Want a night of winning theatre, good food and a bit of history thrown in as a side dish? You can't do better than the Cooking Fire Theatre Festival, which runs through Sunday (June 24) at Dufferin Grove Park (on Dufferin, a five-minute walk south of Bloor).
I'll talk more about the five brief shows that make up this year's festival in the June 28 issue of NOW; it's the best of the three fests that I've attended. For the moment let me praise the Independent Auntie production of Robber's Daughters.
Sharply written by Anna Chatterton and Evalyn Parry - it's the company's first work for young audiences - the show makes great use of the park's trees and hollows in its tale of two rival gangs (the Luka Ladies and the Bjorka Broads) who have a long-running feud. The two sides are finally united through the efforts of the female gang leaders' daughters; neither of the youngsters wants to be a robber, much to their mothers' chagrin.
There's lots of fun in the work of actors Karin Randoja, Alisha Stranges, Claire Calnan and Chatterton, directed by Brendan Healy. Great design by Sherri Hay, too, including a Monty Python-ish costume that replicates the same character seven times.
Part cheeky fairy tale, part postmodern history of Dufferin Grove and the mall across the street, part over-the-top comedy, Robber's Daughters is the evening's highlight.
You can check out festival details at www.cookingfire.ca.