Who could ask for anything more?
Nothing is so good as a getaway with an old friend, so when I hit the road for London, Ontario, and a three-day visit with my friend Suzanne, I knew I was in for a good time! After all, who wouldn't love a scene like this? The sky was as dramatic as the theatre I knew we would soon enjoy!
Oh yes, anyone headed to the Stratford Festival is in for some terrific theatre.
First up was the wonderful George Gershwin musical, "Crazy for You." This pastiche of the Mickey and Judy/Fred and Ginger musicals had just about every favorite Gershwin song ever. And a ton of tap dancing!
As we waited for the overture to start, I couldn't help but think how lucky we were to have tickets to a show that got reviews like this!And it did not disappoint! Incredible music and dance -- the audience was on its feet!
Then time for a walk around the theatre and around town. One will always expect to see swans around Stratford!
I wish the color had been a bit more intense. I think we missed the peak by about a week (next week).
But the town is lovely. A small city with a good deal of charm, but not phony charm. I call it gritty/pretty.
Dinner -- pizzas and giggles!
Suzanne and I have known each other since high school, both sharing a love of film, books and drama. We knew each others' parents, all of whom have since passed. When we get together there's none of that "what do I say when we haven't seen each other for awhile." We just start and don't stop till we say goodbye!
Then it was time for "Man of La Mancha." I've loved this show for a long while and this production didn't disappoint. Neither did the set! Every inch of this set worked itself into the show.
As you can see below, the drawbridge/stairs come down and up periodically, very effectively. And Quixote fans will remember that Don Quixote tilted at windmills. The one in back is a gentle reminder.
Tom Rooney, the actor playing Cervantes/Don Quixote was versatile. His rendition of "The Impossible Dream" (which can be an impossible mess when overplayed) was done with understatement but power.
The next day we were off shopping. The Covent Garden market in downtown London did not disappoint.
This indoor market was filled with stalls for veggies, flowers, specialty items and cheese.
Oh, the cheese counter! To die for!
Then off to the book store and home again, only to get ready to leave the next day. The roadtrip home is a boring one but for me with quite a panic on bridges, waiting in this line to get over the bridge at the border was a bit of a terror. I was clutching the wheel even when the car was standing still! It seemed that anyone who passed in the NEXUS lane beside me rattled the whole bridge!
Of course, I didn't have it nearly so bad as whomever happened to be on this bus when something happened that caused it to be hauled across the border by a tow truck.
Goodbye, Canada! I miss you already!
After all, with good friends, good theatre, a good market and a safe road trip? Who could ask for anything more?
(Stratford photos by Michael Cooper)
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