I took my Grandson to Stratford for his Birthday
went to the theatre that evening...
original plan called for a matinee performance of
the musical, 'Music Man' but tickets
go quickly in Stratford and the performance was completely
sold out. We opted for the evening show instead and
it was so lively that my little theatre-goer was engaged
the complete time. When I asked Josh for one word
to describe the music, costume and sets, he gave me
two -- 'funny and happy.' With those couple of words,
my little guy proved all my doubting friends wrong.
Our late night at the theatre was a success and thankfully
we had just a few steps to get to our hotel.
Inn is old but new...
the end of a long day packed with activities, lots
of walking, and an evening at the Avon theatre,
a quiet hotel with private bath and comfy beds was
my number one priority. I fretted that if I tired
Josh out and he didn't sleep well the first night,
our second day of fun could potentially be ruined.
I needn't have worried. Foster's
Inn, is ideally located in the historic
district of downtown Stratford only two doors from
the Avon Theatre. Once a commercial Victorian-styled
building (circa 1906), it's now fully renovated and
houses nine guest rooms, each with its unique décor,
14 ft ceilings and spacious en-suite bathrooms.
was terribly impressed with the flat screen TV, and
the winding hallways with wooden floors that creaked
as we made our way from the elevator. I appreciated
the cleanliness, the absolute quiet, the helpfulness
of the staff, and the generous order of french toast
we were served for breakfast that morning. Imagine
fresh, home-baked bread dipped in egg, prepared to
perfection, and then topped with local cheddar cheese,
sauteed apple slices and real Canadian maple syrup.
Oh my goodness it was good. Address: 111 Downie Street.
Tel: 519.271.1119 or toll free 1.888.728.5555
Foster's Inn also has an excellent
bar area and restaurant where both tourists and locals
are known to congregate. In fact, it's a well-known
watering hole for those performing at the Avon
Theatre. One evening a very pleasant gentleman
engaged Josh in conversation about the tunes on his
Walkman. They had an extended chat about the Beetles
before I realized that the man that was taking the
time to chat was Berthold Carriere, an acclaimed Order
of Canada recipient and musical director at the Stratford
Festival. This chance encounter was another
prime example of the friendliness and absolute lack
of pretension that we encountered on our mini holiday.
many activities, so little time...
peek at Stratford's festival program revealed so many
rich experiences for young people to participate in.
At one workshop called, 'Make Music, Man.'
the company members taught participants an actual
number from 'The Music Man'. That
could have been very entertaining especially if grandma
and grandson took the workshop together. At a second
venue, famed actor, Christopher Plummer did a dramatic
reading of the children's book, 'Jacob Two-Two
Meets the Hooded Fang.' Since it was Josh's
birthday the choices were all up to him. My grandson
has a special interest in costumes so I wasn't the
least bit surprised when he chose the 'Costume
and Props Warehouse Tour' for our second
queens and princes...
Costume and Props Warehouse Tours'
are 45 minutes long. We began with
a very short introduction (just long enough so that
the younger folks didn't become fidgety) and then
we began our fun and informative walkabout. Along
the way Josh learned that Stratford boasts the third
largest costume warehouse in North America with 55,000
ornate outfits and a collection of 10,000 boots and
shoes to choose from. He recognized Eliza Doolittle's
market dress worn in My Fair Lady,
and examined 'fat suits' that actors wear to enhance
their roundness. We found out how the heels on dancers'
shoes are reinforced so that there are no mishaps
on stage, and how costumes are laundered after each
best of all (according to Josh), tour participants
were given the opportunity to try on costumes and
become their favorite theatrical characters. From
the youngest to the oldest we were transformed into
regal queens, kings, monks and princes with crowns
on our heads and scepters in our hands. Josh and I
giggled as we were photographed sitting together on
a throne. A perfect intergenerational moment! Costume
warehouse address: 350 Douro Street. For further information