Category Archives: play review

Nano in outer space, nano opportunties in Japan, and Bruce–The Musical

I don’t know how I missed it at the time but, there’s a very interesting article on Casimir forces and a DARPA (a US Department of Defense research agency) request for research proposals.  There’s a brief overview of Casimir forces when they were first postulated along with a brief description of what they are (with links to more details) along with a discussion as to possible applications which are of interest to DARPA. The Nanowerk article from Sept. 19, 2008 is here.

Nanotech BC sent this notice: you have until Nov. 19, 2008 to apply for a business matching session with Japanese companies at the world’s largest nanotechnology event, Nanotechnology 2009 (Feb. 18 – 20, 2009). For applications and more details, go here.

Bruce–The Musical is finishing its run this weekend.  If you’re a Vancouverite (BC not WA state), then go. It’s a piece of our own history (mostly true) and it’s hardly ever represented on local stages. The play’s about an activist, Bruce Eriksen who helped to define one of the most forgotten areas of the city as a neighbourhood. Referred to locally as ‘the skids’ or or ‘skid row’, it’s now known as the downtown eastside. (aside: Unfortunately, things have gone downhill since Eriksen’s day although I shudder to think what would have happened to the area without Eriksen’s intervention. ) Still the play commemorates something important in the city and it’s done in a thoroughly engaging fashion.

The person I went with and whose politics are right of Bruce Eriksen’s turned to me at one point and whispered, “I did that too and so did my brother.” I can’t remember if it was a song or dialogue but it revealed that Eriksen had worked on the boats, in the mines, and in the construction industry. The characters on stage are people you’ve seen or met and the places they’re talking about are a few blocks away. (BTW, I’ve been to four or five plays with this friend and it’s the first time I’ve seen him get excited about one. Oh, one other thing. He studied acting and playwriting in New York.)

There’s a lot of heart in this show. It’s not a perfect play as one local critic pointed out but I saw a show last year at the Stanley Theatre that had some of the same problems and that sucker had won a Pulitzer Prize.  Bruce-The Musical is at least as that one. The play is being produced at the Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Ave.; it’s one of those funny little residential pockets in that area and it is safe. If you’re interested, go here for tickets. The run ends on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008.

Full disclosure: I am taking an acting class form the play’s director, Jay Hamburger.