The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Now appearing at Studio 54 is the Mystery of Edwin Drood, a musical murder/mystery/comedy that incorporates audience participation to determine the ending.

Drood is based on a Charles Dickens novel of the same name.  This novel was never finished as Mr. Dickens died before he was able to reveal the ending.  The identity of the murderer has been the subject of debate.  Rupert Holmes wrote this theatrical adaption with the audience voting at the end as to the identity of detective and murderer.  Adding to this are a number of interesting characters of which almost any of them could serve as the murderer.

Set in an old Victorian theater, it is a play within a play as we are watching "actors" perform Drood for us.  At first this may seem a bit confusing, but the asides and breaking of character all adds to the hilarity of the show.  And it is laugh out loud funny.  There are strong vocal performances and the music, which can be complex, is handled with seeming professional ease by the whole cast.  Costumes and set are detailed and beautifully rendered.

I really enjoyed this show and would recommend this to a variety of people looking for some entertainment.  This could work for a whole family , a couple on a date or theater newbies.  The fact that the actors break the fourth wall and includes the audience sets its apart from all the other Broadway shows.  Go see this for a fun time and let me know how you voted!


East Coast vs. West Coast battle

So I was out in Los Angeles this weekend and I wanted to make my own decision on a monumental battle of East vs. West.

First thing is first, I grew up on the west coast. My favorite football team is a west coast team (Seahawks) and my favorite basketball team was a west coast team (Supersonics - RIP). I continue to favor a lot of west over east and see myself eventually moving back there someday. That being said, I have found some things are inherently better in the east. The first thing that comes to mind is Pizza, you can't match a New York pie with anything on the west coast, you just can't. i grew up eating Pizza Hut, Dominoes, etc. and it was an eye-opener the first time I had a true slice of pizza. The way you fold it up and the grease drips down your arm, classic. Next is public transportation. Despite all the complaints I have about the MTA and fare hikes, there is no other city, especially in the west that can hold a candle to our trains and buses. Finally the hamburger. "What's that" you say? Yes, the hamburger. I'm talking Shake Shack vs. In and Out Burger. The take-out throw down, the battle of the beef.

I'm not going to go into the history and a bunch of facts about the two establishments other than to say they are the two arguably best hamburgers on either coast. Well I am here to throw my napkin into Shake Shack's camp. The In and Out Burger I had was good, but it just wasn't anything special. It didn't have that secret something that a Shake Shack burger has. What that something is, I don't know. I have heard rumors of the burgers being dipped in melted butter and other stories. Whatever it is, it's magic and has not been duplicated according to my taste buds.

So nice try In and Out Burger, but my vote goes to Shake Shack. And all you crazies for In and Out Burger, get thee to a Shake Shack and do your own review. I'll be curious to hear your vote.


Chef's Table at Gordon Ramsay NYC

It's been 5 or 6 years since I last dined at Gordon Ramsey at the London NY and I had the pleasure of dining at the Chef's Table recently.

The restaurant is divided into two main rooms; Maze, the more casual room with a large active bar and the more tranquil and upscale Gordon Ramsay dining room. In addition to those rooms, there is the Chef's Table, this I did not even know about. This is located in the kitchen with a raised spectator view of everything going on. It can seat up to eight and have sat as few as two. The views offered and access to the kitchen staff makes this table a truly special experience in New York City. The staff was extremely accommodating even inviting us on the line to prepare and plate a dish.

The food is described as New French and everything served was phenomenal.  The wine pairing with the food was perfectly complimentary and the service was attentive without being overbearing.  I cannot overstate how great this experience was and it is something that will definitely be something to remember for anyone who gets to experience it.  We even got a surprise visit special person...keep scrolling to the end!

The view from the Chef's Table

Celery Moussaline & celery soup

Cauliflower panna cotta, marinated hamachi & oestra caviar

Foie gras on apricot purée & shaved truffles
Poached Tasmanian sea trout, uni & tempura zucchini flowers
Poached Tasmanian Sea Trout, uni & tempura zucchini flowers

Risotto with fave beans, watercress purée, enoki mushrooms & onion

Preparing sturgeon

Put to work behind the line

Sturgeon with wild rice & parsley purée

Veal tenderloin, truffle jus & celeriac

Triple cream cheese with local honey
Apple tartin

photo courtesy Raita Sawai

Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera

Nessun Dorma!!!!!

Translated, Nobody Shall Sleep. True to its word this opera did not put me to sleep. Turandot is a majestic and beautifully presented opera complete with extravagant costumes and sets.

The story set in the Orient follows a prince that has fallen in love with a princess, Turandot. Anyone wanting Turandot's hand in marriage must answer 3 riddles correctly or die by execution. Many have tried and failed before our hero, Prince Tartary succeeds. Turandot not know he is a prince does not want to marry him and he gives her a chance to get out of the deal if she can guess his name. In the process a slave dies but the opera ends with a wedding, so everyone is happy. Yes, plot-wise it can sound a bit complicated and silly, but that is what opera is all about isn't it? No the meat of the story is really not what we are here for, we are here for the soaring vocal perfromances and the aforementioned costumes and sets.

The 2 leads Irene Theorin and Marcello Giordani had fantastic performances. Mr. Giordani's rendition of the famous Nessun Dorma was stirring and powerful, giving me chills.  There is a great supporting cast as well with the ministers Ping, Pang and Pong very entertaining and Janai Brugger as Liu giving a dramatic and stirring performance.

Go to the Metropolitan Opera and experience some of these fantastic performances and gain a little culture in the process. The season has just started and is in full swing.

The Metropolitan Opera