What a year! I saw 55 shows; I produced and developed an original piece of Canadian theatre as well as directed a Vancouver premiere of another play; I designed the costumes for 2 other productions; I was hired as Head of Wardrobe at the new SFU Woodward’s for their involvement with the Cultural Olympiad during the 2010 Winter Olympics that included working on Robert Lepage’s The Blue Dragon; and, last but certainly not least, I started being invited to blog about different theatrical productions around Vancouver.
And, as a result of all this, and all the work that I have put into Twenty-Something, I am starting to feel, for possibly the first time since I moved back here from Victoria, that I am, really, truly, part of this community.
The reason I know this to be true is, since I moved back here, I will admit that I have pretty much thought of Vancouver as temporary stopping place to some place else. In many ways, I’ve always had one foot out the door. Ready to take off to places unknown. Toronto. New York. London. But this past year I made a very real decision to stay & make Vancouver my home base because low-and-behold after all this time I have found my community.
And, I’m going to stay and see things through, because although we moan, and wine, and complain, I think Vancouver is really only beginning to see the potential of what we can be. Vancouver is starting to become internationally recognized for the work that comes out of here and I, for one, am proud to be part of this community.
So, I thank all of you (you know who you are), who have been there these past 6 years. Who have been my champions. Who have encouraged me to keep going when all I wanted to do was give up. Who have shown me kindness and generosity. Who believe in what we do. Thank you for welcoming me into this community and making me feel like I was part of something and that what I was doing mattered.
Okay, enough of the mushy stuff, and onto the cold hard (subjective) facts: My Top 5 Picks for 2010 (in no particular order)…
1) Nevermore presented by the Arts Club and the Cultch from Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre during the 2010 PuSh Festival. Words cannot begin to do it justice or explain how much I loved this show.
2) Elephant Wake presented by the Cultch from Regina’s Globe Theatre. Secured a fully-fledged crush on Bretta Gerecke that started in January with the above-mentioned Nevermore.
3) Exquisite Hour presented as part of the 2010 Vancouver Fringe by one of Vancouver’s newest theatre companies: Relephant Theatre. An outstanding production from a brand new company and I look forward to seeing what more they have to offer.
4) Wide Awake Hearts at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. I saw it twice. On my own dime. Enough said.
5) Glengarry Glen Ross at the Arts Club here in Vancouver. I didn’t blog about this show. Partly because I was extremely busy at the time producing my own show. Partly because I think Eric McCormack pretty much sold himself.
Often when I go to see shows with celebrities in the lead roles I often think to myself “oh, great, another cash grab”. Maybe that’s cynical and unfair. I don’t know. But it’s what I think. Well, all I can say was, this was not just a good cash grab but also a damn good show (and hey, I won’t knock a good cash grab when I see one, I am a producer after all). Eric McCormack’s performance as Ricky Roma was outstanding. Furthermore, add to that a brilliant performance by Gerard Plunkett playing Levene and I could have watched those two for hours. Add to that again, a fantastic set and overall design and this definitely makes my top 5.
Since I saw almost 20 more productions this year than I did last year there are also some significant other achievements that I would like to give honourable mention to as well:
1) For Design: Drowning Girls at Gateway. Bretta Gerecke. That is all.
2) For Innovation/Creation: Kismet 1 to 100 as part of the Tremors Festival at the Cultch. Unexpected and delightful.
3) For Male Performance: Zachary Stevenson in Buddy Holly. Incredible. If this guy isn’t at least nominated for a Jessie for this performance I will eat my shirt. Literally. You can hold me to it.
4) For New Script/Young Playwright: Dave Deveau who wrote Tiny Replicas which was part of the first annual Neanderthal Festival. Honest, funny and heart-wrenching.
5) For Physical Comedy: The 39 Steps at the Arts Club. I nearly peed my pants during the train scene. Honestly. I haven’t laughed that hard at a show in a long, long time. So good.
6) For Female Performance – Julie McIsaac in Hamlet at the Havana. I hate Ophelia. Not in this show. For that alone she gets my admiration. But even beyond that I felt for her. The crazy scene was some of the finest acting work I’ve seen this year.
And, that’s 2010. In a short (well short-ish) blog post. Up next on the blog: Looking ahead to 2011.
Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for making 2010 such a memorable year!