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Film Reel

Film Review: The Gold Rush and The Wages of Fear

David Marriott
Feb 25th, 2012

An oil-drenched Yves Montand in The Wages of Fear.

In the midst of the digital revolution, film has found itself on the endangered species list. With major studios less and less inclined to bear the cost of shipping actual film prints out to theatres when presented with digital alternatives, some are now predicting the effective end of celluloid film print distribution by as early as 2013.

Canadian film Monsieur Lazhar among nominees for Academy Awards

Jenny Uechi
Jan 24th, 2012

The Artist, one of the favorites to win the Oscar this year

The 84th Academy Award nominees have been announced. From the raunchy "Bridesmaids" to the epic 3D animated "Hugo" to the charming silent movie "The Artist", here are the critics' picks of the best movies in 2011. Canada has one entry, "Monsieur Lazhar" (directed by Philippe Farladeau), up against Iran's acclaimed "A Separation", for Best Foreign Film.  

Wicked brings suspenseful show to Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Wendy Dallian
Jun 5th, 2011

Joe Mantello's stage production of Wicked is a suspenseful story about appearances versus reality, and doing the right thing as opposed to what is popular. 

Based on Gregory Maguire's bestseller, to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for the month of June.

Wicked is the untold story of the witches of Oz “long before Dorothy dropped in.”

Elphaba (Anne Brummel) and Glinda (Natalie Daradich) form an unlikely friendship on their journey to becoming the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good. Elphalba is gregarious, gifted, and green, while Glinda is pretty, petty, and popular. The two friends come to a collision course as they fall in love with the same man (Fiyero, played with easy charm by David Nathan Perlow) and find themselves on the opposite sides of a political struggle. 

At the show's opening, the elaborate set lit up with an enormous dragon that stretched the width of the stage, and Glinda the Good gliding down in an enormous silver bubble.

It's present day, the wicked witch has been melted (not a spoiler if you've seen the Wizard of Oz) and Glinda has some questions to answer.

Mom's the Word: Remixed, brings humorous, heartfelt story about motherhood

Wendy Dallian
Jun 3rd, 2011

When Mom's the Word came to Vancouver back in 1993, the show's writers and creators (Linda A Carson, Jill Daum, Alison Kelly, Robin Nichol, Barbara Pollard, Deborah Williams) had 12 children between them, all under the age of six. The show was humorously relatable, whether you were a parent or not, with a universal message about love, commitment, and family that struck a chord wherever it went, selling out shows all over the world.

Twelve years later,  their children now in their teens, came Mom's the Word 2: the ladies proved they still have what it takes to put together one of the funniest, heart wrenching, intimate shows to hit the stage.

They don't miss a beat with Mom's the Word: Remixed (an amalgamation of the first two shows, starring Jill Daum, Beverley Elliott, Alison Kelly, Barbara Pollard, and Deborah Williams) moving easily from humour to drama to tragedy and back to humour. The play gives a hilarious inside view on relationships surrounding motherhood.

Jian Ghomeshi in Vancouver to announce 2nd annual Culture Days

Wendy Dallian
May 9th, 2011

photo: Wendy Dallian

Culture Days unveiled plans for the 2nd Annual Canada-wide grassroots celebration of Arts and Culture: the largest-ever public participation campaign undertaken by the arts and cultural community in Canada.

Culture Days is a free annual event weekend where the public is invited to celebrate arts and culture in cities and towns in every province and territory in Canada. It calls on all artists, arts and culture organizations, community groups and members of the arts and culture industries, municipalities, libraries, schools, businesses and arts and culture lovers in across the country to offer behind-the-scenes, hands-on and interactive experiences, completely free of charge.

Concurrent media launches happened across the country today day with local arts community leaders and performances by local artists in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island.

Emcee and Host of CBC Radio's QJian Ghomeshi was on hand to answer a few questions about the upcoming September event.

Robert Plant and the Band of Joy

Wendy Dallian
Apr 18th, 2011

Photo by Tanya Coad

When Robert Plant and the Band of Joy played a sold out show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Sunday night, they had barely set foot on stage when the audience jumped to their feet in a raucous standing ovation -- and stayed there until the end of the show.

Front man Plant reached the height of legend in the '80s with his band Led Zeppelin and countless iconic rock albums like Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin I, II, III, and Physical Graffiti, to only mention a few, that still sell like wild fire today.

Riverdance brings Irish dance fusion to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Wendy Dallian
Apr 12th, 2011

Riverdance opened at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre April 7 to a sell out crowd.

It's always a pleasant surprise to find a show that delivers so much more than expected. Such was the case for Riverdance.

The show opened with The Irish Dance Troup performing the high-spirited Reel Around the Sun. The artists moved from dance to song to solos back to groups building a story of the journey of the dance and the Irish.

Musicians flanked the dancers with Pat Mangan (fiddle) and Mark Alfred (percussion, drums, bodhran) stepping out onto centre stage to rally the crowd. Instruments ranged from saxophone to Uilleann pipes.

Highlighted were the flamenco solos by Marita Martinez-Rey, whose choreography was impecable, and the tap duo of Dewitt Fleming Jr. and Michael E. Wood who enchanted the audience with their fluidity and technique as they made something extremely difficult appear easy.

The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom

Wendy Dallian
Apr 7th, 2011

The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom is a  film about a young girl who discovers she was adopted and fantasizes that Dolly Parton is her mother.

The film is based in the mid seventies. Director Tara Johns cast 12 year old Vancouver actor Julia Stone in the lead role of Elizabeth. Stone connects to her character and delivers a heartfelt performance.

I sat down to talk with her about the film.

WD: What did you think when you first read the script?

JS: I thought it was a beautiful script and really well-written. Whenever I'm reading a story, whether it's in a script or in a book, it's like I'm in the story: I'm not just reading it, I'm in it. That's how it was when I read the script. It was like I was watching what was going on.

Fiddler on the Roof at the Centre

Wendy Dallian
Mar 24th, 2011

photo: Carol Rosegg

 “Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as...as a FIDDLER ON THE ROOF,” announces Tevye, a humble milkman from the Russian village of Anatevka. And so begins a tale of love and laughter, devotion and defiance...and changing traditions.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, The Tony Award winning musical that has captured the hearts of people all over the world with its universal appeal, embarks on its National Tour.

Bruce Hornsby and the Noise Makers Rock the River Rock

Wendy Dallian
Mar 24th, 2011

photo: Kevin Statham

Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers played last week at the River Rock Casino.

Hornsby has a stellar group of musicians including John “JT” Thomas (keyboards,organ), Bobby Read (saxophones, woodwinds, flute), JV Collier (bass), Doug Derryberry (guitar, mandolin), and Sonny Emory (drums).

The band pulled from an array of Hornsby's albums going way back and giving a fresh rendition of hits like Mandolin Rain and The Way It Is. Hornsby

The crowd was on their feet. They screamed out what they wanted to hear next and Hornsby complied.

The stage was  surrounded with people dancing to the tunes.

It was great to be reminded of Hornsby's wonderful sense of humour, musical genius, and humanity.  He's a legend in his own right.

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