Dine Out Vancouver 2014: Night Circus at the Vancouver FanClub

Many of the events at this year’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival combine some type of performance with food. The annual Act 1, Eat 1 series pairs dinner at a restaurant with a show featured in the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Jazz Out invites diners to tune into live music while enjoying a meal, and the popular Dinner at the Birdcage includes a glamorous reinterpretation of the classic drag cabaret.

A new event added to this year’s Dine Out offerings is Night Circus, which runs on select nights from January 17 to February 2 at the Vancouver FanClub (1050 Granville Street).

For $50, attendees are served a three-course dinner and provided cabaret-area seating for the show. Dinner includes a prawn cocktail or Caesar salad to start; grilled flank steak, buttermilk chicken, or a vegetarian option as a main; and panna cotta for dessert. Taxes, beverages, and tips are not included.

Alternatively, guests can have dinner prior to arriving at the venue at 8 p.m., and enjoy the show in upper-level seating for $25. Additional food, beverages, taxes, and tips are not included.

The performance itself combines circus, burlesque, live music, and interactive theatre. I attended a preview of the event on January 15, and upon arrival, was handed a passport with my role-playing identity marked inside. Guests are invited to interact with the actors as much or as little as they want (but I promise you’ll have more fun if you really get into it).

For the event, the Vancouver FanClub becomes the underwater city Atlantis, and performers and actors are dressed in costume—at the preview, I spotted an elaborate mermaid and an ethereal jellyfish. A four-piece band dressed up in sailor costumes provides snappy music as burlesque dancers shake and shimmy across the stage. In the crowd, a juggler, contortionist, and gymnast provide up-close entertainment, while high above, aerialists swing and spin on silk and hoop apparatuses.

It’s a dizzying display of talent that lasts about two hours.

Below, here's a peak at Night Circus at the Vancouver FanClub during the Dine Out Vancouver Festival.

Mermaid Oceana ready to pose for photos with guests at the Night Circus preview.
Michelle da Silva
An aerialist impressed guests at the Night Circus preview.
Michelle da Silva
An aerialist spins from the ceiling of the Vancouver FanClub during Night Circus.
Michelle da Silva
Burlesque dancers on stage at the Vancouver FanClub.
Michelle da Silva
Comments (6) Add New Comment
Ideas like this is why Luciak cant afford to open the Yale again.
Rating: -8
You are privy to the internal finances of the operation? The show is sold out! Seems like it works to me.... Jackass
Rating: 0
Blue Morris
Yup, most of the nights are sold out, except the last weekend... at present.
Rating: -2
Loved it!!! No surprise it sold out. The idea employs some of vancouver's hardest working creatives while engaging the public in an playful escapade under the sea. Well done Fan Fan Club and In The House Productions!
Rating: -7
I attended the performance tonight (January 26). Myself and my friend purchased the dinner/show tickets (which is closer to 60 dollars after tax than 50). I was quite disappointed. I was excited to go to this performance, thinking that it would be like Tony and Tina's interactive level with the patrons. However, this was not the case and the write up for the entire performance is a bit off base. We thought that there would be more interaction throughout dinner and into the rest of the night. We could not figure out what was actually happening in the story line most of the time and we also could not see from where we were sitting (which was not somewhere we chose to sit, it was where we were placed). From looking at the pictures posted above, I did not see a mermaid at any time throughout the performance and the one key interaction point that the patrons had was to say "Jellyfish" and I did not see the jelly fish until about 45 minutes until the end and no one ended up acknowledging the jelly fish.

Also the price point is a bit steep for a Cocktail ticket (which another set of friends purchased for tonight) that does not tell you that it is essentially first come, first serve, limited seating and no drink with said ticket.

Overall, I would not recommend any of my friends to go see the last three days of this performance.

On a positive note, I thought the circus performers, burlesque dancers and the band were great (just was not cohesive with the story).
Rating: -7
I have to agree with Nadia, the evening was very disappointing. I purchased two cocktail tickets, and when we got there we went up stairs where the 'non-dinner' tickets buyers were placed. We spent the first 30 mins not being able to see anything, so we asked if we could move downstairs because it's pointless looking at the backs of other peoples heads and trying to peek between legs.

We got placed downstairs in a cubby hole, where you still could not see the aerialist and we had to stand in front of other people or sit and not be able to see anything.

We were about to leave and try to get a refund, but the manager came over and we ended up getting a couple of seats.

I also see other reviews with people mentioning appys... we certainly didn't see anything and we didn't see the mermaid either.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, especially for the price of the tickets. I also heard from a couple people that purchased the dinner tickets, it was not worth the extra $30. Save your money and go elsewhere.

The acting was bizarre.. didn't know what was going on. One minute they're splitting up and the next they're dry humping on stage. They are encouraging people to flirt etc but it's so loud you can't even talk to each other and it's just awkward. The band was good and the burlesque was good. That's about all I liked about the evening. (attended Jan 26, 2014)
Rating: +3
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