Saturday, May 2, 2015

far from a travesty

So last night we kicked off round two (the spring semester) of the Chicago theater season.  Because of our winters away we end up with a sandwich of Sarasota theater in the middle of two ends of Chicago theater.  And yet, because the theater season in Chicago is drawing to a close we have a very full week of catching up to do...

Our first play this week was Travesties by Tom Stoppard. Stoppard won an Academy award for Shakespeare in Love and its brilliance shows up in early form here.  I will go on with more information from the theater and then give you our reviews after that - so you have the background for our two views...

and they were hawking subscriptions to next years productions - which we already have signed up for-  with the exception of the Noel Coward :-( which is while we are away- in NYC/Cuba/FL

so here are our thumbnail reviews- I liked it very much - found it witty and fast paced and I loved the fun the actors were having with the material- especially the two male leads - Greg Matthew Anderson (the amazing Jeff winner for Chesapeake from a couple of years back - a tour-de-force of a one man show) and Jeff Cummings - with a shout out to James Houton.  They were respectively the Dadaist, the civil servant and Joyce.  The ladies in their Wilde-esque roles also added verve to the evening's entertainment.  Phil found it mildly amusing but had no time for the inherent "discussion" of what is art - especially in relation to the "modern- shock of the new"...  So I would give it a solid thumbs up and Phil a tepid one.

Up next, in order - for theater evenings-


the Tuesday play- with John Mahoney-

the Wednesday outing- my favorite film from the Sarasota Film Festival- playing one night in Chicago.

the Thursday dinner-

and Friday dinner with friends-

so more as the week progresses.... and then we are off to see family and friends in NYC before heading to Europe for two weeks.... lots to report back on... stay tuned

Friday, May 1, 2015

it's like Wisconsin...

long long ago, in the movie Stripes, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis had a scene where their special military RV (stolen) was crossing into the then Soviet union at the Czechoslovakian border and one says to the other- "Czechoslovakia, it's like Wisconsin man, you're in you're out..."

well that is how our very quick trip to St. Louis went this week- with us heading down to visit family on Tuesday afternoon and returning very very late Thursday night after dinner with friends...

We had our first dinner with Phil's mom, Sue, his brother Sandy and nephew Jeff at The Crossings in Clayton. 

I had the above tasting menu with the soup (chilled pea soup) then the stracci pasta bolognese and then the trout with a side of morel mushrooms and the pot de creme mini dessert- all just right!

on our full day in STL we went down to the soulard market area for BBQ at Bogart's - I had the ribs and so did Sue and Phil had a combo with ribs and burnt ends - we all had more than enough food and got a box to take home leftovers-

then it was on to Ted Drewe's for frozen custard- an institution on Route 66- this place is hopping no matter the time of day or night and also no matter the weather-

that evening we had dinner with Sandy and Sue at Sydney Street Cafe- still full from lunch I ordered a series of appetizers - tuna crudo the asparagus and eggs and a trio of bites of several of the other appetizers including the excellent lobster turnover and veal dumpling (the crab cake was OK - but didn't wow me)

Phil ordered a deconstructed Snickers as dessert and loved it---

the next day I was stuffed from all the meals the prior one so I suggested salads for lunch at Pasta House - another STL institution- locations throughout the area-

my salad was the BIG salad- and was excellent- Phil had the Pasta House Special salad along with cannoli - below my salad and two below Phil's salad---

we spent the afternoon at Sue's and then met Barry & Ellen for a quick burger on the way out of town at Blueberry Hill-

the drive home was quick and we were back in Chicago by 1:10 AM- time enough for a decent night's sleep and catching up on details before we have a whirlwind week of theater and dining- 

tonight Remy Bumppo - "Travesties" (a Stoppard play) and then Sunday the Lookingglass production of "Title & Deed" and then Tuesday the Steppenwolf play featuring John Mahoney "The Herd" - along with three other nights of social plans before we head out of town for the rest of the month... so lots to see and do- 

Oh and I finished a good book while I was away- a fictional but historically based story of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age that is told from the point of view of his mistress Delia Spencer Caton Field. I enjoyed it very much- not a deep book but an interesting tale of Chicago from the night of the great fire through the early part of the 20th century...

ever onward! more later of course ....