Nicole Underhay in The Constant Wife. Photo by David CooperLast night I made my way gingerly along a dusty, construction-damaged Granville Street, to the Commodore Ballroom where Vancouver's theatre community gathered to celebrate another year of amazing theatre.  It is always interesting to see how the nominations and the final award winners stack up against what I thought during the year of play-going, and  what details I can remember of the many productions. As well, the productions nominated are only a portion of the many shows staged here - Vancouver has a great theatre scene, and often I find that there are more things available to see than hours to see them in. Any way here is the list of finalists with links to those plays I managed to review during the year and featured pictures. Congratulations to all the nominees, and of course to the Jessie winners

Jessie Richardson Awards Large Theatre  2008-2009

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role
Jay Brazeau, The Drowsy Chaperone, Playhouse Theatre Company

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role
Jennifer Lines, The Tempest, Bard on the Beach

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Simon Bradbury, Titus Andronicus, Bard on the Beach

Len Cariou and David Storch in Frost/Nixon: Photo by David CooperOutstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Margo Kane, Where the Blood Mixes, Playhouse Theatre Company & The Savage Society

Outstanding Lighting Design
Alan Brodie, Miss Julie: Freedom Summer, Playhouse Theatre Company

Outstanding Set Design
Ken MacDonald, The Constant Wife, Arts Club Theatre Company

Outstanding Costume Design
Nancy Bryant, The Constant Wife, Arts Club Theatre Company

Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition
Alessandro Juliani, The Tempest, Bard on the Beach

Outstanding Direction
Max Reimer, The Drowsy Chaperone, Playhouse Theatre Company

Outstanding Production
The Drowsy Chaperone,Playhouse Theatre Company

Significant Artistic Achievement
Alan Brodie, Patrick Clark, Jamie Nesbitt,
Exceptional Integration of Visual Design,
Frost/Nixon, Playhouse Theatre Company

VancouverThe best laid plans ...

Well here I am back in Vancouver after a fantastic 7 nights of dance, food, wine and meeting new friends on board the Sapphire Princess. The cruise was a great success - I had a blast! My feet may need a week to recover from dancing till midnight most nights. But on the other hand, despite eating great food and not stinting on the wine, i did not put on any weight! Ballroom dancing is the key!

I walked off the ship early Saturday morning dragging my heavy suitcase - yes I packed too much! Was home by around 8:30 and after putting in a load of laundry went up to Urban Fare to stack up on grocery essentials like cream for my coffee, fruit and yogurt. On both Saturday and Sunday I had arranged to get together with friends I had met on the cruise, so between that, unpacking, seeing True Story at the Cultch and dinner at (regional tasting lounge) , I am only partially through creating the record of my trip.

Yes - my intentions of posting a daily travelblogue fell victim to my decision to "live it now and write it later." I have decided that I will post the log of my trip in one single post. That will also help with the issue of chronology that blogging messes up. But watch for it - I intend to have it posted early this week as I have 5 more plays to review by Saturday.

True Story
Written and directed by John Murphy
Vancity Culture Lab at the Cultch
5-17 May 2009

Sebastian Kroon and Kayla Deorksen in True StoryVancouver, BC: It's a beautiful sunny day in Vancouver. Since I arrived home yesterday from my Dancing at Sea Cruise (three hours of dance each night and an average of 5 hours sleep) I have barely had time to unpack. I have 6 days of travel writing to finish and a busy evening ahead. But before I left two weeks ago I had committed to attending the 2 pm performance of this show so I hopped in my little car and cruised over the Georgia Viaduct to The Vancity Culture Lab at Venables and Victoria Drive. And I am glad I did.

I found Murphy's play wickedly clever and entertaining. The story - you have to tell a story, right? - ostensibly revolves around a mother whose 4 year old daughter disappeared twenty years ago, and who still clings desperately to the hope that she is still alive somewhere. At least that's how the play is advertised. But it is not as simple as that.

Brandyn Eddy  as Jon: Photos by Devin KarringtenBrandyn Eddy as Jon: Photos by Devin Karringtentick...tick...BOOM! by Jonathan Larson
Directed by Ryan Mooney
Musical Direction by Melissa Braun & Sarah Jaysmith
Fighting Chance Productions
Jericho Arts Centre
April 6 - 22, 2009
Monday through Wednesday, at 8 pm

Vancouver, BC: It is 1990 and Jon (Brandyn Eddy) is a promising young composer living in Manhattan. Jon is about to turn thirty and he is agonizing about his career in music and theatre, and fretting that  he is over the hill. This premise for the show would ordinarily be a trifle irritating to me. I left 30 behind some years ago (alright, many years ago) yet I still feel that I am on the way up  to the summit of a career hill.  Albeit a different hill from the one I was climbing at 30. No existential angst is allowed in my mind. To safeguard  myself  against the upcoming angst, I booked for dinner at DB Bistro Moderne on Broadway: Our Broadway of course!


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