Tuesday, 24 July 2012

#302: Play-ing Around

Retirees who appreciate culture do well in a town like Guelph where one of our best assets is our proximity to other towns.  It is not that there is so little happening locally.  It is just that some world-class events, ( musical and otherwise) regularly take place down the road.  In Toronto, for example.  Or Niagara on the Lake (where Bruce and I recently spent a weekend). 

One of the best destinations for theatre goers is actually the closest. Picturesque Stratford, Ontario, with its annual festival of Shakespearean drama (and other wonderful performances), is just an hour away. The theatre season begins in April and runs until the fall, and attracts an international crowd.  But for us locals, summer is the best time to visit.  We do it often.  We pack a picnic lunch to eat in the park by the river, take in a play, and are home before dark.

Half the ladies at my Monday Qi Gong class have been to Stratford recently, and they were all raving about the same show: 42nd Street.  Most of them had seen an afternoon performance, and although I went to the same delightful musical on a Saturday evening, I appreciate the appeal of a less expensive matinee—especially if you don’t have to take the afternoon off!

And for those of us with flexible schedules, there are all sorts of other ways to save, too.  Personally, I love the rush tickets available two hours before a performance -- perfect for retirees who spontaneously decide on an afternoon at the theatre. 

But I don’t think my Qigong friends cared much about saving money.  They were just loving the experience of having watched an up-beat production with great acting, costumes, music, and .....tap dancing.  The Qi gong ladies were very enthusiastic about the dancing, especially the big numbers with male dancers:  They were no spring chickens, but weren’t they great?  It sorta makes you want to take up tap-dancing, doesn’t it?

Well, no, actually.  But it does make me want to see what else I can get tickets for. The Pirates of PenzanceMuch Ado about Nothing? You're Good Man Charlie Brown? For retirees, the choice is unlimited.            

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