Heritage theatre brings back acclaimed Leonard Cohen tribute

Steve Charles and Lauren Bowler in Chelsea Hotel. David Cooper photo.

One of East Vancouver’s most treasured heritage theatres is celebrating its 35th anniversary season this year by bringing back one of its most popular productions.

From March 17-April 21, the Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova St.) presents the return of Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen. In the award-winning tribute, a group of actors/musicians presents a dramatic scenario that offers live performances of many of the late singer’s best-known, most-loved songs: “Everybody Knows,” “I’m Your Man,” “Hallelujah” and many more.

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Heritage theatre brings back acclaimed Leonard Cohen tribute

Hallelujah! Leonard Cohen Musical Returns to Vancouver for the Holidays

Image sourced from firehallartscentre.ca

Image sourced from firehallartscentre.ca

Attention Leonard Cohen fanatics: The classic that puts the spotlight on Canada’s most beloved poet-crooner-novelist is back for a holiday run in Vancouver.

The Chelsea Hotel returns to the Firehall Arts Centre, Dec. 15-Jan. 9. The wildly creative musical is pieced together from Cohen’s acclaimed music and poetry. It premiered in 2012 to rave reviews (the Globe and Mail praised its “overwhelming inventiveness”) and has since played to sold-out shows across the country.

At the start of the musical, we encounter young Cohen suffering from a serious case of writer’s block. In fact, a literal mountain of crumpled paper rises next to his bedside at New York’s Chelsea Hotel. As the story progresses, he’s visited by a series of characters and lovers, all drawn to his outsized creative gifts and magnetism. Women are picked up and discarded; serious heartbreak and reflection ensues. And, in the process, Cohen discovers his artistic voice.

The plot, as it is, is fairly free form. But what really drives the musical forward is the interpretations of Cohen’s classic songs. The six performers pick up and play 17 different instruments – from guitars to cello, accordion, keyboards and even kazoo – as they work their way through the iconic Cohen catalogue.  Continue reading:
Hallelujah! Leonard Cohen Musical Returns to Vancouver for the Holidays

5 Can’t-Miss Plays in Vancouver This Month

Mies Julie is playing at the Cultch Theatre this month.  Photo sourced from thecultch.com.

Mies Julie is playing at the Cultch Theatre this month. Photo sourced from thecultch.com.

Spring is springing in Vancouver … and with it a new season of theatre in the city.  Here’s a look at five can’t-miss plays premiering in Vancouver over the next month:

Floyd CollinsThe newly restored York Theatre on Commercial Drive is the setting for this Broadway musical. The action centres around the true story of a man who becomes trapped 100 feet underground while exploring a cave in 1925 Kentucky.  A media frenzy ensues while his friends and family frantically try to free him.  March 11-March 30; York Theatre; tickets start at $19

Chelsea Hotel – The Songs of Leonard CohenBack for another run is this popular musical inspired by the life and works of Canada’s own bard, Leonard Cohen.  Six performers play 17 different instruments in a tribute to the exceptional songwriter and a bygone world of Beat poets, artists and musicians.  March 18-March 29; Firehall Arts Centre; tickets start at $15. (A travelling version of the production can also be seen at various venues outside Vancouver through March 15.)

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5 Can’t-Miss Plays in Vancouver This Month