Two days after Christmas, I took my parents (one of my presents to them) to see Soulpepper's excellent production of Miklós László's Parfumerie. The play later inspired The Shop Around the Corner and You've Got Mail, as well as a stage musical and a film musical, In the Good Old Summertime.
Morris Panych's production, set in an Art-Nouveau shop in Budapest, was all charm and humanity, in the most gorgeous set. What a perfect piece for the season. I see they're bringing back A Christmas Carol next year, but I hope Parfumerie will be an alternating annual Christmas tradition for Soulpepper; I would be sure to see it again.
The next day, my parents joined me as we ate more turkey and watched the aforementioned, much-loved The Shop Around the Corner, to sort of, you know, bring it full circle. I love this movie so much with its prickly and torturous path to love. It's right up there with the other great Christmas classics.
Soulpepper is just one theatre around the corner for me (I'm so lucky), but it's my theatre company of choice. A recent highlight of their busy performance schedule was their Festival of the Word: a three-day weekend celebrating 400 years of the King James' Bible and the culimination of Shakespeare's writing career. I attended a fantastic concert with the Elmer Iseler Singers, Gene di Novi and Dave Young. One of several other events that weekend included a live, non-stop reading of the entire King James' Bible (both testaments). It took 76 hours and went 24-hours a day in the lobby of the theatre, with a rotating parade of readers. They streamed it online as well. Actor Gordon Pinsent started with Genesis and I was sure to watch Soulpepper's artistic director Albert Schultz finish it with Revelations; and here's the screen cap of that momentous conclusion!
My book shop around the corner has to be Nicholas Hoare, one of several along a charming row of stores on Front Street East, a fine bookstore with a special atmosphere. I go in with one or two books on the list, and come out with several more, of course...
These pictures don't do it justice as I didn't want to photograph other customers, so I couldn't show the Morris-fabric covered sofa, very comfy and capacious in front of the fireplace. This shop is a must-see if you're visiting Toronto!