Muny 2012: Chicago

I was really curious how the Muny would stage Chicago. The movie is all glitz and glamour and sparkle (and all that jazz!). But the stage version, at least from what I've seen, is pretty bare. Orchestra on stage. Not big sets. No flashy costumes. Mostly black leotards and simple props. I know that sounds boring, but it is what makes any pops of glamour stand out - Billy's suit, Velma and Roxie at the end. The lighting, the dancing, the singing - it all takes centerstage.

Anyway, I figured most people were coming to the Muny for Richard Gere. Not black leotards.

But they did a good job of balancing it. The sets were still pretty sparce (and the orchestra was on stage!), but the costumes were pretty glitzy. Because Kristin will ask, the dancing was great. How can you go wrong though? It's kind of hard to mess up the choreography for Chicago.

A couple of notes:
- When the foreign inmate gets hung. This is usually so dramatic. The lighting, the music plays a big role. But she was still standing there. She didn't drop down or anything. She pranced off the stage after she was supposed to be dead. I'm big into suspension of belief... but it just wasn't enough for me.
- 'Nowadays.' That song is my absolute favorite and I'm disappointed that they didn't work some of that 'Muny magic' to make the wall of lights behind Velma and Roxie. I know they had that big staircase and the orchestra on stage... and they already had the big Chicago backdrop.... but that number WITHOUT the lights behind them is just another number with two girls singing and dancing on stage. It isn't special. It doesn't stand out. It certainly isn't a finale!
- Again this week, the digital board did not impress me. I kept looking up there thinking I would see the words to the music so we could sing along. It still feels forced and out of place.

On A Boat

Some silver lining to an otherwise shitty week....
THIS is where we are staying when we go to Florida in November!

Yep. We're staying on.a.boat. We were looking for some sort of condo to stay in, instead of a regular ole hotel. I jumped on Airbnb, Home Away and Vrbo and found a few contenders... but really, how can you compete with a boat? 

(According to the listing/reviews), it is right in the harbor at St. Petersburg within walking distance to downtown, has a trolley to the beach, has a partnership with the Vinoy Marriott across the street to use their pool, has a grill on the dock you can use, full kitchen... Sounds pretty fabulous, right?

I'm SO looking forward to sitting on the boat in the morning in the fresh ocean air with a cup of coffee and a book, and coming home from a long day and having a glass of wine and watching the sunset.  

Also, I'm bringing only striped nautical wear. 


Summer To Do List

I'm a little late on my summer to do list (since it is almost July....), but what the heck. 
Go to the drive-in. Done! We saw Avengers and Dark Shadows out in Belleville at the Skyview Drive in. If you've never been, you're missing out!
Go to the Lantern Festival at the Botanical Gardens
Go to Six Flags
Take a walk in the evening (for some ice cream, maybe?)
(Learn to) Ride a bike
Visit the Tower Grove Farmer's Market (again)
Clean/decorate my house (and find a new one to move into this fall!)
Explore neighborhoods - Cherokee, South Grand, Downtown
Drink iced coffee like it's my job
Go to LouFest
Make s'mores
Whip up a fancy cocktail from my dranks pinboard
Spend a day at the pool
Go to the St. Louis Zoo
Go golfing in Forest Park... or just ride along in the cart (I have a coupon!)
Visit the caves at Crystal City (again, a coupon)
Get out of the heat and go bowling at Flamingo or Pin-up Bowl (.... yup, coupon)
Brunch. Often. 
Drink champagne just for the heck of it. 
Try something new (like paddle boarding?)


It's exhausting

.... to act like everything is okay all the time. To put on a happy face all the time. Like nothing bothers you.

Sometimes I get sick of saying 'okay' and 'fine' and 'no big deal.' Sometimes I want to scream and cry and say it is not okay or fine and it is, in fact, a big deal.

Holding it together, is exhausting. And so it letting it all out when you're by yourself. When you're at home or driving. Especially driving because crying while driving is very, very difficult.

I'm not meaning to through a pity party. I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm just saying.... It's exhausting.


This Week {6.22.12}

 {apps at Vin de Set on a lovely Saturday evening}
{late night coffee at City Diner} 
 {Father's Day at the ballpark}
{opening night at the Muny. read my review.} 
{new necklace from Bauble Bar}
{donut mind if I do}

Opening Night! Muny 2012: Thoroughly Modern Millie

It's Muny season! That means another summer of (often-delayed) recaps and reviews. Let me be clear - I am the worst possible person to ask about a show at the Muny. I'm totally jaded and biased. I've had season tickets for years, so I've seen about a bajillion shows there. Show has to seriously blow me away to give it a glowing, enthusiastic review. If you're just enjoyable... you're just enjoyable.

Take this season's opener, Thoroughly Modern Millie.

It was good enough. Great dancing. Great singing. (Both a tribute to good casting). I chuckled. But it won't be on my 'best ever' list. It was enjoyable. 

Some thoughts:

  • I wanted more glitz and glamour and sparkle on set. There was not enough glitter for 1920s New York. 
  • Seriously though, kudos to the new producer for filling Paul Blake's shows. You never would have known a different from this show to year's past's. Except...
  • That new LED backdrop. Not so sure about that. It seemed.... out of place. The colors were off. They don't reflect light the same way the painted set does and it just looks odd. It might work really well for more modern musicals (Bring it on at the Fox this year used video screens brilliantly), but not sure if it works well for more classic musicals like this one. 
  • The human trafficking subplot was odd and uncomfortable. This is a weird musical that I would not like to try to explain to kids....

And if you're in the mood, check out my review from last season - 
Legally Blonde, Kiss Me Kate, Little Mermaid, Singin in the Rain, Little Shop of Horrors, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Bye Bye Birdie


'And that's just domestic'

As I was planning my impromptu trip to Tampa last week, I started up a list of places I'd like to visit in the next few years. Yes, I've been bitten by the travel bug, and would gladly go basically anywhere... but these top the list.

San Francisco with a day trip to Napa
DC in the spring or summer to see my sister and brother-in-law
Colorado / Utah / Montana in the summer (I already went in the late spring, and to CO once for Labor Day)
Pacific Northwest for my next long trip, in the fall preferably. 
North or South Carolina 
Michigan in the summer
New Orleans in the spring for Jazz Fest (I went for work recently, but I'd like to go for fun)
New England (Boston, Philly, Baltimore) in the spring or summer
Maine in the summer
Florida Keys
Long weekends in Madison, Memphis, Nashville

Ok. I'm aware I named about a bazillion places. And, as I told a coworker, this is 'just domestic.' Don't even get me started on a world travel list....

Image via my friend Chelsie. Check out new awesome blog. 


The Shaved Duck

You guys. I had the most awesome dinner the other night. Not kidding.

The Shaved Duck seems to always be on our short list when we're headed out for dinner, but something always beats it... Now, I'm not sure why. I'm not sure I need to eat at another restaurant for the rest of my life. (Although, my cholesterol would disagree. This meal was by no means healthy.)

Inside The Shaved Duck, you'll find a small bar area in front of a small dining room. We had to wait 15 minutes or so for a table (it would be nice if they had benches outside to sit on!). The decor is mostly dark hardwood, with some custom photo collages on the walls.

Drink menu was severely lacking IMHO, but maybe that was just what they had on draft. In this day and age in St. Louis, I guess I expect every restaurant to have a huge beer list full of local favorites. I'm spoiled.

Now... on to the food.
{smothered fries and baked apple}
For apps, we picked the smothered fries and baked apple. The smothered fries came highly recommended and, while they were delicious, I wasn't in love. (The cheese sauce is money though. It shows up later in the mac n cheese!) Maybe I was too focused on this baked apple topped with chutney and pork (I think). It.Was.So.Good. Not a huge app, but perfect for two or three people.  

 {St. Louis ribs with brussel sprouts and mac n cheese}
{root beer-glazed meatloaf with baked beans and coleslaw}
 I'll be honest, I really can only speak for myself when it comes to the entrees, because we didn't really share (I guess that means it was too good to share?). Joe did say the baked beans were more like chili and that the root beer glaze was really good.

My entree was awesome. Really meaty ribs and the sides - holy moly - so good. Brussel sprouts are a new obsession of mine, and these didn't disappoint. And the mac n cheese. Just get it. It is cheesy deliciousness. I want a whole plate of it. Now.

No, this is not dessert (we were way too stuffed for that, by the way). This is Joe's side of cornbread. It was basically a cake. And the butter it came with must have been loaded with sugar because it tasted like my failed attempt at butter cream icing. What I'm saying is that it was frikkin' awesome. 

Go to the Shaved Duck. Don't let it sit in your 'someday we'll eat here' folder for too long. You'll regret it. 

Going Gulfing

Yesterday, the boy and I booked a trip to the Tampa Bay area for five days in November. Southwest was having a sale, I was itching for a vacay, and my BFF lives in Orlando... so I really had no choice in the matter. It was bound to happen.

We don't know yet where we are staying, or even in what area (stay in Tampa, go to Clearwater  or St. Pete's?). We don't know if we should or need to rent a car. There seems to be a lot to do in the area, but deep sea fishing, a day on the beach, and lots of day drinks is #1 on the list. And maybe a trip to Busch Gardens. I haven't been since I was a kid.

Here's to travel! And if anyone has any tips, that would be awesome!

UPDATE: Here's where we're staying!



Sorry I've been MIA. I've been doing too much of this....
{playing on Tablerock Lake}
{napping with Mav}
{iced coffee (and cheap beer) in the park}
{patio drinking... fancy beer}


Pinterest Project #2

Took the tip to freeze coffee in an ice cube tray and use it iced coffee. That way, when it melts, your coffee won't get all watered down. This worked great! Except, some tips:
  • Get a separate ice cube tray for this. It sort of stained mine brown... which I'm sure is fine, but I don't want brown ice forever. 
  • Let the coffee cool before you pour it in the cold tray, otherwise it will crack. Didn't we learn this in chemistry class or something?

This really is brilliant, because I always make a little bit too much coffee. This gives me something to do with the extra!

see Pinterest Project #1 and follow me on Pinterest! 


Went to a Wedding

... and this is what I wore. 
black maxi dress from Alloy. necklace from spikethepunch. earrings and bracelet from Bauble Bar. wedges from Target. 

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