Wednesday, October 22, 2014

oct 21-nov 1 | the illusion | twu

Our friends at TWU are opening their first show of the season!


Dads and kids have been butting heads since the 17th century, it seems. Offering a magical take on the pitfalls of parenting, The Illusion tells the tale of one man’s search to be reunited with his son before it’s too late. Onstage at Trinity Western University from October 21 to November 1, this fantasy adventure brings together action, romance, and a powerful story about family.

A long time ago, in a fairy-tale land far away, a grieving father asks a mysterious illusionist to show him the life of his prodigal son, banished for 15 years. In the dazzling illusion that follows, we watch the struggle of our young hero, Calisto. As he fights to make his fortune and win the woman he loves, Calisto must dodge the perils of an unforgiving world—and the consequences of his own mistakes.

Playing October 21 through November 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, with 2:00 p.m. Saturday matinees. Join us on the second Tuesday for a Q&A talkback with the cast.

For tickets and information, visit or call 604.513.2121 extension 3872.

the rainmaker | cast change

Next week there will be a change in THE RAINMAKER - Ron Reed will be taking over the role of H.C. from Andrew Wheeler.

In order to allow Andrew Wheeler to accept a role in the Firehall Arts Centre's production of URINETOWN, Ron has agreed to take over the role for the final week of performances. This is an amicable decision, made in conjunction with Donna Spencer at the Firehall and the entire team at here PT to support Andrew's career and the work of our colleagues at Main and Cordova.

On the opportunity to play both roles, Andrew said, “Ron’s generosity has allowed me to explore the theme of ‘lack of water resources’ from two unique perspectives in two very different worlds. I am extremely grateful to Ron, Pacific Theatre, and my fellow cast mates for the extra load they have taken on in order to allow this work for me.”

Ron expresses a mixture of excitement and nerves: “It’s a daunting challenge; I’ve watched Andrew in rehearsal, all day every day for three weeks, and those are big cowboy boots to fill! But when Andrew raised the possibility, I knew I had to take the opportunity. To live in that play again, forty years after playing the role in high school. A play I loved so much, with a cast of actors I so enjoy. But now actually being the age of H.C., knowing what it is to be a father, knowing what it is to see your life’s work in jeopardy, it seems like something I have to do.”

So attend the week of Oct 29-Nov 1 and see Ron reprise the role he played at his high school 40 years ago!

the rainmaker | responses

"There’s beauty in this simplicity, and it’s rooted in language, which the play uses in both florid and simple ways ... Persuasively, director Ron Reed and his company hold this material in an affectionate embrace. Ryan Scramstad is hilarious as the slow-witted Jim. Scramstad makes the guy as fresh and sweet as a new ear of corn and he gets his laughs by speaking his lines with utter sincerity. Andrew Wheeler’s H.C. is the salt of the earth and so full of affection for Lizzie that it’s heartbreaking. John Voth’s File is the most contained characterization of the evening, and a lovely case study in just how naturalistically this material can be played. And relative newcomer Pippa Johnstone impresses as Lizzie; the role is pivotal and the play’s naive style is difficult but Johnstone consistently makes emotional sense of it." | Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

"A magnificent production of a brilliant classic. I had forgotten the depth of perception and emotion the script contains. The actors conveyed these qualities with tender strength." | Anne-Marie Epp, audience response

"Salvador’s performance is slickly enjoyable. Until almost the end he doesn’t let us know whether this guy is for real or not. Johnstone does a very nice job with Lizzie, too, showing her vulnerability and insecurity as well as her strength." | Jerry Wasserman,

"The Rainmaker is such a fine production in the most perfect of venues. I really enjoy the intimacy of the Pacific Theatre. The set is solidly effective. The squeaky screen door, the dusty/dirty floors. The room was indeed a bit on the warm side, but heck, we were in a drought. Everything about the set was just perfectly considered and placed. The music fit into the production with precision. I found the story itself to be powerful — although I could imagine that the actual impact and interpretation of the story might vary from person to person. I’ll also admit that I had a few tears at the end. And, as perhaps the most critical element of any theatrical work, this production is superbly cast with amazingly talented actors. Each of them should be very proud of their hard work in entertaining us theatre-goers so well. As perhaps my highest form of compliment – I am returning to see this same production again this week. Very, very well done folks." | Kenneth C., audience response

"As comforting as homemade pumpkin pie. You know Lizzie is going to get a man, you know the rainmaker is a conman and, shucks, you know it’s gonna rain. The play goes where our hearts want it to go; it’s just a matter of how long it takes to get there and what surprises we might meet along the way." Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier

"The play oozes with timeless concepts of trust, hope, love, and self-discovery, which explains its continued revival on stages worldwide. Director Ron Reed’s production is one such must-see gem. ... The Rainmaker is about individuals discovering their true selves." | Cora Li, Vancouverscape

"I LOVED the Rainmaker! It was funny without being ridiculous. It had believable characters whom all blended well together. The casting was great and the set simple, yet flexible. It was wonderful to leave the theatre feeling so positive with a good dose of hope on top!" | Shannon Bell, audience response

"This production boasts some very powerful performances that capture both the cornpone humour and the almost operatic passion. Andrew Wheeler as the tired and hopeful father is riveting and while he remains devoted to his children, he can still see their flaws. Ryan Scramstrad as the younger, simpler brother finds all the humour of this 1950’s himbo, but with such a great big heart that he often devastates. Robert Salvador is Starbuck, the charlatan rainmaker who holds promise for Lizzie and her family, and has the sexy conman down, but also finds the earnest romantic that makes you root for him. Pippa Johnstone as Lizzie has the self-accepted heaviness of someone who has lived life as a ‘plain girl’ and she finds so much cautious joy when she thinks she is going on a date that it breaks your heart." | David C. Jones, Vancouver Presents

"It was good to enter their lives entering a drought stricken farm and their survival, and then see the struggle that Lizzie faced along with a caring father a caring yet adolescent brother while the other brother handled family members like he ran the ranch. Very intriguing to watch family dynamics." | Beatrice Vanderbos, audience response

"This is a lovely production with a cozy set designed brilliantly by John Webber. With Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas just around the corner, this is a great kick off to the holiday season with its heartwarming sentimentality and family dynamics." | Alan Woo, Fun Fun Vancouver

"In the final analysis, it is all the same: whether you want it to rain or you can’t wait for someone to make it stop raining, you must be prepared to immerse yourself in your hopes and dreams, transcend your sins, and finally become who you really are meant to be. This is the synthesis that director Ron Reed has managed to weave artfully into the Pacific Theatre’s excellent 2014 production of The Rainmaker." - Roger Eberle, Review Vancouver

nov 10 | bruce cockburn | writers fest + autobiography + box set

In the early days of Pacific Theatre, when I was a Bruce Cockburn devotee and people didn't yet know what PT was, I'd tell them that what Bruce Cockburn was in the world of music, we wanted to be in live theatre. 

Thirty years later, the man has written his autobiography. Release date is November 5, preceded a week earlier with an 8 cd (+1 dvd) box set retrospective October 28.  You can order the book ($24.99), the music ($129.99) or both ($149.99) from the True North website.  And he'll be in Vancouver November 10 to talk about the book with Writers Festival artistic director Hal Wake ($25) - buy a ticket for that and you get a promo code to save 15% on the book and music bundle. 

Vancouver Writers Festival Event 
Rumours Of Glory 
Monday, November 10th at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Burrard at Nelson Street

Legendary Canadian singer and songwriter Bruce Cockburn talks to Vancouver Writers Fest Artistic Director Hal Wake about his long-awaited memoir, Rumours of Glory—a chronicle of faith, fear, and activism that is also a lively cultural and musical tour through the late twentieth century.

With 30 albums and numerous awards to his credit, Cockburn has earned high praise as an exceptional songwriter and pioneering guitarist, whose career has been shaped by politics, protest, romance, and spiritual discovery. His remarkable journey has seen him embrace folk, jazz, blues, rock, and worldbeat styles while travelling to such far-flung places as Guatemala, Mali, Mozambique, Afghanistan, and Nepal, and writing memorable songs about his ever-expanding world of wonders.

Tickets: $25 adults / $23 Students & Seniors /$21 Bookclubs*
Phone: VancouverTix, 604-629-8849

Plus service charges
*5 tickets minimum; phone sales only

Bruce Cockburn Announces 'Rumours of Glory' Autobiography and Box Set
by Gregory Adams

If the miracle you were waiting for was Bruce Cockburn to finally issue his long-in-the-works autobiography, than your prayers have been answered. His tome, titled Rumours of Glory, hits bookshelves November 4 through HarperCollins Canada, with a career-spanning box set of the same name arriving October 28 via True North.

A press release explains that the book finds the singer-songwriter providing an intimate look at both Cockburn's life and the stories behind his eclectic and prolific songbook. It adds that Cockburn "shares his family life, personal relationships, Christian convictions, and the social and political activism that has defined him and his music."

Rumours of Glory weighs in on a variety of topics the artist has supported over the years, from First Nations rights, to environmental issues, to war atrocities, with his songs presenting those themes on musical landscapes encompassing traces of jazz, folk, rock, world beat and more.

"Over the years, the notion that there should be a book about me has popped up now and then, along with offers to write it," Cockburn said in a statement. "It always seemed too soon and I've felt all along that such a book should be mine to author."

The Rumours of Glory box set, meanwhile, is a nine-disc affair. It contains eight audio discs covering much of his career, with hits amongst the 117-song tracklisting including "Lovers in a Dangerous Time," "If a Tree," "Waiting for a Miracle" and "Wondering Where the Lions Are." Though a few previously unreleased tracks are scattered throughout the set, there is an entire disc's worth of unheard material.

In addition to the audio portion of the box, a DVD concert film is also included. Directed by Joel Goldberg, Bruce Cockburn Live - The Slice O Life Tour contains footage filmed between May 15 and 17, 1988.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

sideshow | tonight!

Tonight is the first SIDESHOW of the season!

Tuesday, October 21 at 7:30pm

A night of musical improv featuring our friends Off Key Improv! One act of improv games followed by a one-act improvised musical, inspired by THE RAINMAKER as well as audience suggestions.

the rainmaker | more production photos

Another set of production photos from THE RAINMAKER!  Here's a closer look at the Curry family.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

the rainmaker | theatre club

We've got our first Theatre Club of the season today for THE RAINMAKER!  Stick around after the matinee to discuss the show with fellow audience members and our apprentice Shona Struthers.

You can also check out our discussion guide and hold your own Theatre Club!  Just download the PDF of our discussion guide here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

the rainmaker | opening night

We had a great opening of The Rainmaker on Friday night!  Here's some photos of the artists and guests at the reception.

Monday, October 13, 2014

contest corner winner

Congratulations to Marcus Barnes for winning our first Contest Corner of the season!  Mark will attend SIDESHOW for free, with a guest.  

Do you want to win a contest?  Just subscribe to our email list!  We send out updates about once a month about what's new at PT, and most emails include the Contest Corner, offering you the opportunity to win free tickets to our hows.

Sign up for our email list here, and make sure you select the "ECARD LIST".

Saturday, October 11, 2014

the rainmaker | production photos

THE RAINMAKER opened with a splash yesterday.  Here's the first round of production photos from the show, all taken by Emily Cooper.