The Niagara Blog:
"Doing it" in Niagara on the Lake
The post-card scenic streets and stylish Victorian architecture set amidst myriad dazzling floral displays helped gain this ultra-conservative abode the title of "prettiest town in Canada," normally a rather staid place indeed, where aging demographics (they just closed another school, yet a canine academy would flourish.) inspire the locals to jest brashly about a more suitable name,
"Viagra on the Lake."
However, amidst this popular tourist sanctuary where Toronto's 1% enjoys weekend getaway homes and
cottages, something is surely amiss. They are "doing it" in public. Not so much in the stunning parks like Queen's Royal Park with its terrific view of sailboats bobbing in the jaunty Niagara River waves just off Fort
Niagara. More like on stage, at the celebrated
Shaw Festival! My goodness, what is Artistic Director, Jackie Maxwell trying to do? Get the defibrillators ready at all four theatres!
Yes, I know that even adolescents have ready access to graphic sexual content on the Internet, but classical theatre? One of this season's big hits, The Philanderer, starts off with two actors "doing it" right in front of the Festival Theatre's Row A - mostly unclothed. The actors, Gord Rand and Marla McLean, not Row A.
At the Court House Theatre in Tennessee Williams' A Lovely Sunday For Creve Coeur, Deborah Hay dutifully performs her daily callisthenic routine in her beige slip while her roommate, Kate Hennig fries chicken for a picnic. Hay anxiously waits for the phone to ring, positive that Ralph, the principal of the high school where she
teaches civics, will surely propose, particularly after their most recent sexual "consummation" in Ralph's car.
In Cabaret, apparent sex addict Hay "does it" with young American writer Gray Powell and uses her lithe body to remain employed by Lorne Kennedy, owner of the Kit Kat Club, but she moves in with Powell who happens to be bi-sexual, and they produce a child who is aborted. Gees! Can you imagine rehearsals?
In The Sea, also appropriately at the Court House, Wade Bogert-O'Brien and Julia Course kiss hotly and shortly after her fiancé drowns and they run off at the end to presumably start their own "consummation."
In The Philadelphia Story, the sexy, seductive and sophisticated Moya O'Connell goes skinny dipping with virile Patrick McManus. We don't know if they "did it." Unfortunately, they were off stage, but I did hear a lot of wave action.
The Philanderer, it should be noted, also ends with a bang - as we used to call it back in the decadent free-love 60s, providing Shaw's work with an alpha and omega sexual motif, however this time with Rand and O'Connell, far more athletic than in the first act's languid writhing on the floor.
Of course, Niagara on the Lake provides tourists with ample opportunity to "do it"in both upscale
Vintage Hotels such as the popular triumvirate: The Pillar and the Post, Prince of Wales and Queen's Landing as well as numerous B&Bs. Steep hotel prices allow the B&Bs to charge $130+ per night. Evidence provided me by owners ("Out damn spot!" - Lady Macbeth) suggest that the guests "do it" at least one out of every two nights.
Of course, frontal nudity is not rare anymore on stage. As with movies, bare bums translate into more bums warming audience seats. And think of the consequent savings on costumes!
Nevertheless, despite the antics of a once drug-addicted mayor
whose comments on "pussy" caused comedian Jon Stewart to almost fall off his chair in a paroxysm of laughter; most Canadians are fundamentally a conservative lot. "Yeah baby!" as Mike Meyers might shout. That's what's so exciting about Niagara on the Lake, which just might be the proverbial canary in the coal mine of Canadian sex.
Soon, town fathers, always ready to cash in on a good thing, might install municipal red lights and pitch this sex-crazed town, located in the heart of Niagara's wine belt, as Canada's answer to sexually liberated Amsterdam. Can legalized pot be far off? Liberal Leader and perhaps soon-to-be new Canadian Prime Minister,
Justin Trudeau, seems to think so.