Main >> Food, Travel & The Arts >> Other Fine Arts

the review: December 1999

the review

Volume III No. 12

December 1999

Editor:  Ed Farolan

Our reviews this month are :

Arts Club Theatre Company's Blithe Spirit and Shakespeare Abridged ;

Vancouver TheatreSports League's Star Trick;

Vancouver Playhouse's Two Pianos, Four Hands;

Friends of Chamber Music's Borodin Quartet;

Vetta Chamber Music: Two Pianos, Four Strings, Twelve Hands;

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra 's Concerts ;

The Modern Baroque Opera Company 's The Garden of Love: Venus and Adonis

Ballet British Columbia: The Royal Winnipeg Ballet 's Nutcracker ;


Pacific Theatre  's Dreams of Kings & Carpenters.

Calendar of Events

Pacific Cinematheque : Used Book Sale! Film books, magazines, and posters plus computers and much more.  December 4 from 10 am to 2 pm, the Cinematheque lobby at 1131 Howe St.

First Night Vancouver 2000 at Science World .Call For Volunteers Volunteer Hotline: 833-4706. Join Vancouver's premier family-oriented New Year's Eve party as a volunteer for First Night Vancouver 2000, to be held at Science World. Volunteers are needed to help with site security, entertainment co-ordination and the host of other tasks that will contribute to the overall success of this exciting New Year's Even community gathering. The volunteer hotline is 833-4706, or you can e-mail a message to

First Night Vancouver 2000 will feature four stages of entertainment which will include the reunited Pied Pumkin folk-rock group (Rick Scott, Shari Ulrich and Joe Mock), Public Dreams Society, celtic band Blackthorn, Theatre Sports, clowns, jugglers, musicians and much more. Admission Buttons are now on sale for $10 at Science World, all Ticketmaster outlets, Canadian Tire locations and Mac's Convenience Stores.

The Pollywog Factory Presents Tearing Down the Periwinkle Dec 2 - 5 at 8:00 p.m. Sunday matinee at 2:00 p.m. at The Cavern, 1163 Commercial Drive. Tickets and info: (604) 619 - 3334


 Vancouver Playhouse: ... The Playhouse presents the David and Ed Mirvish production of 2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS, the award-winning musical entertainment about a lifetime's obsession with the piano.2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS is based on the real-life experiences and offbeat personalities encountered by authors Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt. This new adaptation features two women in the starring roles, and is directed by co-author Richard Greenblatt. The hilarious comedy stars the critically acclaimed actors Shari Saunders and Karen Woolridge, who portray the two musicians in training as well as all the unique peoplewho touch their lives.

2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS is a warm, comic account of young talents and how they grew to become accomplished musicians. Long-forgotten pianos lessons are re-visited, complete with eccentric music teachers, intimidating piano exams and the love-hate rituals of practising. Saunders and Woolridge recreate that lost world with hilarity, insight and affection, while providing a wealth of beautiful musicianship on a pair of grand pianos, with music ranging from My Little Birch Canoe to Bach, Schubert, Mozart, Billy Joeland Elton John.

2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS opened in Toronto in 1996 and played three sold-out engagements. The show toured to unanimous acclaim across Canada. In 1997, 2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS was "fine tuned" on The Playhouse stage in preparation for its New York debut, playing to capacity houses and breaking all previous company box office records. 2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS made its American debut at the prestigious Promenade Theater in New York. An extended and equally successful engagement followed at The Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C., and then a U.S. national tour. The production had its British premiere at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in January 1999 and opened in London's West End October 7, 1999 starring Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt.

The creative team for 2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS features set and costume designby Steve Lucas, and lighting design by Paul Mathiesen. The Stage Manageris Beatrice Campbell.

2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS previews November 29 and 30 and opens on Wednesday,December 1. Performances are Monday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. with matinees every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. All performances are at Hamilton at Dunsmuir. Ticket prices for previews and matinees are $ 31; for Monday to Thursday evenings $38; and for Friday and Saturday evenings $42. Senior and group rates are available, and student tickets are half price. Tickets: (604) 873-3311 or Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

Special performances: November 29 at 8:00 p.m. CKNW Orphans' Fund Benefit Performance; December 4 at 2:00 p.m. Pay What You Can Matinee; December 8: BC Gas Tea Matinees - Tea 1:00 p.m., Show2:00 p.m.; Talkback Mondays; Every Monday after the show (except previews).

Arts Club Theatre Company: Blithe Spirit. If you're in the mood for some ectoplastic manifestations all gussied up in shimmering costumes in a pretty setting, then this Arts Club Theatre play is for you.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. Tickets and further info: (604) 687-1644 or Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

Firehall Arts Centre  A Twisted Christmas Carol (Dec. 8-Jan. 1), a takeoff from the Charles Dickens classic; a Rock, Paper, Scissors co-production with Firehall. Tickets (604) 689-0926.

United Players of Vancouver: 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. 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.

Theatre at UBC: 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. Tickets (604) 822-2678

Headlines Theatre

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.

The 15th Vancouver International Fringe Festival Applications for the Fringe 2000 September 7-17 are now available.  Call (604)257-0350 for details.

Classical Music

The Modern Baroque Opera Company presents The Garden of Love: Venus and Adonis by Alessandro Scarlatti  (1660-1725) double billed with the comic work, The Amazement by his son, Domenico Scarlatti. 8 pm December 2-11 at the The Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Tickets:  Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

Vancouver Cantata Singers 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).Tickets:  Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

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

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). Tickets:  Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

VSO: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra .   Christmas Traditions: "Do you hear..Christmas with Heather, Cookie and Raylene Rankin" Dec. 3-4 8 pm. Orpheum.  A Gospel Christmas . Dec. 5-6. Orpheum.  "Candles, Snow & Mistletoe". Dec. 13. Orpheum. "A Traditional Christmas". Dec. 15-19. Various locales. "A Baroque Christmas". Dec. 17-18 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.  For more details, contact VSO at (604) 684-9100. The VSO held its Annual General Meeting last November 18th, and Mrs. Khosrowshahi, Chair of the Board of Directors, announced that VSO has achieved a balanced budget for the sixth consecutive year.

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

Istituto Italiano di Cultura  and the UBC School of Music present Stefano Pagliani (violin) and Silvia Alunni (piano) in concert. December 5, 2:30 pm at the UBC School of Music Recital Hall. ...  "GRANDI PAGINE/GRANDI VOCI", a recital by renowned Italian actor Giorgio Albertazzi.  December 22, 5:30 pm at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (1200 Burrard St.).For details, call (604) 688-0809


Ballet British Columbia . Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Nutcracker .  December 10-12. All performances at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.  For tickets and information, contact Ticketmaster  (604) 280-3311.

Visual Arts

Fury of the Goddess: Art exhibition and an evening of cultural performances with local and international artists including artist Nora Patrich, dancer Alvin Erasga Tolentino, and the Katari Taiko Drummers.. Saturday, December 4 at the Roundhouse Community Centre. For more information, contact Charlene or Joy (604) 215-1103 or email:

Gallery Gachet at 88 East Cordova St., Vancouver, B.C. Open Wed.-Sat. 12-6 pm. Upcoming events at Gallery Gachet/The Artists Cooperative: November 12 - December 11: "Honey & Milk" : Exploring the non-robotic male, the free unbounded male, Masculinity without the confines of biological gender, the fertile and abundant male, images denied/ suppressed in our culture. Curated by Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa. December 18 - January 8:"Girls 2000: The Many Faces of Eve":Retrospectives of women: Our culture, history, attitudes and transformations. Curators Invitational featuring women artists from throughout Brititsh Columbia. Curated by April Porter & Tamara Szymanska. For further inforamtion please contact April Porter, Promotions Director: (604)687-2468 Fax:(604)687-1196.

Istituto Italiano di Cultura "Last Impressions of the Millenium" by Tony Bruno & Gigi Proietti.  L'Espace Dubreuil (1435 Granville St., Vancouver).  December 2-5. (604)685-1882.


Ronsdale Press Readings from Green Man, poems by John Donlan, Monday Dec. 6 at the Vancouver Public Library (350 West Georgia, Vancouver) at 7:30 pm.

Recently published and launched last October 2nd was A Speaking Likeness, the autobiography of Joseph Plaskett.

Self-Counsel Press has just published two books: The HR Book: Human Resources Management for Business by Lin Grensing-Pophal and Canadian Legal Guide for Small Business by Nishan Swaiss.

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

the review: September 1999

the review: October 1999

the review: November 1999

We appreciate your feedback: Comments