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LIVE EVENT! Living Myth Live Presents TELL ME YOUR NIGHTMARES

Comedy, Culture, Events, LMM Live, Performance, Showcase

June 20, 2017

We are doing our first live show after a long hiatus of show making… and man is it a doozy!

Tell Me Your Nightmares is a show where we talk about something we all have… NIGHTMARES!

We will be at Seven Dining Loung in Vancouver, BC on July 14th from 7 PM to 11 PM.

There will be special guests and great music by our musical guests The Skeleton Crew

You can have a listen to them below

We will also have two contests! A pyjama contest and an audience nightmare contest. More information will be available on our event page.

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233

Review: Instant Theatre – Shakespeare After Dark! The Anniversary Show

Comedy, Culture, Events, Improv, Performance, Reviews, Showcase

June 19, 2017

With uproarious laughter and perfect comic timing, the audience was transfixed by what they saw. We had an audience with “The Bard” himself, Bartitsu and rapier fighting by Affair of Honor, an Elizabethan complements contest, an insult battle with pirate ships and pickle juice as the main insult components and Matheson the best drunk thespian they could summon.  Shakespeare After Dark is very close to being sorcery on its own, but they pull some serious magic Saturday night.  We can’t say this enough but this is absolutely some of the best improv you can see in the city.

Good and gentle bards soothed us with classic chamber music throughout the evening. Photo Credit Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Producer Chelsey Stuyt welcomes the audience and introduces us to the players. Photo Credit Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Joel Cottingham as William Shakespeare was our host! “I might call him / A thing divine, for nothing natural / I ever saw so noble.” – The Tempest Photo Credit Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

A packed house! Full of merry gentles! Photo Credit Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Affair of Honor showing us stunningly choreographed Bartitsu Photo Credit Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

A fair maiden receiving compliments Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

They were wooing her real good Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Pirates vs. Pickle Juice might foes in insults Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Affair of Honor and their endless rapier duel Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

It would be Shakespeare After Dark without a drunk actor. Matheson was our man of the evening. Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

“I’M A DRAGON” Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

A man armed with mead is as dangerous as a man armed with sword Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Like all good Shakespearean tragedies… There is a lot of death. Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Like … a lot of death… Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Did we mention there was death? Because there was. Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Standing Ovation! Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Chelsey bidding us a gentle night and merry revelry. Photo Credit By Peter Joseph for Living Myth Magazine

Our contest winners enjoying alcohol and snacks!

Congratulations Instant Theatre on a successful and hilarious Shakespeare After Dark!  If you want to catch their next show it will be at The Havana on July 22nd.

 

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202

Kurtis Wiebe on Rat Queens

Books & Writing, Culture, Interviews, Showcase

June 19, 2017

Kurtis Wiebe, writer of Rat Queens and Bounty and a host of other comics that we love, recently took the time to sit down and chat about his return to that title, his love of role playing games, the future of the Queens, and some of his other projects. It’s the sort of conversation that we’re delighted to be able to share, and so…

 

LMM: Hey, Kurtis, thanks for taking the time to do this with us. You’re back writing Rat Queens, one of the first – and, in our opinion, one of the best – dungeons and dragons inspired comics to feature anything other than male leads. Where did the original concept come from?

Kurtis Wiebe: Rat Queens was born out of the idea of taking fantasy in a direction I’d never seen before. I’d never come across a fantasy series, comic or fiction in general, that featured four female protagonists. I wanted to create a world where gender really didn’t matter when it came to career pursuits. So often when a woman is a warrior in these sorts of stories there’s always someone making a point of it. “You can’t do that, you’re a woman.” And then the story is about them proving that they can. I think it’s a fun concept that it’s just a universally accepted fact that a job is a job, no one questions the gender equation.

And I think it’s pretty obvious that there’s a huge element of roleplaying game nostalgia mixed in for good measure.

 

LMM: You had initially intended to kickstart the series. What was it like getting picked up by Jim Valentino before the funding went live? What was your reaction?

Kurtis Wiebe: I think it’s sort of telling in a lot of ways. I never expected ANYONE to read Rat Queens. It was a series in a genre that traditionally was a tough sell in the comic market. It didn’t even cross my mind to pitch to Shadowline until Riley Rossmo read over the pitch and said I should at least try to talk to Jim Valentino about it.

Jim responded within a few hours and greenlit it. I think Jim saw more in the series than I did at that point and took a chance. I was pretty surprised, honestly.

 

LMM: What brought you back after your hiatus?

Kurtis Wiebe: Owen Gieni. I’d been talking to him for years about working on something together. We’ve known each other long before we both ended up in Vancouver a few years ago. (Though I’m no longer there, myself.) Owen and I met up and started hanging out in Saskatoon, Canada roughly seven years ago. We played RPG’s together, jammed on story ideas and spent a few nights around a campfire having drinks. Real classic small town Saskatchewan stuff.

I’d always hoped that Owen would come onto Rat Queens for a one shot at the very least, and I’d reached out to him about coming onto the series when  Stjepan was unable to continue working on it. It didn’t work out then due to scheduling conflicts, but I’m so glad he agreed to join me for the relaunch.

You have to understand that Owen brought an energy to the series that reignited the spark for me. I had fell out of love with the series for a lot of reasons but I am absolutely loving working on it again. The best part is the level of collaboration we have. We will break story together, scene by scene. Joke by joke. This new take on Rat Queens is a real blending of our combined humor and storytelling.

 

LMM: You’ve got an interesting cast of characters to develop stories with. Who’s your favorite, and why?

Kurtis Wiebe: Tough decision. I think Betty has become the most natural for me. I know her inside and out and her ability to love anyone, despite everything, is an aspect of her personality that is a real joy to write.

 

LMM: Speaking of that cast of characters… everyone is a lot deeper than they look at first glance. Where’d you draw on the gender issues that confront Violet, where do you see her brother’s involvement in her life going, and is the rest of her family going to get involved?

Kurtis Wiebe: For Violet, it was more about family expectation. Tradition for the sake of it. Never questioning the history that came before. And the reasons her father gave her were never enough. She needed to be heard and her father, and Barrie to a certain extent, weren’t able to do so. So Violet set out to create her own traditions that were personal to her.

Barrie is already part of the new relaunch, and it’s evident he still doesn’t understand her choices. We will be dealing with that in upcoming issues and more with her family later on.

 

LMM: Violet takes care of her Queens and the Queens look like the biggest gang of heroes in Palisade – how do the people of Palisade feel about that, and how comfortable is Violet with playing politics? Will the various nobles try to use Violet and the nobles for their own ends?

Kurtis Wiebe: I doubt Violet sees herself as a hero, that would be more of a Hannah thing. But the people of Palisade are much more accepting of the Queens after they saved the town from a potentially devastating attack in Volume 2. We’ll get into that more in the series as well.

 

LMM: By the same token, you have a similar but different issue playing out with the half-orc, Braga. What was it like getting to explore her backstory, and what’s it like having her officially join the Queens?

Kurtis Wiebe: I love the one shots for that reason. We have an opportunity to tell smaller stories that reveal the history of our side characters in the series. As far as Braga, she’s always been a fun character to write. Her backstory is sad in a lot of ways, but fits in with the overall idea of found family. She never fit in with her own orcish people because of their backward violent traditions. There’s some similarities to Violet’s backstory, but Braga left to see a bigger, more beautiful world.

It was a natural fit to bring her into the fold of the Queens. It’s definitely a different dynamic, and it takes some getting used to for sure. But I’m glad we made that decision.

 

LMM: Hannah has dealt with a host of abuses in the past. Has she laid her demons to rest, so to speak, or are they going to come back to haunt her going forward?

Kurtis Wiebe: Hannah’s story is a very big part of our relaunch. I’ve said before that everything that happened in the series before matters and the relaunch is going to be a little jarring at first. I can’t say much more without giving a lot away. But, rest assured, Hannah’s history and her decisions are very much still echoing through the story.

 

LMM: Hannah’s infernal heritage has caused her a lot of grief and turned people against her not because of who but because of what she is. Do you see who she’s become as a self-fulfilling prophecy given the way she’s been treated?

Kurtis Wiebe: It can go that way. Or maybe it has. Or maybe it will. Or maybe it hasn’t. Secrets.

 

LMM: Dee’s religious background is interesting – an atheist cleric who has seen the face of her god is kind of amazing. Where did the idea of her faith come from, and are we going to see it explored further?

Kurtis Wiebe: Dee’s religious background is a fundamental part of her character and we can’t tell her story without some part of that playing a role. A lot of her experiences are based on my own. I came from a Christian family and later on became an atheist. Through her story, I’m telling my own. Even working out some of the struggles I’ve had because of it.

And Dee’s vision of her god will definitely play a large role in stories to come. For now, Dee is preparing for a career change which will be more apparent in our second arc.

 

LMM: How does Betty live on nothing but alcohol, drugs, and candy?

Kurtis Wiebe: Smidgen resilience to pleasure overload.

 

LMM: You’ve used Rat Queens as a means of poking fun at fantasy tropes while exploring modern issues of privilege, gender and sexual identity, and politics. A handful of comics have tried to echo what you built – how do you plan on keeping Rat Queens ahead of the pack?

Kurtis Wiebe: I don’t really see it as a competition. Rat Queens mirrors the community of people in my life and that’s where I draw my inspiration from. I plan to continue to be inspired by that community and try as best as I can to replicate those relationships in the world of Rat Queens.

 

LMM: Rat Queens betrays a love and knowledge of pen’n’paper role playing. Do a favorite system? What games do you play? Do you have a favorite character you’ve played in the past?

Kurtis Wiebe: I love RPGs. I play anything and everything. I think certain systems are good for specific genres or types of players. Want to introduce complete newbs to RPGs? D&D 5th edition. Want to run a deeply character driven but hilarious short story? Fiasco. It all depends on the mood and the group, in my opinion.

And, to be honest, I haven’t actually played a character in about twelve years. I exclusively run games. That’s my jam.

 

LMM: What are the future plans for Rat Queens? You’ve done some crossovers with Vox Machina from Critical Role – a live D&D show played by voice actors – and done some work for the video gaming industry in the past; any chance for a Rat Queens video game? Toys? Board games? Maybe an actual D&D expansion?

Kurtis Wiebe: Well, it hasn’t been announced yet but I’m working with Wizards of the Coast on a Rat Queens adventure supplement for D&D 5th edition. I’d love to make an RQ board game, something like a dungeon crawler miniature combat game with a huge splash of humor.

 

LMM: In the first issue of the new series, the Queens end up fighting a Giant Canadian Goose. The normal-sized ones are terrible enough, but… are there stats for the Giant Canadian Goose? For reasons of I need to inflict that on my players.

Kurtis Wiebe: No stats yet. And you can thank Owen Gieni for that one. In the script I simply said: Insert flying monster of some kind. The rest is all Owen.

 

LMM: There’s been a host of other projects that you’ve been working on, all tying into the same themes that Rat Queens draws so much from – titles like Grim Leaper and Debris coming to mind. Is there any chance we might see more of them?

Kurtis Wiebe: I’m focusing all my comic energy into Rat Queens right now. It is my number one priority and my goal is to ensure we continue to come out with fun, hilarious and adventurous stories that are also hitting their schedule. Fun fact. When issue 3 came out last month, it was the first time in the series history that we had 3 issues in a row that came out on time. That’s the goal. Consistency in schedule and quality.

 

LMM: You’ve also flirted with horror comics, as seen with Green Wake. Where did the idea come from, how did you develop it?

Kurtis Wiebe: I wrote Green Wake while going through a divorce. It was the one place I could channel all those raw emotions and transform it into something that made sense of at least some of the pain. But it was entirely a creation of both Riley and me. It was an equal partnership in both storytelling and worldbuilding and I’m super proud of it.

 

LMM: While Rat Queens was on hiatus, you started working on the sci-fi series Bounty. What was that like, jumping from one genre to the next?

Kurtis Wiebe: I wanted to do a series for a younger audience that built on the themes I’d created in Rat Queens. I’ve received so many messages about wanting a Rat Queens style story that women could share with the girls in their lives that wasn’t R rated. And Bounty came out of that. Genre jumping wasn’t a huge difficulty, I have written in sci-fi settings before and narratively it was a world that was right in my wheelhouse.
It was a lot of fun to work on. Mindy Lee is an amazing artist. Her design sense is some of the best I’ve seen in comics and it was a real honor to work with her. It was one of those things where Bounty wouldn’t have worked under anyone else’s sensibilities.

 

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Kurtis. If you’d like to chat with Kurtis you can do so on the twitters by clicking here or his personal page by clicking here. He’s good people. He also sometimes hangs out at Big Pete’s Comics and Collectables, where you can also buy Rat Queens and his other works. They’re also on Amazon, and you can find a helpful listing of his comics by clicking here. Thanks again to Kurtis, thank you for reading, and we’ll have more goodies for you as they crop up. 

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638

Review: Lord of the Schwings: A Tolkien Burlesque Night at the Rio! by Kitty Glitter and Geekenders

Burlesque, Culture, Events, Interviews, Performance, Reviews, Showcase

June 15, 2017

 This was a great show! Full of a love of the mythology and respect for the fandom,”Lord of the Schwings: A Tolkien Burlesque Night” gave the audience an epic quest and an epic burly-boner. Filled with the type of things a good show should have jokes, jiggles and just plain fun.
Our host(ess) for the night was Lady Galadriel played by Seamus Fit-It-In who was transcendent and regal. Photo Credit Zemekiss Photography

Poutina Turner and Kitty Glitter playing Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee Photo Credit Zemekiss Photography

Jacob Woike and Jayne Fondue as Legolas and Gimli Photo Credit Zemekiss Photography

Sasja Smolders as Gandalf giving us some hot bearded wizard seduction. Photo Credit By Zemekiss Photography

“THE HAVE FIRE” Was gleefully screamed as we saw Lola Loops as Lord Sauron spin fire hoops the crowd was immediately turned up to 11 with excitement.  Photo Credit Zemekiss Photography

Vixen Von Flex as Balrog Photo Credit By Zemekiss Photography

Andrew Lynch as Pippin and Neville Powerbottom as Merry Photo Credit By Zemekiss Photography

Draco Muff-Boi as Gollum Photo Credit Photography

Kitty Glitter as Sam’s Taters Photo Credit By Zemekiss Photography

Trixie Hobbitses as Treebeard the Ent doing the longest tease ever Photo Credit By Zemekiss Photography

Ginger Femmecat as Arwen Photo Credit By Zemekiss Photography

Twerk Du Soleil as Shelob spraying silk over the audience Photo Credit By Zemekiss Photography

Orcs! Photo Credit By Zemekiss Photography

We also had the chance to talk to the producer of the show Kitty Glitter 
LMM: How long have you been working with Geekenders?
KG: I have been working with Geekenders ever since Jurassic Parody: The Musical (in October 2015). I saw the auditions listed online and knew I HAD to be in the show… It’s one of my favourite movies!
LMM: How do you pick the shows you produce?
KG: Most of the shows are picked about a year in advance. I have been involved with the company for a while now, and Fairlith Harvey (Owner/ Artistic Director of Geekenders)  trusts that I can put on a good show, so I am able to write my own shows (Mischief Managed, Lord of the Schwings), with help from my fiance, Seamus Fit-It-In.
LMM: Why Lord of The Rings?
KG: Why LOTR? Lord of the Rings has always been one of my favourite trilogies. It’s something that my entire generation has grown up with and loves unconditionally. The characters are so well known, and diverse. I knew we would be able to sell it out because pretty much everyone you talk to knows Lord of the Rings and loves it. Also, who doesn’t want to see Legolas strip?
LMM: Do you have any FAR OUR WEIRD ideas that you want to do but you are unsure if they would work?
KG: I have this idea of a men’s only burlesque show… but I feel like it might be hard to sell out. Seamus Fit-It-In and I are actually putting together a Tenacious D Burlesque Tribute show, which will be September 1st at the Rio Theatre. It’s also a bit of a “niche” crowd, but we hope that the fans are willing to come out to the show! We will have the “Hot & Heavy Band” playing all the songs live, and some heavy duty performers, so we know it’s going to be incredible.
LMM: What advice do you have for those who want to go into burlesque?
KG: My advice for people wanting to get into burlesque is first… GO SEE ALL THE SHOWS! You will learn so much. Also, take classes! Even if you think you are amazing, there is always something to learn. There are lots of classes around town… such as Burgundy Brixx’s “School of Tease” (http://www.burgundybrixx.com/classes.html)
LMM: If you had 20$ to spend at an airport what would you spend it on?
KG: $20 at an airport? Easy. Mini Eggs
LMM: Are their shows you want to promote either your own or others?
KG: Shows to Promote:

Harry Potter’s Burlesque Birthday Party – July 31 at the Rio Theatre
Lord of the Schwings REMOUNT – August 18 at the Rio TheatreTenacious D Burlesque Tribute with the Hot & Heavy Band – September 1st at the Rio Theatre

 

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172

Contest Time: Instant Theatre Company – Shakespeare After Dark – The Anniversary Show!

Comedy, Culture, Events, Showcase

June 11, 2017

Instant Theatre Company is celebrating the anniversary of their hit show Shakespeare After Dark and they are teaming up with us to do a super great contest.  To enter you need to tag a friend you want to go to the show with and Living Myth and Instant Theatre will randomly select the winners to receive 2 tickets and a snack.

Featuring live swordplay from Affair of Honor, live music from our improvising Shakespeare band, and many more surprises yet to be announced!!

Shakespeare After Dark is the highbrow fusion of Shakespeare served with a side of improvisational mischief. In the first half, you’ll witness a scene from the Bard utterly monkey-wrenched by an utterly punch-drunk cast member leaving the rest of the cast to improvise around them. Then, stick around for the second half where the cast lays the booze aside to serve a straight up Shakespearean tragedy – based on your suggestions. With a genuinely drunken professional actor volunteering every night, no two shows are ever the same. Side-splitting, raucous, and completely interactive, Shakespeare After Dark will blow you away.

Shakespeare After Dark seeks to introduce a new generation of theatre-goers to the works of the Bard by reviving the raucous, interactive and vibrant nature of Elizabethan theatre with a very modern twist that only the spirit of improvisation can bring, whilst reminding them to to always enjoy Shakespeare responsibly.

Shakespeare After Dark regularly sells out so make sure you get your tickets in advance! The Rio Theatre on the corner of Broadway and Commercial Drive. Tickets are $10 or $12 at the door.

19+ – Alcohol will be served. No minors.

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423

Story Story Lie – The Devil Is In The Details

Comedy, Culture, Events, Interviews, Reviews, Showcase

May 27, 2017

On a balmy May evening, the din of the crowd at Cafe Deux Soleil is palpable from a block away. The venue is a well-loved place where the local community gathers nightly for improv, poetry, live music and for this night a story telling game show and podcast.

The premise is simple, listen to stories, pick out the liar, win fabulous prizes!

The show’s creator and host Jo Dworschak sat down with me for a quick interview on a hot sunny afternoon. I got to pet her bunny rabbit.

Floppo the Bunny (Photo By Anne Honeycutt)

 

LM: What is the inspiration of Story Story Lie?

JD: I moved to Vancouver and Vancouver didn’t have the variety of shows that I thought it should have. After travelling to Chicago to study with Second City I came back and thought about the type of show I wanted to do. My son and his friends had a game where they would tell two truths and a lie and it seemed like the best way to get storytellers involved.

Photo By Anne Honeycutt

LM: What is your selection process?

Jo explaining the show. (Photo by  Richard Glen Lett)

JD: I scout through shows in the area. I go to a lot of them and then sometimes I get recommendations.

LM: If you could have any person on the show living dead real fictional, who and why?

JD: My two personal icons! Who are Frida Kahlo and Leonard Cohen. They are just so inspiring to me.

LM: Who would be the worst person on your show?

JD: A Lawyer… *nervous laugh* actually not them because I am trying to get an online divorce attorney to sponsor the podcast.

LM: How do you get the cool and very practical prizes for the show?

JD: I buy random things off of Craigslist!

Travis Bernhardt talking about a magic act gone horribly wrong (Photo by  Richard Glen Lett)

LM: What would be your Hogwarts House or Star Trek Shirt Colour?

JD: Ops Gold

LM: If you were in an airport and you had time to waste and 20$ what would you spend it on?

JD: I wouldn’t buy a thing, but I would go get a quick pedicure and ask the person for their story.

If you are able to attend the next show June 10th at Cafe Deux Soliel please do. This is the type of show and cultural experiences that are awesome.

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1264

Multiple Views: Geekenders’ Star Wars – The Empire Strips Back

Burlesque, Events, Showcase

May 22, 2017

Geekenders recently returned to the Rio Theater with an entirely rewritten script from the second of their Star Wars parodies for a remount. Three members of the Living Myth offices were invited to come in and take a look: CEO and founder, Aaron Golden, COO and head of everything, Anne Honeycutt, and newcomer Meghan Duffy. All three loved what they saw, though they came at their enjoyment from very different places.

 

Aaron Golden says: 

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back shouldn’t work.

Narratively, it looks like nothing happens: Luke leaves his friends and goes to a swamp, then goes to Cloud City and walks into a trap. Han and Leia and the rest leave Hoth, run from the Empire, run from the empire some more, and then get caught by the Empire. That’s it. That’s the movie.

And yet people seem to think it’s the strongest of the Star Wars films.

With only a bare scrap of plot, Empire has managed to carve a place for itself in the cultural consciousness, digging deeper than Episode IV did and only facing arguable competition for “Best of the Star Wars” movies by Rogue One.

The reason for this?

Character development.

Empire is nothing but character development. There’s enough nuance and subtext in that movie to make the first movie stronger and set the stage for Return of the Jedi and everything to follow. We learn how powerful the Empire is and that a single military loss isn’t going to slow them down. Luke learns about himself, his family, and the Force. Han and Leia develop an actual relationship that looks to end in heartbreak. Lando…

Lando is introduced and becomes one of the most subtle characters in the whole series. A con man forced into an untenable position, he tries to drive Han off through insults while not putting his city in danger. When the Empire betrays him he’s got plans and backup plans ready. He’s a perfect shade of gray, a character in the heart of Han Solo, and he adds complexity to an already complex series of relationships.

The problem with parodying Empire, then, lies in its threadbare story. This lack has haunted previous attempts to lampoon this movie, but Geekenders does the tale right by not only acknowledging the weak plot but outright attacking it while focusing on the main characters and giving them even more depth. This is a new, punnier script, and once the curtains go up and the text crawls up you know you’re in for some insanely funny sensuality.

Luke’s farm boy idiocy, his “I’m playing a barbarian and maxed out my charisma stat,” is in full effect here as Draco Muff-boi returns to the role with their usual charm and makes Luke irritably likable. Stephen Blakley adds a note of desperation to his relationship with Jayne Fondue’s regal Leia, creating balance in their relationship and making his world-weary sense of genre-savvy impossibly more wry.

R2DoubleD and David Ten-Inch add surprising pathos to the droids and Androsia Wilde plays Lando with all of the aforementioned complexity that the character deserves. Veronica Vamp slays as Darth Vader, Kitty Glitter is riotous as Chewie, and Lithium Little adds a touch of spiritual sexuality as Yoda, but it’s the comedic turn of Seamus Fit-It-In as Boba Fett that hit the audience out of nowhere, pushing the crowd into a fit if hysterical giggling.

This was perfect. The Empire Strips Back takes everything great about the source material and celebrates it while adding a unique spin to each character and giving everyone a moment to shine. Even the Storm Troopers have personality here, and every moment Susan the Storm Trooper is stepping out of line is an utter delight.

Geekenders returns to the Rio Theater with two performances of the Empire Strips Back on May 26th and 27th, with doors opening at seven and the show starting promptly at eight. The showing we saw was completely sold out, so you’ll definitely want to order tickets in advance, which you can do by clicking here. Tickets are $20 from the interwebs or $25 day of the box office.

Anne Honeycutt says:

I have said this before but I don’t think I will ever get tired of saying it, this is the best season Geekenders’ has ever had. It is not an easy feat to sell out The Rio theatre, and it is certainly not easy with doing a remount but the Geekenders Star Wars shows are an institution.

With a newly punched up script, revamped choreography and dazzling costumes the show has been transformed into a delightful geeklesque masterpiece. You can tell that they worked so hard on this and it has paid off. They have been tireless in their goals to make burlesque a safe welcoming experience for all involved. Risque but respectful humour; permission to explore and enjoy the human form in all shapes, sizes, creeds and ability; and above all else celebrating the spirit of rebellion from oppression one shimmy-shake at a time.

Meghan Duffy says:

You won’t find their number written in a bathroom stall, but if you are looking for a good time I would highly recommend Geekenders’ Star Wars Burlesque: The Empire Strips Back.

Somewhere over the roaring of the crowd, amidst the whistles and woos, the sound of my proverbial burlesque cherry being popped could be heard as I squealed with delight. It was a scream, a blast, a show I hoped would never end. Squishy feelings aside, I want to talk about the performers. This is a production where you can really feel the amount of dedication and hard work poured into it.

Spoiler – it’s a lot.

I really felt the passion, the love, and the joy from everyone who was on stage, regardless of how much time they spent up there. It was the epitome of heart and soul.

Vader’s performance is one that stands out to me. Played by Veronica Vamp, Vader’s act was one that will be hard to dominate. There is something to be said about seeing Darth Vader played by a drag queen strutting and bouncing across the stage to NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye”. Whatever that thing was, it seems to have escaped me as I was – and still am – totally lost in amazement.

Though I have to say my heart could not remain faithful this evening – among the fabulously sexy Stormtroopers, the smoldering Han Solo, the raunchy Chewbacca, there was R2D2 (Played by R2DoubleD). Bouncy, bodacious, beautiful R2D2. Gliding around the stage like some sort of sexy droid angel, equipped with roller skates for the entire performance – an impressive feat. The skates definitely added a special flavor to dance numbers and general background tomfoolery.

There is a scene where the song “Somewhere Out There” (as many of us know from An American Tail/Fievel Goes West, and part of me wishes they had used those versions) comes on, and it’s something special. As seriously as you can take a blue haired woman on roller skates whipping around with a gold-clad man in tow, this really tugged at my heartstrings.

Judging by the audience, it tugged them too. There were a few people around me singing along to the music, and I won’t lie, I did as well. There were quite a few songs to sing along to. Each number inspired a silent – and sometimes not so silent – cheer from me, the nostalgia is strong with this one. There was a perfect level of audience interaction that I found delightful, just enough to make it fun but the performance didn’t depend on it.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but make sure you get your throwing arms ready. The only thing that didn’t quite sit right with me was one small joke where C3P0 was compared to Sheldon Cooper, but then again I was never a fan of Big Bang Theory.

Overall this was a fantastic performance. A wild ride, much like a mechanical bull bucking ‘twixt your legs on a steamy Friday night.

All photos credit Pierre Chum

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337

Geeks versus Nerds Vancouver – Episode 34: Hot Wheels & Shady Deals

Comedy, Events, Reviews, Showcase

May 19, 2017

The last season of Geeks versus Nerds Vancouver is proving to be super entertaining and full of the good stuff.

This episode was Hot Wheels & Shady Deals and it put Team Rocket against Cobra and The Delorean against The Batmobile.

The Opening Debate was Team Rocket vs. Cobra – They just cannot win… but this time, one of them has to! Right? Right?! It’s TEAM ROCKET versus COBRA – “Which is the least effective criminal organization?”

The members of Team Rocket were Adam Duff (a GvN regular), Phil Amore (of The Criticals Comedy) and Neoma Charles-Lundaahl (in her second debate with GvN).

The members of Team Cobra were Keegan Flick-Parker (Producer of GvN Vancouver), Beni Spieler and Nick Drake (both are regular performers for GvN)

This debate was filled with such a great knowledge of the fandoms. I don’t think that I have fully appreciated how crappy both Team Rocket and Cobra both are until I heard these two teams debate.

On one hand, Team Rocket are just the worst at being criminals. They are part of a world where they do not teach basic education but only how to train and fight Pokemon. On the other hand, Cobra is a terrible terrorist organization, they really do not grasp the finer points of espionage. Both teams fought well, but in the end, Team Rocket was THE WORST.

The Headlining Debate was The Delorean vs. The Batmobile – These cars have it all – speed, power, style, and ridiculous special powers! But which is superior? It’s THE DELOREAN versus THE BATMOBILE – “Which is the coolest ride?”

On Team DeLorean was Jo Dworschak (from Fruit Salad and Story, Story, Lie), Zachary Taylor (of The Criticals Comedy) and Graeme Thompson (GvN Regular and actor about town).

The members of Team Batmobile were Brent Hirose (Instant Theatre), Hunter Cochrane, Jess Ode.

One of the great parts of Geeks Versus Nerds Vancouver is that it gives local performers a place to stretch themselves out and grow. I am not going to lie, I love Batman and I was set to cheer for The Batmobile the team for Team DeLorean made the best case possible.

In its essence, this debate is Car vs. Time Machine and who better in our modern popular culture to tout the benefits of owning a Time Machine than Rick Sanchez. The pure amazing that was Graeme Thompson dressed as Rick,  spouting his points mid burp while yelling for that Mulan Szechuan Sauce was possibly the scale tipper on this one.

Team DeLorean despite Team Batmobile’s noble attempt to weave the mythology of John DeLorean advocating for the destruction of his coke induced monster car, won, and they won hard.

 

All in all the show was great and we cannot stress this enough, GO TO THE LAST TWO SHOWS THAT GEEKS VERSUS NERDS VANCOUVER WILL BE HAVING.

May 27th Geeks versus Nerds – Ep35: Absolutely Revolting – Pinky and The Brain Vs. Invader Zim and Gir / Katniss Everdeen vs. Neo

And their final show is on June 24th which will put Black Magic against Super Science and Steve Urkel against Sheldon Cooper.

 

All photo credits belong to Zemekiss Photography

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398

The Mariposa Opera presents “Here I Stand”

Culture, Events, Showcase

May 2, 2017

Do you know what Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is?

It’s okay if you don’t. I didn’t. I don’t think anyone in our offices did, which is why things like this are important. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a disease that causes fatigue, loss of memory and concentration, unexplained muscle and joint pain, and sore throat.

It’s that last one that has special meaning here: sore throat. Jacqueline Ko has suffered with ME/CFS since she was six years old. She’s spent a good chunk of her time bedridden but has still helped found the critically acclaimed production company, Opera Mariposa and the Mariposa Theatre Wing, while mastering a range of vocal skills. Combining both these things, Jacqueline has managed to raise over $35,000 for ME/CFS research, hoping to find a cure and increase visibility.

“ME can change the course of your life forever – it certainly did for me,” Ko says. “I’ve seen studies that compare its impact to multiple sclerosis, late-stage cancer or congestive heart failure, but it’s still rare for this disease to be taught in medical school. They say as many as 9 out of 10 people aren’t even diagnosed. I was lucky in that regard – but the fact is, even with a diagnosis, they still don’t fully understand the cause or have a cure.”

By pairing with the ME/FM Society of BC, Jacqueline has put together a series of musical singles that are meant to tell her story through music, weaving together different stylings and making sure that her show has something for everything. The show draws from diverse genres – from pop to Broadway to opera. Her set will include pieces by Puccini, Verdi, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as songs from the hit musical Hamilton. Jacqueline will be joined on stage by pianist Angus Kellett and several guest artists, and the evening will include a reception as well as a charity raffle contest with over $2,000 in prizes.

You can learn more about her story in the new book, Lighting Up a Hidden World: CFS and ME, by Valerie Free.

The concert itself will take place on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at 7:30 pm at the Marpole United Church, located at 1296 West 67th Avenue, Vancouver. You can click here to buy tickets, click here to find out more about the ME/FM Society of BC, and click here to find out more about Jacqueline Ko and the Opera Mariposa

Banner photo credits goes to Kathryn Nickford Photography

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4582

Amy Jo Johnson Wants to Watch a Movie With You

Culture, film, Showcase, Videos

March 15, 2017

You remember Amy Jo Johnson, yes? With all the attention being paid to the new Power Rangers movie, we thought it might be interesting to take a look at what one of the originals is doing – and, in short, she is continuing her quest to be awesome.

Amy’s gone on to act in other projects (Felecity and Flashpoint), flirted with music (The Trans-American Treatment and Imperfect),  and done a number of short films (Bent, Lines, and others). She was kind enough to take a moment from her incredibly busy schedule to speak with us before, and you can read that interview by clicking here. She’s not the sort to rest on her laurels, though, and has just completed writing, directing, and producing her first-ever feature film, The Space Between Us.

Here’s the trailer:

That looks both cute and poignant, which is interesting given the potential seriousness of the subject material.

According to press materials, “The Space Between is a heartfelt comedy about Mitch, a 35-year-old new father, whose world is turned upside down when he finds out his adored baby isn’t his. Leaving his wife, he sets out on a mission to find the man who ruined his life. As his wife Jackie is desperate to win him back, she enlists the help of her best friend and family as they embark on a journey to find Mitch.” It’s was the 2014 IndieWire Project of the Year, part of the 2015 Tribeca All Access Program, the 2015 Telefilm Micro Budget program, and developed in the producers’ lab at the Canadian Film Center. It premiered at the Shanghai International Film Festival before moving on to the Whistler Film Festival, the Savannah Film Festival, and is about to be shown at Gina Davis’ Bettonville Film Festival.

It stars Michael Ironside (Top Gun), Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black), Jayne Eastwood (Chicago), Julia Sarah Stone (Wet Bum), and Amy herself.

All of that is kind of great, but it is not the coolest part of this whole endeavour: rather, Amy Jo Johnson has started The Space Between Super Host Theatrical Tour, wherein eight lucky winners of a contest will be chosen to host a special one-night screening of the film with Amy Jo Johnson herself in their hometown. The contest opens March 15th and goes through to April 1st, 2017, with the eight winners being announced at the end of April and the film going on tour in the summer of this year.

The Space Between team will handle all of the logistics of booking the theater and the eight winners will get to take home 5% of the Producer’s Box Office earnings for their screening, and get to spend the evening with Amy Jo Johnson as the host of the event.

Giveaways are also part of the contest, with Amy awarding prizes that include t-shirts, Skype dates, and a one-time grand prize private dinner with Amy Jo Johnson and her producer, Jessica Adams. You can, should, and must click here to learn more and fill out an application, or click here if you want to learn more.  In short, applicants will submit a pitch video describing why they want to host the film and Amy in their hometown and how they plan to bring their friends, family, and community out for the screening that night.

The Space Between team can be found on Twitter and FaceBook simply be clicking the place you’d like to communicate with them. Amy Jo Johnson is also on Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram, and has her very own website, and you can find any of those spots by clicking on them. All of them are pretty great.

Good luck, peoples. The clock it is ticking.

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