by Adam Leung
On May 16, my Grade 6 class from Runnymede Public School made the journey via subway to First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto to participate in Pinballapalooza. Pinballapalooza was an event organized by the Stratford Festival to promote this season’s production of Tommy. Since a big part of the play revolves around pinball, it made sense to use pinball, and Pinballapalooza, to promote Tommy.
When we arrived at First Canadian Place, it didn’t look like anything major was happening on the outside, but when you entered the building you could see that Pinballapalooza was there because of all of the signs advertising Tommy and the pinball machine sounds coming from the lobby. Once we were inside you couldn’t miss it as the pinball machines stuck out like a sore thumb in First Canadian Place. It was very intense and there were a hundred pinball machines being used at once. Everyone was paying so much attention to their pinball machines that you rarely ever heard people talking. All you could hear was the dinging of the pinball machines and clicking of the flippers. There were all kinds of pinball machines there with the themes from Lord of the Rings and Avengers to Metallica, Spider-man, AC/DC, The Simpsons and Avatar, to name just a few.
Just before they attempted (and succeeded in) the world record for the most people playing pinball at the same time, there was a preview concert where the main actors performed some of the songs from Tommy, such as “Pinball Wizard.” A lot of the kids in my class really like The Who, so they were very excited to go and listen to the songs – especially my friend Jack and my teacher, Mlle. Walker. Before the concert, they had even taken the time to install a few rock concert-style lights that flashed and spun while the musicians played.
Once it was time to go, everyone in my class was disappointed since we all wanted more time with the pinball machines. The event itself was really fun but I’m just glad that I wasn’t part of the setup crew that had to carry all those pinball machines in and out of First Canadian Place!
A special thanks to the Stratford Festival for inviting my class to Pinballapalooza and to my teacher, who organized the excursion and let my class go to Pinballapalooza!
12-year-old guest blogger and theatre enthusiast, Adam Leung, joined us for Pinballapolooza in Toronto with his Grade 6 class on May 16. Stay tuned for Adam’s reviews of Romeo and Juliet and Fiddler on the Roof.
Enjoy other blogs by Adam here.