Last weekend we watched our second production at The LOT (Lower Ossington Theatre – http://lowerossingtontheatre.com). We watched Spamalot last year and American Idiot on Saturday. I think the quality of the shows vary greatly – we were really impressed with Spamalot last year…but American Idiot felt like a good high school production (I’ll review American Idiot in a separate post). Here is a good review I found of Toronto’s Spamalot: http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2014/07/18/review-spamalot-lower-ossington-theatre/
In terms of parking, when you get onto Ossington from Queen St., there is a small outdoor parking section before the theatre but only enough space for about 10-15 cars (see my screenshot of Google Maps). I would recommend parking on Ossington near the theatre if you find a free spot as that might be the closest other option. Otherwise – taking public transport might be your best bet.
Personally, I don’t think that the entrance to the theatre is as blatantly obvious as say, the Ed Mirvish Theatre. There are no marquee lights – just simple signage – it could easily be mistaken for one of the stores or restaurants on Ossington.
Before going to The LOT, I think its important to know what to expect. The LOT is not like a Mirvish or Broadway production. It is a lower budget production priced similar to a Mirvish or Broadway production ($50 – 100). Knowing this – I wouldn’t ever pay full price for a ticket because the tickets always go on sale. The sales usually happen closer to the show dates. You should definitely sign up for their newsletter online because you will get coupons on a weekly basis. These discounts range from 30-60% off. In all honesty, the discounted ticket price is probably what the ticket is worth…
The theatre is small – I would say the best sets are rows C & higher. The premium seating falls within the first couple of rows. I imaging sitting there would be awkward as the stage is small and so the actors would be directly in front of you, singing and dancing (high-kicking centimetres away from your face).
Here is an image I found online of what the seating looks like. The chairs are of the folding variety and there is a cushion on each. My husband (6’4) found them to be uncomfortable but I didn’t mind them. What I really like about the theatre is how no matter where you sit – you will get a good view! So there is good value in that sense. It is embarrassing if you are late because you will be literally walking on the stage while they’re performing as the usher leads you to your seats with their trusty flashlight.
The programs are found in clear holders against the wall before you enter the stage. During intermission, if you need to go to the bathroom – book it fast! There are only 2 female stalls and so the line will wrap out into the super narrow hallway.
The quality of the performers vary depending on the show – like I mentioned earlier, when we watched Spamalot – we were really impressed at the quality of the production for the great ticket price (was on sale – about $35/person). Whereas, American Idiot was disappointing and seemed a tad overpriced (also on sale – about $35/person). I would recommend going to The LOT to check out a show but make sure you don’t go in expecting a broadway production. Also sign up for their newsletter or check their Facebook page for regular specials (https://www.facebook.com/lotheatre).