The grand dame of Toronto’s performing arts venues, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, celebrates its 100th birthday tomorrow. To mark the event, the Mirvishes have organized a free open house from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., during which you can go on a self-guided backstage tour, eat free grub at the BBQ in front of the theatre (weather permitting), or catch a tribute performance from the original members of the 1969 Canadian cast of Hair. (No word on whether they’ll get naked onstage again.)
Official dedication ceremonies are at 2:00 p.m., when the theatre will be presented with a pretty plaque from Heritage Toronto, and a time capsule will be sealed and placed within the Royal Alex, to be opened in another 100 years. Torontoist wonders if the sequinned silver bell-bottoms from Mamma Mia! will make it into the time capsule, and what future generations of Torontonians will make of them.
The Mirvishes have also launched an amazing website with a searchable database containing every production ever mounted at the Royal Alex (numbering in the thousands). You can also read up on the history of the theatre and what the Entertainment District was like in 1907, when it was shimmering with vaudeville and burlesque houses.
If that’s not enough Toronto theatre history for you, the Toronto Reference Library continues its own tribute to the Royal Alex with its exhibition, Stage Struck: 100 Years At The Royal Alex, running until September 30.
Image courtesy of Mirvish.com.