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Legendary author Salman Rushdie describes how The Golden House, his “big, social, panoramic” new novel about love and New York City, insisted on being written at a breakneck pace. > BY ALE X ANDER VART Y

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In our annual Fall Arts Preview, we talk to some of Vancouver’s rising talents in theatre, dance, music, comedy, and visual arts; plus, both critics’ and insiders’ picks for the season.

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he first time we spoke to Salman Rushdie, he asked to make the call, which he placed from “a secure and undisclosed location”. At the time, the Mumbai-born author was under threat of death, thanks to a fatwa placed on his head by Shia cleric Ruhollah Khomeini. Times have changed, as Rushdie is happy to admit when he picks up the phone. “I’m in an insecure and disclosed location,” he says, chuckling. “I’m at home in New York.” Although the 1989 fatwa was never formally lifted, Rushdie has now outlived Khomeini, and Islamic fundamentalists appear to have turned their attention elsewhere. Arguably, though, the world is no happier now than it was back then, only now Rushdie feels he has more to fear from forces closer to home—the voices of hate that have been given prominence since the election of Donald Trump. The rise of “a giant green-haired cartoon king” is part of the backdrop behind Rushdie’s 12th novel, The Golden House, which has just hit bookstores worldwide. Trump hadn’t even won the Republican primaries when Rushdie conceived of its plot, but the author says he had very little revision to do following the events of November 8, 2016. “I’m sorry to say that I’d guessed right,” he admits. “I wish I’d guessed wrong, but I had a feeling that this was what was going to happen. And, to tell you the truth, even if he [Trump] hadn’t won, the forces that were unleashed during the election campaign were clearly not going to go back into the bottle.…As we see in this most recent Charlottesville episode, those forces felt legitimized by Trump in some way, and energized, and here’s the consequence.” But Rushdie also stresses that The Golden House is not primarily a political novel. It’s character-driven, he opines, with the main figures being a mysterious, Mumbai-born billionaire—Nero Julius Golden—and his three sons, plus various wives and mistresses and the young would-be filmmaker René, who narrates. Oh, and New York City, the most lovingly observed and clearly delineated character of all. Rushdie might raise some mild objections about The Golden House hailing from the same lineage as

Salman Rushdie says his panoramic new novel The Golden House isn’t overtly political, but its breakneck narrative mirrors our own turbulent times.

The Great Gatsby, The Godfather, and The Bonfire of the Vanities—he doesn’t think Tom Wolfe’s brick-sized opus is very good—but it’s a possibility he has himself considered. “What I set out to do was a somewhat different kind of novel than I’ve done before—a big, social, panoramic novel,” he explains. “The novel before this one, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, was a sort of fairy tale of New York, so I thought I wanted to write a completely different New York novel: a novel that was rooted in real life. That was the starting point. And I did think about all those books. “With Gatsby, actually, there’s a couple of references to it in the text, largely because of the theme of the reinvention of the self—which of course is a very big theme of The Great Gatsby, and a classic theme of American literature anyway. In this case, here’s this Indian family trying to reinvent itself, rather grandiloquently, in America, so there was that echo of Gatsby. Bonfire is not my favourite book, but what it does do is try to capture a moment in the life of the city, and I suppose I was trying to do something the same, but with a different moment. So, yeah, I think those echoes are there. The Gatsby echo is probably conscious, but the others not so much.” New York is also present in The Golden House’s breakneck pace— whether viewed as a comedy of manners, crime fiction, or a bildungsroman centred on René’s moral maturation, it sprints almost from start to finish. “It shocked me, in a way, by the vehemence and speed with which it showed up,” the 70-year-old Rushdie says. “More or less immediately after I

finished the last novel, this book began to insist on being written at once.” He adds that the book’s principal location—the Greenwich Village oasis known as the Gardens—is a real place, and as soon as he’d identified that as a site worth memorializing, the fictional Goldens arrived and set up residence. “At that point,” Rushdie continues, “the book began to unfold at, for me, quite a surprising rate. And I think that has something to do with the urgency of New York City.” But for all the intertwining plot lines, the betrayals and machinations, the fortunes lost and won, The Golden House ends on a satisfyingly ruminative, even positive, note. It’s fair to say that while all that is Golden ends as dust, René survives with his better nature battered but intact. Love, it would appear, conquers all. “I do think it’s one of the things that reveals our best nature to ourselves,” Rushdie muses. “And I’m not just talking about romantic love. I’m talking about the love of family, the love of friends, even the love of country. And then there’s romantic love. All those things give one strength and hope.” Rushdie’s paean to l’amour brings to mind a certain Beatles song, one whose sentiments were once deemed hopelessly sentimental. That notion of love as the ultimate panacea “was stupidly proposed at the end of the ’60s,” Rushdie says, “but it actually is all there is.” Salman Rushdie joins Vancouver Writers Fest artistic director Hal Wake in conversation at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on Tuesday (September 19).

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here are many reasons why Lower Lonsdale is a popular neighbourhood in North Vancouver. Its waterfront setting, proximity to the mountains, and easy access to transit are some of the draws to this old community that has grown into a modern hub. For art lovers, Lower Lonsdale, a.k.a. LoLo, has something fresh to offer with the opening of the Polygon Gallery on November 18 this year. The 24,000-square-foot cultural facility will be the new home of Presentation House Gallery, a renowned local venue for artistic photography. Designed by Patkau Architects, the two-storey building at the foot of City of North Vancouver mayor Darrell Mussatto says the soon-to-open Lonsdale Avenue is on property doPolygon Gallery will put the Lower Lonsdale area on the artistic map. nated by the City of North Vancouver. Mayor Darrell Mussatto said that same capacity at the Polygon Gallery. the rest of the $20 million required “Presentation House Gallery has al- to cover the cost of the $18-million the Polygon Gallery will take his city ways had a well-respected role, a very facility and a $2-million endowment. to a “different level”. The Chan Family Foundation also “It puts us on the artistic map, so unique role in Vancouver and in the to speak,” Mussatto told the Georgia region for producing incredibly high- made a significant contribution, and Straight in a phone interview. Accord- calibre exhibitions that had been root- Shier said that a space is named after ed in photography the charity. ing to Mussatto, the Restaurant and retail spaces will but in a very outPolygon Gallery is of-the-way, in- be located on the ground floor, which just one piece in accessible location was designed to be transparent with the city’s vision of Carlito Pablo that has not really a glass enclosure. The exhibition becoming a culturprovided any way for audiences to floor will be on the upper level. al hub in the Lower Mainland. The mayor said a new 16,000-square- really appreciate them on the level With the Polygon Gallery, Shier foot museum, in Lower Lonsdale as that they have been developed,” said, visitors will see “one of the most well, will be opening in 2019. Con- Shier noted in a phone interview architecturally significant and, cerstruction has also started on another with the Straight. tainly, most generously located cul“So what we feel is that, you know, we tural facilities in Western Canada”. site for an attraction featuring an ice finally have a facility that will do justice rink and a plaza. The November 18 opening coLaunched in 1976, Presentation to the types of exhibitions that we’re incides with the start of a three-month House Gallery has showcased the doing, and that will be a real landmark show called N. Vancouver, which takes works of celebrated local artists like for new audiences,” Shier continued. a look at the gallery’s hometown. Fred Herzog and international art- “People will be able to discover us in a With the Polygon Gallery openists such as Andy Warhol. way that they have not before.” ing in the fall, Mayor Mussatto may Previously based in an old schoolThe three levels of government have additional ammunition for his house at Chesterfield Avenue and 3rd contributed $2.5 million each for the argument as to why a SkyTrain tunAvenue, the gallery will be assuming construction of the gallery. Polygon nel connecting Waterfront Station in the name of its new home, where it Homes, established by developer Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay needs will be able to expand the reach of its Michael Audain, and the Audain to be considered. programming and double its space. Foundation donated $4 million. “It just adds a new dimension to the According to Shier, the capital waterfront,” Mussatto said about the Presentation House Gallery director Reid Shier is continuing in the campaign for the project is raising gallery. “It gives a new perspective.” -

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Lending libraries to sprout up around town From power drills to volleyball nets, these new community-oriented collections will allow members to donate and rent items for reuse traction as people expected it to,” Diplock tells the Straight by phone. “In place of that, there’s coconscious and particularly handy a real opportunity to have a shared space that (and not handy) locals may be famil- we own together, where we collectively pay to iar with the Vancouver Tool Library maintain it through a single provider.” (3448 Commercial Drive), a volunLike the VTL, the Thingerys will function teer-driven co-op that lends screwdrivers, as a nonprofit co-op, where residents pay a wrenches, and other DIY–friendly devices to one-time membership fee and a yearly rate of its members free of charge. around $30 thereafter. Users Beginning this fall, howcan then reserve goods Green Living ever, residents won’t have online, access the sixPresented by to travel as far as Trout by-three-metre shipping Lake to check out a tool containers with a personor gadget—as well as recal code, and scan out items reational equipment, apon an iPad—much like at pliances, and other practical everyday goods— a self-checkout counter at a library or grocery thanks to the launch of the Thingery. store. A small fleet of staff will be available by Conceptualized by VTL cofounder Chris phone for assistance. Diplock is also working Diplock, the Thingery is described as a “lend- to establish a complimentary car service to aid ing library of things” that operates out of repur- users who may have difficulty transporting a posed shipping containers. After conducting a particularly large or heavy product home. pair of pop-ups in East Vancouver last summer, Objects may be borrowed for a maximum of Diplock has been green-lit by the City of Van- 10 days before late fees begin accruing. From couver to open three Thingery locations in the volleyball nets and air pumps to speakers and Grandview-Woodland, Hastings-Sunrise, and carpet cleaners, the entirety of the ThingKitsilano neighbourhoods as part of a two-year erys’ stock will be donated by Vancouverites. pilot project. Situated at Charles Street and Mc- (Kitchen tools and appliances are excluded for Lean Drive, Graveley Street and Slocan Street, now due to food-safety reasons.) “I think that’s and the Arbutus Greenway at West 6th Avenue, a huge benefit of an entity like a tool-lending they’re slated to launch in October. library,” explains Diplock. “I can donate my Both a complement to and an expansion of stuff to it, they maintain it for me, and I still the existing VTL, the Thingery will move be- have all the access I usually need, which is not yond tools to stock a range of outdoors, hobby- a lot for a single piece of equipment.” oriented, and household objects, such as snowDiplock notes that, by diverting material shoes, entertainment systems, tents, and vacuum goods from the landfill and reducing consumpcleaners. Buoyed by the continued success of the tion, lending libraries play a major role in helping VTL—and research completed by local initiative to minimize the ecological footprint of neighthe Sharing Project, which revealed that residents bourhoods. However, he’s most excited about prefer to share items with people who live near- the Thingerys’ potential for social productivby—Diplock sought to create more convenient, ity: the sharing-economy advocate wants to use community-oriented lending rooms that would the libraries as a launching pad for civic events, help foster social connections among their users. where residents use items from the inventory to “We see the place that peer-to-peer online host block parties or to groom or clean up parks. lending has, but it hasn’t gained quite as much “We will be creating programming around the Offers valid until October 2, 2017. See toyota.ca for complete details. In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between Toyota prices, rates and/or other information contained on www.getyourtoyota.ca and that contained on toyota.ca, the latter shall prevail. Errors and omissions excepted. Lease example: 2018 Prius c Automatic KDTA3P-A, MSRP is $23,830 and includes $1,840 freight/PDI and fees leased at 2.99% over 60 months with $2,250 down payment, equals 260 weekly payments of $58 with a total lease obligation of $17,307. Applicable taxes are extra. Lease 60 mos. based on 100,000 km, excess km charge is $.07. Weekly lease offers available through Toyota Financial Services (TFS) on approved credit to qualified retail lease customers of new and demonstrator Toyota vehicles. Down payment and first weekly payment due at lease inception and next weekly payment due approximately 7 days later and weekly thereafter throughout the term. * Toyota Safety Sense™ (TSS) - Drivers should always be responsible for their own safe driving. 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The Thingery will operate out of shipping containers in three neighbourhoods, allowing locals to donate items to be borrowed by others instead of throwing them out. Kara Burman photo-illustration.

equipment, which is going to, I think, activate the community a bit more,” he says. “And people are going to get to know each other and collaborate over their passions.” The fact that locals will be seeing their little-used bocce ball sets, tarps, and power drills in action in

the neighbourhood helps spur on the movement, too. “It’s not like something goes off and you never see it again, like, ‘Hey, I wonder whatever happened to that thing I donated two years ago?’ ” states Diplock. “It’s right around the corner, and the impact is right in your community.” -

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SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 13


CANNABIS

Mom and pop shop offers organic cannabis This article is sponsored by Evergreen Cannabis Society.

T

he Evergreen Cannabis Society is unlike any other dispensary in Vancouver. In fact, it could be considered to be the city’s only true mom and pop pot shop. With a transparent floor-to-ceiling window on West 4th Avenue near Macdonald Street, the husband and wife team of Mike Babins and Maria Petrucci have made their two-year-old compassion club as welcoming as possible. Visitors can sit on chairs around light wood tables in front of a fireplace. There they can ask expert staff about different cannabis extracts. Products are displayed elegantly and there’s a distinct lack of clutter—making it feel like you’ve entered someone’s living room. It’s clear that great care has been devoted to the décor. “We have a very inviting community vibe,” Petrucci says. “People feel they can come in, take their time, ask questions, and they don’t feel intimidated.” Because it’s been approved for licensing by the City of Vancouver, patrons can feel safe and secure on the premises. There’s no need to buy pot from a back-alley vendor anymore to maintain privacy. Babins explains that because it’s a registered B.C. society, all of its members are protected under the personal privacy protection act. No one is even allowed to ask if you’re a member. “We have people in industries where it wouldn’t be good if people found out they were using cannabis after work,” Babins says. “Everyone is completely safe and protected.” This has made Evergreen the de facto cannabis community centre on Vancouver’s West Side. And it’s easily accessible for any college or university students who are new to Vancouver.

Evergreen Cannabis Society is spearheading the campaign for access to safe, tested cannabis. Stephen Lebovits photo.

All they have to do is hop on the No. 2, No. 4, or No. 7 bus and get off at the corner of Macdonald and West 4th Avenue. Perhaps most importantly, Evergreen Cannabis Society sources all of its marijuana from growers who don’t use pesticides or artificial fertilizers. It’s the safest bud on the market—and it’s far less likely to give a person a headache or make someone sick than weed made with toxic chemicals. “Our motto is ‘Organic, craft, local’,” Babins says. “Everything is pesticide-free and grown by small batch artisan growers.” Evergreen relies on a small number of B.C. craft producers that it trusts. And this mom and pop operation refuses to buy marijuana from anyone who shows up unannounced

with a knapsack full of weed. “I wouldn’t go to a grocery store that bought from someone who came up and said ‘I’ve got some steaks, I killed the cow myself,’ ” Babins says with a laugh. He’s a former radio host and a voracious reader of scientific literature and popular articles on marijuana. When asked how he became so knowledgeable, he replies that his family has been using cannabis for at least three generations. For her part, Petrucci survived a cancer scare with the help of Phoenix Tears, which, coincidentally, are a hot seller at Evergreen. This experience gave her deep empathy for Evergreen Cannabis Society members facing their own health challenges. They decided to open their own

dispensary because staff at other outlets weren’t very helpful when they asked serious questions about Petrucci’s health. “I just love making people happy and making people healthy—and seeing people from all walks of life, all ages,” she says. “It can be people who’ve never tried marijuana at all or people who were using it in the ’60s.” She says the couple are very “pro vaporizer” because it’s a much healthier way to consume cannabis. Evergreen only carries butane-free shatters, which are marijuana concentrates from the cannabis plant. The shop also offers informative lectures on cannabis, cannabinoids, nutrition, and health. To provide more holistic treatment options, Petrucci and her husband work

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with naturopathic doctors, a herbalist, and a massage studio. According to Babins, their objective was to create an environment that’s comfortable, cozy, and professional, but not sterile. Their application impressed the Board of Variance, which granted unanimous approval after people in the community wrote letters on behalf of the society. This is also a pot shop with an artsy side. Touring bands like Diamond Head and Testament have dropped by for autograph sessions. Members of the ganja-loving Wailers, Bob Marley’s legendary backing band, have also visited the Evergreen Cannabis Society. Babins points out that local art is always on display, and he and his wife plan to host more cultural events in the future. It’s situated in a popular area for health-related businesses. A dentist, a chiropractor, and Reiki practitioners are also on the same block. To the west is a locally owned coffee shop and to the east are the Naam vegetarian restaurant and Darby’s Public House, which is the capital of craft beer on the city’s West Side. It makes sense that craft cannabis would be so readily available nearby. Babins is proud of the personal touch offered at Evergreen. For instance, when members buy capsules or oils, he advises them that if they’re ever feeling too high, vitamin C will take the edge off. This type of wisdom isn’t available everywhere else—and it’s appreciated by the members. “We want to be the dispensary that we wanted to go to,” Babins says. “We’re the grown-up dispensary. We don’t have neon pot-leaf signs in our window.” -

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straight stars > B Y ROSE MA RC U S

September 14 to 20, 2017

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s of Thursday/Friday, the stars take us over the hump. Both Venus and Mercury are on a positive upswing through the weekend. Friday’s Venus/Jupiter favours travel, scouting missions, legal pursuits, big-ticket spending, and money exchanges. Connect, socialize, get it going, play it up, enjoy. On the bigger-picture note, Venus/ Jupiter encourages you to put on the best show possible, and assists you in doing that, for yourself and for those who need to see it from you. Remember, like attracts like. Although you can’t dictate the timetable, when you show up for yourself, the universe shows up for you too. Saturday, Mercury and Mars convene for the second time this month, but this time they are doing so in Virgo rather than Leo. Their mandate now switches from the create-it column to the work-throughit, fix-it, heal-it column. The talk or the intention isn’t enough on its own. Setting wheels in motion, Mercury/Mars is an action-driven, strike-flint combo. To round off the weekend (and to distract us with entertainment relief, i.e., TV Emmy awards), Venus/ Uranus keeps it on an upbeat Sunday evening. Take your inspiration from wherever you can find it. “Can do, will do� is your entry ticket to “all things possible�. Monday/Tuesday, there are things to clear away, losses to accept, and plenty of work to be done. Tuesday’s new moon in Virgo is accompanied by Venus, freshly into industrious Virgo and Mercury/Neptune, an exposing and revealing combination. While there’s still confusion or the unknown to deal with, the stars set us onto a next page regarding healing, integrating, and the workthrough-it mandate.



ARIES



TAURUS

March 20–April 20

As of the end of this week and through the weekend, you’ll hit a faster, better move-along. Saturday’s Mercury/Mars puts you in the right frame of mind and helps you cut to the chase regarding what’s most expeditious and effective. Friday to Sunday sets up a great social and creative flow. Spend; get what you want. Monday/Tuesday, go by feel. April 20–May 21

Commit and implement; get at it now. Any and all effort applied toward bettering your best will net you a ready reward. As of Saturday, Mercury and Mars in Virgo are on a reboot. They keep the energy and the need on a fresh top-up. Venus, well aligned with Jupiter on Friday and Uranus on Sunday, helps you strike it just right.



GEMINI

May 21–June 21

Use the weekend to the fullest! Make it fun, make it lucrative, or make it luscious; Venus is in excellent shape with Jupiter and Uranus. While Saturday’s Mars/ Mercury leans more toward the task than the play, the transit is good for any attempt at a fresh kickstart. Accompanied by Venus into Virgo, Tuesday’s new moon in Virgo launches the next work/ figure-it-out phase.



CANCER

June 21–July 22

Thursday to Sunday sets you onto an opportunity streak. Reach out, look for added support, call in a favour; appeal to their altruistic side and their good humour or catch them on a “why not?� whim. Those in charge may be willing to give you a chance. Monday/Tuesday, go by feel; take it one small step at a time. Aim for simple, uncluttered, and clean.



LEO

July 22–August 23

Venus makes several optimal planetary connections over the next few days before it leaves Leo. Make the most of the moment, especially through Sunday. Venus/Uranus can spark a great download, a lucky streak, a piece of good news, or the unexpected. Monday/Tuesday, the moment dictates the play. Follow instincts. Watch for more to be revealed.



VIRGO

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September 23–October 23

Venus in Leo keeps entertainment, interest, communication, profit, and synchronicity on the upbeat. Thursday through Sunday, it’s easy to get it going and/or connect the dots. Mercury/Mars can prompt a flare-up or an immediate or impulsive action. It also keeps your radar sharp and your reaction time quick. Monday/Tuesday, give yourself more time to feel it out. Tuesday’s Mercury/Neptune can expose more.



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August 23–September 23

Energy-, activity-, and mindwise, Saturday’s Mars/Mercury has you on a fresh battery charge. The new moon and Venus into Virgo, starting Tuesday, also provide ample fresh infusion. Rely on your intuitive sense of timing and know-how to guide you. Stay focused on the immediate need, benefit, or reward. Work on tomorrow once you get there. Don’t force what isn’t coming naturally.



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SCORPIO

October 23–November 22

Venus in Leo brings you favoured attention, helps you to stay on top of it and make the most of it through the weekend. Try a unique option, new avenue, or creative solution. Saturday’s Mercury/Mars has you hot-wired and especially quick on the uptake. As of Tuesday, Venus and the new moon in Virgo add increase on both sides of the coin.



SAGITTARIUS



CAPRICORN



AQUARIUS

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A fresh start is a good start, perhaps even a great start. Friday’s Venus/Jupiter and Sunday’s Venus/ Uranus keep opportunity at its best through the weekend. Also helping you cut to the chase, Saturday’s Mars/ Mercury helps you pinpoint what’s most necessary, useful, or expedient. Monday/Tuesday, ease your way along, go by feel. Stay open to adding or subtracting as the moment dictates. December 21–January 20

You’ll pick up good/better speed through Sunday. At work and play, most conversations, projects, and activities move along well. Saturday is productive for working it out, crunching numbers, and contract negotiations. Monday/Tuesday, put your time and mind to good use. Don’t let the quiet fool you, there’s plenty on the go. January 20–February 18

Venus keeps social, entertainment, and communication matters upbeat over the weekend. Saturday’s Mars/Mercury can fast-track healing, repairs, a negotiation, or a contract. Also, they can help you score a better deal at the store, bargaining tables, or with your lover. Monday/Tuesday, stay detailed but don’t let the little things get to you. Win some, lose some.



PISCES

February 18–March 20

If it feels right, do it. Saturday’s Mercury/Mars has you game to go for it or to take them on, be they lover, competitor, seller, or foe. You’ll have a great knack for spotting a bargain, lie, or error, for making a quick fix or speedy comeback. Through Tuesday, one thing leads to another. -

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SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15


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FOOD

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Hot spots for preshow bites

H

aving worked with the Arts on. Here are a few places nearby to fill Club Theatre Company for your belly before or after a show (plus more than 12 years, Bryan one to watch for: Bin 4 Burger Lounge, Woo spends a lot of time at with its gourmet mouthfuls, is exthe Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. pected to open in November). Six shows at the venerable theatre every season mean that the director of HERE’S A DEAL Who doesn’t love sales and marketing, along with other a discount? Show your ticket and get crew and cast members, can frequently 15 percent off food at the Arts Club’s be found in South Granville’s eateries, partner restaurants on the day of your show. Ouisi and the Marquis are raising a glass or two and refuelling. “One of our favourites is the Ou- among the participating South Granisi Bistro,” says Woo of the strip’s ville spots; so is Jitlada Thai RestauNew Orleans–style restaurant that rant. Try one or more of its signature specializes in Cajun and Creole cui- dishes, such as lobster-mango salad or the Jitlada Aroy-D, sine. “We’re always which consists of there at the wrapbeef or prawns on up party after a bed of quickly any performance. Gail Johnson cooked spinach For Million Dollar Baby for our team dinner, we went to with a fragrant blend of lemongrass, the Marquis [Grill]. It was really fun; galangal, garlic, turmeric, coconut, we had a great time. It’s a casual, re- kaffir leaves, and fresh Thai basil. Then laxed place with great food. That’s one there’s Caffé Barney, another Granville of our team favourites. I love the beef Street institution, which turns 30 next year. Brunch is served till 4 p.m. daily; bourguignon.” A New York–style spot with items tapas include deep-fried Brussels like burgers, flatbreads, and brat- sprouts and pickles, and dinner dishes wurst, the Marquis is just one of sev- range from zucchini noodles to steak eral options for hungry theatregoers frites. Finally, the cozy Portobello Risin South Granville, an area that, much torante features Italian classics such as like the city’s dining scene itself, has osso buco, spaghetti Bolognese, pesto expanded, diversified, and grown up linguine with artichoke hearts, and over the years. And the Stanley’s very gnocchi in rosé sauce. (The Arts Club presence in the neighbourhood—an also partners with restos on Granville anchor point—has contributed to the Island and in Olympic Village.) strip’s culinary blooming. “One of the greatest things is the RANGOLI’S ALL THE RAGE Afdiversity of choices in the area now: ter Vij’s Restaurant left West 11th economic diversity, dietary divers- Avenue for bigger digs on Cambie ity,” Woo says. “There are so many Street, its smaller sister restaurant options. Everyone is accommodated. next door moved in. Now far more I miss the old Red Door [Pan Asian comfortable and warm, Rangoli ofGrill]. There’s been a lot of change fers dishes that Vij’s fans demand and adore, like lamb popsicles, as but there’s also a lot of consistency. “I really think the Stanley caps off well as deliciously inventive vegetaran experience people can have on ian items such as jackfruit, kale, and South Granville,” Woo adds. “There’s cauliflower curry with rice. It has a an incredible community feel with late-night menu, too, featuring papaeveryone who lives in that neighbour- dums, pâtés, and a samosa flight. hood. Theatre patrons spend the day going shopping, going to cafés, sitting PLANT POWER The bright and airy on a patio to grab dinner, then seeing Heirloom Vegetarian Restaurant ofa show. It’s an all-day outing, like a fers brunch as well as an all-day menu featuring plates like smoked seasonal New York Broadway experience.” Whether they’re subscribers or tak- mushroom Bolognese, tandoori-jacking in a one-off, like season opener fruit coconut curry, smashed avocado Angels in America or Beauty and the on toast, and a build-your-own-salad Beast, the club’s holiday selection, option. If you’re in a rush before a Stanley audiences have more than top- matinee, there’s the Heirloom Juice quality theatre productions to chew Co., with nutritionally loaded juices

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ETHNIC EXCELLENCE One thing Woo loves about the area is its dining diversity, and several cultures are beautifully represented here. Jamjar Folk Lebanese Food offers plates that nourish the body and the soul, such as fattoush, labneh, eggplant stew, baked artichokes with seasoned beef, and fried halloumi with crushed olives, fresh mint, and tomatoes. Rice-vermicelli dishes, noodle soups, bánh mì, salad rolls, and spring rolls are all on the menu at 5 Spice Vietnamese Cuisine, while hungry theatregoers with a hankering for gomae, gyoza, tempura, and teriyaki can opt for the all-you-can-eat lunch or dinner menus at Kyo Korean BBQ and Sushi House. The flavours of the Mediterra nean star at Siena (which prides itself on using premium ingredients such as all-natural free-range meats and produce from the UBC Farm); think risotto, ravioli, arancini, and rosemary-braised lamb shank. The Rise Eatery pulls it all together, the globally influenced venue coming up with all sorts of creative combinations. Take the Neer and Far, with pan-fried paneer, ratatouille rendang, and naan, or the Dish Called Wanda, which has wild Pacific salmon rillette with mini house-baked brioche buns, Asian herbs, capers, and pickled onions. Need more evidence of the resto’s cultural mashup? Try the Routine: “ramen” fries, cheese curds, miso gravy, kewpie mayo, and furikake. UPSCALE EATS Under the inspired guidance of chef Quang Dang, West Restaurant is an elegant, vibrant spot that specializes in contemporary local cuisine. It offers a pre-theatre prix fixe dinner menu. Examples of the kind of dishes on offer: caramelized-onion soup topped with aged Gruyère, blackpepper crouton, and sherry gastrique; duo of Fraser Valley pork (braised cheek and crispy belly, with bone broth and Swiss chard); and chamomile cheesecake with graham crumble, honey custard, and blueberry sorbet. > BY STAFF

The Alumni Party of the Century is being held during UBC Homecoming Week to celebrate the 100th anniversary of alumni UBC. The Welcome Home Party in the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre will feature 11 tasting stations prepared by an all-star list of Vancouver chefs and caterers, including David Hawksworth, Angus An, Andrea Carlson, and Chris Whittaker. The food will be paired with B.C. wines and craft beer. Vancouver house band Dr. Strangelove will get into the spirit of the event by performing songs from various decades since alumni UBC was formed in 1917. Even the cocktails at a “century bar” will be a reminder of the past, with drinks reflecting different eras. It’s the first time such an event will coincide with the September homecoming on UBC’s Point Grey campus, and it takes place on Saturday (September 16). The alumni association has other plans for its anniversary year, including helping its members organize 100 dinners in different cities around the world. The objective is to have 1,000 people participate in alumni dinners by May 2018. Alumni UBC also plans to host its annual Alumni Achievement Awards at the Hotel Vancouver this year in honour of where the association was founded. For more information, visit www.alumni.ubc.ca/. -

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SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 17


FOOD

B.C. wine stands up in blind Merlot tasting

I

’ve been to a fair number of That’s gutsy, yeah? events where a winery’s new vinNow, consider that the wines they tage of their flagship wine was poured shoulder to shoulder with launched, but I had never ex- their own were all priced higher than perienced something quite like this. theirs. As someone who often tastes It was just last week in a handsome wines blind, I can assure even the room at the Vancouver Club, where biggest skeptics that nothing is ever British Columbia’s Culmina Family a lock. When it comes to unveiling a Estate Winery was presenting its 2013 wine in any sort of exercise like this, Hypothesis, its latest red Bordeaux- it’s pretty much guaranteed that gasps blend wine coming from estate fruit will emanate from a few mouths. This grown on Oliver’s Golden Mile. is why I’d venture that it is potential Assembled in suicide to launch a the room were wine this way, to 40 of Vancoua room full of the ver’s top somcity’s biggest buyKurtis Kolt meliers, retailers, ers and influencers. and media, who were facing the preHere are the five wines that were senting panel: family winery owners poured, in the order they were preDon, Elaine, and (their daughter) sented in front of us. All we were told Sara Triggs, along with the Vancou- was that they were all Merlots, or ver Sun’s Anthony Gismondi, who Merlot-dominant blends. (The 2013 acted as moderator. Hypothesis is 38 percent Merlot, So why the need for a moder- 36 percent Cabernet Franc, and 26 ator when it’s just the launch of the percent Cabernet Sauvignon.) That’s new wine? it. We weren’t aware of provenance, Here’s where things get bold, and prices—nothing. why it was a new experience for me. The Triggs family opted to launch their SCHIOPETTO RIVAROSSA 2013 wine in a blind tasting, where their (Friuli, Italy; $55.99, Kitsilano Wine new release would be presented along- Cellar) No one, no one, in the room opined this wine was Italian. Words side global icons of a similar style.

The Bottle

like Washington, Napa, and Chile were uttered, but I can’t even recall anyone going Old World. Ninety percent Merlot, with Cabernet Sauvignon rounding it out, this northern Italian wonder leads with mocha notes, followed by well-integrated dark berry fruit, with a good mineral undercurrent. It’s well concentrated, and although it’s well balanced with alcohol and said minerality, there’s an opulence here. Instinctively, I thought New World, warm climate—pinning it as Washington state. Nevertheless, a new favourite for me.

being Bordeaux as well. I enjoyed the sticky black fruit, mulberries, crackling minerality, and bright acidity. The giveaway (to me, at least) was the hallmark Okanagan sagebrush, along with rich concentration and the tannins being fairly grippy, all things we’re known for around these parts. This and the previous Saint-Émilion wine were my two favourites of the tasting; stylistically at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet each wonderful in its own way. There were many in the room of similar opinion.

how I would have perceived the wine if I had known both where it was from and that jaw-dropping price.

CLOS DES MENUTS SAINT-ÉMILION GRAND CRU 2012 (Bordeaux,

CHÂTEAU GAZIN POMEROL 2013

I don’t know what’s more impressive. Is it the Triggs family sticking their necks out for such a really courageous event? Is it that their wine showed very well among its global contemporaries? Or is it that—with all the yakking from many locals that B.C. wine can be so damn expensive—it was the least expensive wine that many preferred in the f light? It doesn’t matter what is more impressive. What matters is that the wine is worthy. It’s just being released this week; you should jump on it while you can. -

France; $46.99, Kitsilano Wine Cellar) This was textbook right-bank Bordeaux, and most of us made that call. Currants, plums, spearmint, and a dusting of cocoa are all in fine restraint; the wine is so damn elegant, and the value here is impressive. CULMINA FAMILY ESTATE WINERY HYPOTHESIS 2013 (Okanag-

an Valley, B.C.; $46, www.culmina. ca/) A few thought the Culmina wine was Chilean, and there was a smattering of discussion about it

(Bordeaux, France; $142.99, Kitsilano Wine Cellar) By far the most expensive and, frankly, my least favourite. I found the blueberries and sour cherries to be a bit soupy, and although there were decent tannins, it somehow seemed as if that fruit and some oregano flavours were still spilling over the edges. Many agreed it was an outlier, though there were a fair number in the room who liked the style. Oddly enough, this is the wine that most thought was the Culmina. By far the priciest wine in the flight. I got nothing, other than a curiosity as to

MERRYVALE MERLOT 2013 (Napa

Valley, California; $94.99, Everything Wine) Back on track, most of us nailed this wine as coming from a Napa producer. Rich warmclimate Merlot is much of what one would expect: stewed dates, Italian plums, and blueberry compote are rich and inviting, kissed with a touch of sweetness on the finish. Oh, the decadence here.

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18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017


FALL ARTS PREVIEW > WHO TO WATCH

Ruth Bruhn (left) has been involved in stage management for a third of her life but still had to prove herself; Yoshié Bancroft’s Japanese Problem started with a tour of the PNE Livestock Building. Emily Cooper photo.

Bringing the stage to new life

producer when she started acting at Arts Umbrella when she was 14, or even when she graduated from UBC’s theatre program in 2008. “But I feel like it kind of goes hand in hand with being an actor in this city,” Bancroft says. “You want to do cerYoshié Bancroft’s Japanese Problem is creating early buzz, while tain work, so at the end of the day, if you’re not Ruth Bruhn manages Green Thumb’s action behind the scenes getting those jobs then you’re going to make the jobs for yourself.” T HE AT R E Japanese Problem isn’t Bancroft’s only project YOSHIÉ BANCROFT this month, let alone this fall. She’s costarring in Adult Company at the Vancouver Fringe Festival Yoshié Bancroft’s labour of love, Japanese to September 16. Japanese Problem opens SeptemProblem, hasn’t even opened yet, and already ber 22, and after it wraps its run on September the 31-year-old Jessie-award-winning actress and 30, it will tour to Kaslo, B.C., from October 6 to 8 her creative partner, director Joanna Garfinkel, as part of an event commemorating the 75th anhave been hearing from people across the country. niversary of the internment. After that, Bancroft “It’s been really exciting, the response so far, will head to Presentation House Theatre in North and we haven’t done the show!” Bancroft laughs a Vancouver for The Double Axe Murders, running little in amazement. “We did a small teaser version from October 25 to November 5. There will also of Japanese Problem at the Powell Street Festival, be a Japanese Problem exhibit at the Nikkei Mubut the response has been really positive. We’re seum from September 30 through January 2018. getting messages from various organizations in “I’m feeling a little tired,” Bancroft admits with Toronto, the Kootenays, the Interior, and people a laugh. “But my heart is full and I’m so happy to who are interested in bringing the show to them.” be doing all the things that I’m doing. This year’s It’s what Bancroft has been working toward been full of validation, which has been really since she toured the PNE Livestock Building in powerful as an artist.” > ANDREA WARNER 2015 with a group from the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre. She’d grown up going to Playland, unaware that it was where more than RUTH BRUHN 8,000 Japanese-Canadians, just like her, were held For the last six weeks, Ruth Bruhn has proband “processed” during the Second World War. ably been the hardest-working 23-year-old Now, sitting here with the Straight at Kafk a’s on Main Street, she’s two weeks from the first full- theatre professional in Vancouver. She’s pulling length performance of Japanese Problem—staged double duty, finishing up the season at Bard on the right in the stables where the injustices took place. Beach as assistant stage manager and settling into She didn’t necessarily envision herself as a her new role as the production manager at Green

2

2

THINGS TO DO

1

NEW FORMS FESTIVAL (September 28 to 30) Electronic music and media art mash together, with names like Juliana Huxtable, DJ Stingray, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, and Hamid Drake.

2

B.C. CULTURE DAYS (September 29 to October 1) Hands-on artmaking and behind-the-scenes tours of everything from architecture and dance to photography and public art.

3 4

to 19) More than 500 artists open up their studios to tens of thousands of visitors in the city’s biggest art party. DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE HEART OF THE CITY FESTIVAL (October 25 to November

5) Performances, exhibits, the premiere of the chamber opera Missing, and more honour the women of the DTES.

> ANDREA WARNER

FALL ARTS

Four fall arts festivals you can’t miss

EASTSIDE CULTURE CRAWL (November 16

Thumb Theatre. “As we say at our weekly checkins, I haven’t cried at work yet,” Bruhn says with a laugh, sitting inside the Green Thumb meeting room, her dog, Stella, lying at her feet. Bruhn is a quick study, but she was also predisposed to the craft. Her mother was a stage manager at the Playhouse before Bruhn was born, and in Grade 10 she talked her way into Gateway Theatre, first as a “child wrangler” and then as an apprentice. “I was ‘little Ruthie’ who ran around, and I did about five or six shows with them before I went to Studio 58 for production,” Bruhn says. After graduation, she secured an apprenticeship at Bard and was hired back the following two seasons. She also stage-managed the East Van Panto, but it was Green Thumb’s touring production of Alone Together that changed everything. “They got to know me and I got to know them, and then when this [production manager] position came about, I was like, ‘Hey, guys, I know I’m super unqualified but I’d love this opportunity,’ ” Bruhn says with a laugh. Bruhn has been involved in stage management for a third of her life, but she “100 percent” had to prove herself because of her age. “Even just talking with the scene shops and dealing with the maintenance of the vans and trying to negotiate with people who know I don’t fully know what I’m talking about yet,” she explains. “But it’s just keeping that conversation going with them, like, ‘Hey, I’m learning, but you’re not going to be able to take advantage of me.’ ” Green Thumb has two shows hitting the road this fall: Not So Dumb by John Lazarus and Jabber by Marcus Youssef. The former is headed to elementary schools, while the latter is touring high schools. “Green Thumb is conversation starters for youth,” Bruhn says. “Even if it’s just one kid who’s like, ‘I didn’t even know what I was feeling was that,’ and is able to talk to somebody about it, that’s another big reason why I wanted to work here.”

Editor’s Choice

Four ways to travel a world of arts

1

RETURN FROM OZ As the VSO’s charismatic concertmaster, Aussie violinist Dale Barltrop displayed his musicianship almost weekly. Since returning to the Southern Hemisphere, he’s been with the Australian String Quartet, and now he’s coming back. First up, the foursome will kick off Music on Main’s season. Then it will perform John Adams’s Absolute Jest with the VSO. After that? ASQ joins the VSO on a bill with piano virtuoso Lang Lang. If you’re not a total drongo, you’ll catch at least one. The Australian String Quartet plays at Music on Main at the Orpheum Annex on Tuesday (September 19); September 22 and 23 with the VSO at the Orpheum; and with the VSO and Lang Lang on September 25.

NIGHT SHIFT: BODY LANGUAGE (October 5 at the UBC Museum of Anthropology) At MOA’s new monthly cabaret series, Taiwan’s Assembly Dance Theatre performs a work inspired by calligraphy.

2

TRIO DA KALI (October 6 at St. James Hall) Caravan World Rhythms and the Rogue Folk Club bring Mali’s supergroup to town.

3

ENCOUNTER (October 17 to 22 at the Cultch) Navarasa Dance Theater melds acrobatics, dance, music, and theatre to tell the story of India’s Indigenous peoples.

4

DANCE ALLSORTS: SOUTH ASIAN ARTS (October 29 at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre) A colourful explosion of bhangra and Bollywood, with a workshop for all afterward.

SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 19


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FALL ARTS PREVIEW > WHO TO WATCH

Ballet beginnings drive two divergent careers D ANC E

“I wanted to challenge myself, and this work is so challenging every day,” explains Chessa, who started at Ballet BC as an apprentice. “I found it so invigorating.” During her last year of Arts Umbrella, she had watched Ballet BC perform Johan Inger’s Walking Mad, a witty but unsettling piece for nine dancers, set to Maurice Ravel’s Bolero. “I remember saying, ‘Yeah, that’s why I want to dance there.’ And then I got to do it here,” she says. “I fell in love with that piece. And then, to be able to perform it later, I fell in love with it all over again. The movement was so honest and I wanted to have a piece of that.” Now Chessa is accessing that honesty one more time, rehearsing another Inger work, B.R.I.S.A., for the Ballet BC season opener on November 2. Another highlight for her was last spring’s mounting of Naharin’s iconic work, a milestone for the company and a piece that required her to tap a raw, explosive energy like never before. And then there was the ethereal duet with Alley, in which the pair danced Lesley Telford’s If I Were 2 and had the entire, expansive Queen Elizabeth Theatre stage to themselves. “To be able to do my first duet was a big moment—to hold that space with another person,” she says. “It was a pivotal part of my career. It was a big learning curve as well—learning how to hold that whole big space.” In other words, it was a challenge—the thing that has always driven her, and that keeps her creating sparks on-stage.

EMILY CHESSA

Whether holding the spotlight

2 with Brandon Alley in a sen-

> JANET SMITH

MARISSA WONG Emily Chessa (left) leaps ever higher at Ballet BC, while Marissa Wong forges her own choreographic path. Emily Cooper photo.

the leadership of artistic director Emily Molnar, and she started hearing about the bold new repertoire the company was tackling. She read that Arts Umbrella was training dancers

in similar work, and moved home to attend its summer intensive. After that she enrolled in the Granville Island–based school for its two-year preprofessional program.

Marissa Wong is making this city her headquarters again, debuting “That was the best decision I’ve made in my whole life,” she says, a new work at Dance in Vancouver this then adds, gesturing to the building fall and starting up a collective here. around her: “I wanted to dance here. But she’s taken a roundabout route to see page 25 And here I am six years later.

2

allet Breathes N B oh e into Nutcrack e e Lif

w ” r

“G

sual duet or arching backward like she’d been hit by lightning in Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, Emily Chessa stood out on the Ballet BC stage last season. The diminutive talent is a fiery presence in performance, flickering with energy and emotion. As she heads into her sixth season with the company, Chessa admits she feels like she’s hit a new level. “I think I’ve found my voice as a human, as an artist, and as a dancer in the company. And it feels good to be at this point,” she says thoughtfully, on a break from rehearsal in the quiet confines of the Ballet BC offices. “It’s nice to be comfortable in my own skin. But there’s still a lot to dig into. At this stage you have to keep exploring and keep wondering and questioning and still be curious.” Born in Richmond, Chessa began dancing recreationally as a child, taking classes in ballet, jazz, and modern dance, just as she delved into sports at school—“Volleyball and basketball, even though I’m short,” she says with a laugh. After being wowed by a Royal Winnipeg Ballet performance, the driven Chessa decided she needed to go to its faraway school. And so, at just 15, she lit out for Manitoba. “I knew it was the right decision, so I felt okay with it. But it’s hard at 15 to move away from your family,” Chessa reflects. “The training was very hard—but I loved it.” One of Chessa’s strengths seems to be knowing what she wants and what she has to do to get there. And so it was that, as she neared graduation from the esteemed RWB, she started looking for “different ways of moving”. Ballet BC had just come under

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FALL ARTS PREVIEW > WHO TO WATCH

Clarinetist and composer search out new sounds Liam Hockley has a taste for the difficult—or near-impossible, while Nova Pon is drawn to the rhythms of both speech and birdsong MUSIC

focus is, understandably, on finishing his UBC doctorate “and getting out the door”. He will, however, be showcased alongside pianist Nicole Linaksita and sound artist Nancy Tam at the Fox Cabaret on April 24, as part of a Music on Main emerging-artist showcase, and will join the Nu:BC Collective when it serves as the house band for next spring’s Sonic Boom festival. After that? Expect to see him performing the formerly impossible on a regular basis, both here and internationally.

LIAM HOCKLEY

There’s a word for a lover of cinephile. Ditto for lover of sound (audiophile), lover of cheese (turophile), and even lover of rain (pluviophile). But is there one that means “lover of difficulty”? If there isn’t, Liam Hockley might have to coin it. Not only is he pursuing a career based on playing the most technically demanding music ever written, he’s also writing about it as part of his doctoral thesis, Performing Complexity. It wasn’t always thus. Growing up on Vancouver island, Hockley was first smitten by the clarinet, and then by the sounds of classic jazz. As he reports on the line from his Vancouver home, he was something of an anachronism, even in sleepy Qualicum Beach. “I spent more time listening to Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw than anybody else, and probably would have liked to have stepped into their shoes,” he says, noting that his stepfather, a jazz pianist, encouraged that interest. But the 28-yearold performer and academic would soon be thrown into the deep end of the 21st century, after leaving home to study at the University of Victoria. The epiphany came when his clarinet instructor, Patricia Kostek, gave a recital shortly after classes started. “Vancouver had just hosted the International Clarinet Association’s Clarinetfest, which is a big international conference, and for this conference she had commissioned a number of new pieces by local composers for solo clarinet, or clarinet and electronics, and maybe there were one or two chamber pieces,” Hockley

2 movies:

> ALEXANDER VARTY

NOVA PON

Nova Pon presents as a cau-

2 tious soul, to the extent that she

Liam Hockley was first smitten by the clarinet, then classic jazz; Nova Pon wanted to be a writer. Emily Cooper photo.

explains. “And that was perhaps one of the biggest moments of discovery for me, in terms of realizing just what an extended vocabulary the instrument had….It was a very powerful moment in my development.” Hockley has gone on to specialize

in extended techniques for the clarinet, although he doesn’t much care for that term: what others might consider alternative or avant-garde approaches to his instrument are to him only part of the everyday tool kit of the 21st-century virtuoso.

“I think the idea of ‘impossible’ is maybe a questionable one,” he says of pieces that might ask him to navigate labyrinthine scores, produce multiple lines on his supposedly monophonic horn, or play microtonally. For the 2017-18 season, Hockley’s

requested written questions before speaking to the Georgia Straight. But it wasn’t a case of the thoughtful and soft-spoken flutist and composer wanting to control the agenda; she’s simply unused to the spotlight. “I live under a rock, a bit,” she says by phone from her Bowen Island home, “and my notion of an interview was that everything I said would be printed verbatim, and that it would be really poor reading.” Pon’s lack of interest in selfpromotion may be partly why, at 34, she’s still seen as an emerging composer, despite a sizable body of excellent work. And then there’s the fact that composers mature more slowly than other musicians—a process that, in Pon’s case, was complicated by her youthful need to explore other options first. “I think for a long time I wanted to be a writer,” she says. “I’m naturally drawn to a narrative or journey aspect in any temporal art.” see page 25

THE VSO’S EXCITING

OPENING WEEKEND!

HERITAGE Singing Canada’s Choral Songs

8pm FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 Australian String Quartet

Dunbar Ryerson United Church Vancouver Chamber Choir Jon Washburn, conductor

Bramwell Tovey

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.

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Canada’s choral music has always been one of the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s specialties. In this concert, we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary and conductor Jon Washburn’s 50th year in Vancouver with a great panorama of Canadian repertoire. Music of Willan, Somers, Beckwith, Raminsh, Chatman, Emery, Allan, Archer and a few special surprises from Canada’s past and future.

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201 7/201 8

The VSO's 99th Anniversary Season

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MAESTRO BRAMWELL TOVEY’S FINAL SEASON AS VSO MUSIC DIRECTOR BEGINS ON SEPTEMBER 22ND Join us for an exciting, season-long celebration of Bramwell Tovey’s remarkable 18-year tenure as VSO Music Director. Maestro Tovey has programmed the 2017/2018 Season to feature something for every musical taste, from the music of the great classical masters to swinging, jazzy Pops, matinees, concerts for children and families, VSO at the Movies, and so much more.

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Marissa Wong

from page 21

return to her hometown. From a stint in San Francisco to immersing herself in Montreal’s thriving arts scene, her journey has been a diverse one. Her travels began at the tender age of 13, when the Port Moody–raised dancer was determined to become a classical ballet star. “I was such a ‘Trina’ or bunhead,” she says with a laugh, sitting with the Straight in an airy Strathcona café. “I started doing summer intensives at 13, when my lovely mother sent me off to New York with little or no supervision to go to the one at the Joffrey [Ballet].” Subsequent summer programs took her to Ballet Austin, Philly’s The Rock, and Chicago’s Hubbard Street. Wong seemed to be searching for something, and she found it when she was accepted in 2013 into a training program at Alonzo King’s innovatively neoclassical LINES Ballet in San Fran. It offered an alternative to the hierarchy of the ballet world: “I was looking for somewhere I could use my voice.” At LINES, she found her outlet, in an experience she calls lifechanging. “It was this safe environment that allowed you to redefine who your were as a person,” she says. “It was an environment that allowed you to explore through movement a deeper sense of personality.” From there, Wong headed to Montreal. “I was still running away from Vancouver,” she admits. “My ego didn’t want me to come back home feeling like I hadn’t achieved something.”

Nova Pon

from page 22

That’s borne out by Myosotis, which Brazilian-Canadian pianist Luciane Cardassi will play at the Canadian Music Centre on October 5. Landscape plays a large part in this invocation of mountain solitude, as does text; in it, Cardassi will recite a poem by Monica Meneghetti while playing. And less majestic forms of nature are present, too; the title is the Latin name for the common but beautiful forget-me-not flower. “She would have let me do anything,” Pon says of Cardassi’s commission, “but with a collaborator I like seeing what their unique context is, and how it can overlap with my interests. The things we sort of came across included how she likes to use her voice in a kind of extended musicianship, and her interest in going inside the piano, playing on the strings. And also her liking to use text.” Like many of Pon’s other works, most notably The Orator, Myosotis is marked by her sensitivity to the

The move was hard. She didn’t know anyone, the weather was cold, and it was difficult breaking into the dance community. But she pushed onward, and an eventual residency with Ottawa’s Dorsale Dance led to her first piece of choreography, a work that went on to the Montreal Fringe. Living in Quebec also fired up Wong’s DIY instincts, as she started facilitating and curating shows for herself and other artists, eventually doing it under the umbrella of TWObigsteps—the unique, multicity collective she’s now basing out of Vancouver. The collaborationminded TWObigsteps spans dancers and musicians from Vancouver, San Fran, and Montreal, staging performances in any of those places, too. The collective presents her choreography Surrendurance on November 25 at Dance in Vancouver, the showcase for local talent that brings in presenters from around the continent. In the creation for five dancers, Wong plays with the complex patterns of social behaviours and with ideas of spontaneity and control. She collaborated on the project with Jamie Bradbury, a musician she’s been working with since her days in Montreal. What audiences will notice most is that ballet still flows through Wong’s fluid, elegant work. “As a collective we do morning class before rehearsal and usually it’s ballet,” she explains. “There are elements where they [the dancers] need a ballet background.” But perhaps not one quite so diverse as Wong’s. > JANET SMITH

rhythms of speech. And it’s not only human chatter that has Pon’s ear. In the William Blake–inspired work she’s now writing for Nicole Li and Corey Hamm’s Piano and Erhu Project, The Winged Life, she’s exploring another of her passions: birdsong. Avian vocalizations have fascinated Pon, she says, “ever since I lived near a pond where there were songbirds singing all the time. “But with this,” she continues, “it’s in a more complex way: these are songbirds that are trapped and eaten. So it’s sort of about an emotional experience, too: ‘Why is there this tendency to destroy the things we love?’ We can’t just let them be, but we have to dominate or control them.” The question of control, Pon adds, is an increasingly complex factor in her own life and work. “In a way, I want to let go to chance and the unknown and freedom and being in the moment,” she explains. “And there’s also a part of me that wants to plan things out in great detail. It’s an interesting duality!” > ALEXANDER VARTY

SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25


FALL ARTS PREVIEW > WHO TO WATCH

Collaboration is key for these Indigenous artists V ISUAL AR TS

schools, Witnesses at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (which she worked on straight out of graduate school) and NET-ETH: Going Out of the Darkness at Malaspina Printmakers. Her curatorial approach is feminist and collaborative, as seen in #callresponse, her most ambitious project to date. Organized through the grunt with Willard and Brooklyn-based artist Maria Hupfield, it focuses on Indigenous women from across Canada and the United States. “I’ve been very fortunate to start curating when I did, having my first show, Witnesses, around the time of the Truth and Reconciliation hearings, which really catalyzed a lot of responses,” she says. “You see a lot of other institutions that are making moves to hire Indigenous curators, and universities that are interested in indigenizing their curriculum.” It’s an extremely important process, she says—and long past due.

TARAH HOGUE

A long weekend doesn’t seem like

2 much of a break between leaving

one demanding position and taking up another, especially while maintaining an ongoing commitment to a third. But curator and writer Tarah Hogue, who has just departed her busy job at the grunt gallery to become the Vancouver Art Gallery’s first senior curatorial fellow in Indigenous art, seems cheerily relaxed. She is speaking to the Straight in a Chinatown coffee shop, having just wrapped up a meeting at the nearby Gam Gallery, an independent exhibition and studio space she curates with Julia Kreutz. Phew. “I managed to have a couple of weeks of holiday with my family this summer,” she says, reassuringly. “And I was also at a writer’s residency at BUSH Gallery.” There’s a certain fond reciprocity here: the BUSH Gallery, near Kamloops, is a project of Secwépemc artist and curator Tania Willard, and Hogue wrote a catalogue essay to accompany Willard’s show dissimulation (which opens September 15 at the Burnaby Art Gallery). Hogue, whose mother is DutchCanadian and father is Métis, was born and grew up in Red Deer, Alberta. “A lot of my curatorial work is informed by my own personal exploration and questioning of place,” she says. “As a Métis person who was raised in Alberta, which is not where my family is from, and then moving to Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territory, what does it mean to be thinking about this large category of Indigenous art in this place?” Hogue arrived in Vancouver in 2008, after completing a bachelor’s degree in art history at Queen’s University. “I started as an English major but as soon as I took an art-history class, I was totally enamoured,” she says.

> ROBIN LAURENCE

CHARLENE VICKERS

Charlene Vickers is reflecting

2 on the practical reason she en-

Charlene Vickers (left) and Tarah Hogue bring experiences as Indigenous women to their work. Emily Cooper photo.

She also recounts that when she was young, she accompanied her mother, who was researching historic Dutch samplers, through the backrooms of a number of museums. “I think that put the bug into me,” she says. “Got me interested in cultural production.” She was drawn to Vancouver by old friends who were attending Emily Carr University of Art and Design,

and worked with them in 2009 to create the Gam Gallery, which they initially supported by renting out space for musical performances, community events, film screenings, workshops, and artists’ studios. In 2010, Hogue enrolled in the master’s program in critical curatorial studies at the University of British Columbia, and since she graduated

in 2012, her career has snowballed. She began working at the grunt in 2014, was the 2016 Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellow at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and organized an impressive lineup of exhibitions, cultural events, and symposiums. Significantly, she cocurated two shows that opened in 2013 and that addressed Indian residential

Photo credit: Roxanne Charles, Blanket Dance. Photo by Edward Westerhuis.

EVENING GALA / soirée de gala

26 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017

rolled in an MFA program at Simon Fraser University at the age of 41. Describing herself as “a mixed-media painter and installation artist on the outskirts of video and performance”, she says she had been supporting her practice for years by working in the food-services industry. She reached a point, however, where she thought perhaps she could take up teaching as a day job. “I wanted to have the possibility of being an instructor,” she tells the Georgia Straight over an iced Americano in a Main Street coffee shop. “My body was wearing out.” Much as she enjoyed other aspects of the MFA program, however, she found her teaching assistantship at SFU more frustrating than gratifying. see page 29


FALL ARTS PREVIEW > WHO TO WATCH

Dauk dissects standup; McGee laughs till she cries COM E D Y

the audience likes or doesn’t like it, I will much prefer that. What a weird thing that is. I think that’s the craft and art of it, putting it all together.” It’s a steady learning curve for most standups. But you know Dauk will put in the time. “The goal is to work on it and do it for life,” he says. “I know how to get better: write, perform, do that on Repeat.”

ROSS DAUK

Ross Dauk loves to talk shop.

2 The 34-year-old standup thinks

about comedy day and night. He’s into all aspects of the art, not just the glamorous part of getting up onstage and making people laugh. “I love performing comedy but I love the writing and the coming-up of ideas and the prep for the shows,” he says while munching a cookie at a Main Street café. The Saskatchewan native has been a standup in his mind longer than the eight years he’s been actually doing it. Even while he was working in B.C. forests as a park ranger, his thoughts were with comedy. He wasn’t afraid of bears or cougars, but was too scared to perform. “Being a park ranger was trying to find meaning without doing comedy, the thing I knew I should do,” he says. “I also care about the environment very much, but it wasn’t for me. I knew I had to do comedy. Even though I had the greatest jobs in the most beautiful places, I was writing jokes and couldn’t help but just be compelled to the city.” Dauk did a total of one show in Saskatoon and then one in each of the major cities on his way here before embarking on a career in comedy in Vancouver. “Quite quickly I got a job where I was only working a couple hours a day,” he says. “I didn’t know anyone in the city. I saw comedy as my full-time job but it was leading to five-minute sets.” This convinced the former shy kid to become a fast talker. “I had so much that I wanted to say in too little time.” Dauk has run the popular weekly show Jokes Please! every Thursday at Little Mountain Gallery for the past five years. This summer, he made his

> GUY M AC PHERSON

KATHLEEN M C GEE

It doesn’t take much to get Kath-

2 leen McGee to cry. Even the

Sensitive Kathleen McGee is a powerhouse on-stage; Ross Dauk pretty much obsesses about comedy. Emily Cooper photo.

first appearance at the prestigious Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, where he was chosen to compete in the Homegrown competition. He didn’t win, but that was beside the point. “I don’t love competitions, but I love doing comedy,” he says. “I always want to win, I guess, but that is not the focus. The focus is to

have the best set you can.” The way to achieve that, one would think, is to be funny. But it’s not the only way, says Dauk. “What I think is funny and what I think is effective aren’t always the same thing, unfortunately,” he says. “I think about this constantly…but I much prefer funny over effective.”

What’s the difference, you ask? Effective is “doing the job professionally, where the audience is entertained and enjoys the show. I can have a set where the audience really enjoys it, but if I didn’t do what I wanted or if I didn’t feel very funny, I’m not that happy about it. And if I have a set where I’m very funny and

name of her very popular podcast is a tip-off: Kathleen McGee Is a Hot Mess. Talk to her for five minutes and chances are she will shed a tear or two. “I’m an emotional person!” she says over a fancy drink at a Fraser Street coffee shop. “I’m a crier.” You’d never know it watching her on-stage doing standup. She’s a powerhouse. “When I’m performing, it’s easy,” she says. “I could be bawling and then go up and be fine. It’s weird. I can get up there and just be me.” McGee recently advanced to the finals of the SiriusXM Top Comic competition and will go up against seven of the best comedians from across the land on September 28 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto as part of the JFL42 Festival. The winner collects a cool 25 grand. Just getting that far gives McGee “the Just For Laughs trifecta”—she’s already performed at both JFL Northwest and Just For Laughs in Montreal. When she advanced in the regionals at the Comedy MIX, she cried tears of joy and relief. Since then, she’s been visualizing holding the giant cheque, but no matter what the outcome is, McGee knows what her reaction will be. “I will cry when I win and I’ll cry see page 29

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28 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017


from page 26

“I don’t think my personality is suited to teaching,â€? she says. “I’m very shy.â€? Paradoxically, Vickers has emerged in recent years as an original and confident performance artist. She credits her friend and colleague, Brooklynbased artist Maria Hupfield, with helping her overcome her hesitancy to perform in public. Since 2007, Vickers and multimedia artist Neil Eustache had been developing their “benchingâ€? project, creating a social gathering spot on a bench at the corner of Main Street and 13th Avenue. Hupfield suggested collaborating with Vickers on the production of some altered found objects, which Vickers could then display and “demonstrateâ€? while benching. At Hupfield’s urging, the display and demonstration evolved into a performance that the two took to Santa Fe, New Mexico—and many places beyond. Willard reiterated the piece solo at 2015’s LIVE performance festival in Vancouver. “I had a bench and a sales table and I sold collaborative work that I’d made with Maria and other friends‌I did that for five days.â€? The objects were intentionally priced low and sold rapidly. “I was really excited by that, trying to create a sense of exchange between people,â€? she says. The performance accords with her interest in relational aesthetics, which sparks art off human and social relations. Born in Kenora, Ontario, and raised in Toronto, Vickers arrived in Vancouver in 1990 to study painting at Emily Carr Institute (now University) of Art and Design. After completing the four-year program, she went on to earn a B.A. in art and culture studies at SFU, and she has been making and

Kathleen McGee

from page 27

when I lose,� she says, laughing. She’s not a fan of competitions but knows they’re a necessary evil in a country without a real show-business infrastructure. “Competitions are awful,� she says. “It’s not good for your health. It’s very bad for your health. And the worst part is that in Canada that’s sometimes the only way you can get noticed. You put a bunch of people who are doing this because they want attention and love, and then they get told that we love this other person the most, then of course you’re going to have tears and resentment and upset feelings. It’s unavoidable. Contests are the worst. My chest is getting tight just thinking about it.� She’s won her fair share of them, though, starting with the Funniest Person With a Day Job competition in 2008 in her hometown of Edmonton. Then there was a round she won at the Ice House in Pasadena, and another contest in Toronto, where the

exhibiting art, locally and nationally, ever since. Recently, she has also been playing a synthesizer pad with the band Assertion, creating texture and, to her surprise, singing. “I’m slowly learning how to become melodic,� she says with a laugh. And she has continued to paint, creating abstractions that riff on Anishinaabe quillwork. Among other projects, she has been producing a series of felt ovoids, based on the graphic design form found in Northwest Coast First Nations art. “They aren’t necessarily political,� she says of her ovoids. “They’re more about me—about being Ojibwa and living on the West Coast for 25 years and creating this recognizable, hegemonic shape of cultural capitalism.� More concertedly critical are a series of fringed and beaded moccasins Vickers made out of denim, cardboard beer cases, and other found materials. Recently exhibited at Gallery 1515, they comment on the manufacture and marketing of “Indian� souvenirs for tourists. They also relate to encounters with “ignorance, stereotypes, and racism� Vickers had while working in a Native art store in Gastown. Currently, she and Vancouver artist Cathy Busby are collaborating on a large mixed-media installation for Ground Signals, a group show at the Surrey Art Gallery that reinterprets ideas of land and landscape. For the opening on September 23, Vickers and Busby are creating a performance, a video of which will be incorporated into their installation. As for her shyness, she says, “When you’re the performer, you have the power and the presence to negotiate things—negotiate relationships in the moment rather than be watched.� > ROBIN LAURENCE

prize was a spot opening for Russell Peters. Peters then bought her and her roommate a bunk bed to help them out while they made a go of it in Los Angeles. “He’s the most generous and cool person,� she says. “He gets angry if you don’t accept his help. He’s done a lot of great things for me.� McGee was making a name for herself down south before she was turned away at the border after a trip back home. “When I was in L.A., I was doing really good,� she says, tears welling up in her eyes. “I kinda saw a light at the end of the tunnel. It wasn’t a bright light—now you’ve got me crying—but it was a light. And it just disappeared.� While she works on getting her paperwork in order to return, she’s making do here. “I love the scene here,� she says. “I think it’s a very, very supportive scene. People are just friends here. There’s a lot of work in this city. I think it’s the strongest scene in Canada right now, I really do.� > GUY M AC PHERSON

“COOP HAS THAT EXTR A SOMETHING THAT LETS A PIANIST BECOME A POET.� –MONTREAL GAZETTE

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The gripping account of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;60â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scoop-upâ&#x20AC;? phenomenon, in which Native children

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FALL ARTS PREVIEW

The fun in dysfunction takes to the stage TH E AT RE

ONEGIN (At the Arts Club Granville Island Stage from November 23 to December 31) When Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille’s retooling of Alexander Pushkin and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky premiered a year-anda-half ago, patrons flocked to this unabashed celebration of lyubov (“love” in Russian), with many returning a second or third time, or reliving the magic thanks to the original-cast recording of Hille’s supremely romantic songs. The Draw: The music! And the show’s proven excellence. The reviews of the original production were uniformly rapturous, and the creators lugged home most of the hardware at the 2016 Jessie Awards. Target Audience: If you missed out on tickets last time, hurry up and book!

CRITICS’ PICKS

This fall’s theatre offerings tackle

2 both private and public dysfunc-

tion, historical and contemporary, but as the holidays draw nearer, we’ll see shows that flat-out flip the finger at seriousness. The nine shows listed below reflect a welcome continuation of the increased diversity we saw on Vancouver’s stages last season, along with some changes in leadership: it’s Bill Millerd’s last season at the Arts Club and Roy Surette’s return to Touchstone Theatre. Heather Redfern has programmed another exceptional season for the Cultch’s three stages; my list ends in December, but watch for Hot Brown Honey and Black Boys there in January. And watch for an announcement later this fall of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival’s programming (January 16 to February 4).

1 HOUR PHOTO (At the Cultch’s Historic Theatre from October 3 to 15) Writer-performer Tetsuro Shigematsu explored his relationship with his father in the critically lauded Empire of the Son. Now he turns to a friend’s father, Mas Yamamoto, whose life has intersected with major currents of 20thcentury politics, from the Japanese internment camps of the Second World War to the Cold War. The Draw: History, both shameful (it’s been 75 years since Japanese Canadians were interned during the Second World War) and triumphant (Shigematsu’s previous show was a huge hit). Target Audience: People smart enough to appreciate their parents’ stories. HYPERLINK (At the Firehall Arts Centre from October 4 to 14) The Elbow Theatre premieres a new work that examines how communications technology is disrupting our ability

Happy Place enlists an all-female cast (Riun Garner photo); Tetsuro Shigematsu is in 1 Hour Photo (Raymond Shum photo).

to connect in real time and space. With everyone we know and love always at our fingertips, why are we still lonely? The Draw: The team. Writerperformers T J Dawe and Itai Erdal have both toured the world with critically acclaimed monologues, and Rachel Peake has emerged in recent years as a smart and stylish director. Target Audience: Are you reading this on a screen? You’re it. THANKS FOR GIVING (At the Arts Club Granville Island Stage from October 5 to November 4) The latest in the Arts Club’s Silver Commissions sees Kevin Loring directing a mostly Indigenous cast, including Margo Kane as the matriarch of a family whose secrets spell trouble at a Thanksgiving dinner that goes off the rails. The Draw: The playwright. Loring’s debut, Where the Blood Mixes, was a gorgeous character study that won the Governor General’s Award for drama, and he was recently selected as the inaugural artistic director of the National Arts Centre’s new Indigenous Theatre. Target

Audience: This can be your excuse for present the North American premiere of German playwright Wolfram skipping that family dinner. Lotz’s award-winning satirical fusion HAPPY PLACE (At the Firehall Arts of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Centre from October 20 to 29) Roy Now. The Draw: A cast that embodSurette returns to the helm of Touch- ies diversity in race and ability, plus stone Theatre to direct this coproduc- taiko drummers, powwow dancers, a tion (with Ruby Slippers and the Di- marching band, street vendors, and a wali Festival) of a play by Pamela Mala children’s choir. This is not your averSinha that was well-received in its 2015 age night at the theatre. Target AudiToronto premiere. The play, set in an in- ence: You want big? You want lively? patient care facility, focuses on a group You want hope in these dark times? of women recovering from trauma. Here you go. The Draw: The powerhouse all-female cast—Diane Brown, Nicola Caven- SATELLITES (At Performance Works dish, Sereana Malani, Adele Noronha, from November 17 to 26) Aaron BushLaara Sadiq, Colleen Wheeler, and kowsky’s latest play, a dark comedy Donna Yamamoto—who collectively inspired by Caroline Adderson’s book have earned more than 50 Jessie nom- Vancouver Vanishes, zeroes in on our inations and awards. Target Audience: city’s housing crisis and features an acThese women don’t just have a lot of tivist author, a corrupt city staffer, a satawards; they have a lot of fans—and if ellite kid, and, of course, realtors. This Solo Collective Theatre production you’re not one yet, you will be. boasts a strong cast of newcomers and THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS (At veterans of the local scene. The Draw: the Orpheum Annex from November Relevance. Target Audience: Aspiring 11 to 19) Alley Theatre teams up with homeowners consigned to the distant Neworld Theatre, Theatre Terrific, suburbs. (See also this newspaper’s and a host of community partners to Renters of Vancouver feature.)

EAST VAN PANTO: SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES (At

the York Theatre from November 29 to January 6) In this fourth installment of Vancouver’s hippest holiday tradition, brought to you by Theatre Replacement, the seven dwarves are a washed-up ’80s band playing at the PNE. Can’t wait to hear what songs music director Veda Hille puts in their set list. The Draw: Making fun of East Vancouver stereotypes, even if you are one. Target Audience: Fans of unabashed absurdity. And their kids. LITTLE DICKENS: THE DAISY THEATRE (At the Cultch’s Historic Theatre

from December 5 to 22) Ronnie Burkett’s Daisy Theatre has blown away three seasons’ worth of audiences at the Cultch. Now Burkett unleashes his adults-only humour on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Watch faded diva Esmé Massengill take on the role of a soused and bitter Scrooge as the other Daisy fixtures play supporting roles. The Draw: Schnitzel as Tiny Tim! Target Audience: Adults only. The kind who secretly spike the eggnog.

> KATHLEEN OLIVER

2017 - 2018 SEASON

STEPHEN SONDHEIM HUGH WHEELER DIRECTED BY PETER JORGENSEN PRODUCED BY PATRICK STREET PRODUCTIONS OCTOBER 12 - 21, 2017 MUSIC AND LYRICS BY BOOK BY

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DIRECTED BY

BY DIRECTED BY

BEVERLEY ELLIOTT LYNNA GOLDHAR SMITH

CHARLES DICKENS MICHAEL SHAMATA DIRECTED BY RACHEL PEAKE BY

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HAPPYGOODTHINGS PRODUCTIONS NOVEMBER 16 - 25, 2017

DECEMBER 7 - 24, 2017

CATHERINE LÉGER LEANNA BRODIE DIRECTED BY DIANE BROWN PRODUCED BY RUBY SLIPPERS THEATRE MARCH 15 - 24, 2018

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30 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017


SEPTEMBER 14 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 31


CRITICS PICKS

Vancouver’s dance talents dominate stage D ANC E CRITICS’ PICKS

Local dance talent really takes

2 the spotlight this autumn, with

homegrown artists like Josh Beamish, Vanessa Goodman, Deanna Peters, and Shay Kuebler staging ambitious full-evening creations. It’s a sign our dance scene is thriving and nurturing a new generation of artists. Need more proof? Check out the 11th biennial Dance in Vancouver, November 21 to 25 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre, which showcases rising West Coast names like Meredith Kalaman, Aeriosa, and Julianne Chapple. This list only highlights the fall, but watch for two big shows—also by big Vancouver talent—in the new year: a double bill by established mavericks Chick Snipper and Tara Cheyenne-Friedenberg at the Firehall Arts Centre February 21 to 24, and the breathlessly awaited return of Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young’s Betroffenheit—a second chance to see Kidd Pivot and Electric Company Theatre’s seminal, Olivier Award–winning exploration of grief for those of you who missed the unforgettable sold-out run last year at DanceHouse. Take our advice: don’t mess up this time.

SAUDADE (At the Scotiabank Dance

Centre from September 20 to 23) Choreographer Josh Beamish returns to town with a yearning work for six male dancers. The title comes from a Portuguese word that translates loosely as a driving desire for the unattainable. Set to solo cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir’s haunting score, it explores fleeting relationships and the way they stick with us long after they’re over. The Draw: A team of dancers whose credits include Nederlands Dans Theater, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and La La La Human Steps. Target

sensation Tero Saarinen, crafts a cracklingly fresh, contemporary ode to masculinity. A stage surrounded by swaying ropes and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s icy orchestral score adds atmosphere. The Draw: Saarinen’s work feels beautiful and refined yet raw and authentic at the same time. It’s somehow epic yet intimate. Target ANIMAL TRISTE (At the Scotiabank Audience: Fans of that crisp Nordic Dance Centre from October 19 to 21) aesthetic and Finns who want to celeSad animals, indeed: that’s how chor- brate their centennial through art. eographer Mélanie Demers presents us humans in her hard-driving four- PROGRAM 1 (At the Queen Elizabeth hander, presented by Vancouver’s plas- Theatre on November 2 and 4) Ballet tic orchid factory and her MAYDAY BC opens its season with a premiere by company. The quartet of dancers— Cayetano Soto, its celebrated resident plastic orchid’s James Gnam, Marc choreographer, and with the North Boivin, Brianna Lombardo, and Riley American premiere of B.R.I.S.A., by Sims—are androgynous, pearl-draped Swedish star Johan Inger, an alumcreatures climbing toward civilization nus of Nederlands Dans Theater. The but ever falling into their animal exist- Draw: Local audiences already love ence. The Draw: A rare West Coast the unpredictable Soto, but the return taste of the Montreal avant-garde, of work by Inger—whose theatrical wrapped in those alluring pearls. Tar- Walking Mad was a major hit at Balget Audience: Boundary pushers who let BC a few years ago—should bring out the masses. Target Audience: Lolike life on the edge. cal balletomanes eager to see our topMETA (At the Scotiabank Dance Centre flight troupe set the bar even higher. on October 27 and 28) Deanna Peters of Mutable Subject debuts the results of WELLS HILL (At the Fei and Milton her well-deserved Iris Garland Emer- Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU ging Choreographer Award, putting Woodward’s in the Goldcorp Centre her form-mashing style together with for the Arts from November 24 to 26) the talents of contemporary-dance art- DanceHouse, SFU Woodward’s Culist Justine A. Chambers and hip-hop tural Programs, and SFU’s School for maven Kim Sato. Local designer Nat- Contemporary Arts join forces to celealie Purschwitz provides the threads, brate Canada 150+ with a locally craftDJ Ice-B spins the tunes, and lighting ed work that could not be more fitting. designer James Proudfoot illuminates Vancouver choreographer Vanessa the action. Expect surprises, a hybrid Goodman has been honing this smart of styles, and a touch of the surreal. multimedia ode to the philosophies of The Draw: The combined forces on Canadian icons Marshall McLuhan this project are simply some of the and Glenn Gould for three years. The coolest talents in town right now. Tar- Draw: Wells Hill feeds your brain get Audience: If you know any one of while conjuring an atmospheric blackwhite-and-grey visual world, too. Tarthese artists, you know who you are. get Audience: Those who know that MORPHED (At the Vancouver Play- the medium is the message—and that house on October 27 and 28) Dance- movement can make it even better. > JANET SMITH House’s season opener, Finnish a swirling, urgent creation for seven crack dancers. The Draw: The chance to suss out a younger generation of Israeli choreographers, and see if it’s as red-hot as the one that preceded it. Target Audience: Contact-improv fans and those on the lookout for something new.

Two different dance takes on masculinity: Finland’s raw but refined Morphed (Heikki Tuuli) and Vancouver’s Shay Kuebler in Feasting on Famine (Abbey Dutton).

Audience: Anyone who knows that turns his considerable physical and comedic chops onto the bodybuilding breaking up is hard to do. world, in all its obsession. The Draw: EMBRYOTROPHIC CAVATINA (At An early excerpt from this at the 2015 the Roundhouse Community Arts and Dancing on the Edge fest turned Recreation Centre from September 20 head-to-toe shaving into high art and to 23 and September 26 to 29) Kokoro morphed muscleman poses into a Dance’s Barbara Bourget, Jay Hira- warped stop-start ballet. It’s hilarious, bayashi, Molly McDermott, and Billy awe-inducing, and accessible. Target Marchenski navigate life and death Audience: Protein-shake-pounding and almost everything in between, all weightlifters—and anyone who’s ever to a moving orchestral score by Pol- obsessed over a calorie. ish composer Zbigniew Preisner. The Draw: Stripped down literally and fig- HASTA DONDE…? + ALL WAYS (At uratively, the show is a chance to revel in the Scotiabank Dance Centre from the raw power of the company’s butoh- October 12 to 14) Compañia Sharon inspired work. Target Audience: Bu- Fridman is named for the celebrated toh buffs and viewers who like to get at young talent who founded it in Madrid, after training and performing the meat of our existence. in Israel. The pieces on view here FEASTING ON FAMINE (At the Fire- play complex games with contact hall Arts Centre from September 27 to improv—flowing, intensely physical 30) Radical System Art’s Shay Kuebler pieces, the former a duet, the latter

2017/18 Season

Nov 2 3 4 Eight Years of Silence | Cayetano Soto B.R.I.S.A. | Johan Inger

Feb 22 23 24 Romeo & Juliet | Medhi Walerski

May 10 11 12 BEGINNING AFTER | Cayetano Soto New Work | Emily Molnar Bill | Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar

Subscribe balletbc.com Single tickets on sale SUPPORT FOR BALLET BC HAS BEEN GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY

DANCER KIRSTEN WICKLUND. PHOTO MICHAEL SLOBODIAN.

32 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017

ROMEO AND JUL L IET PRODUCTION SP P ONSOR


FALL ARTS PREVIEW

This will be a season of sounds like no other MUSIC

and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra play New Music for Old Instruments at Christ Church Cathedral on January 19. The Draw: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, and Bramwell Tovey’s as-yet-untitled fantasia on the same. Target Audience: Historically informed modernists.

CRITICS’ PICKS

There may be other words for

2 the state of art music in Vancou-

ver, but this year a “glut” seems most appropriate. Whether it’s because our town is finally becoming both cosmopolitan and sophisticated (if distressingly unaffordable), or because there’s been an influx of new blood into some of our most cherished cultural institutions, or because programmers have taken advantage of all that oncein-a-lifetime Canada 150 cash, we’ve never seen a season like this. Particularly welcome are the return of year-round programming to the Vancouver Opera schedule, and the torrent of new and experimental compositions that will be presented as part of the International Society for Contemporary Music’s annual conference, held here for the first time and cohosted by Music on Main.

TIME TRACKS (At the Orpheum on

September 22 and 23) The VSO’s season opener promises greatness—and something for everyone, too. The Draw: The North American debut of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra music director Bramwell Tovey’s title piece; accomplished former VSO concertmaster Dale Barltrop’s Australian String Quartet playing John Adams’s Absolute Jest for String Quartet and Orchestra; and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s tempestuous Symphony No. 5 in E Minor. Target Audience: Everyone. Didn’t I just say that? YEKWON SUNWOO (At the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on October 1) The Vancouver Recital Society’s season is heavy on pianists both emerging and acclaimed, but only Korea’s Yekwon Sunwoo has the distinction of having won the 2017 edition of the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The Draw: An instrumentalist some consider the world’s best in the under-30 category. Target Audience: Digital thrill-seekers.

RIVERS OF LIGHT: CHORAL EXPLORATIONS (At Dunbar Ryerson

United Church on January 26) The Vancouver Chamber Choir offers a crash course in choral music old and new. The Draw: A program that spans everything from Renaissance master Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina to his 21st-century counterpart, Ēriks Ešenvalds. Target Audience: The chorally curious.

VANCOUVER BACH CHOIR (At the

This fall we’ll will hear Korean pianist Yekwon Sunwoo (left) play with the Vancouver Recital Society, Argentine tenor Marcelo Puente (top right) perform in Turandot, and Colin Balzer (bottom right; Catherine Hess photo) sing Orfeo.

a bad note? Target Audience: Genre- members of the Vancouver Electronic Ensemble. The Draw: An benders of all sorts. uncategorizable blend of classical EVELYN GLENNIE (At the Orpheum music, jazz improvisation, and amon October 28, 29, and 30) Lead- bient soundscapes. Target Audiing contemporary-music percussion- ence: Explorers. ist Evelyn Glennie joins the VSO to perform American composer Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto. The Draw: Glennie’s unique ability to interpret complex and challenging music despite being deaf—the barefoot performer hears through her soles (and other body parts). Target Audience: Listeners in search of sole food—and admirers of Dmitri Shostakovich, whose Symphony No. 10 in E Minor is also on the bill.

VSO NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL (At various venues from January 18 to 22) It’s impossible to pick favourites when it comes to this remarkably well curated survey of all things new, but it will be hard to go wrong when the VSO

Orpheum on February 17) Yes, there’s the annual Messiah at the Orpheum on December 9, but we’re more excited about getting to hear Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in D Major early in the following year. The Draw: One of the greatest—if not the greatest—choral symphonies ever written. Target Audience: Emotional old souls.

> ALEXANDER VARTY

MONTEVERDI’S ORFEO (At the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on October 29) With Orfeo, Claudio Monteverdi essentially invented opera, while reinvigorating one of the most enduring myths of ancient Greece. The Draw: This Early Music Vancouver production features Seattle’s Pacific MusicWorks, under the direction of the always-inspiring Stephen Stubbs, plus Vancouver’s own Colin Balzer in the title role. Target TURANDOT (At the Queen Eliza- Audience: Mythomanes. beth Theatre from October 13 to 21) Vancouver Opera’s inaugural spring ISCM WORLD NEW MUSIC DAYS festival was an artistic success, but (At various venues from November 2 to there are many who consider the 8) The International Society for Concompany’s return to year-round temporary Music brings its annual production an even better gift. The conference to Vancouver for the first Draw: Giacomo Puccini’s final score, time, giving local listeners a weekwhich here will feature high drama long glut of the latest and best. The in ancient China, Marcelo Puente Draw: Music on Main’s astute artistic singing “Nessun Dorma”, and a wel- director, David Pay, curates performcome distraction from the onset of ances by Lori Freedman, the Bozzini Quartet, Red Chamber, Turning winter. Target Audience: Ariatics. Point Ensemble, NOW Ensemble, the MARIA POMIANOWSKA (At the VSO, and many, many more. Target Vancouver Playhouse on October 14) Audience: Anyone interested in getThink “Frédéric Chopin” and the ting a graduate degree in contempormind almost invariably goes to the ary music almost overnight. piano, but this Vancouver Chopin Society presentation is something else ONE LAST SONG (At West Vancouagain. The Draw: Maria Pomianow- ver United Church and St. Andrew’sska and her Polish folk players join a Wesley United Church on November dance troupe, a chamber orchestra, 11) Chor Leoni’s annual Rememand a bevy of local world-music virtu- brance Day concert is both a heartosos to reinterpret the great compos- tugging celebration of valour and a er’s life and roots. Target Audience: heartfelt prayer for peace. The Draw: Massed male voices delivering a Globetrotters and time travellers. message of hope, not an ultimatum PAVEL HAAS QUARTET (At the for war. Target Audience: True paVancouver Playhouse on October triots of all countries and cultures. 22) These Czech players are among the best of the new European quar- PAUL LEWIS (At the Vancouver tets—and are sure to be one of the Playhouse on November 19) Have we highlights of a solid Friends of mentioned that the Vancouver Recital Chamber Music season. The Draw: Society is this year’s go-to source for Early modernist masterpieces from awesome pianists? The Draw: In the Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, and first of a four-concert series, the magAntonín Dvorák. Target Audience: nificent Paul Lewis compares and contrasts classical masterpieces from Chamber-music connoisseurs. Franz Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van CROSSCURRENTS (At the Chan Beethoven, and Johannes Brahms. Centre for the Performing Arts on Target Audience: Perfectionists. October 28) The astonishing percussionist Zakir Hussain has assembled URI CAINE (At the Roundhouse a cast of Bollywood veterans and im- Community Arts and Recreation prov greats in a program that exam- Centre on November 25) Parallels, a ines the almost century-old interplay new community-based initiative between jazz and Indian classical organized in part by Vancouver music. The Draw: Dave Holland is New Music, pairs eclectic pianist the bassist. Has the man ever played Uri Caine with a string quartet and

SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 33


FALL ARTS PREVIEW

Greg Girard’s Untitled (Grain Terminal) will be part of the N. Vancouver group show that will open the North Shore’s much-anticipated Polygon Gallery.

New galleries add to already exciting roster V IS U AL A R TS CRITICS’ PICKS

The visual-arts scene this fall sea- TANIA WILLARD: DISSIMULATION (At the Burnaby Art Gallery from hued, and multidisciplinary mosaic. September 15 to November 5) This Words and music, video and painting, exhibition features a range of works photographs and assemblages, instal- by the acclaimed young artist, curlation and performance carry us across ator, and cultural researcher Tania time, place, peoples, and history. Lots Willard, along with photograms on of deconstruction and reconstruction leather created in collaboration with are happening, too. Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Peter Also exciting to anticipate are the Morin, and Jeneen Frei Njootli. Wilopenings of two leading-edge exhib- lard’s woodcuts, screen prints, paintition spaces, recently moved out of ings, textile art, sculpture, and pertheir old digs and settling into their formances reflect on home, family, new, architect-designed homes. The community, and language. They also Pacific, the inaugural exhibition of examine her relationship to the land international artists at the Libby Lesh- in Secwépemc territory. The Draw: gold Gallery, examines the idea that There is great generosity in Willard’s the Pacific Ocean is a “shared space” practice, as reflected in her own art with common interests around its and that produced during the artists’ perimeter. The gallery is located at the residencies she sponsors and collabEmily Carr University of Art + Design orative projects of which she is a part. campus on Great Northern Way, and the show opens to the public on Octo- ANOTHER TIME, THIS TIME, ONE ber 2. Across Burrard Inlet, the exhib- TIME: STEFFANI JEMISON AND ition titled N. Vancouver inaugurates JUSTIN HICKS (At the Western the Polygon Gallery, formerly based Front from September 22 to October at Presentation House. This ambitious 28) The multimedia installation from group show of photo-based works Brooklyn-based artist Steffani Jemiposes questions about the gallery’s son and composer Justin Hicks takes waterfront location, past and present. apart and rearranges components of sound, language, and learning sysIts public opening is November 18. tems as they relate to contemporary In the meantime, look for… black American music. Audio, video, ETERNAL RETURN (At the Rich- and drawn elements also represent a mond Art Gallery to November 19) “power listening” project Jemison and This RAG and the Richmond Mu- Hicks undertook with community seum exhibition marries past, present, members in Brooklyn. The exhibition and future in creative ways. Guest is inaugurated with live performcurator Sunshine Frère invited five ances by the artists, the first at 8 p.m. local artists—Barb Choit, Kevin Day, on September 22, and the second at 2 Lucien Durey, Alanna Ho, and An- p.m. on September 23. The Draw: This chi Lin—to choose artifacts from the is the first gallery iteration of Mikromuseum’s migration collection and kosmos, Jemison and Hicks’s ongoing develop works in dialogue with them. collaborative project, as it traces the The results range from an audio- relationship between R & B music and visual installation incorporating a other black American cultural forms, school desk and chair to pop-culture- most notably poetry. sampling mobiles constructed out of glass shards. The Draw: Are material ENTANGLED: TWO VIEWS OF CANADIAN objects subject to eternal return, to CONTEMPORARY the belief that the universe and every- PAINTING (At the Vancouver Art thing in it have been and will be re- Gallery from September 30 to Janucurring forever? Who knows, but in ary 1) With work by 31 artists from our age of vast waste and overcon- across the country, this big survey sumption, the idea of cosmological exhibition examines the way painting has developed in Canada since recycling is an appealing one. the 1970s. For those not alive or EMILY NEUFELD: BEFORE DEMO- aware at the time, the 70s were when LITION (At the Burrard Arts Founda- painting was declared dead—or at tion gallery from September 14 to Oc- least moribund. The show’s curators tober 21) Based on photographs taken contend that two distinct approachin about-to-be-demolished houses, es to painting were birthed out of Neufeld’s architectural installation rep- the debate about painting’s relresents three years of work. She spent evance, one driven by concepts and time in a number of doomed dwellings, ideas and the other by materials and performing certain kinds of physical processes. The lineup—well, two interventions that she calls “funeral lineups, actually—ranges from Ararites”—tearing up carpets, for instance, bella Campbell to Claude Tousigor cutting open walls—and recording nant, and from Paterson Ewen to the results with a camera. These images Elizabeth McIntosh. The Draw: At are reproduced life-size on BAF’s walls, the heart of a city renowned interamplifying their impact. The Draw: A nationally for its photo-based art, number of leading Vancouver artists it will be interesting to consider the have taken photographs in the interior renewed power of painting to enof abandoned buildings. What gives gage and provoke us. > ROBIN LAURENCE Neufeld’s work particular poignancy is

2 son resembles a gorgeous, multi-

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34 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017

the current housing crisis in the Lower Mainland and the inevitable disappearance of the single detached home.


FALL ARTS PREVIEW

Comedy heavies set to kill COM E D Y CRITICS’ PICKS

We could take up twice the space

2 with the number of quality acts

coming up this fall. Other than the ones below, you should check out Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath, Nick Offerman, Deanne Smith, Erik Griffin, Rob Pue, and a live taping of CBC Radio’s The Debaters. Let Google lead the way to info on those shows—and others you may find along the way.

TAYLOR WILLIAMSON (At Yuk Yuk’s

ELMALEH (At the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on November 4) Elmaleh is as big as it gets in standup comedy—in Europe. And he’s getting close to that stature on this side of the world, too. The Moroccan Frenchman is a workhorse in his quest to conquer America and is impressing crowds and fellow comics alike. The Draw: It’s hard enough speaking a second language, let alone being funny in it. On purpose. Elmaleh speaks four languages, but he’ll be performing in just the Queen’s English. Target Audience: Cosmopolitans and open-minded citizens who don’t think foreigners are coming over and taking away North American comedians’ jobs.

GAD

Taylor Williamson gets laughs with his trademark awkward silliness.

on September 29 and 30) Taylor Williamson’s got talent. That’s what the America’s Got Talent judges think. He was the Season 8 runner-up, losing to a dancer who wasn’t anywhere near as funny. The Draw: He’s only 31, but Williamson has been at it a long time. He did his first late-night-talk-show set when he was just 20. Target Audience: He’s a young Mitch Fatel type, if that means anything to you. If not, just go and enjoy his awkward silliness.

forming Arts on October 14) Death, taxes, and the annual Just for Laughs tour. That’s all we can count on. Every fall we know the good folks in Montreal will bring a top-notch gala show to the rest of Canada. The Draw: The suave and sexy Sugar Sammy hosts, bringing out U.S. comics Alonzo Bodden and Gina Brillon. It’s a smaller group than normal, but that means more time for each of them. Target Audience: When JFL approves of a comic, you know you’re getting a solid BILL MAHER (At the Queen Elizabeth professional who knows how to deliver Theatre on October 14) Say what you laughs. Here, you’re getting three, all will about Bill Maher (and nobody’s headliners in their own right. short on opinion about the guy), but with the current president of the Div- LACHLAN PATTERSON (At the ided States of America, his voice is Comedy MIX on October 19 and 21); needed more than ever. The Draw: PHIL HANLEY (At the Comedy MIX His HBO series Real Time makes pol- from October 26 to 28) We’ve put itical discussions fun, but here he’s un- together these two different shows fettered by guests; it’s the monologue here because L.A.’s Patterson and portion of the show on steroids. Tar- New York’s Hanley both started in get Audience: Some progressives call Vancouver. Both have become big Maher an Islamophobe. Christians shooters in comedy and are playing don’t like his strong atheist views. And the downtown club one week apart. Trumpists think he’s fake news. Every- The Draw: Hanley and Patterson one else, though, thinks he’s a comedic headline all the top North American clubs, but it’ll be a homecoming at the voice of reason. MIX, where it all began for them. TarJUST FOR LAUGHS CANADIAN get Audience: Nostalgic VancouverCOMEDY TOUR (At the Bell Per- ites and those who want to get in on forming Arts Centre in Surrey on Oc- what’s hot before they feel like they’re tober 13; at the Chan Centre for Per- just bandwagon-jumping.

JOHN MULANEY (At the Queen

Elizabeth Theatre on November 10) Mulaney destroyed in his first visit to Vancouver in 2015. Then again, he destroys pretty much everywhere he goes. The Draw: He’s the Ivan Decker of America. Not quite as good, naturally, but way more famous. Thankfully, he’s got the chops to back it up. Target Audience: Mulaney’s NBC sitcom was so bad most people never saw it. Those who did have purged it from their memory, so he’s still golden in the standupcomedy world. And deservedly so, because he’s that good.

BOBBY LEE (At Yuk Yuk’s on November 30, December 1 and 2) The former Mad TV cast member is nuts. And he’s not afraid to show them… Almost. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Lee wander through the audience in his tighty-whities. The Draw: He’s unpredictable and hilarious, a unique presence on the standup scene. Target Audience: If you just want to laugh without thinking too hard, Bobby Lee can help you.

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ARTS INSIDERS WE ASKED THOSE IN THE KNOW TO REVEAL THEIR SEASON’S HIDDEN GEMS > By Tammy Kwan

M U S IC HERITAGE: SINGING CANADA’S CHORAL SONGS (Presented by the Vancouver Chamber Choir on September 22 at Dunbar Ryerson United Church) “Our opening concert on September 22 is our final Canada 150 celebration. Called Heritage, it features great Canadian composers—there are Canadian icons, B.C. icons, the past, the future, even some long-hidden treasures... A fun night of terrific music!” says Jon Washburn, artistic and executive director of the Vancouver Chamber Choir.

JANE COOP, PIANO (Presented by Music on Main on October 1 at the Vancouver Playhouse) “Music on Main may be better known for presenting new music, but we remain dedicated to great classical music, too. Jane Coop is a towering figure in the classical scene, and having a chance to present a rare Vancouver solo concert with her is a complete thrill!” says David Pay, artistic director of Music on Main.

TAPESTRY INTERNATIONAL: CELEBRATION OF WOMEN’S CHOIRS (Presented by Elektra Women’s Choir on May 4 at St. John’s Shaughnessy Anglican Church, and May 5 at Christ Church Cathedral) “Vancouver meets Iceland meets Kyoto meets Los Angeles in May 2018. Elektra’s Tapestry International: Celebration of Women’s Choirs is a collaboration between four outstanding women’s choirs. We bring the world and its music to Vancouver!” says Morna Edmundson, artistic director of Elektra Women’s Choir.

ZAKIR HUSSAIN AND DAVE HOLLAND: CROSSCURRENTS (Presented by the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on October 28) “Improvisation is essential to both jazz and Indian classical music. The Crosscurrents project, headed by tabla player Zakir Hussain and jazz bassist Dave Holland, will be an unforgettable artistic meeting of the minds with a killer band including New York saxophonist Chris Potter and Bollywood vocalist Shankar Mahadevan. You won’t want to miss it!” says Joyce Hinton, co–managing director of the Chan Centre.

MONTEVERDI’S ORFEO (Presented by Early Music Vancouver on October 29 in the Chan Shun Concert Hall) “Monteverdi’s Orfeo is the first unqualified masterpiece in operatic history, and conductor/star lutenist Stephen Stubbs knows the score as well as anybody on the planet. The score is full of dramatic word painting, narrative urgency, and rich orchestration of exotic instruments as well as exquisite writing for small vocal ensemble—it is one of my favourite works of all time,” says Matthew White, executive and artistic director of Early Music Vancouver.

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ARTS INSIDERS WE ASKED THOSE IN THE KNOW TO REVEAL THEIR SEASON’S HIDDEN GEMS

M U S IC THE DREAM OF GERONTIUS (Presented by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on November 4 and 6 at the Orpheum) “In early November, we’ll feature [Sir Edward] Elgar’s colossal work for three vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra, The Dream of Gerontius, in which an everyman character faces death, meets his guardian angel, and stands before his god to seek the promise of everlasting glory. It is epic!” says Bramwell Tovey, music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

SERIOUSLY STRINGS (Presented by Vetta Chamber Music on November 23 and 24 at West Point Grey United Church, and November 26 at Pyatt Hall) “Strings are Vetta’s thing, so if I had to choose one program, it would be Seriously Strings, which brings together six of Vancouver’s finest musicians performing [Peter Ilich] Tchaikovsky’s famous sextet Souvenir de Florence and [Wolfgang Amadeus] Mozart’s quintessential Quintet in G Minor,” says Joan Blackman, artistic director of Vetta Chamber Music.

NIKOLAJ ZNAIDER, VIOLIN WITH ROBERT KULEK, PIANO (Presented by the Vancouver Recital Society on February 4 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts) “After his stunningly successful VRS performances at the Chan Centre in 2006 and 2008, we’ve been trying to bring Nikolaj Znaider back to Vancouver for the best part of a decade. He’s hugely successful and in demand in Europe, both as a violinist and conductor, and this is the first opportunity we’ve had to get him back to Vancouver. We seized it!” says Leila Getz, artistic director of the Vancouver Recital Society.

YOSHIHARA + SAWAI (JAPAN) (Presented by Vancouver New Music on March 17 at the Annex) “Among the rich offerings of VNM’s 2017-18 season, we are excited to welcome ancestral and radical sounds from two of Japan’s most celebrated musicians devoted to new sounds and composition [Sumire Yoshihara, percussion, and Kazue Sawai, koto]. This will be a unique and rare opportunity to experience two amazing sound explorers of the Japanese contemporary-music scene,” says Giorgio Magnanensi, artistic director of Vancouver New Music.

TAKE 6 IN CONCERT (Presented by Chor Leoni on April 6 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre) “Chor Leoni’s VanMan Male Choral Festival has become a phenomenon for singers and audiences alike, and in our 25th year, we are proud to present the most decorated a cappella group of all time, TAKE 6, to this year’s weekend festival,” says Erick Lichte, conductor of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir.

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SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 37


ARTS INSIDERS WE ASKED THOSE IN THE KNOW TO REVEAL THEIR SEASON’S HIDDEN GEMS > By Tammy Kwan

DA NC E NEW WORKS SEASON LAUNCH (Presented by New Works on September 21 at the Annex) “I’m so excited about the New Works Season Launch show on September 21: six talented female artists presenting three incredible duets for one night only at the Annex, curated by the inspiring Justine Chambers,” says Quincey Kirschner, artistic director of New Works.

COMPAÑIA SHARON FRIDMAN (Presented by the Dance Centre from October 12 to 14 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre) “Sharon’s work is organic and human, its sheer warmth makes it easy to relate to. However, it is also very well crafted, and the dancers are so natural, they just look as though they are born to move this way,” says Mirna Zagar, executive director of the Dance Centre.

ENCOUNTER (Presented by the Cultch from October 17 to 22 at the York Theatre) “Powerful and athletic choreography means Encounter is dance you can feel in your body and soul. Part of our Diwali in B.C. program, this dynamic work explores Indigenous stories from India through movement and physical storytelling,” says Heather Redfern, executive director of the Cultch.

MORPHED (Presented by DanceHouse on October 27 and 28 at the Vancouver Playhouse) “A contemporary study of masculinity, Morphed, by Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen, is a muscular work that explores what makes a man and toggles between raw vulnerability and high formalism, resulting in work that is expressive, multilayered, and reflective. It will be the West Coast debut of the Tero Saarinen Company and we are thrilled to open our 10th season with this company,” says Jim Smith, DanceHouse’s artistic director.

PROGRAM 2 (Presented by Ballet BC from February 22 to 24 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre) “Ballet BC’s 2017-18 season is rich with creative originality. Not to miss in February is our firstever creation of Romeo and Juliet, envisioned for today through the inspired voice of internationally acclaimed choreographer Medhi Walerski,” says Emily Molnar, artistic director of Ballet BC.

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THEATRE THE CHRISTIANS (Presented by Pacific Theatre from September 15 to October 7 at Pacific Theatre) “A church split over heaven and hell? It’s breathtaking, dramatic, affecting... Whatever you go into the show thinking, you’ll think again,” says Ron Reed, artistic director of Pacific Theatre.

THE GOBLIN MARKET (Presented by the Cultch from October 3 to 14 at the York Theatre) “Our season opener, The Goblin Market, at the York Theatre is a sublime marriage of literature and circus performance. This hidden gem from New Zealand is visually stunning, passionate, and erotic. This is circus for adults that combines breathtaking live performance and visual imagery with a seductive musical score. A great date night!” says Heather Redfern, executive director of the Cultch.

THANKS FOR GIVING (Presented by the Arts Club from October 5 to November 4 at the Granville Island Stage) “You’ll want to catch the premiere of Thanks for Giving, a new play by Governor General’s Award–winning playwright Kevin Loring, who was recently appointed the artistic director of Indigenous theatre for the National Arts Centre,” says Bill Millerd, artistic director of the Arts Club.

IMPROV WARS: THE LAUGH JEDI (Presented by Vancouver TheatreSports League from October 5 to November 18 at the Improv Centre) “Improv Wars: The Laugh Jedi will be a galactic improv battle of epic proportions and an out-of-this-world parody that is sure to leave audience members sore from laughing,” says Jay Ono, executive director of Vancouver TheatreSports League.

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38 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Presented by Gateway Theatre from October 12 to 21 at Gateway Theatre) “If you missed A Little Night Music last spring, this is your chance to catch this mustsee production. It’s a classic musical with stunning performances from Vancouver’s leading actors,” says Jovanni Sy, artistic director of Gateway Theatre.

UNITÉ MODÈLE (SHOWROOM) (Presented by Théâtre la Seizième from October 17 to 28 at Studio 16) “I’m excited about our upcoming production of Unité Modèle by Guillaume Corbeil. It’s bold, clever, and it offers a unique perspective on the conversation surrounding the real estate market,” says Esther Duquette, artistic and managing director of Théâtre la Seizième.


ARTS INSIDERS WE ASKED THOSE IN THE KNOW TO REVEAL THEIR SEASON’S HIDDEN GEMS

HAPPY PLACE (Presented by WIVES AND DAUGHTERS Touchstone Theatre, Ruby Slippers (Presented by UBC Theatre from Theatre, and Diwali B.C. from October November 9 to 25 at the Frederic Wood 19 to 29 at the Firehall Arts Centre) “I’m Theatre) “The entire season is shaping very excited to be back at Touchstone and up to be extremely exciting. I am espefor our opening production, Happy Place, cially thrilled for the world premiere I have an awe-inspiring cast of seven of UBCTF’s own Jacqueline Firkins’s women—many of Vancouver’s greatadaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel est actresses, some familiar with one Wives and Daughters. The characters another, such as recent Brothel Number are delicious, the plot is full of intrigue, 9 Jessie award winners Laara Sadiq and the story has a surprise around and Adele Noronha, and some who have every corner!” says Stephen Heatley, been waiting to get on-stage together for- head of the department of theatre and ever, such as Colleen Wheeler and Nicola film at UBC. Cavendish. Imagine…” says Roy Surette, artistic director of Touchstone Theatre.

YOU ARE IT (Presented by Boca del Lupo in late November at the Fishbowl) “So excited to be jumping back into the room with the amazing Deb Williams and Carmen Aguirre as we work together to take You Are It to the next level as the opener in this year’s Micro Performance Series. Deb’s honesty and insights combined with Carmen’s extraordinary life experience keep us laughing and sometimes crying throughout every rehearsal, every day. Working with these two master storytellers as we dig into the complexity of female relationships is hilarious but also personally revelatory,” says Sherry J. Yoon, artistic director of Boca del Lupo.

ONLY DRUNKS AND CHILDREN TELL THE TRUTH (Presented by the Firehall Arts Centre from November 11 to December 2 at the Firehall Arts Centre) “Although Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth was originally produced at the Firehall in the ’90s, the mastery of Indigenous playwright Drew Hayden Taylor is still relevant and riveting today,” says Firehall Arts Centre g.m. Susan Shank.

TURANDOT (Presented by Vancouver Opera from October 13 to 21 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre) “Turandot is a work of epic proportions and Puccini’s final masterpiece…featuring a massive chorus, orchestra, and one of the most beloved tenor arias in all of the operatic repertoire,” says Leslie Dala, associate conductor and chorus director of Vancouver Opera.

WILDERNESS (Presented by Studio 58 from November 16 to December 3 at Studio 58) “Six teenagers kidnapped by their parents and sent to a wilderness camp as a last resort to straighten them out—eloquent, edgy and real theatre that resonates,” says Kathryn Shaw, director of Studio 58.

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THE VERONA QUARTET SUN SEP 17 at 3pm I VANCOUVER PLAYHOUSE

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“A sensational, powerhouse performance.” - Classical Voice America

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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 7PM & SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2PM, ORPHEUM Constantine Kitsopoulos conductor Now audiences can experience the full ground-breaking film Jurassic Park as never before: projected in HD with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performing the magnificent John Williams score LIVE to picture. One of the most thrilling science fiction adventures ever made, and featuring one of John Williams’ most iconic and beloved musical scores, Jurassic Park transformed the movie-going experience for an entire generation and became the highest-grossing film of all time in 1993, winning three Academy Awards®. Welcome...to Jurassic Park! MEDIA SPONSOR

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SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 39


ARTS

With Embryotrophic Cavatina, Jay Hirabayashi and Barbara Bourget circle back on a piece they started 20 years ago, and find new life in it. Peter Eastwood photo.

Kokoro delves deeper into human existence > B Y JAN ET SMITH

I

n Kokoro Dance’s subterranean new KW Studios space, four still figures are coming to life slowly, ever so slowly, as if they are emerging from the primordial ooze. Jay Hirabayashi stands, knees bent, with laser focus, while Barbara Bourget lies in a fetal ball; Molly McDermott is collapsed over her knees on the floor and Billy Marchenski is flat on his back, legs splayed. To the sobbing strings and horns of Zbigniew Preisner’s Requiem for My Friend, their seized limbs begin to move. We have witnessed the threedecade-old Vancouver company take on themes of birth and death before; as interpreters of Japanese butoh, that will always be the substance of their work. And we have seen Kokoro dancers move with this slow but intensely committed action over the years. But what Kokoro has never quite done before is choreograph four separate but simultaneous solos, as Bourget and Hirabayashi do here, in this section of their new, fulllength Embryotrophic Cavatina. “We’ve developed a lot of material and we have to figure out where it fits together, where there are resonances and interconnections,” says Hirabayashi, who explains that the four have built the solos as a group. “It’s something I remember early in my career that Balanchine did,” explains Bourget, who once trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. “It was really intricate and precise and complex at the same time.” Bourget was drawn by the metaphorical value of staging simultaneous solos. “In life we have different paths. We share some things and we don’t share others,” she says, still breathing hard after the rehearsal. “You’re born, you become a teenager, you marry and have children.… If you take our four children, their paths have been incredibly different, even though they’ve been interconnected. Now we have five grandchildren and we’re seeing it repeat itself. “Dance really does that the best: it’s really expressing what it is to be human.” In a way, that’s always what Kokoro has tried to express. But now, with Bourget 67 and Hirabayashi 70— both preternaturally youthful—the theme is coming into sharper focus. “You do get a certain wisdom as you age—even though you make the same mistakes,” says Bourget with a laugh. Embryotrophic Cavatina swirls with these ideas of mortality and the ups and downs of life—“pain and joy and everything in between”, as Bourget puts it. It’s a piece the duo has been working on, intermittently, for the past 20 40 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017

years. A major inspiration was Polish composer Preisner’s moving score, which is split into two parts: the first, “Requiem”; the second, “Life”, as the dance turns back into the world of the living after dwelling in grief. Kokoro had created a moving short to the first section, but had always dreamed of developing it into the full 69 minutes of Preisner’s score. That goal was reignited last year, when Bourget and Hirabayashi were teaching a workshop at Cuba’s Danza Teatro Retazos and performed the briefer version of Embryotrophic Cavatina. “They were so moved, we knew we had to do a full piece,” Bourget says. Back in Vancouver, the company’s been able to find added inspiration working on Embryotrophic Cavatina in its technically superb 3,802-squarefoot production studio beneath the atrium of the Woodward’s Building— a space where Preisner’s haunting score immerses them. They’ve been creating it with two of their long-time dancers, McDermott and Marchenski, who have by now absorbed the duo’s profound approach to butoh-inspired movement. How difficult is it to move so determinedly slowly, as they do off the top of this section? “I think after working with them for 10 years I move slower each day,” McDermott says, smiling. “But even though it may appear we’re moving slow, inside we’re moving really fast.” “Barbara and Jay talk about trying to say the most with the least amount of effort,” adds Marchenski. “As you pare things away emotionally and psychologically, the obstacles to expression get stripped away and you’re expressing in a really deep level.… So you’re moving in a small way but you’re full of sensation.” In the first part, “Requiem”, Kokoro has also stripped down the set, with the dancers performing nude except for loincloths, wearing the familiar ghostly white body paint of butoh. The second part, “Life”, fittingly comes to life with artist Tsuneko “Koko” Kokubo’s colourful costumes and projected paintings. Creating with its collaborators, Kokoro, after two decades of working on this piece, is circling back on its own history and finding new life—and loss—in it. “If you’ve gone full circle, then you start again, and I don’t really feel that we’ve completed any cycle,” Hirabayashi stresses. “We’re still finding new things to explore.” Embryotrophic Cavatina is at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre from Wednesday to Saturday (September 20 to 23) and from September 26 to 29.


ARTS

Warren Kimmel is impressive in the one-man show about a Jewish actor facing the shutdown of The Merchant of Venice, Tim Matheson photo.

Shylock takes on new shades in today’s world TH E AT RE SHYLOCK Written by Mark Leiren-Young. Directed by Sherry J. Yoon. Produced by Bard on the Beach. On the Howard Family Stage on Thursday, September 7. Continues to September 15

Even in 1996, when Mark Leiren-

2 Young’s Shylock debuted at Bard

> ANDREA WARNER

BUY NOW

THE EPIC CONCLUSION IS HERE...

THE CAST. PHOTO BY DAVID COOPER

on the Beach, the term politically correct was more often an insult than a compliment, despite all of the people genuinely attempting to disengage themselves from or challenge racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression. The “PC police” were insufferable nags ruining everything because they couldn’t take a joke or understand context. Shylock is a one-man show about a Jewish actor, Jon Davies (an impressive Warren Kimmel), whose performance of the titular character in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice draws the wrath of an angry professor who accuses him of anti-Semitism and calls for a boycott of the play. We’re told about how her outrage rallied others to the point that the production stooped to offering nightly talkbacks after every show, and eventually picketers showed up, leading to the Merchant of Venice’s early cancellation. Frustrated by what he perceives as bowing down to censorship, Davies stages his own talkback to address the controversy. As Shylock progresses, the exploration of anti-Semitism and Jewish history is fascinating, but all of that ends up taking a back seat because every five or 10 minutes, there’s another reference to how “nobody will ever have to

be offended again.” The character of the professor is such a cartoon of outrage that there’s never any real sense that Davies takes her seriously, particularly because he interprets her successful shutdown of Merchant as the beginning of the end for all “great” art that happens to be problematic. His slippery-slope panic imagines a future where everything is banned. This faux hand-wringing is frustratingly familiar, and smug dismissals, false equivalencies, and ill-advised contemporary tweaks abound. Davies calls talkbacks “nightly apologies” and “safety nets so no one gets triggered”. He casually shrugs off concerns about “improper pronoun usage”, invokes Donald Trump, and uses phrases like “the sensitivity police”. If one spends 90 minutes complaining about sensitivity, who is the overly sensitive one? Twenty-one years after Shylock’s debut, there is, arguably, an even sharper divide between those who challenge and confront systems of oppression and those who uphold them. In conflating the professor’s boycott with safe spaces, trigger warnings, and pronoun preference, Shylock passes on an opportunity to contend with a different approach to the conversation. Imagine an alternate version of this play that isn’t about defending Shakespeare’s artistic value—that’s been established, he’s fine, we’re at Bard on the Beach, which is very successful—and instead challenges the systems of white supremacy that have gone into determining what is and is not “important” art for hundreds of years.

ANGELS IN AMERICA

PERESTROIKA

Now playing to October 8! playing at stanley industrial alliance stage

granville island stage

goldcorp stage at the bmo theatre centre

SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 41


ARTS

Love, death, and S & M: the Fringe has got it all BOMBAY BLACK This is one of the

most harrowing, unsettling, and mesmerizing plays I’ve ever seen. Ten hours after leaving the theatre, I’m still shaken by its uniquely poetic horror, and marvelling at the complexity of what acclaimed playwright Anosh Irani weaves in Bombay Black’s dense 75 minutes. Padma (Nimet Kanji) and her daughter, Apsara (Agam Darshi), live in an apartment by the sea where Apsara dances for men and Padma is, essentially, her madam. When the blind Kamal (Munish Sharma) arrives for his appointment, he upends their lives in unimaginable ways. The performances are all stellar, but Kanji is unforgettable as the diabolical Padma, who belongs in the hall of fame of horrifying fictional mothers. At the Vancity Culture Lab at the Cultch on September 13 (8:50 p.m.) and 16 (7:05 p.m.)

> ANDREA WARNER

BRAIN MACHINE If this show were a

Facebook post, it would qualify as one of the “clickbait thinkpieces” whose online prevalence Andrew Bailey laments (or maybe just observes) in this monologue. That’s not an insult: Brain Machine is fascinating, informative, personal, and relevant. Bailey subtly, skillfully braids the stories of the Internet’s inventors with his own experience of going viral; both his writing and his delivery are informed by his standup comedy skills. Example: “I hate things that are noisy and distracting, but I moved to Toronto anyway.” Go, learn, laugh, take hope. At Arts Umbrella on September 13 (6:15 p.m.), 14 (8 p.m.), 15 (9:45 p.m.), and 17 (6:15 p.m.) > KATHLEEN OLIVER

YOUR PRINCESS IS IN ANOTHER CASTLE Playwright-actors Nancy

Kenny and Wes Babcock have crafted a live-wire satire set in a not-sodistant future wherein all the bees are dead and society’s obsession with reality television has ruined the world. Also, half the population is just mannequins. There are so many moments of brilliance here, and the hilarious dialogue is just one framable quote after another. Kenny is perfect as Princess Polly, reality-show famous and a once-principled train wreck, and Babcock’s pseudo–Prince Charming is deliciously awful at every turn. The piece tackles everything from the environment and gender roles to politics and pop culture, plus countless other areas, but a sharper focus would make its social commentary even more effective. At Studio 1398 on September 14 (8:35 p.m.) and 16 (8:10 p.m.) > AW

BC.CultureDays.ca #bcculturedays

42 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017

In Graceless Grace, Natalie Collins plays a deluded, talentless dancer.

and giddy transgressiveness (a toilet talks, toothbrushes engage in X-rated activities) make it a must-see for anyone who appreciates artistic risk— and wildly original success. At the Firehall Arts Centre on September 14 (5 p.m.), 15 (10:15 p.m.), 16 (noon), and 17 (4:15 p.m.) > KO 7 WAYS TO DIE: A LOVE STORY

Rachel and Irving live across the hall from one another. They’re timid individuals but each seems to like the other, at least a little bit. However, Rachel has a few other things on her mind, like constantly finding new ways to try to end her life. This is going to be triggering for some people, but the reward is a gently morbid love story that’s difficult, funny, and a little weird. Staged in the spirit of a silent film or an old-fashioned cartoon, 7 Ways to Die sees playwrights and performers Keltie and Alexander Forsyth wear large masks that completely obscure their faces. In the Forsyths’ bodies, Rachel and Irving are vividly human, and beautifully convey the anguish and hope that bring these two into each other’s worlds. At Studio 16 on September 16 (6:30 p.m.) and 17 (3:45 p.m.) > AW

GRACELESS GRACE Grace Monroe is an 18-year-old who dreams of becoming a famous dancer and getting out of Hope, B.C. The only problem is, she really doesn’t have any talent. Natalie Collins’s solo show presents as lighthearted and quirky, but there’s also some cunning commentary about the alleged narcissism of millennials, whom the media keeps denigrating for their socialmedia addictions, empty insta-fame goals, and lack of work ethic. Collins is a charming performer, and the stiffness of her limbs perfectly conveys Grace’s inherent awkwardness, which makes every audition sequence in particular a total delight. As she finally grapples with the truth—she’s a terrible dancer— Grace lashes out, and this is where Collins truly shines, in the craggy outrage of adolescent impatience and crumbling bravado. At the Waterfront Theatre on September 15 (10:25 p.m.) and 17 (7:15 p.m.) > AW

FIGMENTALLY This is a wonderful and weird little story about a struggling writer whose book seems to come to life as she’s writing it. Even though it’s about a writer, there are refreshingly few lines of dialogue. Performed by Drea Lusion and Eric Parthum, a pair of real-life children’s circus arts instructors who are charming, expressive, and funny, this wildly imaginative show is based mostly in movement, physical comedy, acrobatics, and, of course, circus arts. There’s an incredible sequence involving Lusion and a chair, which is gut-bustingly funny, but also beautifully conveys just how difficult the act of sitting down to write can be. The audience wasn’t just spellbound; we were kids again, dazzled, delighted, and awed. At the Revue Stage on September 15 (5 p.m.) and 16 (4 p.m.) > AW EVERYBODY DIES IN DECEMBER Claire, a third-generation funeral MULTIPLE ORGANISM Here’s a show director, spends most of her time unlike anything you’ve ever seen. talking to dead bodies on her table: Even die-hard fans of Mind of a Snail, old crushes, strangers, family whose work is usually family-friendly, friends. These interactions are are in for a surprise—and a treat. This much easier than the mess of livadults-only show begins with a pro- ing, and her explicit envy of these jection of a mouth on a naked female corpses and the way in which she torso whose breasts have been painted professes her love for each of them with big googly eyes. This character are, yes, creepy, but also deeply walks us through its daily groom- vulnerable. Claire guards her soft, ing routine, which contains surprise broken self behind a hardness that after hilarious surprise. The show’s is both survival instinct and perfreewheeling inventiveness, technical formative. Playwright and actor see next page precision, visual and acoustic texture,


Nancy Kenny is riveting and the character of Claire is brilliantly nuanced. Macabre, funny, and surprisingly heartbreaking, Everybody Dies is both a dark comedy and a tension-filled emotional thriller. At Studio 1398 on September 14 (5:10 p.m.), 16 (1:15 p.m.), and 17 (8:30 p.m.) > AW CHRIS & TRAVIS A power failure

that plunged their venue into darkness on the opening night of the Fringe couldn’t stop Chris Ross and Travis Bernhardt: they performed outside their venue, lit by audience members’ phones. The show, entirely improvised and performed in gibberish, exploits a very porous boundary between audience and performers; be prepared to play along. The performance I saw had occasional moments of comic genius, like a perfectly paced sketch in which two mourners try to retrieve their wedding rings from the body of a deceased friend, but other bits struggled to find shape. That’s improv: you don’t always hit your groove, but you can have a lot of fun trying. At Carousel Theatre on September 15 (8 p.m.), 16 (3 p.m.), and 17 (6:45 p.m.) > KO

AIN’T TRUE & UNCLE FALSE Ken-

tucky native Paul Strickland cranks up the charm meter with his wholly original tales of Big Fib Trailer Park, home to his Ain’t True and Uncle False and a host of other fascinating and not in the least believable folk. Most of them work in the town’s pea-punching plant—“where they punch peas until they’re black-eyed”. Strickland creates distinct characters with simple shifts in voice and gesture, and his stories are packed with delightfully absurd details: peas canned in plastic pantyhose eggs, a snow sculpture of a bowling alley, a pair of sisters conjoined by wishful thinking. The stories (and a couple of songs) are a loving tribute to Strickland’s grandfather, whose spirit gives the show its structure (Big Fib evokes both tall tales and the tones of a defibrillator) and nuggets of downhome wisdom. This one will tickle your imagination while it warms your heart. Enjoy. At Performance Works on September 14 (5 p.m.) and 16 (4:35 p.m.) > KO

CRY-BABY THE MUSICAL When teenage bad boy (with a sensitive side) Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker meets suburban sweetheart Allison Vernon-Williams, sparks fly and 1950s Baltimore is turned upside down. Teen angst, romance, and fearlessness challenge societal prejudice and classism in this hilarious, highenergy musical. The show is driven by the sensational Victor Hunter, whose characterization conjures shades of Elvis Presley and Johnny Depp; the standout performance of sweet Katrina Teitz; and a fabulous cast of young talent. This over-the-top satiric musical with a sincere and timeless message is a rocking good time. At the Firehall Arts Centre on September 13 (6 p.m.), 16 (3:15 p.m.), and 17 (2 and 7:15 p.m.) > VINCE KANASOOT BONDAGE The shows that sound the

kinkiest are often the ones with the most talking, and this production of Bondage, by playwright David Henry Hwang, is no exception. In an S & M dungeon, a female dominatrix and her male submissive client are having their usual play session in full, leatherlike bodysuits, chains, and masks. His fantasies centre on the two role-playing as members of different races, interrogating the sexual politics and power structures of, in the first encounter, a blond, white woman and an Asian man. Even though 2017 feels like the necessary time to revisit a ’90s meditation on race, racism, and gender, Bondage’s spank is a bit too soft to leave an impression. At the Vancity Culture Lab on September 14 (9 p.m.), 15 (9:25 p.m.), 16 (3:15 p.m.), and 17 (8 p.m.) > AW ROLLER COASTER TJ Dawe has built his career on turning his preoccupations of the moment into intelligent, funny monologues. His latest braids together theme parks,

religion and the occult, Donald Trump’s presidency, the reasons we go to war, and much more. With his rapid-fire delivery, Dawe can cram in a mountain of interesting details, but his genius is to ground the abstract in the personal: he jumps up and down effusing about journalist and cultural critic Barbara Ehrenreich, for example. Imagining a postapocalyptic future, he wonders, “What value would there be in that situation for an autobiographical monologist?” I was hooked for the first two-thirds of Roller Coaster, but my attention began to wane. In its current form, this show may have one or two more threads than it can comfortably hold, but I’d still recommend it for Dawe’s fans. At the Firehall Arts Centre on September 15 (8:15 p.m.) and 16 (8:45 p.m.) > AW The premise is ACCELERATION smart: Elise, a grad student in biology, wanders into a physics lecture and ends up searching for the Higgs boson, a theoretical particle. What she’s really looking for is her missing sister. But playwright Caroline Sniatynski gives us too much of the present-day story (which includes a chipper undergrad and a perky neighbour, both foils to Elise’s griefstricken somnambulism) and too little about the sister’s disappearance. More of the back story might enable Leslie Dos Remedios to explore a wider range of feeling than the flat numbness we see here, especially since, under Ulla Laidlaw’s direction, she spends a lot of time miming staring at computer screens. More life, please. At the Revue Stage on September 13 (10:15 p.m.), 15 (8:30 p.m.), and 16 (2:15 p.m.). > KO JUST NOT THAT WOMAN Why did Hillary lose? Ali Kennedy Scott strains to use the metaphor of magic: in alternating scenes, she plays a magician explaining her secrets, and then various Americans reacting to the election results. Some of these people say very entertaining things: “Liberals have this idea that people want to spend their days reading political stuff—but they don’t!” But it’s not always clear who they are or who they’re talking to, and their order feels arbitrary. Scott’s an engaging performer, but the play and its endless costume changes go on much too long. Stick to YouTube. At the Firehall Arts Centre on September 13 (8:15 p.m.), 15 (6:45 p.m.), and 16 (1:45 p.m.). > KO

Keara Barnes really did move to Ireland, fall in love, and almost become a stepmom. She plays all of the roles in her one-woman show with confidence, smoothly embodying each character’s physiology with an arch of the back or a sinking of the shoulders. But there’s something almost exploitive about this piece, and in part it’s because the antagonist—the mother of Barnes’s almost-stepdaughter—is a cliché. She’s no more nuanced than an evil Jessica Rabbit with a foul mouth and a drinking problem. It’s almost impossible to feel an emotional connection, even when we know we should, because there just aren’t enough layers to grab onto. At Arts Umbrella on September 13 (9:45 p.m.), 15 (6:15 p.m.), 16 (8 p.m.), and 17 (9:45 p.m.) > AW

ALMOST

A

STEPMOM

THE AUDIENCE DIES AT THE END

Wally, an actor, makes a pact with the devil: he’ll travel and become famous, and all he has to do is lure unsuspecting theatre audiences to their deaths. Playwright and actor Blair Moro is a confident physical comedian, but there are two jarringly awful moments that I hope he will consider revisiting. First, Wally describes India as a “hell hole”, complaining that “all the children smelled like a sewer.” Then Moro actually adopts a racist “Asian” accent to play the drug-crazed Uncle Jack, whom he meets in Bangkok. White people need to stop doing racist accents. At Arts Umbrella on September 14 (6:15 p.m.), 15 (8 p.m.), and 16 (9:45 p.m.) > AW

Celebrate l b the h Georgia i Straight’s i h’ 50th Anniversary with a limited edition Bob Masse poster! Available for a limited time and is signed by the artist Bob Masse and Georgia Straight’s publisher Dan Mcleod

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SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 43


SUBSCRIBE TODAY TO AN EXCITING NEW SEASON! HERITAGE Singing Canada’s Choral Songs 8pm Friday, September 22, 2017 Dunbar Ryerson United Church

THE MASTERS Great Choral Music 8pm Friday, October 13, 2017 Dunbar Ryerson United Church

NEW VISTAS The Latest in Choral Music 3pm and 7:30pm Saturday, November 4, 2017 Christ Church Cathedral

REJOICE! European Carols & Readings 8pm Friday, December 1, 2017 Dunbar Ryerson United Church

A BAROQUE CHRISTMAS

Bach and More for Christmas 8pm Saturday, December 16, 2017 The Orpheum

RIVERS OF LIGHT

Choral Explorations I with Timothy Shantz 8pm Friday, January 26, 2018 Dunbar Ryerson United Church

MAESTRO! The Annual Conductors’ Concert 8pm Saturday, February 17, 2018 Dunbar Ryerson United Church

MOODS AND MODES Emotion in Music 8pm Friday, March 9, 2018 Dunbar Ryerson United Church

RACHMANINOV VESPERS and Lauridsen Lux aeterna 8pm Friday, March 30, 2018 The Orpheum

LIGHT TRANSFORMING

Choral Explorations II with Michael Zaugg 8pm Friday, April 20, 2018 Dunbar Ryerson United Church

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44 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017

Subscribe to all 10 wonderful concerts or choose four or more – it’s up to you. Call for your season brochure 604.738.6822.

vancouverchamberchoir.com


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/muchado-about-nothing/.

ANGELS IN AMERICA, PART TWO: PERESTROIKA The Arts Club Theatre Company presents director Kim Collier’s version of playwright Tony Kushner’s work that sees characters wrestle with their ideologies as the AIDS epidemic rages in 1980s America. To Oct 8, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville). Info www.artsclub.com/.

ar ts/ timeout THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY LITERARY EVENTS GALLERIES MUSEUMS

< < < < < < <

THEATRE 2ONGOING VANCOUVER FRINGE FESTIVAL Take in 100 shows and 700 performances in a multiday event that strives to break down traditional boundaries and encourage open dialogue between audiences and artists by presenting live, unjuried, uncensored theatre in an accessible and informal environment. To Sep 17, various Vancouver venues. Info www.vancouverfringe.com/. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeare’s comedy set in

THE WINTER’S TALE Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeare’s drama in which the love of two young people becomes the catalyst for reunion, redemption, and a family’s healing. To Sep 22, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bard onthebeach.org/2017/the-winters-tale/. GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES As part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Island Productions presents playwright Rajiv Joseph’s darkly comic tale of love, pain, and friendship. To Sep 17, 7-1:40 pm, Vancity Culture Lab (the Cultch, 1895 Venables). Tix $14, info www.island-productions.ca/. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents William Shakespeare’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 Shakespeare’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/.

A DAVID LYNCH WET DREAM Onewoman show tells the story of a character trying to find her place within a harsh and intangible landscape. Part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival. To Sep 17, Revue Stage (1601 Johnston Street). Tix $14, info www. facebook.com/events/1846198002375652/. 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. To Sep 15, Bard on the Beach (1000 Chestnut). Tix from $21, info www.bard onthebeach.org/2017/shylock/. BOMBAY BLACK The Vancouver Fringe Festival presents Rohit Chokhani’s play that delves into a blind man’s world. To Sep 16, Vancity Culture Lab (the Cultch, 1895 Venables). Tix $14 (plus membership fee), info bit.ly/2fnpGrG.

CITY OF VANCOUVER

AWARD 2017 CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FINALISTS! Four books that reflect Vancouver’s unique character, culture, rich diversity and history are the finalists for the 2017 CITY OF VANCOUVER BOOK AWARD. The 29th annual City of Vancouver Book Award will be presented at the Mayor’s Arts Awards on October 11. Sam Wiebe INVISIBLE DEAD Penguin Random House Canada

DANCE 2THIS WEEK VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FLAMENCO FESTIVAL Take in workshops and ticketed performances featuring a lineup of local and international flamenco artists like Fuensanta “La Moneta”, Calle Verdi, Christina Tremblay, Fin de Fiesta, and Flamenco Rosario. Presented by Flamenco Rosario. To Sep 24, various Vancouver venues. Tix from free to $60, info www.vancouverflamencofestival.org/. KOKORO DANCE: EMBRYOTROPHIC CAVATINA The local butoh ensemble presents the world premiere of a new work

see next page

Gabrielle Prendergast PANDAS ON THE EASTSIDE

Carleigh Baker BAD ENDINGS Anvil Press

Orca Book Publishers

Susan Point, Grant Arnold, Ian M. Thom, Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, Thomas Cannell, Myrtle Mckay, and William (Bill) McLennan SUSAN POINT: SPINDLE WHORL Vancouver Art Gallery and Black Dog Publishing

vancouver.ca/bookaward Phone: 3-1-1 TTY: 7-1-1

September 7-17, 2017 On and around Granville Island & East Vancouver.

LAST CHANCE TO FRINGE: THIS WEEKEND ONLY! VancouverFringe.com

SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 45


Arts time out

from previous page

choreographed by Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi. Sep 20-29, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). Info www.kokoro.ca/.

SAUDADE Choreographer Joshua Beamish and MOVETHECOMPANY present in a new work featuring a cello score by Hildur GuĂ°nadĂłttir. Sep 20-23, 8 pm, Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie). Tix $32/24, info www.thedancecentre.ca/.

COMEDY 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. Cover $8 Tue, $10 Wed, $15 Thu, $18 Fri, $20 Sat. 2PAUL MYREHAUG Sep 14-16 2STEPH TOLEV Sep 21-23 2JOHN ROY Sep 28-30

donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out!

MUSIC 2THIS WEEK RESOUNDING DUNBAR RYERSON An evening of music by the Postmodern Camerata, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Vancouver Orpheus Male Voice Choir, and Vancouver Youth Choir raises money for the Dunbar Ryerson United Church. Sep 16, 7:30 pm, Dunbar Ryerson United Church (2205 W. 45th). Tix $35, info www. facebook.com/events/1733094613658929/. TIMOTHY CHOOI Music in the Morning presents the Canadian violinist. Sep 20-21, 10:30-11:30 am, Dunbar Ryerson United Church (2205 W. 45th). $38/35/17, info www.musicinthemorning.org/.

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daring and innovative improv. #NoFilter (Thu, 9:15 pm); Oh, Canada: The True North Strong and Funny (Thu, Fri, and Sat, 7:30 pm); Ok Tinder (Fri and Sat, 11:15 pm); Rookie Night (Sun, 7:30 pm); TheatreSports (Tue and Wed, 7:30 pm; Wed, 9:15 pm; Fri and Sat, 9:30 pm). Sep 13-20, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Granville Island). Info www.vtsl.com/.

2THIS WEEK CHRIS AND TRAVIS Multiple Pick of the Fringe winners Travis Bernhardt and Chris Ross present an evening of improv comedy. To Sep 17, Carousel Theatre (1411 Cartwright, Granville Island). Tix $14, info www.travisbernhardt.com/. FIELD ZOOLOGY 101 As part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival, field zoologist Brad Gooseberry teaches you how to thrive and survive in the world of field zoology. To Sep 16, False Creek Community Centre (1318 Cartwright St., Granville Island). Tix $11, info www.van couverfringe.com/.

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. Cover Tue $10, Wed $7, Thu $10, and Fri-Sat $20. 2GARRETT CLARK CHRIS ROCK American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director performs Sep 14-16 2ALEX WOOD Sep 21-23 2THE on his Total Blackout Tour. Sep 14, doors BRETT MARTIN SHOW Sep 22 2TAYLOR 7 pm, show 8 pm, Thunderbird Arena WILLIAMSON Sep 28-30 (6066 Thunderbird Blvd., UBC). Tix VANCOUVER THEATRESPORTS $150/95/65 (plus service charges and LEAGUE Some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most fees) at www.livenation.com/.

LITERARY EVENTS 2THIS WEEK WORD VANCOUVER Celebrate the written word with 100 readings and presentations, 150 authors and panellists, 25 workshops, and 75 exhibitors. Sep 19-24, various Vancouver venues. Free admission, info www.wordvancouver.ca/. SALMAN RUSHDIE IN CONVERSATION Salman Rushdie discusses his latest epic novel, The Golden House. Presented by the Vancouver Writers Fest, in association with the Indian Summer Festival. Sep 19, 7:30 pm, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (6265 Crescent Rd., UBC). Tix $15-30, info www.writersfest.bc.ca/salmanrushdie/.

GALLERIES BILL REID GALLERY OF NORTHWEST COAST ART 639 Hornby, 604-682-3455, www.billreidgallery.ca/. 2INTANGIBLE: MEMORY AND INNOVATION IN COAST SALISH ART (exhibition spotlights six trailblazing Coast Salish artists influenced by tradition as well as contemporary inspiration) to Dec 10 VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, 604-662-4719, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/.

2CLAUDE MONETâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SECRET GARDEN (exhibit showcases 38 paintings that span the career of the French artist who is regarded as a master of the impressionist movement) to Oct 1

MUSEUMS MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER 1100 Chestnut Street, 604-736-4431, www.museumofvancouver.ca/. 2UNBELIEVABLE (iconic artifacts, storied replicas, and contested objects for an exploration of the role stories play in defining lives and communities and what happens when we question the tales weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve long relied upon) to Sep 24 THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, www.moa. ubc.ca/. 2TRACES OF WORDS: ART AND CALLIGRAPHY FROM ASIA (multimedia exhibition examines the physical traces of words, both spoken and recorded, that are unique to humans) to Oct 9

TIME OUT ARTS LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.

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MOVIES REVIEWS LONG TIME RUNNING A documentary by Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. Rated PG

Has any band ever been more Canadian than

2 the Tragically Hip? Its three-decade life cycle,

with virtually no changes in personnel or basic approach, already makes the Hip unique in rock history. The fact that their hard-earned success as a live act never really broke their records outside the country has somehow contributed to what you might call outsized hometown pride. The reality that they pulled off their biggest tour ever in mid2016—after leader Gord Downie was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer—says something deep about them, and about the Canadian character. In this 95-minute souvenir, veteran docmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier follow the cross-country tour from Victoria to hometown Kingston, with stops in the other towns

Shots from the Hip

A fashion-forward Gord Downie leads his bandmates in the Tragically Hip through their final paces in Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier‘s Long Time Running.

In France, and in the original title, she’s referred to as a sage femme, or wise woman—which also sums up her orderly, almost monA new documentary fully and completely captures the most astic life. She works in a standard hospital and we Canadian of rock bands on its courageous farewell tour get to see several of what that live-streamed the widely seen final show. really look like live births, but her profession They also talk to doctors, tech specialists, and is under threat from more streamlined medical band members—especially hirsute guitarists Paul practices. And now her domestic world is upLanglois and Rob Baker—about the trepidations ended by the long-lost stepmother, who manages to push in all fronts. None of this tug of and satisfactions of the final journey. There are no archival nods to the band’s his- war keeps Béatrice from smoking, drinking, tory, and no family members conveying personal eating like a queen, and gambling large bags of anecdotes, so everything stays pretty much in cash in dubious surroundings. There is some narrative predictability to the the present and very recent tense. The structure, alternating well-recorded concert footage with central dynamic, which sends an untamable dertalking heads, can’t help but resemble the reality- vish whirling into an almost saintly figure who TV approach. Still, they are engaging guys, and needs shaking up. But writer-director Martin the fashion-forward Downie is, as ever, a candid Provost doesn’t make his central characters leap interview subject. In a rare moment recalling the too far from where they start. And he brings in band’s beginnings, he says, “It was terrifying to engaging side players, such as a long-haul truck get on-stage. It always was, and it never stopped.” driver (Olivier Gourmet) who shares Claire’s love Of course, facing fear is what drives this event, of gardening, and her son (Quentin Dolmaire), and the movie, forward. And for viewers, this pro- whose resemblance to his late grandfather shakes vides both inspiration and a certain predictability. Béatrice to her core. Because the meaty, two-hour tale is so esGiven the similarity of setups and locations (stadiums, dressing rooms, stages), there’s not much sentially naturalistic, it takes time to notice tonal variety. A little tighter editing would help. how elegantly framed, shot, and edited it is. In On the other hand, superfans will naturally want fact, Provost’s reach for some more exaggerated as much of Gord and the boys as they can get. stylistic effects near the end provides its only “I wanted the show to go on forever,” says Rob missteps. In any case, with two Catherines this great, the labour was bound to go well. Baker of that last concert. In a way, it will. > KEN EISNER

> KEN EISNER

small truck windows. The effect is terrifying and disorienting—exactly the effect Diab needs to evoke the complex failures of the Arab Spring and the loss of humanity during unrest. Clash refuses to take sides. The anti–Muslim Brotherhood contingent spans a bleach-blond DJ, a female nurse, her young son, and an elderly man with diabetes. The Muslim Brotherhood members who get thrown in with them include a veiled teenage girl and pious young devotees. The two groups hate each other, but they have one thing in common: they despise the two journalists thrown in with them more. “An activist should die for a cause, not a photo,” one spits at them. Still, as things become grimmer, they start to help each other, taking turns breathing through the window, and forming a human wall so someone can pee in private. Some moments ring false, as when MB members stop the action to question their politics or two men scuffle over a girlfriend. These people have more pressing matters to worry about. The heat is starting to suffocate them, bullets are ripping through the metal of their locked truck, and there are no toilets or water. Ultimately, the biggest danger they face, however, lies outside their rolling prison: the angry street mobs—whatever their allegiances. The climax, set amid the insane frenzy of the revolution’s green laser-pointer beams, will remind you of the last zombie-apocalypse movie you saw. So it’s not a pleasant ride—you’ll be relieved when you can escape this patrol wagon from hell. But Diab has created a thought-provoking and timely hell all the same. > JANET SMITH

THE MIDWIFE

CLASH

RAT FILM

Starring Catherine Deneuve. In French, with English subtitles. Rated PG

Starring Nelly Karim. Rating unavailable

A documentary by Theo Anthony. Rating unavailable

Catherine Deneuve gives a towering performance as Béatrice, a dying woman who looks back on her life and attempts to fix a couple of her very few regrets. Her principal sorrow, aside from the brain tumour she can no longer ignore, is having abandoned Claire, the young daughter of her former lover, some 30 years before she returns to Paris to look for them both—presumably because she needs help in what’s coming. Since Béatrice has lost touch with all the people from her past and doesn’t know Google from Gogol, she hasn’t heard that the dad died soon after she left. Or that Claire—played by the equally formidable Catherine Frot—is now a 50-something single mom with a son in medical school and a stern passion for her own work, as a midwife.

2

Clash opens with its camera in the back of

In Rat Film, a taxonomy of urban life is

roaring along a road. Get used to it: in this claustrophobic, combustible little study from Egyptian director Mohamed Diab, you, the viewer, are not going to escape these cramped confines for the next hour and a half. You’re going to be trapped along with the growing number of rival rioters and journalists thrown into its smothering confines during the tumultuous weeks after the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in 2013. The movie maintains an amazingly controlled point of view and sharp handheld camera work, only showing you the chaos erupting in the streets—riot police, people throwing rocks, teargas explosions, gunfire—through the bars of those

light and disgust. First-time feature-maker Theo Anthony was looking for doc subjects in his native Baltimore when he came upon a size-large rodent in a trash can and caught some footage on his smartphone. When he called city hall with basic questions about pest control, he encountered rat-catcher Harold Edmond, a public pest-control expert who became a kind of tour guide to urban decay in many other forms. The young writer-director brings an anthropologist’s eye to the spectre of Rattus norvegicus and other subspecies overtaking human populations in impoverished places. Alongside his ramblings with

2 an empty truck, one with barred windows, 2 laid out in vignettes that alternately de-

H U MP ! ON TOAST >>>

I

t’s nothing you’d ever learn about in home economics, but the short film “Breakfast in Bed” presents a novel way of buttering your toast. Anyone who caught the human “lube dispenser” at last year’s HUMP! Film Festival will get the gist of the piece, which is all that needs to be said about it at this point. “I’m not necessarily turned on by this practice, but I’m glad that it encourages alternative approaches to dairy and intimacy,” quips Ty Wardwell during a Skype chat from Berlin with the Georgia Straight. Getting Wardwell to speak is no small deal. Anyone familiar with Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival will know that organizers have been deadly serious about anonymity since HUMP! first invited participants in Portland and Seattle to become amateur porno makers back

in 2005. Try to sneak a crafty souvenir out of the Rio Theatre when the road-show version of HUMP! brings this year’s best efforts to Vancouver once again and your phone will be confiscated—forever. That said, the man who conceived, directed, and stars in “Breakfast in Bed” with his creative partner, Ethan Folk, is willing to come clean and face the media. “With the audience reaction—and then winning the runner-up prize for best kink, getting on the tour— now we’re all about claiming our work,” the former Seattleite says of a two-minute short that playfully asks, in his words, “What’s the stupidest way you can melt a butter stick?” Wardwell and Folk are, in fact, experimental-theatre artists whose work had taken them as far afield as Serbia before they settled in

see next page > BY ADRIAN MACK

Dan Savage’s amateur porn fest offers another year of kinky treats.

Germany earlier this year. A longer version of “Breakfast in Bed” was included in a video-performance triptych called cute & non-threatening, which describes, in some ways, the mood if not the action depicted in the piece.

Based on similarly slick entries— the stereoscopic ode to water sports, fisting, and, erm, egg play, “Correspondence”; the gorgeously crafted faux Kenneth Anger of “The Little Merman”; the Hokusai-inspired animation “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife”—HUMP! attracts an impressive share of artists. Other entries come straight from the groin, like the lo-fi kinkathon “Toys, Trans, and Training” or the wild outdoor stunt fucking (skydiving included) of “Summer Fuckation”. For all its considerable raunch, however—and things don’t get much dirtier than the bloodsmeared clown-fisting seen in “Playing Scrabble”—HUMP! is probably best defined by its humour. “Savage Kingdom” deserves a nod for demonstrating how to milk a gimp in the wild, while the song video “Sock

Puppet” boasts remarkable wit and technical savvy for something that might blink out of existence once HUMP! is done for the year. Raw yet sweet-natured, “Breakfast in Bed” stands out because it embodies all of the festival’s virtues. “One of the top feelings of 2016 for me was sitting in a theatre and hearing the reaction,” Wardwell says. “Every time this film is shown, there is a fucking roar, this mix of horror, astonishment, and glee. That just feels great, to bear witness to that. “I’ve told people,” he adds with a knowing grin, “ ‘Because I made “Breakfast in Bed”, I can die today and be totally content with my creative output.’ ” Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival plays three nights at the Rio Theatre starting Thursday (September 14).

SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 47


Rat Film “Lina Wertmüller is the most important director since Ingmar Bergman!” - New York Magazine

Music Monday $10

September 8-25

CONTEMPORARY IRANIAN CINEMA

Sunday, September 17 I’M NOT ANGRY (4:15pm) MALARIA (6:30pm)

“A delightful package of cinematic Pop Rocks!” - Dana Stevens, Slate

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

Sunday, September 17 - 1pm

from previous page

the easygoing exterminator are Google Earth meditations on dirty streets, back stories on lab-rat experimentation, and computer-game-style simulations of rat’s-eye views. There are also Errol Morris–type visits with odd characters, such as a good ol’ boy who has collected numerous weapons meant for rat-killing, as well as more tangential imagery. Things are loosely pulled together by incantatory narration from voice specialist Maureen Jones, relying on both poetic aphorisms (“Does a blind rat dream?”) and acute social science. Things get especially interesting when a study of rat overpopulation is followed by a set of dioramas called The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, handmade in the 1930s and ’40s by Frances Glessner Lee, later dubbed the Mother of CSI. Her presence in the tale—holistic puzzlesolving as opposed to calculated number-crunching by an endless string of white, male scientists— resembles that of Jane Jacobs later in the century: a lone advocate for humanness (good or bad) in the face of relentless urban development. Eventually, the filmmaker interposes these seemingly random tidbits with literal maps of Baltimore’s brutally segregated growth until an underlying structure becomes clear. By extension, the rot, and the rat, in America’s soft underbelly is and has always been virulent racism. And this plague will continue until these maps are redrawn by the people themselves. > KEN EISNER

SEPTEMBER 28 - OCTOBER 13, 2017

HOME AGAIN

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Starring Reese Witherspoon. Rated PG

VIFF Single Tickets on sale now at viff.org

Reese Witherspoon brings only

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In Person Box Office opens at

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Celebrate the Georgia Straight’s

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50th Anniversary with a limited edition Bob Masse poster! Available for a limited time and is signed by the artist Bob Masse and Georgia Straight’s publisher Dan Mcleod Visit straight.com/shop to buy the poster V

to her role as single mom Alice Kinney, daughter of a famous Hollywood director, now deceased, and his still-living muse, played by an underused Candice Bergen. This is the filmmaking debut (no previous shorts or anything) for writer-director Hallie Meyers-Shyer, whose own parents are very much present in the movie. The directingand-producing team Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer made such reboots as The Parent Trap before Meyers went out on her own, with such pleasantly anodyne fare as Something’s Gotta Give. The poor-woman’s-Nora-Ephron template is followed here, right down to the super-generic title and the dependence on a genuinely engaging cast to sell flimsy material. Among these is Michael Sheen as Alice’s husband, whom she left in New York to move back to her dad’s perfectly preserved mansion in the Hollywood Hills. And Lake Bell is quite funny as a rich B who jerks Alice around in her new business of interior decoration—fitting for a movie that’s more about furniture porn than human connection. What little story exists revolves around three young men who end up crashing in her luxurious guesthouse. East Coast siblings Teddy and Harry (Nat Wolff and Pico Alexander) have hit L.A. to write and direct movies, and they all fall in love with the beatific Alice and her precocious preteen daughters (Lola Flanery and Eden Grace Redfield). This pleasantly platonic arrangement is disturbed when Teddy and Alice start bumping uglies, and Meyers-Shyer treats this as an icky betrayal. It’s somewhat surprising that a filmmaker who just turned 30 would be more conservative than her parents, but we’re talking about a millennial who uses cocktail jazz to underscore the “funny” bits and goes for Johnny Mathis when things get mushy. Hers is a world in which everyone is white, cute, and at least potentially wealthy, and all crises can be resolved with heart-to-heart talks and harmless nods to Hollywood’s golden era. “Bullshit artist”, the bros call each other, in knowing reference to Mike Nichols’s Carnal Knowledge, which costarred Candice Bergen. It’s not about nice people with no problems. > KEN EISNER

48 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017


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Human Flow

Happy End

Ai Weiwei – Germany/USA SUN. OCT 1 MON. OCT 9

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The Hidden Sword Xu Haofeng – China

6:30PM

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WED. OCT 4

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PLAYHOUSE

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WED. OCT 11

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RIO

In 1933, Chinese soldiers led by Shen Feixue defeat a Japanese attack on the Great Wall using only swords. But Shen disappears, and an imposter takes his place. Allied with the glamorous and lethal beauty Zhihui, they try to steal Master Kong’s ultimate sword techniques. But heroic young Kong Dingyi stands in their way. China’s new master of elegant chivalric swordplay, Xu Haofeng, spices brilliantly choreographed action with sparkling eroticism in this dazzling, star-studded, comic-action masterpiece.

Michael Haneke – France/Austria/Germany CENTRE FOR ARTS PLAYHOUSE

Directed by artist-activist Ai Weiwei and filmed in 40 refugee camps in 23 countries, this stunningly cinematic documentary, reminiscent of the work of Edward Burtynsky, chronicles the staggering breadth of the global refugee crisis with uncommon insight, as Ai’s camera captures the condition of today’s morethan-65-million displaced individuals. “The film is made with deep beliefs in the value of human rights. In this time of uncertainty, we need more tolerance, compassion and trust...”—Ai Weiwei

Jeremy Podeswa Director, Game of Thrones

5:45 PM 1:00 PM

FRI. SEP 29

CENTRE FOR ARTS

In the kind of technically accomplished and emotionally involving role that often captures Academy Award-voters’ hearts, Andrew Garfield plays Robin Cavendish, a handsome and charming young man apparently living a blessed life–until, at 26, shortly after learning he is to become a father, he’s struck down by polio and left paralyzed, unable even to breathe without the help of machines. The directorial debut of Andy Serkis charts Robin’s spiritual recovery as he rediscovers the will to live and love.

6:15 PM

THU. OCT 5

3:30 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS CENTRE FOR ARTS

SUN. OCT 8

6:15 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

With Michael Haneke directing, you know the title of his latest work is nothing if not deeply ironic. As the Calais refugee crisis unfolds, the rich, disaffected Laurent family–including paterfamilias Georges (JeanLouis Trintignant) and aunt Anne (Isabelle Huppert)–is sundered by the arrival of Anne’s 13-year-old niece (Fantine Harduin, superb)... “Distinguishes itself from much of [Haneke’s filmography] in the deployment of unexpectedly approachable dark wit and thriller-ish sensibility.”—Sight & Sound

Florida Project

Stephen Campanelli – Canada 6:15 PM

TUE. OCT 3

Sean Baker – USA

SAT. SEP 30

6:30 PM

PLAYHOUSE

MON. OCT 2

1:45 PM

INTL VILLAGE 10

In this moving adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s novel, Stephen Campanelli condemns Canada’s most deplorable transgression while celebrating our national game’s transcendent power. Languishing in a residential school, Saul Indian Horse finds salvation on a sheet of ice. But while a preternatural hockey sense lets him slip bodychecks with a dancer’s grace, he can’t evade the ramifications of past abuses. Saul’s strength in this struggle is a testament to the Indigenous peoples’ indomitable spirit.

SAT. OCT 7

6:00 PM

CENTRE FOR ARTS

In a group of dilapidated motels near Disney World in Orlando, troubled, down-at-heel families try to make do. But whatever the problems faced by their parents, six-year-old Moonee (an unstoppable Brooklynn Prince) and her two friends are having none of it: for these wonderfully feral kids, they live in a magical adventureland and they plan on exploiting it to the full… Sean Baker’s (Starlet, VIFF 12) immersive and moving drama is “near-perfect… brilliant, buoyant, and ultimately heart-wrenching…”—Vulture

Schedule subject to change. Visit viff.org for updates. Premier Sponsor

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SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 49


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DRAG CLUB w. MAIDEN CHINA & S-STUD HER

on tour

Monday November 6 8pm Vancouver Playhouse New Record New Songs Same Great Artist!

Sept 21 THE SHED Hosted by The Boom Bap Crew Sept 22 Toddcast Podcast w. MURRAY ATKINSON Sept 23 Lust for Life w. THE JUDYS

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50 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017

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MUSIC

Over the course of a

20-minute interview—a discussion that delves into everything from her experience of singing in a Japanese gospel choir to the quality of British mashed potatoes—there’s one phrase that trap-soul star Bishop Briggs keeps returning to. “Oh my God—it’s a dream come true,” she says when asked about—well, anything. And she really means it. Born in London before spending her formative years in Tokyo and Hong Kong, Bishop Briggs— or Sarah Grace McLaughlin, to her Scottish parents—discovered the joy of performing after frequenting local karaoke bars with her dad. A regular on the scene, McLaughlin enjoyed enough popularity to spark the desire to pursue singing full-time and, after graduating from high school, headed to the mecca of aspiring musicians: Los Angeles. There, the real work began. “If I saw myself now, talking to you, and being in this moment, I would be so angry if I spent any of it complaining about those early years,” McLaughlin tells the Straight on the line from her L.A. apartment. “But as you can imagine, I met many different characters, not all of them good, and I played at a

Some dreams do come true Her songs might explore the dark side of things, but Bishop Briggs couldn’t be happier with her life fair few venues that shouldn’t be called venues. But that’s what made me who I am. In the midst of all that, I had people who supported me—and even if it was just one person who told me that I should keep going at a coffee shop that I sang at, the small gesture made a huge impact on me. I’m just so grateful for all the opportunities that I had.” Fortune struck for McLaughlin at a small, run-of-the-mill gig, where a former A&R rep for Interscope was captivated by her voice. Paired by the executive with producers Mark Jackson and Ian Brendon Scott, the singer emerged from her first session with a brawny, soulful anthem named “River”, a track that showed off a vocal style that had all of Adele’s emotion and spades of Florence Welch’s muscle. Immediately picked up by radio stations, the spunky, bass-heavy song would later debut in the top 10 of the U.S. rock charts. After that, things happened quickly. Dates with Passion Pit were arranged, as were slots on the bill with Arcade Fire and Carly Rae Jepsen. Then came the call from Coldplay. “I don’t want to say it again, but it was a dream come true,” she recalls with a laugh. “I have no idea how they selected me to tour with them. My manager came into the room, and he had this look on his face that I still haven’t seen since, and he told us that we’d got an offer. I was in the studio recording, and we all just looked at each other and started laughing and crying, all at once. Then I called my dad, and he let out a very high-pitched scream. He’s a tall Scottish man, so that’s when you know it’s a big deal. The tour was incredible. And, as a side note, their catering is to die for.” Despite her numerous successes, however, McLaughlin hasn’t changed the way that she writes—which, by her own admission, often explores the more pessimistic aspects of her life. “Wild Horses”, a soulful trap track selected by Acura to soundtrack its 2016 commercial, was created in response to the inner turmoil of a stagnating relationship, while EP standout “Dark Side” begins with the sultrily sung phrase “Welcome to my dark side.” For McLaughlin, writing truthful lyrics is an important component of a song—as is sharing her bad experiences. “If you look at the words, you’d probably say that my perspective on life was negative,” she says. “But I hope what always comes across is that I never want to appear ungrateful. I’m so appreciative of everything that’s ever happened to me. I think it’s really important to dive into those moments of pain and darkness, even when things are light and happy around you, because that’s sometimes our true self.” Self-exploration and spirituality are recurring themes for the singer, who regularly frequents psychics, tarot readers, and those who interpret angel cards. McLaughlin sees those rituals as a way to reconsider the world around her. The bluesy, haunted “The Way I Do”, for instance, was written after a mystic revealed that a close friend was considering quitting music, and McLaughlin often uses her spiritual insights as inspiration for lyrics. But despite her fascination with the metaphysical, the artist’s feet remain solidly on the ground. “First and foremost, I think whenever you go into music you hope that you meet the right people and get to create songs that mean something to you, and that your output feels authentic,” she says. “It’s only then that you hope that people connect with the music. That’s the cherry on top—but it’s not always what happens. On tracks like ‘Way I Do’ or ‘River’, I was channelling a lot of strength and

From meeting questionable characters at early gigs to opening for Coldplay on tour, Sarah Grace McLaughlin, aka Bishop Briggs, has come a long way.

empowerment. The fact that people can feel those same emotions when listening to the songs means everything to me.”

> KATE WILSON

Bishop Briggs plays the Vogue Theatre on Thursday (September 14) as part of the Westward Music Festival.

Blues-rock band Gov’t Mule takes a few shots at “cartoon saviour” Trump The Tedeschi Trucks Band played Vancouver

2 last summer, in the midst of the U.S. presiden-

tial campaign, and in advance of the show I interviewed singer Susan Tedeschi. Knowing that she and hubby-guitarist Derek Trucks were big fans of Barack Obama—and had actually performed for him at the White House—I asked her what they would do if Obama’s nemesis, Donald Trump, won the election. Would they move up to Canada or something? “He’s not gonna get in,” she declared. “He better not.” Then she added that if Trump did become president they would have to impeach him “for being a jerk”. Well, the jerk’s still in office, although some of America’s finest musicians are stepping up to take him down a notch. When blues-rock jam band Gov’t Mule released its latest album, Revolution Come…Revolution Go, last June, its pro-democratic message was pretty clear. In one of the disc’s most powerful tracks, “Pressure Under Fire”, singer-guitarist and main songwriter Warren Haynes comments on the sad social situation in the States with lines like “We keep on moving in the wrong direction/we keep on heading down the same old track.” And on “Drawn That Way” his indictment of Trump gets even more severe: “Cartoon savior, how do you spell prey?/You can’t stop yourself from lying, you’re just drawn that way.” When Haynes calls from his home outside of New York City, I ask him if—considering how fractured his country is these days—Gov’t Mule has gotten much flack for its political stance. “Well, we’ve dabbled into political commentary from the very beginning,” he points out. “A big difference is now people are paying attention. And maybe with the title being Revolution Come…Revolution Go, people are paying attention even more. But I think it’s just a timing situation; it’s in everybody’s face right now. In the States we’re going through a period where our country’s more divided than it’s been in my adult lifetime. “And it’s regretful,” adds Haynes, “because a lot of things are rising to the surface that we felt we had buried. But I’m hoping that a lot of good will come from all of this, because it’s gonna force people to deal with situations, and to work together, because that’s the only choice we have.” It’s not just via new tunes that Haynes delivers sociopolitical notions on Revolution Come… Revolution Go. He included a version of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground”—which he describes as “one of the most haunting recordings ever”—and added his own words to the mostly instrumental 1927 blues classic. “Rue the day that we can’t live together,” sings Haynes at one point, “cut so deep and we keep bleeding forever.” “We had been talking about taking an old existing Delta blues song and reworking it,” he says. “And when I started listening to ‘Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground’ with that in mind, we thought, ‘Yeah, we could come up with a cool arrangement.’ I didn’t know at the time that I was gonna wind up writing lyrics for it, but as we started digging into it more and more I

wound up writing some that are both appropriate for the song and for the times, I think.” > STEVE NEWTON

Gov’t Mule plays the Vogue Theatre on Sunday (September 17) as part of the Westward Music Festival.

Amy Helm aims to capture the sound of a spontaneous musical community Some of us spend our lives forever trying to

2 recapture some kind of golden age—and if

that’s what’s going on with Amy Helm, you can hardly blame her for trying. Especially since it’s not so much her star-studded upbringing that she most treasures, but her memories of a funky barn on her dad’s upstate New York property. Helm’s father, of course, was Levon Helm, the Band’s charismatic and universally beloved drummer, singer, and mandolinist. Her mother, Libby Titus, is an underrated lyricist who was once Burt Bacharach’s songwriting partner. And Helm’s stepfather, for almost 30 years, has been Steely Dan main man Donald Fagen. Award shows, movie premieres, private jets: Helm’s known them all. But when asked about her upbringing, the 46-year-old singer immediately zeroes in on the Midnight Rambles that Levon liked to organize on his Woodstock farm. “I can certainly say that listening to ‘Black Friday’, sung by Donald and played by the Ramble band with my dad’s backbeat on it, was one of the cooler things that I’ve ever heard,” she says fondly, on the line from a Portland, Oregon, tour stop. “It was pretty great, I gotta tell you. It was just greasy enough.” And while the avowed template for the new and as-yet-untitled album that Helm has just finished recording is Motel Shot, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett’s warts-and-all impression of a postgig jam session with Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, John Hartford, and Gram Parsons, the spirit of the Ramble was very much present in the studio. “The intention of the record was to sort of create a sound that sounded like community, that sounded like a whole bunch of people hanging out in a room making music—very live, very spontaneous,” Helm says. “The centrepiece of the album is a lot of keyboards, and lots and lots of vocals. I actually featured a singer who you may be familiar with named Ali Russell, from a band called Birds of Chicago, and another fantastic singer who I work with a lot named Adam Minkoff, and Ali’s husband, JT Nero. The three of them were my choir, so a lot of the songs have that sound as their centre. “I made the record in four days, which was pretty interesting,” Helm adds, noting that producer Joe Henry played an integral part in keeping the music flowing. “We didn’t do more than one or two takes of each song, and I stuck with all live vocals. The whole thing was a really liberating experience. We didn’t spend too much time arranging; we just really all jumped in and started singing and playing, and Joe directed everyone beautifully.” In contrast, Helm’s current touring band is a stripped-down, funk- and rock-focused quintet, but it’s not lacking in spirit or instrumental prowess—especially since lap-steel-guitar genius Cindy Cashdollar, another Ramble regular, will be prominently featured. “I like to sculpt a set that features the players and that takes people on a trip,” Helm says. “You know, I knock out a proper rock ’n’ roll show, with a couple of moments where you can touch back down and get a little gospel and a little church, and a couple of acoustic numbers that might connect to more of a bluegrass background. “Cindy’s a good example of that,” she continues. see next page

SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 51


Amy Helm

from previous page

“We have a really beautiful ballad that I’ve been doing, and she plays Dobro on it, and then we do an electrified version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Meet Me in the Morning’ where watching her is like watching Jimi Hendrix occupy the body of a tiny blond woman. All of a sudden she’s blowing the roof off the place—so it’s a fun show, with all sorts of dynamics.” > ALEXANDER VARTY

Amy Helm plays the WISE Hall on Sunday (September 17).

Crenshaw dialled it back, but he still loves rock ’n’ roll Marshall

Crenshaw’s

career

2 spans a ridiculously huge range,

from playing Buddy Holly in the movie La Bamba to filling in for Fred “Sonic” Smith during the 2004 MC5 reunion. But when we get talking, we start with Richard Thompson, since David M.— opening for Crenshaw at his upcoming Rickshaw show—has called Crenshaw “the American Richard Thompson”. To the initiated, that’s heavy praise indeed, and Crenshaw, reached at his home in New York, is obviously flattered. “Really? My God, that’s an awfully nice thing to say.” Crenshaw knows Thompson a little, having opened for Richard and Linda Thompson during the strained days of the Shoot Out the Lights tour in 1982, when Crenshaw’s eponymous first album had just been released. It takes serious cojones to not only cover a Richard Thompson song but make changes to it, as Crenshaw did, successfully, with his 1989 version of “Valerie”. “Yeah, that turned out pretty good,” he acknowledges. “I’m just goin’ by instinct here: I chopped out part of a verse, messed with it a little. I never got any complaints from him about it, so it’s all good, I guess.” Crenshaw is presently touring with Los Straitjackets, a Nashville instrumental surf-rock unit noted for their deft musicianship (and for

> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < DOG ON SKYTRAIN

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MR. ABORIGINAL HEALTH

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 WHERE: SkyTrain

I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 18, 2017 WHERE: Your office

U got on the Expo Line at Nanaimo with your dog. We chatted till my stop. I should have stayed on the train. Your dog was a Beagle. If u see this we should take our dogs for a walk.

We have met twice in a professional capacity. We both work in similar fields and have a mutual friend. I met you twice at your place of work - the second visit having the privilege of having lunch with you... and your work colleagues. I’m hoping to connect with you outside of work hours in the hope of grabbing coffee or dinner. I like you... and hoping for an opportunity to demonstrate that. Fingers crossed that this immigrant can woo this local Mr. Charming!

RICHMOND CENTRE

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 WHERE: Richmond Centre My car wouldn’t start when I was trying to leave the mall. You were the person that gave my car a boost shoulda taken the time to grab a coffee.

DRUM TOBACCO, NELSON, AND THE COASTS

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 25, 2017 WHERE: South Main This is, by far, the creepiest thing I have ever done. I met you a few weekends back, in the evening, at a Main street restaurant. You listened to me spew my anxieties and insecurities without judgement or ridicule. Your pouch of drum tobacco brought back fond memories. Oddly, I don't remember what you look like, but recall you having a comforting/easy-to-talk-to presence. You have a unique name, so I don't want to post it here for the internet to see. You were there with a friend or boyfriend‚ it really doesn't matter who; he was cool too. This message isn't intended to be like the rest. I have no ulterior motives. I just think we should be friends.

WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 2, 2017 WHERE: Biltmore Cabaret Hey Becky! We talked outside the Biltmore and was pulled away from our conversation. I want to see you again!

WIDE RIM GLASSES AND GORGEOUS EYES

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 9, 2017 WHERE: The Fox Cabaret We were both dancing on stage of the Fox Cabaret. You weren’t wearing your glasses anymore, but I trust that when we made eye contact as you danced your way closer to my group that you could still see me well enough to know we were having a pitter patter of the heart moment. I made fun of the DJs transitions... then you glared at me and started dancing with the group of half naked Dudes again. When I caught up with my group and realized they were leaving I watched you watching me from the other side of the room, staring that longing stare from such a long-legged beauty. I thought I had communicated with that stare, “wait for me, I’ll be back in 15 minutes."... but you weren’t wearing your glasses.

WATERMELON HAZE

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 9, 2017 WHERE: Canna Clinic @ Nelson You are the cutest budtender! I got some watermelon haze and you drew a watermelon on the bag. Hope we could hang out and smoke one day ;) The guy with the beard.

GODDESS WALKING HER HOUND, ANDY LIVINGSTONE PARK

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 9, 2017 WHERE: By The Playground I was working at Andy Livingstone today.... saw you twice, chatted about your dog. You’re a really beautiful and sweet blonde woman in grey. You made my day! I was the public servant who got up close and personal with Bowser. I’d LOVE to dog walk together- but maybe on a beach, rather than the DTES?

TALL, DARKLY BEARDED, KIND EYES

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 WHERE: Richards and Helmcken You were clearly on your way to work; I was driving my child to school. Not sure why your eyes locked on me so--but your presence was so sweet, and kindseeming. And tall, and handsome, of course. Whatever it was, thank you. And hello.

BEMUSED BLONDE BABE

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 WHERE: Leslie Gordon Diamond Care Centre I saw you first in the lobby waiting to be called into the assessment room. When my name was called you were already inside. We ended up sitting across from each other, separated by 25 feet of bustling nurses and doctors milling about the patients rooms. It seemed both of us were kept waiting forever and I’d sheepishly shoot glances your way now and again to see you doing the same. You were captivatingly beautiful. There was something about the way you sat on the hospital bed and picked your wrist cast to stave off boredom that grabbed my attention and in turn helped me forget mine. Unfortunately the doctor finally came to see you and before I had the chance to properly say hello. You were gone leaving me to my stark lonely self again.

Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ 52 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017

wearing Mexican wrestling masks on-stage). When the tour began, Crenshaw figured “the common ground would be old rock ’n’ roll, so we did some rockabilly tunes.” But audiences complained that he wasn’t playing enough of his own material. Sunday’s set will include songs from “across the chronology of my stuff”, including at least one tune off his essential, soon-to-be-reissued 1983 LP Field Day. “We do this one called ‘Monday Morning Rock’, which is about this sorta fast-paced life that I lived for a short time. I’m sure you’ve had the experience, where you walk out of the club and find out that it’s the next day, that the sun is out, and you didn’t know.” Crenshaw, in a DVD release of a 2001 acoustic set at New Jersey’s Stone Pony, had previously sworn off playing loud music. “It’s obviously bad for you,” he observes, adding that his hearing is terrible from years of touring with Marshall amps or Vox AC30s. (“Those things will absolutely tear your head off.”) He’s “dialled it back a little bit” since those days, he explains: “Now I just use a 15-watt amp, and so do most of the guys in the band. But this is definitely going to be a rock ’n’ roll show, all the way, and I still love playing in a rock ’n’ roll band. I intend to do it for as long as I physically can.” > ALLAN MACINNIS

Marshall Crenshaw y Los Straitjackets play the Rickshaw on Sunday (September 17).

Music is a therapeutic tool for Touché Amoré’s Bolm With last year’s Stage Four, Los Touché Amoré crafted a record so personal and confessional it was often almost painful, as singer Jeremy Bolm worked through some pretty devastating stuff. In 2014, the frontman’s mother died of cancer at age 69, the actual moment of her passing coming while he was

2 Angeles–based

on-stage performing with the band he’s played with for the past decade. That, understandably, led to the kind of emotional fallout that sends some people directly to therapy. Bolm was lucky in that he had an outlet for his grief—the singer eventually dealt with a whole range of emotions over the course of Stage Four’s 11 tracks. From regret at not being at his mom’s side (“Eight Seconds”) to questioning the existence of God (“Rapture”), the 34-year-old was unflinching in his honesty. Fastforward a year, and the trauma is still real. “It’s funny: with the subject matter of Stage Four, there’s just so much there, to where you could not only do a double album, but a triple,” the unfailingly polite singer says from home. “Anytime you think about a situation as heavy as that one, there are all kinds of different aspects to write about. I don’t know if I necessarily want to keep going in that direction, because I kind of feel like I’ve touched on it enough.” Stage Four isn’t just a record but also something of a harrowing exorcism, Bolm screaming himself hoarse to a mix of shimmering melodic hardcore and ragingly cathartic emo. His regrets make for some of the album’s most powerful moments, such as when, in “Eight Seconds”, he recalls getting a voice message from his brother: “She passed away about an hour ago/When you were on-stage living the dream.” There’s also plenty of serious introspection, with Bolm exploring the back story of the woman who gave birth to him in “Palm Dreams”, which delves into her move as a young woman from Nebraska to California. And then there’s the question of what kind of god would take away his mother at 69. The singer was raised as a Christian, but eventually drifted away from the church after discovering punk rock. His mom, however, never gave up the faith. That sheds an important light on “Displacement” lyrics like “She gave me her best, she swore I was her heart/I couldn’t worship the god that let her fall apart.” “Her last days were when some of the hardest conversations came—it was a struggle between lying to her and making her happy, and me being honest with her,” Bolm says. “When you have a parent upset and on their deathbed going ‘Well, what if I never see you again?’ that’s the hardest thing to hear. In your stubborn mind you think, ‘I don’t believe there’s a heaven.’ What I struggle with, and where I still stand with a lot of things that I sing about in ‘Displacement’, is that I don’t necessarily believe in heaven, but if there is a heaven, that’s where I want her to be. I want there to be a heaven for her sake because she lived her entire life struggling with every hardship that anyone could have—raising kids on her own, getting cancer twice, losing friends— without ever losing her faith. She was on her deathbed, sick and in pain, and still not angry at God.” One might make a case that Bolm has plenty to be angry about, given everything that went down in 2014. Stage Four is indeed a record with no shortage of ozone-crackle rage, but for the first time the frontman is as comfortable singing as he is screaming, as is most evident on the ethereal comedown “Skyscraper”, which has him duetting with punk-folk upstart Julien Baker. Had Stage Four ended up a double—or triple—album, chances are that Touché Amoré would have branched out in directions that seemed unfathomable on early outings like …To the Beat of a Dead Horse. “I’d been so wrapped up in everything that happened that I totally forget, for someone who’s been following the band, that some of what we did was totally different,” Bolm says. “To go back to when we started writing the record, there was the conversation of how pretty much all of our peers have gotten a bit softer. That’s not a problem—that’s totally cool. We still love aggressive music, but it’s not all that we listen to, so why not write stuff that reflects who you are?” > MIKE USINGER

Touché Amoré plays the Vogue Theatre on Friday (September 15) as part of the Westward Music Festival.


LaCroix. Dec 2, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway). Tix on sale Sep 15, 10 am, $20 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.

PATTERSON HOOD American southernrock singer-songwriter, guitarist, and Drive-By Truckers member. Dec 8, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Fox Cabaret (2321 Main). Tix on sale Sep 15, 10 am, $20 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketweb.ca/.

music/ timeout CONCERTS <

CONCERTS 2JUST ANNOUNCED THE BACARDI BOOHAHA DJ Flipout mixes the hits all night long. Cash prizes for best costumes will be awarded throughout the night. Oct 28, doors 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Sep 15, 10 am, $29.45/19.45/9.45 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. FROM NEW YORK: JEREMY PELT QUINTET Coastal Jazz presents the American jazz trio composed of trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, drummer Jonathan Barber, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Vincente Archer, and percussionist Jacquelene Acevedo. Nov 24-25, 8 pm, Frankie’s Jazz Club (765 Beatty). Tix $25, info www.coastaljazz.ca/. DISPATCH American indie-roots band performs on an acoustic tour in support of new album America, Location 12. Nov 26, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix on sale Sep 15, 10 am, $45.50/40.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. WILLIAM PRINCE Canadian folk-country singer-songwriter, with guest Justin

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RECEPTION/ADMIN/CLERICAL Hiring One Full-time ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE CO-ORDINATOR $23/hr, High school/equivalent, Good command in English, Speak Thai is an asset, 1yr exp. in administration, coordinator or in a related field Duties: Co-ordinate office administrative procedures, review, evaluate & implement new procedures. Carry out administrative activities associated with admissions to educational institutions. Co-ordinate & plan for office service such as accommodation & relocations. Co-ordinate marketing efforts with potential Thai speaking students & participate in education fairs. Conduct analyses & oversee administrative operations related to contracting. Assist in preparation of operating budgetary controls. Assemble data & prepare periodic & special reports. Email: sgicvancouvercampus@gmail.com St. George International College 605 Robson St. Suite 200 Vancouver, BC V6B 5J3

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2THIS WEEK BIG ROCK BREWERY FRINGE BAR As part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival, take in music by Parkland, Ashley Shadow, and DJ Penny Tentiary (Sep 13), Malcolm Jack, Bend Sinister, and Common People DJs (Sep 14), Camaro 67, Mazacote, and Common People DJs (Sep 15), Viper Central, Sam Tudor, Rae Spoon, and Common People DJs (Sep 16), and the Tim Sars Trio and Common People DJs (Sep 17). To Sep 17, Ocean

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SCOTIABANK AIDS WALK TO THRIVE AND MUSIC FEST Charity walk and concert raises funds for the Positive Living Society of British Columbia, which supports people living with HIV/AIDS. Includes music by Humans, Mu, I M U R, Skylar Love, Desiree Dawson, Shanel, Ilona, South East, Rose Butch, Maiden China, and Cleopatra Compton. Sep 16, 11 am–4:30 pm, Malkin Bowl (610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park). Info www.aidswalktothrive.ca/.

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889

17

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HENDRIK MEURKENS TORONTO SAMBA CONNECTION German-born and New York–based 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, 8 pm, Frankie’s Jazz Club (765 Beatty). Tix $20, info www.coastaljazz.ca/.

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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/.

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savage love My teenage daughter just

came out to us as gay. We told her we love her and support her. As a heterosexual, cisgender mother, how do I make sure she gets good advice about sex? I don’t want her learning from other kids or porn. Do you know of any good, sexpositive advice books for lesbian teens? > MY INSPIRING DAUGHTER DESERVES LESBIAN EDUCATION

“I wish every parent felt this way about their child’s sexual development, regardless of the child’s gender identity or sexual orientation,” said Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. “All young people—girls especially— need open, honest discussions about sexual ethics, including talking about pleasure, respect, decision-making, and reciprocity, or we are leaving them at the mercy of the messages they get from both the mainstream and ‘adult’ entertainment industries.” Orenstein’s book—required reading for parents of girls and boys—drives home the need for comprehensive sex-education programs emphasizing the giving and receiving of pleasure. In the absence of sex-ed programs that empower girls to see themselves not just as instruments of another’s pleasure but as autonomous individuals with a right to

experience sexual pleasure—with a partner or on their own—girls wind up having a lot of consensual but crappy sex. That said, MIDDLE, one big takeaway from Orenstein’s research should come as a comfort to you: bi and lesbian girls enjoy an advantage over their heterosexual peers. “In some ways, MIDDLE can feel more confident about her daughter as a gay girl,” said Orenstein. “Lesbian and bisexual girls I spoke to for Girls & Sex would talk about feeling liberated to go ‘off the script’—by which they meant the script that leads lockstep to intercourse—and create encounters that truly worked for them. I ended up feeling that hetero girls—and boys, too—could learn a lot from their gay and bisexual female peers. And I don’t mean by watching otherwise straight girls make out on the dance f loor for the benefit of guys.” Since gay and bisexual girls can’t default to PIV intercourse, and since there’s not a boy in the room whose needs/dick/ego they’ve been socialized to prioritize, queer girls have more egalitarian and, not coincidentally, more satisfying sexual encounters. “Young women are more likely to measure their own satisfaction by the yardstick of their partner’s pleasure,” said Orenstein. “So heterosexual girls will say things

> BY DAN SAVAGE such as, ‘If he’s sexually satisfied, then I’m sexually satisfied.’ Men, by contrast, are more likely to measure satisfaction by their own orgasm. But the investment girls express in their partner’s pleasure remains true regardless of that person’s gender. So the orgasm gap we see among heterosexuals (75 percent of men report they come regularly in sexual encounters versus 29 percent of women) disappears in same-sex encounters. Young women with same-sex partners climax at the same rate as heterosexual men.” As for good sex-positive resources for teens of all identities and orientations, Orenstein had some great recommendations. “I’m a big fan of Heather Corinna’s S.E.X.: The All-YouNeed-to-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties,” said Orenstein. “She also produces the Scarleteen.com website, which is fabulous. Other inclusive, sex-positive, medically accurate websites include Sexetc. org and Goaskalice.columbia.edu. And MIDDLE could think about giving her daughter a subscription to OMGYes.com, an explicit (but not tawdry) site that educates about the science of female pleasure. And, finally, I think everyone who is a woman—or has had sex with a woman or ever hopes to— should read Emily Nagoski’s book Come As You Are. Even if you

think you know it all, Nagoski’s book will transform your sex life.” Follow Orenstein on Twitter @peggyorenstein.

I’m a 32-year-old straight male. Back in April, I met this girl. She seemed interested, but before we went out, she told me that she is a demisexual. (I had to Google it.) After a few dates, she had me over to her place, we watched a movie, and started making out. But when I started to put my hand between her legs, she calmly said, “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” No problem, I told her, I wasn’t trying to rush her. Fastforward a couple months. We’re still going on dates, we hug and kiss, we hold hands, we cuddle on the couch and watch movies—but still no sex. Is demisexuality real? Should I keep pursuing her? > IS SHE INTERESTED TOTALLY OR NOT?

Demisexuals are real people who “do not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional bond”, according to the definition at Asexuality.org. We used to call people who needed to feel a strong emotional bond before wanting to fuck someone people who, you know, needed to feel a strong emotional bond before wanting to fuck someone. But a seven-syllable, clinical-sounding term that prospective part-

ners need to Google—demisexuality—is obviously far superior to a short, explanatory sentence that doesn’t require Internet access to understand. You’ve shown respect for this woman’s sexual orientation, ISITON, now it’s her turn to show some respect for yours. I don’t mean by putting out if she’s not ready or not interested, but by offering you some clarity about when or whether she’ll ever be interested. You’re seeking a romantic relationship that includes sex—which is not unreasonable— and you’ve demonstrated a willingness to make an emotional investment before a relationship becomes sexual. You don’t (or shouldn’t) want her to consent to sex under duress—you don’t (or shouldn’t) want her to have sex just to keep you coming over for cuddles—but if she doesn’t see you as a prospective romantic and sexual partner, ISITON, she should tell you that. If this relationship isn’t on track to become sexual, tell her you’re open to being friends—truly intimate friends—but you’ll have to direct your romantic attentions (and more of your time) elsewhere. On the Lovecast , comedian Amy Miller. Listen up at savagelovecast. com . Email Dan at mail@savagelove.net and follow him on Twitter @fakedansavage. ITMFA.org.

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PRESENTATION CENTRE UNIT B–4247 LOUGHEED HWY, BURNABY, BC | OPEN EVERYDAY 12–5 PM This is not an offer for sale, any such offering can only be made with a Disclosure Statement. E&OE.

EXCEPT FRIDAYS

3 BEDROOM HOMES AND TOWNHOMES THAT REDEFINE MODERN LUXURIOUS LIVING.

THE 2 BOUTIQUE TOWERS RISE 26 AND 32 STOREYS, AND OFFER SPACIOUS 1, 2, &

ÉTOILE IS A PRESTIGIOUS LANDMARK WITHIN THE BRENTWOOD COMMUNITY.

PREVIEWS COMING SEPTEMBER! REGISTER AT ETOILELIVING.COM

CRAFTSMANSHIP, MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GROUP PROUDLY PRESENTS ÉTOILE.

OLYMPIC VILLAGE. EDGEWATER.

WATER'S EDGE. BRISTOL UBC. ALEXANDRA

LUMIÈRE. CITY IN-THE-PARK. L’HERMITAGE.

ONE MADISON AVE. TRIOMPHE.

ENGLISH BAY. ONE UNIVERSITY SFU.

MARKETING BY

56 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT SEPTEMBER 14 – 21 / 2017

The Georgia Straight - Fall Arts Preview - Sept 14, 2017  
The Georgia Straight - Fall Arts Preview - Sept 14, 2017  

Issue #2593