Rainbow stage is Canada's longest lived outdoor theatre. Go figure in Winnipeg, the world's, nay, universes's, longest wintered city. It is located in a lovely park in Winnipeg's north end, Kildonan Park, where guys in muscle cars cruise for tube top sporting chicks slathered in a baby oil and iodine solution.
We'd take our brown plaid wool blanket because it got chilly at night, and cushions for the chairs that were, and no doubt still are, not terribly comfortable. But it was, to me, magical. Outside, under the domed roof with the stars beyond, up late watching a play like regular grown up people.
We'd buy a program from one of the program vendors who would shout:
Programs HERE. Get your souvenir PROgrams HERE!It was the same every year, same inflections. Maybe it was part of their training.
My first memory of Rainbow Stage was when I was 5 years old and my Mom and Dad and brother were going, but I did not get to go, because my mom said that you had to be 6 years old to go to Rainbow Stage. Of course this was a bold faced - she's going to burn for this - lie. But she was probably wise in not bringing a whiny, demanding, spoiled little angel to a night of musical theah-tah. I stayed home with a babysitter and probably tormented the crap out of her.
The next year, I did get to go - and I think it was Peter Pan. I don't remember much other than the bedroom set at the beginning and how the kids were able to FLY! and how they used a tiny spotlight as Tinkerbell. At one point, when Tinkerbell was dying, they made the whole audience clap if they believed in fairies to bring Tinkerbell back to life. And WOW, we did it! We brought her back to life. I was so impressed that medical science had progressed that far. Tinkerbell came back to life. Even though my father did NOT clap!
Another year we went to see Sound Of Music and we brought my friend Pam with us. At the beginning, the woman playing Maria came down from the back of the theatre through the audience singing "The Hills are Alive..." and Pam loudly piped up "That's not Julie Andrews!" Nearby audience members roared, quite ruining non-Julie's entrance.
I thought that was such a funny thing that for years I convinced myself that I had said it. Then my mother burst my bubble by informing me that other children said cute and adorable things. I did not, apparently, hold the monopoly.
Other musicals we saw were Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, The South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof.
The line ups for the ladies room at intermission were really long. At what point will theatre designers figure out that ladies rooms need to have more toilets than mens? When, I ask you!
Sometimes we'd go to the Witch's Hut, nestled in a wooded area of the park.
It scared the pants off of me.
|photo by: awrittenexperiment.blogspot.ca|
Before there was the Muppet Show, in my mind, one was not famous unless one had performed at Rainbow Stage. One day.... one day....
Maybe I could get a gig selling programs. I know the lines by heart.