When I moved to Winnipeg and people were baffled, there was one indisputable fact I knew I could trot out to quell some of negative comments: Winnipeg has an incredible arts scene.
11 years in, I can’t say I have really partaken much of the arts lately. I seem to have been sucked into a world of begging for budget scraps and pushing for system change. It can be a serious downer, and when combined with the climate crisis, it’s really put a damper on my spirits.
But: tonight I took my kids to see A Year with Frog and Toad at MTYP. It was the first time any of us had been to MTYP and we couldn’t have picked a better show to see. Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad books were a staple of my childhood and now I love reading them with my own kids. That doesn’t quite sum up how important these four little books are to me. I absolutely cherish them.
So, many months ago, I saw that MTYP was going to be doing a show based on Frog and Toad, and so I put a note in my calendar reminding me to investigate tickets once the season had started. After having some trouble with the MTYP website, I called the box office and was assisted by the loveliest, most helpful person, who found great seats for us, on opening night no less!
We’d looked forward to tonight all week (and honestly, I’d been looking forward to it for months!). The kids and took the bus to The Forks after supper, got hot chocolate and poked around Kite & Kaboodle, then went to the theatre where we found ourselves in “Frog Centre”. From the moment the show began, I was grinning ear to ear. It was a marvelous production with terrific songs (I now know the show debuted on Broadway – and it shows). It incorporated many of the stories from the four books including many of our personal favourites (like mine, Alone–which totally made me cry–and Cookies but sadly not Ice Cream) and tons of delightful special effects. Afterwards everyone was invited for milk and cookies in the lobby – I don’t know if this is a usual thing, but it was so fun and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
I wish I could go see the show again – it was that good. I can’t wait for my next trip to MTYP, whatever the show!
I’m grateful for this lovely evening and the discovery of the joyful gem that is MTYP in the heart of our often discouraging, struggling city.