Girleen, the Irish teenage bootlegger gives as good as she gets in Martin McDonagh’s The Lonesome West

Cave Canem’s production of The Lonesome West at Pacific Theatre opens tonight.

The production of a new Martin McDonagh play is always cause for a celebration—at least, by fans of the Irish playwright.

McDonagh, whose work has been called “scabrous,” “morbid” and “depraved” by the press, tends to be a polarizing figure. Then again, critics are loving his new movie, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. (In a five-star review, the Guardian called it a “violent carnival of small-town America.”)

The Lonesome West (1997), which opens tonight (Oct 19) and runs until Nov. 11 at Pacific Theatre (1440 12th Ave. W) is the third in McDonagh’s trilogy of plays set in the Western Ireland town of Leenane. (The other two are The Beauty Queen of Leenane and A Skull in Connemara). In The Lonesome West, two brothers express grief over their father by more or less trying to kill each other.

The play is the first production from new local theatre company Cave Canem. We talked to Vancouver actor Paige Louter about her role as Girleen, the teenage bootlegger.

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Girleen, the Irish teenage bootlegger gives as good as she gets in Martin McDonagh’s The Lonesome West

Shakti your booty! Diwali in BC is all about feminine energy

Inspired by a short story, Encounter blends physical theatre with bold storytelling.

Diwali in BC takes place for five weeks, beginning this Saturday and running until Nov. 16. The festival includes dance, theatre, film and more, with many of the shows celebrating the festival’s theme of feminine power, or shakti. Here are some highlights. (Click on titles for tickets.)

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Shakti your booty! Diwali in BC is all about feminine energy

All-teen cast rocks 13: The Musical, starting tonight

Cast of Bring on Tomorrow Co.’s 13: The Musical. Anita Alberto photo.

Either 13: The Musical is a phenomenal entertainment, or there’s a lot of young musical theatre talent in town—or perhaps both. Because, for the second time this year, a local theatre company is mounting the show.

Jason Robert Brown’s 13: The Musical was a hit when it opened on Broadway with an all-teenage cast in 2008. The show offers a rare opportunity for an adolescent cast to show what it can do in a laugh-and-song-filled story about the trials and tribulations of the teenage years. In July, Eternal Theatre Collective presented its version; beginning tonight (Sept. 28), Bring On Tomorrow Co. is presenting its take on the musical, featuring a cast of TV-vet teen actors and a live band.

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All-teen cast rocks 13: The Musical, starting tonight

Crazy (in a good way) sexy (sort of) cool (maybe)—what’s coming to this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival

Beaver Dreams

Beavers are funny. People pretending to be beavers is even funnier. Hence, Beaver Dreams, coming to this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival.

How do you choose? That, along with, Is there parking?, is among the chief concerns accompanying the announcement of each new Fringe Festival. This year, the Vancouver Fringe Festival (Sept. 7-17) presents 100 different productions at various locations (mostly on Granville Island and in East Vancouver), and they range from one-person monologues about Trump to full-cast musical comedies about Trump. (Just kidding. Only a few of this year’s entries cover the current sitting president.)

So, to help the Fringe-goer decide, we’ve gone through the just-published schedule and broken down some of the selections into four categories: Sure Things; Intriguing. But…; Sexy… (Or Maybe Just About Sex in That Really Uncomfortable Fringe Way); and WTF.

This list is by no means meant to be comprehensive, and only includes about a quarter of the shows. (We also haven’t included any of the ancillary entertainment, from live music to Fringe-related shows before and after; perhaps in a future post. For a complete schedule, visit vancouverfringe.com.) But hopefully this guide will help to start you planning your Fringe-going.

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Crazy (in a good way) sexy (sort of) cool (maybe)—what’s coming to this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival

Film noir musical opens this weekend!

City of Angels Performance Works

Cast members from City of Angels, a Tony Award-winning film noir musical opening at Performance Works July 8.

Warm temperatures, bright blazing sunshine—that can only mean one thing in Vancouver: film noir season!

Next month, Cinematheque presents its annual programme of movies from the golden age (mostly) of Hollywood crime stories. We’ll have a post with more details on Monday.

Meanwhile, a group of committed local (and some out-of-town) actors, actresses and stage technicians are presenting City of Angels. It’s a Tony Award-winning stage musical with original songs and a book by professional wiseacre Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum). The Vancouver production of the musical, which first hit Broadway in 1989, stars veterans of television, movies and theatre, and opens at Performance Works on Granville Island on July 8. It runs until July 17.

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Film noir musical opens this weekend!

The reviews are in! Bard on the Beach’s summer Shakespeare productions on now

A scene from Bard on the Beach’s 2017 production of Much Ado About Nothing.

The reviews are in for this year’s Bard on the Beach, and they are much ado about something.

In a local publication, theatre reviewer Kathleen Oliver describes The Winter’s Tale as “exquisite.” And critic Jerry Wasserman enthused over Much Ado About Nothing, this summer’s other Bard production. Writing in the Vancouver Sun, Wasserman singled out Amber Lewis as Beatrice and Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg’s “witty choreography.” Both are performed at Vanier Park on alternating days until September.

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The reviews are in! Bard on the Beach’s summer Shakespeare productions on now

With new opera, East Vancouver proves it’s about more than just craft beer

Alma: The Story of the Girl Who Glowed

Allison Cociani (centre) and the cast of Alma, including Martina Govednik, Julie Duerichen, Cameron Killick, Katrina-Gohk.

A brand new, modern opera made in East Vancouver is opening next Thursday, June 22.

Written by local composer Allison Cociani, Alma: The Story of the Girl Who Glowed is a fusion of opera, ballet, and burlesque. Cociani put together a company, East Van Opera, specifically to present the work, which features five singers, five dances and 12 musicians.

Alma: The Story of the Girl Who Glowed runs June 22-25 at Metro Theatre, 1370 Marine Drive. Read more below.

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With new opera, East Vancouver proves it’s about more than just craft beer