Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Show Went On!

According to my sources at PuSh and SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts, it was touch and go, with chairs for the audience to sit on being assembled and installed up until 5:30 pm. But last evening's launch of the 6th PuSh International Performing Arts Festival at the new Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU Woodward's went off without a hitch.

In fact, the buzz was amazing. It started in the courtyard, where people assembled to gaze upon Stan Douglas's stunning new photographic mural, a massive reversible C-print that looks like stained glass, and that lends the revivifying project that is the entire Woodward's complex a distinctly sacred air. The buzz continued into the atrium of the theatre, where a line-up snaked around the room to collect tickets, and where le tout Vancouver arts scene was in attendance giving each other spontaneous hugs and shout-outs. The theatre itself is a stunning space, like no other in the city in terms of size and design, and I look forward to seeing many many more shows there over the years to come.

As for the show itself, Jérôme Bel's The Show Must Go On, what can I say? Not much, as it turns out, or else I will spoil the surprise for future attendees. What I can say is that as a concept piece, it was the perfect show to launch this year's PuSh Festival--in that space, in the heart of that community. Because the whole show is about producing an audience.

And last night's audience responded with enthusiasm and generosity and lots and lots of love to that call.

On with the rest of the Festival shows--starting with Nevermore tonight at the Arts Club on Granville Island. Hope to see you there.


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