In just a few short days, I’ll be taking my first ever theatrical road trip.  This is a big thing for me…recall that, barely more than two years ago, I’d NEVER voluntarily seen a play in my life. Now Im a little…weird ,about it.  When I talk to some of the folks at work about upcoming shows, a few of them laugh at how I talk about shows that I ‘have to see’, as if I were on some sort of mission.  And it really kind of feels like I am.  I’m not sure what the objective is yet, but it’s getting serious and fast.  Hence…road trip.

As stated, I’ll be off to the SUMMERWORKS THEATRE FESTIVAL in old Toronto-towne, which runs from the 5th thru to the 15th.  I’ll be there for the first week of it, and in my meager prep work for the fest, I’ve made a couple of discoveries.  Foremost is that Summerworks seems to NOT have the madcap, rapid-fire pace of a Fringe festival.  There’s actually TIME in between shows, and performers don’t seem expected to set and strike within 15 minutes.

I’m not sure if I like this.  But I’ll manage. Even if it means oddly long gaps between shows, which probably just means I’ll be pretty drunk and broke by the last show of every evening.  It IS a holiday, after all.  Hopefully one of these mid-show downtimes will be long enough for a burrito and a pint at Sneaky Dee’s.

I'm contractually obliged to visit both this place and THE BEGUILING every time I hit Toronto.

There’s a definite quality-over-quantity feel to the Summerworks (vs.the Fringe), which suits me all right.  And I’m tickled that local heroes MiCasa Theatre will be there with the show of the century, COUNTRIES SHAPED LIKE STARS.  This won’t mark the first time I’ve stalked this show to TO, and I’m eager to do it a second time.  I’m also desperetely looking forward to D’bi.Young’s WORD! SOUND! POWAH!, a follow-up to her magnificent BLOOD.CLAAT that blew me away at the GCTC last season.

Most of the other names are new to me, so I’m going in pretty blind, which will almost certainly mean lots of awesome surprises.  And I’m especially gleeful that I’ll actually be able to do my day-after posts at my leisure, internet cafe rates notwithstanding, and not have to worry about punching a clock for a few days.  Really, I have NOT had time off in a long, long while.

I’m not sure if Summerworks has a beer tent equivalent, or if performers will be flyering around the venues ala Fringe, so in many ways I have no idea what to expect.  I’d love to do at least one of the Summerwalks, theatrical guided tours around downtown TO, and a few of the shows at the Performance Bar sound awesome as well.  I’ve got the Ghost Bees pencilled in, if only because their name gives me fucking chills.

Really, my biggest worry is that I don’t really KNOW anyone in Toronto, and I’m terrible at meeting people, so am I signing on to see a bunch of shows at the expense of not having a single conversation for eight days?  Even I get tired of solitude SOMEtimes.  Although I am hoping to bother Pitch Blonde’s Laura Harris if I see her (fair warning, Miss H…just pretend you don’t remember me, I’ll understand completely!).  And really, it’s way past time I introduced myself to the COUNTRIES… gang.  At this point, I’m practically a stockholder.

So that’s it…I’m taking the next few days to schmooze with my Jammy as she gets back from HER holiday, and takes Aleister the cat back to his home.  I’ll miss the little feller.  And my next post will be from Toronto, presumably after my first night of shows, and whatever otehr tourist nonsense I get up to.  I’ll tell you all about it.  In the meantime, if anyone has any Toronto-tips (Cheap eats?  Plus-size shoe stores?) or Summerworks show hints, I’d be glad to hear them.  And I hope to see you at the festival, and at whatever passes for the beer tent there.  Ready if you are, your pal,

the Visitor

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