A trip to Shaw

What’s summer in Ontario without a trip to see a play at the Stratford Festival or the Shaw Festival (or Drayton, or…). This year, with Pygmalion on the bill, we chose Shaw in beautiful and historic Niagara-on-the-Lake. Touristy, boutiquey, yes, but great theatre. The Shaw Festival is the only theatre in the world that specializes in Shaw’s work and the work of his contemporaries.

Before I start on a rant about how pretentious the area has become with all the wineries “in town”, I’ll get right to the ice cream. We enjoyed a picnic lunch in Simcoe Park, home of Upper Canada’s first legislature, then wandered down the street looking for ice cream. Old Towne Goodies is right on the north side of Queen St., the main drag, a block down from the Prince of Wales Hotel. Great selection of London Dairy (not Londonderry) ice cream with decent waffle cones, if you prefer. Then we beetles off to Shaw for the show.

Great performance, updated to be contemporary with iPads, large screens – very multimedia, but in a way that did not detract from the performances. We felt the “low class” accents weren’t terribly accurate, except by Alfred Doolittle (Eliza’s father) – they were missing the “f” and “v” sounds in place of “th”s in words like three and weather (yes, many Brits really do mispronounce their ths).

On our way out of town, we decided to head up the Niagara Parkway to Hwy 405. This is a much smoother, straightforward and less “pokey” way of getting into and out of Niagara-on-the-Lake than going on 89 and 55 through Virgil. We’ll remember that for next time. I thought The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures sounded interesting enough to see without knowing anything about it!

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