After buying Avenue Q tickets a couple of months ago, I started to receive promotional emails about other theatrical acts in the city. I had wanted to visit Casa Loma for some time now, so when I saw the email for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), I was intrigued. I was sold as soon as Elisa, who is the Queen of Deals, found a Teambuy deal that allowed the four of us (with Dan and Abhi) to attend for a mere $69.00! The play is performed by Matt Drappel, Jeff Hanson, and Kevin Ritchie from The Classical Theatre Project, and they attempt to perform all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in a mind-boggling 75 minutes. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but as an avid Bard on the Beach attendee, I was hankering for some Willy in my life (hee!).
In my head, I had envisioned this urban castle to be much further away than it actually was. It’s conveniently located near Dupont subway station, though I have to warn you that a fairly steep set of stairs must be mounted to get there. Unfortunately the castle was closed, but it was still neat to see the overall structure and the interior that we could access.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Obviously, these three fine gentlemen had quite the task to accomplish. 37 plays in 75 minutes? Preposterous! I was mostly entertained and the jokes were funny, although I felt most of the humour was quite juvenile given the fairly senior demographic of the audience. Think multiple puke jokes. I thought the Romeo & Juliet scene went on for far too long, but seeing Hamlet three times (original, sped up, backwards sped up) was totally worth it. I felt slightly robbed to see the 16 comedies rolled into one confusing bit including 3 sets of identical twins, Venetian merchants, donkeys, and fairies. My favourite piece was the Othello rap. It was pretty darn clever. It was a bit difficult to hear because we were seated in the back and their voices were drowned out by street traffic below and airplane traffic above. Overall, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but still proved to be a very enjoyable evening!
The Stockyards, Smokehouse & Larder
After the play, we were famished. Elisa’s Yelp search indicated a delicious BBQ joint nearby, The Stockyards. The staff graciously took our order, even though we arrived at 8:55pm and they close at 9:00pm. The three of us ordered the Classic Burger, while Elisa went with the Fried Chicken. While we waited for our food, I did a quick search and saw that their burger was recently ranked #3 on the Top 25 All-Beef Burgers in Toronto, so my expectations were pretty high. I found the burger to be slightly dry, and I inadvertently reduced the flavour index by removing the red onions. Overall, the burger was very tasty - but was no match for The Burger at The Auld Spot Pub. That being said, my review may be negatively affected by the fact that we ate our food on a bench outside an old folks’ home near the restaurant… Definitely worth another visit for a proper review.