Circo Diablo Gala

Have you ever dreamed of running away and joining the circus? Well, we got as close to that Friday night when a group of couples went down to Circus Flora’s annual charity gala, Circo Diablo. I had procured some tickets to the gala and it was great fun eating and drinking like respectable adults. It’s not often that we wine and dine in an atmosphere that required us to restrain ourselves. The girls pulled out some fabulous dresses and the guys dusted off their dress shoes for an evening out under the big top.

The evening started off with food from some local restaurants: Modesto, Onesto, Vito’s, Triumph Grill and Kota. Wine was available from St. James Winery and Chaumette Winery, along with beer and some other drinks.

Once everyone was satiated, we were directed under the big top for the live auction and show.

I’ve been to a couple of charity auctions and this was big-time money. There was an apartment in Paris for a week, I bid on it (I was willing to pay $1,000 for it) but it got too pricey for my blood (I think it went for $4,000). There were some circus packages (trapeze lesson, dog tricks, and equestrian show) as well as a couple of vacation packages.

Now, came the show. The patrons got a taste of Circus Flora’s show, Ingenioso, a Spanish-themed show based on Don Quixote.

There were trained horses:

A hoop contortionist:

An amazing acrobatic pair:

A man wielding a whip:

A half-naked man on a horse:

I have never been to Circus Flora and now, after this experience, I’m going to have to check it out. The amazing thing about this show is that the furthest seats away from the ring is still pretty damn good.

Watching the talented performers made us realize that while we don’t have what it takes to join the circus, we definitely have what it takes to enjoy the circus.

Thanks for the quintuple date, guys! Let’s hope we can do this again next year!

Click here for the rest of the pictures.

One Hour Star Wars Trilogy

So last week, Kim emails us to see if we wanted to see the One Hour Star Wars Trilogy as performed by the Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre, an offshoot of St. Louis Shakespeare. As the promotional materials promised “abolutely no Jar Jar Binks,” we decided to check it out. On Friday night, we went down to the Regional Arts Commision on Delmar (our first time there — it’s a nice place!) to see the show. We were seated in the third row of a small theater space. The show started with the classic title scroll and jumped straight into the action. The action came fast and furious, powering through all the movies in order. All of the classic quotable lines were there, and the plot of the movies was played straight, even as some of the individual scenes were played with a wink from time to time. Highlights included:

  • Han shooting first by a mile. In fact, Greedo barely gets “On tah bootah, Solo?” out before Han blasts him.
  • The attack on the Death Star had the actors “flying” in formation with Han and Chewie coming in from offstage to clear the way for Luke.
  • The Imperial AT-AT walkers were guys dressed all in black, with foil-covered shoe boxes on their heads, lumbering across the stage with walkers (like, the kind that help old people to walk). Their movements were eerily similar to the the AT-ATs on Hoth
  • Yoda was a Kermit the Frog puppet with ears added on. He was voiced by the actor who played Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • After Luke defeats “Vader” in the cave on Dagobah, he picks up the decapitated Vader mask that has a prinout of his face on the front. He runs around screaming “It’s me! It’s my face! Oh God, it’s a metaphor!!!”
  • The actor playing Lando Calrissian was great. He brought out the Colt 45 cans at every opportunity, even dropping a Jovan Musk reference (“You forgot about that one, didn’t you?”) into the mix. He also did a great job with Moff Tarkin in the first act.
  • As Luke (who was played as an airhead) struggles to figure out who his sister is, Obi-Wan asks “How many girls do you know, Luke?” Of course, he then realizes that he kissed his sister early in Empire.
  • The Ewoks were hilarious. There was a lead Ewok (an actor in a bear suit) but the rest of the pack were stuffed bears strapped to the actors.
  • And yes, Leia was rocking the gold bikini.

All in all, it was quite funny. While it looks like this run is complete, I’d definitely recommend catching it again. I’ve heard of this being done before, as it is the perfect vehicle for community theater. Quick, funny, and since it’s a parody, you aren’t relying on the quality of the individual performances to enjoy the evening. Two thumbs up.

The Internet Is For Porn

As you guys already know, Bob and I love going to the Fox and watching musicals when they come into town. Well, Avenue Q came to town this past weekend and we had to watch that again since it’s hilarious. I mean, really, how can you pass on a show that features songs such as:

The Internet Is For Porn
Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist
It Sucks to Be Me

One word of advice though, if you are seeing this show for the first time, you have to sit down on the main floor so you can see the puppets clearer (we went for the balcony tickets this time since we had already seen it). That ticket is totally worth it. Oh, and another thing, I wouldn’t be very comfortable watching this show with my parents.

Supper Club: Dinner and a Show

Ever since Bob and I went to the Rep, I’ve been on the prowl for a new production to attend. We got bit by the live theatre bug. Browsing through something, I don’t remember if it was online or a paper or what, but I saw that Stray Dog Theatre was putting on “Into the Woods.” I had heard that musical was the Grimm’s fairy tales on crack and for $20, totally worth it to see. I gathered up the Supper Club and away we went!

Because it is a Supper Club event, you know we had to try a new restaurant. Katie chose The Shaved Duck and it was amazing. It’s a small restaurant, with dark wood paneling, a pretty big bar and live music. It seems like a great place for a first date. Lately, I’ve been on this duck kick, as in ordering duck whenever I have a chance. This menu included a half duck, roasted and I was all over that. When dinner was served, I was a bit taken aback by what was set in front of me: half a duck. It looked like someone took a duck carcass, cut it in half, roasted it and served it. It was insane! I had to give it to Bob to carve it up because I was a bit freaked out.. Once he did that though, I tasted it, it was delicious, the meat was moist, the skin was crisp and flavorful. I loved it. I mean, really, how often are you able to get duck? It came with a side of caramelized onion mashed potatoes that I could have just kept on eating. So good. Katie and Kim split the Big Jimmy Sampler, Kate had the Duck and Bleu Cheese Flatbread, Bob had the Pork Loin and my sister went with the Pulled Chicken Sandwich. There were definitely no complaints from anyone at the table.

Afterwards, we headed down to Tower Grove Abbey to watch Into the Woods. What was neat about this production is that it was held in a small abbey, giving it an intimate feeling. The abbey held about 150 people so there was not a bad seat in the place. I thought it was pretty cool, watching community theatre. I’ve really only watched professional theatre and so it was a different experience watching “regular” people on stage. Of course, there are vast differences in the quality between community and professional, and that’s definitely reflected in the price. I can say, though, that it was fun and enjoyable. As for the musical itself, I thought the story was interesting and funny, the first act was definitely better than the second act.

Support the local arts, support your local restaurants. It’s a fun adventure.

“Amadeus” at the Rep

Last Tuesday night, Bob scored some tickets to the Rep because his friend was unable to attend, his loss was our gain. I had never been to the Rep before so I was excited to get cultured. The Rep is actually a pretty small theater and I would say that there is not a bad seat anywhere. It was cozy and intimate, the actors could easily interact with the audience.

Amadeus is a play told from the point of view of Antonio Salieri, a court composer in Vienna who becomes angry at God for gifting Mozart with such musical talent that it becomes his mission to destroy him. It is a fantastic play about jealousy and what it can do to turn a person so ugly.

I really enjoyed the play and the experience of being at the Rep. It is a vastly different experience watching a play here when compared to a theater as large as the Fox. One observation, though, we were probably one of the youngest people there, by ten years. I could have been the play or maybe it’s just the Rep. Who knows? Either way, I will have to remember to check out what other plays will be going on there in the future.

Mikey, thanks for the tickets!