Monday, November 1, 2010

SHOEHORN.. at the Fries presented by Arts Equity Nov 13th

"SHOEHORN" Tap dancing saxophonist, works as a solo performer, bandleader, soloist, accompanist and sideman.

Shoehorn is an original performance artist who creates music with his feet and dances with his horn. Michael Shoehorn Conley has combined organic body rhythms and sophisticated jazz forms and concepts into an entertaining spectacle. While specializing in sax and tap dance, he is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger and composer, utilizing a variety of wind and percussion instruments, original poetry and songs and an ear for music from around the world.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Blue Door Arts Equity Never Opened in Vancouver.

Arts Equity has over it's time in Vancouver looked at scores of buildings suitable to house our performance space. This is a building we looked back in January of 2009. The photographs were taken by Cara Cottingham and Christine Eagon. This space was a storage for costumes; which had included in it, forty or fifty years of costumes from the old Portland Civic Theater. Jack Booch (Portland Civic Theater) toured the space and identified for us the lineage of this costume collection. As you will see from the photographs, the extent of the collection. We were told about this space by one of our former patrons with the caveat that the basement space had recently flooded and we might be interested in what was down there. In an effort to help us see more of the potential of the space and to demonstrate to a potential landlord our sweat equity, five of us hauled 5 tons of water soaked and moldy ruined costumes out of the basement one afternoon...for free! Click here to view the still images.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Arts Equity is honored to welcome Thomas Rheingans and the "Live at the Fries" Concert Series under our production umbrella. Thomas Rheingans (Rivergoose Records) and Llewellyn J. Rhoe (Arts Equity) have collaborated and inspired each other here in Vancouver for almost a decade. They have finally joined forces to produce the "Live at the Fries" Concert Series and this season we are mixing things up a bit in an expanded seven concert season. We have even lowered our ticket prices during this economic recession. Tickets are available on or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Tickets are now on sale.

Each concert title will perform both a 2pm Matinee and and 8pm Evening show at the Fries Auditorium (on the campus of the Washington State School for the Blind) located at 2214 East 13th Street in Vancouver, WA.

The "Live at the Fries" 7th season includes:
*Dancing with the Gnomes -- October 30th
Shoehorn's Saxovision -- November 13th
The Jazz Nativity -- December 18th
Forever Fab -- January 29th
*Night in Tunisia -- February 12th
Contemporary Classical -- Date TBA
*A Piano Lover's Concert -- May 7th

*Tickets to these three concerts include dessert and beverage provided by sponsor Trader Joes.

Thomas Rheingans will take the lead in "Dancing with the Gnomes", "Night in Tunisia" and "The Piano Lovers Concert". The "Live at the Fries" Ensemble will grow and expand as various friends of both Thomas and Llewellyn sit in to flush out the musical ambiance.

"Dancing with the Gnomes" explores the Halloween Muse in this season opening concert. Thomas is joined by members of the "Live at the Fries" Ensemble.

"Live at the Fries" -- "Night in Tunisia" for Valentines Weekend is a mix of exotic rhythms and jazzy love themes. A "Night in Tunisia" will make for a weekend to remember.

Thomas Rheingans and the "Live at the Fries" Ensemble brings it all back down to Thomas' virtuoso mastery of the keyboard in this "Piano Lovers Concert" A concert performance of Thomas's new and old favorites and hopefully yours as well.

Llewellyn J. Rhoe and Thomas Rheingans collaborate on the holiday offering: "The Jazz Nativiity" as we celebrate the season of "Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Mankind." "The Jazz Nativity should keep you rockin' during the holidays.

Llewellyn J. Rhoe is going to take the lead on three shows by bringing some of Arts Equity's favorite musicians to the "Live at the Fries" stage.

"Shoehorn's Saxovision" -- International Tap Dancing Saxophonist Shoehorn returns with an updated "Saxovision". "Shoehorn" who works as a solo performer, bandleader, soloist, accompanist and sideman. Shoehorn is an original performance artist who creates music with his feet and dances with his horn. Michael Shoehorn Conley has combined organic body rhythms and sophisticated jazz forms and concepts into an entertaining spectacle. While specializing in sax and tap dance, he is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger and composer, utilizing a variety of wind and percussion instruments, original poetry and songs and an ear for music from around the world.

Dusty Richards and friends take us on a magical mystery tour in "Forever Fab" January 29th. A concert for "Boomers who lived the music" and "children of boomers" who discovered their parents vinyl record collection. Join us for "Forever Fab" in January and enjoy an concert of the 20th century's most influential songs from the four boys from Liverpool.

We are going to feature some of Portland's finest Classical Contempory Composers who worked with Arts Equity over the past 15 years in our spring concert. Among them, Jack Gable of Cascadia Composers and North Pacific Music. This date is still to be announced, we will keep you posted.

Each program either features Thomas Rheingans surrounded by other singers and players or allows Thomas to sit in as a side man for others. Thomas Rheingans and an exotic mix of guest artists and musical friends will make up your season of "Live at the Fries"

Tickets are available on
or by calling 1-800-838-3006.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back to the Farm

Here is an interview I gave to Adam Stewart of the Vancouver Voice

Until two years ago, Arts Equity, founded by theater veteran Llewellyn Rhoe, had been Vancouver’s alternative theater, putting on challenging and adult productions such as 21A, The God of Hell, and the musical Herringbone. Yet it seemed there wasn’t much of a market for art theater in Vancouver: low public interest forced the theater to close its doors (the Main Street Theater is now being used by the Magenta Theater Company.)

“When I decided to create a version of Arts Equity in Vancouver, it was more about wanting to do work ... that inspired me,” said Rhoe in an email. “That is the arc in my creative life. Along the way you forge a point of view through the art exchange you have with your patrons and detractors.”
“Vancouver is the first place I have yet to make a living as an artist.”

After losing the Main Street Theater, Arts Equity ran productions in Portland, though not to much success. Since then, it has done what it can for the Vancouver arts scene, including collaborate with pianist Thomas Rheingan for the “Live At the Fries” concert series.

“I’ve sat out these last two plus years to analyze what happened during our Main Street tenure and to apply it to going forward in the arts here in this area,” said Rhoe.

Earlier this year, Rhoe was appointed to the Clark County Arts Commission by the Vancouver City Council, though they have yet to assign him any according duties. Like almost any artist, Rhoe supports himself through “day jobs.” Since April, he has been working for the 2010 Census in Vancouver. “I am learning things about Vancouver that I didn’t hear when I worked the 2000 census,” he said. “With the concerns expressed by a lot of very angry individuals about how they view the government, an arts dialogue seems a long way from the public debate.”

For its most recent project, Arts Equity is taking on something a little more “family friendly” than they’ve been known for, though no less artistically valid: a children’s tale of morality that populates the stage with a bear, a dog, trolls, and a cow named Lilywhite.

Nisse’s Dream was written by Paul Safar and Nancy Woods and debuted at the Lord Leebrick Theater in Eugene in 2005. It’s a musical fable about courage and finding help along the road where one might least expect. Nisse, a young farmboy, has been elected by his family to recover Lillywhite, their dairy cow that has been stolen by a pack of greedy trolls. Along the way, Nisse is given a gift that allows him to speak to animals, and through his own good will, a dog and a bear become his companions.

“Part of Arts Equity has always [been] to entertain the ideas,” said Rhoe, “and Nisse’s Dream has a very old-world storyteller morality to the story line without hammering you from the pulpit when delivered through the music. It’s a great example of teaching and entertaining things, like loving the animals who serve us.”

Having spent summers of his upbringing on his grandparents’ farms, Rhoe understands parallels between Nisse’s story and his own. “Certainly part of me is still just a kid off the farm like Nisse,” he said. “Art is completely like farming: If you don’t plant you don’t reap. Make hay while the sun shines. There is always crop failure. What you reap today has nothing to do with what you did today. And even the lessons learned in crop failure help you learn what not to ever do again.

“Nisse is on an adventure where his family’s destiny is at stake against antagonist trolls, who want everything and more,” said Rhoe. “That’s a theme most people come up against at various times in their lives. We’ve all been ‘milked’ by pickers of low hanging fruit, not just out right thieves. As a kid off the farm, I probably have a similar discomfort with pickers of low hanging fruit.”

Some of Rhoe’s first experiences in children’s theater include putting on shows as a child. His first run theater was when he was in the fourth grade, when he fashioned a stage in his neighbor’s garage, complete with trap door, to put on performances. “I also learned that lemonade brought in almost as much revenue and that I had to pay rent to my friend who’s dad owned the house the garage was hooked up to,” he said. “I guess her dad was the first agent type I dealt with.”

Rhoe’s college mentor who attended the prestigious Goodman School of Drama in Chicago, showed him the ropes in entertaining children. They performed for 15,000 elementary students over 10 performances.
“Working for kids is in many ways the most honest,” said Rhoe. “They cheer your good guys and they boo the bad guys.

“The kid’s audience is very sophisticated in many ways,” he said, “so you can’t play down to them, you need to open them up to the world of wonder.”

Rhoe said one of the things that drew him into directing Nisse’s Dream was its music. “[It] has a very sophisticated score that at the same time is extremely accessible to the young and the young at heart,” he said. “‘Take Care of Me’ has a jazzy swing standard quality that makes you think you’re in love, where ‘I Am Strength’ has this wonderful march quality to it.”

Rhoe said when he received a recording of the music of Nisse’s Dream from its creators, he sought and found the emotional moments of the show. “I obsessively listen to the score until I know it and it overtakes my conscious, sub- and unconscious minds,” he said. “I dream it: waking, sleeping, which in the end requires turning it over to my subconscious mind to work out the creation. It becomes stuck in me where the only exorcism is directing it.”

Initially slated to run in late July at the Sherman Auditorium in Vancouver, Rhoe said the production was pushed back to next year, in part to allow a possible collaboration with the Portland Festival Ballet, which has expressed interest in working with Cherry Blossom Musical Arts, Safar and Woods’s non-profit organization. Promotional tie-ins with Burgerville and the Dairy Farmers of Oregon are also in consideration.

Rhoe said he hopes to have the production ready for next spring. In the meantime, he is also penning a historical drama based on the life of Ulysses S. Grant. “It’s a four-hander with Mark Twain,” he said, “Grant at the age he was when he was here at Ft. Vancouver, Grant at the age when he wrote his memoir. Grant missed his wife and it’s here in Vancouver that he started to drink.”

But with Nisse’s Dream, it’s the children who look to benefit from Arts Equity’s ambitious project brought to Vancouver’s stage. That includes, of course, the child in all of us, as well as the children in performers and director.

“When you work at this collaborative level, you experience a very childlike feeling about creating,” said Rhoe. “It is a chance to be a kid again. A chance to be an old soul in a young body, for young bodies.”

For more information, visit and CDs or MP3 downloads of music from "Nisse's Dream" can be found at

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ossie and the Guerrilla

Ossie and Harriet's it aint! So if your looking for paintings to display over a nice living room sofa, or your still stuck in the 1950's somewhere like much of VanWa' s art patrons you will want to try another gallery.
A few of the paintings are as rough as the sawn cedar that frames the work. However this is just what VanWa needs in the ongoing evolution of our art community. VanWa needs a place where young artists can come together to fail and succeed just as it does in this opening exhibit of local artists work.

Let's be clear, the artists who are currently showing at Tryckpress Galleri and Guerrilla Gallery probably won't quit their day jobs anytime soon. But their hearts and minds are definitely in the right place. They are on the path and they believe that there is a market for the work that they are producing. Most of the work hanging in this show is in the two hundred dollar range. Much of it is worth the asking price. Some may not be, but that is hardly the point here. Everyone has their own esthetic influenced by how they value art, but all of us can understand the mechanics of patronage. Encouragement almost always is an essential component in the success of an artist long before the artistic breakout moment manifests.

Without bona-fide encouragement in the form of an Arts Commission these young artists have forged ahead to support themselves. A worthy tack, essential to surviving in VanWa: "If there is no wind in your sails...blow!"

Tryckpress Galleri (Ossie Bladine) and Guerrilla Gallery (Olin Unterwegner) have taken over nearly all the top floor of a Billy Dean (Dean Irwin, notable local arts supporter) property at 1001 Main street in downtown VanWa above the Rosemary Cafe. On a personal walk and squawk with Ossie, Olin and Mike (an investor/window washer extraordinare) I was reminded just how important it is for young artists to put themselves out there. Ossie and Olin, together with fellow artists Drew Taylor, Russ Mason and Lucas Adams "puke it out on white gallery walls", then have the “cajones” to invite facebook friends to check it out. It’s an act of social networking and gutsy guerrilla tactics. If you are just too old to appreciate this defiance, you will view this as an act of suicide. But to the youthful soul it is “the headlong rush into the bliss of making your mark in the world.” It is absolutely painful, and absolutely essential for young artists who are caught up in this need to create. The principles in this artistic venture have staked themselves with six months worth of cash in a bold move to bring their new galleries into existence. Let’s hope they make it, VanWa needs it! I for one will be curious to see how they blend it all together.

They’re in the infant stages of gathering like minds with like ambitions “who they get on with." It is part of a needed younger movement in the local arts scene that has been to long controlled by old proponents of what the arts should be like here in VanWa. This group like the new collective of artists in Uptown isn't sitting around waiting for an Arts Commission or a Center for the Arts. Their time is now and to postpone it is the real suicide!
The opening night reception is tonight Friday April 16th at 8pm

You can find them on the web at

and through the gallery listings on the Vancouver Voice search the gallery-listings

Llewellyn J. Rhoe
Founder, Arts Equity

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In memory of Jack Booch

For those of you who don't know Jack!...this will fill in a very important link in the chain of artistry that is part of our theatrical history at Arts Equity. For those of you who did know Jack you have some indication of just who we lost when Jack passed, and how important he was to the work that we did at Arts Equity.

I sit to ponder my memories of Jack Booch because he was my most senior mentorial link in my four plus decade long career. I wonder if there will ever be another with his wit and wisdom? Jack could cut to the literary chase before most even knew it was a race. He never minced words especially amongst friends. A trait and a talent that will be hard to replace.

For those of us lucky enough reach senior status in the theatre, we know all to painfully how difficult it is to forge links with an older mentors in ourcollaborative chain. At the same time, we are often overwhelmed with neophytes clammering for a "chink in the chain"... youth who want to "glean the nuggets" of what we know and the how to's of moving ahead in their quest for a misconceived piece of celebrity.

Jack would have none of celebrity. Maybe it was his birth in Birmingham, Alabama or his intellectual prowess honed as a student at Reed College that gave him his edge and his take on the art world. Jack Booch's career included directing many of the theatre's great plays and great talents. A personal friend of Edward Albee and perhaps the director of the definitive version of "A Delicate Balance" certainly qualified him as a celebrity. As the Executive Producer for The Theatre Guild Inc. in Manhattan, Jack sheparded many a work from the theatrical canon to life on the boards. As a marketing director at the Kennedy Center I came to know of Jack as The Executive Director of The Theatre Guild in the mid 1980's.

I have many memories of Jack, three that stand out above the rest. Soon after an article appeared in our local weekly paper, The Vancouver Voice, Jack invited me and my producing partner Helene M. Rasanen to lunch. Jack loved good food and he loved to laugh. A laugh that was boisterous, poignant and politically incorrect while being "dead on". Over pasta and wine we shared a love of the great playwrights and a distain for the mediocre in performance. Jack was never above telling someone: "Don't quit your day job" and always he meant it when he said it.

I asked Jack once what he thought of a particular performance and his reply spoke volumes..."The only thing I remember" he said, "was at the intermission break they told us it was time to tinkle and have a cookie." You had to know Jack.

But the third and final memory was by far the best and the most revealing. Over Jacks seventy-two year life span, he was notorious for staging his own birthday parties. An annual event he had been doing from a very early age...I am told since about eight. But as his 72 anniversary rolled around he bowed to the requests of his long time friends to let them honor him. We met at Rosemary Cafe on Main Street in Vanvouver, Washington on a Sunday afternoon in late October 2009. Jack had been battling kidney cancer for several months and despite his condition, his wit and humor were firmly intact. About forty of us took turns relating our connection to Jack and shared the gift of how we came to love him. The testiments spanned his entire lifetime including his oldest and drearest friend from childhood. What could have been a sad and sober afternoon reached a climax often emulated in the theatre but seldom reached. The great examples of comedy are built around a trio of moments. Stck that holds our focus and builds in waves to that moment when it erupts into extended waves of laughter. Here was Jack sitting with a party hat on his head. A cross between a dunce's hat and Merlin's magic...He was at ease with both in this instance. Someone had given him a prayer shawl perhaps to comfort him in this final performance and Jack would have none of it. He raised the shawl to place it over his hat and it wouldn't go, he raised it twice to see if it was playing to the house and then with a twinkle in his eye he broke the fourth wall and looked directly at me as he went for it the third time he brought down the house.

Jack Booch was as errascable as they come. He pulled no punches, and the thought of tempering his politically incorrect utterances was something he never considered. It was refreshing to hear the truth uttered from a sage of the thatre. Early in his life Jack Booch was the director of The Portland Civic Theatre from 1966-1969.

A graduate of Reed College Jack Booch was born in Birmingham, Alabama on November 14, 1936 and passed away in Portland, Oregon on February 11, 2010

Missing and Remembering Jack
Llewellyn J. Rhoe

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Herringbone" Costume Designer

Our Favorite on "Project Runway"

I've been a fan of "Project Runway" from the beginning of the show and Arts Equity has been a huge fan of Seth Aaron Henderson (pictured at left) fashion designer since he had a small design studio on Main Street in Vancouver.

Those of you who saw Mr. Taylor Askman's legendary performance in Arts Equity's production of Tom Cone's "Herringbone, directed by Llewellyn J. Rhoe's saw Seth Aaron's amazing skills and edgy fashion sense at work up close. Seth Aaron designed, fitted and executed the "Herringbone" suit in a couple of days...and it remains in perfect shape after 44 performances and 10 months of grueling work by Mr. Askman.
We wish Seth Aaron all the best, and all the luck required to pull off this competition on "Project Runway". He is our favorite! We will be watching with great anticipation. Even if Seth Aaron isn't the final winner, he is a big winner headed for bigger things. Unfortunately for Vancouver (according to his interview in The Columbian) he probably will move to a hipper market like Los Angeles or New York after his stint on the show is over.

Seth Aaron's fashion home page is below
Seth Aaron Henderson
Follow the "Project Runway" official blog here

Here is Seth Aaron's "Project Runway" page
Seth Aaron Henderson

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thomas Rheingans "Fleurs et Chocolat"

Live at the Fries February 13th

$12 Matinee performances,
$16 Evening performances,
Senior/Student discounts.

LOCATION: 2214 E 13th Street Fries Auditorium Vancouver, WA
* Admission includes dessert and beverage provided by Trader Joes

ARTISTRY IN RHYTHM The 6th season of "Live at the Fries"
featuring pianist Thomas Rheingans produced by Llewellyn J. Rhoe

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rheingans and Rhoe present Christmas Sojourn Live at the Fries

Rheingans and Rhoe are pleased to support the Council for the Homeless with The Christmas Sojourn Performances. Our support goes to help with the Community Voice Mail program, a groundbreaking technology for those without phones in Clark County.

The "Live at the Fries" concerts are staged in the beautifully renovated Fries Auditorium. (Location: 2214 E. 13th St Vancouver, WA) The excellent acoustics, architectural details, restored finishes and intimate setting of the Fries provide excellent acoustics in this intimate music venue.

Thomas Rheingans, Artistic Director and featured artist, is an award winning concert pianist who has performed throughout the United States in solo and ensemble settings. He has lived and performed in the Portland/Vancouver area

since 1994. Thomas is one of the Northwest's most versatile pianists. He can perform jazz, classical, and popular music with astonishing dexterity! He is an accomplished composer who has written music for plays, musical theater, film, and commercials. He has released seven albums through Rivergoose Records.

Read the Vancouver Voice review of the first concert Sweet and Lowdown.


"Christmas Sojourn" December 5th 2009 2 pm and 8 pm


$12 Matinee performances,

$16 Evening performances,

$20 Council for the Homeless Benefit Ticket for both performances

Senior/Student discounts.

LOCATION: 2214 E 13th Street Fries Auditorium Vancouver, WA

* Admission includes dessert and beverage provided by Trader Joes

* The grand piano is by Classic Piano of Portland


by phone 1.800.838.3006 or at the door

ARTISTRY IN RHYTHM The 6th season of "Live at the Fries"

featuring pianist Thomas Rheingans produced by Llewellyn J. Rhoe

The Christmas Sojourn December 5th 2009

* Artistic Programs subject to change by the performers, but here's what we plan.

Nutcracker Suite

Small World Variation in the style of 7 famous composer

Valley of the Bells

Ukrainian Bells

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Christmas Time is Here

Linus and Lucy

December Rain

index.html.gifBENEFIT INFO:

Our support goes to help with the Community Voice Mail program, agroundbreaking technology for those without phones in Clark County. It provides 24-hour access to telephone messages from potential landlords and employers, case managers, and family. "Community Voice Mail is an effective tool to find jobs and housing! " echos Ken Burris the Vancouver Voice Mail Coordinator.

You can help. With the purchase of a each $20 ticket, we will donate $10 to sustaining this important program. You can donate even if you can't make either the matinee or the evening performance with this caveat: the whole $20 from this special ticket will go the sustain the voicemail program. Vancouver's CVM program served 842 clients in 2008!

Tickets Available at

by phone 1.800.838.3006 or at the door

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sweet and lowdown in Vancouver

One night in October, after a lengthy set of various jazz, show and choral favorites, renowned pianist Tom Rheingans banged out a flaming rendition of W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues.” His hands were reflected in the black wood of the baby grand, like there were four hands playing. It sounded like it. Afterwards, the wowed audience exploded in a standing ovation. The sixth season of Live At the Fries was underway.

Live At the Fries is a performance series that showcases Rheingans and featured guests. This season is the first under production and promotion guidance of the Arts Equity theater company.

The Fries Auditorium, on the Washington State School for the Blind campus, was built around 1915 and is fashioned after something like a dance hall. It’s bright, classy, moderate-sized and distinctly old-fashioned ambiance is perfect for a piano performance that harkened back to the early part of the 20th Century.

“Acoustically, it’s the best venue in Vancouver,” Llewellyn Rhoe, founder of Arts Equity, said of the Fries.

Rhoe said he met Rheingans when they found they, as artists and promoters in Vancouver, had something in common. “We introduced ourselves and said we needed to sit down and talk because nobody else was crazy enough to buy a full page in the Vancouver Vanguard,” he said.

Afterwards, Rhoe frequently used Rheingan’s music to underscore Arts Equity’s productions. “We had a fairly regular decompression session, ‘What did I think of the performance’ over the years,” Rhoe said. He said future collaborations with Rheingans are in the works. In the meantime, he’s handling much of the less celebrated handy work for Live At the Fries.
“I’m a producer,” said Rhoe. “My direct involvement in it is making sure that the performer just has to perform. It’s a good working relationship,” he said. “They’re rare.”

“It’s certainly a relief,” Rheingan said about Rhoe’s contributions to Live At the Fries, “because I can focus a little bit more on my playing.”

Rheingan said he hopes their collaboration will expose their arts to each others’ audiences. Arts Equity’s theater activity is on temporary hiatus while they work on locating a new performance venue. “It’s a good time to concentrate on writing,” said Rhoe.
Each performance of Live At the Fries is a collection of songs related to a certain theme. The first performance, titled “Sweet and Lowdown,” focused primarily on the works of George Gershwin, though not exclusively. “I always mix a few things in,” Rheingan said. “It’s a theme that you play off of, but then ... there’ll be some other things.”

Under an outline of the New York skyline, which was projected on the red curtain backdrop, Rheingans opened the set playfully with Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” on solo piano. It’s a song that’s usually the show’s closer, he said.

He wasn’t alone for the entire show. During the first half, he brought out Asia Smith, a young singer whom he has worked with since 2007. Also appearing in the second half of the show, Jones added an old-fashioned lounge essence to the performance, cooing sultrily in Gershwin’s “Summertime” and belting out hope and inspiration in John Kander’s “Maybe This Time.”

Rheingans was also joined by Heritage High School Women’s and Men’s Ensemble, under the direction of Joel Karn. The men and women’s choirs performed together and separately, as well as for one number sung a cappella. The women’s ensemble, which won first place at the State Solo/Ensemble Competition three years in a row, performed a rousing rendition of Moses Hogan’s gospel number, “Music Down In My Soul.”

Rheingans said past shows have incorporated different kinds of guests, from Irish musicians to belly dancers, to accentuate the eclectic nature of his sets.

“My hope is to add something to the offerings of Vancouver,” he said. He said part of the nature of the series is to expose audiences to his guests and to The Fries, perpetuating interest in Vancouver’s culture.

“There needs to be more,” he said, “and I’m trying, hopefully, to fill a need.”

Newcomers may find that watching even a single performer can make for thorough entertainment. Listening to the performance of a piano player is impressive enough, but seeing one in person adds a dimension of respect for the craft. Seeing his hands fly across a staggering performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” is as humbling, both for those who never play piano and, especially, for those who took a year of it in college and still can’t play “Chopsticks.”

Add in some high-end, complimentary refreshments provided by Trader Joe’s, and it’s a fine evening out for anyone. This season of Live At the Fries will run until May with the next set, “The Christmas Sojourn” on December 5. For more information visit

Adam Stewart is a cultural go-getter and Arts & Culture writer for The Voice.