1) Organisations based in Europe that work at the social margins.

These can be any type of theatre company working with or run by people who could be described as living at the margins of society i.e. prisoners, the homeless, drug addicts. We are in URGENT need of information regarding such companies. If you are part of such a company or can provide us with information about such a company we would be very grateful. We are making an application for funding from the European Commission for both of the above projects and need partners to join us as soon as possible.

2) Theatre companies and individual theatre practioners throughout the world working in theatre at the social margins.

We are seeking this information so that we can notify them of developments regarding both of the above projects and also so that we can invite them to become members of the Edge Theatre Network. Although this network, if we are successful, will be established through European funding it will be open to all individuals and companies working in the field.

Both the Conference and the Festival have already received a substantial degree of support and will be going ahead regardless of the European funding decision. The Conference has the financial support of, and will be hosted in, the famous Volksbuhne theatre in Berlin, and the Edge Theatre Festival is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England and will be taking place in Cambridge.

For information on both of the above projects please see the Escape Artists website . Information about the Berlin Conference is on the pages related to the Edge Theatre Network and information on the Edge Theatre Festival is contained in the News section of the main site. Information about the European funding application we are working on is available at (Action 2 in the online form).

Contact Matthew Taylor at for more info.

PLAYS FOR GRAYS, held its first meeting last Wednesday, June 9 at The Garden Studio, West Vancouver. A small group of seniors had an entertaining evening taking part in acting and improvisational exercises for the first time. The seniors are hoping to attract additional members who are interested in practicing their theatre skills. The group's ultimate intention is to form a troupe to perform for those in extended care facilities, and to participate in the Seniors' Games one-act playoffs next year. Theatre buffs aged 50+, or seniors who enjoy live theatre and who want to develop their acting skills are encouraged to attend the next meeting.

Volunteers of any age who enjoy working with seniors or those who have a theatre background which they would like to use, are also welcome. North Shore residency is not required. For further information, phone North Shore Volunteers for Seniors at 922-1575 or 926-1842.

The 1999-2000 Season


Theatre at UBC announces its 1999-2000 season:

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie Macdonald

September 30 to October 9 at the Frederic Wood Theatre

A rollicking look at Shakesperean characters Desdemona, Romeo and Juliet by this Canadian playwright.

Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley

November 4-13 at the Frederic Wood Theatre

A Pulitzer Prize-winning play set in Hazelhurst, Mississippi.

Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen

November 18-27 at the BC Tel Studio Theatre

Ibsen's picaresque epic dealing with thorny existential questions.

The Way of the World by William Congreve

January 20-29 at the Frederic Wood Theatre

One of the enduring classics of English theatre set in Restoration England in the 1600s.

The Merry Wives of Windsor by Otto Nicolai

February 10-13 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

Based on Shakespeare's comedy of the same title, by this German composer. A co-production with the UBC School of Music.

Life and a Lover by Natalie Meisner

March 9-18 at the Frederic Wood Theatre

A play about Virigina Woolf written by this MFA candidate.

Casanova by Constance Congdon

March 23-April 1 at the BC Tel Studio Theatre

Casanova (1725-1798) looks back on a life that saw some of the most turbulent and fertile moments of the Enlightenment.

For subscriptions and tickets, call (604) 822-2678

Pacific Theatre  announces its upcoming productions for the 1999-2000 season:

Holy Mo by Lucia Frangione with original music by Marie Russell

October 1-30

Three characters from the book of Exodus sing of the exploits of Moses and King David.

Dreams of Kings & Carpenters

by Ron Reed, Jennifer Morrison, Loren Wilkinson & Tim Anderson. Original music by Allen des Noyers

December 3-January 1

The very heart of the first Christmas, two millenia ago.

"Master Harold"...and the boys by Athol Fugard

A story of a white South African student and two black friends.

Lonely Planet by Stephen Dietz

In collaboration with little i productions, a drama about three men brought together and threatened to be torn apart.

Quilters by Molly Newman Barbara Damashek

April 7 - May 6

A glorious celebration about prairie women full of music, dance and life. Co-produced with Potluck Productions.

Curious Savage by John Patrick

June 1- July 1

The company's annual community show offering.  Co-produced with Stones Throw Productions, a story of how Mrs. Savage's step-children commit her to an asylum in order to get their hands on her fortunes.


Sweet Charity

September 23, 24, 25

The company's fall fund raiser celebrating its 16th anniversary.

Mystery Improv Theatre 2000

February 18, 19, 25, 26

The company's winter fundraiser. A solve-it-yourself improv comedy mystery.

For subscriptions and info, call (604) 731-5518.

Firehall Arts Centre announces the return of J.J. McColl's hit show Menopositive! The Musical September 24 to October 24.  Tickets (604) 689-0926.

Other shows in the1999/2000 SEASON are: Alter-Natives by Drew Hayden Taylor (Nov. 4-27) about Canada's cultural perceptions; A Twisted Christmas Carol (Dec. 8-Jan. 1), a takeoff from the Charles Dickens classic, a Rock, Paper, Scissors co-production with Firehall; Je me souviens by Lorena Gale (Jan. 19-29), a multimedia presentation exploring language and racial identity; and Counter Offence by Rahul Varma (Feb. 10-26) on violence against women.

Arts Club Theatre Company's Artistic Director Bill Millerd announced the 1999/2000 season for the company's two stages, The Stanley Theatre and The Arts Club Granville Island Stage:

Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim

October 1-October 30 at the Stanley Theatre

A powerful work by the master of the modern musical.  Directed by Morris Panych.

High Life by Lee MacDougall

October 29-November 27 at the Granville Island Stage

A highly acclaimed, hard-edged comedy directed by two-time Jessie award winner John Cooper.

Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward

November 19-December 18 at the Stanley Theatre

To celebrate this brilliant playwright's 100th anniversary of his birth, Bill Millerd directs veteran actor Bernard Cuffling in this hilarious comedy of manners.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield

December 3-January 8 at the Granville Island Stage

Vancouver's innovative talents poke fun at this cultural icon.  Directed by Diana Frances.

For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again by Michel Tremblay and translated to English by Linda Gaboriau

January 14-February 12 at the Stanley Theatre

Nicola Cavendish stars in this heart-warming drama of this Quebecois author's new work, a homage to his lively mother who nurtured his vivid imagination.  Direction by Gordon McCall.

A Town Called Hockey by Gary Jones, Liesl Lafferty and Richard Side

February 25-March 25 at the Granville Island Stage

A kooky Canadian hockey comedy directed by 1998 Larry Lillo Award-winner Liesl Lafferty.

Communicating Doors by Alan Ayckbourn

March 3-April 1 at the Stanley Theatre

This celebrated British playwright deconstructs time and space in this intriguing time-travel murder mystery.

A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline  Created and Directed by Dean Regan

April 7-May 6 at the Granville Island Stage

Memorable flashback to the fifties and sixties featuring a live five-piece band and a rare opportunity to hear the music of the irreplaceable Patsy Cline.

Tickets, subscriptions and further info: (604) 687-1644 or Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

Vancouver Playhouse ANNOUNCES 1999/2000 SEASON: Season Highlights include World Premiere & National Tour

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

September 20 - October 16

A timeless tale of camaraderie and brotherhood, drawn from the classic novel, unfolds as an epic drama upon the stage. As George and Lennie drift from one farm job to the next they yearn for a place to call home, yet like the best laid schemes of mice and men their dreams go awry. An extraordinary friendship, tested by extraordinary events is at the heart of this poignant story which will feature a large ensemble cast of Playhouse favourites. John Steinbeck received a New York Drama Critics Award in 1937 for this stage adaptation.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright

October 25 - November 20

Poignant story of a withdrawn young woman, Little Voice, who can only express herself when she sings. Bound to a confining existence by a loud and overbearing mother, Little Voice escapes to another world when listening to her late father's collection of favourite records. An incredible mimic who sings like the great women of yesteryear, Little Voice captures the attention of a sleazy agent who schemes to make a fortune from her amazing talent. Full of the music of Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and more, all performed live.

She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

February 14 - March 11

Rich and handsome, Marlow is famous for his ability to charm barmaids, but is tongue-tied in the presence of proper young ladies. Determined to win his heart, Miss Kate Hardcastle casts off her finery and dons the dress of a serving girl with hilarious results. A delightful period piece, this witty comedy of manners features the lavish sets and costumes that are a Playhouse trademark and make this one of the most beloved classics of all time. A co-production with the Grand Theatre.

Patience by Jason Sherman

March 20 - April 15

Black humour and dialogue gives a new twist to an old story. Loosely based on the Book of Job, Patience depicts the downward spiral of a selfish cell phone mogul who must confront his inner emptiness when he loses his wife, his kids, his job and his grip on reality.

The Bachelor Brothers by Bill Dow and Martin Kinch based on the novels by Bill Richardson

on Tour April 24 - May 20

When the local cemetery is once again threatened by the ever-expanding golf course, the Bachelor Brothers decide to capitalize on their fame and save the peace and tranquillity of their gulf island community. Join Hector and Virgil as they present a touring road show made up of music, stories, cooking tips and book recommendations drawn from their years of experience as proprietors of the Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast. Based on Bill Richardson's award-winning books, this world premiere will feature the odd ball characters and eccentric humour that have made the Bachelor Brothers loved by millions.

2 Pianos, 4 Hands Created by Ted Dykstra & Richard Greenblatt

November 29 - December 18

Back by popular demand, this Canadian musical sensation and the toast of Broadway and the UK, returns to Vancouver on a slightly different "note". This time it features two fabulous female performers as they explore a lifetime's obsession with 88 piano keys.

The Overcoat Conceived and Directed by Morris Panych & Wendy Gorling

January 24 - February 5, 2000

Limited Engagement - National Tour Launch

The Playhouse proudly launches a national tour of The Overcoat with a limited two week engagement. Through a dynamic mix of music, movement and physical theatre reminiscent of a silent movie, The Overcoat tells a captivating story without words. Peter Anderson returns as The Man whose beautiful new overcoat changes his life in ways he never imagined. Following the Vancouver engagement, The Playhouse's production of The Overcoat will tour to Toronto's Canadian Stage, Ottawa's National Arts Center and Winnipeg's Manitoba Theatre Centre. Casting TBA. Programme subject to change.

Subscriptions for the 1999/2000 Season are available by calling (604) 873-3311. Single tickets will go on sale August 19, 1999.

United Players of Vancouver announces its1999-2000 SEASON:

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams

September 10-October 3

Perhaps one of Williams most popular plays, this play sizzles with the members of Big Daddy's family celebrating his sixty-fifth birthday. The tone is gay; but the mood somber. This drama is a delicately wrought exercise in human communication. The characters try to escape from the loneliness of their private lives into some form of understanding. The truth terrifies them. Here is the review:


By Tennessee Williams

Directed by John F. Parker

Produced by Melinda Murray


By Roxanne Davies

Thomas Lanier Williams (1914-1983), better known as Tennessee Williams crafted some wonderful plays. He also had a knack for naming his theatrical gems and as far as I'm concerned, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is one of the best. The title evokes the uncomfortable existence of the characters as they relive past pain and greedy hopes for the future, desperate not to believe the truths that are all around them.

Director John F.Parker takes liberty in reconfiguring the space in the Jericho Arts Centre and creates theatre in the round, with the audience surrounding the actors, which works extremely well. We create an intimacy with the characters bordering on voyeurism. The audience encircles the lies and keeps them from being purged.

Kudos to the set design team, headed by Francesca Albertazzi, who have created an excellent set and for acquiring the white rattan furniture courtesy of The Bay. The slowly revolving ceiling fan underscored the lies and psychic pain going round and round the room.

After seeing this play, I felt compelled to go out and rent the 1958 film version, with a sultry Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie, Paul Newman as the handsome Brick, and Burl Ives playing hard-nosed patriarch, Big Daddy. I had forgotten the film's ending and I wanted to see how the film version differed from this play I had just seen.

It seems that Williams never approved of the watered-down film, and he considered this third version closer to what he had in mind. The play's ending is problematic and quite bleak. The web of human needs and fears is pulled taut and we get the feeling that if we wait just a moment longer, those strands will break and unravel. The movie ends with our two lovers making up, drifting off towards a glorious tomorrow on the expensive bed linens.

The action of the play takes place continuous during a hot, summer night as the family celebrates the 65th birthday of Big Daddy. Mae's rambunctious children, played by Connor Widdows, Emily Hancock, Sophie Gordon, Max Justus and Sarah Widdows provide the uncontrolled childish energy that contrasts so sharply with the adult emotions that are held in check.

Perhaps it was because I so closely identified the role of Maggie with Taylor, but I admit to being a bit disappointed with the choice of July Ono as the female protagonist. It was felt to be a progressive and modern interpretation to cast an Asian as the fragile, yet tough Southern belle.

Her emotional quotient is high as she compels her husband to examine his motivations and I did like her cat-like movements around Big Daddy. Although she moved beautifully and had a body I would die for, her Southern accent was a stretch.

Or perhaps I had trouble with Maggie since the other actors were so well cast. Robert Turner admits to lusting over the role of Brick since college, and he turns in a masterful portrayal as the brooding and troubled young man who is embattled with his wife, his family and the bottle. Turner certainly has the body of a young former football player, and we fortunately get a chance to see more of him than we expect to in the shower scene. His psychic plane oozes out of his gorgeous body.

Fans of the X-Files will recognize Big Daddy played by veteran actor Don S. Williams. His interpretation of the plantation owner going through the tortured discovery of his terminal illness ("The human animal can conceive of its own death") was powerfully performed, and he commanded scenes whenever he was on stage. In smokaphobic Vancouver, it was amusing to see him light up a cigar centre stage. His wife, Big Mama. performed by Beth Coleman with a generous dose of the kind of neurotic energy a career wife and mother expends, is a maudlin character who spends her life talking baby talk to a houseful of people who have grown to dislike her.

Others in the cast include Rita Rogers as the giddy but conniving Mae and her hapless husband, Sonny, played by Trevor Duvall. The latter plays the overarching older sibling who tries so hard to be a loving and accomplished son, knowing he is not favored by either parent, but can't understand why.

Tennessee Williams was no stranger to Vancouver. He gave talks at UBC and was here for the 1980 season as the Playhouse mounted his Red Battery sign. His later plays never achieved the critical acclaim of his earlier plays.

In all, this play is a fine tribute to his writing. It's a fine way for the United Players to kick off their 40th year of bringing high caliber community theatre to Vancouver audiences.

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

November 12 - December 5

A poignant, moving, and comic study of people who fail to come to terms with reality. The action takes place at the country estate of Mme. Ranevskaya, an estate famed for its beautiful cherry orchard, soon to be sold at auction unless the taxes are paid. As the play begins, Mme. Ranevskaya has returned from Paris where she frittered away the last of her fortune on a cynical young lover, and it is soon apparent that neither she, nor her family and friends, can come to grips with the crushing reality which threatens them.

Instead they go on as if nothing has changed, and only the nouveau riche son of a peasant seems to realize the gravity of the situation.

School for Wives by Moliere

February 4 - February 27

A verse comedy first performed in 1662, this is Moliere's first great comedy and one of his best loved. Arnolphe is no mere grouch but the epitome of comic hubris, relishing and recording other men's marital misadventures, sneering at cuckolds, eager to hear of Horace's amorous fortunes, manipulating people, knowing all the answers. He knows how to avoid cuckoldry, and has taken elaborate measures to keep Agnes dependent and stupid. Nor is he merely comic, he is also polite, affable, generous, and, in the end, poignant. Caught in his own trap he is hopelessly in love with his ward, who has no love for him.

The Herbal Bed  by Peter Whelan

March 31-April 23

A great new play about actual events which occurred in Stratford-upon-Avon in the summer of 1613, when William Shakespeare's eldest daughter Susanna was publicly accused of having a sexual liaison with Rafe Smith, a married neighbour and family friend. Despite a recanting by her accuser, Susanna sues for slander in the court of Worcester Cathedral. Faced with political divisions within the church, the hearing in the Bishop's Court becomes a risky gamble as three people's private lives are held up to intense public scrutiny.

Antigone by Sophocles

June 2 - June 25

Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, is the culprit of a crime that she committed out of love. In the beginning, we find out that her brother has died while trying to burn down the city. Creon, now the King of Thebes, hands down the law that no one shall bury the man because he died while trying to burn down his own home town: He is to be left outside for the dogs and birds to devour him. Antigone becomes very angry at this ruling, and decides to bury her brother herself. Creon finds out and sentences her to death. He has her locked in a stone vault and left to die.

Shows run Thursday through Sunday, at 8 pm. at the Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery (at N.W. Marine Drive). Tickets, $10/8, available at the door. Call 224 8007 for more info.

The Vancouver East Cultural Centre

Bloodline by kitchen table kolectiv, October 5-9. Co-created by Tita Bozi and Dimitri Chepovtsky.  Directed and co-created by Foursight Theatre Artistic Director Kate Hale. World Premiere.

Doing Leonard Cohen by One Yellow Rabbit, October 14-23.  Adaptaion of Leonard Cohen's writings. Co-presentation with Touchstone Theatre.

Under Wraps by Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, January 25-29. An opera about the unrequited love between a gay man and his straight best friend. A co-presentation with Ruble Productions.

One Night Only by Jose Navas, February 1-5.   Venezuelan-born Navas, compared to Nureyev and Nijinsky, is making his mark in the international dance scene. Presented by the Montreal company Compagnie Flak.

The Holy Body Tattoo by Circa, February 15-19. Inspired by the tango, this award-winning piece is choreographed and performed by Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras.

Mump and Smoot in Something Else by Michael Kennard & John Turner, February 23-March 4. These "clowns of horror" have played to regular sellouts all over Canada.

For info, email VECC at: or call 604-251-1363.  For tickets: Ticketmaster  (604) 280-3311.

Classical Music

Vancouver Opera 's 1999-2000 season: Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi (October 16, 19, 21, 23 & 25, 1999); The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti (November 20, 23, 25, 27 & 29, 1999); Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (March 25, 28, 30, April 1 & 3, 2000); and Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini (April 29, May 2, 4, 6 & 8, 2000). In celebration of the company's 40th anniversary, a gala fundraising concert featuring a stellar array of singers will be held at the Orpheum Theatre at 8 pm, March 4, 2000. Bryn Terfel, the sensational Welsh baritone, will be performing on Mother's Day, May 14, 2000 at the Orpheum Theatre, a co-production with the Vancouver Recital Society.  For more information, subscriptions, etc. contact the box office at (604) 683-0222.

Vancouver Chamber Choir under the direction of Jon Washburn announced its 1999/2000 season: Laudate, Voices of Praise, a choral panorma of praise songs for choir and organ. 8 pm, Friday, September 17th at the Ryerson United Church. Songs of Heaven and Earth, for the Thanksgiving weekend, with works by JS Bach, Randall Thompson, R Murray Schafer, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, and John Corigliano.  Saturday, October 9th at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts; Discoveries & Rediscoveries, new music from Rossini, Saint-Saens, de Falla and Rodrigo, 8 pm, Friday November 5th at the Ryerson United Church; Messiah, Handel's Christmas favourite, 8 pm December 10 & 11, at the Orpheum; A World Christmas, a special event, with seasonal songs from around the world, at 8 pm, Saturday December 18th at the Orpheum; The Century's Songs, a special event, with songs from Gershwin, Porter and Simon,VCC's traditional Candlelight & Wine concert, 8 pm, Saturday, January 29th; Bach, Beethoven & Brahms, 8 pm, Saturday February 12th at Ryerson United Church; Heartsongs: The Poet's Art, 8 pm Friday March 24th at the Ryerson United Church; Good Friday, God's Friday at the Orpheum 8 pm, Friday, April 21st; Maysong: A Spring Celebration, British folksongs and ditties by Rutter and Chilcott, 8 pm. Friday May 12th at the Ryerson United Church.

VCC invites conductors and singers to participate in the 20th National Conductors' Symposium to be held February 7-12, 2000.

For more info, contact  VCC at (604)738-6822 or email:

Friends of Chamber Music's 1999/2000 season: Takács String Quartet, Tuesday September 28th; National Chamber Orchestra of Toulouse, Tuesday October 12th; Mandelring String Quartet, Tuesday October 26th; Borodin String Quartet, Tuesday November 9th; Quartetto Beethoven di Roma, Sunday January 23rd; Petersen String Quartet, Tuesday February 15th; Trio Apollon, Tuesday February 29th; Leipzig String Quartet, Tuesday March 21st; Hagen String Quartet, Tuesday April 25th; and Beaux Arts Trio, Tuesday May 2nd.  All performances at 8 pm at the Vancouver Playhouse.  For subscriptions and more info, call (604) 437-5747.

Vetta Chamber Music's 1999-2000 Season: October 1: Strings and Piano: Schubert, Hindemith & Brahms; November 26: Two Pianos, Four Strings, Twelve Hands: Shumann, Schubert & Dvorák; January 14: Evocative Sounds (and Latin Salsa!): De Falla, Granados, Lara, Salcedo, Ravel; March 17: Tried and True with Brand New: Haydn, Underhill, Mozart; April 28: Barashko Returns! Schubert, Mahler/Schnittke, Brahms

All concerts at 8 pm, Fridays at West Point Grey United Church, 4595 West 8th Ave. (at Tolmie), in Vancouver.  Tickets: $21 for adults and $18 for seniors.  For more info, e-mail or phone (604) 434-4084.

Vancouver Cantata Singers 1999/2000 Season: Mostly Monteverdi, Saturday, October 30 at 8 pm & Sunday, October 31 at 3 pm, Holy Rosary Cathedral (Dunsmuir at Richards); A fin de Siecle Christmas, Saturday December 18 at 3pm & 8pm, First Baptist Church (Burrard at Nelson) and Sunday December 19 at 3 pm, West Vancouvr United Church (2062 Esquimalt); J.S. Bach: Mass in B Minor, Saturday March 25 at 7:30 pm & Sunday, March 26 at 3 pm, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (U.B.C.)

Tickets:  Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

VSO: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra .  Check this website for performances and concerts. For more info, contact VSO at (604) 684-9100.

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts .  Check this website for performances and concerts by different companies. For more infoTicketmaster  (604) 280-3311.


Ballet British Columbia announces its 1999/2000 season with the Vancouver premiere of The National Ballet of Canada's new production of Swan Lake on October 6-9 . Other productions include the Canadian Premiere of The Three B's: Back.Beethoven@Ballet Nov. 4-6; The Royal Winnipeg Ballet dances the Vancouver premiere of Beauty and the Beast (February 17-19); Korea's premier classic ballet company, Universal Ballet, makes its Canadian premiere of The Sleeping Beauty (April 13-15). John Alleyne's world premiere of Schubert, together with Jean Grand-Maitre's ad.infinitum and Barry Ingham's Zero Hour takes place May 25-27.  All performances at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at 8 pm.  For tickets and information, contact : Ticketmaster  (604) 280-3311.

The Reviewers

the review: January 1999

the review: February 1999

the review: March 1999

the review: April 1999

the review: May 1999

the review: June1999

the review: July 1999

the review: August 1999