Thursday, 30 November 2017

Almost, Maine = quirky love vignettes
All the basic condition theatre requires is that fire last night & those costumes & the human voice & people gathered together.   
Sir Trevor Nunn, Director (Cats, 1981 \ Les Miserables, 1985)

From the footlights :  Playwright John Cariani is an actor from Maine who had an idea for New York City audition pieces for himself. Surely the inspiration arrived immediately after chancing upon his Dad's archived Playboy magazine stash. There from back in the 70's was a piece by Tom Robbins. His article asks, rhetorically "Who knows how to make love stay?" At the end of it he teases "Answer me that, and I will reveal to you the purpose of the moon."

Quite so the general drift of Cariani's Almost, Maine too.  The script comprises all nine prospective audition scenes coagulated into a story. Each of the scenes is to be imagined as occurring at the exact same time -- 9 o'clock on a Friday night -- in the deepest darkest heart of winter in Almost, Maine that he describes as "almost, but not quite, a real place" a couple hundred miles out of Portland.  Up closer to the North Pole, it's a place where the Aurora borealis magically steals the dark. It steals hearts and watches them break, too.

All of the scenes involve 20-somethings from Almost, the bulk of whom have known each other since grammar school days it seems. One or two have "come from away", others have left to find life adventures elsewhere only to return for better or for worse. They all interact and intersect and are easily interchangeable with characters from Love, Interrupted. 

Gayle (Baraka Rahmani) and Lendalll (Giovanni Mocibob) find their decade+ romance is captured in a pile of ice-covered suitcases and a wee small box.
Photo credit : Emily Cooper
Played sequentially, the scenes betray how silences are as important in the soundscape of life as grace notes are. How a glance can reveal more than an intense deep gaze into another's eyes. How awkward and tentative and frightfully scary love can be every moment whether it's the original instant spark or years and years later : the Cariani script and Tom Robbins' question are wholly in sync here.

What the show brings to the stage : Often referred to as "the darling of regional theatres everywhere", Almost, Maine according to Wiki recently beat out Billy Bard's A Midsummer Night's Dream as the most-produced play in USA high schools. Fundamentally a series of rom-com vignettes, the play tries to straddle the chalk line between absurdity and truth that divides love and loss and always occupies that haunting space between the two. 

Rhonda (Kim Larson) throws slings of timber around at Bushey's Lumber Mill when she isn't snowmobiling with Dave (Peter Carlone) and projects a facade of crystal cool, until...
Photo credit : Emily Cooper
And not unlike Garrison Keillor's Lake Woebegone in Minnesota with its Powdermilk Biscuit plant and Chatterbox Cafe and Sidetrack Tap, Almost is equally small-town. Here it's the local Bushie's Lumber Mill where many of the characters work. For fun they ice skate on Echo Pond or circle 'round to the snowmobile club for chow. Typically on Fridays they kick back and have a coupla Buds at the Moose Paddy tavern or maybe go for a wee dance at the rec centre.  

Some scenes are pure Pinter in their meandering and desultory chatty-chat banter that seems pointless but is anything but. Others are more fanciful. Cariani gives us a woman with a broken heart she traipses about in a lunch bag -- until she meets a repairman who'll fix it. [The scene brought to mind Stephen Spielberg's offbeat Amazing Stories t.v. show from a couple decades back. Cariani admits to Twilight Zone re-runs being a strong influence on him.]  

From a mountain of suitcases said to be filled with "all the love I've ever given you". Or a missing shoe that whimsically and symbolically drops from the cold Maine winter sky just before insight finally arrives, too late. Or the millworker buds Chad and Randy who fall all over one another, lit.-&-fig, while burping back beers out in the potato patch. Lots of stagey imagination at work throughout, no question.

Ginette (Jalen Saip) doubles as Act 2 songstress / narrator who predicts those who love and lose will "just do it all again" as time goes by.
Photo credit : Emily Cooper

Production values that shine through : The familiar alley stage at Pacific Theatre is perfect for this show. And not a weak aspect anywhere : Lauchlin Johnston's hoarfrost-themed set and props by Jenny Jantsch were brilliant in their comfy freezey warmth that memory triggers. Amy McDougall captured country village contemporary Walmart costuming cleverly (and big city refinements where needed, too).

Delightful soundscape and orchestral backdrops by Jay Clift. Name a moment when Here Comes the Sun, Time After Time, and Someone That I Used To Know won't pluck at our heartstrings : heartstrings that search-&-plead for release and a moment's reconciliation : "I need a photo opportunity / I want a shot at redemption."

Acting pin-spots : Director Kaitlin Williams rounded up a passle of acting talent Galore! to work with for this catchy, charming string of scenes that Almost ties together. Five actors doing 19 parts, that ain't easy to pull off (but far more effective than having 19 players).

Peter Carlone as Randy. Giovanni Mocibob as Phil. Kim Larson as Rhonda. Baraka Rahmani as Hope. Jalen Saip as Ginette. My what priceless bits, each and every one (and not to take away from their other roles in the least). This is superb character acting plain and simple.

The characters'  stage business and gesticulation and blocking were all gripping and crisp and visually imaginative. Just. First. Rate. Gosh! we had a good time with all this quirky silliness & poignance. Initially it came from Mr. Cariani's pen, but to have life it was how his words were magnified and refined by the talents the actors brought to their character interpretations. Of particular note is the intuitiveness with which each of them trips over one another's words in stuttery overtalk -- just the way most of us jabber on with one another.

Who gonna like : This is altogether a Fun! night out at theatre. Proof positive that when humour drives pathos, the result is an investment in time and money and emotion that no flat-screen t.v. or multiplex experience will likely match. And the small-town vibe can't help but steal your heart as it makes you realize that any one of us, at any moment, is just a breath away from the truth about love. 

Whether it's the Northern Lights or the rings of Saturn or the moon above, love's purpose will in some way be revealed to you in this delightful, sprightly and a wee bit of oddball comic relief. You will no doubt come away, like us, wishing there were two or three more Almost, Maine scenes to tickle your fancy and tease your spirit.  

ParticularsWritten by John Cariani. Produced by Pacific Theatre.  At Pacific Theatre stage, Hemlock @ 12th.. Through December 16th. Run-time 110 minutes, including 15 minute intermission. Tickets and schedule information via or by phone at 604.731.5518.

Production team :  Director Kaitlin Willianms.  Set & Lighting Designer Lauchlin Johnston. Sound Designer Jay Clift.  Costume Designer Amy McDougall.  Properties Designer Jenny Jantsch.  Stage Manager Maria Zarrillo.  Production Manager Phil Miguel.  Technical Director Kougar Basi.  

Performers :  Peter Carlone (Pete; Jimmy; Steve; Randy; Dave).  Kim Larson (Glory; Marvalyn; Marci; Rhonda).  Giovanni Mocibob (East; Lendall; Chad; Phil; Daniel).  Baraka Rahmani (Sandrine; Gayle; Hope).  Jalen Saip (Ginette; Waitress; Singer).


Friday, 24 November 2017

The Shipment is full boat-load of racial jibes
All the basic condition theatre requires is that fire last night & those costumes & the human voice & people gathered together.   
Sir Trevor Nunn, Director (Cats, 1981 \ Les Miserables, 1985)

From the footlights: "Racism-pure-&-simple" is fundamentally a passe notion. We live in a world that could be termed either pan-racist or poly-racist. It's everywhere. So i.m.o. the best comprehensive English word that captures all racisms of every colour, stripe and texture is bigotry. For its part the play The Shipment is written by a female Korean-American and is focus'd on stereotypes of blacks who reflect back the bigotry they face.

A series of satirical comic vaudeville sketches precede a mini-one-act play at show's end. Purpose of it all is to force people to re-examine their own gut-level biases -- in thought or deed -- against those who are the "other", the "not us". Their skin colour is almost incidental to the drift of playwright Young Jean Lee's script as I see it. She uses faux-blackface in minstrel-mode as her medium. 
A wink? A half-wink? A kiss? A spit? All of the above from Andrew Creightney in this provocative script by the punchy Korean-American playwright Young Jean Lee in a SpeakEasy Theatre production of her work @ the Cultch Lab.
Photo credit Jens Kristian Balle
Faux-blackface is my word for it as, racially, the actors are in fact blacks who both emblemize and satirize the stereotypes their people have projected to the world. The stand-up comic who slags the ticket-buyers who are mostly honkies. The rap star groupie. Granny as a heavenly Aunt Jemima who speaks in parables. Crackhead. The anti-Denzel cops. And a one-act take-off on white collar office neuroses. 
Cast poses with eyes piercing through the photographer's lens to challenge audience bigotry just as they do in what is perhaps the show's best moment.  From left Andrew Creightney. Adrian Neblett. Kiomi Pyke. Omari Newton. Chris Francisque.
Photo credit Jens Kristian Balle

What the show brings to the stage : When do comic sketches morph into genuine grievances? When is a white audience to laugh at the black actors' antics, when to cry, when to shut up and muse thoughtfully? Whether we're seeing mash-up-&-lampoon or a genuine anguished lament about red-neck cracker racism per se -- such is the conceit that propels Lee's script along. (Yes! to both propositions.)

Aside : That a Korean-American woman writes dialogue for a troupe of black characters who lob wordplay games at a largely white audience is not just a laughing matter. It is proof positive that the whole theory of "appropriation" -- theft of voice, theft of gender, theft of race -- is precisely the non-starter it always was. No question (again, i.m.o.) that the whole concept of alleged "appropriation" should have been recognized from the get-go for what it is : fake news, to plagiarize a certain Twitter-freak. 

Still the fact is "identity politics" is what many folks of all races -- leftist & alt-right both -- cleave to. And nowhere are identity politics more visibly and audibly telling S. of 49 than in the NFL / kneel-down face-off over "respect" : some say a song measures it; others say police guns sing a different tune.

Production values that hi-lite the script : Five players. No set or props until the closing mini-one act birthday party scene outfitted in a NYC yuppie apartment. Omari Newton opens the show with his take-off on a black stand-up comedian who makes fun of whites. "I gotta talk about race because white people are so mo-fo stupid. And I don't mean to be offensive, but white people are evil, the stupidest mo-fo's on the planet." [N.B. Editor's election to euphemise here.]

And in case the Vancouver audience might not quite get it, he talks about first nations people here being Canada's blacks. "We gotta acknowledge that systemic racism is embedded in our culture. Don't make assumptions. When I call you out on your racism just say you're sorry and don't do it again!" he challenges the crowd not even 1/2-kidding. He exits, laughing at the crowd "Now you my niggers!"

There's the stereotyped Mom (Kiomi Pyke) -- six kids, 10 grandkids -- wants her son Omar (Andrew Creightney) to be a doctor. He wants to be a rap star. Opposite Desmond (Adrian Neblett) they riff on stealing cars, selling drugs, shooting people : "If you don't shoot people, they won't respect you," Desmond says as if his tongue couldn't find his cheek if it needed to.

Chris Francisque's turn as the hair stylist Sa-shay was one of the night's funniest bits. Possibly the best and cleverest routine was Grandma from Heaven. She tells a parable about cranes and red berries and how in the end due to their selfish sins "Everyone sat around maimed and bleeding until the sun went down." What followed was 120 seconds of absolute dead silence from the cast as, all in a row, they stared out at the audience and established fixed-eye-contacts with the crowd. Not a breath to be heard from anyone in the house.

Acting pin-spots : Other than what is noted above, to single out one or two actors from the five as superior to any other would in the Laugh-In minstrel show format be unfair, though Gotta say! the dance routine by Messrs. Creightney & Francisque was particularly riotous, as was Francisque's turn as Omar-the-food-purist in the one-act birthday party that ended the night. (Anyone who couldn't figure out the end-point of the one-act from the get-go perhaps missed much of the earlier satire as well. A bit of abridgement of that scene wouldn't hurt in the least.)

Who gonna like :  Judging by the riotous laughter at last night's ON show, the script and the performances deserved the stand-up wild-clapping 100% Huzzah! the crowd gave it.

Driving home, meanwhile, I mused aloud how well the show would play, say, as a summer repertory slot in the popular resort town of Lake Chelan in Washington State (where in 2016 Donald Trump whupped Hillary Clinton 55%-to-39.3%).

Playwright Young Jean Lee set out to write, with her original actors' help in New York, a black identity politics piece. The Shipment may be shorthand for shipment of drugs, shipment of slaves, shipment of white Europeans hell-bent on conquering the new world and its people. The word never surfaces in the script.

Regardless, this show succeeds in its multilayered extended riff -- and sermonettes -- about the bigotry that is rife in our culture. As the SpeakEasy Theatre principals point out below in the Addendum, this is timely, pertinent, poignant stuff to consider and have more than a single laugh doing so. Think you're "colour blind"? Give your head a shake-&-a rattle -- then roll on down to the Cultch where you'll be challenged to Think again!

Particulars : SpeakEasy Theatre presents the West Coast Canadian Premiere of The Shipment. Written by Young Jean Lee. At the Cultch's VanCity black box Lab stage, Victoria @ Vennables. On through December 2nd. Tickets by phone at 604.251.1363 or on-line at

Production team :  Produced by Markian Tarasiuk.  Directed by Kayvon Khoshkam & Omari Newton.  Set & Costume Designer Markian Taraskiuk.  Lighting Designer Itai Erdal. Music Director Dawn Pemberton.  Music Arrangement Steve Charles.  Stage Manager Sarah Mabberley.  

Performers : Andrew Creightney.  Chris Francisque.  Adrian Neblett.  Omari Newton.  Kiomi Pyke. 
Addendum #1 : from SpeakEasy Theatre's original press release about this show.

SpeakEasy Theatre Artistic Director Kayvon Khoshkam says "The play does not judge, nor does it preach, rather it invites us in to share and listen. The Shipment is raw, challenging and incredibly funny which is a perfect fit for the style of experience we have established for the company and our audiences. A night out with SpeakEasy is never what you expect, and you will always have a very good time."

Noting his interest in Korean-American Young Jean Lee writing about Black identity, Co-Director Omari Newton says : "Conversations about race are often presented as a dichotomy ('This is what Black people think, presented by a Black person,' etc.) and I was very intrigued to hear a thoughtful examination of the subject by an Asian woman. While 'The Black' experience is of course unique, there is a shared experience of being considered 'Other' by dominant culture. As an Asian person and as a woman, Young Jean Lee has experience with the many ways that systems of power exert their influence. As a Black man, I do as well. As a person of Middle Eastern heritage, Kayvon undoubtedly does as well. I'm interested in seeing how this melange of perspectives shapes our telling of the story."

To which Khoshkam adds : "The Shipment (and content like it) is required at this time. The rise of hatred, racism and claims is a global concern which has a disturbing fury in its stride. We knew that we had to make this piece happen whatever the cost. We want SpeakEasy to establish itself as an active member in the dialog over diversity and representation, and to take a leadership position in fostering socially conscience content."  

Addendum #2 : From the site, the first 20 of the 160 related words that pop up for "racism" are as follows :
  • mindset
  • discrimination
  • racialism
  • segregation
  • apartheid
  • prejudice
  • chauvinism
  • intolerance
  • ethnocentrism
  • xenophobia
  • fascism
  • nationalism
  • bigotry
  • neutralism [sic]
  • bias
  • decadence [sic]
  • ethno-nationalism
  • imperialism
  • isolationism
  • stagnation [sic]

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Onegin is a shimmery sparkling gem of a show!
All the basic condition theatre requires is that fire last night & those costumes & the human voice & people gathered together.   
Sir Trevor Nunn, Director (Cats, 1981 \ Les Miserables, 1985)

Editor's note : Due to a busy seasonal schedule, BLR will not be able to view the second mounting of Onegin that is a reprise of its successful premiere last April. What follows in lieu is a refreshed redux of last year's review. All of the players are back for another go -- with some late-run substitutions -- as is most of the production crew. The play heads out for an extended cross-Canada tour in January (venues / dates @ review's end).

From the footlights : Albert Einstein surely was seeing Veda Hille and Amiel Gladstone in his crystal ball when he said, almost offhandedly : "Creativity is intelligence at play."

Because play the two of them do with snap! originality! & fun galore! in their original musical Onegin (pron. uh-NAY-gen) that had its world premiere last April at the BMO Theatre Centre on 1st Avenue. 

Their script is based on both the original Aleksandr Pushkin novel-in-verse Yevgeny Onegin written in serialized chapters between 1825-1835 and on the 1879 opera anglicized as Eugene Onegin by Pytor Illyich Tchaikovsky that Wiki insists is "one of the most commonly performed operas in the world".

The Arts Club media release sums up the Gladstone / Hille script succinctly and with lots of winks : "Life is quiet on the Larin family's Russian country estate -- until the charismatic Evgeni Onegin ignites the romantic longings of its residents. Poet Vladimir Lensky dances with jealousy when Onegin flirts with his fiancee, Olga, and even the reclusive Tatyana Larin finds herself falling for the handsome rogue. But will Onegin embrace real love or simply skim its surface?" 

Love sought, found, rejected, rekindled, refound, rejected anew. Such is the soap opera  simmering between Tatyana Larin (Meg Roe) and Evgeni Onegin (Alessandro Juliani).
Photo credit : Emily Cooper 
Spoiler alert : Onegin will only skim it. But getting there is the thrill of this piece. And in doing so the high-talent package who deliver the show's snap! originality! & fun galore! dazzled the crowd into a universal standing-o -- wholly deserved -- at its end.

How it's all put together : Having read translations of dozens of Pushkin's 14-verse stanzas as well as Tchaikovsky's libretto, I can report two conclusions : (1) the Gladstone/Hille script is an honest tracking of their predecessors' works, and (2) their script is a whole lot spunkier and silly than what the other two guys managed.

Here's the opening scene from Pushkin : "My uncle, a most worthy gentleman / When he fell seriously ill / By snuffing it made us all respect him... / But, God above, what crushing boredom / To sit with the malingerer night and day... / To amuse the half-dead codger."  

Compare thisCrowd involvement @ BMO stage starts before the show as actors and musicians mingle with patrons chatting cheerfully. The opener tells the crowd "We have a love song we sing to you / We beg that you might hear it / We hope to break you open!" Drinks (Potemkin vodka) are passed to the audience to hoist each time the word "love" (pron. lyoo-BEET) is heard. "Dear Father up in Heaven / look down upon us smiling / Let this play be goddamn good / Let this play begin!"

"Look around / Do you see someone / worth dying for?" the troupe sings with peppy irony as Onegin (Alessandro Juliani), drinking out of a flask, circles smugly about dying uncle (Andrew Wheeler) collapsed scruffily in aristocrat threads on a day bed. When uncle finally gasps his last, Onegin drinks to his own health not to uncle's. Evgeni later recalls of that moment : "He looked me in the eye and said / 'When will the devil come for you?'" 

Meeting the Larin family and friends for the first time, everyone's fawning over the newcomer to the valley, calling him a "catch" and drooling "He's fucking gorgeous!" We know we are not in St. Petersburg, Kansas any longer. 

Dancing continuously with his buddy Lensky's best gal Olga Larin (Lauren Jackson), Evgeni sparks a duel and a host of other life-changing events.
Photo credit (original cast) : David Cooper
Some necessary plotty details :  As the jilted would-be lover and wannabe future wife, late-teen Tatyana (Meg Roe) is obviously the scriptwriters' favourite character. Bookish, innocent, shy, elder sister of Olga (Lauren Jackson), she writes Onegin a love letter and sings, poignantly, touchingly "Let me die, let me die, as we all must die -- but let me live first!" Onegin, a half-dozen years older, responds with a dull lecture how marriage would be hell on earth for him. Tatyana flees, mortified, crushed, broken.

Closest buddy is a younger romantic poet Vladimir Lensky (Josh Epstein). He's grown up with the Larins and has loved Olga, only 13, since they were kids. Despite Evgeny's obvious rejection of Tatyana's advances, Lensky tricks Onegin back to another party at the Larins with a swack of local folk invited, too. Onegin is miffed. Gets even by dancing every dance with Olga and flirting madly with her. 

Lensky is outraged. Challenges Onegin to a duel. Lensky is shot dead. The characters disperse. 

When Onegin next sees Tatyana, a half-dozen years hence, she is Princess Gremina, married to a greying ex-soldier. Despite a heaving bosom -- "Like some restless ghost / his passion awakes my eyes" -- she represses her true feelings and shuns him for the prince she has married.

But not before the two of them share a delicious duet, telling one another : "If I wanted to live in love / then you are who I would choose." Which is quite different from Tchaikovsky's version where she sings waspishly "Farewell forever!" and Onegin rushes offstage crying "Ignominy! Anguish! Oh my pitiable fate!"

Production hi-lites : The Gladstone/Hille script is scintillating. Recurring musical themes and solo lines are revisited throughout the show, with the Roe/Juliani duet "Let me die..." at the end a genuine tear-jerker, each of their finest moments of the night no question. 

Tracey Power (of Chelsea HotelMiss Shakespeare and EastVan Panto pedigree) does an exceptional job hurtling these performers around every inch and in every corner of the horseshoe or thrust stage as well as out into the very laps of the audience.

Director Gladstone had terrific fun with cast and audience both. When the star-crossed lovers sent letters to one another at the start and close of the story, Gladstone introduced a schtick of asking the front-row audience to pass them along, patron to patron, to each of Evgeny and Tatyana on their upstage left platforms while the actors egged the audience to do it More quickly! please. This was a unique and wholly fun bit to break down traditional arms-length 4th-wall staging.

Set Designer Drew Facey engaged the eye from the start with stacks of Tatyana's books anchored in each corner of the stage and down the sides. His St. Petersburg-y velvet 15-foot high drapes behind the orchestra upstage were rich and symbolic of the times both.

Acting pin-spots : As the ill-fated poet Lensky, Josh Epstein grabs top honours among the men, to this eye & ear, while Lauren Jackson as fiancee Olga revealed utter charm and coquettish playfulness throughout, just a delight to watch. 

Playing the part of birthday entertainer Triquet, Andrew McNee put on a camp-&-vamp performance nonpareil, worth going to see the show a second time for his turn there alone. Like Wheeler, he played many other bit parts throughout the show. 

Good turns from them as well as from Caitriona Murphy as Ma Larin plus chorus parts.

Musical chops galore : Three instruments have always been my utter favourites. Cello first and foremost. Then oboe. Then piano. The creators feature the melancholia inherent in the cello to terrific effect. Co-creator and musical director Veda Hille last April turned in a terrific! piano performance coupled with singing and eye-balling and verbal shout-outs throughout the evening also added to the fun. Marguerite Without has big shoes to fill as her 2017-2018 stand-in. Barry Mirochnick on percussion and guitar had both instruments fully at his command. 

Who gonna like : The headline says it all. This is a shimmering, sparkly gem of a show. It is utterly original, cheeky, charming and sassy in its update of the original Pushkin.

Pushkin told his publisher P.A. Pletnyov back in the day he intended his piece to be "half humorous", an objective Tchaikovsky only barely managed in the early scenes of his opera. 

In the hands of Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille, meanwhile, the Onegin story keeps the audience laughing and clapping and cheering and crying throughout even as their ears are tickled with great tunes masterfully arranged. 

Particulars :  By Amiel Gladstone & Veda Hille (based on the verse-novel by Pushkin and the opera by Tchaikovsky). At ACT's Granville Island.  Run-time 140 minutes including intermission.  On until December 31st.  Schedule information & tickets via or by phoning 604.687.1644.

Production team :  Director/Writer Amiel Gladstone.  Musical Director / Writer Veda Hille.  Choreographer Tracey Power.  Assistant Choreographer Amanda Testini.  Set Designer Drew Facey.  Dramaturg Rachel Ditor.  Costume Designer Jacqueline Firkins. Associate Costume Designer Alaia Hamer.  Lighting Designer John Webber.  Sound Designer Brad Danyluk.  Stage Manager Allison Spearin.  Assistant Stage Manager Sandra Drag.  

Performers (music) :  Jennifer Moersch (Cello).  Barry Mirochnic (Percussion).  Marguerite Witvoet (Piano).

Performers (actors) : Josh Epstein (Vladimir Lensky).  Lauren Jackson (Olga Larin and others).  Alessandro Juliani (Evgeni Onegin).  Andrew McNee (Triquet, Zaretsky and others).  Caitriona Murphy (Madame Larin and others).  Meg Roe (Tatyana Larin).  Andrew Wheeler (Prince Gremin and others).  Substitutions 12/27 - 12/31 : Hailey Gillis (Tatyan Larin).  Daren A. Herbert (Evgeni Onegin).  Nadeem Phillip (Many others).

Addendum : Co-creators Gladstone and Hille offered some insights into their intents with this script in notes published in the original BLR review last April worth repeating here :

What the show brings to the stage :  In 1984 Tina Turner famously sassed, "What's love got to do with it?" Writers Hille and Gladstone, who's also the show's director, think the answer to that question is "Everything!" as they unpack and repackage the Pushkin / Tchaikovsky originals in their 2-hour piece that is a mix of vaudeville, cabaret, silent movie choreography and circus all at once. Gladstone reveals "We wanted to do something about connection, something romantic. Onegin felt like the perfect piece to adapt for modern audiences because these characters' missed opportunities show us what happens when we don't embrace love when it comes to you."

Vancouver theatre fans will recognize the writers as the original team behind Craigslist Cantata from the 2012 PuSH Festival. At the time Hille identified herself as a composer of "eccentric musicals". Of this script she says "When we started writing Onegin, I was ready to dive into grand romance. This show has let me feel things I haven't felt in ages. Sprawling messy feelings that led to soaring melodies and hot dreams and some pretty fervent singing. We have a fantastic gang of players, and I can't wait to finally unleash these songs." And unleash this company truly does. 

Arts Club Winter On Tour Schedule 

Jan 5–14, 2018

Jan 18–28, 2018

Feb 1–3, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

Feb 8, 2018

Feb 10, 2018

Feb 13, 2018

Feb 14, 2018

Feb 15, 2018

Feb 16 & 17, 2018

Feb 18, 2018

Feb 20, 2018

Feb 21–Mar 3, 2018

Mar 4, 2018

Mar 6–10, 2018

Mar 11, 2018

Mar 13 & 14, 2018

Mar 15, 2018

Mar 21–Apr 4, 2018