Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Mania Strikes City

 {Image via}
Okay, I have no idea if there is any mania to be had, although apparently there is a street fair of sorts going down in Greenwich Village this morning, ladies in fancy hats and all, to celebrate the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. And I must admit, while I did not get totally into the frenzy of Royal Wedding excitement, I do have a certain crush on all things English, so I was excited when, as I groggily turned on my radio this morning, NPR played a snippet of the vows between the cute kids, Will and Kate. His voice was so deep, and hers so soft. It was rather surprising, even as I sort of felt for them, seeming so quiet and clipped in the somber pomp of such an affair. It may have been nice to see the couple tying the knot after all, see if she had tears glistening in her eyes, or if he only had eyes for her. I look forward to the images that will come trickling out soon enough. And, in other, more me-related news, it is Friday! It is warm, sunny and glorious, and I am eager for the weekend to begin!
Update: She does look lovely, doesn't she? And he? So very English. Yup, I still love me some British men.
 {Image via}

Thursday, April 28, 2011


  {Image via}
Last night I met up with some friends for a long-overdue catch-up session over margaritas and Mexican food, and I must tell you, it was a lovely night out. That coming from a Southern California girl who cherishes her Mexican food being as authentic as possible. The menu at the eatery was a little jarring - they had ricotta cheese ravioli with enchilada sauce as an entree - but the food was good, in this humble eater's opinion. And the marg was a fabulous kick-in-the-head. Granted, it could have been the tequila talking, but I'm fairly certain I enjoyed my meal, and the ceviche I ordered as an appetizer was - while served in much larger chunks than I've ever experienced before, and not as flavorful as the homemade stuff I'm used to - did taste fresh and as such was a nice way to top off what had been a warm, slightly humid day. I hope this Thursday finds all of you well, and if not, go have yourself a margarita tonight, I promise it will cure all that ails you. [And no, the cheeky poster picture I included above has no bearing on the night. Tequila shots can make me a Mean Girl, but margaritas have never done me any harm.]

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What a beautiful morning!

 {Image via}
Well I'm saddened to tell you all that the first batch of Peanut Butter Kiss cookies, the batch we all tasted, did indeed taste of dirt. So the entire batch had to be scrapped and no one could go home with anything. It was all very sad, and made me feel like a rather awful hostess. I then whipped up a second batch with butter that had been softening all day, rather than sitting in the fridge all day as the dough of the first batch had been, and the cookies are significantly better. So it's the fridge, something is very wrong there. Ah well. The second batch was brought in to coworkers to prevent, as much as possible, yours truly from gaining more weight than I already have. "Oh heavens no!" You shall say, "You needn't fret about such trivial things as weight!" Sorry, supportive ones, the numbers don't lie, and they are moving in a direction of which I am not a fan. Namely, upwards. Anyway, I hope this Wednesday treats everyone remarkably well, and I do apologize that I don't have fabulous photos of these cookies to share with you...I just couldn't bring myself to photograph the first batch as they were such a complete disappointment. So, I hope you enjoyed a picture of a beautiful kitchen that is not mine. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

 {Image via}
You'll be happy to know that my day yesterday stayed upbeat the whole day through, and while I awoke to a foggy day this morning, it has since cleared to a beautiful, pale blue sky with lots of sun. Delightful! What's even more delightful is that after work I'm having a few girlfriends over to bake cookies, so tonight my apartment will be filled with the scent of Peanut Butter Kiss cookies baking away. Hopefully they turn out well, and I'll be able to share the deliciousness of it all tomorrow. However, in the interest of full disclosure, our refrigerator possesses a certain smell that I haven't been able to get rid of no matter how hard I scrub or how much baking soda I place on the shelves to suck the odor out. As such, and due to the fact that the recipe I'm trying out calls for the dough to be chilled in the fridge for at least 3 hours prior to baking (and I'll have kept it in all night due to the circumstance of having a job) I'm just hoping they taste all right. I have all the ingredients on hand for a second batch should they be appalling, however. Wish us luck in this baking endeavor!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Eerily Cheery...

{Image via}
Hi friends! I'm having an eerily cheery Monday this morning, there's something in the air that's just put a pep in my step, but I'm dealing with a certain paranoia regarding why I am so cheerful and what may come about to pull me down from my happy perch. And no, I don't know why I am so distrustful of my own cheerfulness, but here we are nonetheless. Regardless, I'm going to enjoy my upbeat feelings while they last, for it is a rather wonderful feeling to have on a gloomy Monday! I hope all your first-days-of-the-week begin in so upbeat a manner, and stay that way the whole day through!

Friday, April 22, 2011


{Image via}
It's Friday my loves! It's supposed to rain this weekend, I have no actual plans, I fully intend to honor my roommate's wishes and clean the bathroom on Saturday (last time this happened it took me a week to actually do the cleaning but this time, I'm doing it right!), and I have a phone date scheduled for a dear friend back in California for Sunday. Other than that, I plan to do nothing but laze about. I hope you all have equally relaxing weekends ahead! Oh and that piccy is a "just because" sorta thing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Ghetto Klown"

 {Image via}
On Tuesday night, a darling friend and I attending a showing of John Leguizamo's new one-man play, "Ghetto Klown" and I have to tell you - this show is worth seeing. I have been a fan of Leguizamo in only 2 of his "known" movies - namely "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet", and "Moulin Rouge" - and this was the first of his many shows that I'd been privileged to see. Now, oh how I wish there were a way to see the old plays!
{Image via}
"Ghetto Klown" is apparently the most autobiographical of Leguizamo's impressive list of showcase pieces, and it was endearing to learn a bit about him. As my knowledge was non-existent prior to the show, and I never particularly followed the actor's career, it was almost welcoming to be privy to the same anecdotes and admissions as audience members who surely knew Leguizamo's career inside and out. This is a truly funny man, outside of being a truly incredible actor. Well-trained to boot, he studied with Lee Strasberg, the mentor of such greats as Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean. Burdened with an unfortunate youth, he strove to prove to himself as much as his parents all that he could be and accomplish. I think we can all agree he succeeded.
 {Image via}
This production is as funny as it is touching, the enthusiasm and excitement that was brought to the stage by this single actor and writer was invigorating, and the audience loved it. You feel a respect from Leguizamo that surely equals the respect his audiences sends up to him night after night.In the beginning of the show Leguizamo pauses and asks if we can all feel "the vibe." The fact of the matter is, we can. This is as strong a show as Leguizamo is an actor, and it is not to be missed.

"Ghetto Klown" plays at the Lyceum Theater, located at 149 West 45th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues). You can purchase tickets by calling the box office or by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cuban Elegance

  {Image via}
That's the tagline Cafe Cortadito chose, not a title I miraculously came up with that does not involve what day of the week it is. On behalf of both readers, Cafe Cortadito, we thank you. But I still admit, while the restaurant at which I dined Saturday night was rather elegant - the vase full of fresh roses in the bathroom was definitely a nice touch - the food was the best part of the establishment. I know, I know, "But, Writer of Weird Little Blog I Read When I Remember your Blog Exists, isn't the point of a restaurant the food?" Well yes, yes it is Earnest And Dedicated Sometimes Reader. Sometimes I just have to write simplistic phrases to take up space so my posts don't feel quite so empty and sad when I publish them. And, full disclosure, I had never eaten Cuban food prior to that meal, so you probably can't trust my recommendation anyway.  But the food was delicious, the prices were perhaps a little steep for what you got - a lot of beef and pork, some amazing fried plantains, not much on presentation - but the meal was filling and the sangria itself was well worth every penny. And after all, young reader, don't we really go to restaurants to booze it up on drinks that never taste quite right at home?
 {Image via}
{Image via}
{Image via}

Cafe Cortadito is located at 210 E 3rd St (between Avenue B & Avenue C. You can make reservations by calling (212) 614-3080, or check out their website at

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gloomy Tuesday

{Image via}
I wanted to regale you all with tales of the delicious Cuban food I ate for dinner on Saturday night, but work has gotten in my way so I shall have to put that on the back burner for now. In the meantime, I hope this picture lifts your spirits, and that your weather is looking cheerier than the gray and gloom we have outside my windows. Monday's done, on to bigger and better things - after all, the week has to hit the weekend sometime!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Morning!

Oh Monday. The end of a weekend. At least I thoroughly enjoyed mine! I joined a friend for a delicious sushi dinner after work on Friday, at a BYOB eatery called Fu Sushi. I will definitely be returning to this eatery - delicious, fresh sushi and the opportunity to bring your own bottle of wine to enjoy with the meal?! Genius.
 Friday night I also saw some live music - not something I do with much regularity though I suppose not for any distaste of the subject. I just don't think to go search out venues or acts. But a friend of mine recommended what turned out to be a great band called The Pass, playing at a fun venue, Pianos. In typical fashion, I was informed later that weekend that the "upstairs" of Pianos was an awful place, accompanied with an eye roll as to why I would have ever agreed to patronize such an establishment. To each his own I suppose, and although admittedly I did not go into any upstairs area, I liked the presumably downstairs bar. And the little arena for the bands to play was intimate, as most things in New York are. One thing that stuck with me from my music-listening experience, was a rather encouraging thing. Next to where I stood was a case full of sample CD's of the band's music. Open and out for all to see - literally, I used the stack of CD's as an armrest for part of the set - and not a single person did I see swoop in to snag a freebie. Granted, the crowd seemed young-ish, it's possible I was surrounded by students still living off the comforts of their parents, but I more think it was just a reminder that humans are innately honest and good. And there you are,  a little zen to kick of your week. Now go to, and make this Monday count!
 {Both images via}

Friday, April 15, 2011


In spite of a rocky workday start, I am having a Springy Friday morning. The sun is out, the sky is blue, the weekend is ahead, promising and sparkling with as-yet-unknown possibilities. And finally Manhattan is looking like Spring. There is still a threat of rain this weekend, but I couldn't help but smile at the excitement New York feels for Spring, evident to me as I walked to work today. Not only are all the trees blossoming - as everyone promised would happen - but in all the planters lining the streets, and all the parks dotting this cement jungle, daffodils have been planted. Smiling up at passersby with their bright little faces, these enthusiastically planted bits o' spring certainly put a pep in this girls step! I just love that a city as stereotypically gritty as New York, would make such an effort to create beauty and welcome the end of winter. And the steadfast knowledge that this move was a good idea, surfaces yet again. Happy Friday all!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo"

 {Image via}
Directed by Moises Kauffman, "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" is a play that is not-to-be-missed. With or without Robin Williams - who, for better or worse, may be more of a draw to this show than its subject matter for the average viewer - this tumultuous story of unanswerable questions will give you chills, and make you think.
 {Image via}
Boasting a strong storyline that infiltrates humor with heartbreak, this play has a strong book that is brought to life by a stellar cast. Robin Williams truly was superb as the "Tiger." Reigning in his comedic panache, he brought to life a myriad of emotions and left the audience mesmerized as much as he made us chuckle. Arian Moayed's "Musa" was perhaps the most wretched of all the characters, struggling against demons we were introduced to slowly and painfully, and remaining human and defiant throughout the storyline. Rounding out the leads of this cast were equally strong performances by Glenn Davis as "Tom" and Brad Fleischer (a UCSD MFA graduate, hey-o!) as "Kev," who went from frustratingly immature to sadly lost until he made a refreshing growth into a character with inquisitiveness as well as intelligence.
 {Image via}
This storyline was rounded out by the rest of a very talented cast, and was brought beautifully to life with sets by Derek McLane. Truly, the garden - which served as a predominant background throughout the play - was beautiful in its devastation and its significance to each character. The sound design, by Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers, as well as Kathryn Bostic's musical compositions, were together beautifully effective, lulling into everyday simplicity just as quickly as it yanked us from reverie into realization of cold, hard truths.
 {Image via}
Without a doubt this show is worth seeing. The sort of story you lose yourself in until you emerge, blinking, back into the bright light of day, and life in America, unsure of what to do with what you've seen, unsure of the life so many men and women have lived - and are living - in countries abroad, where war is fought, and there are no easy truths, and there is no black and white. A reminder that life is hard in ways we cannot even imagine, for so very many people we most likely will never come close to meeting.

"Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" plays at the Richard Rogers Theater, 226 West 46th Street. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office or by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Anything Goes"

 {Image via}
I am a huge fan of tap musicals from the 30's, 40's, and 50's. I love the bright costumes, the bauble jewelery, the tales of wealth and glamour, and the stories - and related dance numbers - of loves found and lost. As such, you can imagine my thrill at being able to see "Anything Goes" not once, but twice - initially for a preview performance as a thank-you from a sweet house guest, and the second time as an opening night attendee, complete with after-party, thanks to a fellow theater-lover.
 {Remaining Images via}
I can't tell you how much I loved this show. Not only am I a lifelong fan of Joel Grey, but I've also been smitten with Sutton Foster since I saw her in the La Jolla Playhouse origination of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" when I was in high school. The chance to see the two of them together - especially Joel Grey! - was one I simply could not pass up. And they did not disappoint me. Joel Grey's "Moonface Martin" was endearing in his not-quite-bad-enough criminal endeavors, and Sutton Foster's worldly "Reno Sweeney" was a refreshing departure from the wide-eyed ingenue(s) she's made her name playing. Superbly directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, highlights must also go out to Laura Osnes' "Hope Harcourt" - last seen and loved by this particular theater-goer in La Jolla Playhouses' "Bonnie & Clyde" - with her crystal clear singing voice, as well as to Colin Donnell's eager "Billy Crocker." Definitive accolades must finally go to Jessica Stone's portrayal of "Erma," a girl who knows what she wants and has no qualms about taking it, always looking out for number one - herself.
Paul Huntley's hair and wig design brought the 1930's delightfully to life with vibrant colors and curls, while Martin Pakledinaz's costumes were drool-worthy with pin-up and flowing skirts, buckled pumps and fabulous jewels to boot. Derek McLane's scenic design was whimsically  superb, and Cole Porter's music was brought once again to sparkling life with the vocal prowess and orchestral magic of this cast and musicians. Without a doubt, this is a show worth seeing. It will put a smile on your face and have you humming all the way home, trust me on that!

"Anything Goes" plays at The Stephen Sondheim Theater, 124 W 43rd Street, (between 6th Avenue and Broadway). You can visit the box office for tickets or call 212-719-1300.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"The Importance of Being Earnest"

{Image via}
I have been a fan Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" since high school, when our performing-arts-school-within-the-high-school put on the show. I have never read the  play before, and I haven't seen it since that memorable performance. So I was thrilled to get to see "The Importance of Being Earnest" onstage last week.
 {Image via}
Directed by Brian Bedford, who also magnificently takes on the starring role of Lady Bracknell, the cast of this show is tremendous, and the costumes,  sets and lighting are equally delightful. Santino Fontana's "Algernon Moncrieff" was hilarious as the scamp always out for himself and a good meal, while David Furr's "John Worthing" was endearing in his frustration and noble striving to move beyond his humble "parentage" in a handbag to be able to marry the girl he loves. The lady loves and the rest of the cast are not to be forgotten either, coming together to form a truly cohesive ensemble, gleefully supporting the two main leads of this show.
 {Image via}
With Desmond Heeley in charge of both sets and costume design, it makes sense that the frivolity of the garden and stateliness of both family homes would meld so well with the grand attire that outfits each character. Duane Schuler's lighting design perfectly heralded dusk in a garden, and Berthold Carriere's original music was truly enjoyable, so much so that if one was to be recorded, I would purchase a soundtrack. Truly with a creative crew this talented, and a cast this hilariously earnest in their pursuits, you can rest assured that the Roundabout Theater's production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" is a very worthwhile way to spend an evening!

The Roundabout Theater is located at 227 West 42 Street (between 7th & 8th Ave) or tickets can be purchased by calling 212-719-1300

Monday, April 11, 2011

"The Book of Mormon - The Musical"

 {All initial images via}
I should tell you all up front that I am not a religious person - in all honesty I find organized religion distasteful, and very different from "having faith." (I am very much a woman of provable facts, if I can see it, I'll believe it but I tend to brush off the other stuff.) However, I know many people derive comfort from their religions, and in spite of our claims of differentiation, religion has a stranglehold on half of the political system of our state here in America, so I find it invariably refreshing when the arts, ranging from museum exhibits, to books, art shows to plays, take a good-natured jab at the institution. Which was precisely the case with Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Broadway debut, "The Book of Mormon - The Musical"
Best known as being the creators of South Park, Parker and Stone have made a strong foray into the world of musical theater. With a storyline strong in its subversive subject matter - there were good highlights made about exposure to all cultures, reality of facts of life versus the idealized mental state of being a believer in a higher power. There was also a lot of use of the word "fuck" which, I took to have been intended be added subversion, but which really just came across as humdrum and overbearingly low-brow. Moreover, however, this is a strong musical, with a decent book, and a wonderful cast.
To call out only a few members of this cast seems almost unfair because the entire ensemble made for a memorable evening. Still, I would be remiss to at least not highlight the leads. Andrew Rannell's "Elder Price" was a knockout - strong vocally, he also fleshed out a character that truly had an arc throughout the show and came out stronger for his experiences. Josh Gad's "Elder Cunningham" was a bit one-dimensional, especially next to his fellow lead, but provided comic relief in a broad characterization of a social outcast trying desperately to fit in. Nikki M. James' "Nabulungi" was magnificent - played with an earnestness and culminating in strength derived a slap-in-the-face dose of reality, she provided a focus for hope in the storyline, and her characteristically power-house vocals made for chills during her solo numbers.
 {Image via}
Scott Pask's set design was wonderful - versatile and beautifully detailed, it made for a magnificent backdrop and aided immensely in bringing the storyline to life. Ann Roth's costumes were exactly what they needed to be for their lead characters, and branched out considerably into the flamboyant, and the hysterical as the scenes allowed. The lighting design by Brain MacDevitt was equally mesmerizing, effective when called for, and transporting into peace, panic and isolation as the characters continued on in their journey. Brian Ronan's sound design was equally transporting, and all four individuals' work in the "Scary Mormon Hell Dream" sequence came together to create a truly fantastic scene - one of which they should all be proud!
 {Image via}
In all, you would do well to go see this show. Following in the footsteps of "Avenue Q" this show will most certainly be a contender during Tony's season, its soundtrack will have you humming long after you've left the theater, and the cast is truly a sight to behold, as well as to hear.

"The Book of Mormon - The Musical" plays at the Eugene O'Neill Theater, 230 W 49th Street. Call the box office or buy tickets here.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday at last!

{Image via}
And another short post - complete with a theater tease - to end this week as I promised it would. I attended the Opening Night of "Anything Goes" last night, including the after-party, and I just have to state that my most heart-happy part of the whole affair was acknowledging the fact that this cast gave their heart and soul to the preview performance I saw, just as much as to this opening night performance. That respect for the material, each other, and their audiences, is what makes me love theater in a way no other art form has ever held my adoration. A truly fantastic evening, to be sure. As ever, more will come next week, which will essentially exist as "April 4-8, The Redux" in its postings. May you all have fabulous weekends; I fully intend to catch up on sleep while my houseguest visits others for a bit, throwing in some wine tasting and a walkabout for good measure. Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

And then it was Thursday...

{Image via}
All right, I give up - this is going to be a week solid full of hardly-there posts. I have a dear friend from college staying with me - first trip to New York! - and as he is a theater junkie much like myself, his vacation has turned into a staycation for me as we've been seeing theater galore. Due to this, however, I've been coming to work each morning slightly too-tired, and coupled with the fact that our workload in general has been unusually frantic the past few weeks, I have simply had no energy for anything outside of that work which needs doing. Thus, here is a thought from Picasso I hope you find uplifting, a promise that sooner rather than later I will regale you with yet another theater tale, this time about Roundabout's production of "The Importance of Being Earnest," and my own earnest wish that you all have a wonderful Thursday! Another short post will be coming your way tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


 {Image via}
Sorry for this short, rather sporadic post. Work is madness, and I just don't have time to post what I'd like to post, which is a diatribe of my thoughts on "The Book of Mormon - The Musical". But I'll get to it as soon as I can, and in the meantime, I hope this Wednesday treats everyone swimmingly! This piccy is simply because I'd much rather be that girl today.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


{Image via}
I'm feeling rather calm this morning. Although it has nothing to do with reading "Vogue". But calm has been a foreign state of being for the past few weeks, if not months. Today it may be a combination of resignation (mixed signals in dating are so frustrating...and, I fear, disappointing in the end...), a rested psyche (a good night's sleep cures so many ills), and the saturated solitude that today's cloud cover contains (the threat of rain is by its nature cozy), but I am just feeling in a moment of now. I hope it lasts a little while, there's never any telling how a work day will shape up. Still, I hope you all have the same sort of calmness in your Tuesday, and that you are able to appreciate it in full!

Monday, April 4, 2011

[Insert Clever Post Here]

 {Image via}
I'm tired guys. It was a long weekend of finalizing the packing and good-byes of a houseguests' international move, and today is gloomy and cold, and I am tired. I have another friend coming into town on Tuesday, and no I'm not sure how it is that I've ended up so tightly booked with houseguests these past couple months. I guess everyone hears Spring and New York City, and wants to take a trip. Kudos to my roommate for stoically handling the hotel I've turned her apartment into. Regardless, the whimsy of this picture was intended to lift my spirits a bit and send me off to make it through the day. I hope you all do the same, and New Yorker's, you kids stay dry out there today!

Friday, April 1, 2011


 {Image via}
Not only did writing all that out yesterday help me to get my mind off the embarrassment and into the zone of working hard as-is, but it reminded me just how cathartic getting things out of my head is. I also was pleasantly surprised, once all the negativity was literally spilled out onto a page, that I felt lighter, more able to focus, more whole. I felt like myself again. And the day picked up from there. My boss and I fell back into comfortable conversation, a very important transition for me as I am so overly-sensitive that I take criticism of work or performance to be a reflection of how a person feels about me as a person rather than as an employee or coworker. (Obviously, the two are very, very rarely one and the same. But such is how my neurotic head works.) Then I came home to a lovely card and a sweet, thoughtful gift from a California friends' parents just sending love and hellos. It reminded me of just how lucky I am to have, not only a family that is completely supportive of me and all I do, and a sister I consider a friend first and foremost, but also friends and loved ones that have become my family and who continue to show their love and generosity even since I've moved so far away. I am lucky in so many ways, and it all sort of struck me last night, and squeezed my little heart until I couldn't breath for a moment, how grateful I am for the life I have. Funny how a day that started off to angst-y with residual distaste from the day before could end so incredibly positively. Really is a testament to the power of working through things, yes, but also striving to look on the bright side of things.Even the snow that is falling outside of the windows, on this first day of April, can't bring down my spirits today. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and I'll see you on Monday!