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a really big shew

It’s 9 p.m. Friday night, and I’m just back from Nathan Phillips Square, where I saw an amazing spectacle – a show done by a Dutch street theatre troupe called Close-Act. The entire square was transformed into an underwater arena; the performers, in their magical conveyances high above the crowd – the mermaids floating and swimming in giant rings, the fisherman rowing his boat, the bikers on stilts riding their monster machines, and then the really big mermaid and the giant boats and huge fish – all of these were pushed back and forth through the crowd, illuminated with flares. 

We were a freezing crowd of brave Canadians, stamping our feet and marvelling at the show, never knowing when another character would materialise nearby and we’d have to shuffle quickly out of the way. The music was beautiful, the machines – made from industrial pipes, it looked like – and costumes and the little shred of a story – all imaginative and gripping, even  in the pitch black and desperate cold of a mid-winter night. 
I felt very sorry for those nice performers, wearing skin-tight outfits and flimsy little gloves, outside for an hour in the bitter, bitter wind. Welcome to Canada!  For those of you in Toronto, the show runs tomorrow, Saturday Jan. 31, and next Friday and Saturday night, at 7. Dress warmly, especially your feet; I had so many layers on top that the rest of me was fine, but my feet were icy. I just pranced and hopped to the music to keep the blood flowing.  And a tip – my friend and I made our way afterwards to Dundas and Bay, where on the north-west corner there’s an Italian wine bar – with a fireplace.  We took off seven layers of clothing and boots and sat there with steaming feet to the fire. Heaven. 
I hope there was somewhere warm for those performers to go immediately, especially the big mermaid. There’s a terrible price to be paid for wearing a diaphanous gown and sexy fins outside, in Toronto, in January.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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