THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of nine Tony Awards® including Best Musical, is back in Vancouver! 

I've seen the The Book of Mormon the last time it was here in Vancouver and it was the most hilarious musical I've ever been to. This time was no exception. The Book of Mormon ended with a well deserved standing ovation! I can rave and rave about the show but why not let someone who has seen it for the first time tell you all about The Book of Mormon. My guest has not seen The Book of Mormon before, nor know anything about the story prior to this. This is her review of the show: 

"The Book of Mormon has been on my list of musicals to see for quite some time. I love Broadway musicals and generally sing along to most of the famous broadway tunes. However, I have not watched the Book of Mormon before nor have I heard the music from it.  I did hear that it's very raunchy, explicit, slightly offensive (depending on who you are), and despite all of this it's a MUST see.

When the opportunity arose for me to see the Book of Mormon, I did not know what to expect. Most of the time, I'd read the summary of the musical online first, but this time I wanted to be completely surprised. It took all of one minute for me to be completely immersed with musical.  Everyone was super energetic and expressive. Most of all, I felt completely engaged and connected to everything happening on stage.  Although there were parts where I didn't catch what the actors or actresses said, it did not matter because every inch of their body was so expressive.  Best of all, the humour was witty and had me laughing in stitches for most scenes and sometimes it seems like this is a comedy show mixed in with a musical.  If this comes to town again, I'd definitely watch it again! Leave the kids at home though :)"

The Book of Mormon is musical not to be missed! It is currently playing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and only here for a limited two-week engagement through Sunday September 4, 2016! Make sure to catch it before it's gone! Get your tickets at

Photos provided courtesy of Broadway Across Canada

Disclosure: Tickets to the show were received from Broadway Across Canada free of charge. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own and have not been influenced in any other way.
Heaven on Broadway!  A celebration of the privilege
of living inside that improbable paradise called a musical comedy.”


Vancouver, BC – THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of nine Tony Awards® including Best Musical, is pleased to announce a student rush ticket policy for the show’s Vancouver engagement, which begins Tuesday August 23, 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and plays a limited two-week engagement through Sunday September 4, 2016. In Vancouver, the production will conduct a pre-show student rush, making twenty (20) tickets available per show at $25 per ticket. Student Rush Tickets will be available first come first served to those who show valid student ID at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre box office 2 hours prior to each performance.  A limit of two tickets per person will be enforced.
THE BOOK OF MORMON features book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone are the four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of the landmark animated series, “South Park.” Tony Award-winner Lopez is co-creator of the long-running hit musical comedy, Avenue Q.  The musical is choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw (Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone) and is directed by Nicholaw and Parker

THE BOOK OF MORMON is the winner of nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone), Best Book (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone), Best Direction (Casey Nicholaw, Trey Parker), Best Featured Actress (Nikki M. James), Best Scenic Design (Scott Pask), Best Lighting Design (Brian MacDevitt), Best Sound Design (Brian Ronan) and Best Orchestrations (Larry Hochman, Stephen Oremus); the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical; five Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album; four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Musical, and the Drama League Award for Best Musical.

THE BOOK OF MORMON features set design by Scott Pask, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Brian MacDevittand sound design by Brian Ronan.  Orchestrations are by Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus.  Music direction and vocal arrangements are by Stephen Oremus.  

The Original Broadway Cast Recording for THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, is available on Ghostlight Records.

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For more information, visit
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BROADWAY ACROSS CANADA is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes, under the supervision of John Gore (Owner & CEO). Current and past productions include On Your Feet!, Fiddler on the Roof, Shuffle Along, Beautiful, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar QuartetHairspray, and The

Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Disney's Newsies is busting a move in Vancouver!

I never knew this but Newsies' story is based the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City! It's about a ragtag bunch of orphan and runaway "newsies" who stand up to powerful newspaper publishers when they raise distribution prices at the newsboys' expense.

When the boys first came out, I found myself thinking if kids will know what paperboys are nowaways! When the Joseph Pulitzer, played by Steve Blanchard, said paper sales declining since the war, all I could think about was it kept declining and is almost dead now. Thanks to the Internet those boys would be working in tech instead today! But I digress. The overall story itself is still relevant today because it's a classic David versus Goliath story!

The cast are awesome dancers and acrobats! I am amazed that they can both sing and dance through that strenuous choreography! Keep an eye out for the newsboy named Specs, played by Jordan Samuels; he does a lot of impressive flips! It's no surprise that Newsies was the winner of the 2012 Tony Awards Best Choreography,

Being up seated up close to the stage was great because we got to see the cast's expressions more clearly but we had to look up a lot. The set utilized a lot of vertical space. Though it wasn't an elaborate set it had depth and brought the streets and rooftops of 1966 New York alive.

My favourite song is "Seize the Day". It's the most recognizable song in the set. Though all the songs are really high energy and I loved them all! The lead newsie, Jack Kelly, played by Joey Barreiro, has a strong set of pipes! All his songs were spot on. The little boy, Les, played by Turner Birthisel at the opening performance, was very cute and always stole the scene. He had very funny bits and always stole a laugh from the audience.

Newsies was very enjoyable to watch. The dancing was very impressive and the singing and script always manages to keep a smile on my face. It's a great family musical!

Don't forget to take a picture in the lobby before leaving the theatre! You can be the picture in the headliner and be famous!

Disney's NEWSIES is here in Vancouver for one week only! Performances run from now through Sunday, July 10, 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tickets are available through or by calling 1-855-985-5000. Reservations for groups of ten or more are now being accepted by calling 1-800-889-8457.

For more information, visit, and

The Vancouver engagement of NEWSIES is presented by arrangement with Broadway Across Canada and is a subscription offering of the 2016/2017 Series.

Disclosure: Tickets to the show were received from Broadway Across Canada free of charge for review. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own and have not been influenced in any other way.
Get ready for Disney's NEWSIES!

They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines...Direct from Broadway comes NEWSIES, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical from Disney. Winner of the 2012 Tony Awards® for Best Score and Best Choreography, NEWSIES has audiences and critics alike calling it “A MUSICAL WORTH SINGING ABOUT!” (The New York Times). Filled with one heart-pounding number after another, it’s a high-energy explosion of song and dance you just don’t want to miss. Now is the time to seize the day with NEWSIES, playing July 5 - 10, 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.

Show: Disney’s NEWSIES
Dates: July 5 – 10, 2016
Theatre: Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Presale dates: May 6 – 8, 2016
Presale link:

ALL SALES FINAL. No exchanges or refunds. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. Standard Ticketmaster service fees apply to online or phone orders. Dates, times, prices, and cast subject to change without notice. Offer may be revoked without notice. Limit 9 tickets per person per 7 day period. All prices are in CAD and include a $3.00 CIF. Tickets must be purchased by May 8, 2016.

Read more about Disney's NEWSIES below:


Tickets for Disney’s NEWSIES on Sale
at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver on Monday May 9

Performances Begin on Tuesday July 5 and Play Through
Sunday July 10 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

(Vancouver, British Columbia) - Disney Theatrical Productions and Broadway Across Canada announced today that tickets for the highly anticipated Vancouver engagement of Disney’s NEWSIES will go on sale to the public on Monday May 9 at 10:00 am.  The Tony® Award-winning production will begin performances at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Tuesday July 5 for a limited engagement of one week through Sunday July 10.   

In Vancouver, NEWSIES will play Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 pmSaturday 2:00 pm and
7:30 pm, and Sunday at 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm. Beginning Monday May 9, tickets will be available at or by calling 1.855.985.5000.  Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling 1.800.889.8457.  Advance tickets are available through Front Of The Line ® by American Express May 2 – 4, 2016.

Ticket buyers are reminded that Ticketmaster Canada and Broadway Across Canada are the only official retail ticket outlets for all performances. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party should be aware that Queen Elizabeth Theatre is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance.

NEWSIES, the new American musical, features a Tony® Award-winning score with music by eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, a book by four-time Tony® Award winner Harvey Fierstein and is produced by Disney Theatrical ProductionsNEWSIES is directed by Tony® nominee Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, who won a 2012 Tony Award® for his work.  The entire creative team has reunited to bring the break-out smash musical to audiences across North America. 

When it opened on March 29, 2012 NEWSIES was intended for a Broadway run of just 101 performances.  The show’s fiercely devoted fans had other ideas, however; they propelled the show to a run of 1005 performances, attendance of more than 1 million and a gross of over $100M. 

While on Broadway, NEWSIES set and broke seven Nederlander Theatre house records and became the highest-grossing show from the 2011-12 Broadway season. The show received 23 major theatrical nominations – including eight Tony Award® nods – and won Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Score and Choreography.                                             

Set in New York City at the turn of the century, NEWSIES is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right. 

NEWSIES is inspired by the real-life ‘Newsboy Strike of 1899,’ when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers. 

The stage version introduces seven brand-new songs by the original team of Menken and Feldman, including a song written specifically for the tour called ‘Letter from the Refuge,’ while keeping many of the beloved songs from the film, including ‘Carrying the Banner, ‘Seize the Day,’ ‘King of New York’ and ‘Santa Fe.’ 

Since the film’s 1992 theatrical release and subsequent DVD release, NEWSIES has grown into a cult phenomenon, and for years had been the single most requested title of all the Disney musical films not yet adapted for the stage.  (The film featured a screenplay by Bob Tzudiker & Noni White (Tarzan, 102 Dalmatians).)

For more information, visit, and

The Vancouver engagement of NEWSIES is presented by arrangement with Broadway Across Canada and is a subscription offering of the 2016/2017 Series.

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BROADWAY ACROSS CANADA and Broadway Across America is part of the Key Brand Entertainment family of companies which includes and is operated by John Gore (Owner & CEO).  BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring musicals and plays in North America, operating in 40 markets.  As a leading Broadway producer, BAA is dedicated to the development and production of new and diverse theatre.  Current/upcoming productions include Beautiful, Betrayal, Bullets Over Broadway, Little Miss Sunshine, Million Dollar Quartet and Pippin. Past productions include Hairspray, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Memphis, Promises, Promises, The Producers and War Horse. is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please visit and
Thousands of LEGO fans flocked to RiverRock Casino Hotel this past week to attend BrickCan, the inaugural LEGO convention held in Richmond. The four-day event featured keynote talks, games and an exhibit full of astounding LEGO models. The first two days were geared towards AFOLs (adult fan of LEGO) while the weekend was open to families who enjoy viewing LEGO builds or were looking to buy LEGO sets. Vendors had plenty of LEGO for purchase, as well as LEGO-related art, jewelry and clothing. Half the fun while browsing the vendor tables was digging though the minifigure bins, trying to look for that elusive figure needed to complete your own collection.

BrickCan was a sold-out success; make sure to sign up for updates so you don’t miss out on BrickCan 2017! Visit Seapotato's blog over at Savvy Shopping, Deals and Reviews for more photos and details about BrickCan 2016.

Avocados From Mexico's Avoshowdown cooking competition returned last Sunday, April 10th, at the Northwest Culinary Academy on Main Street. This year saw 16 amature chefs, home cooks and bakers battle it out, trying to impress judges with their creations featuring Avocados from Mexico.

While the competitors put their finishing touches on their dishes, the team at Northwest Culinary Academy went around with some delicious appetizers, which showcased the versatility of Avocados from Mexico.

At the beginning of the event we were introduced to the food and lifestyle experts who were going to be judging the competition (from left to right) by emcee Alyssa Dawson from Novus TV:

We were first asked why we love avocados so much? Because they taste good AND are full of nutrients that are good for your health! Avocados contain the good type of fat that our bodies need. That is the whole point of this competition - to spread the word about how good Avocados from Mexico are in terms of health benefits, taste, versatility and availability. Did you know that 90% of the avocados in Canada are imported from Mexico? They are also the only avocado that are available year round - pretty important when you love to eat them so much like me!

We were then let go to mingle and try the competitors' dishes.

The competitors really stepped up their game this year! Many of the dishes prepared were like they were made by professional chefs!

Meanwhile, the judges hid in the back of the establishment, blind tasting the entrants' creations.

Such a tough job!

After the judges scurried away, Chef Jonathan Kinney, from the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, showed us how to make an Avocado Parfait. One trick he taught us was how to cut an avocado. Apparently, cutting an avocado length-wise is an American thing. The proper way to cut an avcodo is across width-wise, then squish out the seed. I tried it last night and it is a game changer! It's so easy!

The parfait is easy to make with pineapple, mango, strawberry, granola, avocado and yogurt. We were then sent off to make our own avocado parfaits.

Here is @ch0c0tam and her sister making the parfait.

She's so creative with the strawberry garnish on the rim!

Next demo was from Justin Darnes of Drinks Undressed, who unveiled a special cocktail created just for this event the Persea Fumée, made from smoked avocado purée. Persea is the Latin name of the avocado plant.

Justin shared his trick to making avocados ripen faster: wrapping them up with a bunch of bananas! Bananas are also a good complement to avocados because of their creaminess.

This drink was so tasty! I wish I could have more!

Finally, the judging was done and it was time to unveil the champions of the AvoShowdown of 2016!

The Cannoli Santo dessert made by Caitlin Connolly, who also happens to be a student at the Northwest Culinary Academy, won the grand prize: a trip to Mexico courtesy of Club Med! I guess they are doing something right because last year's competition was won by someone who studied there, too!

This Avocado Tuna Roll was amazing and had a lot of flavour! Alex Dodge of Truffles Fine Foods took home second prize - a Kitchen Aid blender.

These delicious Siamese style tiger prawns stuffed with avocado were made by Priyanka Deshmkh, which awarded her the 2nd runner-up prize.

Avocado Jewel Box made by Angel Chu (@alsotheresthis). This beautiful dish was voted "Foodie's Choice" by the attendees!

All the winners of the 2nd annual Avoshowdown presented by Avocados from Mexico! Congratulations!

Chinese Bites has started a new VIP Program this year and I invited to try out Firebird Cafe with Seapotato from Savvy Shopping, Deals & Reviews.

Firebird Cafe is located in Continental Shopping Centre in Richmond. Easy to get to and plenty of free parking around.

Inside the restaurant is very spacious with modern decor. We started our dinner at 6:30pm but it didn't get busy until around 7:30-8pm. This restaurant seems to attract the later crowd.

Looking at the menu, Firebird Cafe serves a mixture of Asian and Western cuisine. 

There's a sheet to mark off for custom fish noodle soups (like Bubble Waffle or Deer Garden). I love these types of menus! Everything is so customizable, I love it!

And on the back there's option for a custom sizzling grill or custom steamed rice.

We decided to order one of each from the custom menu and a few extra things to share.

First up was the Ginko and Pepper Fish Soup with Egg Noodle. Of course, you get to choose the soup base, type of noodles, two toppings, and a drink with your order. It was what it was...very peppery! Most of us couldn't take the heat. But it was very good. Our friend E. loved it so much she drank all the soup!

Most of our order came with a drink. I was having trouble deciding so I asked the waitress what she'd recommend. She said the Signature Milk Tea with Pearls is very popular so I gave it a try. It was pretty good. It's not too sweet. I think Chatime is still my favourite but it's not bad at Firebird Cafe.

All of us agreed that the Baked Chicken Spaghetti in Meat Sauce was one of the best dishes of the night. The chicken was so tender and delicious, V. couldn't stop eating it!

Seapotato ordered the Custom Sizzling Grill - Beef Shortrib and Chicken Wings, a side of fries and garlic sauce. The sizzling grill also comes with a soup of the day and a drink. A pretty good deal for $13.95, if you ask me. The chicken wings were mmmmm-mmmm-good. Nice and crispy. The shortrib was very tender. And the fries were the best! Costco style fries - very crisp on the outside. You can read more about what Seapotato thought about this dish on her blog.

We also ordered a few appitizers - though they should be called side dishes because some of them came near the end of the meal. The Takoyaki while tasty, was a kind of a miss because of the inconsistent texture. Some of them were too gooey than it should be. They came on a bed of fried onions or noodles of some sort - very yummy when you eat it with the sauce the takoyaki was slathered in.

Deep fried squid. They seem to like using tomatos as garnishes. These were also on a bed of fried onions. The squid was a miss for us because it could benefit with some additional seasoning. The batter should be a bit more flavoured but with the dipping sauce, it was better.

Our last appetizer was a huge bowl of Taiwanese Chicken Nuggets. I wasn't expecting that much! I thought the dish would be half the size. There was no fried onion filler in the bowl it was all chicken. The nuggets were delicious! I'm telling you that you can't go wrong with anything chicken at Firebird Cafe. lol

The last item that came was the custom steamed rice with Free Range Chicken and Pork Liver and an added egg on top. We were unimpressed with the egg. It looks like it was microwaved so I'd skip that next time but the chicken was great! Again, Firebird Cafe seems to be good at making delicious chicken. I like how the rice was flavoured from the ingredients chosen. Lovely rice!

Overall, Firebird Cafe was ok. Some things were obviously better than others like the fish noodle soup, sizzling grill and I guess anything chicken. haha. It's another option in Richmond for those who like HK cafe style food.

Disclosure: The meal was provided free of charge by the Firebird Cafe and ChineseBites but the opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own and have not been influenced in any other way.

Firebird Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato