Festivals dominate in our picks for the coming week on Vancouver stages.

[pullquote]“Over the last 10 years, the Festival has established a reputation for introducing many new and exciting artists to Vancouver audiences. This year will be no exception with a program that offers a unique opportunity to see and hear great dance, music and theatre from around the world,” Mary-Louise Albert, Chutzpah! Festival Artistic & Managing Director.[/pullquote]The 2014 Chutzpah! Festival (until Mar 9) is now underway with 16 days of dance, comedy, theatre and music in the 14th edition of this festival featuring the work of international, Canadian and local artists.  Highlights include the West Coast premiere of Hirsch, the story of a Hungarian refugee orphaned by the Holocaust who finds a new home in Canada and becomes a fierce, uncompromising Canadian theatre icon; Emmy winner actress and comedian Judy Gold with her Off-Broadway hit 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother; an evening of international dance, featuring a world premiere by Hofesh Shector and Canadian premieres by Richard Siegal and Barak Marshall, danced by LA-based Bodytraffic; and Iraqi-Jewish Israeli-based rock musician Dudu Tassa and The Kuwaitis (photo above).  Visit http://chutzpahfestival.com for more information.

Hardline Theatre continues its production of Tracy Letts’s Bug (until Mar 1), an unconventional love story between Agnes, a lonely cocktail waitress and Peter an AWOL soldier.  “If you really want to experience some great acting filled with subtlety and intensity then you must visit this roach motel” … Mark Robins, GayVancouver.Net

Also underway is the 13th annual Talking Stick Festival (until Mar 2) featuring the work of national and international Aboriginal artists. The festival takes place in venues throughout the city including that includes all areas of the performing arts from theatre, dance, drumming, and music to spoken word, and multimedia performance.  Highlights include the hilarious For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again by Michael Tremblay at the York Theatre and A Tribe Called Red from Ottawa, a group who mixes traditional Powwow vocals and drumming with cutting-edge electronic music.  Visit http://www.talkingstickfest.ca for more information.