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Maddaddam and The Fabelmans

Many disadvantages to living in the inner city, but much pleasure too. I read a great review of the latest National Ballet production, Maddaddam, adapted from the Margaret Atwood dystopian novels. How to turn such a thing into dance?! I rarely go to the ballet, but — let’s see this one. Yes, tickets available for closing night, including the cheapest, high up on the side, for $75. Annie and I will give these a try.

What a glorious evening! Stunning dancing, fabulous original music played by a full orchestra, and a completely incomprehensible story, at least to someone who has not read the novels, but it didn’t matter. A feast, a production that could be in New York or London but is here, close to home, and in one of the most gorgeous buildings in all Toronto.

And at the end, during the curtain call, a little old lady walked on stage: Madame Atwood herself, tiny in the midst of the willowy dancers, to a rapturous standing ovation. Made me proud to be Canadian. And we loved our view over the orchestra pit and the stage. 

our view before the show started

the chic multi-story lobbies, the entire audience in black (Annie was in red and I, orange…)

The curtain call with the tiny writer in the middle.

On Tuesday, watched my favourite TV show Sort Of, CBC, it’s so good. And Friday, to see The Fabelmans with Ken, Spielberg’s autobiographical film about his childhood and beginnings as a filmmaker. At the end, Ken turned to me and said, “What 20 minutes would you cut?” I agreed, it’s too long and slow, a good film with great performances, but strangely unmoving, I think because this boy is so blessed with two loving if eccentric parents and an innate talent and drive, we don’t feel sorry for him as he suffers anti-Semitism and his parents’ divorce. He and writer Tony Kushner fell in love with their characters and didn’t go nearly deep enough. Don’t cry for me, Steven Spielberg. 

So glad to be out and about; it really does feel like emerging from hibernation, even though the viruses are all out there and as virulent as ever. 

Spent today cleaning madly, scrubbing away the detritus of many tenants, including the Ukrainian family, in preparation for the new tenant who just moved in. It’s work, landladying.

A friend just sent this: cigarettes named for my great-grandfather. My friend thinks they came out after the old man died in 1909, to capitalize on grief and sentiment. Problem is, Gordin died at age 56 of cancer of the esophagus after a lifetime of smoking. However. Nice to see his name and face, even on cigarettes.


We had bad news this week about Bandit, the beloved and beautiful dog. It turns out he has a serious congenital heart condition, aortic stenosis, apparently not uncommon among large breed dogs. He will need to take blood pressure medication and is at risk of … well, we won’t discuss it. Let’s pray not.

Pot of soup on the stove, Bandit coming over with his human. There will be hugs. And bones. 

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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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