Curtain call – my live theatre best-of for 2017

One recent January I resolved to see more live productions in the months and years ahead. I did well with this resolution. So, in the spirit of the year-end highlights all around, my favourite incidences of live theatre in Vancouver for 2017:

At the top of my list, no question, I have Children of God at the York Theatre, written and directed by Cory Payette of Urban Ink.

The play is a moving, engrossing story about kids in residential schools – told from the point of view of a brother and sister.

Before going I was mystified to learn that, despite the somber subject matter, the play is a musical. It works.

Best theatre of 2017

Scene from Children of God. Emily Cooper photo

It’s fast-paced, explicit, at times funny with a stunner of an ending. Opened my eyes and fanned my interest in the topic.

Watch for Urban Ink’s dramatic production to go on the road in 2018.

Number two, Angels in America – Acts One and Two.

Vancouver’s Arts Club produced the plays, written by Tony Kushner, in May then September at the Stanley Theatre.

Critics have called Angels in America the best American theatre of the late 20th century. It chronicles the emergence and fall-out of the AIDS epidemic in 1980s New York.

Told through two fictional couples and an actual person from history, the plays recreate the homophobia, profound confusion and fear that surrounded the disease.

Stunningly staged and masterfully delivered, both acts of Angels in America had me remembering and rethinking my beliefs.

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