Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tarry G's new coffee bar!

Okay, this ain't exactly about art. Unless great coffee is art. A position which Tarry Giannakos would no doubt advocate.

Tarry and his wife Kristine are hardcore Pacific Theatre fans, known to many of you. Well, they've started a new venture, and I want everybody to know about it.

Here's another pal of mine and Pacific Theatre's to tell you all about it. Mister Rory Holland...
Hey all, sorry for the Spam, but I did want to draw the attention of those that live in the Vancouver area, especially the North Shore, that a new coffee bar is opening in West Van that promises the best coffee, best atmosphere, and the highest speed wireless connection. CAFE CREMA is owned by Tarry and Kristine Giannakos - veterans of the coffee trade, but more importantly the most relational people you will ever meet. They have taken over and transformed the old "Bojangles" location at the bottom 15th Ave. and Bellevue.

"Does the North Shore really need another coffee bar?" Well, the answer for coffee snobs is - yes. Tarry is a fanatic about coffee so if you know your macchiatos from your mistos this is the place for you. And the North Shore DEFINITELY needs Tarry and Kristine. This place is bound to become the club house for many - great food, great people, comfy chairs.

They open Monday morning December 4th. Tons of parking, and easy stop on the way into the office, a perfect location for the mid-morning dog walking, running, workout crowd. My office is the table on the far left. See you there.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Dec 7: Gallery 7 auditions, STEEL MAGNOLIAS

Gallery 7 is a more or less a community theatre counterpart to Pacific Theatre, operating in Abbotsford.

Gallery 7 Theatre & Performing Arts will be holding open auditions on Thursday December 7, 2006 at 6:30 PM for its upcoming production of Robert Harling’s delightful comedy/drama, Steel Magnolias. The production, directed by Sarah Hu, will run March 9 & 10, 15 – 17, 22 – 24, 2007 with additional matinees on March 10 & 17 at 2:00 PM. Rehearsals will commence in January.

Truvy’s hair salon, nestled in the heart of a small town deep in the American south, forms the backdrop to this heart-warming and endearing tale of friendship where life’s hard-fought victories are celebrated and tragedies are made more bearable. Audiences will laugh, cry and ruminate along with six colorful characters as they share each other’s joys, challenges and ambitions.

All female performers ages 16 to 70 are invited to attend the auditions, which will be held at the MEI Secondary School Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road in Abbotsford. Interested individuals are asked to sign up ahead of time by calling Gallery 7 Theatre at 604-504-5940 or by email at For more information about Gallery 7 and the rest of the 2006/2007 theatre season, please visit our website at

Cast of Characters:

TRUVY JONES: Early 40’s. Owner of Truvy’s beauty shop
ANNELLE DUPUY-DESOTO: Nineteen. Beauty shop assistant.
CLAIREE BELCHER: Mid-60’s. Widow of former mayor and a grande dame.
SHELBY EATENTON-LATCHERIE Mid-20’s. Prettiest girl in town.
M’LYNN EATENTON: Early 50’s. Shelby’s mother and socially prominent career woman.
OUISER BOUDREAUX: Mid 60’s. Wealthy curmudgeon, acerbic but loveable.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dec 1: Carolyn Arends "Something 2 Give" Concert

featuring Carolyn Arends and Greg Sczebel
December 1, 7:30 pm
Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144th Street, Surrey / 1-866-953-1833

Carolyn Arends brings a new project (Pollyanna’s Attic), an exciting support act (soulful Juno-award winner Greg Sczebel) and a Big Cause (sponsorship for impoverished children in El Salvador) to Surrey's Bell Centre as the final date of their national Something to Give Tour. Not to mention the niftiest sideman this side of... Wherever the niftiest sidemen reside. Spencer Capier.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Nov 22: Viper Central (Kathleen Nisbet)

Kathleen Nisbet played fiddle at CONFESSIONS. She's in a bluegrass band called Viper Central. They've got a gig this week at...

The Cafe Montmartre
Wed Nov 22
4362 Main St.

"We are going to try to start the music at 9pm. There will be two sets." KN

Nov 24,25: Graham Ord Returns!

Soul Food regular Graham Ord moved away to Kelowna last year, but he'll be in the lower mainland this coming weekend. So if you've been feeling Ordless...

Graham Ord Acoustic concert
Fri Nov 24, 7:30
Sutherland Church, 630 East 19th Street, North Vancouver (19th and Grand Blvd)
985 8906

Offering of Hope
building project fundraiser for children in Watoto, Uganda.
Sat Nov 25
South Delta Baptist Church, 1988 – 56th Street, Tsawwassen, B.C
Doors open at 5:30 pm (Live and Silent Auction). Gourmet Coffee and Bistro Bar.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Nov 19: Jim Byrnes & The Sojourners on CBC

Sunday Nov 19, noon
"Westcoast Performance," CBC Radio 2

My favourite new record this year is "House Of Refuge" by Jim Byrnes. Produced by Steve Dawson (who several times has played his many stringed instruments at Pacific Theatre gigs), the gospel-soaked disk features The Sojourners, a very fine trio of singers from the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir. You'd swear you stepped into a storefront church someplace in New Orleans.

Early this fall, the Rogue Folk Club hosted a CD release concert ("I was there. It was fabulous." reports Soul Foodie Rudi). CBC recorded it, and is broadcasting it tomorrow at noon on Radio 2.


Advance word about related matters. Good Noise will be performing a series of three Christmas concerts, the first at my home church, Fraserview MB in Richmond. When time gets closer I'll post more details, but here's the heads up for now (and just in case...)

FRIDAY, DEC 1, 2006 7:30 pm
Fraserview Church
11295 Mellis Drive, Richmond, BC

FRIDAY, DEC 15, 2006 7:30 pm
Christ Church Cathedral,
Georgia & Burrard Vancouver BC

SATURDAY, DEC 16, 2006 7:30 pm
Christ Church Cathedral,
Georgia & Burrard Vancouver, BC

Details at their website, linked above

Friday, November 17, 2006

Libby Appel, "It is required you do awake your faith"

I started my actor training in the BFA program at the University of Alberta, but only began. Long story. When it came time to return to theatre, I did an MFA in Acting at the California Institute of the Arts. Several of my teachers, working professionals all, made a huge impact; Robert Benedetti, Lew Palter, Jules Aaron, and others. But especially Libby Appel, who was Dean of the theatre school at CalArts, and also my acting teacher.

We're talking 20 years ago, but I still hear her words come out of my mouth every time I teach an acting class, every time I direct a show. Acting, I might as well wear a little WWLS bracelet: "What would Libby say?"

Soon after I left CalArts, so did Libby (I'm sure it was hard to carry on without me). I started Pacific Theatre, she ended up Artistic Directing my favourite theatre anywhere (even before she was in the captain's chair), the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Huge thrill for me a couple summers back to see an "I'm glad I saw that, never need to see it again" production of RICHARD II (a difficult play to make interesting, I thought) at Shakespeare's Globe in London, then to travel to Ashland Oregon the next month to experience an utterly transcendent production of the same play - directed by Libby.

Now, I was a bit confounded. No, I was stunned. During my CalArts years, Libby made no secret of the fact that she had no time for religion, especially Christianity: it was testimony to her gracious nature that she made as much time for me as she did.
A self-described "atheist Jew," her church was the stage, her god the art of theatre. But her RICHARD II took every last one of the play's deeply spiritual themes and incarnated them onstage: rather than avoid a single gospel reference or undercut even one of the story's Christian elements, Libby foregrounded them all in an exquisitely theatrical, movingly human and profoundly theological production.

Well, I thought, testimony to the power of theatre, imagination, craftsmanship, professionalism: that a brilliant artist like Libby can achieve onstage what she mightn't even believe.

Then this past summer I saw her austere, essential, sublime WINTER'S TALE. And I - to use some hardcore religous language - felt myself to be in the heart of the Kingdom of God. Again, the Biblical notes resonated, resounded; the Christian references, metaphors, paradigms were extraordinarily vivid; I quite literally wept. And only after the show did I read - astonished - Libby's program notes on the show, and then her Artistic Director notes for the overall season.

Obviously I don't know the least bit about what's transpired for Libby in the past 22 years, and wouldn't presume to suggest it's got anything to do with believing what I believe about Jesus. It could even be that she's changed not a whit, that I was a different person way back then, and heard her words about her own spirituality through different ears. Whatever the case, though, I can't help but feel a remarkable kinship with this woman by whom I've now been twice blest; first, by the artistry she taught me; now, by the art she makes.

Here's what she wrote...

From The Director
Sixteen Years Later

In The Winter’s Tale, the central character, Leontes, King of Sicilia, undergoes a 16-year penitential journey from the moment he commits a disastrous sin to his ultimate redemption and salvation. Shakespeare, who can be very carefree and careless about measuring time in his plays (he will often have events tumble and gallop with no attention to a precise time frame), has been very exact about the passage of time in this play. Indeed, he has name a character Time, who introduces the “16 years later” concept to tell us specifically what has happened.

In 1990, I directed The Winter’s Tale for OSF on the Elizabethan Stage. It was the last artistic journey for the incomparable Rex Rabold, who played Leontes, as he died four weeks after we opened the play. Rex was ill throughout the whole rehearsal period, but his mind was sharp and his spirit was thoroughly engaged as we wrestled with the devil inside Leontes. Perhaps you can imagine what it was like to watch this extraordinary actor build the terribly sick (mentally) character who must go through extreme purgatory before he is forgiven and reborn--- this was a once in a lifetime experience for me.

Why then do I feel ready, indeed compelled, to take this journey again? Well, in truth, I found that I had not wanted to think about the play until recently. When I decided to put it up in the 2006 season, it was only at that point that I realized it will have been 16 years from my first venture. A coincidence? A surprise? Or was Shakespeare, somewhere situated in the heavens, looking down (perhaps laughing) and urging me to have another go at his spiritual, most mysterious play?

I only know that I felt ready again. I have worked with the memory of Rex tucked securely in my heart and have tried to find what the wisdom and experience of 16 years has brought to me. I am working with a new team of actors and designers, which has brought fresh perspective to the ideas of the play and has given me vitality and creative energy. But the true secret of this journey retaken is that I have discovered that The Winter’s Tale, like all great works of art, does not reveal all of its secrets on the first encounter. The heart of the play is briefly glimpsed and barely understood with each experience. I have reveled in this new investigation, but I will bet anything that 16 years from now, I will want to rediscover this masterpiece anew.

It’s a mystery, and as Paulina exhorts us,
“It is required you do awake
Your faith.”

---Libby Appel


From the Artistic Director

After every new season is announced each year, I am frequently asked, “Did you have a unifying theme you wanted to express through these choices?” Invariably I answer no. For, in fact, I choose plays for their diversity of theme and style and I do not make an effort to tie them together. Of course, our extraordinarily perceptive audience, who more often than not sees four or five plays in one week, tells me about similar motifs and messages that they find running through many of the plays, even without any conscious effort on my part to make that happen.

When I hear this, I realize that this is not really a surprise. All good plays deal with the deep conflicts within the human soul and within human relationships. Buried below the surface of a play is often a cry for the answers to how we negotiate the relationship between the private self and the outer world---Who am I? Why am I here? What does my life mean? Our former artistic director, Jerry Turner, was fond of saying that if a play wasn’t about a fight with God, he didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

So it was with a mixture of understanding and acceptance that I realized that the 2006 season does indeed have a major theme--- the struggle with one’s spirituality and the quest for reconciliation, redemption and salvation. The play that deals most specifically with these urgent human needs is, of course, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. A late play, placed firmly by scholars in the group of plays categorized as Romances, the structure of the play is literally a journey of atonement with a rebirth, or a resurrection if you will, as its masterful and deeply moving conclusion.

The Diary of Anne Frank, with its struggle to remain human and loving against the insuperable odds of inevitable destruction, is a profoundly spiritual play. Indelibly etched in all of our hearts are Anne’s words, “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” ...

So yes, in these perilous times we live in, we are seeking answers to the troubling dilemmas which plague our society and our personal lives. In the theater, we seem to need to explore ideas and experiences that ask our most profound questions in a spiritual and soulful way. I no longer hesitate to say there are interweaving themes in the 2006 season. These are the ties that bind us all together in the human condition.

---Libby Appel
This was Libby's last year as Artistic Director at the OSF. But she'll be back. In the 2007 season, she will be directing THE TEMPEST. Think maybe I ought to go?

To Nov 22: Carmen Tomé & Shannon Ravenhall

Carmen Tome is a photographer who's often been mentioned over the years in Soul Food emails, with a tremendous number of awards for her innovative approaches to photography and several shows at the Regent Lookout Gallery. Carmen sent me word back in October about an art show, but I didn't know how to post the graphics she provided and notice of the show got missed. I've been in touch with her recently, the show runs until Wednesday Nov 22, so there's still a chance to see it if you're in Langley. And now that I know how to post images (thanks Paul!)...

Light & Life
A new art show entitled "Light & Life" featuring exciting new works by Carmen Tomé & Shannon Ravenhall at the Langley based Westwind Art Gallery

What do you get when two very spiritual women each explore light in their own medium and then get together? You get one very interesting show, full of passion, spirituality, and sensuality.

Shannon's sculptures are developed with a view allowing photos to pass through them in certain area and to hold back the photons in other areas. The alabaster is worked with a passion to create varying densities. The photons pass through the stone more freely in certain areas creating halo effects. He subject matter is inspired by her love of quantum theory and her passion for exploring the human psyche.

Carmen captures photos on paper and canvas and displays them in a way that is at once spiritual and sensual. Her romantic images of beautiful longing women and her misty images of castles and mountain sides have been described by some as renaissance, gothic, even impressionistic in style.


Westwind Art Gallery is one of western Canada's largest and oldest galleries. The gallery offers a wide range of contemporary sculptures, paintings, prints and framing. Westwind Art Gallery is a 20 minute drive East of Vancouver on Highway 1, to 200th street then 7 minutes south to Fraser Highway, and 4 blocks East.

Westwind Art Gallery & Framing,
20460 Fraser Highway,
Langley, British Columbia


Monday to Saturday
We usually open at 9:30 am or earlier . . .
We close at 5:30 pm or later

Most Sundays
We are open most from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Evenings by Appointment

Thursday, November 16, 2006

OVER THE RHINE Interview, Christmas album

Concert at Regent was swell. These kids could go far.

John Cody did a swell interview with Karin at BCCN.

They mentioned a Christmas album. It comes out December 2. Don't you think the cover looks swell?

You can order it at their website.

Which is pretty swell.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Nov 24 - Dec 30: CARIBOO MAGI at Pacific Theatre

Click to enlarge

CARIBOO MAGI by Lucia Frangione
Pacific Theatre
Nov 24 - Dec 30 / 731-5518

Here we go again! Tons o' Christmas craziness - and more heart and substance than you might think - as we bring Lucia's hilarious Christmas romp back to our stage. Lucia, Dirk Van Stralen and Donna-Lea Ford all return from the original cast, plus Parnelli Parnes, who tore up the Bard stage this summer - much funniness. And this time, under the direction of Kerry Vander Griend, whose track record with CHICKENS and THE FARNDALE CHRISTMAS CAROL establishes him as one of the best comedy directors in town. (I know, I know, you're reading this, aren't you, Kerry? And going, "Hey, I don't just do comedy!" Fine. We'll find you something depressing some other year.)

Great story behind the development of this one. Cia came to Pacific Theatre back in 1990, our first ever apprentice. Acted in shows, before long we started putting her plays on our stage. Sponsored her to attend the Lamb's Players Writers Week, to work on a script about Arctic exploration. Which didn't go any further than that. But LP loved Looch, commissioned her to write them a one-act for Christmas. We read that script, loved it, asked Ms Frangione to develop it into a full-length piece. It was a mammoth success (well, as mammoth as our little 120-seat theatre can hold. Mini-mammoth). Last Christmas, perhaps stimulated to nostalgia by the hilarity of THE FARNDALE CHRISTMAS CAROL, our audience started asking "When are you bringing CARIBOO MAGI back again?" So we scheduled the darn thing into our 2006-2007 season. Then this spring Talonbooks announced that they would be publishing the script, as they had ESPRESSO a couple years before - and the official book launch will be at Pacific Theatre, opening Saturday (Nov 25). Come that night, meet the playwright and the rest of the cast, and get yourself a signed copy!

The show's got lots of appeal for all ages, so we've added a batch of matinee performances, especially during the week following Christmas. (Hey, it never occurred to me before, but do you know what? Christmas Week tickets for this show would make fabulous Christmas presents, wouldn't they? Gee, what a great idea, Ron....)


Green Room
(See, it really is green...)

House Band
Kenton Wiens, Ben Appenheimer, Brett Ziegler, Nelson Boschman

Lance Odegard

Sheree Plett

blurry Kathleen Nisbet & focused Michael Hart

* Several other musicians, actors and poets not pictured. One of whom is Jonathan Anderson. Mostly because he was mostly behind the camera. When he wasn't playing. *

"The Reverend: Photographs by James Perry Walker"

The Reverend
Photographs by James Perry Walker

Photographer James Perry Walker spent six years snapping photographs on the Mississippi Delta preaching circuit. That’s six years of weathered old men and their cigarettes, children in their Sunday best, and shining white chapels; four congregations of poverty, pain, and faith; and one rousing black Baptist preacher, the Reverend Louis Cole. In The Reverend, Walker pays tribute to these four communities and the man that led them by fusing his black and white photographs with earthy advice, humorous anecdotes, and a sermon from the now deceased Reverend Cole.

Ordained in 1919, Cole tended Sabbath flocks for more than sixty years, but it was his hands that conducted the real art of ministry. As he toils over crops, hassles with doctor bills, and builds his own $100 house, Cole demonstrates that faith is erected from the planks and nails of daily life. The Reverend suggests that there is no divide between body and soul, the physical and divine, or our Sundays and Saturdays. Cole plants his corn and conducts his revivals by the same almanac—a full moon can make a difference in both harvests, he explains. Walker’s gritty, stark photographs of the Reverend and his community reveal the bridge between spirituality and everyday life. We see Cole and his congregants going about the business of living at home, at work, and at church. And this active integration of life is also our calling.

“It don't take all that much to be saved,” says Cole, and “It don't take nothing for you to be lost. You want to be lost, don't do nothing.” Together, Walker’s photographs and Cole's frank narration create a portrait of a man and a memoir of a community that illustrate the connection between the pulpit, the pew, and the hard work of living.

To view photographs from "The Reverend," visit James Perry Walker’s website.
Click here to buy the book.


I lifted this directly from the latest IMAGE Update, a regular email from - without question the best periodical on the arts from a Christian perspective. Consider subscribing - to the IMAGE Update emails, which are free, and to the journal, which ain't - via the IMAGE website.

Nov 23: Ron Reed on "Oblation" at TWU

"I take my children to the beach. On the north shore of Long Island it is a pretty stony proposition. The mills of the gods grind coarsely here; but, in exchange for busied feet and a sore coccyx, they provide gravel for the foundation of the arts… the oblation of things." Robert Farrar Capon

The Artist's Holy Calling

A man gathers stones on a beach…

Another snaps pictures of his Brooklyn cigar store
with the camera he stole from a blind woman…

A third trains his camera on a plastic bag in an alleyway…

Hobbyists? Artists? Priests? "Ingatherers of being"?
People with too much time on their hands?

Wanna learn some Latin? We'll be talking lectio divina, we'll be talking liber mundi, we might even toss in some good old imago dei or et vidit Deus quod esset bonum. Ron Reed (founding artistic director of Pacific Theatre) uses clips from favourite films to explore the role of the artist in the world, and the artistic way of every living person on this planet – whether they think they're artists or not!


An open lecture
Trinity Western University, Freedom Hall
Thursday November 23 @ 1:10-2:25

(If you don't know where Freedom Hall is, just ask at the information booth as you drive onto campus. If you don't know where the campus is, phone 888-7511)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Nov 3-18: THE HOBBIT, Gallery 7

click to enlarge
And here's what Gallery 7 has to say about their current show...

The Hobbit, which opened on our new stage at the MEI Secondary School Auditorium this past weekend, is a great opportunity for you to introduce your kids to the magic and power of theatre and to experience an epic adventure story based on one of the great books of English literature. Recommended for kids ages 6 and up (some scenes may frighten very young children), The Hobbit is about an amazing journey filled with thrills and chills the entire family can enjoy. More importantly, there are some great universal themes that you can talk over with your kids after the show including the value of courage & loyalty, the effects of greed on the individual and a society and the importance of pursuing our goals despite the many obstacles that stand in our way.

The story of The Hobbit goes like this: Compelled to leave the comfortable surroundings of the Shire, Bilbo Baggins embarks on an epic adventure through Middle Earth in search of a golden treasure guarded by an evil dragon. Audiences will meet all sorts of colorful and sometimes treacherous characters in this retelling of a classic tale of courage and discovery.

The production features many colorful costumes, an original music score, a compelling lighting design and a simple yet effective set that transforms into the many locales of Middle Earth. Eleven energetic cast members play over twenty characters making this a production a unique and imaginative theatrical experience.

Nov 11: "From Despair To Hope," organ recital / photography

Here's a fine way to remember. I'm told the pipe organ at St. Mary's is one of the finest in the city.

November 11, Remembrance Day
11:30 am
St. Mary's Kerrisdale Anglican Church, 37th Ave.and Larch St., Vancouver

Susan Ohannesian presents an organ recital "From Despair to Hope". Music of Buxtehude, JS Bach, Mendelssohn, William Renwick and Denis Bedard based on the hymn tunes Aus Tiefer Not, Ich Ruf Zu Dir, Ein Feste Burg, St. Anne and Old Hundredth. The recital follows the 10:30 am Remembrance Day Eucharist and all are welcome to attend the service and recital or just the service or just the recital.

To accompany the recital, photographs by Rudi Krause are displayed in the narthex, "Where There Are Shadows There Is Light."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Nov 3-11: The Diviners, Douglas College

This is a show I've repeatedly considered for Pacific Theatre. Would be a perfect Stones Throw / Emerging Artists show. Morris Ertman staged it at Rosebud, I've seen several memorable productions including a leap-to-your-feet staging by the Playhouse Acting School, back in the day. (Wonder what 2007 theatre luminaries might have been in that 1982(?) crop of student actors?)

Anyhow, here's the co-ordinates...


The Diviners: Finding redemption in the dirt

In the parched earth of a mythical 1930s southern farming community
one ex-minister and one teen-age boy seek to quench their spiritual

The town has lost its church, the preacher has lost his pulpit and
the boy has lost his mother. The basics elements life - hope, faith
and water - are everyone’s concern.

“This play focuses on one town were everyone is struggling with
fear and faith,” says "The Diviners" guest director, Stephen

"The Diviners", written by American playwright Jim Leonard Jr.,
sees the residents of Zion facing a shortage of water. Buddy, a
misunderstood youth, with a gift for water-witching, is also
tormented by the fear of water. C.C. Showers, a back-sliding
preacher confronts his own haziness as he rejects the demands of a
life he once lived. Around them are the townsfolk who are all
seeking simple hope and something to believe in.

Drover decided that the best presentation of "The Diviners" was to
take a decidedly down-to-earth approach.

“In the past, I’ve directed students in finding unconventional
approaches to their characters [ensemble casting "Oedipus the
King"; cross-gender cast "Taming of the Shrew"]. This play is so
poignant and human that there are no such conventions required.
It’s the student’s ability to connect to their character that will
make the play,” says Drover.

“The Stagecraft students who are working on the set are also
learning about the period. They are working hard to create a 1930s
Great Depression town,” says Drover.

This is the fourth play Drover has directed at Douglas College. He
is co-founder and Artistic Director of Pound of Flesh Theatre in
Vancouver whose mandate is to produce alternative productions of
classical plays. Productions include "Macbeth" and "The Bond", an
adaptation of "The Merchant of Venice", to be remounted in
association with the Gateway Theatre in March 2007. He is also
co-writing a new play with actor Todd Thomson.

Presented by the Douglas College Theatre and Stagecraft
Departments, "The Diviners" runs from November 3-11 in the Studio
Theatre. For ticket information and times, please call 604-527-5488
or visit our Web site at

"Can't remember when I last enjoyed a student production so
much....Wow!!!!.....and these are students????......this far out
weighs what are often labeled the heavy weights here in the lower
mainland. We could not have been in a better place last evening."
- Susanna Uchatius, Artistic Director, Theatre Terrific

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Nov 11: Sheree Plett, RED CIRCLED HEART release concert

Love this girl!

Sheree first showed up at pt last december, CHRISTMAS PRESENCE, stole several shows. She was back for TESTIMONY, kept up her larceny. Then CONFESSIONS, the thievery continued.

Check out her website to hear some of the tunes.

Nov 15: OVER THE RHINE, Regent College

...and late-breaking news, Peter La Grand will perform a solo opening act.


If you know OTR, you'll need no persuading.
If you don't, here's their website.

To purchase advance tickets, contact Dana Telep: or 604 687-7292

Nov 24/25: David Robinson, Eastside Culture Crawl

David Robinson
Various and recent works on view during the Eastside Culture Crawl

Nov 24: 5-10pm
Nov 25: 11am-6pm

Robinson Studios
#360 - 1000 Parker Street
Vancouver, BC

Nov 8: Gallery 7 Auditions, LOST IN YONKERS

Open Auditions - Lost in Yonkers
November 8, 2006 at 6:30 PM.

Gallery 7 Theatre & Performing Arts will be holding open auditions on November 8, 2006 at 7:30 PM for its upcoming production of Neil Simon's Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, Lost in Yonkers. The production will run January 19 & 20, 25 - 27, Feb 1 - 3, 2007 at 7:30 PM with additional matinees on Jan 20 & 27 at 2:00 PM. Rehearsals are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM. and will begin soon after auditions. There will be a one week break for Christmas and New Years.

The Story:

It’s the summer of 1942 in Yonkers, New York. Eddie and Arty are left in the care of their stern and bristly grandmother while their father attempts to earn fast money to pay off debts. While there, the boys experience family in an entirely new and bizarre way as they relate with their love-starved aunt and their obscure and mysterious uncle who appears to have ties to the mob. As the summer goes on, the boys’ presence becomes a catalyst for emotional healing in a home where affection is nearly absent and people are prepared for the hard life through hard-nosed discipline and correction.

Boys ages 12 - 18 as well as male and female performers ages 25 to 70 are welcome to attend the auditions. Here's an approximate age break down of the characters:
· Arty - 13 years old
· Jay - 16 years old
· Eddie - 41 years old
· Bella - mid thirties
· Grandma Kurnitz - mid-seventies
· Gert - mid to late thirties
· Louie - mid thirties

Those wanting to sign up for the audition or who want more information, should call Gallery 7 at 604-504-5940 or email them at

Ken Hildebrandt
Executive Artistic Director
Gallery 7 Theatre & Performing Arts Society
P.O. Box 825, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 7A2

Tickets - House of James: 604-852-3701
Gallery 7 Administration: 604-504-5940

Colin Thomas interviews LIFE AFTER GOD playwright

Life After God born again
By colin thomas
Georgia Straight, Oct 26 2006

Michael Lewis MacLennan adapts Douglas Coupland’s tale to the stage.

Playwright Michael Lewis Mac Lennan is a Christian, although he finds it hard to admit. That, and his considerable skill, might make him the perfect guy to adapt the title story in Douglas Coup land’s Life After God for the stage.

Life After God is about overcoming irony and risking the embarrassment that can accompany spiritual and emotional need. Its characters are all privileged young adults who grew up in a state of narcissistic bliss on Vancouver’s North Shore. Fifteen years after they graduate from high school, Scout, the protagonist, goes off his antidepressants and starts to fall apart. His five friends are experiencing troubles of their own—with alcohol, drugs, sex, and boredom. Stacey, for example, drinks and says God is in the teeth of the man who fucked her the night before.

MacLennan, who also has a home in Toronto, speaks on the phone from his apartment in Los Angeles. His packed curriculum vitae features award-winning plays (Grace, The Shooting Stage, Last Romantics) and credits as a producer and writer on the television series Godiva’s and Queer As Folk. This new adaptation, which is being coproduced by Touchstone Theatre and Theatre at UBC, runs at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts from Wednesday (November 1) until November 11 before moving to the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, November 15 to 25.

“I have horrible memories of going to see plays that were adaptations of novels,” MacLennan begins. “So often, the bone structure was the bone structure of a novel and it just didn’t work.” MacLennan loved Coupland’s story when it was published in 1994. He says the tale isn’t inherently the stuff of drama, however: “One of the weaknesses, I suppose, is that Scout is so front-and-centre. Some of the other characters have maybe five or six lines of dialogue.” MacLennan has developed longer interactive scenes and organized them along a new backbone: all of the characters are moving toward a 15-year high-school reunion.

The climactic image has stayed the same, though: Scout wanders deep into the woods, where he immerses himself in a freezing mountain stream.

MacLennan has a clear idea of how Scout got there. The opening image of his play borrows heavily from Coupland. Scout and his friends float mindlessly in a blood-warm swimming pool: “Back then, we never talked about ideas or the meaning of life. We didn’t need to: we lived in paradise.”

MacLennan sees this golden youth as a handicap of sorts. “If we don’t have a relationship with ourselves that has developed through adversity, through suffering, through pain, then we don’t have the equipment to see ourselves through hard times.”

In Scout’s world, however, the forest is a place of healing. “I think there is something restorative about nature,” MacLennan offers. “It is sort of the temple that people go to in Vancouver. For a lot of people, certainly these guys, that’s the spiritual discipline they grew up with: they went camping.”

Of Scout’s chilly final dunking, MacLennan says: “I think he needs engagement in his own life and the lives of the people around him. He needs to be reborn. He kind of needs to be born because in a way he’s still floating around in that amniotic fluid. The end image is one of baptism, but it’s one of frigid water. It’s cold. That’s the thing that will wake him up.”

MacLennan’s own immersion in faith began six years ago when a friend invited him to a service at Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church. Now he attends every week when he’s in town.

Although identifying himself as Christian raises fears of being labelled a fundamentalist, MacLennan reveals: “The tenets of Christianity are about transformation through love. The messages are so simple and yet so challenging — at least to me.” He goes on: “Things that happened in my life growing up didn’t make it feel very safe for me to feel loving to people. So my default is a kind of protective detachment. The things that attract me to spirituality have the benefit of encouraging me to be more generous, more open, more playful—things that my soul wants and things that I’ve almost had to relearn.”

Nov 17: New Orleans Benefit (Ng, Des Cotes, Reynolds)

Benefit Concert
To help rebuild churches in New Orleans

Nov. 17th, 7:30pm
(by donation)

Joycelin Ng, piano
Rob Des Cotes, flute
Rick & Daniel Reynolds, jazz piano & bass

Fairview Baptist Church, 1708 W. 16 th Ave.
(604) 731-3211