Wednesday, January 11, 2012

PuSh 2012: Preview

And, now onwards with 2012! This year I’m back again doing some blogging for the PuSh Festival. And, since the PuSh Festival is described as an international festival this year – having just done some traveling myself – I thought we’d pull out the passport and see where the PuSh Festival is going to take us this year:

Let’s start here in Vancouver with Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata starting January 19th at the Arts Club Revue Stage – I honestly can’t imagine anything more fun than taking some of the craziest ads you’ve ever seen on Craigslist and putting them to music. It originally debuted as part of Twenty-Minute Musicals during Club PuSh in 2009 and is back with an 80-minute premiere version. Written by Bill Richardson (local award-winning writer and broadcaster) and Veda Hille (indie singer-songwriter who wrote the music to Peter Panties that was part of the 2011 PuSh Festival) the production features songs with titles such as “300 Stuffed Penguins” and “Decapitated Dolls”. You really can get anything on Craigslist, can’t you?!

Then the next day, starting January 20th, out at the Frederic Wood Theatre you can travel to Russia with Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot – The award winning team of James Fagan Tait and Joelysa Pankanea are back at it again after they brought Vancouver audiences Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment during the 2005 PuSh Festival. This time rather than exploring the plight of a young man who formulates and executes a plan to murder a miserable old pawnbroker Dostoyevsky is exploring the plight of young man who returns to society after being locked in the looney bin for 6 years and finds himself caught between a kept woman and a young ingénue. Oh, those Russians, so epic.

After that maybe you’d like to take a trip to Spain. The Chan Centre is presenting for one night only on January 21st Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca – Described as Spain’s most treasured flamenco group, they are hailed for their “raw and deeply emotional performances of virtuosic guitar, cathartic song and spectacular dance”. Check out this video:

Ole! is right!! Uh, yes please. Can I move to Spain now?!

Or, maybe you’d prefer Japan. Starting on January 26th you’ve got Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech at SFU Woodward’s – This show is described as a piece that explores the subtext of professional office etiquette, water cooler gossip and corporate culture using deadpan dialogue in combination with brilliant choreography. Each three scenes speak to the dark humour and despair of a generation that had been promised a brilliant future only to end up ensnared in fluorescent cubicles. Hmmm…I think that pretty much just described 90% of my generation.

Coming back to Canada on February 1st, and always a fun time, you can check out Dances for a Small Stage 25 at The Legion on the Drive – Canada’s hottest dance artists take on the signature ‘small’ 10-by-13 foot stage to create original works that “crackle with personality, individuality, and humour”.

Finally after all that traveling from Canada to Russia to Spain to Japan and back to Canada again, you’re going to be famished. So, starting on January 25th, you can end your PuSh Festival travels at Eat the Street taking place at various restaurants in Gastown and surrounding neighbourhoods – From what I gather from the description a group of kids in grades 5 and 6, after being educated by a professional chef on the art of dining, will make stops at several of the city’s most notable eateries and then be asked to give their “brutually honest, uncensored opinions on the food, the service, the décor, the state of the washrooms and the charm of the dishwasher”. All you have to do is show up, order some food and wait for the shenanigans to begin. Just a word of caution: you may blow your beverage through your nose if you laugh too hard whilst drinking.

This is just a small sample of what’s on offer at this year’s PuSh Festival. You can also travel to Amsterdam, Auckland, Beirut, London and Mexico City. All the details on specific productions and how to purchase your tickets or passes is available on their website:

And, I’ll be live blogging from the PuSh Opening Gala on January 17th so stayed tuned for all of that fun stuff.

Enjoy your travels!

~Sabrina Evertt,
Artistic Producer

(All images courtesy of the Push Festival)

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