The East Van Panto etc.

December 11, 2013

This evening we went to the theatre with Bruce Macdonald and his wife.  In fact, we went for a fish dinner at the Windjammer, and then went to the theatre.  It was a grand evening.

panto

I want to talk briefly about the Windjammer.  It has no pretence: it is a basic fish and chips diner and it does it really well for a reasonable price.  The owner is always friendly, helpful, and happy to see you, there is no ambience, and the menu is just a dozen simple dishes. I always stick to halibut and chips and tea (sometimes with mushy peas) and I am always satisfied. Simple pleasures.

After dinner we walked down to the newly re-opened York Theatre. The development of the theatre was a a disgraceful density bonus giveaway to a major Vision-supporting developer and there is not a single inch of heritage left in either the material or the design of the building.  But I’ll leave that for now, and agree that it is good to another live theatre venue in the neighbourhood.

The panto itself — a version of Jack and the Beanstalk — was just marvelous in exactly the way a panto is suposed to be: a thin plot line filled with over-drawn and over-acted characters, with musical parodies, bright colours, and lots of laughs based on local jokes.  Fabulous. The tiny five-person cast played a dozen roles to panto-perfection, and the musical director Veda Hille was brilliant as was set design and Heather Redfern’s costumes.

panto 2

I am reluctant to single out any one of the cast because they were all excellent, but I have to spolight Dawn Petten’s utter silliness as a true highlight.

The play runs to December 29th and I urge everyone in the neighbourhood to go see it.

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Why Now? What’s Vision Up To?

December 11, 2013

This week has seen both Allan Wong and Brent Granby leave COPE and move over to Vision Vancouver.  Both of them were well orchestrated moves (though Granby’s defection had been whispered for months) designed to garner media coverage.  But it seems such an odd time to do it.

In just two weeks, as Christmas and New Year festivities sweep over us, no-one will even remember these shenanigans. Is that the point somehow?  The Vision folks are no geniuses, but they usually don’t do things without a reason.

Beats me.


Politics and Pasta

December 11, 2013

I have recently become quite the regular at Marcello’s once again, especially it seems with people who want to talk politics with me. The ambience seems to be just right for semi-intimate, semi-private conversation even amid their usually busy lunch scene.

Yesterday, the service was excellent as usual, and the carbonara was tasty and just the right size (perhaps a little much for those who don’t enjoy an afternoon nap as I do).  The conversation was vibrant and interesting and all about Vancouver politics and personalities — couldn’t be better!

Retirement can be a great gig!