There’s no Place like Home; Wizard of Oz Production

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz are visiting Ottawa this week to share the message that “there’s no place like home”…

The National Art Center (NAC) in downtown Ottawa is hosting the performances, from Tuesday, December 29th until Sunday, January 3rd.   Last night’s opening performance was supposed to be sold out, so I assume the empty seats visible were due to the heavy snowfall we received here in Ottawa yesterday.

The story of the Wizard of Oz is appropriate for children of all ages, from 3 to 93.   The messages “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”, “be thankful for what you have”, “home is where the heart is” and of course, “there’s no place like home” are ones we can all learn from.

The original movie from 1939, an American comedy and drama starring Judy Garland, was memorable for the introduction of technicolor part way through the movie.  Tonight’s theatrical production by Broadway Across Canada included all the old songs and characters with a few modern twists and jokes.  I especially liked the “the lion sleeps tonight” line as the cowardly lion collapses, face first when the Wicked Witch of the West sedates Dorothy and her friends with the scent of poppies.  The performance was amazing, and included a live “Toto”.  Both dogs that play Toto,  Nigel and his understudy Loki, were rescued from a humane society and a puppy mill respectively.  This heartwarming fact that I read in the program adds to the appeal of the production.

My favourite part, apart from all the memorable, toe-tapping songs, was the contagious giggles from the youngest children in the audience.

Ottawa Fringe Festival

Ottawa Fringe Festival

The Ottawa Fringe Festival, the city’s largest theatre festival, is in town this week, from June 20th to 30th, on the University of Ottawa campus.  I was there Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon/evening to check it out.


I went to see “Botched” which is, unexpectedly, a comedy of sorts.  All three actors were impressive: witty, entertaining, and yes, quite funny considering the abortion-based storyline.  I was warned ahead of time that it was a “dark” comedy, but was pleasantly surprised and definitely amused, as it touched on all angles of the abortion experience; a thought-provoking and controversial issue in today’s society…

Theatre Arts

I have to admit, I am new to the world of theatre and had never heard of the Fringe Festival.   One of the actors in “Botched”, the daughter of my husband’s friend,  is staying with us in Ottawa this week throughout the festival.  Olivia Lloyd grew up in Belleville Ontario, but currently lives and works in Toronto as a fledgling actor.

I plan to take in more shows at the Fringe Festival with Olivia this week; the variety of shows is quite extensive, and the cost of admission is a very reasonable $10 per show. You too can become a “fringer” at the festival, check it out.

2023 Update

Since those days, Olivia has married (now Olivia Everett), living and working in Barrie, Ontario. Her husband (Paul Everett) is also very talented, together they are an impressive acoustic wedding duet. She sings, he plays the guitar. In fact, he teaches guitar lessons; check him out too.

I have been fortunate to attend one of the many performances Olivia has lent her impressive talents to, and hope to get to more in the future.