Les Miserables and Pre-Show Dining on South Granville

Comments 11 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Pepper Crusted Chicken After we finished our meals my non-smoking husband sat back in his chair and said, “I’m going to need a cigar.” We were enjoying the tastes, sights, and sounds of the New Orleans-style restaurant Ouisi Bistro since it came highly recommended by the good folks I follow on Twitter. Located just two blocks from The Stanley theatre (and with no lineups in sight) it was the perfect pre-show meal.

John went for the classic Jambalaya (simmered with tomatoes, the trinity, smoked ham, andouille sausage, chorizo sausage & served with green rice) while I tried their Pepper Crusted Chicken Breast (which is served under fresh spinach, roasted garlic & brie with red beans, green rice and sauteed vegetables). The artwork of jazz greats is beautiful and the entire place has a laid back feel. We sat inside, although they have a patio, and enjoyed some profiteroles before heading down to catch the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Les Miserables.

I’ve seen Les Miserables before but never in such an intimate setting. The Arts Club truly has a knack for creating functional and dynamic set design – able to pack a modest stage with resounding voices, heart-wrenching emotions and perfectly choreographed movement.

Jonathan Winsby and cast – Photo by David Cooper

What stood out for me with this production was not only the power of the ensemble, but the performances of Rejean Cournoyer (as Javert) and Kieran Martin Murphy (Jean Valjean).

I recognized Jonathan Winsby who was Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, as he delivered a powerful and uprising performance as Enjorlas. The costuming was fantastic (as it has been with most Arts Club shows I’ve seen this year) and the children in the production deserve some kudos as well, in particular Joshua Ballard (Gavroche). Energetic and perfectly creepy crowd-pleasing performances by Nicole Lipman and John Mann (the Thenardiers) are also worth noting.

Nicola Lipman and John Mann – Photo by David Cooper

Les Miserables runs until July 19th although there is limited availability between now and June 7th due to popular demand. You can pick up tickets online (about $65 for great seats).

The Arts Club also launched a blog this season and have been providing an inside look at the making of Les Mis – including videos, cast interviews, and behind the scenes photos.

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11 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Jessica OtteThursday, May 21st, 2009 — 9:05am PDT

    next time, check out Chow – it is fantastic, and they have a nice “early price fixe” menu that would suit theatregoers.

  2. Miss604Thursday, May 21st, 2009 — 9:24am PDT

    Chow was one of my options but I was told it shut down recently, too bad.

  3. Victor TangThursday, May 21st, 2009 — 9:39am PDT

    apparently chow shut down on mother’s day? it’s unfortunate that it shut down because it was one of my favorite restaurants! i’m seeing les mis tonight and wanted to make reservations at chow, but that’s no longer in the plan. 🙁

  4. TylerThursday, May 21st, 2009 — 11:25am PDT

    Do they still have the under 30 pricing category? My two Ctr.Orch 4th row tickets only cost me $48 each. Which is like $100 less than what I paid for each ticket when I went to the QueenE. 🙂 Looking forward to this play, though we won’t be seeing it until mid June.

  5. “Shout it from the barricades – Les Miz is the hottest ticket in town” – Peter Birnie, The Vancouver Sun « Arts Club Theatre CompanyFriday, May 22nd, 2009 — 6:16pm PDT

    […] “resounding voices, heart-wrenching emotions and perfectly choreographed movement” – Miss 604 […]

  6. AidanSunday, May 24th, 2009 — 11:03am PDT

    If your under 30 you get 10% discount, which is pretty good! 🙂 My boyfriend and I are going next Sunday. I am so excited, now to find a reasonable restaurant in the area to go to afterwards. 🙂 I will be sure to check out the restaurant you mentioned

  7. DennisSunday, May 31st, 2009 — 11:36pm PDT

    I watched it early on May 9. It just only $20. and I sit on the 1st row, but on the right side. It’s so close to the stage, with a little bit obstacle, but it doesn’t matter.

    Before I watched, I worried a little bit, because I know it’s a Canadian production, not the tours from London or Broadway. But it changed my mind after I watched. It is outstanding.

    If you like the song ‘I Dream a Dream’ sing by Susan Boyle, you will be disappointed because that lady didn’t sing as well as Susan Boyle.

    Another thing is the stage is a bit smaller than the stage in London, and also they don’t have a live Orchestra, but you can’t expect too much because the ticket is much cheaper than in London. I paid 30 pounds in London and have a seat far away from the stage.

    But the overall performance is outstanding, and it’s worth for the money to watch that show.

    I would suggest to those guys who never watch Les Miserable before, you should listen to the original recordings first, and also understand the story. Otherwise, you won’t know how good it’s.

  8. Miss604Sunday, May 31st, 2009 — 11:51pm PDT

    Hi Dennis, glad you could experience the show. The thing is, this is not the touring production of Les Mis (that came through Vancouver a few months ago and played at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre). This is just the Arts Club version, presented by a local troop.

  9. Nicole McLuckieThursday, June 4th, 2009 — 1:25pm PDT

    Hi Dennis, so glad that you came to see the show. Thank you! Just wanted to mention that is actually is a live orchestra. We wanted to pack as much onstage as we could, so we put the band in a room at the back of the theatre:)
    Thanks again for attending!
    Nicole (from the Arts Club)

  10. Altar Boyz One-Day Contest for Music Monday » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittMonday, June 22nd, 2009 — 9:26am PDT

    […] like to congratulate them on not only having the highest-selling production in their history (with Les Miserables) but also on their recent Jessie Award wins for The Constant Wife. Published: June […]

  11. JaslerFriday, July 24th, 2009 — 12:02am PDT

    Live orchestra? Of six people? I am sorry but the music was butchered by an electronic keyboard. It just brought the whole show done. Performances were great though.what a shame

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