Marching to the Beat of a Different Drummer in Burlington

This was the last pre-Christmas show, and in several ways it was the biggest.

Ian Elliot at A Different Drummer Books had bravely booked the new Burlington Arts Centre (recently opened by Stephen Harper, and then filled in its main space by Sarah McLachlan). Even more bravely, he had asked me to do the full 90-minute version of the show.

The hall (the smaller of the two) was so new that the sound guys were still finding out which system worked. This delayed the start, meaning that the crowd was kept in the lobby, outside the closed theatre doors. I took the chance to go out and roam around, explaining that there was just a brief technical hitch, and we’d be starting soon. The best part was that I was able to meet lots of old friends and colleagues and to make some new ones, so when the show started I felt at home.

In the end 125 people showed up to fill the place, paying $10.00 for the privilege. Best of all, Ian reported that a staff usher on duty, who had been disgruntled at not being assigned the (very expensive) Sarah McLachlan show, felt compensated, at least partly.

People in the audience seemed to like it, with an enthusiastic minority giving me a standing ovation . . . or perhaps their legs were cramping after 90 minutes. I was delighted when Ian reported that one man told him, “I had no idea what to expect of the evening . . . but, God, he was good!” I’m going to retire now.


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