when i think about all those broadway shows i use to go in my late teens and early 20’s, the only one that truly stood out was les mis. others? crap. or pretty much close to it.
big productions – lots of smoke and mirrors to make an impressive BOOM visually. but the storyline, the depth of the writing and sometimes, even the talents of the performers, always seemed to fall flat. perhaps the allure of that glamour for my naive, young soul, had me going back to give it that one last chance.
nothing. amongst some of the worst were miss saigon and sunset boulevard. oh. miss saigon – just the mere words are bring back horrible memories.
i’ll even go as far as saying that phantom of the opera (aside from some of the lovely music), was just so-so.
smokes and mirrors.
then, lets see… about 20 years later, i’m introduced to this much smaller production (though it’s grabbed huge attention). the theatre – the young centre for the performing arts, found in the historic distillery area – was the most intimate setting i’ve ever experienced. my daughter’s gym, where most of their concerts and shows are performed in, is about 5 times the size of this theatre. i’m quite certain if we were to round up my family and friends (locally), we could fill up this space easily.
but perhaps this was part of the whole charm, because when the lights dimmed and little stage was lit, we felt we were being invited into this family, the kims, home. or convenience store, as this play was called kim’s convenience.
i won’t say much more – i only urge any canadian who might be reading this (or even those that aren’t too far from the border) to give this play a try as it is doing a national tour. the last time it was here, the show sold out and it is definitely back by popular demand. i have never laughed so hard one minute, only to be brought to tears and heartache the next, then back to a belly-aching laugh again.
the characters are all so endearing – i couldn’t help but to fall in love with each of them by the end of this 1.5 hr journey.
[note: image from the distillery district website]
for those living in and around toronto, a bonus of the location is that it is found in the distillery district – a pedestrian-only area where the buildings have been preserved since the 1830’s. now, it’s a haven for artisans, performances, cafés, restaurants, boutiques and specialty shops.
we met up with friends, peter and lisa, earlier for some brunch at café uno. the americanos were disappointing but the food was amazing! i ordered the nut free pesto chicken & goats cheese frittata which was about the tastiest frittata i have ever had!
we did a bit of window shopping both before and after our matinee showing of kim’s convenience. but what caught my attention was this sake tasting brewery just across the street from where we ate. after the show, lisa, doug and i dropped in for a $10 sampling that gave us 3 different types of cold water sake.
i need to go back to the distillery district soon in order to sample some of the other cafés. plus, there was this one espresso place we didn’t have time to check out. the day also called for thunderstorms and heavy showers. i had opted to leave my nikon at home. i’ll have to return back to get some of my own photos – it’s a photographer’s haven as well!