Culture: Lang Lang, Macy Gray, Vancouver Push Festival

A millionaire former prodigy, the secret ?thoughts of strangers, and Macy Gray ?tries again. Classical // Lang Lang

Lang Lang

A millionaire former prodigy, the secret 
thoughts of strangers, and Macy Gray 
tries again.

Classical // Lang Lang

At 28 years of age, it’s hard to call Lang Lang a prodigy anymore. He’s now simply one of the world’s most accomplished pianists and arguably one of China’s biggest brands. The corporate world thinks so anyway: Lang has endorsement deals with Audi, Montblanc, Sony, Adidas and Steinway, and is spokesperson for the massive China Merchants Bank. And the flamboyant Liszt-ophile works hard for his millions. According to a 2008 New Yorker profile, Lang averages about 125 concerts a year, earning about $50,000 per recital (his fee for a private corporate concert is several-fold higher). In this concert for the Vancouver Recital Society, he will be performing Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 3, Albéniz’s Iberia Book No. 1 and Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 7. Jan. 21, 
Orpheum Theatre,

Macy Gray

Pop // Macy Gray

She’s the Eartha Kitt of the 2000s: a raspy-voiced diva whose unique sound is loved and loathed in equal measure. Macy Gray’s breakout hit – “I Try,” off the album On How Life Is – came late in 1999 and established her as the it girl of the new century. She subsequently won a Grammy for the song and teamed up with Fatboy Slim and the Black Eyed Peas on various projects. She even had a small acting role in the 2001 film Training Day. Then she sank back into relative obscurity, releasing an album here and there, garnering a mid-chart hit now and then. These days she’s touring in support of her 2010 album, The Sellout, which includes an Eartha-esque tribute to the Batman theme song called “That Man.” Jan. 22, River Rock Show Theatre,

Theatre // Push Festival

Vancouver Push Festival

Vancouver is a tough-to-impress theatre town, making the success of the avant-garde Push Festival, now in its seventh year, quite remarkable. This year organizers of the multidisciplinary performing arts fest have set an even more ambitious agenda, exploring an “urban experience” theme. The marquee performance, La Marea (Jan. 18 to 22), a joint effort of Vancouver’s acclaimed outdoor troupe Boca del Lupo and Argentine artist Mariano Pensotti, tackles the subject of the hidden thoughts of strangers. Nine different stories are told in the shop windows and street corners of Water Street between Abbott and Carrall each night. “What is that person thinking?” you’ve often asked. Well, with the help of projected subtitles, you’ll soon find out. Jan. 18 to Feb. 6, various Vancouver venues,