War Horse

At Queen Elizabeth Theatre until September 29, 2013
As spectacles go, War Horse wins by several lengths. The lighting is dynamic, the WWI battle scenes are hair-raising and the special effects – including explosions, mortar fire and a huge, thundering, armoured tank that comes lumbering out of the wings straight toward the audience – are terrifyingly re-created.

Michael Wyatt Cox as Albert (far left) with his horse, Joey

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The Caucasian Chalk Circle

At Telus Studio Theatre until October 5, 2013
What do you do with Bertolt Brecht and The Caucasian Chalk Circle in the Western world in the 21st century? It’s a tough sell. Director Stephen Heatley and the BFA graduating acting class attempt to wrestle this beast to the ground with mixed results.

Sarah Roa as Grusha in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Credit: Tim Matheson

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The Foreigner

At Pacific Theatre until October 12, 2013
604-731-5518/www.pacifictheatre.org

If the grey skies are making you feel blue, Pacific Theatre has a show for you. It’s such a sure-fire winner that this is the third time the company’s artistic director Ron Reed has included it in Pacific Theatre’s season.

John Voth in The Foreigner. Credit: Emily Cooper

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The Habit of Art

At Jericho Arts Centre until September 29
What happens when artists who were once considered avant-garde grow old and begin to look passé? Amongst a plethora of themes, that’s a big one at the heart of Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art.

John Prowse and Murray Price in The Habit of Art. Credit: Nancy Caldwell

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Fall Away Home

At the Stanley Park Works Yard August 25, 29, 31 and September 1
The parking is easy; Stanley Park is, of course, beautiful; the tickets are free; and the kids will love Fall Away Home.

Ming Hudson in Fall Away Home. Credit: Ryan McDonald

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A. . . My Name is Alice

At Studio 1398 until August 25, 2013
I don’t usually review musical revues but how could I resist a show with five young women under the direction of one young-ish guy? All the songs are about women in various stages of life and I do have experience: daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, mother-in-law, ex-wife, ex-mother-in-law, friend and grandmother.

Hannah Unterschultz, Michelle T. Baynton and Rebecca Friesen in A…My Name is Alice

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Wolf at the Door

At Pacific Theatre until August 17
Keeping the wolf from the door is about keeping food on the table. By the time the wolves come howling, the occupants are starving – easy pickings for packs of hungry canines.  But there are other disasters that can destroy a family and they can be as simple – and as painful – as a clash of ideals.

Rebecca deBoer in Wolf at the Door. Credit: Richard Norrish

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How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

At Theatre Under the Stars until August 16, 2013
What a pleasant surprise this show is after reading a couple of reviews that diss it because it’s so dated. How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is, indeed, dated but almost all musicals – from Oklahoma! To Grease – are out of sync with contemporary culture anyway.

Andrew Cownden in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Credit: Tim Matheson

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