February 2011

Only two days left to enter the contest for two tickets to Death of A Salesman.

Read how at Contest.

So far all the entrants have found the correct answers. You can too. The answers are easy to find on line.

Good Luck

Aaron Hursh and Ryan Beil. Photo by Karen McNeeThe Pillowman by Martin McDonagh
Directed by Stephen Drover
A Wild Geese Equity Co-op Production
Jericho Arts Centre
Feb 19 to Mar 6, 2011
Wed through Sun at 8 PM

Vancouver, BC:  I freely confess - uncoerced by any implement of torture - that I probably viewed  the Wild Geese Co-op production of The Pillowman through a different lens than most of their audiences will be using.

The Pillowman was the subject of my final term paper in a course on Modern British Drama and as an obsessively over-achieving mature student, I assiduously mined the text for every subtlety and nuance I could find. My  issues were around authorial voice, whether "scriptor" or reader gives meaning to text,  Death of the Author (concretized in McDonagh's script) ... and other such academic ideas.

Foie gras amuse boucheHidden Tasting Bar and Social Lounge
433 Robson Street,
Phone (604) 647-2520 or Reserve Online

Hidden Tasting Bar and Social Lounge on Urbanspoon

Tucked away in the Westin Grand Hotel on Robson Street, is a little gem of a restaurant, appropriately named Hidden. Re-named form the original Aria restaurant, the menus and dining format  were changed a while ago to reflect a lighter style of tasting menu and Tapas.

We were going to see Death of A Salesman at the Vancouver Playhouse, a couple of blocks away. It is a stunning production - do not miss it.

Answer these trivia questions for a chance to win two tickets to the outstanding production of  Death of A Salesman, currently running at the Vancouver Playhouse.

The original Broadway production of Death of A Salesman opened at the Morosco Theatre on February 10, 1949.

It won the Tony Award for Best Play, Author (Arthur Miller), Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Arthur Kennedy), Best Scenic Design (Jo Mielziner), Producer - Dramatic (Kermit Bloomgarden), and Director (Elia Kazan), as well as the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play.

The questions:

1) Who is the actor who originated the role of Willy Loman, yet did not get the 1949 Tony Award for best Actor

2)  a. Who did get the award for best actor ?

and b. for what play?

3) What stands today in Times Square on the site of the old Morosco Theatre?

Kevin K. James, Tom McBeath, Bob Frazer. Photo by Emily Cooper.Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Directed by John Cooper
Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company
Vancouver Playhouse
Feb 12 to Mar 5, 2011

Vancouver, BC: If the dream of a young male actor is to play Hamlet, then Willy Loman would be the dream role for a theatre veteran.

In what must be one of the virtuoso performances of his career, Tom McBeath does not merely play Willy Loman. He is Willy Loman; a sad, pathetic, bone-weary 63 year old road salesman, who can no longer distinguish between the incomprehensible real world he inhabits, and the fantasy world he has built in his own mind. As Loman flashed back and forth between reality and and his dream world,  there was not a micro-second in which McBeath did not carry me with him, often causing an errant tear to leak onto my  cheeks. 

Lauren Bowler, Shawn Macdonald, Meghan Gardiner, Greg Armstrong-Morris. Photo by Fabrice Grover[Title of show]
Music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen
Book by Hunter Bell
Directed by Mike McKenzie
Musical Director - Stewart Yu
Choreography by Sara-Jean Hosie and Shane Snow
A Homeshark Equity Co-op productioins
Granville Island Revue Stage
Feb 15 to 26th, 2011

Vancouver, BC: Calling a show [title of show] is cute but a touch risky for sales  I would think.  I confess that when I first saw the email notifying me about the opening of the show I suspected it was spam and almost deleted it before curiosity made me open the email. I'm glad I did.

Shawn MacDonald and Greg Armstrong-Morris. Photo by Fabrice GroverThe talented and energetic ensemble staging this musical on the Revue Stage produced an excellent evening of entertainment fun and I thoroughly recommend it.

From August: Osage County. Megan Leitch, Wendy Noel, Karin Konoval. Photo by David Cooper Craig Erickson, Meg Roe, Kevin McNulty, Gabrielle Rose  in Virginia Woolf. Photo by David Cooper. Sean Devine,  Tom McBeath in Death of a Salesman. Photo by Emily Cooper.

After missing out on a number of events from October to December, I now find myself confronted with a plethora of theatre offerings - far more than I can keep up with.  I was really excited to see that in one of those unusual programming conjunctions that occur from time to time, in this month alone three award winning plays about dysfunctional family relationships are opening.

Trace Letts'  August: Osage County (2008 Pulitzer,  Tony and New York Drama Critics  Awards) is already playing at The Stanley, Arthur Miller's Death of A Salesman (1949 Pulitzer, Tony and New York Drama Critics Awards) opens this week at the Vancouver Playhouse and Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1963 Tony  and New York Drama Critics Award) is at the Granville Island Stage.

And here is where the first bit of trivia comes in.

BierCraft Tap and Tapas Bar
1191 Commercial Drive,
Ph (604) 254-2437

BierCraft Tap and Tapas Bar (formerly Stella's) on Urbanspoon

Continuing my search for pre-show dinner locations on Commercial Drive, near the Cultch and Havana theatres, I decided to try BierCraft, previously called Stella's. I had been there once before in its Stella days  but that was quite a while ago.

I love VancouverIt is 5 pm on a cold but sunny Vancouver afternoon and I have just taken the Aquabus across the gleaming waters of False Creek to the Granville Island stop. Two friends and I are about to attend our first Wild Winter Wingding for Wonderful Women at the Sandbar Restaurant.

Linda and Pat host W5As an avid admirer of alliteration and assonance, I can't wait to greet the two women who dreamed up the name for this get-together of  "wonderful women from Vancouver's communications, health, research, public relations, media and consulting sectors." Not to mention the chance to meet the  70 other wonderful women that will be there.

The first faces I see as I enter are Linda and Pat.  Pat and I first met a "censored" number of years ago when we were both working at the Children's and Women's Health Centre of British Columbia: she was  in Communications and I was in Laboratory Medicine.

That's where I met a number of the other familiar faces from the past - in  Media, Communications, and Research Foundations. 

Pat  jokes that I taught her everything she  knows about lead poisoning from Iranian kettles.

It's a long story. I might tell it sometime if anyone is curious. But  if you really want to know more you can read the original publication here.

I comment that it is ironic that what I learned from Pat and the other folks in communications was about how to talk to the media.

The calm before the class arrivesWhat better way to spend a rainy Vancouver Sunday afternoon than learning cooking techniques and taste tips at a cooking class with a group of friends?

With wine paired to drink as we tasted each course  - and sipped between courses - it was a relaxed and satisfying way to wind down the weekend.

Ten of us assembled to learn from Chef Hilary, how to make a velvety cardamom-flavoured carrot soup, smoked salmon croquettes, crusted eggplant wheels and mussels in lobster stock.

perfect presentation and tasteHilary pointed out up front that for savoury dishes, she preferred to use recipes as a guide , allowing for more creativity and spontaneity in cooking.  So rather than having us reading recipes instead of watching, she would email the recipes to us later.

Cardamom carrot soup with carrot ribbons and lime leaves


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