BWW Feature: Top 5 Shows to See at the PuSh Festival in Vancouver!
With a New Year comes another great year of theatre in Vancouver! Starting off 2020, the 16th year of the annual PuSh International Performing Arts Festival will take off from January 21st to February 9th. It will be taking place at many different venues across the Vancouver area and will feature 27 works from 24 companies from 9 countries. The festival focuses on inspiring risk-takers and creators looking to strengthen their interests with the modern world. The PuSh Festival will spark deep conversation about politics and artistry that will leave you wanting more! The following is a list of the top 5 shows I am most interested in for this festival!
1) BERLIN: THE LAST CABARET (January 23rd to 25th) at Performance Works
The professional chamber opera company: City Opera Vancouver in association with Sound the Alarm presents this piece taking place in Nazi, Germany in 1934. This unique production follows a satirical cabaret troupe that becomes endangered as the Nazis become stricter during their occupation of Germany. Featuring the talents of 5 singers and an accompanying band, this show brings something new and fresh to the theatre scene in Vancouver!
2) OLD STOCK: A REFUGEE LOVE STORY (January 24th to 30th) at the Frederic Wood Theatre
This show is both a concert and drama following the love story between 2 Romanian Jewish refugees in Halifax in the 1900s. Presented with Touchstone Theatre and UBC Theatre and Film, this wild and refreshing show follows the 2 lovers as they embark on their new life in Montreal with recurring flashbacks to their past lives. Previously shown off-Broadway, this show was also highly rated in 2019 by The Globe and Mail.
3) FRONTERA (January 30th) at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre
The Western Canadian premiere of this show will piece together a variety of media types into a spectacular performance. With lighting by the United Visual Artists and choreography by Dana Gingras and her dance company: Animals of Distinction, this production tackles the idea of borders (both internal and external) using both sound and motion. Accompanied by a musical performance by Fly Pan Am, FRONTERA will definitely be something you have to check out this month!
4) FOOTNOTE NUMBER 12 (February 6th to 8th) at Performance Works
This interesting piece turns reading into theatre! Moving deep into the dynamic concept of privilege and the politics of language. Combining monologues based on a literary essay by the late David Foster Wallace with the sound artistry of Nancy Tam, this show will definitely be something different and refreshing to experience in February!
5) MONDAY NIGHTS (February 6th to 9th) at the Anvil Centre
Do you love basketball? Do you love theatre? Do you ever wish you could experience both at once? MONDAY NIGHTS is a show that combines both theatre and basketball into an experience that you will not forget. Highlighting the story of 5 men who came together to play basketball every Monday night for an entire decade, this show proves that there was more than just a game during these weekly meet-ups. This show explores what masculinity is as a construct and what it means to make meaningful relationships with other people.
Photo: Monday Nights
Credit: Taku Kumabe, 2020