Arts Club Stanley

Vancouver: BC. Two years ago I was in New York for a week with my family to hear my granddaughter sing with a youth choir in a program at Carnegie Hall. While they were occupied with rehearsals, I took the opportunity to see a matinee performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Based on Mark Haddon’s extraordinary book, it tells of a singular coming of age event in the life of Christopher Boone,  a young autistic boy.   I remember being blown away by the acting, the extraordinary athleticism of the choreography and by the stunning technicality of that production, telling my kids that this was among the best theatre productions that I had ever seen. But now, two years later what I chiefly remember of the Broadway production is the manifestation of a sensory overloaded mind created by the staccato lighting and videography effects on the black cube set. 

Vancouver, BC: I first saw Doubt in New York in July 2005, the year this play won John Patrick Shanley the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Superbly performed, the production was riveting -the tension in the audience was tangible - absolute silence, audible gasps, a few "no nos". I loved the show and rushed off the very next day to the Drama Book Shop to pick up a copy of the published script. As I eagerly anticipated the Arts Club production I wondered whether the play would have the same impact on a second viewing. But even knowing the story line, last night I found the play almost as powerful as before.

After weeks away in the dry heat of California and then the cooler, thin-air mountains of Colorado, I am back in the saddle, or rather, the theatre seat again, for the remount opening night of Cookin' at the Cookery. And what a ride it was tonight. Under the direction of Bill Sample (keyboard), musicians Graham Boyle (percussion), David Sinclair (Guitar) and Rene Worst (Bass) produced swinging rhythms that I swear called out to me "get dancing, girl". But being a well trained theatre patron, I kept my hands and feet from tapping out the beat and my mouth from belting out the words. It was a struggle. But I loved the show.

Vancouver, BC: Among my CD collection of Broadway musicals, one of my favorites is the original London cast recording of "Company". However I had never seen "Company" performed so it was with great anticipation that I headed off to the Stanley for opening night of the show. And the production lived up to my expectations thanks to a terrific, high energy cast, who sang Sondheim's clever, acerbic lyrics so clearly that I could hear and savour every word. Well, almost every word except for the thousand word a minute "Getting Married Today" brilliantly performed by Tracy Neff.