I arrived in Stratford ((Ontario) by train on Monday.  It’s a 2 hour ride east from Toronto.  The owner of the B & B, this site Queen & Albert, viagra  picked me up at the train station.  I had a lovely walk downtown along the river, explored some lovely little shops and had lunch on a patio.  It got a little hotter later in the afternoon, 29 degrees but wasn’t too bad. Stratford has pretty brick houses and some nice areas by the river  (which I could show you but I left my cord connecting my camera to the computer at home – will add later).  Today I had lunch indoors after having defended my food from flies outside I’d had enough.

“I saw two Shakespeare plays yesterday, Cymbeline and Much Ado About Nothing.  In Cymbeline “Innogen, daughter of King Cymbeline, has married against her father’s wishes – and his anger is only the beginning of her woes. When her husband is tricked into believing her unfaithful, Innogen must embark on a daring adventure to win back the man she loves.”  Shakespeare appears to love to malign women but then they turn out to be the strongest characters.  Apparently it was the last play he wrote and is full of interesting characters including a villainous step-mother and her arrogant clod of a son (Cloten), step-son to Cymbeline.  All the actors are terrific, particularly Innogen, shown in the picture, played by Cara Rickets, and the villain, played by Tom McCanus, who pretends to have seduced Innogen and whom her husband believes.  What’s wrong with men.  The production is terrific with even the fight scenes working.

Same theme in Much Ado About Nothing, where Claudio denounces the woman he is going to marry at their wedding, based on something he witnessed but is false.  Here again no one except her woman friends believe her, until Benedick, Claudio’s friend does.  Benedick, Ben Carlson, and Beatrice, Deborah Hay, have the best witty clever repartee, with their apparent dislike of each other, which still stands up after 400 years.  Of course they get together in the end as this is one of Shakespeare’s comedies.  The setting doesn’t work so well.  Set in Brazil instead of Italy, there is a big staircase in the centre of the stage which hinders viewing from the three sides of the theatre

Today I saw 42nd Street – the best musical production I have seen in a long time – gorgeous costumes, more than 20 people on the stage singing and tap dancing at once, great acting, great orchestra – what’s not to like.  Cynthia Dale plays Dorothy Brock, an aging Broadway star with a sugar daddy who is financing the play.  A young ingenue, Jennifer Ryder-Shaw, takes her place when she breaks her leg.  The number, We’re in the Money, shown here, is absolutely terrific.   The story is all about putting the production of  Pretty Lady together and it’s totally wonderful (for those of us who love musicals).