Of the Factory Theatre, Off Bathurst Theatre Marathon and Halloween
Did I spend a typical Toronto Halloween? I think so. First brunch at vegetarian Sadie’s Diner (really, really good), then a matinee of Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes “Billy Twinkle: Requiem for a Golden Boy” at the Factory Theatre before racing home to toss treats at the kiddies.
What can I say about Ronnie Burkett except wow? He roams the stage, delivering a frenetic, adults-only show. Picture puppets holding puppets, with some puppets appearing in both large and small versions. It was eerie, magical, poignant and hilarious all at the same time, just like Halloween.
The Factory Theatre has been Home of the Canadian Playwright for forty years. The heritage buildings (a Queen Anne Gothic style house from 1869 and a church hall from 1910) it occupies now at the corner of Bathurst and Adelaide were used as a set for David Cronenberg’s 1980 cult classic Videodrome which I had caught on TVO just the night before. You can’t get much more “Toronto” than that!
Prices are great and Factory’s current season brochure can be downloaded on the theatre’s website. There are a couple of other theatres in the area and they have been banding together in the fall for the Off Bathurst Theatre District Marathon. For $95 you spend the afternoon and evening seeing plays at three theatres (Tarragon, Passe Muraille, Factory), pausing part way for a prix fixe meal. Tickets are available from T.O. Tix.
A great meal, watching Ronnie Burkett and his cute-n-creepy marionettes, getting a peek at a cult movie location – it’s a week like this I love living in Toronto!