- So long Broadway. Thanks for all the memories! @ LMPR http://t.co/6HZ19QtnRC, Aug 29
- RT @VancouverFringe: Get @24hoursvan today to read our "boyish" Executive Director's picks for this year's #VanFringe! http://t.co/9mENOJ8nLb via @lauramurraypr, Aug 29
- Random office moving question: Does anyone want a 7’ tall Royal Winnipeg Ballet Romeo + Juliet poster?, Aug 28
- (2/2) ... to @brian_pat's theatre picks for @VancouverFringe: http://t.co/EPON0z9o4t, Aug 28
- It's all about recommendations on the LMPR blog this week - from @shonawer's look at local music: http://t.co/YrTcEm1rQM (1/2), Aug 28
- Two hours until we stop working & start packing up the office for tomorrow's move. It's getting sentimental in here., Aug 28
Just in time for the Labour Day long weekend, we present part two of our two part series of the LMPR teams favourite travel reads.
This time we focus on novels that takes the reader on journeys of self discovery through travel, as well as explore drunken mistakes which evolve into a epic stories.
Laura Murray – Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Regardless of where I travel, great food and wine, a gathering of friends and family, and a healthy dose of discovery are usually, if not always, part of the mix.
So when I was asked to select a favourite travel-inspired read, I immediately turned to Elizabeth Gilbert’s irresistible true story – Eat, Pray, Love – an enviable journey whereby food, love, language, and self-discovery are at its core.
As I flip through the pages of my own weather-worn copy – thinking back to where I sat, curled up, devouring each page – a pair of plane tickets emerge – tucked neatly into the back cover. I am instantly transported to Thailand – a trip my husband and I took before we were married, recalling the white sandy beaches, the vibrant culture, and the glorious taste and aromas of the food…sigh.
Jesse Tanaka – The Boat Who Would’t Float by Farley Mowat
The unfortunate passing of one of my favourite authors this spring also led me to rediscover one of Canada’s all time greats, Farley Mowat.
The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float follows Mowat during his time in Newfoundland as he attempts to sail the Maritimes. One evening after a bit too much Screech, he agrees to purchase the most beautiful boat ever built, or so he thought. As with all good drunken mistakes, a great story was born. In between a never-ending series of makeovers, the ironically named Happy Adventure sets sail with sharks, rum-runners and even a girl willing to share the journey.
It’s worth reading just to see how he managed to capture the Newfoundland accent in writing.
Shona Wercholuk – Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Wild is a novel I was given to read as part of my monthly book club and I wasn’t overly excited. After all, how thrilling could a book about a hike be? Boy, I could not have been more wrong!
Wild is a tale of true inner strength in a time that couldn’t be darker for this tragically troubled women. Burdened with her mothers premature death, multiple affairs, a divorce, and drug addiction, Cheryl makes an impulsive decision: She suddenly decides to embark on a journey of epic proportions, as she hikes the gruelling Pacific Crest Trail with no experience or training.
Through her passionate storytelling and unique intentions, this novel tells of a woman that must physically lose herself in something to heal and ultimately be found.
In just one week the 2014 Vancouver Fringe Festival will descend upon the city for 11 frenetic days. Hundreds of artists will congregate on Granville Island and in venues across the city to present a dizzying roster of more than 700 performances.
This staggering volume and variety, paired with a lottery-based selection system, mean every performance attended is a roll of the dice. Some will be riotously entertaining, some profoundly moving, and some inevitably cringe-inducing. Fringe is a theatrical smorgasbord of possibility and discovery.
Each year, LMPR’s Brian Paterson combs through the program guide to select five highlights from the festival. With just a handful of words and one small image, these shows particularly piqued his interest and will see him take the plunge:
Fringe is brilliant for taking theatre to places we normally wouldn’t encounter it. This year, shows will run in alleyways, boats, playgrounds, and more. This work- which uses Edible Canada Bistro as its stage- is especially intriguing.
Created and performed by a duo of veteran Fringe comedians and food servers, the piece promises to amplify and satirize the inherently dramatic experience of restaurant work.
Bonus points for being at least partly auto-biographical – a Fringe hallmark.
Seeing a truly gifted spoken word poet is an intoxicating experience. It’s unlike any other form of theatre. Through percussive, rhythmic performance the word is transformed into something weightier and more powerful, imbuing a single performer on a bare stage with the emotional impact of a Mahler symphony.
Jem Rolls is an international Fringe legend, whose latest show has built a great head of steam as it travels East through Canada’s network of Fringe festivals.
Expect humorous anecdotes, heavy human insight, a razor sharp mind, and crackling poetic bravado.
Disclosure: This pick isn’t entirely chosen from the guide: I’ve seen these two previously. The experience remains the hardest I have ever laughed at a show (that ‘can’t-catch-your-breath, starting-to-get-worried’ type of laughter).
Peter n’ Chris are masterful physical performers who joyfully skewer dramatic conventions and genre tropes in odd-ball, over-the-top, meta-theatre adventures.
Few artists have as much fun performing as Peter n’ Chris, and their enthusiasm is positively infectious.
For a few years it seemed that Fringe musicals had to be campy send-ups (ideally of a popular film). These have their place, but they skip over the emotional depth accessible by the form.
Audiences seeking musical theatre have options this year, but The Chariot Cities is particularly promising. It follows a broken and dysfunctional family of musicians, taking the 70′s folk era as its inspiration, and sports a line-up of serious local talent.
Anticipate raw emotion and beautiful song.
It’s a beautiful thing to be in dumbstruck awe of fellow human being’s imagination. Mind of a Snail’s contribution seems like an excellent opportunity to seek out this experience.
Made lovingly by hand, their grand-scale shadow puppetry promises to take us into the world of crows with projections, masks, and an original score. I pick it hoping to feast my eyes on unprecedented sights.
The Vancouver Fringe Festival 2014 Program Guide is now available so that audiences can plan their own theatrical expeditions.
We’d love to hear about your own discoveries and adventures- feel free to share your picks and reviews in the comments or tweet using the #VanFringe hashtag so that we can follow along!
Vancouver is a multifaceted, multicultural city and with this comes unique talents and a naturally diverse music scene. City Sounds is a new LMPR series highlighting our local industry and focussing on the artists we are fortunate enough to have in our backyard.
This first post looks at three hometown acts and recommends some introductory listening – a ‘Quick Bite’ – for each. We explore everything from synth-rock to new-age folk and a few things in between.
Husband and wife duo Drew and Danielle McTaggart met while touring separately and soon formed the energetic, synth rock group Dear Rouge. They released their debut EP, Heads Up! Watch Out! in April of 2012 and won the prestigious Peak Performance Project the same year.
They offer punchy guitar hooks with buoyant synths and head-bob inducing percussion beats. Think Dragonette meets Metric.
Experimental folk-rock band, The Tourist Company, consists of Taylor Swindells, Jillian Levey, Brenon Parry and Josué Quezada. They recently released their second studio album, Space Race, which is just as cosmic as it sounds and entirely about a race to the moon. The album boasts the perfect combination of lyrical optimism and new age folk music.
Expect infections harmonies, clap-along beats and generally enjoyable performers. This year they were voted Regional Champions for Vancouver in CBC’s Music Searchlight and have been announced as one of 12 bands in this year’s Peak Performance Project.
Edgy dance music producer, Pat Lok has been on the local scene for a while, but as of late has developed well-deserved international notoriety. He routinely remixes a wide variety of genres; twisting them into groovy nu disco and deep house tracks.
He’s recently created a slew of original tracks, which highlight the disco house, smooth sounds that listeners have come to know as his signature and this certainly isn’t a bad thing.
Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall Pass
The arts world saw the loss of two major talents in Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall this week.
Comedian and Academy Award winning actor, Robin Williams passed away after a lengthy battle with depression. The talented entertainer received an immense showing of public support and sadness which even saw Broadway dim its bright lights one evening as a tribute.
Tony award winning actress, Lauren Bacall also left us this week at the age of 89. The actor rose to fame alongside Humphrey Bogart in several pictures in the 1940s and 50s. Her lengthy career also saw her take home Tony Awards in 1970 and 1981, as well as an Academy Award nomination in 1996.
Vancouver Writers Fest Announces Program
The Vancouver Writers Festival announced their program for the upcoming event scheduled for Oct. 21 to 26. This year will feature local novelists Caroline Adderson, Lee Henderson, and William Gibson alongside internationally acclaimed writers, Colm Tóibín, James Ellroy, Jane Smiley, and Karl Ove Knausgaard.
The Simpsons Celebrated in Art Exhibit
The iconic pop culture television program was celebrated this week at The Dart Gallery in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The gallery’s exhibit is just the latest in a move towards exposing the public to a more accessible type of art show.
Artist Turns The Beatles White Album into Art Installation
New York artist, Rutherford Chang opened up an art exhibit showcasing over 1000 vinyl copies of The Beatles‘ White Album this week. The famously blank white album cover displays how owners have altered, drawn on, dog eared, and customized each copy as it interacted with their lives over the years.
The summer season – a time for travelling, relaxing, lounging by the beach and, most of all, a time for literature. The LMPR team recognizes that nothing is better than enjoying the hot weather with a good book, and in tribute to this summer’s final days, we’re sharing our favourite travel inspired reads.
In part one of this two part series we travel to Indonesia and all over North America:
Sarah Cruickshank – Adventures in Solitude by Grant Lawrence
A beautiful writer and fascinating individual, Grant Lawrence’s Adventures in Solitude is one of my all-time favourite travel-inspired reads. Combining wit and intrigue into a beautifully crafted memoir, this paperback narrates Grant’s experiences at his family’s wilderness cabin in Desolation Sound. As Grant describes, this remote, wild, and magical area off the west coast of British Columbia can be both a paradise and a nightmare – depending on the time of year you visit.
Filled with enchanting stories from Grant’s awkward adolescent years through to adulthood, this book reminds me of my own childhood travels through the southern BC coast, exploring hidden islands, discovering fascinating creatures, and meeting unique and colourful people along the way.
Rachel Lowry – Everyday Indonesian by Thomas Oey
I was extremely fortunate to be invited to travel to Bali and perform on trumpet alongside the extraordinary gamelan ensemble, Çudamani. Having studied gamelan for only two years at the time, I was eager to observe and learn from the musicians; to facilitate communication, I began formally studying Bahasa Indonesia right away.
One of the books that became my go-to was Everyday Indonesian by Thomas G. Oey. Mining through the plethora of language books on the market, what I liked most about this simple, transportable book was the practical layout progressing from basic pronunciation to grammar to relevant vocabulary – small talk, transportation, food/drink – culminating in a handy English-Indonesian/Indonesian-English dictionary. In addition, there were useful tips, photos, and cultural notes sprinkled throughout.
Brian Paterson – On the Road by Jack Kerouac
There are many great contenders when it comes to travel and literature – but I think I have to go with my first impulse and say Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (and not just because it’s sitting above my computer).
By documenting the years he and his friends spent wildly traversing America, he not only succeeded in capturing and preserving a unique era of time- he tapped into profound universal truths about youth, friendship, rebellion, and self-discovery.
Set against a background of fast-flying blacktop, the novel is not only remarkable in in content, but in form. Kerouac’s prose is simply beautiful- and stands as testament to the remarkable use of language during the short, yet crucial, Beat Era.
Check back in next week for Part Two of LMPR’s Favourite Travel Reads!
For nearly 75 years, Theatre Under the Stars has brought soaring works of song & dance to the crown jewel of Vancouver – Stanley Park. So much more than just a night at the theatre, TUTS interweaves a kaleidoscope of elements – setting, scenery, concessions, and quality art – into a fun, encompassing experience that is much greater than the sum of its parts.
Laura Murray Public Relations was hired to provide a full-scale marketing and communications campaign for their 2014 presentations of Shrek: The Musical and Legally Blonde: The Musical.
Campaign components included digital advertising, promotions, advertising, social media, consulting, as well as a full media relations campaign that secured high levels of editorial coverage to drive public awareness for the run of both performances.
Theatre Under the Stars splashed across the media landscape, with interviews, articles, previews, reviews, and contests appearing in print, broadcast, and online outlets across the city.
Highlights include: Global Noon News Hour, go! Vancouver, The Rush, JoyTV, News1130, CKNW AM980, Vancouver Sun, The Province, The Georgia Straight, Where Vancouver, Burnaby NOW, Jewish Independent, Tri-City News, Richmond Review, Hello Vancity, Vancouver Presents!, Vancity Buzz, Miss604, Vancouver Vantage, Vancouver Mom, Mama in the City, Modern Mama, among many others.
Click on the image to read each article.
News 1130: Interview with Jocelyn Gauthier of Legally Blonde: The Musical.
News 1130: Interview with Matthew Palmer of Shrek: The Musical.