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WHEN DID WE BEGIN TO SETTLE FOR MEDIOCRITY? FightForBeauty.ca


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CONTENTS

English Bay. Stuart Dee photo.

12

STYLE

From hemp-and-cotton Ts to vegan work boots to hand-stamped silk button-ups, here are the ethically made, one-of-a-kind wears to look for at Vancouver’s upcoming markets. > BY LUCY L AU

17

COVER

At this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival, women in lab coats and space suits abound. Plus, early reviews from Victoria, a look at the new and improved Fringe Bar, and more.

31

START HERE 16 10 37 15 28 11 39 14

The Bottle Cannabis Confessions Food I Saw You Renters of Vancouver Savage Love Straight Stars

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MOVIES

A Thai elephant named Pop Aye steals our hearts; the kids of Aulnay-sous-Bois have tons of Swagger; Alicia Vikander and Dane DeHaan fail to give anyone Tulip Fever.

35

29 Arts 37 Music

MUSIC

With the inaugural Westward Music Festival, organizers hope to send a message to the city that it’s better when we all pull together. > BY MIKE USINGER

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COVER PHOTO

TIME OUT

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straight talk

CAR-FREE GASTOWN COULD BE RESULT OF CITY PLAN

At Water and Carrall streets, a statue of Gastown’s founder stands over a cobblestoned square that harks back to the days of Vancouver’s founding. From there, Water, a thoroughfare popular with tourists, runs west, with old-fashioned street lamps and trees adorned with white lights on both sides. “Imagine those places car-free,” Brent Toderian said in a phone interview. The City of Vancouver’s former chief planner offered his thoughts on an idea floated in a redevelopment plan going for public consultation later this month. Building on Vancouver’s Transportation 2040 framework, one of the city’s objectives is to “explore Vancouver’s first car-light or pedestrian priority area”. According to that document, that could see parts or even all of Water Street and Cordova Street, plus each one-block stretch connecting them in Gastown—Cambie, Abbott, Carrall, and Columbia—declared free of traffic. “It’s the best intersection in the city,” Toderian said about Water and Carrall. “And it could be the best public place. But does it have to be that way all the time? That’s an interesting question.” Going car-free doesn’t have to mean banning vehicles 24 hours a day or seven days a week, he explained. Maybe these streets are pedestrian-only on weekends. Perhaps the intersection of Water and Carrall can transform into a patio filled with tables and chairs in the summer and then let cars drive through during rainier months. “And then there are other parts of Gastown where you could take a different approach,” Toderian continued. “I think the answer can vary around Gastown.” There are a few very small sections of Vancouver where similar ideas have taken shape. Just last month, the 800 block of Robson Street on the south side of the Vancouver Art Gallery, for example, was permanently transformed into a pedestrian-only area that will sometimes include seating and public art. But the Gastown plan puts a significantly larger area up for discussion. Leanore Sali, executive director of the Gastown Business Improvement

Former planning director Brent Toderian likes the idea of Gastown without cars. Association Society, said the group doesn’t yet have a position on the idea. “There’s the potential to come up with some real interesting opportunities,” she told the Straight. > TRAVIS LUPICK

VANDU’S ORIGINS REACH BACK TO 1990S OD CRISIS

In the late summer of 1997, a poster with a message aimed at drug users appeared on electrical poles throughout the Downtown Eastside. “Meeting in the park,” one read. “Let’s talk about a community approach.” It was a revolutionary idea: that people who use drugs should gather and organize around shared challenges and interests. On September 9, 1997, a few dozen people took note and met at the east end of Oppenheimer Park. Donald MacPherson was there that day. He was working at the Carnegie Community Centre at the time and the plight of drug users had caught his attention. “There was a big drug scene in the park in those days,” he recounted in a telephone interview. “And there [on September 9] was this wacky meeting with drug users, drug dealers, rice-wine drinkers, and residents.” At the front of the meeting was Bud Osborn, a poet and budding activist. Beside him was Ann Livingston, a single mother on welfare who had recently made a name for herself in the Downtown Eastside when, in 1995, she had opened the city’s first illegal injection site. “Ann was a contender, and then, with Bud—the pair of them working together—they were very powerful,” MacPherson told the Straight. It was largely a response to a surge of drug-overdose deaths. In

1991, there were 117 fatal overdoses in B.C. Then 162 in 1992 and then 354 the year after that. Livingston says that the idea in the park that day was to gather people in the community who were most affected and ask them what they wanted to do about it. “The technique was to say, ‘What are your issues?’ ” she recounts. “The second step was, ‘Why do you have those issues?’ The third step: ‘What action are we going to take?’ ” They formed an organization, or a union, of sorts. The group didn’t take the name it holds today until a year later, but that September 9 meeting in Oppenheimer was the formation of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. VANDU, as it is more commonly known, celebrates its 20th anniversary this week. After B.C. entered its second overdose epidemic, in 2011, that group of drug users became an integral part of the response. VANDU alley patrols walk the Downtown Eastside and offer people clean supplies and a show of support. The organization also pushes city officials and politicians to recognize what has become a guiding VANDU mantra: “Nothing about us without us,” ensuring drug users have a say in drug policy. MacPherson, who went on to establish the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, said VANDU arose in response to a need and made considerable contributions to addressing those problems. “They’ve been an amazingly solid, persistent, and creative, constructive force,” he said. “Those were extraordinary times,” MacPherson added in reference to the rise in overdose deaths that occurred in the ’90s. “Just like now is an extraordinary time. And they’re back at it.” > TRAVIS LUPICK

The Georgia Straight | Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly | Volume 51 Number 2591 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 www.straight.com Phone: 604-730-7000 / Fax: 604-730-7010 / e-mail: gs.info@straight.com Display Advertising: 604-730-7020 / Fax: 604-730-7012 / e-mail: sales@straight.com Classifieds: 604-730-7060 / e-mail: classads@straight.com Subscriptions: 604-730-7000 Distribution: 604-730-7087 EDITOR + PUBLISHER Dan McLeod ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Yolanda Stepien GENERAL MANAGER Matt McLeod EDITOR Charlie Smith SECTION EDITORS

Janet Smith (Arts/Fashion) Mike Usinger (Music) Steve Newton (Time Out) Adrian Mack (Movies) Brian Lynch (Books) Amanda Siebert (Cannabis) EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATOR Doug Sarti ASSOCIATE EDITORS

Gail Johnson, John Lucas, Alexander Varty STAFF WRITERS

Tammy Kwan, Lucy Lau, Travis Lupick, Carlito Pablo, Craig Takeuchi, Kate Wilson SENIOR EDITOR Martin Dunphy EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Jennie Ramstad PROOFREADER Pat Ryffranck CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Gregory Adams, Nathan Caddell, David Chau, Jack Christie, Jennifer Croll, Ken Eisner (Movies), George Fetherling, Tara Henley, Michael Hingston, Ng Weng Hoong, Alex Hudson, Kurtis Kolt,

Robin Laurence (Visual Arts), Mark Leiren-Young, John Lekich, Amy Lu, Bob Mackin, Michael Mann, Rose Marcus, Beth McArthur, Verne McDonald, Allan MacInnis, Guy MacPherson, Tony Montague, Kathleen Oliver, Ben Parfitt, Vivian Pencz, Bill Richardson, Gurpreet Singh, Jacqueline Turner, Andrea Warner, Jessica Werb, Stephen Wong, Alan Woo CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS

Alfonso Arnold, Rebecca Blissett, Trevor Brady, Louise Christie, Emily Cooper, Randall Cosco, Krystian Guevara, Evaan Kheraj, Kris Krug, Tracey Kusiewicz, Kevin Langdale, Shayne Letain, Matt Mignanelli, Mark “Atomos” Pilon, Carlo Ricci, William Ting, Alex Waterhouse-Hayward DIGITAL PRODUCT MANAGER

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The Georgia Straight is published every Thursday by the Vancouver Free Press Publishing SUBMISSIONS The Straight accepts no responsibility for, and will not Corp. Copies are distributed free every week throughout Vancouver, Burnaby, North necessarily respond to, any submitted materials. All submissions should be and West Vancouver, New Westminster, and Richmond. International Standard Serial addressed to contact@straight.com. Number ISSN 0709-8995. Subscription rates in Canada $182.00/52 issues (includes GST), $92.00/26 issues (includes GST); United States $379.00/52 issues, $205.00/ 26 issues; foreign $715.00/52 issues, $365.00/26 issues. Contact 604-730-7087 if you wish to distribute free copies of the Georgia Straight at your place of business. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Vancouver Free Press, Best Of Vancouver, BOV And Golden Plates Are Trade-Marks Of Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp.

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ver wondered what it takes to be a professional budtender? You might be surprised that it requires much more than simply “knowing your weed”. Local educator, consultant, and all-around cannabis expert Adolfo Gonzalez operates CannaReps, an industry improvement organization that provides training for cannabis professionals in Canada. With a background in cultivation, Gonzalez has been engaging with researchers, academics, entrepreneurs, growers, and medical professionals as a frontline worker for over 15 years and has developed a way to teach budtenders skills that will allow them to engage with their patients more effectively. Through CannaReps, Gonzalez has already helped train employees at over 60 organizations. In an interview with the Georgia Straight, he said he’s looking forward to his next intake. “Our course is really about clarifying the role of the budtender in society,” Gonzalez said in his downtown office. The course begins with a full-day seminar that covers the basics of service, intake protocols, interpreting scientific evidence, and hands-on product knowledge. That is followed up by six monthly workshops. “We want to keep our budtenders grounded, make sure they are acting responsibly, and, more importantly, get them to understand what quality product means and how to verify that,” he added. With more than a decade of experience as a grower, Gonzalez said very few people actually know how to identify quality cannabis. Although he said that students shouldn’t expect to leave his course a “certified cannabis expert”, he is able to take that 10-year learning curve and condense it. He isn’t a fan of traditional test structures, so instead of multiplechoice-question exams or surprise quizzes, students will be smelling, tasting, and touching different products in order to become familiar with them. “Then we’ll get into the details. We’ll sit down with a lot of different versions of one strain, and then extracts that are made from that strain, and then we’ll examine test results and identify terpenes,” he said, asserting that the only way to learn how to determine quality is “by hanging out with a weed geek”. An important resource, and the blueprint for the course, lies in Gonzalez’s Cann Help Deck, a comprehensive guide that compiles 12 years of

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Adolfo Gonzalez helps budtenders gain insights. Amanda Siebert photo.

face-to-face interactions with medical users, academic publications, and mentor information to outline specific areas of education. Each student gets the deck of reference cards as part of the CannaReps course. Many local dispensaries use the deck, and in almost two years of use, Gonzalez says, he has only ever received positive feedback. Created with his wife and business partner, Enid, the deck is divided into four sections that detail cannabinoids (THC, CBD, et cetera), different medical conditions and how they might be treated with cannabis, the various modalities for treatment (smoking, vaping, capsules), and subspecies of cannabis (sativa, indica, ruderalis). Although the deck is just one component of the course, it provides students with important information that Gonzalez says many doctors and researchers can’t provide. “A lot of what you find working in the field is actually contradictory to what researchers and doctors will tell you, and they hold the power—but, unfortunately, they don’t have the experience to wield that power,” he said. While the research community is often limited to studying specific products or compounds, the opportunities for anecdotal data collection at dispensaries are endless. “Dispensaries have this unique positioning, where they have very broad population sizes and very broad product types that have effectively become the standard of treatment, so when doctors and academics are learning what they know based on studies that use isolated particles, even though the standard of treatment is fullprofile medicine, it creates a bubble of misunderstanding.” Ultimately, Gonzalez hopes to create a bridge between dispensary workers, growers, and academics by encouraging dispensaries to collect observational data for future study while also creating a training program for doctors and pharmacists who are still unfamiliar with cannabis in a medical context. “When you start working with the research community, you realize why they’ve had all these blocks in advancement. I can only do so much,” he said. “We need the specialists to see the value of what we’ve built, what this community has accumulated, and where to start using it.” CannaReps’ September term begins on September 24. Visit cannareps. ca to register, and enter “master” at checkout to get a 10-percent discount.

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HOUSING

Renter defies renoviction

MICHAEL JOGIA

6-6179 NO 1 ROAD, RICHMOND Listed at $624,800

> B Y KATE WIL SON

Renters of Vancouver takes an intimate look at how the city’s residents are dealing with the housing crisis.

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“I

lived in an apartment building for eight-and-a-half years. It was sold. When everyone else chose to leave the complex, I stayed. Maybe it was the wrong decision, but I wasn’t ready to leave my home—and I wanted to see what would happen if they didn’t follow the law. “The new owners notified everyone that they wanted to start working on the building in four to eight months’ time. They told us that they would need to evict us all and that they had started the process of getting permits from the city. “They gave us a lot of information about Vancouver’s tenant-relocation policy. It specifies a number of things, including their right to help you find a new place and the financial compensation that we’d be entitled to. It also provides an allowance for moving expenses and gives us the right of first refusal of a room in the new apartment block with a 20-percent discount. It’s a pretty good plan—but I noticed that in the document they gave us initially, not all the details were correct. “Around November, the company gave everyone a form to mutually agree to end their tenancies. They also offered all the renters a $250 signing bonus. At that time, I knew that the new owners didn’t have the permits to begin the renovations. I decided not to agree to end my lease because I wasn’t ready to move, and a city official confirmed that I wasn’t obligated to sign. As I understood it, my lease with the building manager—and our commitments to each other—would continue. “Everyone else in the building signed and left. Maybe they didn’t understand

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When this man became the last to stay in an apartment complex after it was sold, he endured everything from copper thieves to a lack of water. Kate Wilson photo.

the situation or maybe they were just all ready to move on. Either way, I was the only one who stayed. “It was June when weird noises started. I’d hear sawing. I started to realize that people were breaking into the building. I’d go downstairs and see that pipes were missing and I knew that people were coming in and stripping out the copper while I was asleep. “It didn’t seem too frequent at first, but as July came around, it happened regularly. I guess the word was out that there was a near-empty building. With my job, I get home at 3:30 in the morning, and that’s often when people would break in. I was calling the cops on a regular basis, and they’d come by and bring their dogs. That happened four times. On one occasion they heard noises from outside the building themselves, but after they swept every floor, they couldn’t find the thieves. I started to feel unsafe. “Then in July, the owners shut the water off. At one point, someone had broken in and torn out some pipes and water was flooding the basement. The building manager knocked on my door and said that there would be no running water for a bit. I thought it would be a quick fix. It soon became apparent that they were never going to repair it.

“I paid rent for August as usual, even though it was basically impossible to use the suite. There was no running water. There was no heat. There were holes in the drywall that I constantly worried were letting the asbestos out. I had to wear a mask in the halls. “I then called the city, and found out that they’d finally got the permits issued in August to begin work on the building. If they followed the law, they’d only be allowed to send out a two-month notice to end my tenancy at the start of that month. Instead, I got an email from the building manager saying that they’d throw my stuff out on August 29. They said that I could collect it off the street at 11 a.m., or they’d put it in storage at my expense. I never got a proper notice from them to say that I should move out. “The suite has become so unlivable that I’ve moved in with my dad. Did I stay past the date of sensibility? Probably. But I’m still able to use the tenants-relocation plan, if I want to, and I wanted to see how they would follow the law. Some people have said that I did the right thing trying to fight the good fight, and others have said that I’m crazy and should just have left. For me, renovictions are a big problem in Vancouver, and I wanted to stand up for tenants’ rights.” -

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SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 11


STYLE

West Coast designers respect the planet

A

s the environmental costs of the textile industry increasingly come to light—think about the thousands and thousands of garments that are produced by retailers such as Forever 21, H&M, and Aritzia on the daily—more and more people are reverting to the way of life of their grandparents, preferring to fill their closets with locally made, handcrafted garments. But you don’t need to break out the needle and thread to build a wardrobe that stands the test of both trends and time. Here in Vancouver, there is a wealth of talented designers, metalsmiths, and shoemakers who are crafting ethically and sustainably minded apparel, jewellery, and accessories that will make you actually feel good about shopping. Below, we highlight a handful of our favourites, all of whom will be appearing at Vancouver’s upcoming Fall For Local pop-up market or the inaugural First Pick Handmade fair.

The laid-back apparel is made from a relaxed hemp-and-organiccotton blend and features doodles of evergreens, tuques, and bicycles, and, occasionally, one-off prints by local artists. “It’s sort of comfortable, casual street style with a little bit of an outdoorsy feel,” describes Dorey. At Fall For Local, Novel Supply Co. will be stocking its full line of gender-neutral tops, plus upcycled hats, cork wallets and notepads, and wall art made of fabric scraps sourced from the startup’s production proNOVEL SUPPLY CO. When tour- cess. Dorey also hopes to employ the ism-and-sustainability grad Kaya leftover material in a kids’ line someDorey decided to pursue a career in time in the near future. fashion, she found few brands with values—and an aesthetic—that fit BIANCA BARR DESIGNS From her own. So she decided to launch silk button-ups and T-shirts to one herself. “There were some com- kimonos and denim shorts, secpanies that were doing sustainable ondhand basics are updated with clothing,” she says, “but none that whimsy under local designer Bianca Barr’s skillful eye. Since 2016, the were really my style.” In 2015, Novel Supply Co. was fashion-design grad has been scourborn. Its name a nod to the “novel” ing thrift stores for top-quality, oneidea of apparel crafted from nontoxic, of-a-kind pieces and then updating biodegradable fabrics, the North Van- them with handmade stamps, dyes, couver–based label produces unisex and swirling paints in contrasting Ts, tank tops, and crewneck sweat- shade pairings like grey on orange ers designed for those who live by the or cotton-candy pink on black. see next page mantra “West Coast, best coast”. Bédard-Potvin’s designs. She also has a blouse, pant, and jacket planned for the autumn/winter season. If you’re not smitten with the brand already, the story behind its name—an ode to Bédard-Potvin’s late father, Jess, and his beloved Harley Davidson motorcycle— should do it. “He was living his life against the norm and…all I wanted was to fit in,” recalls the designer. “Now, the more I grow up, the more I realize I’m a lot like him.”

> B Y LUC Y L A U

Kaya Dorey’s North Vancouver label Novel Supply Co. offers laid-back, unisex apparel and upcycled accessories made from nontoxic, biodegradable fabrics.

Jae. Founded by local designer and Quebec transplant Laïla Bédard-Potvin, the recently launched label offers a flattering ’60s-inspired jumpsuit and breezy bandeau-and-cropped-trouser set that may be styled separately or together for maximum versatility. HARLY JAE Those who fancy their All products are ethically crafted wardrobe staples with a little vintage in Vancouver from a breathable cotflair will find much to love in Harly ton-linen or cotton-polyester blend.

“I’m trying to create pieces that will last over time,” says Bédard-Potvin by phone. “They’re garments that you’d want to wear everyday but aren’t just basics.” Expect Harly Jae’s debut collection—made up of the three aforementioned items—at this year’s Fall For Local, plus a few handpicked vintage pieces that go swimmingly with

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MADE IN ITALY Harly Jae’s ethically crafted wardrobe staples include a ‘60s-influenced jumpsuit; vegan footwear from Anderson’s Boots is made with an Italian leather substitute.

“I go to thrift stores all the time and I would see all these other clothes that didn’t fit me but were really awesome,” explains Barr. “So I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I could do something to these and sell them.’ ” Recently, Barr began constructing her own pared-down denim pieces and fashioning her one-off, handstamped fabrics—often decorated with large geometric shapes—into easy-to-wear jackets and tops. A woman of many trades, the designer is an experienced metalsmith, too, and specializes in sculptural gold, sterling-silver, and copper jewellery that boasts a marred texture suggestive of years of wear. “They look like art pieces almost,” says Barr. “They’re raw and rough but very wearable still.” These, along with Barr’s vintage reworks and a new line of bright enamel jewellery, will be on deck at First Pick Handmade.

tend to be made in larger factories and not necessarily made to last or to be resold,” Milne explains by phone. “So I decided to take it upon myself to make them.” For a little over a year now, the designer has been crafting rugged, cruelty-free, and ready-to-wear men’s boots that work equally well at work and outdoors. The shoes, which use traditional English and North American production methods, are made of Ecolorica, a lightweight vegan substitute for leather that’s manufactured in Italy. At First Pick Handmade, Milne will have samples of six-inch and eightinch lace-up boots, which are handmade upon order, as well as a selection of selvedge men’s Japanese denim that the designer recently began experimenting with. As for the name Anderson, it’s a way to carry on the maiden name of Milne’s mother. “I have all brothers and we’re all Milnes, and I ANDERSON’S BOOTS Kevin Milne thought it was kind of silly to have that is what you would describe as handy. name die off,” he says. The Toronto native has built motorcycle engines, brewed his own beer, Fall For Local takes place this Saturdistilled whisky, and even assembled day and Sunday (September 9 and guitar amplifiers with little help, so 10) at the Pipe Shop Building (112 when he decided to transition from Victory Way, North Vancouver) and leather to vegan boots for ethical rea- First Pick Handmade happens on September 16 and 17 at Heritage Hall sons, his next step came naturally. “There are vegan boots, but they (3102 Main Street).

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straight stars > B Y R O SE MARCUS

September 7 to 13, 2017

M

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ercury retrograde: done, check. Full moon in Pisces: done, check. If good intentions have been waylaid for the start of the back-to-it routine, take heart. Expect to hit a better, faster forward as of Thursday. Still acting as a trigger for last monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solar eclipse, Mercury, finishing up in Leo through Saturday, infuses the here and now with better-than-average creative potency. Once it is launched, undertaken, or expressed, expect it to have a significant life force and to carry you the distance. Building to Saturday, the sunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trine to Pluto keeps desire and motivation in ample supply. Together, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll help you to build it better and/or to get it under better control. Last Tuesday, the same day that Mercury retrograde ended, Mars exited Leo for Virgo. Mercury treks into this industrious sign as of Saturday evening. Teaming up with the Virgo sun, Mars and Mercury support all repair work, upgrade and improvement projects, and healing mandates. Make sure to put self at the top of that list. When operating at peak, efficiency expert Mercury in Virgo has a talent for putting the mind to useful tasks, while energy expert Mars in Virgo works on the muscle end. Venus, continuing in Leo, keeps the heart beating at centre stage. Combined, they are working all the angles. Holding court over the coming week, Venus in Leo trines Saturn on Tuesday, and sun/Saturn turn a corner on Wednesday. Combined, they are constructive and shaping. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll support all efforts to solidify, establish, secure, and mobilize. Accomplishment is a simple equation: get at it now and gain.



ARIES

March 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;April 20

Feeling especially motivated, energized, and/or peaked? Aim to make the most of it Thursday/Friday; look to Mercury, now out of retrograde, and the Aries moon to keep you lit up and going strong. Mars is onto task in Virgo, and as of late Saturday, Mercury gets there too. Venus and Saturn keep the coming week moving along a productive track.



TAURUS

April 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;May 21

Thursday/Friday, set it into motion. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll gain betterthan-average traction. In fact, you should find action-taking flows easily and naturally. The sun, Mars, and now Mercury in Virgo now set you onto an especially fruitful and success-generating track. Waste not, want not. Along with Venus on a roll, the next 10 days are optimized for go, get, and gain.



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LEO

July 22â&#x20AC;&#x201C;August 23

Mars has just left Leo, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have a good handle on Mercuryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gift package through Saturday, and on Venus through September 19. Through Saturday, it comes easily, readily, and naturally. Mars and Mercury in Virgo can put you to work, but they also help you to make better use of your time and money. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll keep on you until the job is done right.



VIRGO



LIBRA



SCORPIO



SAGITTARIUS



CAPRICORN



AQUARIUS



PISCES

August 23â&#x20AC;&#x201C;September 23

Now that the full moon is out of the way, you should find yourself on a significant bounce back and energy boost. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most expedient or appropriate will become obvious. Look to Mars and Mercury in Virgo to thrust you onto fullsteam ahead. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll cut to the chase with better clarity, too. By next weekend, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have sorted out plenty. September 23â&#x20AC;&#x201C;October 23

Thursday/Friday, Mercury keeps it/you going strong. Perhaps thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something special to celebrate or someone special on your radar? Saturday is good for making the most of it too. While Venus in Leo continues to boost matters of heart and wallet, the sun, Mercury, and Mars in Virgo call attention to the work that needs to be done. Stay confident; keep expectations real. October 23â&#x20AC;&#x201C;November 22

Take aim wherever you like. It wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take much for you to make a success out of it, especially Thursday through Saturday. Mercury leaves Leo on Saturday evening, but it will keep you busier and give you even more to do while it tours Virgo. Tuesday/Wednesday are ideal for money talks, banking, getting it under better control, contract negotiations, or official undertakings. November 22â&#x20AC;&#x201C;December 21

At your best and making the most of it, a grand trine in fire gifts you Thursday to Saturday morning. Mercury leaves Leo for Virgo late Saturday, but you still have a few more weeks of Venus in Leo gracing your chart and your heart. The dynamic concentration of planets in both signs sets up a successful run over this next week. December 21â&#x20AC;&#x201C;January 20

Last weekend through next weekend can take you through an important process, negotiation, transition, planning, or implementation phase. The next 10 days set up the most lucrative portion of the month to get it sorted out and to achieve your desired results. Take your best shot. Thursday to Saturday and next Tuesday, your stars are optimized. January 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;February 18

Something special on the go? Someone special to spend time with? Mercury continues to keep the creative, social, and romantic spark well lit through Saturday. Enjoy, but also keep an eye on practicality and budgets. Mercury in Virgo, starting late Saturday, sharpens your perception, intuition, and negotiating skills. Play it smart; get a better deal. February 18â&#x20AC;&#x201C;March 20

Mercury in Leo and the Aries moon make for a great finish to this first week back to the routine. On an extended run with Venus, you can make good on the week ahead, too. Mars and Mercury in Virgo keep you especially busy with clients, the public, a new venture, or a key someone. -

Dive into it fresh Thursday/Friday. Take a new attitude with you. All it takes is for one good one to launch you on your way and/or to set you onto a major turnaround. Roll up your sleeves and get at it. The next 10 days or so can prove to be the B o o k a re a d i n g o r s i g n u p f o r most opportune and advancing of Roseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free monthly newsletter at www.rosemarcus.com/. the month.


FOOD

Restaurants serve sips to savour, sans alcohol These artisanal drinks for nondrinkers prove that there is life beyond the virgin caesar > BY A LEX A NDER VA R TY

F

lavours of smoke and leather, flowers and spice, sweet fruit and bitter shrubs: today’s cocktails have branched way, way out from the rum ’n’ Coke basics of not that long ago, as can be seen in the book-length beverage lists being passed around tables all over town. But what is there for the nondrinker, the person who has a long drive home or religious scruples or terrible hangovers or simply a regrettable tendency to end up under the host after a slew of pisco sours? Not much—but that’s changing. Although nonalcoholic cocktails have yet to see the same kind of growth enjoyed by craft beer or bitters, there is life beyond the virgin caesar. Here in Vancouver, it’s arguable that ground zero in the development of the artisanal, alcohol-free drink was a long-shuttered hole-in-the-wall restaurant on West Broadway—the very place where Vikram Vij first took charge of his own kitchen and began to develop what has become a small empire of dining establishments (including Vij’s Restaurant’s current home at 3106 Cambie Street). Vij had cooking skills, ambition, and the desire to serve some kind of festive beverage to pair with his curries and naan, but he didn’t have a liquor licence. Enter the fabled Ginger-Lemon Drink, still a fixture on his menus today. “When I first opened Vij’s, I didn’t want to do anything with preservatives in it,” the affable restaurateur explains in a telephone interview with the Georgia Straight. “And I didn’t just want to buy pop from some-

where, because all Indian restaurants serve pop.…I just wanted to have one nonalcoholic drink, which was the Ginger-Lemon, and one hot drink called chai. But most importantly, I wanted to serve real foods with real ingredients.” Vij’s ginger-lemon beverage was— and is—simplicity itself: lemon and/ or lime juice, ginger juice, and sugar, boiled into a syrup, cooled, and mixed with sparkling water. (A recipe can be found in the chef’s first cookbook, Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine.) Presentation was another matter. “I went to a local glassmaker whose name was Joe Blow, and I asked him to make these little blue vials,” Vij recalls. When a drink was ordered, out would come a vial of the ginger-lemon syrup, a glass of ice, and a bottle of Perrier; Vij would mix them himself, tableside. “I wanted it to be like theatre almost,” he says, laughing. “I wanted to serve it French-style—that get-it-on service, you know? “I used to get a lot of flack for not carrying Coke and Sprite and beverages like that,” he adds. “People used to be really upset, but I used to say to people, ‘Look, try my Ginger-Lemon; if you don’t like it, you don’t have to pay for it. But at least try it.’ And once they tasted it, people were like, ‘Okay, we get it!’ And I still don’t sell pop!” None of the popular Tacofino locations can claim to be a soda-free space, but nondrinkers can enjoy a sophisticated variation on the ginger-lemon theme at them all. Tacofino’s house-made ginger beer, a word-of-mouth sensation before it even made it onto the menu, was originally created as a mixer; cooks

Many Vancouver restaurants offer a range of creative nonalcoholic drink options; pictured here are a few from the Acorn.

and servers started enjoying it as a beverage on its own, and from there it eventually went public. “I’m not the biggest drinker, so it’s always good to have a nice fresh drink for when you don’t want alcohol,” says Tacofino cofounder Jason Sussman on the line from the west coast of Vancouver Island. “It’s made with some lime peel and some lemon peel, some ginger juice and some sliced ginger, star anise and some other spices, some vanilla, and some mint. That gets brewed, and then when we pour it, it gets served with fresh lime juice and some soda.” Fans of the seared-tuna taco might want to watch the drink menu at Tacofino’s new downtown location (1050 West Pender Street). “We’ve put in one of those fizzy-water taps, and they’re working on some pretty tasty, fizzy, nonalcoholic drinks,” Sussman teases. “I wish I had more info for you, but I’m not the guy working on that!”

Both Vij’s Ginger-Lemon Drink and Tacofino’s ginger beer are sparkling, festive beverages, but in terms of nonalcoholic sophistication, it’s hard to top the artisanal pours at the Acorn. “Before I started working in a restaurant that was so focused on vegetarian and vegan cooking, I hadn’t made the connection that a lot of vegetarians or vegans don’t drink alcohol,” Liam Bryant, bar manager at Mount Pleasant’s meat-free standout (3995 Main Street), says by phone. “So there’s this different focus. I mean, we have our cocktails that we’re very proud of, and they’re complex and interesting, but we wanted to translate that to the nonalcoholic drinks as well.” Bryant’s signature Evening Orchard is a menu fixture, but with its aromatic notes of pear and cardamom it’s especially well-suited to right now, with the pear harvest coming in. Pears will probably show

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up in the Acorn’s seasonally themed mains and desserts, but Bryant says the Evening Orchard wasn’t specifically created to complement the food; it just tastes good. His other signature nonalcoholic nectar, Little Bitter, has a more clearly defined purpose, however. “I was trying to steer away from the kind of sugar-forward, sweet, fruity soda-pop idea,” Bryant explains. “So we used rhubarb root and cranberry and vanilla and orange peel. Rhubarb root is the primary f lavour agent in Campari, so that provides some of the bitterness, but it’s also about clearing your palate before starting a meal. I’d tried chinotto and other Italian bitter sodas before, so I was kind of interested in doing something like that.” With other alcohol-free options arriving on Vancouver drink menus every day, being the designated driver has never looked so good. -

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SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15


FOOD

New winery on the block has a pedigree

I

n the fast-paced, dizzying growth christened Fitzpatrick Family Vineof the British Columbia wine in- yards: a winery with a strong focus dustry, the Okanagan Valley’s on traditional-method sparkling Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards offers wine and a fast-rising reputation for some impressive history and pedigree, clean, fresh, mineral-driven whites. considering they’re Summerland’s Besides gaining an intimate new kids on the block. knowledge of the land, another At the helm of the venture is Gor- benefit of acquiring this land a don Fitzpatrick, no couple of decstranger to those ades ago is that who have been they don’t have following the loto charge an Kurtis Kolt cal wine scene arm and a leg for during the past couple of decades. the wines; dollar for dollar, they’re With a background in farming and some of the best values in the valley. the local fruit trade, in 1986 the FitzHere are a few personal favourites: patrick family purchased Kelowna’s Uniacke winery, which went on to FITZPATRICK FAMILY VINEYARDS become the renowned CedarCreek THE UNWINDER EHRENFELSER Estate Winery. Eight years later, the 2016 ($18.49, B.C. Liquor Stores) I family purchased a Summerland usually associate gooseberry with property known as Greata Ranch, Sauvignon Blanc, but it’s certainly where they planted Pinot Noir and front and centre here: all bright and Chardonnay, with those vines still juicy, with a tropical twang. Mineral notes keep things fresh, while the going strong to this day. Fastforward to 2014, when the flavours and textures of both lime Fitzpatrick family sold CedarCreek leaf and lemongrass ensure a dry to Von Mandl Family Estates (of finish that ties things together well. Mission Hill Family Estate fame), The Fitzpatrick family is certainly and Gordon headed across the familiar with Ehrenfelser, as Cedarlake to the Greata Ranch property, Creek’s takes on the variety have which his family had retained. It had a strong cult following for many is here that we find what has been years. It’s great to see them pushing

The Bottle

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards’ Pink Mile Rosé (left) and Fitz Brut.

forward with the grape. Though it’s a rare variety even in its German homeland, it has a good pickup here in B.C., where it sits comfy alongside our local seafood and Asian-inspired cuisine. FITZPATRICK FAMILY VINEYARDS INTERLOPER GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2015 ($18.49, B.C. Liquor Stores)

Gewürztraminer is one of British Columbia’s most-planted grape varieties. Although it’s ubiquitous in local vineyards, wines made from the grape vary widely when it comes to

style. It can be grown in a coolerclimate part of the province, picked early for a wine that’s crisp with citrus character and a remarkably dry finish. On the other hand, it can be grown in warmer areas and left to hang on the vine a little longer, resulting in a rich, concentrated, honeyed wine, dripping with ultraripe fruit. For me, the style produced by Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards errs toward the former and it’s a wine I’m more likely to grab when the sun is shining and pals are heading over. The litchi and passion fruit are lifted by a tiny hint of spritz in the bottle, and hallmark Okanagan sage is drizzled with a little honey. Nice stuff. FITZPATRICK FAMILY VINEYARDS PINK MILE ROSÉ 2016

If you’re reading this, you’re a wine enthusiast. This should mean you’re well aware that pink wine isn’t a seasonal thing, and we should be enjoying it all year ’round. This includes Thai takeout, Thanksgiving dinner, and idle Tuesdays. Orange blossom, gobs of ripe pink grapefruit, and more than a handful of peaches come tumbling out of the bottle. It’s so good, in fact, that they’re sold-out at the winery, but you can find it on the

wine lists at the Fairmont Pacific Rim and YEW Seafood + Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel, and rumour has it that there are a few bottles left at the Swirl VQA store in Yaletown. FITZPATRICK FAMILY VINEYARDS THE MISCHIEF PINOT BLANC 2016 ($18.50, www.fitzwine.com/)

Pinot Blanc does so well in the Okanagan, and here’s another fine example. There’s a rich viscosity in this version, with honeyed apples, quince, and pears, yet lively acidity keeps all of that fruit nice and buoyant.

FITZPATRICK FAMILY VINEYARDS FITZ BRUT 2013 ($32.99, B.C.

Liquor Stores) In this traditionalmethod sparkler, a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sits on the lees in the bottle for a minimum of 24 months before disgorgement. Creamy and lush, with apricots, nectarines, and some lovely marzipan notes—it’s easy to see why the Fitzpatricks are hanging their hats on this style. When visiting the winery, do try one of their sparkling flights of wine, where you can taste their bubble right next to proseccos, cavas, Champagnes, and the like; it’s a fun way of seeing what makes our local fizz unique. -

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Vancouver

fringe

festival

With degrees in neurobiology and interactive technology, Mily Mumford still finds sexism in science in Distractingly Sexy (above), while Ingrid Hansen conjures a new kind of sci-fi heroine in Interstellar Elder (below left).

Women get their science on

Tracing that history with barbed wit, Mumford says she was surprised herself by the sheer number of women in science and technology through the centuries—several whose stories she relates and embodies in her reflecAt the Vancouver Fringe Festival, shows like Distractingly Sexy, tive one-hander. At one Interstellar Elder, and Acceleration experiment in labs and in space point, for example, she becomes Acacia, a NeoWomen at this year’s Vancouver Fringe platonic scholar in ancient Alexandria who was a Festival are donning their lab coats and space powerful astronomer and mathematician. suits, and wrestling with cryogenic freezing, GMO Mumford intermingles tales from the past with BY JANET SM IT H apocalypses, atomic particles, and neurobiology. contemporary observations from her fields. Female characters are delving deep “A woman in science is sort of treated like into sci-fi and science—a sign, perhaps, a unicorn,” says Mumford, an alumna of Victhat women have fully busted into these toria’s hit Atomic Vaudeville theatre troupe once male-dominated fields in force? whose new project, Nebula Company Theatre, “I find that in the science and technol- is wholly devoted to the intersection of art and ogy world there is quite a bit of the at- science. “Even if it’s not blatantly sexist there’s titude—even in very progressive fields— this misogyny of ‘You’re weird! What do I do that women aren’t good at science,” says with you?’ ” Mily Mumford, whose Fringe solo show Distractingly Sexy is precisely about IF MUMFORD IS ROOTING out the unsung that topic. With an undergrad degree women of scientific history, Victoria actorin neurobiology and a master’s in inter- writer Ingrid Hansen’s Interstellar Elder is active technology, the multitalented ready to expose a different kind of female in the Vancouver actor and playwright be- future: what the show dubs, in its subtitle, “a hind sci-fi–happy works like Franken- badass grandma in outer space”. The cocreator behind past Fringe hits like Kitt stein, 1945 and Generation Post Script is speaking from experience. “It’s been & Jane and Little Orange Man has challenged dominated by males for so long they believe herself to create a play almost entirely without women can’t do it—even though neuroscientif- words (except for a speaking computer whose voice sounds eerily similar to the SkyTrain’s ically there’s no difference in the brain. “But women have been in science since Egyp- robo-voice). In it, Hansen uses her considerable tian times—and we don’t really learn about them.” physical-theatre skills to play a 300-year-old

astronaut, the sole guardian for a ship full of cryogenically frozen human beings (played by you, the audience). They’re Earth’s last survivors, thanks to ecological disaster wrought by “Prime Minister Bieber” and his forced overplanting of genetically modified Swiss chard. You heard that right. “When I was doing my research and watching a lot of science-fiction, I noticed something I’d never really thought of before: where are the older women in science fiction?” Hansen tells the Straight from Edmonton, where she’s appearing as part of a national Fringe tour in which her strange and stylized show has generated major buzz. “I still don’t know the reason for that: is a lot of it created by men? I don’t know…” Her character was inspired by her own “mischievous” grandmother, Hansen reveals. “She would get into these misadventures at her seniors’ home,” she relates. “She would steal things from nurses’ stations and take things from other people’s closets.…One time she was wearing a hot-pink party dress she found in someone else’s closet—in the middle of winter. “At first we were exploring this character in a seniors’ home,” she adds of the play. “And then we ended up taking her to space: a very different kind of isolation, where she’s literally the only person alive.” She describes the piece as a blend of science and magic realism, though it’s partially based in fact. “I did do some research into the Mars One Project—which is absolutely ridiculous! And Prime Minister Bieber is directly inspired by the orange guy down south.” Hansen may look to real-life research, but she takes artistic liberties that push Interstellar Elder to another whacked-out level entirely. see page 23

SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 17


PERFORMANCE WORKS

PERFORMANCE WORKS

PERFORMANCE WORKS

7 7 - 17

Every show at the Fringe Festival is selected by either a lottery or on a first come, first served basis. Here’s just a sampling of what you can expect at this year’s Festival. For a full list of dates and times, pick up a program guide at Blenz Coffee locations or at VancouverFringe.com! Tickets for these, and all shows in the Festival, are available at VancouverFringe.com.

ADULT COMPANY 4am Theatre Duncan, Canada Playwrights: Jessica Schacht & Sam Young We’re always waiting for 4:00am—that magical time when the best memories are supposed to find us—we can only endure the journey. Two couples come together one rainy spring evening to see if their friendships will survive the wait. Co-written with the author of 2014 Fringe show, Thus, I Curse Love!

ALTERNATE ENDINGS Alternate Endings Bringing Down The House Productions Vancouver, Canada Playwright: Danielle Braund daniellebraund.com What happened to those happy endings you binge watched on your parents’ TV? In this one-woman memoir/parody/ cabaret, Danielle (full-body) tackles love in all the wrong places, misplacing careers and car keys, while realizing she won’t self-actualize her inner-Beyoncé. If hurtling towards an imminent ending isn’t simple, at least it’s entertaining.

Low Vision Friendly Deaf and Hard of Hearing Friendly Intense / Intellectual / Intimate / 75 minutes / 18+ / Coarse Language

THE CULTCH

BOMBAY BLACK BY ANOSH IRANI Raghupriya Society Burnaby, Canada Playwright: Anosh Irani The lives of an Indian exotic dancer and her embittered mother are altered when a blind stranger visits them. Poetic, mythic, and brave, Anosh Irani’s 2006 multiple Dora Award-winning Bombay Black is a searing play set in the bitter reality of India. Funny, violent, humane, and directed by Mumbai-born, Fringe award winning producer Rohit Chokhani. Rohit Chokhani’s prior Fringe awardwinning production work in different capacities includes: Siddhartha: A Journey Home, winner of the Talk of the Fringe Award, and Mrs. Singh and Me, winner of the Pick of the Fringe Award. Funny / Poetic / Multicultural / 100 minutes / 14+ / Coarse Language / Sexual Content / Violent Content / Smoke Fog

FIREHALL ARTS CENTRE

SECHS DMQ Productions Vancouver, Canada Playwright: Devon Simmons MacKinlay Sechs (zekhs) follows six characters whose different beliefs about intimacy and relationships clash in bars and bedrooms as they try to navigate modern dating. This is the World Premiere of the Canadian Sechs.

THE CULTCH

THE MESSENGER Damonde Tschritter Vancouver, Canada Playwright: Damonde Tschritter Do you see signs? Are they real? What happens when a person follows what the Universe tells them to do, and it leads them to a Shaman in the mountains of Mexico, where they are given “The Medicine of the Heart,” the strongest substance known to man? There are only two ways to find out. Have the courage to do it yourself. Or to come to this show. “He has the rare gift of commanding attention merely by talking.” —Seattle Weekly “Comedy’s New Superhero.” —the Globe and Mail “I dare you to go see this show.” —God

Funny / Weird / Intellectual / 75 minutes / 18+ / Coarse Language

FIREHALL ARTS CENTRE

JUST NOT THAT WOMAN AKS Productions New York, USA Playwright: Ali Kennedy Scott justnotthatwoman.com “Polls were decisive. The election was to be a coronation. To celebrate, a party was held beneath a glass ceiling—and I was there. But a chasm erupted between expectation and reality.” Charting experiences of female leaders globally, award-winning Australian artist, Ali Kennedy Scott asks... what’s it gonna take to kick inequality to the curb? A play with magic and multi-media, inspired by interviews with scientists, psychologists, and politicians. By the creator of The Day the Sky Turned Black: “An irrepressible bundle of energy, spine and spirit ... Enthralling.” —The New York Times

Funny / Intimate / Musical / 75 minutes / 14+ / Coarse Language / Mature Content / Sexual Content

Funny / Intellectual / Shocking / 55 minutes / 14+

18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017

Funny / Musical / 50 minutes / 18+ / Coarse Language

THE CULTCH

THE CULTCH

OBIT: A DEATHLY SERIOUS COMEDY

A NIGHT AT THE ROSE COLOURED DISCOTHEQUE

Alone Together Productions Delta, Canada Playwrights: Cathy Collis & Simon Roberts obitfringe.wordpress.com

Three distinct lives. Three different deaths. Countless comedic possibilities. Is it okay to laugh in the face of death? There’s no room for sentimentality as our cast of animated actors question whether our obituaries tell the whole story. OBIT is a deathly serious comedy about life. See this before you die!

Buy Me Dinner First Productions Vancouver, Canada Playwrights: Dylan Archambault & Arggy Jenati Club kids Toasty and Jorge spend their night at the local rave. They’re regulars at the joint. Drinks are cheap, friendships are still intact, and it’s most likely only Tylenol Extra Strength they found in the bottom of her purse but, the night is still young. A satire about independent culture, trying to find love, or trying to find a job in 2017. Written by comedy duo Dylan Archambault and Arggy Jenati who have worked for CBC Comedy and at The Groundlings Theatre and School. Contains mild g on profanity and nudity, maybe, depending the night! Dance. Drink. Repeat!

Funny / Intense / Naughty / 65 minutes / 14+ / Coarse Language / Sexual Content

Funny / Naughty / 75 minutes / 18+ / Coarse Language / Sexual Content / Nudity / LGBTQ+

REVUE STAGE

ARTS UMBRELLA

FIGMENTALLY Figment Oakland, USA Playwright: Figment figmentally.com Imagine Charlie Chaplin stumbled into a Salvador Dalí painting. Dive into the world of a curious writer whose uncontrollable story takes over her life. Figments of imagination are born from her pen, walking a wavering line between reality and fantasy. Part comedy, circus, magic, unexpected puppetry, acrobatic dance, cookies, and audience immersion. “Figmentally is a figment of your imagination that you will want to play over and over again ... A physical theatre experience unlike any other you have seen.” —The Road to 1,000 with Marc Gonzalez “Combined physical comedy, mime, magic, juggling, dance, and clown antics into a delightful and whimsical romp.” —Indie Voice Blog

Funny / Weird / Family Friendly / 60 minutes / All Ages

THE AUDIENCE DIES AT THE END Singles Awareness Productions Surrey, Canada Playwright: Blair Moro blairmoro.wixsite.com/ singleawareprod For three years Walley has been traveling the world, prospering from his Faustian pact. Now he must face his greatest challenge yet: luring those he knows and loves into the theatre to ultimately meet their death. Blair Moro takes you on a journey for love, fame, and some light over the trouser fondling (not guaranteed). #TheAudienceDiesAtTheEnd “His cultural references reflect the insightful wit of a South Park episode.” —Theatre People (Australia) “The utmost charm and affability.” —AussieTheatre.com

Funny / Silly / Weird / 45 minutes / 14+ / Coarse Language / Gunshots

KATHARINE FERNS IS IN STITCHES Katharine Ferns Manchester, United Kingdom Playwright: Katharine Ferns katharineferns.com This Canadian debut of a brutally funny storytelling show from Manchester based comedian Katharine Ferns is a comedic journey about learning to laugh at the visible and invisible scars of surviving mental illness, domestic violence, and drug addiction—plus some feminism for comic relief. “The most incredible comedy performance I’ve ever seen.” —Phil Jones (audience member as quoted on BBC Radio 2) “Observant and witty, Katharine is a modern, 21st century woman, who throws herself into life and consequently her jokes.” —TheWeeReview.com y “Salty-sweet, savagely honest, brutally funny.” —Scene Magazine Funny / Intense / Naughty / 70 minutes / 18+ / Coarse Language / Sexual Content

STUDIO 16

TIGHTROPE TALKING Sociocomic North Vancouver, Canada Playwright: Marylee Stephenson sociocomic.com Time spent in a Berkeley slammer. Lane-dancing with a dealer. Cars and sex through the ages. Obituaries. Bus drivers. Marylee Stephenson is upping the story ante by outsourcing the topic to the audience! You name it, she tells it through instantaneous, dynamic, suspenseful combinations of totally true well-crafted stories! No two shows can ever be the same!

Funny / Warm and Fuzzy / Intimate / LGBTQ+ / 50 minutes / 14+ / Sexual Content

FALSE CREEK GYM

SZERETLEK: A HUNGARIAN LOVE STORY The Grand Salto Theatre Toronto, Canada Playwrights: The Grand Salto Theatre thegrandsaltotheatre.com Romance blossoms in post WW2 Hungary when a school teacher from the city meets the village intellectual. The award winning Grand Salto Theatre brings this true family story to life with mask, movement, and song. Praise for The Grand Salto Theatre: —Saskatoon StarPhoenix “Stroke of genius ... Spur of the moment glee.” —Hoopla

Warm and Fuzzy / Poetic / Intimate / 50 minutes / All Ages


FRINGE FESTIVAL

Comedians tackle solo Fringe fest shows As similar as standup and one-person plays may seem, performers often find that the intimacy of theatre brings forth deeper emotions

S

> BY GUY MACPHERSON

tandup comics have always been on the fringe of society, so it’s only natural that so many of them would be taking to Fringe festivals the world over. To the untrained eye, comedic one-person shows look almost identical to a standup set. But they are very different animals. Ideally, the former will include a thematic throughline and a dramatic arc rather than just a series of hilarious, but disparate, jokes. “In standup, if they’re not laughing, you’re bombing,” says 43-year-old comedianactor Andy Cañete, who brings The Cañete Chroñicles to Studio 16 at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival. “It’s pretty simple. It’s a different dynamic.” The Cañete Chroñicles, about the comic’s crazy experiences from 20 years in Vancouver after moving here from Chile at the age of 23, is one of many productions from standup comics at the Fringe this year, including, but not limited to, Efthimios Nasiopoulos’s Disengaged (Studio 16), Katharine Ferns’s Katharine Ferns Is in Stitches (Performance Works), Damonde Tschritter’s The Messenger (Cultch Historic Theatre), Marylee Stephenson’s Tightrope Talking (Studio 16), and Tim Lee’s Scientist Turned Comedian (False Creek Community Centre). In Cañete’s first Fringe show, Porn and Pinochet in 2015, he noticed another difference. In a bit adapted from his standup act, he talked about the corporal punishment he received from his parents growing up. In comedy rooms, it got the response he intended. “They laughed at my pain,” he says. “Then I did it at the Fringe and I got crickets. People weren’t laughing; they just felt bad. I realized pretty quick it’s a very different vibe doing a standup show and a one-man show.” Nasiopoulos, another Vancouver-based standup comic, says those “crickets” help bring emotional depth to his performances. In Disengaged, about his many failed relationships, the former Torontonian doesn’t feel the need to always go for the gag. “It’s not standup at all; it’s storytelling,” he says. “You’re not writing for jokes every 20 seconds or whatever; you’re just telling stories and people are engaged in the stories. You’re going to get the laughs and emotion out of it that way. The story is funny but I’m not trying to get laughs all the time. There are more dips, I find, when it’s not standup.”

and then how I came out the other end and survived. It’s a pretty brutal story,” she says on the phone from her home in Manchester, England, a day before travelling back to the city where she started standup back in 2012. Then she adds, laughing, “Oh yeah, by the way, it’s a really funny show!” A graduate of Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Ferns did her first standup set on a dare while studying painting. “I was doing four or five gigs a week while I was studying for my final,” she says. “I was painting these horribly depressing paintings while writing dick jokes at the same time.” Her thesis, ironically enough, was “how language is limiting and maybe we need visual language to express ourselves. And then all of a sudden, I get on-stage and I have all these things to talk about.” And Fringe shows allow her to delve a little deeper and darker. “There are serious, dramatic moments but there are still a lot of jokes,” she says. “Everyone deals with trauma differently, but the way that I’ve decided to do it is by standing on-stage. I think through comedy I feel empowered. I think comedy is a useful tool to talk about things that are very dark and very hard to talk about, but it’s accessible through comedy.” Opening up in such a public way is cathartic. Nasiopoulos, who broke off two engagements months before the scheduled weddings, says: “It probably took me until I started doing this show to kinda really put it behind me, to be honest. I never really talked about it or got into it.” He claims writing and performing Disengaged has also helped him with his standup. Instead of avoiding silent moments, he’s learned to embrace them. “I can take my time,” he says. “Now in standup I’m more comfortable in adding details and building a story and not worrying if the crowd is laughing because I know they’re engaged in the way I’m telling it, even if it’s taking me longer to get them to where I need them to go.” “The biggest thing for a comic is you don’t have to be afraid of the silence,” says Cañete. “That takes a long time to get over.” He also thinks Fringe audiences are just generally Clockwise from top: Katharine Ferns stars in Katharine Ferns Is in Stitches; Efthimios Nasiopoulos with him, not against him, as can often be the talks relationships in Disengaged; Andy Cañete relates The Cañete Chroñicles (Brittany Willacy photo). case in comedy clubs. “They have empathy,” Nothing drives this home like Ferns’s court system, going through the medical he says. “They’re kinda better people. They’re show about “being in an abusive relation- industry, all the complications of surgery, nicer. And they have an attention span that ship, going to the police, going through the and how I was failed by several institutions lasts longer than five seconds.” -

Fringe Bar ramps up its musical showcase The pop-up drinking establishment on Granville Island offers a gathering spot for artists and die-hard theatre fans of all ages > B Y HOL LY M C KEN Z I E SUTTER

F

or theatre lovers, the Vancouver Fringe Festival is a hotly anticipated 11-day party. The Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar popped up at Ocean Art Works on Granville Island two years ago, bringing free live music to the festivities. This year, the doors are opening to early birds and underage nondrinkers, with afternoon shows added on Saturday and Sunday, and wristbands for all-ages admissions. “The motto for many years has been ‘Theatre for everyone’, and it’s great that that is now extending to the music programming as well,” Corbin Murdoch, the festival’s entertainment coordinator, tells the Straight. “It’s great that we can just welcome absolutely anyone, whether they’re 16 or 65.” This year, the Vancouver Fringe received $30,000 from Creative B.C.’s new B.C. Music Fund. The provincial government introduced the fund in February 2016 to stimulate the music industry by distributing $15 million in grants. The Fringe Bar is making use of these extra dollars by expanding the lineup of diverse musical acts. This year includes performances from local funk favourites Queer as Funk, indie songstress Savvie, bluegrass string players Viper Central, Afrobeat funk group Camaro 67,

sponsoring a night of performances. The programming prioritizes local talent, but the Fringe Bar also has a unique appeal as an event that attracts artists from across Canada and around the world. Many visitors make the Vancouver Fringe their last stop in a long summer of Fringe Festivals—lending it an infectious, celebratory vibe. “What’s so great about that bar is that it sort of pops up once a year and you get a mix of people down there that, really, you won’t find anywhere else,” says Murdoch. The space is a hub for artists and die-hard Fringe fans, but Granville Island wanderers and curious music lovers of all stripes are welcome to come out and participate in the good times. “It’s kind of unusual in Vancouver to have an outdoor music venue that’s running 11 consecutive nights of free live music,” says Murdoch. “I think it’s just a remarkable thing on the arts calendar in our city that we think everyone should come down and take a part in. “Being able to take a model that’s been working and really sort of amp it up, and make some of the changes The Fringe Bar will not only feature acts like Viper Central and Rae Spoon, but also local DJs each night. Clayton Wong photo. we’ve been dreaming about—we’re six-piece Latin ensemble Mazacote, Festival, and kind of respond to that The Fringe Bar is also pairing up really excited to open the doors and and singer-songwriter Rae Spoon—as spirit with the music that we program,” with local music organizations to get see what happens.” well as local DJs playing every night. Murdoch says. “This year, because of the community more involved in the “The Fringe Bar has always been the funding we received through the action. The staff of Red Cat Records The Big Rock Brewery Fringe Bar will a place to kind of reflect back the ec- B.C. Music Fund, we were able to really will be DJing on Wednesday (Septem- be at Ocean Art Works from Thursday centricity and diversity of the Fringe double down on that.” ber 13), and Light Organ Records is (September 7) to September 17. SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 19


Tickets On Sale Now BEND SINISTER

RAE SPOON

Just $14 per show*

September 7 – 17

100 shows. 700 performances. 11 days.

Get a Frequent Fringer Pass for 4, 10, or 30 tickets and save! * Taxes and fees included. Everyone attending the Festival must purchase a $5 Membership. Artists keep 100% of the base ticket price. Fringe Memberships help cover the costs of putting on the Festival!

THE BIG ROCK BREWERY FRINGE BAR Open late every night of the Festival, and now in the afternoons on Saturdays and Sundays, meet fellow Festival-goers and artists from across the country and around the world at the Fringe Bar. For 11 days the Fringe Bar is Vancouver’s hottest music venue. Check the Fringe website for the full lineup of Vancouver’s best bands! Plus food trucks every night!

MAZACOTE

September 7 - 17 at Ocean Art Works on Granville Island No cover! vancouverfringe.com/fringe-bar QUEER AS FUNK

PICK OF THE FRINGE & THE PICK PLUS

The Festival’s most popular shows are held over for your enjoyment September 20 to 24. They’ll be announced at Fringe Awards Night on September 17. Then there’s the Pick Plus! Hits from years past and shows we just can’t wait to see: THE MERKIN SISTERS

GIVE IT UP

The formerly-famous sisters leave the house for the first time in a decade, risking everything to present their Ultimate Work of Art.

What happened to Morgan Brayton’s big break? Did she miss it? Is this it? Where is her husband Scott Baio?

SHIRLEY GNOME: TAKING IT UP THE NOTCH

PETER N’ CHRIS’ BEST BITS

September 20

September 22

The uniqueness of the Fringe comes from the “everyone is welcome” selection technique—Mainstage shows are literally drawn from a hat, while Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) artists find their own venue, some of them in surprising locations! Expect to find theatre of all kinds at the Fringe: from drama and comedy to puppetry, storytelling, musicals, improv, sword fighting, clown, avant garde, and everything in between.

VancouverFringe.com

20 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017

Explicitly honest songs about sex and human nature with wickedly witty lyrics and dark social commentary — and sequins.

September 21

September 22

Peter n’ Chris return to bring you a night of sketch, friendship, and laughs with a collection of their very best stuff.

VancouverFringe.com/pick and VancouverFringe.com/pickplus

SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21


Tickets On Sale Now BEND SINISTER

RAE SPOON

Just $14 per show*

September 7 – 17

100 shows. 700 performances. 11 days.

Get a Frequent Fringer Pass for 4, 10, or 30 tickets and save! * Taxes and fees included. Everyone attending the Festival must purchase a $5 Membership. Artists keep 100% of the base ticket price. Fringe Memberships help cover the costs of putting on the Festival!

THE BIG ROCK BREWERY FRINGE BAR Open late every night of the Festival, and now in the afternoons on Saturdays and Sundays, meet fellow Festival-goers and artists from across the country and around the world at the Fringe Bar. For 11 days the Fringe Bar is Vancouver’s hottest music venue. Check the Fringe website for the full lineup of Vancouver’s best bands! Plus food trucks every night!

MAZACOTE

September 7 - 17 at Ocean Art Works on Granville Island No cover! vancouverfringe.com/fringe-bar QUEER AS FUNK

PICK OF THE FRINGE & THE PICK PLUS

The Festival’s most popular shows are held over for your enjoyment September 20 to 24. They’ll be announced at Fringe Awards Night on September 17. Then there’s the Pick Plus! Hits from years past and shows we just can’t wait to see: THE MERKIN SISTERS

GIVE IT UP

The formerly-famous sisters leave the house for the first time in a decade, risking everything to present their Ultimate Work of Art.

What happened to Morgan Brayton’s big break? Did she miss it? Is this it? Where is her husband Scott Baio?

SHIRLEY GNOME: TAKING IT UP THE NOTCH

PETER N’ CHRIS’ BEST BITS

September 20

September 22

The uniqueness of the Fringe comes from the “everyone is welcome” selection technique—Mainstage shows are literally drawn from a hat, while Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) artists find their own venue, some of them in surprising locations! Expect to find theatre of all kinds at the Fringe: from drama and comedy to puppetry, storytelling, musicals, improv, sword fighting, clown, avant garde, and everything in between.

VancouverFringe.com

20 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017

Explicitly honest songs about sex and human nature with wickedly witty lyrics and dark social commentary — and sequins.

September 21

September 22

Peter n’ Chris return to bring you a night of sketch, friendship, and laughs with a collection of their very best stuff.

VancouverFringe.com/pick and VancouverFringe.com/pickplus

SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21


Tickets On Sale Now BEND SINISTER

RAE SPOON

Just $14 per show*

September 7 – 17

100 shows. 700 performances. 11 days.

Get a Frequent Fringer Pass for 4, 10, or 30 tickets and save! * Taxes and fees included. Everyone attending the Festival must purchase a $5 Membership. Artists keep 100% of the base ticket price. Fringe Memberships help cover the costs of putting on the Festival!

THE BIG ROCK BREWERY FRINGE BAR Open late every night of the Festival, and now in the afternoons on Saturdays and Sundays, meet fellow Festival-goers and artists from across the country and around the world at the Fringe Bar. For 11 days the Fringe Bar is Vancouver’s hottest music venue. Check the Fringe website for the full lineup of Vancouver’s best bands! Plus food trucks every night!

MAZACOTE

September 7 - 17 at Ocean Art Works on Granville Island No cover! vancouverfringe.com/fringe-bar QUEER AS FUNK

PICK OF THE FRINGE & THE PICK PLUS

The Festival’s most popular shows are held over for your enjoyment September 20 to 24. They’ll be announced at Fringe Awards Night on September 17. Then there’s the Pick Plus! Hits from years past and shows we just can’t wait to see: THE MERKIN SISTERS

GIVE IT UP

The formerly-famous sisters leave the house for the first time in a decade, risking everything to present their Ultimate Work of Art.

What happened to Morgan Brayton’s big break? Did she miss it? Is this it? Where is her husband Scott Baio?

SHIRLEY GNOME: TAKING IT UP THE NOTCH

PETER N’ CHRIS’ BEST BITS

September 20

September 22

The uniqueness of the Fringe comes from the “everyone is welcome” selection technique—Mainstage shows are literally drawn from a hat, while Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) artists find their own venue, some of them in surprising locations! Expect to find theatre of all kinds at the Fringe: from drama and comedy to puppetry, storytelling, musicals, improv, sword fighting, clown, avant garde, and everything in between.

VancouverFringe.com

20 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017

Explicitly honest songs about sex and human nature with wickedly witty lyrics and dark social commentary — and sequins.

September 21

September 22

Peter n’ Chris return to bring you a night of sketch, friendship, and laughs with a collection of their very best stuff.

VancouverFringe.com/pick and VancouverFringe.com/pickplus

SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21


Tickets On Sale Now BEND SINISTER

RAE SPOON

Just $14 per show*

September 7 – 17

100 shows. 700 performances. 11 days.

Get a Frequent Fringer Pass for 4, 10, or 30 tickets and save! * Taxes and fees included. Everyone attending the Festival must purchase a $5 Membership. Artists keep 100% of the base ticket price. Fringe Memberships help cover the costs of putting on the Festival!

THE BIG ROCK BREWERY FRINGE BAR Open late every night of the Festival, and now in the afternoons on Saturdays and Sundays, meet fellow Festival-goers and artists from across the country and around the world at the Fringe Bar. For 11 days the Fringe Bar is Vancouver’s hottest music venue. Check the Fringe website for the full lineup of Vancouver’s best bands! Plus food trucks every night!

MAZACOTE

September 7 - 17 at Ocean Art Works on Granville Island No cover! vancouverfringe.com/fringe-bar QUEER AS FUNK

PICK OF THE FRINGE & THE PICK PLUS

The Festival’s most popular shows are held over for your enjoyment September 20 to 24. They’ll be announced at Fringe Awards Night on September 17. Then there’s the Pick Plus! Hits from years past and shows we just can’t wait to see: THE MERKIN SISTERS

GIVE IT UP

The formerly-famous sisters leave the house for the first time in a decade, risking everything to present their Ultimate Work of Art.

What happened to Morgan Brayton’s big break? Did she miss it? Is this it? Where is her husband Scott Baio?

SHIRLEY GNOME: TAKING IT UP THE NOTCH

PETER N’ CHRIS’ BEST BITS

September 20

September 22

The uniqueness of the Fringe comes from the “everyone is welcome” selection technique—Mainstage shows are literally drawn from a hat, while Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) artists find their own venue, some of them in surprising locations! Expect to find theatre of all kinds at the Fringe: from drama and comedy to puppetry, storytelling, musicals, improv, sword fighting, clown, avant garde, and everything in between.

VancouverFringe.com

20 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017

Explicitly honest songs about sex and human nature with wickedly witty lyrics and dark social commentary — and sequins.

September 21

September 22

Peter n’ Chris return to bring you a night of sketch, friendship, and laughs with a collection of their very best stuff.

VancouverFringe.com/pick and VancouverFringe.com/pickplus

SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21


FRINGE FESTIVAL

A half hyena and a deadpan egg: early Fringe hits to weave a captivating spell with his tales of fairy folk and enchantment in Ireland. The stories and Lyon’s delivery are masterfully crafted; I hung on his every word for the full hour. Simple and magical. At Studio 16 on September 8 (10:30 p.m.), 9 (4:30 p.m.), 10 (1 p.m.), 11 (6:45 p.m.), 14 (8:30 p.m.), and 16 (8:15 p.m.)

> B Y KATHL EEN OL I VE R

I

saw nine of the dozen shows that are headed to Vancouver from the Victoria Fringe, and I urge you in the strongest possible terms to see the first two reviewed here. If you have kids, or just a healthy inner child, you should also check out Beaver Dreams and The Birdmann: Birdhouse, which have plenty to offer to both kids and adults.

INTERSTELLAR ELDER The prem-

SIX FINE LINES This show is a gift.

Mack Gordon reinvents the lyric essay—a literary form that packs a depth charge by juxtaposing fragments of different types of meaning—as an experience of communion. This is all the more poignant given that the play has loneliness and loss at its centre. Gordon’s descriptions are vivid: his friend Sarah has “a smile like a broken-down picket fence”, the highway rushing under her beat-up car is an “animated grey-scale flipbook”, and his writing is equally informed by ideas (Anne Carson, Renata Adler) and ideals (he gradually enumerates new rules for living). In his generous, unpretentious, and intimate performance, Gordon keeps peeling back the skin of his structure to reveal the play’s (and his/our) heart, and its desire to connect and to beat faster. Beautiful. At Carousel Theatre on September 8 (10:45 p.m.), 9 (3 p.m.), 10 (7:45 p.m.), 11 (6 p.m.), 13 (10:45 p.m.), 14 (8 p.m.), 16 (10:30 p.m.), and 17 (4 p.m.)

Trent Baumann’s The Birdmann: Birdhouse is a good egg; Lana Schwarcz’s Lovely Lady Lump gets laughs and saves lives.

and its curious laugh to memories of squatting in East Van with anarchists and making secret illegal donations of discarded hotel food. And that’s just the first poem! Kidd holds the audience spellbound for the full hour with the power of her voice and her movement as her tales of African fauna give way to those of other predators, human ones from her youth. Jacky Murda’s excellent music underscores Kidd’s irresistible rhythms. Prepare to be blown away. At Studio 1398 on HYENA SUBPOENA Cat Kidd is a September 8 (5 p.m.), 10 (8:15 p.m.), force of nature. Ha, I wrote that first 11 (10:15 p.m.), 14 (6:55 p.m.), 15 (8:45 and then read it in the press release p.m.), and 16 (3 p.m.) for this show. Well, it’s true. We first encounter her smooth, dusky voice BEAVER DREAMS Fringe shows singing a verse about being half hyena, don’t get any more Canadian than then Kidd’s lithe, sinewy body emer- this: it’s bilingual, it’s set on a lake with ges from a tent to prowl about the stage a cabin, and the stars are our counas her words take us from the hyena’s try’s most industrious rodents. Comunique biological status, its shape- bining animation, interviews, live shifting powers, its hermaphroditism, action, and puppets, Maggie Winston

RAE SPOON

Fans of Trent Baumann’s Birdmann will be thrilled to meet his companion, the delightfully deadpan Egg (Sachie Mikawa). When their birdhouse is threatened by

the Regurgitator, a nature-killing phenomenon, Egg starts running back and forth across the stage. When Birdmann asks what she’s doing, she replies, “Panicking.” Later, attesting to her vegan status, she says, “I don’t even look at the Milky Way.” The world-saving fun in this show includes music, juggling, and a convention of stuffed toys. Successfully silly for an allages audience. At Railspur Park on September 9 (7:15 p.m.), 10 (4:15 and 7:15 p.m.), 13 (7:15 p.m.), 14 (7:15 p.m.), 15 (7:15 p.m.), 16 (7:15 LOVELY LADY LUMP “Spoiler alert: I p.m.), and 17 (3:15 and 7:15 p.m.) survived!” announces Lana Schwarcz ’TWEEN EARTH AND SKY How near the top of this comedic account often do you see a show that could of her experience with breast cancer. have been done the same way hun- Schwarcz uses standup, video projecdreds of years ago? Storyteller Mark tions, and straight-up storytelling to Lyon, clad in breeches, a green vest, explore both the medical (a biopsy so and a tam-o’-shanter, uses nothing difficult that the sonographer broke but his words and a simple short cane see next page

QUEER AS FUNK

THE MATINÉE

and Mika Laulainen tell the story of a multigenerational battle between beavers and humans at Winston’s family cabin in Quebec. The play manages to be both deeply personal and deeply wacky as the beavers repeatedly rebuild their dam; the range of puppet techniques and physical playfulness never stops surprising. The performers are clearly having a blast, and it’s infectious: this is a family-friendly show (my 10-year-old son loved it) full of fun you can sink your teeth into. At Havana Theatre on September 8 (8 p.m.), 9 (9:30 p.m.), 10 (1 p.m.), 12 (9:30 p.m.), 14 (6 p.m.), 16 (5 p.m.), and 17 (2:15 p.m.) THE

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22 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017

ise is brilliant: it’s the future, and an agricultural catastrophe (I won’t spoil the hilarious specifics) has rendered Earth uninhabitable, so all the humans are being subjected to “therapeutic hypothermia” and blasted into orbit until the planet recovers. Fringers familiar with SNAFU’s earlier shows will recognize Ingrid Hansen’s Kitt, who’s a couple hundred years old when she’s selected for “early defrost” and given the job of “sleep custodian”. Kitt gradually settles into zero-gravity routines like peeing into a funnel and taking a few puffs of “nutrient spray” for her meals, but she’s bored, and her attempts to amuse herself lead to some witty business, expertly synced to a knockout score. Hansen’s physical precision is impressive, and though the middle stretch doesn’t sustain the energy of the show’s opening moments, in which Hansen plays a robot whose lip movements never quite sync with her computerized voice, the ending is a lovely surprise. At the Waterfront Theatre on September 7 (7 p.m), 13 (5 p.m.), 15 (6:40 p.m.), 16 (12:30 p.m.), and 17 (5:15 p.m.)

BIRDHOUSE

MAZACOTE

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September 7-17, 2017 Monday - Friday 6:00pm-late Saturday & Sunday 1:00pm-late On Granville Island VancouverFringe.com/fringe-bar


a sweat) and cultural contours of her diagnosis: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I hate it when people refer to cancer as a journey,â&#x20AC;? she says; â&#x20AC;&#x153;I prefer the term â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hostage experienceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.â&#x20AC;? Her goal in sharing her story is cathartic, celebratory (and she does tend to laugh at her own jokes), and perhaps most importantly, educational. A show that gets laughs and might also save lives. At Studio 1398 on September 7 (6:45 p.m.), 9 (8:30 p.m.), 13 (5 p.m.), 14 (10:20 p.m.), 15 (6:45 p.m.), and 17 (1 p.m.) THE INVENTOR OF ALL THINGS

Fringe staple Jem Rolls, best-known for his spoken-word poetry, does something different with this show, which tells the story of Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard, a key architect of the atomic bomb who was also one of the strongest opponents of its deployment. Rolls fires a lot of facts at us in this recounting of Szilardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life and discoveries, and many of them are fascinating. (Szilard cured his own cancer by inventing radiation therapy; he once quipped that the Manhattan Projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best invention was the SECRET stamp.) But Rolls hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t adjusted his delivery to suit his material: itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still shouty and sweaty, and it feels more like a barrage of information than the story of a life. At Carousel Theatre on September 8 (8 p.m.), 9 (5:45 p.m.), 10 (3 p.m.), 11 (10:45 p.m.), 13 (8 p.m.), 14 (6 p.m.), 15 (10:45 p.m.), and 16 (1 p.m.) THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD

David Ortolando has the beginning of an idea that will resonate deeply with audiencesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;about the disorientation and despair of living in a posttruth Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but this solo show struggles to give it coherent theatrical expression. Ortolando spends a long time asking the audience questions before launching into a story, then an interminable stretch of voice-over narration, a dream sequence, and pop songs. Ortolandoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good intentions are palpable, but his execution makes for an agonizingly long hour. At the Revue Stage on September 8 (10:20 p.m.), 9 (4:35 p.m.), 10 (noon), 13 (6:45 p.m.), 14 (8:30 p.m.), and 16 (7:30 p.m.) -

Women get their science on

from page 17

Grannyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s space suit is a neon-pink â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80s ski suit Hansen nabbed at a Montreal thrift store. (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sweat machine. I carry electrolyte packets.â&#x20AC;?) In Edmonton, due to challenging sightlines, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s added six-inch-platform Moonboots to the ensemble. Much like a smart scientist or interstellar traveller, this artist has learned to modify and adapt on the fly.

2

FOR HER PART, CAROLINE Sniatynski, the

playwright behind Acceleration at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fringe, came to a healthy artistic compromise with the daunting physics at the heart of her drama. Her work is, after all, set in the Swiss lab where, in 2012, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s elite physicists are searching for the elusive Higgs boson particleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; a sort of mysterious missing link in quantum physics. One of them is Elise, a scientist whose sister disappeared a year ago, meaning she is caught up in two obsessive searchesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;one professional and one deeply personal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I embarked on the piece without really knowing how I was going to handle that [the physics],â&#x20AC;? Sniatynski tells the Straight from her Vancouver home, pointing out that she was always fascinated by how science connects with the rest of the world. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It soon became clear that I am not a physicist, but then that actually became an advantage. I had to constantly approach the material as a nonexpert.â&#x20AC;ŚThe result is that the search for the Higgs boson and questions about science are present and inform the world, but what I was really interested in was the human element.â&#x20AC;? Accelerator turned out to be about some very human questions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What do we know?â&#x20AC;? Sniatynski asks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And when we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand something, how can we go forward anyway? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m interested in scale: the world of particle physics is huge, vast, and incomprehensible to a certain extent,â&#x20AC;? she continues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The protagonist here, with her sister missing, is sort of the narrowest focus possibleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;grief and loss. So thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a world thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very big and very small. And thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the idea that size alone doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make things more or less comprehensible.â&#x20AC;? Looking at her work alongside all the other plays at the Fringe this year that feature women and scientific themes, Sniatynski notes that the combo couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be more timely. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Women and science are both under attack right now,â&#x20AC;? she comments. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interesting how things have become more topical now that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve written

Five more Fringe shows that blind you with science

Science and art are often seen as opposites, but they seem to be intermingling like never before at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Vancouver Fringe Festival. Experimental cancer treatments, zoology lectures, cryogenically frozen heads: theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just some of the topics inspiring theatrical outings. Here are a few of the shows to look for if you have a thing for lab coats, petri dishes, test tubes, and intergalactic travelling.

SHADOWLANDS (September 8 to 11 at the Waterfront Theatre) Savanna Harveyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s play tells the nonlinear story of a scientist diagnosed with the same breast cancer that killed her mother. Finding that traditional treatment has little effect, the scientist launches her own experimental biomedical treatments, as sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visited by the ghost of her mother in the dark laboratory.

Let Me Freeze Your Head finds Neil McArthur selling the benefits of cryogenically freezing your noggin.

THE INVENTOR OF ALL THINGS (September 8 to 11 and 13 to 16 at Carousel Theatre) U.K. Fringe favourite Jem Rolls is back with the story of Leo Szilard, the Jewish Hungarian physicist who fled Nazi Germany, but not before recognizing the dangers of it developing the atomic bomb. In his inimitable performance poetry, Rolls hails him as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;bloody heroâ&#x20AC;?. The Edmonton Journal just wrote of the show: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Animated, energetic and flamboyant, this is how history should be taught because I can tell you one thing, no one in that crowd will ever forget the name of Leo Szilard.â&#x20AC;? LET ME FREEZE YOUR HEAD (September 8 to 10, 13, 15, and 16 at the Waterfront Theatre) Join this provocative sales presentation if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever considered having your head cryonically frozen so that you can return to life again in the future. The show gets its smarts from its writer and solo performer: Neil McArthur, director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba. FIELD ZOOLOGY, 101 (September 8 to 10, 13, 15, and 16 at the False Creek Gym) Shawn Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Hara plays hilarious animal-hating field zoologist Brad Gooseberry. His straight-faced but silly â&#x20AC;&#x153;lectureâ&#x20AC;? was voted favourite comedy and runner-up for best new work at the 2016 Victoria Fringe. GO, NO GO (September 12 at the False Creek Gym) Part of the Advance Theatre program of play readings by women, Natalie Frijiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work tells the story of the Mercury 13, barrier-breaking pilots who petitioned NASA to be considered as female astronauts. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the twist: Go, No Go reimagines their battles with sexism within a circus setting. The choice isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t random: NASA once theorized that aerialists, acrobats, and other circus types might best adapt to extreme conditions. > JANET SMITH

it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not contained specifically in the play, but in this time, there are questions around the value of the search for things like the Higgs boson and the pursuit of knowledge for knowledgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sake.â&#x20AC;? Luckily, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to step into a laboratory or read up on quantum theory to connect with any of these female-driven creations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I create a play so that even if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

understand that [science], you can still engage in the play,â&#x20AC;? Sniatynski says. Distractingly Sexy is at Studio 16, Interstellar Elder is at the Waterfront Theatre, and Acceleration is at the Revue Stage as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival from next Thursday (September 7) to September 17.

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ARTS

Former Vancouverite BY JANET SM IT H

Lia Grainger is living out a fantasy: she’s run away to Seville to become a flamenco dancer. “La Lia”, as she’s known on-stage, was a dancer at the Kino in the early 2000s, then studied under Oscar Nieto before relocating to Toronto and helping to found Flamenguitos del Norte. Now she bases her touring Fin de Fiesta troupe out of the historic Andalusian capital—a dream come true. “Seville is beautiful, but also in terms of dance it’s amazing. There are so many great schools and so many artists,” says Grainger over the phone from Toronto, where her troupe is performing. She says she spends the better part of the year in Andalusia before her group begins its travel season. “You can really become a part of it. I know all the singers now; I know the small venues. It’s not a big city: I can’t walk around without seeing people I know.” Grainger says it’s affordable enough that she can have her own studio, where she works throughout the winter. “You want to be inspired by the incredible teachers there,” she adds. “And flamenco—everyone knows it there, it’s not just the dancers and the musicians. People know the words to the songs, and people can do the palmas,” she continues, referring to the clapping rhythms that echo through the audience as the dancers perform. It must be said that Grainger—a tall former basketball player with a dramatic stage presence— definitely stands out in southern Spain, however. “One thing is I’m six foot one, and there’s no one that looks like that there!” the affable artist says with a laugh.

A flamenco dream come true

In the Andalusian capital, Lia Grainger (second from left) says her Fin de Fiesta can flourish (Oliver Pantalone photo); below left, Spanish flamenco icon La Moneta.

and complicating it. “So Grainger, who’s especially happy to be sharing a there’s a lot of stuff that’s roster with La Moneta, a Spanish dancer she conreally playful,” she says siders an icon (see sidebar). “I started flamenco in of the show. “We’ve had Vancouver in 2004 and this festival was happena lot of time to make it ing then, and I remember going to it and being Vancouver-raised Fin de Fiesta founder Lia Grainger really tight.” blown away by all these artists. And then my first followed her art form to the romantic city of Seville Even though she loves class was at Centro Flamenco, Rosario’s school. “Being gone so long—I was in Toronto for six years her magical adopted city In fact, all the members of Grainger’s Fin of Seville, Grainger still gets excited about coming to and then Spain—to be coming back is amazing.” de Fiesta, named for the joyous jam session Vancouver. She also sees this tour stop at Flamenco that comes at the end of a flamenco show, are Rosario’s festival—an event founded by Vancouver The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival now in Seville for much of the year. And all of veterans Rosario Ancer and Victor Kolstee that’s runs from Saturday (September 9) to September them have a Canadian connection: classically celebrating its 25th year—as bringing her full circle. 24. It presents Fin de Fiesta at the Waterfront Thetrained flutist Lara Wong is an ex-Vancouver“It’s super cool being at the festival,” enthuses atre on September 21. ite; guitarist Dennis Duffin has a long history in this country’s flamenco scene, and holds a Vancouver International Flamenco Festival ignites a 25th celebration PhD in astrophysics from McMaster University; Italian percussionist Davide Sampaulo is Ruffles will be flying, hands will be clapping, and feet will be stomping like never married to a Vancouverite and splits his time before. The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival has added even more fire than between here and Spain; French singer Aleusual for its 25th-anniversary celebrations. jandro Mendía’s own band, flamenco-BalFrom Saturday (September 9) to September 22, look for pop-up flamenco performkan fusionists Les Noces Gitanes, played the ances around the city. Amid the classes and other offerings, check out a free lectureVancouver International Folk Festival last demo by Flamenco Rosario Monday night (September 11) at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, summer; and his partner, dancer Deborah or the free flamenco class on September 17 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre’s Marcuse Studio. “La Caramelita” Dawson, is a former VanAnd here are a few of the fest’s bigger shows that flamenco fans won’t want to miss. couverite who trained at Centro Flamenco. They’ve seen their ensemble’s touring CHRISTINA TREMBLAY AND CALLE VERDE (September 20 at the Waterfront Theatre) schedule explode, with trips throughout Expressive Quebec dancer and choreographer Tremblay has studied with the greats in Spain, and Calle Spain and the south of France this summer Verde fires up its work liminal, fusing flamenco with samba, jazz, Celtic music, and more. before hitting spots across Canada. “Because we’re all based in Spain, we’re NUEVO, NEW, NOUVEAU (September 21 at the Waterfront Theatre) Flamenco Rosario’s Rosario all really in touch with what’s happening Ancer and Madrid-based Karen Lugo deconstruct flamenco, with a full flight of dancers, plus guitarist now,” Grainger says, stressing that the art form Victor Kolstee, singer Momi de Cadiz, and percussionist Álvaro Rubio. there is cutting-edge contemporary these days. Still, expect an energized mix all its own when Fin LA MONETA (September 23 at the Vancouver Playhouse) Hailing from sun-baked Granada, Fuensanta “La de Fiesta brings the new show Llándola here for the Moneta” is renowned for her intensity, mastery of rhythmic footwork, and penchant for drama. She appears Vancouver International Flamenco Festival. Grainhere with cantaores Juan Angel Tirado and Sergio Gomez “El Colorao”, as well as guitarist Luis Mariano. ger explains its title comes from a hard-to-translate > JANET SMITH Spanish word that means taking something simple

2

THINGS TO DO

ARTS

Editor’s choice SWARM CITY Vancouver’s annual celebration of artist-run culture and indie galleries, SWARM, gets buzzing this year with 14 openings and events ranging from visualart displays, 16mm films, and artist talks to a DJed after-party. Among the highlights, Thursday will see the grunt gallery open Technical Problem, an exhibit by Aileen Bahmanipour, who employs Persian miniature painting techniques. The next night, the Gam Gallery will feature Rest in Power by local artist Sandeep Johal (recently seen at the Vancouver Mural Festival), featuring drawings (shown here) of 12 women whose murders have impacted the artist. The Or Gallery presents Flowers for Africa by Kapwani Kiwanga, an exhibit of symbolic blooms that represent key moments of independence for African nations. There’s more, much more, all wrapping at 21 East Pender Street, with a party hosted by LIVE Biennale. The 18th annual SWARM Festival takes place Thursday and Friday (September 7 and 8) at artist-run galleries around Mount Pleasant, Chinatown, and beyond.

High five

Five events you just can’t miss this week

1

AMPHIBIA (September 8 to October 14 at Centre A) Jakarta art collective Tromarama builds a virtual world that questions our digital existence.

2

SHYLOCK (September 6 to 15 at the Douglas Campbell Theatre) Bard on the Beach stages a perfect complement to its Merchant of Venice.

3

UNINTERRUPTED (To September 24 under the Cambie Bridge) Migrating salmon splash across the concrete jungle in this spectacular cinematic artwork.

4

GEORGIA STRAIGHT FRINGE-FOR-ALL (September 6 at Performance Works) One-stop short previews of dozens of Fringe fest shows.

5

THE PANCAKES & BOOZE ART SHOW (September 7 at Fortune Sound Club) Two of life’s most delicious offerings meet underground art.

In the news PLAYS PLUMB PRESSING ISSUES Immigration, gentrification, and the environmental crisis are just some of the topics being artfully, and sometimes humorously, tackled in Théâtre la Seizième’s justannounced 2017-18 season. As usual, the francophone company offers shows with English surtitles. The lineup kicks off October 17 to 28 with Unité Modèle (Showroom), a realityshifting experience featuring Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin and Emilie Leclerc as two hosts trying to sell you a dream lifestyle in a new condo project. The production team features Cande Andrade, Malcolm Dow, Itai Erdal, Ashley Noyes, and Manon Veldhuis. Next up, Bibish de Kinshasa (shown here) follows a journalist emigrating from Congo who is second-guessing her departure. It’s part storytelling evening, part talk show, and part informal meal with friends (November 28 to December 2 at Studio 16). Pourquoi tu pleures…? (February 16 and 17, 2018, at the Waterfront Theatre) marks the return to Vancouver of Christian Bégin and the troupe Les Éternels Pigistes, with a tale of family secrets and an inheritance. Des Arbres (May 8 to 12 at Studio 16) is about a couple questioning whether it’s right to bring a child into this doomed world. More info is at seizieme.ca/. SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25


ARTS

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“…a near flawless production.” The Georgia Straight Actor Warren Kimmel says playing the controversial title character in Shylock has brought both unexpected pains and unexpected pleasures. David Blue photo.

Warren Kimmel takes on a difficult character > B Y A LE XAN DER VAR TY

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26 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017

hylock, in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, is not a part that Warren Kimmel feels he was born to play. But he is playing it, in Bard on the Beach’s production of the centuries-old classic, and the task has brought with it unexpected pains and also unexpected pleasures. “I’ve never done Shylock, and it wasn’t one of the roles where I thought, ‘Oh, I’d love to do that,’ ” the South African–born actor reports, checking in with the Straight during a rehearsal break at the BMO Theatre Centre. “But I am Jewish, and I’m of a certain age now, so it seemed to make sense… I must say that I probably tortured myself about how to do it more than any other thing I’ve done, just because it’s so well-known—and it’s a difficult play, quite anti-Semitic, and you’ve got to decide what you’re going to do with that.” Most actors, he adds, would be inclined to soft-pedal Shakespeare’s Elizabethan bigotry by playing the titular antihero as a sympathetic figure, one cursed not by his own pride and avarice but by the social mores of the Bard’s day. That’s not Kimmel’s tack, however, and in that he’s aided by a local playwright’s astute analysis—but also burdened by the double workload of being in two plays at once. In The Merchant of Venice, he’s playing Shylock, but in Vancouver author Mark Leiren-Young’s 1996 one-hander, Shylock, he’s playing an actor who’s playing Shylock in a production of Shakespeare’s controversial classic. Both plays are running concurrently at Bard on the Beach. Still with us? The circular logic of this arrangement is undeniable. For one thing, no matter where he’s at in his working day, Kimmel’s going to be in character. And for another, he appreciates the challenge—although it has some side effects.

“To do this monologue is insane,” he says, referring to Shylock. “Like, you kind of go, ‘Oh, that would be so wonderful,’ and as with any audition you think, ‘Oh, I’d be perfect for that part.’ And then you actually do it, and you think, ‘Oh my god, I’m useless. I don’t know how to do this! What the hell am I going to do?’ And this is very much that. It’s 80 minutes of just me, talking.…So I’ve had a week and a bit to learn it, and I feel like I’m back in drama school, where you might be doing three, four, five, or six plays at a time.” Aiding the process is that Kimmel finds Leiren-Young’s writing both elegant and thought-provoking. “He’s really come at it from all sorts of different angles. And I think that, as with any good writing—and it is good writing—it seems to be applicable to now. “Prejudice, and the love of money and power: all these things are so topical now. The idea of whether we should tear down statues because of what they represent or whether that’s erasing history and shouldn’t be done: that’s what the play’s about. Should we stop doing The Merchant of Venice because it’s a hateful piece, or do you do it specifically because it is a hateful piece?” For now, Kimmel’s in the latter camp—and he’s found an ally in Leiren-Young. “The thrust of the play Shylock is that the role was written by Shakespeare in the same way that he wrote Richard III as a villain, and Iago as a villain,” the actor argues. “And just because you don’t like the fact that people used to be anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that you should play him the opposite way to how he was written. He’s a villain, so make him a really good villain! And I would not have done that without this other role.” The Merchant of Venice runs at Bard on the Beach’s Douglas Campbell Theatre until September 16. Shylock is at the same venue until September 15.


COMING UP DEMETRI MARTIN Sat Sep 9, 7:30pm

Presented by Just for Laughs Stand-up comedian, director, and New York Times bestselling author Demetri Martin returns to Vancouver with his new show, Let’s Get Awkward.

SALMAN RUSHDIE IN CONVERSATION Tue Sep 19, 7:30pm

Presented by the Vancouver Writers Fest One of the most celebrated public thinkers of our time, award-winning author Salman Rushdie discusses his latest epic, The Golden House.

THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA WTH BEN HEPPNER Sat Sep 23, 8:00pm

Presented by the Chan Centre Gospel legends the Blind Boys of Alabama perform both on their own and together with world-renowned Wagnerian tenor Ben Heppner.

KATE EVANS: THREADS Fri Sep 29, 7:30pm

THE VSO’S EXCITING

Presented by the Chan Centre Graphic novelist and activist Kate Evans shares her visual reportage from the Calais refugee camp along with live music and followed by discussion.

OPENING WEEKEND!

Telus Studio Theatre

YEKWON SUNWOO, PIANO Sun Oct 1, 3:00pm

Presented by the Vancouver Recital Society Winner of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Yekwon Sunwoo, performs a program of Schubert, Grainger, Rachmaninov, and Ravel.

UBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Fri Oct 13, 8:00pm

Presented by the UBC School of Music The UBC Symphony Orchestra performs with the winner of the 2017 UBC Concerto Competition, pianist Benjamin Hopkins. Program: Estacio, Respighi, and Brahms.

Australian String Quartet

THE GLOAMING

Bramwell Tovey

Sun Oct 15, 7:00pm

FRIDAY & SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 & 23, 8PM , ORPHEUM Bramwell Tovey conductor Australian String Quartet* BRAMWELL TOVEY Time Tracks (North American Première) JOHN ADAMS Absolute Jest for String Quartet and Orchestra* TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E minor

@VSOrchestra

Bramwell Tovey’s final season as VSO Music Director begins with a performance of the Maestro’s own Time Tracks, a collection of orchestral themes from his opera, The Inventor. Next up is a VSO reunion, as former Concertmaster Dale Barltrop returns with the Australian String Quartet, performing Absolute Jest by John Adams, a work inspired by Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and incorporating and interpreting the music of Beethoven.

MASTERWORKS GOLD SERIES SPONSOR

RADIO SPONSOR

TICKETS: vancouversymphony.ca

Presented by the Chan Centre Carving new paths within the tradition of Celtic music, Irish supergroup The Gloaming make an anticipated return to the Chan Centre in support of their latest album, 2.

CHAN CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS 6265 Crescent Road, Vancouver (UBC)

Tickets and info at chancentre.com SERIES SPONSOR:

MEDIA SPONSOR

604.876.3434 SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 27


ARTS WORKSHOPS, READINGS, PANELS & EXHIBITORS WWW.WORDVANCOUVER.CA

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Demetri Martin comes back for more Unstoppable standup has faced adversity here before > BY GUY M A C PHERSON

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More Events: Tuesday, Sept. 19 – Banyen Books & Sound (6:30 pm), VPL Britannia Branch (6:30 pm) | Wednesday, Sept. 20 – Banyen Books & Sound (6:30 pm), The Cottage Bistro (7:00 pm) | Thursday, Sept. 21 – Banyen Books & Sound (7:00 pm), VPL n ca mat ct Strathcona Branch (7:00 pm) | Friday, Sept. 22 – Christianne’s Lyceum (6:30 pm), Historic Joy Kogawa House (7:30 pm) | Saturday, Sept. 23 – PNE Forum (9:00 am), ArtStarts Gallery (11:00 am), Carnegie Community Centre (11:00 am)

> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < VALUE VILLAGE COQUITLAM

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 4, 2017 WHERE: Value Village Coquitlam Value Village Coquitlam Monday Sept 4th. You: blond, about 5’6” with an athletic appearance. Me athletic build, shaved head. We crossed paths a few times browsing through the store. Each time we made eye contact you had a big smile. I was quite intrigued but it's one of those situations where if you try to think of something to say you draw a blank. Would be great to talk some time.

SOMETHING ABOUT YOU

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 WHERE: The 41 Westbound My name is Garrett. I saw you on the bus. We had a couple of back and forths. I was drawn to your mannerisms and how you carried yourself. You are blonde with brown eyebrows. I immediately wanted to talk to you. I don’t think twice about any back forth I have in any day but you captivated me instantly. I regret not introducing myself. I sat in front of you and I listened to my music whilst entertaining my eyes with the passing backdrop of houses and opposing traffic. My mind was still though. I only thought of talking to you and somehow never arrived at what I would say. We got off at the same stop. You headed North and I went South. I saw an element of your personality from your attire. I was further drawn into wanting to know you. It was casual and comfortable while non-conforming yet established an openness to spirituality without branding it. We don’t have to talk about politics or each others world views or who did what. I would just love to spend an evening with you. I want to hear your voice, I want to know your name. I want to know what you love about life. I hope to hear from you lovely girl.

RONA’S: BEAUTIFUL GREEN HAIRED BUS BEAUTY

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RECYCLING STEREO, LONDON DRUGS MARKET CROSSING

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 4, 2017 WHERE: #3 Bus Going South

I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 24, 2017 WHERE: Burnaby, BC

Hi. We were on the #3 going south. You complimented my tattoos, I complimented your ring and you said you like snakes. We had a nice exchange that should have continued but I was very distracted - sorry. I was having a tough day! You had beautiful eyes, a cool attitude and I love the hair! If you reply I’ll introduce myself properly this time.

I brought an old stereo to you for recycling at London Drugs Market Crossing. When I mentioned the stereo was about 28 years old, you told me that was your age. You began wheeling the stereo away on a cart, but were suddenly called to help another customer and I didn’t get to say good-bye. You are not tall, but more than make up for that in kindness, amazing, playful eyes and a stunning, beautiful smile. You have short, nearly black hair and darkrimmed glasses. I have darkrimmed glasses, too, really short cropped hair, and a tooloud voice that was probably heard throughout the store. Returned to store Aug. 29, but found out you were leaving there at the end of the month. I sure wish I got your number or e-mail. How about you?

WE MET IN THE HOSPITAL UNDER AWFUL CIRCUMSTANCES

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 4, 2017 WHERE: Vancouver General Hospital Heyyyy, so, we met, we laughed about how awful being here was. You brought me water. You’re a peach and I didn’t get your number. PS the Russian guy was friggin hilarious like 10 minutes after you left.

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 WHERE: Rona’s Hardware, Burnaby BC You were the Bird Lady & I was the Camping Guy... what a sweet but short encounter! Would love to get to know you over coffee! Thanks for a brief and wonderful conversation!

ANGEL FLYING BY

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RUNNING WITH WOLVES

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BIRD LADY!

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 WHERE: Tim Hortons, corner of Burrard and Georgia I was in Tim Hortons working on a crossword puzzle. I looked up just as you were passing by, on your way out of the mall. We made eye contact and both smiled. Then you waved as you kept moving. In the unlikely event that you do see this, would you like to grab a coffee sometime? A drink? Dinner? All three? Not necessarily in that order.

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 21, 2017 WHERE: Canterbury Books on Commercial Canterbury bookstore. Beautiful blonde. You bought two books one of which was "Women who run with Wolves", one of my favourite reads. Love to hear your thoughts about it.

YVR DOMESTIC TERMINAL

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 31, 2017 WHERE: YVR Domestic Terminal Hello, saw you outside and inside security in the domestic terminal. You had on a black hat, maybe it’s called pork pie style? You were carrying a small guitar, like really small. Ukulele, maybe? I think we smiled. I think we averted glances. I’m the woman in the floral shirt, black pants and hauling a bag that is way to big. Drinks maybe and you can play me a tune?

Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ 28 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017

ith the luck Demetri Martin has had in Vancouver over the years, it’s a wonder he keeps coming back. But adversity, they say, builds character. His first visit here was in October 2004 at the f ledgling Vancouver International Comedy Festival. The organizers had the idea to pair the industry’s best standup comics with Trailer Park Boys. That didn’t go over so well. Martin still talks about that night. The Trailer Park Boys were at the peak of their fame and the crowd was liquored and fired up for them, rather than for a lineup of stellar but less well known comics. “They went ape-shit and they were angry,” says Martin on the phone from his home in Los Angeles. “Each of us went out and just died one after the next. I’ve never been on a show like that before where it was just kind of an angry mob. They were just furious.” He laughs about it now. “All the comics backstage were in one room all saying, ‘You know what? I’m not going out there. This is ridiculous.’ And then one of the comics was like, ‘All right, I’ll do it.’ And it was like a jury turning from ‘guilty’ to ‘not guilty’. Then we all did it.” As much of a train wreck as it was, Martin will take that over a run-ofthe-mill show. “When it’s that bad,” he says, “it does become interesting. It’s kind of better than just a mediocre set where you just do poorly.” His most recent visit to Vancouver was last year. Nearing the end of the long cross-Canada Just For Laughs tour, Martin was in no mood to engage with rowdy punters, so he walked off-stage until the theatre dealt with it. But he got things back on track. As a 20-year veteran, he knows how to deal with all sorts of crowds. “I’ve handled plenty of hecklers,” he says. “That’s not the problem. But sometimes if you’re on a tour and you’re at show number whatever, you’re just like, ‘You know what? I’m just too fucking tired, man. I don’t really care. You want to be an asshole and bother everybody?’ Sometimes you’re in the mood but other times you’re like, ‘Hey, you know, I have an act here. I kinda want to get through it.’ ” Believe it or not, these kinds of shows are helpful to comedians, he thinks. “It reminds you just how subjective and delicate it all is. One night you can do great in this room, and people hate you in that room.” Despite a long and varied career featuring his own TV series, numerous specials and standup tours, a movie he wrote, starred in, and directed (Dean), and two books, with a third on the way this month (If It’s Not Funny It’s Art), Martin keeps his head on straight. “I still feel like I’m kind of hovering just above anonymity,” he says. His standup is evolving from oneliners to something a little more open and honest—but not too revealing. “I’m trying to get more personal,” he says. “I’m trying to find a place that’s not just telling your life’s story.” He thinks there’s a lot of “over sharing” in comedy these days. “It’s like diarrhea of autobiography a little bit. I’ve just not been attracted to telling my whole story up there, but I think somewhere between that and doing jokes about balloons and chairs and stuff, there’s a little more wiggle room for something that’s based maybe a little bit more in emotion.” Demetri Martin’s Let’s Get Awkward tour plays the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on Saturday (September 9).


THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY LITERARY EVENTS ET CETERA GALLERIES MUSEUMS

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Vancouver Fringe Festival shows as 40 artists each have two minutes to prove why you should see their show. Hosted by Travis Bernhardt and Chris Ross. Sep 6, 8 pm, Performance Works (1218 Cartwright, Granville Island). Tix $10, info www.vancouverfringe.com/.

THEATRE 2OPENINGS THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FRINGE-FORALL Get a two-hour preview of this year’s

SHYLOCK Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents Mark Leiren-Young’s tale of a Jewish actor who is condemned by his community for his portrayal of the title

character. Sep 6-15, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bardon thebeach.org/2017/shylock/.

BOMBAY BLACK The Vancouver Fringe Festival presents Rohit Chokhani’s play that delves into a blind man’s world. Sep 7-16, Vancity Culture Lab (the Cultch, 1895 Venables). Tix $14 (plus membership fee), info bit.ly/2fnpGrG. A NIGHT AT THE ROSE COLOURED DISCOTHEQUE As part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival, take in a comedic satire about independent-club culture and modern times. Sep 7-17, The Cultch (1895 Venables). Tix $14, info www.vancouver fringe.com/. VANCOUVER FRINGE FESTIVAL Take in 100 shows and 700 performances in a multi-day event that strives to break down traditional boundaries and encourage open dialogue between audiences and

straight choices

DISTAFF PAPER In a canon of repertoire by household names like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Johann Sebastian Bach, music by female classical composers is rarely heard. But this Saturday (September 9), a special Women Composer Concert will showcase their works, with all ticket sales going to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and the YWCA. Forty-two of Vancouver’s orchestral musicians will perform pieces by Clara Schumann, Maddalena Laura Sirmen, Lili Boulanger, and Rebecca Clarke at Christ Church Cathedral. artists by presenting live unjuried, uncensored theatre in an accessible and informal environment. Sep 7-17, various Vancouver venues. Info www.fringefestival.com/.

intangible landscape. Part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Sep 7-17, Revue Stage (1601 Johnston Street). Tix $14, info www.face book.com/events/1846198002375652/.

A DAVID LYNCH WET DREAM Onewoman show tells the story of a character trying to find her place within a harsh and

ALMOST A STEPMOM The Vancouver Fringe Festival presents the story of a

SEPT 9 & SEPT 10

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SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 29


MOVIES ARTS MUSIC THEATRE FOOD

Arts time out

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woman who moves to Ireland, falls in love, and almost becomes a stepmom. Sep 7-17, Arts Umbrella (1286 Cartwright). Tix $14, info www.vancouverfringe.com/.

GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES As part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Island Productions presents playwright Rajiv Josephâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s darkly comic tale of love, pain, and friendship. Sep 7-17, 7-1:40 pm, Vancity Culture Lab (the Cultch, 1895 Venables). Tix $14, info www.island-productions.ca/.

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Stay Connected @GeorgiaStraight 30 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 14 / 2017

OBIT: A DEATHLY SERIOUS COMEDY As part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival, take in the play that takes a comic look at three people with buried pasts. Sep 9, 7:35 pm; Sep 11, 8:05 pm; Sep 12, 7:45 pm; Sep 14, 5 pm; Sep 16, 12 pm; Sep 17, 8:30 pm; Sep 17, 8:30 pm, The Cultch (1895 Venables). Tix $14 (plus membership fee), info www.vancouverfringe.com/.

2ONGOING

THE WINTERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S TALE Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drama in which the love of two young people becomes the catalyst for reunion, redemption, and a familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s healing. To Sep 22, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bardonthebeach.org/2017/thewinters-tale/.

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RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD SPCatherine BainbridgeGRFXPHQWDW\H[DP LQHVWKHUROHRI1DWLYH$PHULFDQV LQFOXGLQJCharley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jimi Hendrix, Redbone, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Taboo LQFRQWHPSRUDU\$PHULFDQSRSPXVLFKLVWRU\H[SRVLQJDFULWLFDO PLVVLQJFKDSWHUWKDWUHYHDOVKRZLQGLJHQRXVPXVLFLDQVKHOSHGVKDSHDQGLQIOXHQFHWKHVRXQGWUDFNRIRXUOLYHV

SLUMBER HERE The Vancouver Fringe Festival presents a version of William Shakespeareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s classic comedy A Midsummer Nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream that thrusts you into the carnivalesque world of the fairies. Sep 9-17, Granville Island. Tix $14, info www. facebook.com/events/522261731438319/.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comedy set in 1959 Italy, where a group of actors and filmmakers celebrates the wrap of their latest movie. To Sep 23, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www. bardonthebeach.org/2017/much-adoabout-nothing/.

1660 EAST BROADWAY @ COMMERCIAL MEDIA SPONSOR

Studio 16 (1555 W. 7th). Tix $14, info www. efthimioscomedy.com/.

AWASH IN COLOUR Vancouver painter David Wilsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest collection of rainy cityscapes may well be his dreamiest yet. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been exploring the idea of photographic filters in social media. In fact, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scanned thousands of photographs from Instagram and selected the images he felt compelled to work with in his expressive brushstrokes. The result is unprecedented play with form, colour, and light, reinterpreting images of rain-slicked streets from here and around the world (with Mayfair shown here). Check out the show, called Interrupting the Interface, from Thursday (September 7) to September 30 at the Kimoto Gallery. JUST NOT THAT WOMAN The Vancouver Fringe Festival presents Australian artist Ali Kennedy Scottâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s play that examines the forces at play during the 2016 American presidential election. Sep 8-16, Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova). Tix $14 (plus service charges and fees), info www.vancouverfringe.com/. BEAVER DREAMS The Vancouver Fringe Festival presents a puppet show that gives the audience a glimpse into the imagined world of Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most iconic creature. Sep 8-17, 8-2 pm, Havana Theatre (1212 Commercial). $11 (plus ticketing fee and Fringe membership), info www.vancouver fringe.com/. DISENGAGED The Vancouver Fringe Festival presents Toronto-born comedian and actor Efthimios Nasiopoulos in a one-man show that takes a raw look at relationships, love, and marriage. Sep 9-17,

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drama, set in modern-day Venice, that exposes the consequences of how we treat outsiders in our midst. To Sep 16, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bardon thebeach.org/2017/the-merchant-of-venice/. THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tale of two best friends who are in love with the same woman. To Sep 17, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bardonthebeach.org/2017/the-twogentlemen-of-verona/.

DANCE 2THIS WEEK VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FLAMENCO FESTIVAL Take in workshops and ticketed performances featuring a lineup of local and international flamenco artists like Fuensanta â&#x20AC;&#x153;La Monetaâ&#x20AC;?, Calle Verdi, Christina Tremblay, Fin de Fiesta, and Flamenco Rosario. Presented by Flamenco Rosario. Sep 11-24, various Vancouver venues. Tix from free to $60, info www.vancouverflamencofestival.org/.

straight choices

CLIMB EVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;RY MOUNTAIN Because The Sound of Music is one of historyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most beloved movie musicals, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to forget that the stories and songs of the von Trapp family first appeared on the Broadway stage. Now, a new live production of Rodgers and Hammersteinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s classic is touring North America, stopping at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from Tuesday through next Sunday (September 12 to 17). The production is directed by Matt Lenz, building off of earlier work by Tony Awardâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;winner Jack Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien. Tickets are now on sale for this special chance to watch the hills come aliveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;live! Performing Arts (6265 Crescent Rd., UBC). Tix $28-78, info www.vmocanada.com/.

COMEDY 2JUST ANNOUNCED JERRY SEINFELD American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director known for his standup material as well as playing a semifictional version of himself in the sitcom Seinfeld. Dec 1, 7:30 pm, Abbotsford Centre (33800 King Rd., Abbotsford). Tix on sale Sep 8, 10 am, at www.livenation.com/. RICKY GERVAIS English comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, singer, and musician performs on his Humanity tour. Jan 29, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix on sale Sep 8, 10 am, at www.livenation.com/.

2ONGOING THE COMEDY MIX 1015 Burrard, Century Plaza Hotel & Spa, 604-684-5050, www. thecomedymix.com/. Comedy club with pro-am night Tue at 8:30 pm, showcase Wed at 8:30 pm, and featured headliners Thu at 8:30 pm and Fri-Sat at 8 and 10:30 pm. 2ANDY HAYNES Sep 7-9 2PAUL MYREHAUG Sep 14-16 2STEPH TOLEV Sep 21-23 YUK YUKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S COMEDY CLUB 2837 Cambie, 604-696-9857, www.yukyuks.com/ vancouver/. Comedy club with Top Talent Tue at 8 pm, amateur night Wed at 8 pm, and professional headliners Thu-Fri at 8 pm and Sat at 7 and 9:30 pm. 2MAYCE GALONI Sep 7-9 2GARRETT CLARK Sep 14-16 2ALEX WOOD Sep 21-23 2THE BRETT MARTIN SHOW Sep 22 2TAYLOR WILLIAMSON Sep 28-30

VANCOUVER THEATRESPORTS LEAGUE Some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most daring and innovative improv. #NoFilter (Thu, 9:15 pm); Oh, Canada: The True 2THIS WEEK North Strong and Funny (Thu, Fri, and Sat, 7:30 pm); Ok Tinder (Fri and Sat, WOMEN COMPOSER CONCERT 11:15 pm); Rookie Night (Sun, 7:30 pm); Vancouver orchestral musicians perform TheatreSports (Tue and Wed, 7:30 pm; works by women composers Clara Schumann, Elizabeth Knudson, Lili Boulanger, Wed, 9:15 pm; Fri and Sat, 9:30 pm). Sep 6-13, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, and Rebecca Clarke. Proceeds go to the Granville Island). Info www.vtsl.com/. Downtown Eastside Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Centre. Sep 9, Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard). Tix 2THIS WEEK $20, info www.womensorchestra.ca/.

MUSIC

VANCOUVER METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA The local classical group and the Vancouver Bach Choir present a season-opening concert featuring Beethovenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Symphony No. 9 and Hoffmannâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Premiere Interlude. Sep 10, 2 pm, Chan Centre for the

CHRIS AND TRAVIS Multiple Pick of the Fringe winner Travis Bernhardt and Chris Ross present an evening of improv comedy. Sep 7-17, Carousel Theatre (1411 Cartwright, Granville Island). Tix $14, info www.travisbernhardt.com/.

see page 32


MOVIES REVIEWS POP AYE Starring Thaneth Warakulnukroh. In Thai, with English subtitles. Rating unavailable

Road-trip movies tend to be enjoyable from

2 a travelogue point of view, no matter where

they’re coming from. Or going. And when the journey takes you down the little-seen back roads of rural Thailand, it’s bound to get interesting— even more so when there’s an elephant involved. Here, the costarring pachyderm is called Popeye, presumably because the movie’s human hero, seen in flashback to his rural childhood, watched the old Sailor Man (in a cartoon called “Wild Elephinks”, since you asked) with other village kids. Now played by goateed Thaneth Warakulnukroh—a veteran rock musician in his first acting job—middle-aged architect Thana is being pushed out of his job by young go-getters. One crummy day, Thana spies a mistreated elephant on a Bangkok side street and recognizes his old rice-paddy playmate. He impulsively buys

Memories of an elephant

Veteran Thai rock musician Thaneth Warakulnukroh works hard to keep up with his four-legged, scene-stealing costar Bong in director Kirsten Tan’s Pop Aye.

which follows its subjects at school, on city streets, and in and around the huge projects of Aulnay-sous-Bois. Populated by mostly poor African and Arab immigrants and A pachyderm by the name of Popeye takes the lead in a charming if occasionally edgy road-trip movie from Thailand their increasingly assimilated children, this outpost has been the beast, which doesn’t exactly endear him to his home to riots, police actions, and crime movies in already disdainful wife (Penpak Sirikul, recently the past decade. Presumably, places like this are why Trump’s seen in The Hangover Part II). Without even packing a trunk, the dejected Thana decides to take friend “Jim” doesn’t go to Paris anymore. But BaPopeye—the title spelling was no doubt a legalis- binet, who spent two years gaining the trust of locals before filming, takes drug dealers and turf tic choice—back to his home province. Lacking any size-large transport, he decides to wars as a given, instead focusing on kids who’ve walk hundreds of miles, affording him chances to en- made peace with their surroundings. Only one, counter many colourful characters. These include a an extremely shy and possibly traumatized teen longhaired drifter living in an abandoned gas station, named Aissatou, stands alone during recess and a battered trans woman (cast standout Yukontorn haltingly expresses general anxiety. The rest exSukkijja), a couple of bumbling cops who provide an hibit ease with peers of all backgrounds and speak unwanted escort, and a Buddhist monk who takes genially about their plans. A fastidiously coiffed Visa when some unexpected services are required. fellow called Regis plans to be a fashion stylist, The picaresque tale won this year’s screenplay and we believe him. Paul, the only immigrant award at Sundance for Singaporean writer-director from India, wears a natty dark suit every day and Kirsten Tan, who studied at NYU and previously plays drums in a church group. garnered many prizes for her excellent shorts. HonBabinet takes his subjects on stylistic flights of estly, though, the script is the weakest link here. fancy, staging a robotic dance number in a weldThe foundering marriage is depicted so sketchily, ing class and having Paul lip-synch down school it’s hard to grasp the full extent of Thana’s dilem- hallways to a ’50s rockabilly number. Other sema. His relationship with Popeye (played by the quences utilize multiple drones and saturated coltrippily named Bong) and their connection to his ours to swooning, dreamlike effect. The approach rugged old uncle (Narong Pongpab), who stayed in can get a bit precious, as when the director interthe countryside, remain rather cryptic. cuts thoughtful but unrelated reaction shots from This doesn’t matter much, however, because the other kids while one teen is talking. constantly varying scenes, buoyed by Matthew Still, the 85-minute movie mostly lets the subJames Kelly’s spaghetti-eastern guitar score, are so jects be their engaging, sometimes wild-card entertaining. What looks like wholesome family selves, as with the youngest interviewee, a wisefairy tale throws a number of surprisingly edgy eyed, black-haired Arab girl named Naila, who recurveballs as it heads down the tropical highway. calls two trips to Disneyland Paris, but she didn’t As in life, you never know who’s passing through like them, because she later pictured Mickey and who you’ll bump into again. And strong to the Mouse growing huge and going on a Godzilla-like finish, Pop Aye is one companion you’ll never forget. destruction spree, joined by an army of blond Bar> KEN EISNER bies. “Because they’re all the same,” she says, with one eyebrow up. SWAGGER > KEN EISNER A documentary by Olivier Babinet. In French, with English subtitles. Rating unavailable

A visit to one of the most dangerous Paris suburbs is full of hopeful surprises in Swagger, which lives up to its name by letting 11 teens talk about what they’ve accomplished and what they hope to do with their open possibilities. Veteran music-video director Olivier Babinet brings his own visual swag to this lovingly shot doc,

2

WEEK IN WIDESCREEN

TULIP FEVER Starring Alicia Vikander. Rated 14A

This glossy period piece, set in 1630s Am-

2 sterdam, was originally slated to star Keira

Knightley and Jude Law, as directed by Shakespeare in Love’s John Madden and adapted by its screenwriter, Tom Stoppard. Law and Knightley went on to make the overlooked Anna Karenina,

SEVEN BEAUTIES Lina Wertmüller’s extremely provoca-

tive hit from 1975 gave Giancarlo Giannini the role of his career as Pasqualino, a supreme amoralist who ends up as, among other things, the sex toy of a Nazi commandant. Seven Beauties kicks off a monthlong retrospective of the Italian filmmaker’s work at the Cinematheque, on Friday (September 8).

What to see and where to see it

1

MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS The North Carolina band

2

THE VILLAINESS Kim Ok-bin stars in this

3

> KEN EISNER

MOVIES

The projector

Lina Wertmüller

also from Stoppard. In the end, the Czech-born playwright was paired with novelist Deborah Moggach, who also wrote The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and adapted her own 2000 book here. This pedigree guarantees little, as proved by the finished Fever, shot three years ago and shelved until now. Directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) and reportedly recut several times, this isn’t a total mess, and the cast is attractive. Fresh off her Ex Machina breakthrough, Sweden’s Alicia Vikander landed the lead, as Sophia, an orphan “rescued” by an older merchant. Christoph Waltz’s saturnine Cornelis Sandvoort is a born cynic whose pious selfishness doesn’t prevent him from getting most of the best lines. A few years in, and still no babies. But at least Corny can brag about bagging this young beauty via a Rembrandtian portrait, courtesy of up-andcoming painter Jan Van Loos. Here, Dane DeHaan looks like a young Leonardo DiCaprio, so we know where trouble will be coming from. Parallel to this Dutch threesome is the tale of Sandvoort’s maid and cook (and only servant?), Maria (The Riot Club’s Holliday Grainger), who also narrates events sporadically, in the manner of a market-tested expository device. She’s in love with swashbuckling fishmonger Willem (Jack O’Connell), and the maid’s furtive affair is steamier than that of her mistress—despite some notable nudity in the foreground story. But Vikander is a somewhat chilly presence, and can’t do much with a character defined by little more than wanting to escape her husband. More interesting is the trade in tulip bulbs that Willem pursues, with the mania for that recently appropriated flower creating an investment bubble when the Dutch trading empire was at its peak. The film is shot in mostly dour natural light, emphasizing the richness of floral colour and of a painter’s expensive palette. But it also keeps it from being very much fun. There’s forced frenzy to the tulip-swapping scenes, at an alehouse-brothel featuring young Cara Delevingne, years before she was paired with DeHaan in the recent flop Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Elsewhere, there are slapstick comic scenes with Zach Galifianakis, as the painter’s weirdly unreliable buddy. In the Loop’s Tom Hollander plays an amusingly sleazy protogynecologist. And national treasure Judi Dench is a tulip-growing convent head who takes an inexplicable shine to the lovelorn artist. Some bright bits poke up, but all told, this Tulip tries to get too many things going, and uses too much fertilizer to do it.

Nuxploitation

C

is captured working on 2016’s True Sadness album. At the Vancity Theatre on Tuesday (September 12). highly touted flick as a former government agent on a wild and bloody revenge spree. At the Rio Theatre on Tuesday (September 12).

THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE See Denys Arcand’s still fresh 1986 Oscar nominee on Wednesday (September 13) as part of the Cinematheque’s free Canada on Screen series.

BLOOD HONEY A woman reluctantly returns to the family

home on a remote island in northern Ontario, where her very dysfunctional clan prepare for the death of their terminally ill asshole dad. Shenae Grimes-Beech (90210 ) stars in this Canuck psychothriller, which features suicide by bee among other inventively gruesome delights. Playing for one night only at the Cineplex Park Theatre on Friday (September 8). SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 31


VIFF ’17

VIFF nabs the festival hits > BY A DRIA N M A C K

T

he Georgia Straight goes to press this week only hours before the Vancouver International Film Festival announces its gala closing film for 2017. This exalted position in the festival’s 16-day schedule is impossible to predict, and sometimes puzzling in retrospect. Terrence Malick’s ambitious (to say the least) IMAX doc Voyage of Time brought VIFF to a close in 2016—on paper, a definite high-five to serious festivalheads but an underwhelming performer on its subsequent general release. Still, does it matter whether VIFF 2017 ends with a bang or a whimper? Based on an overall schedule revealed in a handful of media releases over the last few weeks, let’s wager a strong no on that one. Our pulse is already racing over a series of special presentations, including the latest features from Michael Haneke (Happy End), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Sally Potter (The Party), and Raoul Peck (The Young Karl Marx), along with the biggest sensation at Cannes this year: Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner, The Square. Lofty names also appear in the Spotlight on France series with the newest from Agnès Varda (Faces, Places) and Arnaud Desplechin (Ismael’s Ghosts) bumping up against sensations like Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute), a period piece about AIDS activism in ’90s Paris that also brought Cannes to its feet. Speaking of Cannes, Claire’s Camera places Isabelle Huppert and The Handmaiden’s Kim Min-hee inside that very festival itself, in a smartly self-reflexive comedy from Hong Sansoo that comes to us via VIFF’s everimpressive, Asia-focused Gateway stream (which includes the audiencefavourite Dragons & Tigers series). Genre fans will note that Hong Kong

Arts time out

from page 30

LEWIS BLACK AND KATHLEEN MADIGAN American standup comedians coheadline on their 49th Parallel Tour. Sep 7, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix $69.50/52.50/39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. DEMETRI MARTIN American comedian, actor, artist, musician, writer, and humorist performs on his Let’s Get Awkward Tour. Sep 9, 7:30 pm, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (6265 Crescent Rd., UBC). Tix $45.50 (plus service charges and fees) at tickets.ubc.ca/.

Isabelle Huppert stars in Happy End, the latest from director Michael Haneke and one of the high-profile flicks at the 2017 Vancouver International Film Festival.

action legend Sammo Hung is behind the wheel of Wilson Yip’s crime thriller Paradox, while VIFF Visionaries invites us to a conversation with Bong Joon Ho when the superstar South Korean director brings his Netflix hit Okja to Vancouver for a special (and rare) big-screen presentation. Thrill seekers and midnight-movie buffs find themselves well-served once again by VIFF’s Altered States series. Greg Zglinski’s tale of doppelgängers in the Swiss Alps, Animals, should satisfy anyone still hungry for another shot of caffeine in the wake of Twin Peaks. Meanwhile, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead return after their super-buzzy 2014 horrorromance, Spring, with UFO-deathcult flick The Endless. Documentaries about legendary record exec Clive Davis and Vancouver-born art star Richard Hambleton appear among the offerings in VIFF’s M/A/D stream (short for Music, Art, and Design), along with the final transmission from late great Abbas Kiarostami, 24 Frames. In yet another special presentation, M/A/D brings the Kronos Quartet to Vancouver to perform alongside Guy Maddin’s Vertigo riff, The Green Fog (directed with Evan and Galen Johnson). That big dose of Canadiana crosses over into the equally strong True North program, headlined by Stephen

JEN KIRKMAN American standup comedian, screenwriter, and actor performs on her All New Material, Girl Tour 2017. Sep 9, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway). Tix $25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

straight choices

COME TOGETHER To celebrate the launch of its 15th season, the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra will perform one of classical music’s greatest compositions, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, a.k.a. the “Choral”. Maestro Ken Hsieh will be joined by four soloists from the Vancouver Bach Choir on-stage at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at 2 p.m. on Sunday (September 10). To Hsieh, Beethoven’s final symphony made sense because it brings people together—such as when Leonard Bernstein chose it as the centrepiece of the Berlin Celebration Concert to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. “I’m not going to change the world like Leonard Bernstein did,” Hsieh quipped, “but there is a brotherhood in Beethoven’s Ninth.”

Campanelli’s adaptation of Richard LITERARY EVENTS Wagamese’s novel Indian Horse, and otherwise including Denis Côté’s 2JUST ANNOUNCED bodybuilding quasi doc A Skin So Soft and Léa Pool’s provocative coming- THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, A 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION of-age drama Worst Case, We Get Celebrate the launch of Doug Sarti and Married. Provocation of another kind Dan McLeod’s The Georgia Straight, A arrives with Black Cop, a controversy- 50th Anniversary Celebration, a collection courting work of agitprop from Hali- of 50 years of Georgia Straight covers which contains background for each of the fax featured in VIFF’s Future//Present covers along with some detailed history series, which highlights some of the of both the counterculture and Vancouver. more exciting work being done in the Sep 27, doors 6:30 pm, event 7 pm, Book Warehouse (4118 Main St.). Info www.face margins of our national cinema. book.com/events/147668235823478/. The Sea to Sky highlights B.C. with crowd-pleasers like Melanie Wood’s ET CETERA portrait of Shane Koyczan, Shut Up and Say Something, along with Public 2THIS WEEK 2CLAUDE MONET’S SECRET GARDEN (exhibit showcases 38 paintings that span Schooled and Once There Was a Win- I LOVE CIRCUS CABARET VOL. 2: ter—the latest from Kyle (Eadweard) INFUSION The circus is back! Artists from the career of the French artist who is regarded as a master of the impressionist Rideout and Ana (Sitting on the Edge a variety of disciplines fuse their artistic movement) to Oct 1 practice with a discipline from the circus of Marlene) Valine, respectively. Fans world. Pairings may include: A drummer of EDM act HUMANS please note and a juggler; a spoken-word poet and a MUSEUMS that musician Peter Ricq has finally trapeze artist; a sculptor and a handstand THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY finished his debut feature with the ’80s artist. Sept 9, 8 pm, Annex (823 Seymour). AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, 604-822horror homage, Dead Shack. And if we Info www.circuswest.com 5087, www.moa.ubc.ca/. 2TRACES OF still don’t know how all of this ends on PAUL ANTHONY’S TALENT TIME: WORDS: ART AND CALLIGRAPHY FROM October 13, we can infer from Medita- SEASON 10 LAUNCH Paul Anthony and ASIA (multimedia exhibition examines the physical traces of words, both spoken tion Park—the latest by Vancouverite Graham Clark host performances by and recorded, that are unique to humans) comedian Yumi Nagashima, Ronnie the Mina Shum, now in the midst of a Dancer, circus artist Colleen Yuen, and to Oct 9 bravura second act to her career—that warmup comedian Sean Devlin. Sep 7, VIFF’s opening gala, at least, will be an 8-10:15 pm, Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway). TIME OUT ARTS LISTINGS Tix $14/12, info www.talenttime.biz. are a public service provided free of charge, based indisputable triumph. The Vancouver International Film Festival runs from September 28 to October 13.

GALLERIES VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, 604-662-4719, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/.

on available space and editorial discretion. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.

Music Monday $10

SEPTEMBER 28 - OCTOBER 13, 2017

VIFF Pass + Packs on sale now at viff.org SEP 7

VIFF Single Tickets on sale at viff.org SEP 14

In Person Box Office opens at

The Vancouver International Film Centre MON-SAT: 12PM - 7PM, SUN: 2PM-7PM

32 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017


Expand the frame. September 28 to October 13 Discover viff.org

Call Me By Your Name

The Square

THU. OCT 5

9:00 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

FRI. SEP 29

9:00 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

SUN. OCT 8

9:00 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

TUE. OCT 3

3:15 PM

PLAYHOUSE

THU. OCT 12

3:15 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

Luca Guadagnino – USA/Italy/France

One Night Only! The Green Fog A San Fransisco Fantasia with Kronos Quartet Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson USA/Canada TUE. OCT 1O

8:00 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

A Fantastic Woman

Sebastián Lelio – Chile/Germany/USA/Spain MON. OCT 2

3:45 PM

PLAYHOUSE

THU. OCT 5

6:15 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

WED. OCT 11

9:00 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

When her older lover Orlando (Francisco Reyes) dies suddenly, transgendered Marina (a stunning Daniela Vega) faces horrible prejudice from officials investigating his death--and worse from the man’s family. Director Sebastián Lelio (VIFF 13 standout Gloria) has fashioned a radiant tribute to one woman’s strength. “Five Stars! [This] trans tale stands alongside Almodóvar… It may be a timely film, but it is its timelessness, as well as its depths of compassion, that qualify it as a great one.”—Guardian

Ruben Östlund – Sweden/Germany/France/Denmark

This multi-experiential, visual and sound collage created by award-winning filmmaker and cultural iconoclast Guy Maddin and collaborators Evan and Galen Johnson (The Forbidden Room) re-imagines Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Originally commissioned by SFFILM with support from Nion McEvoy and Stanford Live, this must-attend event features the world-renowned Kronos Quartet performing live the score composed by Jacob Garchik.

Set in the sun-drenched countryside of Italy’s Lombardy region, Luca Guadagnino’s visually ravishing tale of first love is a flawlessly acted wonder. Ensconced in his family’s villa for the summer, 17-year-old Elio (Homeland’s Timothée Chalamet, superb) finds himself drawn to his professor-father’s (Michael Stuhlbarg) research assistant, Oliver (Armie Hammer). What follows is guaranteed to stir your soul. “Masterful… reminiscent of the best of Eric Rohmer, Bernardo Bertolucci and André Téchiné.”—Guardian

Borg vs. McEnroe

Mountain

Janus Metz – Sweden/Denmark/Finland

Ruben Östlund’s (Force Majeure, VIFF 14) hilarious yet deadly serious satire sees selfish Swedish art curator Christian (Claes Bang, perfect) preparing an upcoming piece called The Square, an interactive work described as “a sanctuary of trust and caring.” Hardly… Soon things are spiralling out of control in Christian’s personal and professional life. “A potent, disturbing work that explores the boundaries of political correctness, artistic liberty and free speech in provocative ways.”—Hollywood Reporter

Loving Vincent

Jennifer Peedom – Australia

Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman – Poland/UK

SAT. OCT 7

8:45 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

SUN. OCT 8

4:00 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

THU. SEP 28

6:30 PM

RIO

WED. OCT 11

6:30 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

THU. OCT 12

6:30 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

SAT. SEP 30

4:30 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

FRI. OCT 13

3:30 PM

PLAYHOUSE

One of the greatest tennis matches of all time--the 1980 Wimbledon Men’s Final between Björn Borg and John McEnroe--provides the baseline drama for this riveting sports movie. Director Janus Metz shoots the game in ways we have never seen before and elicits superb performances from Shia LaBeouf as McEnroe and Sverrir Gudnason (an uncanny lookalike) as Borg. Like all the best tennis games, the Final proves a nailbiting psychological thriller. This is the first tennis movie to truly ace it.

Scale the heights with this breathtaking, immersive documentary, as director Jennifer Peedom takes us up the peaks in her exploration of mountain climbing. Along for the thrill ride are Richard Tognetti and his Australian Chamber Orchestra, who give us a succession of rousing pieces to carry us through the journey. Narrated by Willem Dafoe and graced with some moments of quieter beauty to go with the thrills, this is doc filmmaking at its most powerful and a bigscreen experience if ever there was one.

In Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s remarkable animated work--“the world’s first fully painted feature”-the paintings of Vincent van Gogh are brought to life via a mystery wherein the postmaster’s son (Douglas Booth) in Arles tries to parse the painter’s sad last days. Each of the film’s 65,000 frames was hand-painted by one of 115 professional oil-painters, making for “a truly awe-inspiring portrait… [that pulls] audiences into the delirious, hyper-sensual world suggested by van Gogh’s oeuvre.”—Variety

Schedule subject to change, visit viff.org for updates. Premier Sponsor

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SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 33


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34 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 7 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 14 / 2017

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MUSIC

Live-music promoter Matt Gibbons (left) of MRG Concerts touts the strong local component of the Westward Music Festival, which features Vancouver acts such as Youngblood (right).

How to make a music city

edition of the Westward Music Festival, a multiday blowout featuring a mix of heavy-hitting imports and top-f light Vancouver talent. Out-of-towners headed to the West Coast include rapper Vince Staples, blues stalwarts Gov’t Mule, elecWith the Westward Music Festival, MRG Concerts tro-Aboriginal trailblazers A Tribe Called Red, and intends to build a buzz around the local scene alt-pop chanteuses Bishop Asked for his favourite moment as an in- Briggs and Hannah Georgas. Local acts tapped dependent live-music promoter in Vancouver, MRG for Westward include Dear Rouge, Youngblood, BY M IKE US IN G ER Concerts president Matt Gibbons first lists some of Gang Signs, and Little Destroyer. Shows over the his company’s most famously epic shows. Think sta- five days will take place at various venues across the dium-sized superstar Prince giving fans something city, including the Vogue and the Biltmore, as well truly special by playing multiple nights at the MRG– as the Fox Cabaret and the Imperial. owned Vogue Theatre instead of Rogers Arena. Gibbons calls the Westward Music Festival an But, tellingly, his peak concert experience was a idea that took a while to go from abstract goal to night when the reaction of the audience left Gib- realized event. bons feeling moved beyond words. “It’s been in conversation in the company for “One that really resonates with me—and this a couple of years,” he says. “I think we decided is going to make me sound a little bit shallow, a year ago that it was time to put it into motion. but it’s the truth—is when we were doing Joanna There was no one real aha moment—it was more Newsom at the Vogue,” Gibbons says in a phone like, ‘We’re doing a lot of shows now in Vancouinterview. “This was just after we had bought the ver, so what can we do to group a bunch of them Vogue. Joanna Newsom is a very talented art- together?’ It was a natural progression for us.” ist, but not my particular cup of tea. At the end It’s not lost upon Gibbons that multiday festiof the show, I was standing in the lobby, and the vals in Vancouver have proven difficult to sustain number of people who came out with their shirts over the years. The ’90s saw the rise and eventual soaked—they were crying because they were collapse of Music West, an ambitious undertakmoved so much by the performance—was when ing that mixed international headliners and local I knew. I knew that we could be part of creating talent with panels and workshops. More recently, these memories for people.” marquee events like the Squamish Valley Music For nearly a decade, Gibbons has been doing Festival and Pemberton Music Festival were canjust that with MRG Concerts, a group that runs celled by their promoters after multiyear runs. live-music rooms across the country, including Gibbons says that MRG has thought hard about the Vogue, Biltmore Cabaret, and Yale Saloon what kind of event they want Westward to be. in Vancouver. It’s challenging to commit to live “I think what’s been a bit of a problem with festimusic in a city this expensive, but the promoter vals in the past couple of years,” he opines, “is that says that nights like the Prince and Newsom you’ve had this massive growth during a gold-rush shows are a big reason he loves what he does era where a lot of lineups look very similar. It’s sort for a living. of top-down: ‘We’re going to put all these massive And the power of such moments goes a long acts on-stage and people will show up.’ But if you way to explaining why MRG is about to embark do that, all you’re sort of doing is putting on a whole on its most ambitious venture yet. From Sep- bunch of headlining artists who happen to be playtember 14 to 17 the group will launch the first ing near each other. It’s not about the festival itself

CHECK THIS OUT

PIZZA FACE After illness forced her to cancel a Labour Day concert in Montreal, Lady Gaga had pizzas sent to fans hanging around outside her hotel. She then presumably collected the uneaten slices and had them made into a dress.

BENJAMIN BOOKER After his self-titled 2013 debut album

racked up acclaim from superstars such as Jack White and Courtney Barnett, Benjamin Booker fell into a slump. Struggling with writer’s block for his follow-up record, the blues-rock artist packed on the pounds and turned to drugs. After months of introspection and an impulsive move to Mexico City, Booker returned with Witness, a gospel-infused outing that puts his dark days down on wax. Having regained his swagger after a string of rave reviews, the artist is in demand for high-end festivals and guest appearances on late-night talk shows, where his gruff vocals and soulful, political lyrics add a punk edge to thick, swampy guitar licks. -

The Westward Music Festival takes place at various venues from next Thursday to Sunday (September 14 to 17). For a full festival schedule, go to westwardfest.com/.

MUSIC Let’s talk about

You gotta see

and what that experience is.” Westward, on the other hand, is aimed at those who love seeing shows in intimate venues. It’s also, Gibbons argues, a festival that hopes to give back to everyone who supports live music in this city, which explains the heavy local component. “It was important for us to work with the Fox and the Imperial to show that this was also something for the music venues,” he says. “Ideally, we’ll get to a point where every music venue in the city is full for Westward. That’s how we create a music city. We have to all support each other—that’s a simple thing that we all learned from our parents. Help others, and hopefully they will reciprocate.” The dream is that the first Westward will build a buzz around the city, and music fans will want to be part of things moving forward. If that sounds like wishful thinking, you’ve clearly never been on the kind of high where seeing a great show one night makes you want to go out and do it all over again the next. “Westward is something that we plan on doing for a very long time,” Gibbons says. “We don’t know what it’s going to look like [in the future], but we hope that the people of Vancouver and City of Vancouver want to support it. And that we can use some of the unique spaces around Vancouver, whether it’s a Malkin Bowl or a David Lam Park.” Asking him to pick potential highlights from the inaugural edition’s lineup is probably unfair, but that doesn’t stop him from doing just that, with the caveat that the special moments won’t stop there. In the best possible world, there will be tears—but of the same kind that Joanna Newsom provoked. “I think Vince Staples is a generational artist, so that’s pretty cool,” Gibbons says. “A Tribe Called Red obviously is something amazing that we’re very proud to call Canadian. Dear Rouge will be cool, especially since they are playing a smaller venue for them. Youngblood and Little Destroyer are such a part of the Vancouver music scene, so seeing them on a bigger stage in the festival is going to be fantastic. All I know is that I’m going to be running around trying to see them all.” -

SPELL IT OUT Thought Lil Uzi Vert would try not to draw attention to the most stupidly named single off his latest record? Wrong. The rapper’s “XO Tour Llif3” has just received a full-length official video, which is almost as nonsensical as its moniker. WHO’S THAT GIRL On September 5, Madonna posted a selfie captioned “When you’ve been arguing with fed-ex all week that you really are Madonna and they still won’t release your package.” We just hope this doesn’t inspire a sequel to “Bitch I’m Madonna”. BURNED OUT A judge has ruled that the promoters of Fyre Festival—at which attendees turned up to a Bahaman island to find disaster relief shelters and Kraft Singles sandwiches—must file for bankruptcy. Bad news for those who decided that, instead of getting a refund, they’d rather have tickets to the yet-to-be-organized Fyre Festival 2018. Idiots.

Fresh and local SAM TUDOR QUOTIDIAN DREAM Softly spoken songwriter Sam Tudor might have dubbed his new album “quotidian”, but the record is far from mundane. Kicking off the LP with alt-folk ballad “New Apartment”, an ode to self-imposed isolation, Tudor displays his penchant for everything left-field by blending wistful acoustic guitar melodies with light string harmonies and a middleeight breakdown led by a velvety clarinet solo. Hardly runof-the-mill. Different genres abound on the record—Tudor’s humorous ditty “Brain Stealers” sees programmed drums meld with Spanish guitar riffs to build a Hawaiian hula feel, and nods to Simon and Garfunkel and Jefferson Airplane swiftly follow. But despite that eclecticism, Tudor’s mellow vocals and captivating stories tie each track to the next. Relaxed and sophisticated, Quotidian Dream is the perfect accompaniment to fall. SEPTEMBER 7 – 14 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 35


MUSIC

Left to right: Geoff Berner launches a new book and a new album this week as part of the Accordion Noir festival; Montreal’s TOPS has a strong commitment to the art of pop songwriting.

Berner chronicles an ephemeral subculture On the page and on record, the tunesmith and novelist aims to document the life and hard times of the western Canadian musician The late composer, guitarist, iconoclast, and hyperintelligent jerk Frank Zappa liked to talk about his work in terms of conceptual continuity, meaning in part that characters, themes, musical structures, and obsessions might emerge on one album, submerge for a while, and then reappear at a later date. Think of it this way, he told biographer Peter Occhiogrosso: “A novelist invents a character. If the character is a good one, he takes on a life of his own. Why should he get to go to only one party? He could pop up anytime in a future novel.” Geoff Berner’s music isn’t anything like Zappa’s, but on the evidence of his new book, The Fiddler Is a Good Woman, and album, Canadiana Grotesquica, the two share a similar mindset. The second installment of an eventual trilogy, The Fiddler is written from a very different perspective from its predecessor, Festival Man: that 2013 opus was told almost exclusively by roots impresario Campbell Ouiniette, while the new book is a panorama, narrated by a shifting array of mostly female char-

2 rock

acters. But the subject matter—the life and hard times of the western Canadian musician—remains the same. Characters, including Ouiniette and the author himself, play recurring roles. And those people often resemble real musicians, including Berner’s collaborators; violinist Diona Davies is one of his frequent touring companions, for instance, and the string wizard of the new book’s title just happens to be nicknamed D.D. But Berner is quick to point out that he’s writing fiction, not biography; his protagonists are based on real people, but they’re compound figures, not limited to a single source. More important is that his books chronicle a subculture that’s generally examined only f leetingly, in impermanent media such as radio shows and weekly magazines. “These people matter, you know,” he tells the Straight in a telephone interview from his Cedar Cottage home. “These things that I love are bound to disappear, like everything disappears—but some bit of them is not going to disappear, if I can do anything about it.”

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There’s a link perhaps to the work of beat authors Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, who created fictional worlds out of real-life people and their low-rent heroism, and whose writings have offered a template to successive generations of nonconformists. “If you have some kind of hope in humanity,” Berner says, “it goes beyond just capturing the zeitgeist and into leaving some kind of record for kids who stumble upon this 20 years from now—kids who are listening to mass media and the hits and stuff like that, and thinking ‘Am I the only one who thinks this is all garbage?’ Maybe running across this book will let them go ‘No! There’s always been people who’ve found a way to make a different kind of culture that matters more.’ ” That’s a romantic hope expressed in plainspoken language, a notion further reinforced by the determinedly rootsy Canadiana Grotesquica, which moves away from the klezmerinflected eloquence of recent efforts such as Victory Party and We Are Going to Bremen to Be Musicians in favour of the alt-country sound that was in vogue when Berner began his musical career. In fact, some of those songs have been waiting quite a while to find a forever home. “There was no way I could put them on any of those klezmer-punk records,” Berner explains. “They’re really built from my experience of touring Western Canada.…And when I came up as a singer-songwriter, a lot of the people I toured with were basically singer-songwriters with some twang in them. They were country—and in a lot of ways they were more country than popular country music, but they had this punk background and attitude.” Berner’s affinity for that scene— and that sound—is probably best expressed in “Don’t Play Cards for Money With Corby Lund”, a selfexplanatory if somewhat surreal account of Alberta’s leading indie songster and cardsharp. And if you need proof that both The Fiddler Is a Good Woman and Canadiana Grotesquica are cut from the same cloth, consider “Rule of the Road”; both book and song enumerate all the things—the “delicate circuitry” of everything from friendships to Fender amps—that can get broken during a cross-country tour. One difference, though, is that the song doesn’t mention hearts. “Note that I didn’t say that,” Berner

says with a laugh. “That’s good song- every bit as potent as the best moments of Portishead, Massive Attack, and writing.” the xx, while lighter moments such as And yes, yes it is. > ALEXANDER VARTY “I Just Wanna Make You Real” and “Cloudy Skies” find the airy sweet Geoff Berner plays a launch party for spot between Keren Ann and CamCanadiana Grotesquica and The Fid- era Obscura. Gorgeous little touches dler Is a Good Woman at the Russian abound, from Penny’s ’60s-FrenchHall on Saturday (September 9), as pop delivery on “Marigold & Gray” part of the Accordion Noir Festival. to the Goo-smeared guitar heroics on For a full Accordion Noir schedule, “Dayglow Bimbo”. visit accordionnoirfest.com/. Penny describes the band’s time in Los Angeles as both liberating and productive. Fleck—who is American—found an old home that was once a brothel, and then set up a recording studio on-site. That Even though TOPS doesn’t put gave the three the ability to indulge things in black-and-white, there themselves. are enough hints on the band’s recent“Because we do everything ourly released third album, Sugar at the selves, and always kind of have, Gate, to suggest that somewhere along there’s never limitations,” Penny the line a relationship went slowly says. “Like with ‘Dayglow’, David south. Consider, for example, the “Fur- wrote this guitar line and we were ther” lines “Used to think that I was in all like, ‘That’s really sick—it sounds the right/Now I know I’m wrong/You like a Sonic Youth song or My don’t know what you want.” Bloody Valentine.’ Then, with ‘I Just Reached at home in Montreal, Wanna Make You Real’, we were TOPS singer Jane Penny willingly like, ‘This has more of a jazzy eleadmits that the ending of a long- ment, so let’s put a flute solo at the running union with guitarist David end.’ What’s cool is none of us ever Carriere indeed coloured parts of think the record would be better if the record. Along with drummer someone like a producer said, ‘You Riley Fleck, Carriere and Penny left can’t have those two songs on there.’ Montreal and set up in a Los Angel- Each song is an opportunity to do es home for a full year, writing and all kinds of different things.” recording and hanging out. Over That anything-goes spirit has that period two bandmates slowly made TOPS a major player on Mondrifted apart. treal’s ever-fertile alt-pop scene, the “David and I have known each group having close ties to a moveother since we were about 12, and we ment that’s given up the likes of started dating when we were about Grimes and Braids. Penny is happy 20 or 21,” Penny reveals. “We kind to report that her breakup with Carof ended things just after we left Los riere has in a weird way made them Angeles—we knew that we wanted closer as friends. As their commitsome space, which I guess is always ment to each other has changed, the first step to breaking up. It was their devotion to TOPS is now one of those situations where it was stronger than ever. such a long-term relationship that “I guess one reason TOPS has we both understood that it had run consistently been something that its course. everybody has wanted to put a lot of “It wasn’t exactly the most dra- energy into is that we all really feel matic thing,” she continues. “The re- this responsibility and commitment cord was completely finished months to this idea of pop songwriting,” she before we actually broke up. But I says. “We all love a great, really efthink, looking back, when we wrote fective pop song. But sometimes that things like ‘Further’ we sort of talked approach can lead to really convenabout that feeling where you realize tional or confining music. We like you’re in a situation that’s not work- the fact that TOPS is a rock band ing for you.” and that we’re a bit weird. SomeDespite that backdrop, Sugar at thing like ‘Dayglow Bimbo’ is a pop the Gate comes across as anything song at the core, but around it there’s but tortured. As on past outings— always room to innovate and be Tender Opposites (2012) and Picture experimental.” > MIKE USINGER You Staring (2014)—the band traffics in an enchantingly laconic brand of art pop. Atmosphere-heavy stand- TOPS plays the Imperial on Tuesday outs like “Topless” and “Further” are (September 12).

TOPS prefers to work with no stylistic limitations

2


Up. Sep 13, doors 5:30 pm, show 7 pm, Malkin Bowl (610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park). Tix $46 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS

CONCERTS < CLUBS & VENUES < OUT OF TOWN <

CONCERTS

WESTWARD MUSIC FESTIVAL Music by Gov’t Mule, Vince Staples, A Tribe Called Red, Dear Rouge, Charlotte Day Wilson, Pup, Hannah Georgas, Touché Amoré, Watsky, Too Many Zooz, Busty and the Bass, Bliss n Eso, Youngblood, Beach Season and Neon Dreams, DD Dumbo, Ralph, Wyclef Jean, and Midnight Sister. Sep 14-17, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). The event also runs at Biltmore Cabaret, Imperial Theatre, Fox Cabaret, and Red Truck Brewery. Tix $59.50224.50, info www.westwardfest.com/.

don’t miss out!

2JUST ANNOUNCED

For up-to-the-minute, searchable Music Time Out listings, visit

HENDRIK MEURKENS TORONTO SAMBA CONNECTION Germany-born and NY-based, chromatic harmonica and vibraphone virtuoso Hendrik Meurkens digs Canada. A legit successor in the tradition of Toots Thielemans, Meurkens reunites with his 2006 band, the Toronto Samba Connection. Presented by Coastal Jazz. Sep 22-23, 8pm, Frankie’s Jazz Club (755 Beatty St.). Tix $20. www.coastaljazz.ca

BULLY Nashville rock band tours in support of upcoming release Losing. Feb 26, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix on sale Sep 8, 10 am, $18 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketfly.com/.

COLDPLAY British rock band led by Chris Martin performs on its A Head Full of Dreams Tour 2017. Sep 29, doors 5 pm, show 7 pm, BC Place Stadium (777 Pacific Boulevard). Tix $199.50/139.50/89.50/59.50 /29.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

CLUBS & VENUES BACKSTAGE LOUNGE Arts Club Theatre, 1585 Johnston, Granville Island, 604-687-1354. Vancouver’s only live-music venue on the water, with music nightly. Hot Jazz Jam night on Tue. 2GROOVE AND TONIC Sep 7 BILTMORE CABARET 2755 Prince Edward, 604-676-0541. 2BENJAMIN BOOKER Sep 9 2XYLO: CANCELLED Sep 10 BLUE MARTINI JAZZ CAFE 1516 Yew, 604-428-2691. Live jazz, soul, and blues. Closed on Mondays.

2THIS WEEK DANIEL O’DONNELL Irish easy-listening vocalist performs on his Back Home Again Tour. Sep 8, doors 6:30 pm, show 7:30 pm, Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe). Tix $115/85/65/39 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

COMMODORE BALLROOM 868 Granville, 604-739-4550. 2REVEREND HORTON HEAT Sep 7 2BIG SUGAR Sep 8 2THUNDERCAT Sep 10

JOHN BUTLER TRIO Australian roots-jam band composed of John Butler, Byron Luiters, and Grant Gerathy. Sep 9, doors 5:30 pm, show 7 pm, Malkin Bowl (Stanley Park). Tix $45 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

FRANKIE’S JAZZ CLUB 765 Beatty, 778727-0337. Live music Thu-Sun. and menu items that include fresh housemade pastas and signature entrées. 2GOGO PENGUIN Sep 9-10 2HENDRIK MEURKENS TORONTO SAMBA CONNECTION Sep 22-23 FUNKY WINKER BEANS 37 W. Hastings. Evil Bastard Karaoke Experience seven days a week.

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RAILWAY STAGE AND BEER CAFÉ 579 Dunsmuir, 604-564-1430. Comedy Tue, darts Wed, live music Wed, Thu, Fri, and all day/night Sat. 2HEIDI MCCURDY Sep 7 2WE FOUND A LOVEBIRD Sep 8 2TULIP AND HERON Sep 9

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RICKSHAW THEATRE 254 E. Hastings, 604-681-8915. 2PERTURBATOR Sep 9 2THE CHURCH Sep 10

The New Norm

ST. JAMES HALL 3214 W. 10th, 604736-3022. 2BIRDS OF CHICAGO Sep 7 2MATTHEW BYRNE Sep 8

I’ve noticed in recent times what appears to be a new level of disdain between people. It no longer matters that you have mutual friends, similar or same interests, are from the same scene, do the same job, live next door etc.. there is an underlying contempt for each other in modern society.

VENUE 881 Granville, 604-646-0064. 2SKILLET Sep 6 2A TRIBE CALLED RED Sep 17 2SHOUT OUT LOUDS Nov 12 2COLLIE BUDDZ Dec 13 VOGUE THEATRE 918 Granville, 604569-1144. 2KEITH APE Sep 9 2MAC DEMARCO Sep 12

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BARENAKED LADIES Canadian indie-rock band performs on its Fake Nudes Canadian Tour. Nov 17-18, doors 7 pm, show 8:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Sep 8, 10 am, $65 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

FLEET FOXES American indie-folk band tours in support of its third album Crack-

IVANHOE PUB 1038 Main, 604-608-1444. Pub with live bands on weekends and open jam night Sun from 4 to 8 pm. Open at 9 am with breakfast and daily food specials. Pool tourney Thu. No cover.

MARIA MULDAUR American folk-blues vocalist known for hits like “Midnight at the Oasis”. Sep 13, 8 pm, Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway). Tix $40, info www. roguefolk.bc.ca/concerts/ev17091220/.

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THE IMPERIAL 319 Main, 604-868-0494. 2ASGEIR Sep 6 2CIGARETTES AFTER SEX Sep 7 2WATSKY Sep 14

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WISE HALL 1882 Adanac, 604-254-5858. 2ACCORDION NOIR FEST WARM-UP Sep 6 2WE RISE REGGAE DANCE NIGHT Sep 8 2ZAP THE CROOK Sep 9 2SIMON KEMPSTON Sep 10

I still have my account and I love photography, but I think I’ve actually been happier ever since I uninstalled a Instagram, snapchat, etc. We’ll see how long this lasts. It’s kind of nice not to see what everyone else is doing, wearing, going.

OUT OF TOWN

kind gesture

2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS

Thanks for being so kind to my friends who live next to your restaurant and don’t always have dough to pay the same day. Thanks for allowing them to pay you at a later date. It only happens in a few places around the world. It just warms my heart right up. Guess we have something in common after all (smiling).

RIFFLANDIA Music by Moby, Zeds Dead, Bonobo, July Talk, A Tribe Called Red, Hot Chip, Dear Rouge, G Jones, Z-Trip, Grandtheft, Bliss N Eso, the Glorious Sons, Dream Warriors, Busty and the Bass, Charlotte Day Wilson, Yukon Blonde, Said the Whale, Five Alarm Funk, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Hannah Georgas, Too Many Zoos, Slynk, the Librarian, Skiitour, K+Lab, DJ Shub, Leeroy Stagger, Band of Rascals, Astrocolor, Illvis Freshly, Fleetmac Wood, Harrison, Youngblood, Chersea, Liinks, Carole Pope, Ralph, Boogie T, Neon Dreams, and Carmanah. Sep 14-17, Various Victoria venues. Info www.rifflandia.com/.

TIME OUT MUSIC LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. We can’t guarantee inclusion, and we give priority to events taking place within one week of publication. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.

I don’t see someone having a smoke on the deck of a windy BC ferry as a problem. I don’t smoke but this is all getting a bit silly.....ever notice how much Sodium Nitrate is in our meat products? That stuff is more harmful than cigarette smoke.

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savage love I’m a lady considering taking on

a foot fetishist as a slave. He would do chores around my house, including cleaning and laundry, and give foot rubs and pedicures in exchange for getting to worship and jack off to my model-perfect feet when I’ve decided he’s earned it. Am I morally obligated to tell my roommates? Technically, the guy would be in their common space too. I will fully vet him with references and meet him in a neutral location at least once—and anything else you might suggest I do for security’s sake. Though my roommates are not what you would call conservative, I’m not sure they’d understand this kind of arrangement. I would have my slave come over when no one is around, and then my roommates could come home to a sparkly clean common area! My slave would never have access to their personal spaces, nor would I leave him alone in any area of our home until a strong bond of trust had been established. No harm, no foul? Or am I crossing a line? > MAN INTO CLEANING A SHARED APARTMENT

A friend in Berlin has a similar arrangement. This guy comes over to clean his apartment once a week and— if my friend thinks he’s done a good enough job—my friend rewards him with a knee to the balls. It’s a good deal for both parties: My vanilla-but-kinkadjacent friend gets a sparkly clean apartment (which he loves but doesn’t want to do himself); this guy gets his balls busted on a regular basis (which he loves but can’t do himself). But my friend lives alone, MICASA, and that makes all the difference. Or does it?

Time for some playing-gameswith-foot-fetishists theory: if you were having sex with a boyfriend in the common areas of your apartment when your roommates weren’t home—let’s say your boyfriend (or even some rando) wanted to fuck you on the kitchen floor—you wouldn’t be morally obligated to text your roommates and ask their permission. But we’re not talking about a normal guy here or normal sex—we’re talking about a fetishist who wants to be your slave. Does that make a difference? It might to people who regard kinksters as dangerous sex maniacs, MICASA, but a kinky guy isn’t any more or less dangerous than a vanilla guy. And a kinky guy you’ve gone to the trouble to vet—by getting his real name and contact info, by meeting in public at least once, by asking for and following up with references—presents less of a threat to you and your roommates than some presumed-to-be-vanilla rando one of you brought home from a bar at 2 a.m. Strip away the sensational elements—his thing for feet, his desire to be your chore slave, the mental image of him jacking off all over your toes— and what are we left with? A friendswith-benefits arrangement. A sparkly clean apartment benefits you (and your roommates); the opportunity to worship your feet benefits him. This guy would be a semiregular sex partner of yours, MICASA, and while the sex you’re having may not be conventional, the sex you have in your apartment—including the sex you might have in the common areas when no one is at home—is ultimately none of your roommates’ business.

> BY DAN SAVAGE develop from childhood associations. When he was two, he had surgery to correct a common issue on his groin. Might that have sparked this? I want my son to grow up with a healthy and My girlfriend drunkenly positive sexuality. Are we doing him confessed to me that she used to pee a favour or a disservice by supplying on her ex. I’m not sure what to do him with materials, freedom, and priwith this info. vacy to engage in a kink so young?

That said, MICASA, unless or until all your roommates know what’s up, I don’t think you should ever allow this guy to be alone in your apartment.

> DUDE’S RELATIONSHIP IN PERIL

> BOY ALWAYS NEEDING “DOCTORING” AND GETTING EDGIER

Did she ask you to do something with this info? Did your girlfriend say, “Hey, I used to pee on my ex—now go make me a dream catcher with that news, would you?” Your GF got a little kinky with an ex, most likely at the ex’s request, and so what? If piss isn’t something you’re into, DRIP, don’t obsess on the distressing-to-you details and focus instead on the big picture: you’ve got an adventurous GF. Congrats. If she doesn’t have an equally adventurous BF, here’s hoping she finds one.

Your son’s behaviour isn’t that abnormal, BANDAGE. It’s standard for kids, even very young kids, to touch their genitals—in public, where it can be a problem, or in private, where it should never be a problem. Lord knows kids obsess about the strangest shit. (What is the deal with dinosaurs, anyway?) Right now your son is obsessed with bandages and splints and gauze; his interests aren’t purely intellectual; it’s easy to see a possible link between his experience with bandages and gauze in his swimsuit area and his obsession. None of this means your son is definitely going to be kinky when he grows up, BANDAGE—not that there’s anything wrong with being kinky when you grow up. There are lots of happy, healthy kinksters out there, and your kid could be one of them when he grows up. But it’s too early to tell, and so long as his interests aren’t complicating his life (he’s not behaving inappropriately with friends or at school), your son’s whatever-this-is will become less of your concern over time and ultimately it will be none of your business. In the meantime, you don’t wanna slap a “so kinky” label on a seven-yearold. (If he were to overhear you using

My

seven-year-old

son

started getting really into gauze, splints, and bandages when he was three, and by the time he was four, it became clearly sexualized. He gets a boner when he plays “broken bone” or just looks at bandages, and he has expressed how much he loves to touch his penis when he does this. My husband and I (both happily vanilla) have been accepting and casual about this. We’ve provided him with a stash of “supplies”, taught him the concept of privacy and alone time, and frequently remind him to never wrap bandages around his head or neck. Is it normal to be so kinky at such a young age? I know kinks generally

that term to describe him, does he have the computer skills to google it himself?) But you’re doing everything right otherwise. You aren’t shaming your son; you aren’t making bandages and gauze and splints more alluring by denying him access to them; you are teaching him important lessons about privacy and what needs to be reserved for “alone time”. You ask if it’s normal to be “so kinky” (a phrase we shall both retire, at least when referring to your son, after today) at such a young age. Probably not—but so what? According to science, most adults have paraphilias, a.k.a. “nonnormative sexual desires and interests”. That means kinks are normal—at least for grownups—so even if your son isn’t normal now, BANDAGE, he’ll be normal someday. Most happy, healthy, well-adjusted adult kinksters can point to things in their childhood that seemed to foreshadow their adult interests in bandages/bondage/balloons/whatever. Author, journalist, and spanking fetishist Jillian Keenan (Sex With Shakespeare) was fascinated by spanking when she was your son’s age; Keenan likes to say she was conscious of her kink orientation before she knew anything about her sexual orientation. So while your son’s behaviour may not be “normal” for a kid who grows up to be vanilla, it would be “normal” for someone who grows up to be kinky. On the Lovecast, Dan and Jesse Bering chat about your father’s penis: savagelovecast.com . Email: mail@savagelove.net. Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage. ITMFA.org.

............................................................................................................................................................... CLASSIFIEDS SARAH in SURREY SPASIA WELLNESS

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