Culture: Malcolm Lowry, MusicFest & Annie

Festival MusicFest Vancouver 


MusicFest Vancouver 
MusicFest Vancouver has shed its old name (Festival Vancouver), but it’s pushing the same dope: two weeks of choral, chamber, jazz, early music, opera and world music in the heavy summer heat. I know, I know: it sounds like a dog’s breakfast, but breadth and scope is the name of the game. To wit, this year’s headliner, Ute Lemper, is hailed by Billboard magazine as the Crossover Artist of the Year, which means she’s got a hand in everything, from music to theatre to film. We’re looking forward to her opening-night concert – just so we can hear what a “nuanced set” of Bertolt Brecht cabaret songs might sound like. Aug. 2 to 16, various venues,

Strange Comfort


Strange Comfort: Essays on the work of Malcolm Lowry Dark alcoholic excess, a North Vancouver lean-to and one of the great literary works of the 20th century – Malcolm Lowry left all of these in his wake before his “death by misadventure” in England in 1957. In the essays of Strange Comfort, Sherrill Grace examines Lowry as autobiographer, interrogating the major themes of his work: voyaging, artistic identity and something her publisher calls (a little ickily) the “urgent need to protect the garden of our world.” This year marks the centenary of Lowry’s birth, and although he was British, Grace makes the case that the writer’s spiritual home is right here in B.C., on the shores of Dollarton. August, Talonbooks.



Theatre Under the Stars: Annie 
If all theatre is confection, there’s something concentrated about the sweetness of Annie, one of the most decorated Broadway plays. Bad things happen to good people, a billionaire has his heart rescued by an orphan, and scrappiness and pluck prevail – and not a moment before a killer climax on a swing bridge. TUTS, which has performed on and off in Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl since the early 1940s, will perform the 1967 musical romp Thoroughly Modern Millie on alternating nights. To Aug. 21, Malkin Bowl,