In the past three years, I’ve seen Mary Poppins four times – Detroit, Toronto, Cambridge and Grand Bend. And now, a trip to Halifax to see it again. Why go see this show again, especially when I was already very familiar with the movie?
First, I’ll give you the long answer – It’s live theatre – no two performances, even of the same show, are ever exactly alike. And this was a new cast and creative team, so of course, it is very different. And now the short answer – our son Thomas is in the cast, so Victor and I decided to head to Halifax. And since we had a credit with Air Canada (after Victor’s heart attack last year, we had to cancel a trip), off we went.
Flying from London to Toronto to Halifax, with a clear view of the countryside below, one thing really stood out – on April 3rd, 2014, most of the land below was covered in snow.
Halifax still had more than its share of dirty snow piled along the gutters and street corners. And the wind coming off the harbour was bitterly cold. Still the sun shone for a few days while we were there. But did it warm up by the time we left on April 7 – a chilly NO!
We enjoyed meeting up with Victor’s cousins Jane & John who drove from Moncton to visit us. We had an interesting tour with Les of Halifax Taxi Tours. (www.halifaxtaxitours.com) For $50 an hour, you can fill up a car or van, and Les or Darrell will drive you around Halifax or even out to various tourist attractions like Peggy’s Cove. They give you a running narrative as they drive, indicating out all the highlights. Les drove us to the top of the Citadel where he pointed out notable buildings in downtown Halifax. He named off some good restaurants, and told us which pubs are noisy and filled with the students from all of Halifax’s colleges and universities. He showed us the home of Mr. Wright, the only Haligonian to die on the Titanic. Mr. Wright’s will left his buildings to the women of Halifax and his money to the men of Halifax. Today, his house is still used by a women’s club and the men spent their inheritance building YMCAs.
Les also told us about which buildings were razed and which were spared by the terrible Halifax explosion of December 6, 1917. He proved to be a very interesting and charming host, and he continued his stories when we called him to drive us to the airport.
Since we were there to see Mary Poppins, we took in a lecture at the Spring Garden library, given by retired professor David Overton on Mary Poppins. The professor talked about the new movie “Saving Mr. Banks”, and compared the back story with the famous Julie Andrews movie of Mary Poppins, and of course, P.L.Travers’ books. We were well prepared for that night’s performance of the stage show.
(My review is also posted on this website.)
We enjoyed excellent hospitality and a spacious room at the Marriott Residence Inn. We attended their “social” where they served meat pies so we could get acquainted with other guests, and enjoyed breakfast each morning. The Residence Inn is located directly across the street from the Neptune Theatre.
There are also numerous pubs and restaurants in the area. We enjoyed drinks at Maxwell’s Plum on a couple of occasions, and had delicious meals at the Argyle. For organic foods we tried the Wooden Monkey. Everywhere we went, the customer service was pleasant, friendly and welcoming.