Call them the seeds of her content. This time of year, the unsinkable comedian and vegetable enthusiast Sandra Shamas reads seed guides as she envisions her summer garden. The annual catalogues are, she says, "A sweet reminder that winter's hold is temporary and that spring is inevitable." Speaking of fresh crops, starting next week, Shamas presents The Big "What Now?", a one-woman show that continues the dialogue on her personal journey through life's seasons. We asked the beloved monologist what else she's been digging into lately.
What she's been watching: "I finally found an Internet provider to bring reliable WiFi to my farm in, wait for it, August of 2016, and that's when I discovered Netflix, may its name be praised. Right now, I'm watching Michael Pollan's delicious four-part series entitled, Cooked. As someone who grows food, I'm fascinated. The story of food, of what we eat, and how we cook, is the revealing story of who we truly are. I love Pollen's willingness, enthusiasm and engaging storytelling. By the way, make sure you've got food in the fridge when you watch this show."
What she's been reading: "Honestly? This is the time of year when the catalogues from local seed houses (William Dam Seeds, Richters Herbs and Terra Edibles) start showing up in my mailbox. Nothing gives me more pleasure than quietly perusing through these beautiful little booklets, with a hot cup of tea and a Magic Marker, circling seed choices that will make up the garden this summer."
What she recently enjoyed: "The last event I attended was one held at Massey Hall presented by Chris Hadfield entitled Generator. Billed as a science-based variety show and hosted by Chris himself, the evening featured science-minded innovators, comedians and musicians, all with the intention of expanding the boundaries of their particular talent in an effort to finding crossover commonalities and shared views. A fascinating and heartening evening."
Sandra Shamas's The Big "What Now?" runs Jan. 27 to Feb. 5 (previews begin Jan. 25). $45 to $55. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000 or online.