Entertainment and theatrical event organizers Shadowpath kicked off their summer season with Hotel Solstice at the modern chic Aloft Hotel in Vaughan, Ont. For the evening, the luxury hotel became an ultra-swank college dorm frat party. Abuzz with activity, the hotel set up a maze of rooms to explore with something entertaining and wacky to be found in each one.
In the main hall, there was dancing to featured visual artists Opal Dunbar and Louise Ferguson who were creating paintings during the event that could be purchased at the end of the night. There was also Make-Up by Monika, a booth where you could get their makeup done for free. At the end of the night there was a raffle with bundled prizes donated by generous individuals and sponsors.
The main floor of the hotel was taken over by various different performances, most of which were hotel themed. Within the various rooms were two short plays, a room called The Shower Room, a fortune teller, and The Writer’s Den, where quotes from famous authors were strewn about and people were encouraged to write their own title for a play. The titles were raffled at the end of the night with the winning title becoming the new title as theme for the next play at Shadowpath.
The Shower Room play was particularly wacky. Here, a man in a robe acted out a typical daily routine of a regular hotel-goer. He shaved, applied moisturizer, and laid out his clothes for the day. He eventually broke out of his routine to dance with one of the event staff. Though an interesting thought, this unfortunately did not get as much attention as the other shows, since I think most of us had been there and done that before.
Light and funny was Afterglow, a play written by Shadowpath’s own Alex Karolyi that seemed to be themed after Two and a Half Men. It starred actors Anita Noittoly and Mark Nocent who hilariously portrayed a man who wakes up to a strange woman in his bed. Horrified, he tries to get the heck out of the room as by any means. Another play, Grape Expectations with Chandra Pepper and Scott Walker, who were paired wonderfully as old flames with a brutal past. It was snicker and belly-laughs from start to finish. The ending threw the audience for a loop.
On the patio were musical artists Larenne Vine, various artists from the Markham Youth Theatre, folk and country duo Mike Bowell and Dani Strong, and rock band The Meltdown. All of the artists had their own unique style and sound. The Markham Youth Theatre provided a variety of live dance and singing, which showcased the talents of the youth group. The night ended with a real bang of noise with The Meltdown, featuring Shadowpath actor, musician, and sound-guy Craig Burnatowski.
All-in-all it was a good time for the packed-to-capacity rooms at Shadowpath’s Hotel Solstice.
Oh – I forget to mention the audio room but, being a photojournalist, I didn’t get the pleasure to enjoy. I’m quite sure it was great, though.