Chutzpah! 2016 thrills with outstanding dance, music, comedy and theatre

Join us in eclectic venues for stand-up comedy, theatrical drama, rich global music and explosive and elegant dance.

Tel Aviv-based Maria Kong brings their North American Premiere of award-winning "Open Source," a dance experience full of passion, drama and humour. Photo by Ascaf.

Over the course of almost one month, the city overflows with a wide range of music, dance, theatre and comedy performances for Chutzpah! 2016.

This year, the festival is spread over five Vancouver venues, including the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre, The Biltmore Cabaret, The Fox Cabaret, JCC Dayson Board Room and Frankie’s Italian Kitchen. 

Chutzpah! 2016 kicks off with two great stand-up comics. The one of a kind New Yorker Jessica Kirson, whose unique and captivating stage presence captures the attention of audiences everywhere she performs with her wide variety of characters.

And Jon Steinberg, a perennial favourite on CBC radio’s The Debaters, drawing material from his unique and twisted view of the world. 

 An eagerly anticipated highlight of Vancouver’s dance season is the Chutzpah! Festival’s Dance Series.

This year’s performances again offer high calibre, challenging and gorgeous dance delivering innovative and spell-binding work.

It includes Canadian and North American premieres from Italy’s brilliant Spellbound Contemporary Ballet; the incomparable Israeli dance company Maria Kong; the New York- based Gallim Dance in Wonderland; a spectacular double bill with New York City’s hot all-male company MADBOOTS and a world premiere from acclaimed Shay Kuebler’s Radical System Art.

And for Chutzpah!PLUS a mixed repertoire from Ballet Kelowna with works by Simone OrlandoJames KudelkaHeather Myers and John Alleyne, with Toronto’s Continuum Contemporary Music accompanying. 

A-Wa. Photo by Photo by Tomer Yosef.

 Music is extensive at this year’s Chutzpah! with artists from Israel, Mexico City, Germany, USA, Cuba and Canada.

Highlights include Israel’s sister group A-WA; Juno Award winners Odessa/ Havana in an exhilarating, unprecedented musical discovery led by trumpeter and composer David Buchbinder and Cuban piano master Hilario Durán; Mexico City’s remarkable Klezmersonseamlessly combining melodies and rhythms blending Jewish, Gypsy and Mexican influences.

Creating a unique fusion of rock, funk and jazz; hailing from Berlin and Tel Aviv, Baladino offers fresh Sephardic and Ladino melodies, with Mediterranean-Gypsy grooves, electronics, improvisation and stunning vocals; the inspired work of Israel’s Victoria Hanna, accompanied by three world class musicians, depicts her ongoing experimentation with vocal and conceptual boundaries integrating music, spoken word and video, described by DownBeat Magazine as “a remarkable talent and a welcome new voice on the scene.”

Also performing will be Israel/New York Jazz trio Rotem Sivan Trio; one of his generation’s premier mandolinists and clarinetists, New York’s Andy Statman with his trio featuring Jim Whitney and Larry Eagle; and Israel’s Avishai Cohen Quartet described by the New York Times as an extravagantly skilled trumpeter...deftly combining sensitivity with flair” (Chutzpah!PLUS). 

Ital Erdal and Rabbis. Photo courtesy Chutzpah Festival .

Theatre highlights include A Very Narrow Bridge, a world premiere from B.C.-based playwright, performer and lighting designer Itai Erdal.

Joining Erdal onstage in this humorous and moving site specific play are local favourites Patti Allen, Tom Pickett and Anton Lipovestky.

Chutzpah!PLUS brings us Jonathan Goldstein, the former celebrated host and writer of the CBC program Wiretap, with his signature brand of wry, self- deprecating humour; and a book reading and interview with Jennifer Teege in conversation with Marsha Lederman.

In her memoir My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me, Teege reveals the horrifying moment she discovered her ancestry of being the bi-racial granddaughter of Nazi commandant Amon Goeth, which shook her life to the core. 

The Chutzpah! Festival runs February 18 to March 13 and Chutzpah!PLUS runs March 31, April 2 and May 4 to 7. 

 For tickets visit www.chutzpahfestival. com or call the Chutzpah! Box Office at 604.257.5145. 

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