Stratford! Always New Things to Learn

I went to Stratford on Tuesday to see Jesus Christ Superstar (it turns out I cannot work the scheduler on wordpress hence the late post this morning. It was supposed to go live yesterday. Sigh.). As always a fun adventure with friends and several lessons learned!

First, Nancy H continues to live in a slightly altered universe. It is so close to where most of us spend our lives, but it is not exactly the same place. She was generous enough to drive, so after we left our cars at the designated work parking lot, the four of us headed out for a day of good food, shopping and theatre. The players are: Nancy H, Nancy C and DTT.

As we pull out of the industrial comples Nancy C commented on her fond childhood memory of reenacting the album in a friend’s basement. I only knew two songs (Jesus Christ Superstar and I Don’t Know How to Love Him). Despite DTT’s ethnic childhood like mine, she knew all the songs as well (I credit her older sister). Nancy H proudly announced she had the music for the show in her car’s trunk. Excited by the idea of listening to a cast recording on our drive, we encouraged her to pull over and get the music. She did and passed a dusty workbook over to the back seat. Nancy C accepted it first with great puzzlement and then she began to shake her head as realization struck. I did not get it. I continued to wait for Nancy C to open the yucky book and pull out the CD.


Nancy H had offered us the sheet music to the rock opera and was expecting us to sing our way to Stratford.

Nancy C asked if Nancy H had tricked us on purpose into believing she was getting her CD of the sound track and Nancy H indignantly replied that the show was produced before CDs were created. That’s why she has said she had the music. She stressed music. She had not said CD. Only on Planet Hill.

The show was excellent. Almost all of the performances were exceptionally strong. I have to give kudoes to Brent Carver, Chilina Kennedy, Josh Young and Aaron Walpole (I recognized you as Lonny from Rock of Ages. Hello! You are fantastic!). For my many years of theatre-going this was the first time a major lead was played by an understudy. Jonathan Winsby took over the role of Jesus and while he was good, he was not up to the level of the previously named actors. They were able to show the complexity and conflicts their characters faced. Jonathan needs some seasoning.

As per usual we supported the Stratford economy with shopping — who knew that Stratford is a hotbed of shoes and fashion – and after the show we headed to Waterloo to our favorite restaurant, Sole. Now, for years I’ve turned up my nose at GPS. I kind of think it’s for sissies (look at a map; keep up your skills!; be hardy aka Nordic!). Well, the GPS cut out 20 minutes of the drive to the restaurant. And when I picked up my car at the end of the day and tried to exit the west end of Toronto in an efficient manner to head downtown I failed miserably. I easily wasted the 20 minutes the GPS had saved us earlier. Finally I had to drive to the airport and through terminal 3 so that I could get on a road I knew.

So lessons learned:

  • day trip to Stratford is always fun especially with friends you’ve known forever
  • Planet H continues to thrive parallel to our world
  • not everyone who goes out an understudy comes back a star 
  • GPS is good



  1. Jenny Bullough

    LOL! Malle, you tell the best stories!

  2. Malle Vallik

    Thank you! I have a weekend trip planned in early October. Very much looking forward to Twelfth Night and The Misanthrope.

  3. LOL, I love the bit about the sheet music and also have fond memories of reenacting the show in my basement. Glad to see that you’re acquiring some GPS lurv..

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