The Refugee Hotel

At Studio 58 until April 9, 2017
Two very interesting shows are happening simultaneously in Vancouver right now: Refuge at the Firehall Arts Centre until April 1 and The Refugee Hotel at Studio 58 until April 9.

Elizabeth Barrett as Flaca in The Refugee Hotel. Credit: Emily Cooper

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Firehall Arts Centre until April 1, 2017
Timely, disturbing and powerful, Refuge is a window on the refugee process in this country and the horrifying alternatives facing unsuccessful claimants who are doomed by the Immigrant and Refugee Board to be returned to their homeland.

Nicola Lipman as Interviewer and Aadin Church as Mebrahtu in Refuge. Credit: Emily Cooper

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The Daisy Theatre

At The Cultch until April 9, 2017
Oh, Ronnie Burkett, did you really say that out loud? Yes, you did. Something like, “Fourteen inches of fun-in-the-dark east of The Drive”.

Esme Massengill. Credit: Alejandro Santiago

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Les Belles-Soeurs

At Frederic Wood Theatre (UBC) until April 1, 2017
First the playwright writes the play and then the director creates the magic. MFA Candidate Diane Brown, Artistic Director, Ruby Slippers Theatre, lifts Michel Tremblay’s groundbreaking script off the page and puts it raucously but lovingly on the Frederic Wood stage.

Bronwyn Henderson (centre) as Germaine in Les Belles-Soeurs. Credit: Emily Cooper 

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Twelfth Night

At PAL (Performing Arts Lodge), March 14-19, 2017
Spring is in the air and a young man’s (or woman’s) fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Go no further than the Bard to hear what love does to us.

Eileen Barrett as Viola/Cesario in Twelfth Night. Credit: Javier Sotres

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The Pipeline Project

At Gateway Theatre (Studio B), March 9-11 and 14-18. 2017
There is passion and commitment in this show and it will take presentations like this as well as non-violent protests, peaceful marches, support for the First Nations whose land is being trammelled and loud proclamations of our opposition to turn the tide. Most of all, it means changing the minds of politicians in whose hands our future lies.

Kevin Loring in The Pipeline Project. Credit: Matt Reznek

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Bonjour, là, bonjour

At Studio 16 until March 11, 2017. All performances sold out except an added 4PM matinee on March 11.
Michel Tremblay considers Bonjour, là, Bonjour to be his best work. I didn’t simply like this production; I loved it.

Siona Gareau-Brennan and Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin. Credit: Emily Cooper

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Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical

At the York Theatre until March 12, 2017
I laughed so hard during Elbow Room Café: The Musical, I had to take my glasses off to wipe away the tears that were running down my cheeks. It’s loud and it’s proud and it’s very very Gay.

Allan Zinyk as Patrick/Patrice and David M. Adams as Bryan in Elbow Street Cafe: The Musical. Credit: Tina Krueger Kulic

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The Men in White

At the Arts Club Granville Island Stage until March 11, 2017
The woven threads are much like an Indian carpet: lively, bustling and an interesting cross-section of Indian society. If you’ve ever been to Delhi, Calcutta or Bombay, you’ll know what I mean. Everything all mixed together, all moving together, all struggling for a little bit of luck.

Nadeem Phillip as Hasan in The Men in White. Credit: Emily Cooper

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am a

At The Cultch (Vancity Culture Lab) until March 4, 2017
The enigmatically titled am a, created by Amber Funk Barton (dancer/choreographer) and Mindy Parfitt (writer/director) could hardly have come at a better time for me, having reached an ‘interesting’ place in my own career.

Mindy Parfitt and Amber Funk Barton in am a. Credit: Tristan Brand

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Copyright ©2017 Jo Ledingham