Spanking Towards Ecstasy in Vancouver

Artists of Alberta Ballet with Sarah McLachlan. Photo credit: Phil Crozier.

Artists of Alberta Ballet with Sarah McLachlan. Photo credit: Phil Crozier.

This weekend offers an embarrassment of entertainment riches – especially for the ladies.

Now, we’re not saying that guys won’t enjoy Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, a contemporary dance production set to the music of Sarah McLachlan and with a narrative which hits on archetypal moments in a woman’s life. And far be it for us to conjecture that a group of dudes wouldn’t get some solid laughs out of Spank! A Fifty Shades Parody, a satire of the S-&-M-lite series of bestsellers. But both productions seem geared just a little more towards women. And it’s about time.

On its website, Spank! is even going so far to encourage women to grab their friends and have a cocktail or two before the show. Alberta Ballet, the company behind Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, doesn’t quite go that far, probably because ballet is far less enjoyable after a couple of martinis (not that we have firsthand experience of this or anything).

Nevertheless, both productions are falling on exactly the same dates, Nov. 14-16. To give a brief rundown of both productions:

Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody has received plenty of rave reviews on the strength of its performances and writing. The overseer is director and head writer Jim Millan, who has worked both on- and off-Broadway and directed three tours by Canadian comedy vets Kids in the Hall. Patrick Whalen, previous to playing Spank!’s Christian Grey-like character, was a member of the all-male burlesque troupe Boylesque and also sings jazz. Actress Danielle Trzcinski, who plays the naive Tasha Woode, is a writer/comedian who placed in the Top 25 in NBC’s Last Comic Standing NY, as well as Top 5 Females in NBC’s Stand up For Diversity.

Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody
Nov. 14-16 at the Vogue Theatre (918 Granville St.)
Tickets: $32.50 – $47.50 at northerntickets.com

Patrick Whalen stars in Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody at the Vogue Theatre Nov. 14-16. Photo courtesy Spank!

Patrick Whalen stars in Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody at the Vogue Theatre Nov. 14-16. Photo courtesy Spank!

Following in the pointy footsteps of previous productions based on the music of k.d. lang, Elton John and Joni Mitchell, the Alberta Ballet presents Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. The title comes from an album by Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan, whose music provides the inspiration behind this contemporary dance production. The show has already played in Edmonton, but will make its Vancouver debut this weekend. “In the end, fans of Sarah McLachlan will find much to love here,” said a National Post reviewer.

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
Nov. 14 – 16 at 8 p.m. at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (649 Cambie St.)
Tickets: $31.50-$90 at ticketmaster.ca

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