Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pippin, Vanya et al., and another Michelin star

As much as I love the Met Museum, what I really love in New York are the performing arts and the food.  So after spending this morning at the Met, I walked back down to Midtown and spent the rest of the day eating and seeing two wonderful shows.

The first show I saw was the current revival of Pippin, which won the Tony this year for Best Revival of a Musical. 

I had never seen Pippin before -- I knew it was a 1970s musical and that it was one of the more popular choices for high school theater productions; I'd written it off as not really worth seeing.  I guess I'd never heard that the original was a major Bob Fosse piece.  Nor had I heard that the revival had taken Fosse's choreography and put it in a blender with crazy avant garde Canadian circus acrobatics (think Cirque du Soleil).  Add in some really top notch Broadway performers (and say what you will about high-profile movie and TV actors in Broadway plays, you just can't beat a good old Broadway actor who can sing and dance the hell out of a good musical) and about thirty seconds of a well-trained dog, and you get a fantastic, magical theatrical experience.  I'm still not sure that I'd see the show at the local high school, but this production was wonderful.

Also?  I'm feeling newly motivated to learn how to do handstands.  Those guys rocked.  Check out this video (it's from the Tonys -- just ignore the sappy intro):

By the time Pippin got out, I had just enough time to go back to the hotel and change into something warmer (lest I die of exposure after sitting through another two hours of arctic air conditioning in shorts) and get some dinner before the next show.  My first instinct was to stop at Dean & Deluca or Schippers for a quick bite on the go.  But then I remembered the Michelin Guide app that I'd downloaded to my iPhone a few months ago.  Turns out there's a feature that locates nearby restaurants -- and there was a Chinese restaurant called Hakkasan with one star only 0.30 miles away.  Seemed too good to pass up.

Appropriately understated, as so many good Michelin restaurants are.
I completely missed it the first time around.
Assorted dim sum, all delicious.
Crispy duck with black truffles
Vanilla panna cotta with fresh strawberries, rhubarb, strawberry sorbet
and champagne foam.  The "lid" to the terrarium is a sheet of crystallized sugar, which
you break with your spoon to get through, kind of like the crust on a creme brulee.
After the dinner -- which was delicious -- I wandered over to the theatre for what turned out to be a thoroughly delightful evening.  Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a new play from Christopher Durang, with a cast of stars, that started Off-Broadway but was so successful that it moved to Broadway and won the Tony for Best Play this year. 


I can see why it won.  It's very well written, wonderfully acted, and (thanks to the writing and the acting) incredibly funny -- even funnier, I assume, if you're up on your Chekhov, which I'm not; there were references (some subtle, some not) to Chekhov's plays throughout.  Fortunately, there were lots of non-Chekhov jokes too.  I tried to keep track of the one-liners to share with you, but then Sonia came out dressed as "the evil queen from Snow White, as performed by Maggie Smith accepting an Oscar" and the sheer hilarity of the ensuing scene drove everything from my mind.  (It's really too bad Amanda's not going to make it out here before the show closes later this month -- I would totally see it again with her.)

Oh, look!  Here's a trailer for the play (and yes, one of the characters had a harder time keeping his clothes on than Jake in the Twilight movies):



Vanessa said...

That dessert looks amazing! I think you can pretty much blindly buy a ticket when the Cirque du Soleil is involved

The Atomic Mom said...

Pippin is one of my favorite shows. I've loved the music ever since I was a teenager. I thought everyone knew Bob Fosse choreographed the first one, can I insert a JAZZ HANDS here. :)

And that dessert. I am always amazed at what art chefs create.