Like every other theatre lover in town, I’m excited to explore the offerings at this year’s PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. The line up is rich and varied as usual. My involvement this year extends to the stage. I’ll be directing a piece at the festival (Live From a Bush of Ghosts) for Theatre Conspiracy, while simultaneously gearing up for our first show of the year, the beautiful and poignant Bashir Lazhar staring David Marr.
There are so many great entrees on offer at the PuSh buffet it’s hard to single anything out. Five shows that I find interesting, in no particular order and subject to the vagaries of my palette would include Live from a Bush of Ghosts for the dynamic combination of dancer/performer Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, DJ duo No Luck Club and videographer Candelario Andrade. Come and watch them burn up the stage in a series of ghost stories for the digital age penned by Tim Carlson.
Then there’s Mike Daisy at Club PuSh. Mike works in the style of the late-great Spalding Gray, but with a spin all his own. He’s funny, smart and electric. One of the wonderful things about Club PuSh is that you pay once and stay all night. Mike is the centerpiece of that evening, but the evening starts early and finishes late.
I’m also looking forward to 13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, music by Dean and Britta. Dean Wareham was the front man and chief songwriter for one of my favourite bands, Luna. Luna split up a couple of years ago, but he and former Luna band-mate turned life-mate - Britta Phillips - are making beautiful music together. 13 Songs is at the Vogue Theatre.
Marie Brassard, one of the great theatre artists from Quebec, brings her new play, The Invisible to town for PuSh. Marie is a super-talent and her shows are never short of mesmerizing.
And finally, from across the pond, Tim Crouch delivers us England at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Tim turns the usual theatre experience on its head by inviting the audience to “co-author their experience”. I haven’t seen England, but Tim is something of a theatre Sherpa who can take you on paths you haven’t been on before. I expect this show to be one of those wonderful expeditions, much like the festival itself.