Monday 3 November 2014

Wicked & Book of Mormon


Ever since seeing Wicked on Broadway while in NYC with mom back in 2006, it has been my second favorite musical (the first remaining Phantom of the Opera). I have been fortunate enough to see it performed two other times – with Brian in Toronto and more recently with a Brian, Nanny, Connor, Paige and Amanda. S. When I heard it was coming back to Toronto I knew it would be a great play to take Connor and Paige too and knowing how much Amanda. S and Nanny like musicals I figured we could make it a group thing.  As soon as tickets were on sale I booked us in for a Sunday afternoon performance. It was being done at the Ed Mirvish Theatre which is one of my favorite places – I love the beautiful rounded staircase and all the stunning gold accents. The whole atmosphere just makes me happy! Nanny was telling us about the time it was a movie house and some of her memories of the place. Toronto may not be as old as the places I've visited in Europe but it still has it's own great history. 

We took the train downtown and then a taxi to the theater. It was a fun experience going not only with Connor and Paige, but also as a group. All of us loved the show and it was just as great as I remembered it to be. Brian and I were the only ones who had seem it before but that didn’t negatively impact our enjoyment – if anything it added to it. I did have to explain some backstory to Nanny at intermission as she had never seen “The Wizard of Oz” (that fact shocked me! While it’s a movie I detest it’s one of those classics everyone has seen, or at least I thought). I think one of the reasons I enjoy the play so much is because I never liked the movie and this offers a different spin on everything. 

I have always loved the theatre – plays, musicals, anything really – and there have been only a handful I haven’t enjoyed. But I did find this one really special as I loved seeing the excitement on Paige face as she watched it. She was totally engrossed in the performance and when we talked about it at intermission (while waiting in the 20+ minute bathroom line) and afterward on the train ride home it was clear how much she loved every second of it. My love of theatre came from Nanny (its not something mom really enjoys) so its awesome that Paige shares that love with us!

Our cell phone tech support!

Book of Mormon

I had also seen Book of Mormon a few years back but when Nanny expressed interest in seeing it, I was up for going again. After we booked the tickets Brian was surprised I was seeing it with her. “You’re really going to watch that with your grandmother?” was his response. I was confused, because while there were some inappropriate aspects to the show, I didn’t recall it being that bad. Apparently my memory wasn’t as clear as his! Book of Mormon is written by the guys who created South Park and is a hilarious look into a Mormon mission to Africa that goes awry.  

There is much more swearing and adult-oriented behavior then I recalled. Thankfully Nanny found it funny and enjoyed the show! I am super lucky to have the grandmother I do – I doubt there are many 78 year olds who would see a show like that with their granddaughter and walk away having enjoyed it!  

Something else I love about live theatre is how two shows are never the same. There is always changes - mostly small - in staging, costume, and even minor ones with the characters - actions, their line delivery etc. I remember a professor who used to say that and I never understood what he meant until I saw a performance of "Les Mis" in London that went all wrong. The power went off at one point, someone forgot their lines and then later the show had to stop again because one of the leads was sick and the understudy needed to get changed. It was then that I fully understood what he had meant - there is the beauty in a live show that just isn't there in a taped version. 

I would have to say that this performance of was better then the one I saw previously - the two leads were amazing. The one who plays the screw-up character, reminded me exactly of the actor Josh Gad who originated the role on Broadway. He made the show and I was surprised to read that he was new to the theatre and that this was his first role. Mirvish may be somewhat expensive but every time I go I am reminded of how worth it the price ends up being. From their incredible theatres to their awesome props, costumes and actors, it makes for a wonderful experience.  

No comments:

Post a Comment