Sunday, February 01, 2009

“My Spring-dom for a Horse!”

Clopping off the salty slush and bringing on some classic culture.

Shows on the boob tube are winding down. After a season of mindless channel surfing, it is time to break that feeling of un-accomplishment. What can you do that will get you out of the house, sharpen your mind and give you an excuse to get dressed up? The answer is simple. Go to the theatre. For all theatre virgins here is a list of the why’s, where’s and how’s of theatre.

Theatre provides a sense of realism that can’t be matched by today’s television shows or movies. If you don’t believe it, then try it out. A night out gives you a chance to dress up, meet interesting people and broaden your own horizons.

Great work is being produced on our door step. Toronto is home to a dynamic theatre district. This spring Toronto will be home to a bundle of pleasurable works. Some must sees include the Mirvish production of a Broadway success ‘Spring Awakening’, Soulpepper’s production of ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ and CanStage’s production of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize wining ‘Doubt, A Parable’. If you happen to be feeling more adventurous a road trip to the Shaw festival or the Stratford Festival may be more to your liking. A fantastic season for Stratford kicks off in April with the widely popular ‘West Side Story’, followed by Shakespeare’s gripping ‘Scottish Play’ of greed and betrayal. If you’re feeling more romantic then head out towards Niagara region and catch Noel Coward’s ‘Brief Encounters’ at Shaw Festival.

The common concern for most people is a financial one. Going to see a show can be quite expensive. The best kept secret of the theatre world is how to get cheaper tickets. The best place to find discounted adult tickets is at TO TIX. Hidden at Young and Dundas Square this petite one stop box office offers discounted tickets for local shows, both Stratford and Shaw festivals and Medieval Times. There are three other ways to find cheap tickets. First, being a student or under the age of 30 has its benefits. The Canadian Opera Company, Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival and Soulpepper Theatre Company all provide a set rate for patrons under 30. The second way to score great seats at a low price is to show up at the box office to get some ‘Rush tickets’. Rush tickets are tickets the theatre sells at half price one hour prior to curtain. A similar service that Mirvish Productions offer is a lottery. When you show up an hour early on the day of, your name is put into a lottery. If your name is drawn you have the opportunity to see the show at half price. Finally, the last sure way to get cheap tickets is to wait until Sunday. Most alternative theatres in Toronto participate in a Pay-What-You-Can performance. Sunday performances and Monday evening for CanStage, require a simple donation of any amount over ten dollars. If any of these tactics interest you check them out online.

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