This month was a time of ups and downs for me, as life usually is for most people. That is sort of just how life is. A few bumps and detours – thrills and spills.
This month however had a few extra thrills that I won’t soon forget.
I have -always- loved the theatre, but like most people growing up I never had the real opportunity to go and see a show. It’s expensive, and not something very close to home. The closest big productions are shown in Toronto – and that is a mad drive from my little city of Brantford. No.. it’s not a distance thing really, but have you tried to drive in Toronto? It’s nuts! The traffic, the people, the noise! It’s intimidating.
So it seemed that I could only live my live performance dreams through listening to musical soundtracks, and occasionally catching the performance of ‘Cats’ on television, or watching and rewatching the DVD’s of ‘Les Mis’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ or ‘Phantom of the Opera’.
But a good friend of mine seems to be mad enough to love that kind of a drive (and mad enough to be a good friend of mine. Win – win for me at least!) and she also loves the theatre… so this was the perfect combination which lead me to seeing two completely different, but awesome shows.
POTTED POTTER, and WICKED.
‘Potted Potter’ was the first show and was utterly stunning. A hilarious and smart comedy which was rich in tone lively humour and fast paced. We had a seat in the upper lodges which looked down perfectly on the action, and the two stage actors (Brendan Murphey and James Percy) were on point! They played off each other perfectly, and neither of the missed a beat.
Also a special shout out to Daniel Clarkson who was the brilliant writer and creator of the show. And all the other talented people involved in the set design, lighting, production, and managing of the show. You guys did a fantastic job!
All the time watching the show I glanced about the audience and was thrilled to see the awe, wonder, and pure joy in people of all ages. It thrilled me. It made me remember when I was younger and wanted to experience this. It made me want to push kids I know to go out and watch a live production. To put away the silly little electronic devices that they are so reliant on and go LIVE a little.
I left the show with the applause still ringing in my ears, and clutching a little memorial owl to remind me of the awesome time I had. I can’t remember laughing that hard in quite a long time.
Less then a week later I was on my way, with my theatre buddy, back to Toronto with a new exhilaration under my sails. I had such a fantastic time at Potted Potter that I couldn’t wait to see WICKED! And I am so thankful to say that I was not disappointed!
First of all, the Ed Mirvish theatre is a glorious thing to behold!
In Brantford we have a beautiful theatre called the Sanderson Center. It is ornate and has plenty of painted murals and elegant touches.. well the Ed Mirvish looks like it devoured our theatre and became a giant monstrosity of elegance and opulence! While wading through an ocean of people I couldn’t help but stare at the murals and marble and rich décor. I felt like I was going to be tossed out for not bringing enough class to such a joint..
But we managed to swim to our seats near the front and stare at the stage which was already awe inspiring. Above us, a huge mechanical dragon head, with red glass eyes, and all around the stage a steampunk dream of gearwork and mechanical workings. Even the curtain which hid the stage was done up as a giant map of OZ, completely with glowing green emerald city..
Now let me just say – I’ve read all the books. I swallowed up Gregory Maguire’s ‘The Wicked Years’ series as quick as I could get my greedy little bookworm hands on them. I even had to wait for the last book “Out of Oz” to become available at Amazon. (trust me, it took a LONG TIME.)
So I was already bouncing on the edge of my seat as the scene opened and the show began.
Where do I start?
Look, I’m not going to ruin it for you. I won’t. I refuse to be that person. All I can say is this: I would see it again in a heartbeat. It was beautiful, magical, and makes my heart flutter thinking about it.
No it doesn’t play out the same in theatre as it does in the books… and that is OKAY! You can love both just as much! But it is a stunning production and the music gave me goosebumps.
So yes… this month has been one of ups and downs – but the downs can not dampen just how awesome some of the experiences have been. I will carry memories of these shows until my grave and it’s only made me crave more of these adventures. I now dream in musical technicolour as I ponder what other shows I can cram into my ordinary life.
Do yourself a favour… go see a live show if only once in your lifetime. Go see it even if you don’t really think it’s your thing. Just experience it at least once.
If you are anything like me, trust me… you won’t regret it.