Year in Review: 2014

It was big on ‘Q’ this year in Vancouver theatres: quantity and quality. Reviewers were lacing up their Nikes just trying to keep up; I considered setting up a tent at The Cultch.

Linda Quibell as Mrs. Warren in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Credit: Kaarina Venalainen

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The Glass Menagerie

At the Jericho Arts Centre until December 21, 2014
Nowhere in the Tennessee Williams’ canon are there more obvious autobiographical elements than in The Glass Menagerie: the narrator/protagonist in this memory play is Tom, Williams’ actual Christian name.

Christine Quintana (as Laura) and Marilyn Norry (Amanda Wingfield) in The Glass Menagerie. Credit: Mark Halliday

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Dylan Thomas: Return Journey

At The Cultch until December 21, 2014
Described by critics as a lyrical tour-de-force, Dylan Thomas: Return Journey is framed as a lecture/poetry reading on one of many that Thomas delivered in the USA – possibly his last.

Bob Kingdom as Dylan Thomas in Dylan Thomas: Return Journey

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James and the Giant Peach

At The Waterfront Theatre until January 4, 2015
It’s not unusual in TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) to have actors dressed up like cute little bunnies, raccoons or squirrels but it’s out of the ordinary to find the stage ‘peopled’ with creepy crawlies. While we’re fine with ladybugs and grasshoppers, for some people there’s a definite ‘eeuuw’ factor around earthworms and a bit of fear concerning spiders and centipedes.

Julian Lokash (centre front) as James in James and the Giant Peach. Credit: Tim Matheson

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Cinderella: An East Van Panto

At the York Theatre until December 28, 2014
If you’re looking for fun-filled family entertainment, look no further than the York Theatre where the second annual Christmas panto is happening. You can boo, you can cheer, you can holler, “Look behind you!” or “Oh no, you don’t!” It’s rowdy, it’s musical and it’s a heap of fun.

Josh Drebit, Donna Soares, Allan Zinyk and Jamie Long in Cinderella: An East Van Panto. Credit: Emily Cooper

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Wide Awake Hearts

At Little Mountain Gallery (26th & Main) until December 20, 2014
Does she or doesn’t she? ‘B’, an actress, is married to ‘A’, a screenwriter, who fears his wife is in love with ‘C’, his old best friend who’s an actor that used to have a thing going on with ‘D’, a film director. Why, fergawdsake, doesn’t playwright Brendan Gall give them names?

Sean Harris Oliver and Claire Hesselgrave in Wide Awake Hearts. Credit: Sabrina Evertt

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A Twisted Christmas Carol

At the Arts Club Revue Stage until December 27, 2014
Bah, humbug! Yes, it’s that time of year when you can’t drink your medium, soy, extra hot latté without hearing “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or pick up a loaf of bread without being serenaded with “Have A Holly, Jolly Christmas”. So thank goodness for Rock Paper Scissors and the Arts Club for mixing it up with A Twisted Christmas Carol.

Gary Jones as Scrooge in A Twisted Christmas Carol. Credit: David Cooper

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