By Nicole Fitzgerald
Tensions run high at a rehearsal for the Chairlift Revue, the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival’s newest dramatic addition which premieres Monday, April 16 at 9 p.m. at the Rainbow Theatre.
Scripts are written, actors cast and set built, or at least placed.
Three chairs are lined up next to each other.
Time for direction.
Actors are directed to take their seats.
Okay staging the Chairlift Revue isn’t as simple as all that, but keeping things time efficient with little to no budget was a key driving force behind staging the festival’s first theatre event.
“I got this idea to write plays based on conversations on a chairlift,” said G.D. Maxwell, who resurrected the Stan Langtry show staged more than a decade ago. “I thought it was a cool idea because it is so in character with a ski resort and partly because it would be really easy to produce, doesn’t require props, sets are chairs and let the imagination of the audience do the rest of it,”
The Chairlift Revue will stage short plays penned by North American scribblers. With scripts running the duration of one chairlift ride, audiences will be carried away into a number of hilarious tales ranging from a vacation gone horribly wrong to a boy-girl encounter all too familiar to anyone whose life revolves around the chairlift.
“Skiing is a weird sport in that there really aren’t any other sports that really bridge together people of different education and socio-economic standings,” said co-producer Maxwell. “Because skiing is an all consuming passion, you’ve immediately got something to talk about for that 15 minute ride up the mountain. By the time you climb on a chairlift, your body is awash with endorphins and people release all inhibitions. You are totally free to reinvent yourself because you are probably sitting next to someone you are never going to run into again, so why not? Why not be your fantasy? There is nothing sadder than a silent chairlift ride.”
Three of Whistler’s most crazed — but not deemed clinically insane, yet — thespians will stage Whistler’s own ode to a chairlift. The cantankerous scribe of Maxed Out fame, G.D. Maxwell begrudgingly took up the torch for this night of silliness with Michele Bush, the mastermind behind the staged production of Ab Fab, and Chris Quinlan, a regular in Short Skirt Theatre pantomimes.
Scriptwriters from corridor residents Cindy Filipenko, Lisa Richardson and Maxwell have joined forces with Americans Jules Older and Paul Malm to create memorable characters — or at least laughable ones.
“Most of them have a humorous edge,” Maxwell said. “And some are just outright silly.”
Tickets are $10. Doors 8 p.m.
Unconventional storytellers booked for festival
In a technically-saturated world the art of storytelling, dating back to when people gathered around a fire to spin a good yarn, is often reduced to a blog or scrolling text on a website. A Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival tradition seeks to personalize the ancient art by inviting half a dozen wordplay artists to step their personal stories onto the stage at Words and Stories on Sunday, April 15 at 9 p.m. at the Rainbow Theatre.
Words and Stories stages the most unconventional storytellers and stories into one tantalizing evening of speaking streams, hip hop spins and conscious prose. Anything goes for this 21st century storytelling night of entertainment.
One wild card speaker for the night is Glen Plake, the mohawked, three-time World Hot Dog Ski Champion whose freestyling feats have made him an iconic figure in the world of extreme sports.
His most famous flick appearances include Blizzard of AaaHhh’s, License to Thrill, Natural Born Skier, Fistful of Moguls and most recently, Warren Miller’s Higher Ground.
He might ride new skis, but the snow slider still rips up that old punker attitude, a perfect match for spinning entertaining yarns for the Words and Stories showcase.
Along with Plake, other yarns will be spun by Eric Berger and Jack Turner, the forces behind the legendary Photographer’s Showdown; Feet Banks, never one to mince words in his Pique Newsmagazine movie column Notes From the Back Row; Lisa Richardson, Slow Food Cycle Sunday founder and Whistler Writers Group stalwart; and Mitchell Scott , senior correspondent for Powder, Bike, SBC Skier and Explore magazines.
Michel Beaudry, award-winning author and professional provocateur, will host the evening presented by Pique Newsmagazine.
Doors open at 8 p.m. Show 9 p.m. Tickets $10.
Bikinis now in season
Getting sexed up for spring, the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival cranks up the heat with ladies peeling down to itty-bitty bikinis and lingerie.
As if indie rocker Sam Roberts needed another draw to his free opening concert Friday, April 13 on the festival mainstage in Skier’s Plaza. But festival organizers have done it anyways with the LG Electronics Chocolate Temptation Fashion Show showing at 8 p.m. after Roberts’s set.
Concert will be transformed into a runway of temptress models showing off the latest couture swimwear and lingerie from the Quebec design house Shan.
The Canadian company was founded in 1985 by Chantal Levesque, with offices opening later in Paris, New York, China and Japan.
Hottie watchers and fashion scouters will be privy to the Shan 2007 collection inspired by the rich history of Milanese tapestries, resulting in exotic flower and insect prints which are bold in size and scale, but intricate and delicate in detail.
The playful creations seek to capture and celebrate the precocious, ever-changing sides of women.
Admission to the outdoor show is free.
Beary great family fun
Big Air Bear may have been defeated last year, but Whistler’s tallest dancing bear is up for this year’s challenge from Pemberton Potato Jack and other Sea to Sky corridor mascots April 14 to 15 starting at noon at the Olympic Station on Saturday and Whistler Village Skate Zone on Sunday as part of the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival.
Mascots will leap, run and twirl their way around a number of challenges, testing skill, bravery and agility.
Pemberton Potato Jack, Gizmo, Beluga and RCMP Safety Bear have been invited to compete in this mascot-only race.
Big Air Bear will celebrate his fourth birthday with cake for everyone afterwards. The family fun event is free.
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