Sunday, November 7, 2010
Of the Factory Theatre, Off Bathurst Theatre Marathon and Halloween
Did I spend a typical Toronto Halloween? I think so. First brunch at vegetarian Sadie's Diner (really, really good), then seeing a matinee of Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes "Billy Twinkle: Requiem for a Golden Boy" at the Factory Theatre before racing home on the TTC to toss treats at the kiddies.
What can I say about Ronnie Burkett except wow? He roams the stage, delivering a frenetic, adults-only show. Picture puppets holding puppets, with some puppets appearing in both large and small versions. It was eerie, magical, poignant and hilarious all at the same time, just like Halloween.
The Factory Theatre has been Home of the Canadian Playwright for forty years. The heritage buildings (a Queen Anne Gothic style house from 1869 and a church hall from 1910) it occupies now at the corner of Bathurst and Adelaide were used as a set for David Cronenberg's 1980 cult classic Videodrome which I had caught on TVO just the night before. You can't get much more "Toronto" than that!
Prices are great--under $40 a ticket--and Factory's 2010/11 season brochure can be downloaded on the theatre's website. There are a couple of other theatres in the area and they are banding together on November 13, 2010, for the Off Bathurst Theatre District Marathon. For $59 you can spend the day seeing plays at three theatres (Tarragon, Passe Muraille, Factory), pausing part way for a prix fixe meal at Epicure Cafe. Tickets are available from T.O. Tix.
Getting to see Ronnie Burkett's marionettes with their own little puppets on their little wooden hands, getting a peek at a creepy cult movie location, following that up with three plays and dinner for $59 bucks--it's a week like this I love living in Toronto!