Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Das Rheingold

For those of you who don't know, I'm in New York covering Donner in Wagner's Das Rheingold.  There are only two performances in this run.  But the scheduling of it is sorta funny.  The first show is sorta by itself.  And then the second one is part of the first Ring Cycle.  From then on, there will be two additional cycles of the entire Ring, but I'm not a part of any of those.  Besides that, I won't be in town for them as I have other work.  But it was just weird to me to get a contract like that.  I cover the single performance that's sorta off by itself.  And then the other performance which is actually the first performance of the first cycle of the Ring.  I guess I'd figured it'd be All or Nothing.  Not complaining at all for having the work, period.  I was just a little confused about the schedule of it all once I really began looking at the time period.

Rehearsals are progressing well.  On the whole, the voices are top notch.  I'm excited to be a part of it.  I'm looking forward to the opening and seeing everyone in costume.  The Giants have been rehearsing these last two days onstage with the platform boots that are part of their costumes.  This IS the Met, so productions boast wonderful costumes and amazing sets!!  I walked into rehearsal today as the Nibelheim scene was finishing.  I watched as the whole thing sank down into the stage and the final scene was prepped.

If anyone is reading this and thinking about coming to check it out, I suggest you DO!  It'll look GREAT and it'll sound even BETTER.  My only regret is that I don't actually get to sing.

PBS Hawaii interview

Yeah...this is on the late side.  For those of you in Hawaii who caught it, GREAT.  I believe they'll repeat it again on PBS on the 22nd.  So catch it then if you missed it last night.

For the rest of you NOT in Hawaii, sorry.  I don't think there's an online way to view any of the programs.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

We thank Kristin Cowdin, a spunky young native of Louisiana, for coaxing us out of the house Monday night for LUNDI Gras, instead of Mardi Gras.  We were all in agreement that it would be most advantageous to have our cajun experience the night BEFORE the festivities so that we wouldn't get lost in the crowds.  Real intelligence working here, people!

Oddfellow's Rest, from the outside, looks like your regular bar n grill type joint.  Right off the PATH train line in Hoboken, NJ.  I watched folks passing the front windows on their way home from work in Manhattan for about an hour.  Kristin insisted that this was the place to come for authentic cajun cuisine!  And she was right.  LOTS of spices and rice and seafood.  We made Happy Hour and so a number of Hurricane cocktails were served.  I think Marjorie and I took down four each!  Hearty entrees.  Tons of spices in the jambalaya and the gumbo.  Lots of collard greens and mac n cheese.  A good helping of cornbread and butter, too.  And Kristin even had a traditional King Cake shipped straight to New York for us!  I've never had the pleasure of a real Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and if Oddfellows Rest is anything like the real thing, I'm all for it!!
Went to dinner on Friday night at one of chef Bobby Flay's joints.  He's all over the Food Network and is well-known for his flare and a strong sense of personal style.  Marjorie's brother and his girlfriend, Leo and Inessa, flew in to do the tourist thing in the city.  Our good friend (through Marjorie), Matthew Moore, arrived earlier that day.  He'll be spending a week with us before flying cross-country to Los Angeles for a contract with LA Opera.  It was a nice evening with good folks.

Stupid me, I didn't take my camera so I couldn't document any of the food.  I know I know.  Dumb.  I know of at least one good friend of mine (you know who you are) who will shake his head at my elementary blog practices...he himself being one whom I consider fairly well-versed in the ways of the blog.  Whatever.  Flog me with a wet noodle.  Visit Bar Americain's website to view pictures of the dining area as well as a selection of dishes.  

Cocktails and wine began the evening as well as a range of appetizers.  I chose a tasting of the three types of shellfish cocktail offered on the menu.  Very nice!  Coconut n crab with tiny chunks of mango.  Two jumbo shrimps with a tomatillo salsa (that tasted a little too much like what I smell after I've mowed through the weeds and grass in my folks' yard in Hawaii).  And finally, lobster with avocado and what tasted like baby arugula.  It was really great, and all the better with my dirty martini.  Even flavors.  No one thing overpowered the other.  Someone was really thinking when they put the ingredients together.  

Dinner was equally appetizing.  It all looked good on paper.  I hadn't really eaten all day in order to save up.  There was a juicy ribeye and a handful of different sides to share.  Marjorie's cauliflower n goat cheese gratin stood out.

At the end of the meal, dessert was had.  Didn't wanna miss anything.  There was red velvet cake and there was an apple tart.  Marjorie made a bee line for the bourbon praline profiteroles with buttermilk ice cream.

The farther along this blog goes, the more you'll understand (if you don't already know me) that I enjoy good dining.  Being that Marjorie and I spent our first two years together in Chicago, we were able to enjoy a lot of good food in the city and some of the surrounding areas.  We began zeroing in on the restaurants we really enjoyed.  Good food.  Wonderful service.  Fun times.  And that's what we look for when we hunt for new places to eat.  Most of the time, we pay a little more than normal, but usually with a higher prices comes the quality.

More to come.