Chutzpah! Festival is in its 19th year and bringing ever-more incredible music, art, comedy, and dance to Vancouver. Indulge in performances from around the world that don’t oft see Canada’s westerly shores.
Here are BeatRoute’s must-sees for the month:
AvevA Thursday, November 14 / 8pm / Rickshaw Theatre
Afro-soul and indie-pop beats gambol behind the fervent voice of AvevA Dese, an Ethiopian-Israeli singer whose appeal is making a global trek. For her West Coast premier at Vancouver’s Chutzpah! Fest, AvevA will share traditional Ethiopian sounds with contemporary lyrics in English and Amharic. Lighters in the air for this one.
Yemen Blues w/ Jack Garton Saturday, November 9 / 8pm / Rickshaw Theatre
Yemen Blues is a charismatic celebration of Yemenite Jewish culture and Afro-funk groove. Arabic and English lyrics are amplified with an array of instruments, some originating from Africa and the Middle East. The nine-piece band is led by founder and frontman Ravid Kahalani, who’s energy and eccentricity ignite every beat. Prepare to dance.
Iris Bahr November 12 & 13 / 8pm / Norman Rothstein Theatre
Oh, Iris Bahr? You might remember her from Friends or The Big Bang Theory. But you can’t forget the award-winning comic and multi-hyphenate as the Orthodox Jewish Girl on Curb Your Enthusiasm, on her hit solo show DAI (enough), or as the Russian madam on Svetlana.
A one-time Israeli army sergeant and past neuropsych student, Bahr presents a stand-up show of intelligence and hilarity.
THE RESCUE Saturday, November 23 / 8pm / Norman Rothstein Theatre
THE RESCUE is a touching documentary that recounts the obscure story of friendship between a Salvadoran Colonol and his Jewish friend who rescued thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Backed by live music — a concerto, no less — this “performative film experience” from Alvaro and Boris Castellanos begs the question: why don’t all films come with live music? Netflix, take a seat.
Dance & Comedy Inclusion Project Sunday, November 24 / 7pm / Norman Rothstein Theatre
At the closing night celebration of the week-long Inclusion Project, comedy and dance find space together. Laugh with stand-up comedian and mental health advocate Pamela Schuller. Revel in the stunning choreography of professional dancers Troy Ogilvie and Rebecca Margolick, a performance in collaboration with the Inclusion Community of the Jewish Community Centre.