Thursday, 28 April 2016

Stratford on the Avon by Susan L.

  It was nice to have a weekend in the middle of the week as well as the opportunity to see a play. Stratford is over a two hour drive away. The trip follows the rush and push of a couple of major multi-lane highways. Smaller roads pass through the rolling hills of well kept, and prosperous farmland. Tiny villages, with nothing more to mark their presence than an intersection, are scattered here and there.
  Here in Ontario, just like it is in England, Stratford's main industry is live theatre. There are several places devoted to performing all types of productions. Everything from one man shows to Shakespeare's timeless writings grace the boards.
  A huge park follows the wide, slow moving, Avon river that divides the town. Swans, ducks and geese make it their home. There is a little island in the middle of the river with a bridge inviting strollers to come and picnic. Too bad it was too cold to take up the invitation.
  There are many shops and restaurants dedicated to serving theatre goers. Most of the retail area on the main street is original, its architecture harking back to the 1800's. That's old for Canada! Any new builds are carefully designed to look historic in keeping with the rest of the town.
  Big, old houses in tawny yellow, brown or deep red brick, or a combination of hand cut granite and brick crowd the one-way, side streets. Some of these stately homes are decorated with gingerbread trim or have deep, just-right-for-sitting-on-and-watching-the-world-go-by front porches. No two are alike which is a refreshing change from the cookie cutter, assembly line housing being built by modern builders.
  My folks treated me to the musical "A Chorus Line" for my birthday. I wasn't familiar with the story but had come across the music many times. It's about a group of singer/dancers trying to get a job in a musical production. The "director" asked them to share something of their personal life or why they wanted to dance. Sometimes it was heart wrenching. Sometimes it was funny. Sometimes it was harsh and crude.
  The play was based on a book of actual interviews done to find out about the people behind the glitter of Broadway.
  It truly is a comment about our humanity, that behind the fa├žade each of us wear every day, there is a story.
  "And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." Jn 6:35

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