Our posts for January are about health, and if laughter is the best medicine, you can get yourself a great dose of fun by going along to see Potted Potter. You will have to hurry, though; the show is in its last week for its run in Toronto.
Beth-Anne, Carol and I took our boys to see the show in December, and I have to tell you that it was one of the highlights of my lead-up to Christmas. “Attend” is my word of the year for 2015, but of course, I had had the word in mind for a while before writing about it for the blog. Writing this blog has brought us many wonderful things, including friendships for which I am eternally grateful, but another thing I’m grateful for is Opportunity. We are invited to interesting events and occasions, and I will be honest and tell you that I weigh each and every invitation very carefully. It takes a lot to get me out of my routine and my happy place (pajamas, bed, book). When the opportunity came to see Potted Potter smack dab in the middle of the chaos that characterizes the weeks in mid-December, I thought long and hard about accepting; I think we all did. Like you, we all had a lot on our plates, but I wanted to get an early start on my word of the year, and I chose to attend.
I’m so glad I did. It was such a gift to witness not only my nine year old’s belly laughs, but Carol’s and Beth-Anne’s too! We all had a hoot, and you really do not have to be a Harry Potter expert to enjoy the show.
The premise of the show is that two actors act out all seven books in the Harry Potter series in 70 minutes. It’s a fast-paced physical comedy that brings into play humour both broad and subtle. There’s a straight man and a funny man, there is a wild and wacky frenzy as the two attempt to act out as many of the major roles as possible. Unexpected costumes, props and choreography add much to the fun. There are jokes pitched high and low, and the actors appeared to improvise references to everything from Frozen to Toronto’s Gay Pride Parade and disastrous Mayor Ford. The jokes come at you a mile a minute, and while the kids are still laughing at the ones pitched to them, the adults are laughing at the subsequent allusions pitched to them. There is even audience participation, as members of the audience are invited to participate in a Quidditch game, while two kids get invited up onto the stage.
Before the show, you can order a butter beer from the bar (the recipe is secret, but they will alert you to possible allergens). The lobby and the sidewalk outside the Panasonic Theatre are quite small, and it felt very crowded very quickly, so you’d be well advised to arrive and take your seats early. It’s just steps from the subway, so getting there and home was a breeze for those of us on the TTC. Parking was not easy to find, so, again, arrive early to give yourself wiggle room.
I had one very special night with Middlest, and we went out for dinner after the show, just the two of us, and it felt like just the right way to kick off the winter holiday. It would also be a great way to kick off the new year. Here’s to attending!
Potted Potter is at the Panasonic Theater, 651 Yonge Street. It runs until January 11, 2015.