Over the Christmas holidays of 2014 and early 2015, I had the very good fortune of attending the theatre not once, but twice!. Before showtime and during intermission, I was able to get a few shots with my phone. What you see here are the Instagram and Lightroom processed versions, so please forgive a little bit of visual repetition.
Cinderella at the Elgin Theatre
Shortly after Christmas, we went to see the latest panto by Ross Petty - CInderella. Attending - and participating in - the panto has become a yearly tradition for us and some dear friends. It's a total riot. The production takes classic fairy tales, and puts a hilarious, sometimes modern spin on them. Children and adults alike are cheering the good guys, booing the bad guy (ALWAYS played by Ross Petty) and having a fantastic time. Ross Petty's panto runs at the Elgin theatre in Toronto each Christmas season and is well worth the price of admission.
The Heart of Robin Hood at the Royal Alexandra Theatre
The second production we saw was at the Grand Dame of theatres in Toronto, the Royal Alexandra. We had amazing seats for this musical, only 5 rows from the front! The Alex is not a large or deep theatre and I am always stunned by the ingenuity of the set designers. To make up for a lack of physcial depth to the stage, they built essentially a ski ramp up into the rigging. More often than not, the cast would make their appearances by sliding down this three-story ramp, much to the enjoyment of the audience (and the cast, I think).
But not only was the ramp a stroke of brilliance in terms of managing physcial stage limitations, the multitude of uses for it just blew my mind. There are footholds scattered about the ramp so cast can stand or lean partway uphill. And if you look closely you'll see some well defined edges to the ramp. These areas would drop down like drawbridges of olde to extend the stage on a different level.
Notice that Canada goose on the right? It's not real, but it's floating in a real pond, which several of the cast used to hide from the villians, or in some cases, use BY the villians as an ambush point.