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Chutzpah Festival ready to roar with dance, music, theatre and comedy

Where can you find breath-taking dance, hilarious comedy, internationally lauded theatre and captivating music over the next few weeks? The 14th Annual Chutzpah! Festival, the Lisa Nemetz International Jewish Performing Arts Festival, is a diverse mix of some of the world's best performers. Running February 22 to March 9 at several Vancouver venues, the Chutzpah Festival offers live performances in many genres.

The Festival’s popular dance programming kicks off with a full evening of international dance, featuring a World Premiere by Hofesh Shector, one of the hottest choreographers working today. 

Dance continues throughout the festival with international artists ImPerfect Dancers (Italy), Idan Sharabi & Dancers (Israel), Ate9 Dance Company (US/Israel) and new work by Vancouver’s award-winning choreographer/dancer and Chutzpah resident artist Donald Sales/Project 20. A former Ballet BC dancer, Sales has been wowing audiences with his innovative and emotionally powerful work.

Internationally-celebrated music at Chutzpah 2014 includes saxophone virtuoso Uri Gurvich and his Ensemble (Israel/US), Russian/American Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin and the Kontraband, Iraqi-Jewish Israeli-based rock musician Dudu Tassa and The Kuwaitis and Vancouver-born emerging artist Landon Braverman and Friends in a cabaret evening of musical theatre. Returning to Vancouver again this year is audience favourite and leading world music pioneers Yemen Blues.

Chutzpah!, partnering with Touchstone Theatre and the Firehall Arts Centre, presents the West Coast premiere of "Hirsch"Created by Alon Nashman and Paul Thompson, the story chronicles the life of a Hungarian refugee orphaned by the Holocaust who finds a new home in Canada and becomes a fierce, uncompromising Canadian theatre icon. Performed by veteran actor Alon Nashman, the Ottawa Citizen calls it “a brilliant triumph.” The World Premiere of Tiny Music by BC’s Noah Drew brings to Chutzpah! an original "sound design musical" loosely adapted from Shalom Aleichem's short story The Fiddle. The show follows Ezra, a 23-year-old "high-functioning" autistic man whose auditory-processing disorder heightens his experience of the sounds around him.   

Comedy is always at its best at Chutzpah! Two-time Emmy winning actress and comedian Judy Gold brings her Off-Broadway hit "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother" to the Vancouver Playhouse for one performance only, that anyone with a mother will appreciate. Brad Zimmerman, a well-known comedian and one of Joan Rivers' favourite opening acts, will also be in town to perform My Son the Waiter, A Jewish Tragedy.

This year Chutpzah!PLUS co-presents with The Dance Centre on the  Canadian premiere of "STELLA" plus new work from the unparalleled Sidra Bell Dance New York, playing from Mar 27-29, and The Idan Raichel Project, performing on May 12 with 10 musicians - his largest ensemble yet to come to Chutzpah!, including new music from his just-released CD, and an opening set by award-winning singer/songwriter, Vancouver’s Babe Gurr. 

To catch the festival filled with excitement and promise, single tickets for Chutzpah ranging from $20 to $42 and can be purchased online at chutzpahfestival.com, and by phone at the Chutzpah! Box Office: 604-257-5145 or Tickets Tonight Box Office: 604-684-2787.  Chutzi Packs are also available which include 4 different shows of your choice for only $82; except Judy Gold’s "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother" and The Idan Raichel Project.

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