Have you done this yet? Ever? Hop to it.
I know my blog posts are generally pretty positive when I talk about the theatre I've seen, so maybe that affects my credibility. But I'm actually pretty judgey when it comes to the quality of a theatre production (among other things like...basically everything else), so when I tell you that an evening at Canadian Stage's Dream in High Park is one of the most worthwhile things you can do this summer, you should believe me.
It's not the show that's the highlight. The show IS a great introduction to Shakespeare if you don't know him that well, but it's the entire package of The Dream in High Park evening that makes it a fabulous experience.
Summer nights in Toronto are precious and too few. And if you're like me, and try to jam as much as you can into a day/week/summer/year, let me tell you that making time for The Dream in your biz schedule is really one of the best ways to enjoy a gorgeous summer evening. The Dream isn't like other theatre, if you go 2 minutes before 8pm, rush to find a seat, watch the show and then rush to leave, you're missing the point.
Dream in High Park is best spent showing up at least an hour early with a backpack full of fruit and cheese and dips and breads, and spreading that feast across the blanket you brought and sharing half a bottle of wine (not sure if that's legal though. if it is, do it! If it's not...do it on the DL!) with a friend and relaxing in the summer evening as it turns to dusk.
The show itself is an important part of the formula; there are usually multiple stand-out performances and it's always interesting to see how each director uses the stage, but it's really not the best part.
The best part is in the getting there, and in the sharing of time and food with friends, and in the sunset behind the trees, and in the kids engrossed in their first Shakespeare play, and in the pay-what-you-can ticket price that still makes it an accessible theatre night for everyone.
Every time I go, there is at least one point mid-show, where I look around at my surroundings and smile. Everything seems peaceful and gorgeous and and juuuuuuust right.
To enhance your Dream experience, bring: a blanket, a pillow to sit on, bug spray
The Winter's Tale is on at Canadian Stage's Dream in High Park until Sept 4 (Tues-Sun every week) with doors opening at 6pm. Pay-What-You-Can with a suggested $20 donation.