For 19 years Ross Petty Productions has been bringing families together at its annual holiday season theatrical event (on now until January 4, 2015). For us, it was year one and I had a hunch that for my son’s first musical experience, this year’s show – CINDERELLA, The Gags To Riches Family Musical – would speak to his sense of funny and love of fairytales. And if anything, the beautiful Elgin Theatre would make a pretty special location for a mom and son date.
I was ready for some major kid humour and the odd adult innuendo to keep the mostly young crowd entertained. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much us “big kids” got to laugh and sing – tons of Toronto-specific jokes, mash ups of pop tunes that moms and dads would know, plus all the talk of tweets and selfies sure to keep the cool kids equally engaged.
For the little ones in the crowd (spotted some smiling three-year-olds), there was plenty of silly stuff like characters falling down stairs and chasing each other around the stage with wild outfits and hair. And of course, all the funny lines. (My son couldn’t get enough of Plumbum, the Fairy Godmother played by Dan Chameroy, and he would giggle every time someone said his name.)
Even if you’re not into princesses, the transformation of organic-farmers’-market-girl Cinderella (played by Danielle Wade) into gown-and-glass slippers on her search for pop-star-with-a-charitable-cause Max Charming (played by Jeff Lillico) was pretty magical. Be ready to hoot and holler. The audience young and old was always eager to boo as soon as Evil Step Mom he/herself (played by Ross Petty) took the stage.
I do believe we’ve found a new holiday family tradition.
Getting there: The Elgin Theatre (189 Yonge Street) is on Yonge St. north of Queen St. E. Driving, there are Green Ps in the hood (up to $20 flat rate) and paid street parking ($4/hr). If you head farther east to Church St. it’s $3/hr or near Jarvis $2.25/hr. On TTC, it is very convenient to take subway to Queen Station or get off at Yonge on Queen St streetcar.
Low-down: CINDERELLA is on until January 4, 2015. It’s one hour and 55 minutes with one intermission. 7 pm performances, plus matinées on weekends and during the holidays. Adult tickets range from $27 to $75 and children under 12 $27 to $66. There is a $235 Family 4-Pack . Purchase online, by phone 1.855.599.9090 or in person at the Elgin Theatre Box Office. Some ways to save.
Food: Some snacks and drinks available for purchase at the concessions. No food or drink in the theatre. If you need a quick pre-show supper, consider the Urban Eatery (tons of fast-food options) at the north end of the Eaton Centre at Dundas St.
In the hood: Eaton Centre is across the street. (Over the holiday season there are Santa Drop-ins on Fridays.) Yonge and Dundas Square is just north. There is daily 9 am to 10 pm skating at Nathan Philips Square.