Friday, February 25, 2011

February 24, 2011: Toronto - Billy Elliot

I went to the musical 'Billy Elliot' with my friend Janice. What a great production! The dancing was excellent, and especially impressive was the star of the show - such stamina for such a young performer. There was some interesting staging as well - some great scenes with lighting that cast the shadow of the Billy Elliot character dancing against the wall - very expressive. The only thing lacking for me was the music - I really adored the soundtrack of the movie, which was very specific to the early 80s era in which it was set. The stage production has all new music by Elton John - it ties everything together in a more musical fashion than was needed in the movie, but it just wasn't as catchy - I'm not going to come away humming any of these tunes. But if I'd never seen the movie I'm sure I wouldn't have thought anything was missing.

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14, 2011: Toronto - Valentine's Day

Well, I'm sick on Valentine's. And although we didn't have any major plans (a splurging shopping trip to Patagonia) it's a bit sad to be stuck at home on the couch. Happily we've got delicious leftovers from a big meal the day before with my friend Denise and my sister and brother-in-law: chicken and mushrooms in the slow cooker (a new recipe, and quite successful), braised red cabbage in red wine, roasted butternut squash, and baked brown rice. So in essence we had our Valentine's celebration a day early.

I've also been busy working away at making photo albums - my annual year in photos as a Valentine's gift to Mark, plus wedding albums for our family, and an expanded version with the rest of the Hawaii trip for me and Mark. I'm in the thick of the last one, processing photos, writing up stories and laying it out, and plan to have it all printed and delivered before we leave Toronto end of the month. What fun to re-live all these good times by poring over the photos.

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 11, 2011: Toronto - Mary Pickford at Spadina House

I went to see the musical 'Sweetheart - the Mary Pickford Story' at Spadina House museum with my friend Jane. I was intrigued - interesting setting, in an historic home. And my cousin, Eileen Whitfield, had written a biography about Mary Pickford that I read a number of years ago.

But the production was dismal. It seemed like something that was put together by people who'd never before been to a theatre performance. I give it one star for the creative venue.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 10, 2011: Toronto - AGO

I saw the exhibition "Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts" at the AGO today. It was great - comprehensive, logically laid out and annotated with signage, and work that I have not otherwise seen before. And it also provided an opportunity to catch the last of Winterlicious, with lunch at the AGO restaurant Frank. Lamb meatloaf - delicious.