Getting in the Spirit of the Season With Bells and Snow Globes and a couple of School Concerts!
You would think I would take a rest after a 2 week run, but no, not me. I had a brief pause on Monday night (which I used to start some baking) and then dived into two nights of School Concerts (my kids are three years apart so I always get to go twice), then I caught With Bells On at The Roxy (Guys in Disguise) and last night I took the boys to Babes in Toyland at C103 (formerly The Catalyst Theatre) as part of The Snow Globe Festival.
I wrote about Snow Globe last year when Impresario Extraordinaire Ellen Chorley created it. I took the boys last year and once the commitments of the season wrapped up we headed off to see what was happening onstage this year. We bundled up and headed out to catch Babes in Toyland and had a great time. The boys are the target audience so I will translate their responses. My kids are 8 and 11 so that can give you an idea of the source. From the first moment the lights when down Gibson (8) was mesmerized and sitting on the edge of his seat. He is fascinated by anything musical so once the 3 piece band started playing he was hooked in. Oliver (11) is a little more laid back - he's an almost teenager, and it's killing me - but he was delighted to actually get a cup of water when Jack and Jill entered selling it. I heard many a laugh from both of them throughout the show and they particularly enjoyed the 3 villains - Barnaby (Devin Bruce), Rodrigo (Rebecca Merkley) and Gonzago (Corben Kushneryk) - who were ridiculously silly/stupid. The best moment was when Merkley did something particularly silly, Gibson pointed at the stage and yelled to me under the applause, "I LIKE that Girl! She's funny!" (He also kept saying 'Alan' all the way home). As Oliver declared on the ride home, "It is always better when the villains are dumb!". When I asked for particulars about the show, the two boys declared everything "Really good!". Mission Accomplished! We return this afternoon for another show (Robin Hood) and there is a third show (Birdie on the Wrong Bus). I encourage you to check them out if you can.
Thursday Night I took a friend to With Bells On at The Roxy. It was fabulous! A drag show that was more about conquering loneliness and finding friendship in an usual place and person and while that sounds kind of mushy, it was also HILARIOUS! I had so many big belly laughs. I was impressed with both actors (Paul Welch and James Hamilton) as they each brought so much depth to what easily could be stereo-typical roles. They also both have great comic timing. Darrin Hagen's script is sharp and witty and although there are the prerequisite sparkles, tinsel and 6 inch heels needed for every drag show, it also had a lot of substance behind the flash.