Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Dream in High Park - Romeo and Juliet

We have been living in the High Park area for about 7 years now, and have made it a summer tradition to see whatever Shakespearean play has been on at the High Park Amphitheatre. Last year I didn't attend, since Noah was only 10 months old. Performances are open to all ages, but I just couldn't bring myself to possibly ruin others' enjoyment with a screaming baby. This year, we figured, Noah may actually enjoy the performance. After all, he did pretty well sitting with us for the concerts at Harbourfront on Canada Day.

If you haven't been to the 'Dream in High Park', let me give you the lowdown. Admission is free for kids 14 and under. There is no set cost for the rest of us. You are expected to "pay what you can". The customary donation seems to be $20 per person, but it is well worth it! I mean, what a cool experience to sit under the stars and watch a play! Most, including us, usually pack a picnic (though you can buy a snack on-site), and some even bring wine. It's a good idea to pack a blanket as well (and even pillows, if you are so inclined), since you are sitting on the hard ground with your back up against cement.

So tonight we packed a picnic and went to see this year's production: Romeo and Juliet. We decided to sit right at the front so that Noah could walk around on the grass a bit. We also thought he'd be more interested if he were up close.
Hmmmm....maybe it wasn't such a great idea to bring a 22-month-old to the show. It started out great. He loved when the actors were warming up, and was totally grooving to the music. He sat on my lap nicely and watched the first 20 minutes of the actual play. He has an amazing attention span to do this much! I knew he wouldn't watch the whole play, but I was hoping he would quietly look at the toys and books I brought for him. Silly me! He wanted mommy's involvement. To keep him quiet I was forced to indulge him in whatever endeavor he chose.

There was the whole 'water bottle routine' which he enlisted my help in. It went like this: Take the cap off the water bottle, take a sip, put the cap back on, put it in the diaper bag. REPEAT 30 times.

Then it was time to hide crackers under Daddy's bum.

After that, he demanded that I read him poems from Eric Carle's 'Animals Animals'. He was satisfied with me whispering them in his ear. I'm sure the cast didn't appreciate him singing the "Happy Mooday" song from the book though.

Finally I had to take him away from the play for a little walk. I didn't really get to see much of the play, but we knew it was a gamble. There were many other children there, and I saw at least one baby (about 5 months old) who didn't make a peep! I guess the parents lucked out with a sleeping baby. We were hoping Noah would conk out, but no such luck. We'll try it again next summer.

For more information about the Dream in High Park, visit this website:

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