Tag Archive for 'theater'

Beauty and the Beast

Tonight Melissa and I finally celebrated our second anniversary by going to see the musical Beauty and the Beast at the Fox Theater. We first went back to Angelo Brother’s for dinner and enjoyed some delicious Italian food. Afterwards we drove down to the Fox and luckily found a pretty good parking spot. I say luckily because there was also a Tigers game going on at the same time, so the city was even more busy than usual. It was a short walk to the theater from where we parked but it was a beautiful evening so the walk was rather enjoyable. Even though we arrived early the lobby of the Fox was already very busy. We had plenty of time to wait in line to pick up some souvenirs, Melissa was very happy that they had a full color souvenir program as she has begun collecting them from the events we go to, and then make our way to our seats. The show itself was very good. The way the stage and props were constructed so that buildings and set pieces were easily moved and served multiple purposes was great. The colors in the outfits were very vibrant, and the characters were all amazing. I can’t imagine portraying a candle stick or feather duster is an easy task, but they were incredible. I was amazed, however, at how many people appeared to show up late. I’ve attended many plays and musicals and never have I seen so many empty seats at the start of the show and so many people trickle in after the show had begun. There were a few seats in front of us that were empty until after the intermission, and then there was only another 30 minutes left of the show! Regardless, it was a great night for Melissa and I and we are very happy we had the opportunity to see this musical. Happy Anniversary Melissa, I love you!  

The Lion King

Tonight I took Melissa to see the Broadway Musical The Lion King at the Detroit Opera House, which is the same venue where we saw Wicked. Unfortunately getting to the show did not go as easy this time as it did for Wicked. Part of this had to do with planning on our part, failure to make dinner reservations forced us to go to a second choice for starters. Then there was some unexpected traffic issues that caused us to take an alternate path that I was not even remotely familiar with. Thankfully the GPS on my phone is really good and was able to get us there, though we did cut the timing very uncomfortably close. When I say close I mean that when we walked up to the entrance of the Opera House they were already calling out announcing the show was going to start and doors would be closing in 5 minutes, and we still had to wait in line to get in and find our seats! We made it though and had some time to spare, mainly because they never seem to start on time, and the show was amazing! While this is actually the second time I have seen this musical, I was surprised at the amount of the show that I had forgotten about, so it was almost like seeing it for the first time again. Or perhaps they changed some things since the last time? Either way the musical was really good for me the second time through, and for Melissa seeing it the first time; well she found it to be pretty amazing too. She really loved the costumes and how they were able to portray the animals, particularly the large ones like the elephant, giraffe, and rhino. A couple of pictures are up in the gallery. Now we just need to wait and see if anything else is coming the area we want to go see.

A Wicked Good Night

Since I have lived in Michigan I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have gone in to Detroit, and of those occasions almost all of them have been to go see an event (a play or musical, sporting event, or concert) and tonight was no different. As part of Melissa’s Christmas present, and as a gift to myself, I bought us tickets to go and see Wicked at the Detroit Opera House. In addition Melissa also received another piece of her Christmas present tonight because it looked beautiful with her dress. She received the lovely necklace and matching earrings that she is wearing in the picture (clicking the image will open the full image if you want a closer look), which she likes very much. 🙂

The evening of theater was preceded by a wonderful dinner at Mario’s Italian Restaurant. Mario’s is a great place and we were impressed from the moment we walked in. Neither of us are used to a place this…upscale for a lack of a better term. For instance no other place I know of brings you a vegetable and relish tray the moment you sit down. But then again Mario’s has been around since 1948, so they are a hold over from a much classier time. Because it was our first time the waiter was kind enough to give us a few tips for dinning at Mario’s, one of which was to skip the appetizer because there was only two of us and the meal portions are rather large. All of their entrees include an antipasto salad, soup, and pasta (if your getting a non-pasta entree) in addition to the already served relish dish. So we took this bit of advice and ordered just the entrees. I ordered the Manicotti and Canelloni combination which is a half portion of each of these two delectable dishes, and let me assure you they were indeed delicious! I am partial to manicotti to begin with and get it almost every time I am at an Italian restaurant so believe me when I say that Mario’s manicotti is superb. Melissa ordered the Spaghetti Marinara with mushrooms, and while she enjoyed the meal as far as pasta goes she was not all that impressed with their marinara sauce. She felt, and from the looks of it I agreed, that it was too thin and watery for her liking. Holding true to our recent obsession we ordered their Crème Brulee for dessert, and like our other encounters with this delicious dessert we were completely satisfied! I think that Mario’s is definitely a place we would come back to again if we were in this part of Detroit again.

Once done with our fine dinning we retrieved the truck from valet (oh did I mention that Mario’s has free valet parking? No? Well they do.) and headed down the road to the Detroit Opera House. There was a valet parking lot directly across the street from the Opera House that we took full advantage of and headed in. The Opera House itself is very beautiful on the inside, though we only looked around the first floor. After purchasing a few keepsakes from the show (a shirt for Melissa and a magnet) we headed in to the actual theater to find our seats. It turned out that the seats were a little more off to the right of the stage than I had originally thought, but they were still excellent seats. The musical itself was very well performed and the singing was great, and once I got over my disappointment (I’ll explain in a minute) the show was very good and I would recommend it to anyone. The set designs were amazing and beautiful, and the large Dragon over the stage representing the Clock of the Time Dragon was really cool,  particularly when the eyes lit up! Also the way the tik-tok machines were represented in the moving set pieces were very intriguing.  Now for my disappointment…. I have actually read Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West that this musical is based off of, twice. The second time I read the book was to read it with Melissa so that we would be familiar with the book before seeing the play, big mistake. The musical deviates, a lot, from the book and for me that took a large effort to get over. For those who have not seen the musical but have read the book, the musical basically starts with the girls going to Shiz, nothing before. That in itself is fine, but they changed the complete background of Elphaba’s parents, her sister’s disability, and the very nature of Fiyero’s character! Amongst other smaller changes this really made it difficult for me to truly enjoy the show in the beginning because I kept finding myself thinking “that’s not how it was in the book.” I do understand that they would need to change things in order to make it all fit into a 2 hour play, though I wish the changes hadn’t been so drastic. I think if I had not gone into the show with the expectation that it would be closer to the book that I would have been fine from the beginning. That is my advice to other’s if they have read the book, don’t expect the book and the musical will be fantastic from the start!

This was really a very lovely night and hopefully we will continue seeing plays and going out occasionally in 2012! Hopefully not all at the end of the year like this year, but it is a nice beginning.

An Evening in Da Moonlight

There was a time when I used to attempt to go to at least one cultural event a year. This typically took the form of going to see a play or a musical. However, in recent years, due to to time and money constraints I have not been able to continue this desire. Tonight Melissa and I have taken our first steps to rectifying that situation. We ventured out to Chelsea for an evening of dinner and theater.

We started the evening with dinner at The Common Grill and found it to be very delicious. Seeing as neither of us had ever been there before we decided to try the Seared Rare Ahi Tuna for an appetizer, and we both enjoyed that very much. This was a little shocking to both of us because I am not a fan of most cooked fish (though I do enjoy a bit of sushi now and again) but we quickly discovered why many people consider Ahi Tuna the Filet Mignon of seafood. For our entrees Melissa had the Goat Cheese Ravioli which was excellent and we highly recommend it. Additionally her meal came with a side salad and she choose (or rather I choose because she wasn’t interested in a salad) the Tuscan Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Herb-Balsamic Vinaigrette. This salad was very delicious and, in fact, I thought it was better than the salad I had chosen for my entree. The salad I had for my entree was the Grilled Chicken Salad and it came with a Honey-Bacon Vinaigrette dressing that sounded awesome but in reality was really very bland and disappointing. For dessert we decided to try their Caramelized Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee with fresh berries. Crème Brulee is something we have recently discovered and it has rapidly become one of our favorite desserts. While the Crème Brulee at The Common Grill was very good we wished they had crisped the sugar topping just a little more, but seeing as they prepared the entire dish in the kitchen (other places we have been prepare it table side so you can specify the crispness) we couldn’t have them heat it further. When all was said and done dinner was very enjoyable.

Afterwards we walked across the street to The Purple Rose theater to watch Escanaba In Da Moonlight (click the image to the left to see more pictures from the show on The Purple Rose’s website). For those who have never been to The Purple Rose theater we encourage you to go and see something, anything, sometime. This is the second play I have had the opportunity to see there and it is a wonderful place. the theater itself is small with seating for about 170 people with the stage in the very center, so every seat in the house is literal a good one. Having seen the movie version of Escanaba In Da Moonlight on several occasions I was really looking forward to seeing this performance and I am very happy to say that it was all that I had hoped it would be and more! Their ability to portray the situational comedy, and display the visual effects that make that comedy work, on stage was incredible. Even having seen the movie version of this play a number of times, and knowing what was coming, I still found myself laughing out loud with the rest of the audience. Melissa and I think the actors did a marvelous job with this production and are looking forward to seeing other performances here in the future. This was by far one of the best Wednesday nights we have had in a very long time, and because Chelsea is so close to home it is one that we can repeat with a future show.