Between plays Maggie and I wandered down to the waterfront where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario. We could see Fort Niagara across the river in New York. It's a bit shocking to realize that American soldiers used Fort Niagara as a launching pad for a major battle against Canada in the War of 1812. The United States at war against Canada? As part of the British Empire, Canada became our enemy during the War. The U.S. objective was to gain control of Fort George, which it did for a few months. When the British retook the fort, American troops burned Niagara-on-the-Lake (then Newark) during their retreat. Happily, there don't seem to be any hard feelings today.
|The Royal George Theater|
Unfortunately, The Baroness and the Pig by Michael Mackensie was memorable for less positive reasons. The most enjoyable thing about the show was reading the reviews afterwards. "The Baroness and the Pig's education story should have been held back," wrote Carly Maga of the Toronto Star. "The Baroness and the Pig stuck in the muck," declared John Law in the Niagara Falls Review. I also liked his comment about the play's "ham-fisted" nod to Shaw's Pygmalian, which presumably is why it was included in the Festival line-up.
We took the obligatory ride on the Hornblower, the Canadian counterpart to the Maid of the Mist. Despite our complimentary ponchos, we got soaked. It was exhilarating. While I couldn't quite hear the audio guide, I believe we were told that water comes off the Falls at a rate of 600,000 gallons per second. That explains the mist and the noise level. We also learned the Falls have moved back approximately seven miles in the 12,000 odd years of its existence. A return visit is definitely in order during one of my future trips to Rochester. I am already looking forward to it.