Today Mirvish announced that in addition to Kim Cattrall, the cast of their upcoming show PRIVATE LIVES (opens Sept. 17), will also star Paul Gross. This is exciting to me for a few reasons.
1. I love a good farce. Those who know me may find that surprising, but a well-executed farce is hilarious PG-humour that the whole family can enjoy, and sometimes, that's just swell. There's something refreshingly old-fashioned about knee-slapping comedy that's slap-sticky and silly. Laughing for 2 hours at the absurdity of life is always on the to-do list.
2. Torontonians don't have to rush to New York to see a Broadway-calibre show starring celebrities. I realize there are mixed emotions surrounding Hollywood-esque celebrities on the stage, but it's a theatrical reality so at this point you're either on the bus or you're off it, but either way, you need to get used to it. It's about time Toronto's theatre scene cashed in (yup - cash, as in made money from our art) on our talented, high-profile actors and exploited them to get people to the theatre. I mean there are only so many shows Colm Feore can do.
3. Hollywood North needs to celebrate our stars and our star system! We have a PLUTHORA of talented actors and we need to celebrate them! Applaud them! And we need to raise them up to increase their star factor so that more Canadian actors, like Paul Gross, feel appreciated on their native turf, and so put up with poor royalties to stay here and make a living. This in turn, can change our way of thinking towards Canadian talent and, in turn, hopefully change the mindset of Canadian talent as well.
I'm over the actor brain-drain that's happening Due South of us and it's initiatives like Mirvish's that will aid in abating it. If the show also happens to turn a profit by getting the public out to a highly-regarded play starring 2 of Canada's most high-profile actors, then that's also aces in my book.
PRIVATE LIVES starring Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross is at the Royal Alexandra theatre from
Sept. 17 - Oct. 30.
If there were ever a "Beginner's Opera", I think the COC's production of CINDERELLA could be it.
It had all the talent, arias and shouts of "Bravo!" that make the Opera such a unique experience, AND, best of all, if you're intimidated by Opera, as many are, CINDERELLA is a good show to start with.
I started going to Opera when I was 25 and before that I had ZERO interest in the genre. I don't sing (although wish that I could), I don't play a musical instrument (although wish that I could) and I don't know a damn thing about classical music (although wish that I did) and, well, isn't Opera full of an audience of intellects who will mock someone as low-brow as moi? The short answer is: Yes, it is. Mostly.
But who cares?
The COC provides talks before each show that provide history and context to the production, thus making you more informed and able to participate in small talk with a fellow audience-member.
This music of Rossini's is light and fun and toe-tappy (I was toe-tapping for most of the show) so even if you don't play an instrument or understand a classical musical score, this music makes one glad they have ears and a feel for rhythm.
You already know the story so you don't have to wrack your brain to figure out who is in love with who and why, all while reading subtitles and watching the action on stage; and it's funny! So you can laugh, listen, love and toe-tap all while being at the Opera amongst the Four Seasons splendour.And once that Prince Charming belts out about his love for Cinderella and how he is determined to find her, it won't matter that you don't speak Italian or know when Rossini wrote the music or when the Opera was first produced and why, you'll just know that his voice gave you goose bumps and that's about as high-brow of a reaction as one can get at the theatre.
If you're a seasoned Opera-goer, CINDERELLA is a great excuse to see a fun Opera Buffa! (which means comedic Opera; use it in a sentence and astound your friends!)
Nowadays I always feel a bit weird giving my Mom a physical gift for Mother's Day. I'm in my 30s, my schedule's always chock-a-block and I don't see her as much as I used to. So I think the best thing, for both of us, is to give my Mom time with me. As ego-maniacal as that sounds, it isn't. It's also self-serving. Some of my friends don't have a Mom any more and I'm pretty confident in saying that the best gift they could give themselves, as well as their Mom, would be more time with each other.
I'm getting a bit verklempt thinking just about that.
So take your Mama to a show! Combine it with brunch, a lovely lunch of open-faced sandwiches or dinner post-show; whatever ta mere's fancy is, you can meet it with a night of culture and good eats. It doesn't have to be on the actual DAY of Mother's Day, you can spend QT with her afterwards and it can be just as meaningful.
Some suggestions to make your planning easier:
Zadie's Shoes at the Factory Theatre. A contemporary Canadian classic.
The Dream, The Fantasticks, The Time of Your Life, Our Town. 4 shows to choose from at Soulpepper.
Forests at the Tarragon. High-quality show with a bit of intense subject matter. (see reviews in the NEWS section of my website!)
Alice in Wonderland at the National Ballet. This is practically MADE for a Mother/Daughter date!
If you have other ideas/suggestions, I'd love to hear 'em!