Vancouver might be a recreational mecca (and I sure take advantage), but there are some decent opportunities to be artsy and get cultured too.
A few weeks ago, Emily and I went too See Cirque Du Soleil’s Corteo show with Dylan and Anna. It was amazing. I was really blown away by the performance. Often there was so much going on I didn’t know where to watch. Most of the show was what you would expect from Cirque – world class gymnasts doing crazy stunts, amazing live music, and funny theatrics. What I didn’t expect was the floating midget attached to huge helium balloons. It was bizarre. The audience was encouraged to push her around like a beach ball tossed into the audience. I was torn between thinking: “this is the coolest thing ever” and “wow, that’s so wrong”.
Another show touring through Vancouver is Spamalot – the Monty Python musical. Emily and I went to see it last night. It was good, but not as funny as I had expected. I found some of the original bits were hilarious, but the scenes taken from the movies fell flat.
Some other shows we’re considering seeing this summer are:
– Annie Get Your Gun – at The Theatre Under the Stars in Stanley Park. They’re also showing Jesus Christ Superstar.
– King Lear at Bard on the Beach. We saw Timon of Athens last year and I was really impressed.
There’s also lots of music festivals going on right now. I had no desire to brave the crowds at the Pemberton Festival, but last weekend we did spend one day at the Vancouver Folk Festival. It was a great day. The weather was perfect – mostly sunny with some cloudy breaks, the music was good (even though I didn’t really know any of the bands going in), and we had a great time hanging out with Laura. The highlights were:
– Martin Sexton on the main stage. A new discovery for me, he blew me away with his singing and ability to imitate instruments. It was just him and a guitar on stage, but at one point he did saxophone solo.
– Abigail Washburn and The Sparrow Quartet entertaining the crowd with sweet vocals and a harmony of banjo, fiddle, and cello. She sang some songs in Mandarin- unfortunately I didn’t see a single Chinese person in attendance.
– Delhi 2 Dublin getting everyone up on their feet and dancing to a crazy fusion of Indian and Celtic music. I was really happy to be in a crowd hippy-dancing along with everyone else. It was super fun.
– Jason Collett‘s mellow music and stories between songs. The best part of live performances is hearing the musicians tell stories about the song’s origins. My favourite was his story about a high school dance where an ember from a joint caused his polyester vest to burst into flames.
– the random folk music, especially in the workshops where multiple artists share a stage and either take turns performing or jam together. The Women’s Voices Rising and North Country Blues workshops were both great.