Thursday, September 03, 2009


Early tomorrow morning, Joshua and I will head to Niagara-On-The-Lake, where we will spend Labor Day Weekend.

The purpose of our visit is to attend performances at The Shaw Festival. Josh and I will attend five Shaw Festival performances over the weekend—which very well may turn out to be too many performances over such a short period of time—and do a little sightseeing in the area.

I have always wanted to attend The Shaw Festival, and I may never have a better opportunity than this coming weekend.

We will fly into Buffalo, rent a car, and drive across the border. We intend to visit Niagara Falls on this trip—which neither of us has ever seen—as well as visit historic Fort George in Niagara-On-The-Lake, which played an important role in The War Of 1812.

Otherwise, we will be occupying ourselves by attending theater performances on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening.

The program for this year’s Shaw Festival is not particularly appealing, at least on paper. The Festival’s focus this season is the presentation of all ten of Noel Coward’s one-act plays, which sounds frightfully boring to us. Consequently, we shall skip all of the Coward plays.

We will attend performances of two George Bernard Shaw plays: “The Devil’s Disciple”, Shaw’s first significant play (from 1897); and the seldom-performed “In Good King Charles’s Golden Days”, Shaw’s last significant play (from 1939).

We will also attend a performance of Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon For The Misbegotten” and a performance of Garson Kanin’s “Born Yesterday”. This year’s Shaw Festival musical is Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday In The Park With George”, for which we also have tickets.

This is not a particularly stimulating program—in fact, it is not stimulating in the least—but at least it will give Josh and me something new and different to do over the long holiday weekend and it will get us out of Boston, where nothing whatsoever is going on this weekend. We’ve booked a nice hotel in downtown Niagara-On-The-Lake, and we plan to have a slow-paced, low-key weekend.

My parents have ordered brochures from The Shaw Festival and The Shakespeare Festival for years and years and years, and have talked endlessly about attending one or both of the Canadian theater festivals, yet they have never attended a single performance at Stratford or Niagara-On-The-Lake.

I suggested to my parents that they join Josh and me this weekend, but my parents said it was not manageable—there are no convenient flights between Minneapolis and Buffalo, and my parents did not want to kill a full day traveling each way—and my parents are sticking with their original Labor Day Weekend plans: spending the final weekend of summer up at the lake, with everyone else in the family present, and closing down the lake house for the year late Monday afternoon.

It’s not easy to tear my parents away from their grandchildren!

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